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October 17th, 2012 12:01 am MATTHEW SINGER | Music Stories

Make Love, Not Sense

It’s the David Byrne Dating Game!

music_davidbyrne_3850DAVID BYRNE - IMAGE: Catalina Kulczarmarin
Will David Byrne ever find a nice girl to settle down with? Ever since Talking Heads broke up in 1991, the restless 60-year-old musician-author-etc. has been playing the field—musically speaking—making flippy-floppy with everyone from the late Tejano star Selena to tropicalia singer Marisa Monte. This week, Byrne has a pair of hot dates in Portland with two very desirable women: indie-rock siren Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, with whom he just released the collaborative album Love This Giant; and Stumptown’s own riot grrrl, Carrie Brownstein, whom he’s meeting at the Bagdad Theater to discuss his new book, How Music Works. But Byrne must be tiring of bachelorhood: His first words on Love This Giant are, “Who’ll be my valentine?” Clearly, the guy is looking for love—though he’ll probably settle for someone to make sweet, strange music with. Don’t worry, David, WW is here to set you up!

Annie Clark (singer-songwriter-guitarist)

IMAGE: Annabel Mehran
Turn-Ons: Violent, jagged shards of clangorous guitar; elegant, crystalline chamber-pop arrangements; lyrics that, like her music, precariously balance ecstasy with lunacy.

Turnoffs: Emotional stability—borrrrrrring!

Compatibility Level: GIRLFRIEND IS BETTER! If the chemistry on the horny—as in, buoyantly brass-driven—Love This Giant is any indication, these two are a match made in “Heaven.” Like most May-December relationships, it probably burns a bit too hot for the union to last, but as a one-album stand, it’s positively steamy. And weird. Don’t forget weird.

Carrie Brownstein (singer-guitarist-sketch comic)

IMAGE: Merge Records
Turn-Ons: Big, blustery guitar anthems; shy, mumbly nerd boys with absurdist senses of humor; identifying the trends and attitudes of her hometown, mocking them; re-identifying the trends and attitudes of her hometown, mocking them again—only this time, it’s the 1890s! Get it?! 

Turnoffs: People asking if she’s dating Fred Armisen; people asking when Sleater-Kinney is getting back together; people on the street yelling “Cacao!” at her.

Compatibility Level: ROAD TO NOWHERE! Although they share an awkward comic sensibility—Byrne’s self-interview on the Stop Making Sense DVD is basically a proto-Portlandia sketch—Brownstein’s taste in music is a bit too rockist for someone of Byrne’s worldliness. Also, we really want a Sleater-Kinney reunion soon, and we don’t need Brownstein delaying it with another distracting partnership.

Tina Weymouth (bassist, formerly of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club)

IMAGE: Billy Green
Turn-Ons: Angular, Afro-punk bass lines; white-lady raps only slightly better than Debbie Harry’s; men who used to be in Talking Heads (she’s married to drummer Chris Frantz).

Turnoffs: Men who used to be in Talking Heads (she and Byrne aren’t on speaking terms these days).

Compatibility Level: BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE! Look, you two, we know things ended pretty rough the last time around. David, it was really insensitive of you to just walk out on the band for a solo career. But, Tina, wasn’t it a tad immature to respond by recording a fake Talking Heads album with a bunch of replacement singers? So you’ve both made mistakes. But think of your children—those eight, impossibly perfect albums of peerless art funk you created together. What we’re trying to say is: Can we just get one, measly Talking Heads reunion tour? Please?! 

SEE IT: David Byrne and St. Vincent play the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1111 SW Broadway, on Thursday, Oct. 18. 8 pm. $43-$53.50. All ages. Byrne and Carrie Brownstein discuss How Music Works at Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Friday, Oct. 19. 7 pm. Sold out.

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