This. Right here.
Lately, well…really for the last couple years, I’ve been borderline obsessed not necessarily with funk music, but any style of music that has that funky, everything is in its own pocket, kinda feel. Case in point, this could very well be classified as “afro beat” rather than “funk”, but this is undoubtedly funky. I mean, the pocket here is so deep, you could lose your car keys it it. Even if you can’t classify this as “funk”, it’s about as funky as any piece of music could ever lay claim to. Not all music is funk, but all music can be funky and this right here is about as funky as any band could ever hope to be.
This piece of their 1980 concert in Rome, while touring the Remain In Light album, boasts, in my opinion, the single handed best touring band the Talking Heads ever assembled. With P-Funk’s Bernie Worrell on (2nd!) bass and a young Adrian Belew on guitar (this is pre King Crimson, mind you), it’s just an amazing collaboration of musicians playing some of the most unique music that’s ever been written. This is a band that just doesn’t (couldn’t) exist in music today. If you have an hour to spare, I highly recommend you watch the entire concert. Even if you’re not a huge Talking Heads fan, the precision this gigantic band plays with at this point of the tour is just staggering. But, if you only have 10 min, this version of “Crosseyed and Painless” exhibits everything great about the performance of this truly one of a kind band.
I fully fell in love with this song like most people my age who grew up in New England listening to, and going to, Phish shows. Debuting this as part of their Remain In Light “musical costume” for Halloween ’96, this textured style of playing completely transformed the way Phish played music and had a profoundly lasting effect on the band even to this day. Thru listening to Phish’s extended takes on this song (namely being there in Big Cypress when they unleashed this monster), it quickly became my favorite Talking Heads song and remains so to this day.