By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
One country whose cultural development Byrne doesn't find encouraging is Cuba. Although Luaka Bop's 1992 release of New Directions in Cuban Music: Diablo al Infierno was a crucial catalyst in introducing the island's late-'80s and turn-of-the-decade experimental currents to the world, don't expect the label to produce a sequel. For Byrne, who last visited Cuba in the early '90s ("when the dollar was still illegal"), the musical conversation between that nation and the United States has become too one-sided.
"The stuff I've heard coming out now is all rap. I have some friends who love it," he says, "but for me it's not musically capitalizing on what's deep-rooted in the culture. It's an imitation of what's being heard over Miami radio."
Still, Byrne is all too familiar with the notion of self-estrangement. "Once I've finished a record, I never listen to it again. Sometimes I'll hear something I like on the radio, and somebody will point out, "That's you! That's from Stop Making Sense!' I won't even recognize it."