"How Music Works" Explains How Music Works
David Byrne's new book How Music Works is impressive on many levels: the book itself is a work of art -- it has a black and white minimalist cover (which is slightly mushy to the touch) but inside there are all sorts of color visuals: photos and lyric sheets and pie charts and medieval sketches -- and Byrne covers it all . . . how context affects music; a history of CBGB's; the recording methods of The Talking Heads; a precise breakdown of how much money he made on his last two albums, with pie charts and all expenses and profits laid out for the curious reader; a tutorial on what elements are necessary to create a music "scene"; plenty of music theory and philosophy; some art history; a quick history of recorded sound, from Edison to MP3's . . . and his writing is clever, precise, and clutter-free . . . plus he got me to start listening to King Tubby . . . ten burning houses out of ten.