Fear of Music

Fear of Music

Book - 2012
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Fear of Music, the third album by Talking Heads, was recorded and released in 1979. It is, like each of their first four albums, a masterpiece. Edgy, paranoid, funky, addictive, rhythmic, repetitive, spooky, and fun - with Brian Eno's production, it's a record that bursts out of the downtown scene that birthed the band, and hints at the directions (positive and negative) they'd take in the near future.
Here, Jonathan Lethem takes us back to the late 1970s in New York City and situates Talking Heads as one of the decades most remarkable and enigmatic bands. Incorporating theory, fiction, and memoir, and placing Fear of Music alongside Fritz Lang, Edgar Allen Poe, Patti Smith, and David Foster Wallace, Lethem's book is a virtuoso performance by a writer at the peak of his powers, tackling one of his great obsessions.
Publisher: New York : Continuum, c2012.
ISBN: 9781441121004
1441121005
Branch Call Number: 782.4216 LETHEM
Characteristics: xiv, 141 p. ; 17 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Oct 26, 2013

I really dig the ongoing 33 1/3 series, which devotes a whole book to a single, often classic, album. Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Lethem ("Dissident Gardens," "Chronic City") likes to keep one toe dipped in pop culture and has also written a short book about "They Live." Like a lot of writers when they approach pop culture, Lethem has an unfortunate tendency to over-intellectualize. He didn't interview the band or producer Brian Eno and so the book tends to be heavy on his analysis and his rather self-involved, nostalgic take on the album. The best thing about it is that it will spur to you to listen to "Fear of Music," which is fantastically cool and weird record.

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