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BAM and Barclays Center announce first collaboration: David Byrne's Contemporary Color

Hank Shteamer

It's pretty much a law that David Byrne has to have something awesome in the works at all times. If he's not teaming up with St. Vincent, he's paying homage to a cult musical hero like Nigerian funkster William Onyeabor or turning up at a Paul Simon tribute to sing "You Can Call Me Al" (we saw the latter live and man, was it rad).

Like clockwork, Byrne's back this summer with what might be the coolest event of the season: Contemporary Color, a combination concert and "marching arts" performance at Barclays Center on June 27 and 28, co-sponsored by the forward-thinking folks at BAM. Tix are on sale next Thursday, January 28, and here's what you need to know:

1) The artist roster is wild, filled with avant-pop and forward-thinking R&B names that need no introduction, so we're just gonna run ’em down. In addition to Byrne himself, there's Nelly Furtado, How to Dress Well, Devonté Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange), Kelis, Nico Muhly and Ira Glass, St. Vincent and Tune-Yards.

2) The event is themed around the high-school tradition of color guard performance. As the event's press release tells us, "Modern color guard has evolved out of military tradition… [It] can be found in most American high schools, colleges, and universities, and uses props like flags, rifles, and sabers, along with movement and dynamic music, to express a conceptual motif." Whoa.… Anyway, apparently Byrne saw a video of some these performances, had his mind blown and dreamed up Contemporary Color on the spot. So in addition to all the musical guests, you'll be treated to the visual splendor of 10 20-to-40-person color-guard teams.

So, in short: David Byrne. Contemporary Color. This June. Barclays and BAM. Feast for the ears and eyes. Awesomeness.


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