Video Review: Talking Heads “Burning Down The House”

In a suburban neighborhood, the sun shines on a split-level home. Morning turns to night. Inside the attic, David Byrne and the band performs.

Byrne’s face is projected on the side of the house. The home’s family plays in the attic, replacing the band. It switches back to the Talking Heads. As the lights flash, he floats back into the attic. He shakes his butt, watching a projected fire on the screen.

Against a black screen, the band’s faces blend with the family member’s. A fire is projected on the side of the home. Byrne shakes his butt in front an audience as he plays at a concert. The little boy takes his place.

The band and the family takes turns dancing in the attic. A fire is projected against the black screen as Byrne stares. In the attic, the little boy climbs on Byrne’s back and plays his guitar. The other band members get moved by the family.

Against the fuzzy screen, the little boy removes the guitar around his body. Byrne sighs once he faces the screen. Byrne’s face is projected on the road.

Rating: 1/5

Growing up, David Byrne played his guitar every moment. He composed songs while he was supposed to be doing his homework. His classmates spent their time with dolls and board games. He preferred words and looked through art books.

As a teenager, living in his small town become stifling. He wanted out. His classmates knew he was going to change the world one day. They often commented to him that he seemed to be staring himself into another state, dreaming of his older self.

He and his band drove off to California one day. They figured they were either going to make it or die slowly playing every dive bar in the city. The yearning of small town life is within him and a part of his art.

Director: David Byrne Year: 1983

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.

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