Houses in Motion; June 4, 2010; High Noon Saloon
It’s hard to know what came first for Houses in Motion, the desire to start a Talking Heads cover band or meeting a guy that sounds just like David Byrne. I almost imagine it had to be the latter, and I can imagine the ensuing conversation. “Dude, you sound just like David Byrne, we should start a Talking Heads cover band!” “Really, I do? OK, I’m in.” Luckily, the first statement would have come from one of the members of Czarbles, an always impressive local instrumental band, who already had all the pieces in place to make it happen. And they’ve done the same with Sabra Cadabra, their Black Sabbath cover band. Though I haven’t heard them, so I don’t know if that dude sounds just like Ozzy Osbourne.
There are two points of genius in this project. The first is that they don’t play very often, so when they do it’s an event. Their shows frequently sell out the spacious High Noon, a feat not often accomplished by a local band. There was plenty of space when the evening began, but by the end of the night the floor was crowded with dancers. The second is that they stick to early Talking Heads material, meaning that I didn’t recognize a whole lot of it. Of course I knew “Psycho Killer” and “Once in a Lifetime,” but “Burning Down the House” was probably the most recent song they played. I am actually a big fan of later material like Little Creatures and True Stories, but that is sort of a guilty pleasure.
They arranged the night chronologically. The first set consisted of the earliest material played by the four piece band (Czarbles plus the dude who sounded just like David Byrne). The second set moved into later recordings and added female backing vocalists and extra musicians. The problem was that all the extra folks just cluttered up the music. The girls didn’t really have amazing voices, so it was hard to understand why were there. Since I never saw the Talking Heads live, you know, other than their Stop Making Sense movie, which doesn’t really count, I’m already looking forward to Houses in Motion’s next show. Even though it may be a year from now.