Fear of Music

Fear of Music

Book - 2012
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It's the summer of 1979. A fifteen-year-old boy listens to WNEW on the radio in his bedroom in Brooklyn. A monotone voice (it's the singer's) announces into dead air in between songs "The Talking Heads have a new album, it's called Fear of Music "; - and everything spins outward from that one moment.
Jonathan Lethem treats Fear of Music ; (the third album by the Talking Heads, and the first produced by Brian Eno) as a masterpiece - edgy, paranoid, funky, addictive, rhythmic, repetitive, spooky and fun. He scratches obsessively at the album's songs, guitars, rhythms, lyrics, packaging, downtown origins, and legacy, showing how Fear of Music hints at the directions (positive and negative) the band would take in the future. Lethem transports us again to the New York City of another time - tackling one of his great adolescent obsessions and illuminating the ways in which we fall in and out of love with works of art.

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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