INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Mojo NOVEMBER 2012 - by Danny Eccleston
DAVID BYRNE: HOW MUSIC WORKS
Brainbox ex-Talking Head takes the bonnet off pop, has a rummage.
Nothing so run-of-the-mill as a memoir from art-rock's Professor Yaffle, although there are tantalising glimpses in its most satisfying chapters, where the pre-history of Talking Heads (Byrne dressed like an Amish, playing 96 Tears on a ukulele) and the Noh theatre influence on Stop Making Sense's plus-size suit are addressed. Instead, How Music Works is a mélange of bookish musings on how music is shaped by the places it is played, and the technology used to create and disseminate it. But while Byrne is quick to acknowledge his sources - notably, Mark Katz, Greg Milner and New Yorker critic Alex Ross - it's not always clear what value he's adding to recent work on the impact of shellac on orchestral intonation and geographical variations in bird song, apart from a patina of colloquial Byrneness. Still, digressions on Sun O))), Marshall McLuhan, Pythagoras and the "Cosmic Orgasm" offer cheering insight into what tea 'round David Byrne and Brian Eno's must be like.