Eugene Register-Guard, February 2, 1978

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Talking Heads, Costello to appear

Eugene Register-Guard

Rock band, controversial British singer set concert on Feb. 9

Talking Heads, one of the most highly acclaimed rock bands of 1977, and Elvis Costello, one of Britain's most controversial new singers, will perform a concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Lane County Civic Center.

Tickets for the concert are available at Everybody's Records and the Sun Shop for $4.50 each.

Talking Heads is a four-member New York City band that came to national attention in the "punk" rock movement of late 1977. Some critics have claimed the group's original concept is as important to the 1970s as the Beatles and Rolling Stones were to the 1960s.

The band made its debut in 1975 at CBGB, a New York City bar on The Bowery that has also premiered such "underground" acts as Patti Smith, the Ramones and Television. The group came to prominence during a tour of Europe in the spring of 1977.

Since then, the band has released an album, Talking Heads '77, that has gained critical acclaim although it has not been a best-seller. The group's following has been limited by its unconventional style.

Describing Talking Heads is a difficult task. Playing subdued music with lyrics hailing civil servants, parents and college, its orientation is mote Ivy League than punk. The group's appeal is in the way it has taken the energy of the post-Beatles era and gone in a direction that is spare, challenging and unconventional.

The group takes its name from broadcasting jargon for television programs that show the viewers nothing more than head of someone who is simply talking. In a sense, the group's stage show is similarly subdued. With short hair and conservative dress, the band doesn't look much like a typical rock band and doesn't use any visual gimmicks.

Talking Heads is composed of David Byrne, guitar; Chris Frantz, drums; Martina Weymouth, bass, and Jerry Harrison, keyboards.

One reviewer said Byrne, as a singer, has an uncomfortable way of groping for high notes "like a drowning man lunging for air."

Byrne, Frantz and Weymouth met at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973 where they formed group called The Artistics. The next summer they came to New York where they became the Talking Heads. The group remained a trio until early 1977 when it added Harrison, one of the original members of the Modern Lovers.

The band's first single was "Love Goes to a Building on Fire," a strange song that won critical praise but few sales and little AM radio airplay. Regardless, Byrne has said that the group's intention is to make hits. "I think as we go on we will develop a more commercial product," he said. "I think we can be popular like the Carpenters."

Costello is a British singer who is more in the rhythm-and-blues revivalist bag of Graham Parker, Southside Johnny and Bruce Springsteen than in punk rock. His music is spare, tight and infectious.

A quiet, sullen person off-stage, Costello has a lively concert act, although he looks like a creep. He wears his hair slicked down, pinstripe suits, executive tie and dark-rimmed glasses. One critic has called him "Buddy Holly on acid."

However, Costello's music (much of it is contained in his album, My Aim Is True) has become popular because he has a good singing voice and can "sell" a song. His songs, however, are weird. His tune "Blame It on Caine" is getting considerable air play across the nation.

The computer operator-turned-rock singer is being hailed by many critics as the next big rock star. He will be accompanied by his three-piece band, the Attractions.

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Eugene Register-Guard, February 2, 1978

The Eugene Register-Guard profiles Talking Heads and Elvis Costello ahead of the concert, February 9, 1978, Eugene, Oregon.


1978-02-02 Eugene Register-Guard clipping.jpg
Elvis Costello photo by Chris Gabrin.

Page scan.
1978-02-02 Eugene Register-Guard page 7D.jpg


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