On Talking Heads’ 1980 album, Remain in Light, Brian Eno helped David Byrne transform himself from a near-autistic art-school nerdlinger into an awkwardly funky art-rock shaman. Subsequently, both men mellowed out. Byrne has spent the latter part of his career trying on various baby-boomer hairdos, bemusedly pondering the banal, and battling Paul Simon for squatters rights on various sub-equatorial genres. Eno made New Age music tolerable and then, more recently, made Coldplay’s music intolerable. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, the pair’s first collaboration in roughly 30 years, doesn’t radically alter either man’s current temperament. But the songs—cleverly modest tunes steeped in middle-aged bewilderment—feature some of Byrne’s most focused performances in ages. He may not be speaking in tongues any more, but he’s hitting all of the right notes.
DAVID BYRNE PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. AT THE WARNER THEATRE, 513 13TH ST. NW. $59.50–$69.50. (202) 783-4000.