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|December 18-24, 2008
The Motet gets Byrned
Dave Watts discusses the latest cover concert and what lies ahead
by Dave Kirby
I dunno, I just bent down and it went out,” says Dave Watts, talking about throwing out his back recently. “I was laid up for days. But… I just played a gig last Saturday, so I can still play the drums. Can’t move, but I can still play, fortunately.”
And fortunate for all those who missed the Motet’s 4-night sold-out run of shows last October tribbing the Talking Heads, as Watts re-stages the show at the Boulder Theater on December 27.
“It was really the audience that decided it. The Heads were always the most requested cover stuff we’d get, so it made sense to make a show out of it. I was never the biggest Heads fan in the world, so I kind of went back and did some investigation of all their stuff, going all the back to the ’70s stuff, and I really grew to like it.”
Personnel for the project extended beyond Motet’s usually fluid roster, including Kyle Hollingsworth, former Motet co-conspirator Jans Ingber and James Sangiovanni, better known as Fuzz from Deep Banana Blackout.
“Kyle is a huge Talking Heads fan, probably the biggest one in the group, so it was a no-brainer to sign him up. And Fuzz has recently been playing with Tom Tom Club back East, so I had to call him also.”
The ninth in his annual series of all-star tribute gigs (recent projects have featured the music of Jamiroquai and Madonna), Watts focused on the Heads’ brawling mid-period cosmic funk, as the band was maturing from the twitchy, angular New Wavers of Talking Heads 77 to the urban afro-beat wrecking crew of Remain In Light and Speaking in Tongues, augmented by the likes of P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell and session percussionist Steve Scales and well chronicled in Jonathan Demme’s 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense.
“I really loved the stuff they were doing when they got Bernie Worrell in there, very Fela-beat oriented stuff. But even before that, if you listen to the second disc of The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads, they were already an amazing live band in 1980.
“And when that whole ‘Once in a Lifetime’ thing happened, with the video… it was just weird. Weird music, weird visuals. After the whole punk thing and art rock thing of the ’70s, this was something completely different.”
Watts also has plans beyond the Heads shows — still anchoring Juno What?, his retro-techno trio with Joey Porter and Dominic Lalli, Watts also has Motet slated for a straight-up gig for New Year’s Eve at the Walnut Room in Denver.
And the next special project?
“Mmmmm… not sure yet. Sly and the Family Stone?”
On the Bill
The Motet performs the Talking Heads at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder, 303-786-7030.
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