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Tonight, two Davids, Byrne and Lowery, will sit on a stage and ask each other, “Well, how did we get here?” One is, of course, the former Talking Heads frontman, and the other is the suddenly controversial dude from Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, whose takedown of NPR intern Emily White’s piece about millennials’ reluctance to pay for music won him as much infamy as grayhaired head-nodding. The topic of discussion? Music and copyright in the digital age. The two professional musicians will discuss how artists and industry types can, or should, balance copyright and creativity with the overwhelming sense of consumer entitlement pervading music in this age of Pandora, Spotify, and other digitized music-streaming sites. D.C. is the seventh stop on Byrne’s North American tour to promote his new book, How Music Works—but never content with the predictable, Byrne has eschewed the traditional book reading/signing routine (so don’t bring copies of your book—he won’t sign them). Instead, he has invited respected musicians to join him at each stop and wax philosophical on a variety of issues affecting the musical world. Think of it less as a book tour and more like a traveling record-store counter.
David Byrne and David Lowery talk at 7 p.m. at the Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $27 for nonmembers. smithsonianassociates.org. (202) 633-3030.