David Byrne and Robert Wilson probably hung out in cheapo loft New York City, smoked cigarettes and rode their bikes and drank coffee, talked about the world, talked about girls, bemoaned Reagan and wished for peace. Like we do, sort of. Except they also got commissioned by the city of Los Angeles to make avant garde stage plays in celebration of the Olympics. (Whatever, peeling another day off the Pooped Puppies desk calendar is totally just as monumental. Right?) Anyway, the resulting musical birthings of that collaboration, the CIVIL WarS and the geometric and sterile looking Knee Plays has been reissued on CD and DVD. Byrne had definitely been spending some time at the Kitchen with Arthur Russell when composing such a whisper drone for a soundtrack, Robert Wilson was probably just smoking a lot of dust and doing crosswords. The DVD has a lengthy slideshow of the plays, four hundred photos deep, with DB's music atop. Put it on, shut the lights, close your eyes and then open them just a little for a little because it's better that way.
The Knee Plays
October 29, 2007