The Milwaukee connection to David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

The Milwaukee connection to David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

640 360

Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In

I’m Justin Barney and I’m filling in for Jordan today as Piet and I talk about three things we love: David Byrne of Talking Heads, Spike Lee and also Milwaukee. What do they have in common? They’re all part of the film adaptation of David Byrne’s stage show “American Utopia.”

“American Utopia”

It’s really a one of a kind show. The band performs without any sort of electrical cords, almost like a hybrid of a dance troupe and marching band. And it translates really well to the screen. Piet says it’s one of the most exciting concert films since “Stop Making Sense.”

The Milwaukee connection is Angie Swan, who is the guitarist and vocalist with the group. The Milwaukee native often steals the show, especially during a cover of Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout.”

We talk about Angie’s friendship with Byrne and what a big fan of Milwaukee Byrne is — when I interviewed him years ago, he was schooling me with his knowledge of the city.

The film is showing this Saturday on HBO. Stream our episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part exploration of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

Support from our community makes stories like the one you just read possible. Make a gift to support the team behind the programming you use and enjoy!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee