David Byrne journals about Iowa: “Beyond cool”

David Byrne
David Byrne and St. Vincent perform at 80/35 earlier this month. — photo by Zak Neumann

Following his visit for 80/35 alongside St. Vincent, David Byrne — one of the most celebrated artists of our time — has written a substantive reflection piece on his time spent in Des Moines. In it, he includes a bold proposition:

…this is America as it’s suposed to be, or close to it. It’s imperfect, but people here seem to have found a way of living that is not based around either extremes of manic striving or desperation. It may not be cool, but it might be beyond cool. Here among the winding creeks and fields of corn they may have arrived at some kind of secret satisfaction.

The artist and former Talking Heads frontman then analysed and compiled a history of this state that should be required reading for anyone who has ever struggled to differentiate Iowa from any other chunk of dirt and corn on this earth.

Mr. Byrne, thanks for looking beyond the surface on your brief visit to our state. I hope you’ll come back soon!

David Byrne’s Journal