By Megan Paolone
NPR gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the production behind the tour to support David Byrnes’ and Annie Clark’s surprisingly fun new record, Love This Giant.
Last month, Talking Heads’ David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark came together to create Love This Giant, a 12-track LP that flaunts the pair’s collective songwriting abilities. Backed by an eight-piece brass ensemble, the duo worked for three years to fashion an unexpectedly solid collection of jazzy pop songs vastly different from their individual catalogs.
For many, the Byrne-Clark collaboration was a hipster wet dream come true. The general expectation was that they’d produce something artsy and wildly conceptual that people would pretend to like (but secretly hated). But on Love This Giant, the two have created an album that’s “delightfully unpretentious,” in the words of Guardian reporter Rebecca Nicholson. It’s a bit of pop, a lot of funk, and a lot of all-around fun.
A mini NPR documentary released on Oct. 15 gives fans a behind-the-scenes look into their final rehearsal at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, N.J., before the Love This Giant tour kicked off back in mid-September. If nothing else, the video allows fans a small taste of the artistry that arose from the collaboration and carried over to the live show.
“Magic takes planning,” says Clark in the video, and you certainly get that sense in this seven-minute cross-section of tour production. For the most part, we see Byrne and Clark learning a few dance moves, which is largely awkward but endlessly endearing. They sing the praises of tour choreographer Annie-B Parson, who teaches them pneumonic devices to remember their steps: “karate,” “cross-country skiing,” “make boxes.” They’re steps that have also carried over to their music videos.
The interviews, however, are the film’s true gem. Fans are treated to the pair’s natural chemistry — they banter easily back and forth — which is only amplified on the record. Byrne and Clark discuss the show’s organization and how it’s likely to become more organic as the shows progress. It’s a great introduction to their personalities, as well as their music, and a must-see for fans and those still waiting to check out the partnership.
The duo will wrap up their North American tour on Sat., Oct. 20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.