How Music Works
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Oct. 5, 2012
How Music Worksby David Byrne
McSweeney's Books, 352 pp., $32
While not his "aging rocker's bio," David Byrne's third book, How Music Works, might be as close to an autobiography as we're likely to get from the Scottish-born co-founder of Talking Heads. That's unfortunate because descriptions/illustrations of CBGB, plus the creative process behind Heads songs and innovative tour staging – not to mention his work with Brian Eno – are the most engaging parts of what he has to say. The rest is an opinionated history and sociological treatise on the forms music takes and the industry surrounding it. Byrne gets wonky when talking about business and "How to Make a Scene," while final chapter "Harmonia Mundi" delves into where music came from and its effect on culture, from the Greeks to Marshall McLuhan. That's weighty stuff bogging down Byrne's rather informal prose. In some instances, it makes for memorable witticisms about how music does or doesn't work: "We don't make music – it makes us. Which is maybe the point of this whole book." That's How Music Works in a nutshell: David Byrne manages to balance the substantial in a manner so lightweight it almost floats away.
Luke Winkie, Fri., May 24, 2013
Margaret Moser, Fri., May 24, 2013
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 24, 2013
Abby Johnston, Fri., May 24, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 24, 2013
at The Belmont
2013 Lambda Literary Awards/Reading at BookWoman
Husbands at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre
Film Review Misses Mark Please make a note not to print any more movie reviews of big action movies by Kimberley Jones. She gets ...
What's the Big Deal? I'm baffled by this obsession with Mueller. I drove through it out of curiosity and it's a suburban nightmare that ...
No Mystery in School Bond Failures How out of touch has the Chronicle become with the voting populace of this city? From the article “Bonds: Death ...
Program Is Vital Resource I am responding to your article on ACCESS News, the program by and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The ...
Finding Rail Route Complicated Michael King, in “The Reading Railroad”, while making valuable points, seems to state that finding an initial route for urban ...
- Follow us@AustinChronicle