By Brandon Chuang
on 8.27.12
Photo by McSweeney's

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” Nietzsche said that.

“Chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue.” Bieber said that.

But no matter what you think of the current auditory scene, it’s impossible to argue with the power of music. In How Music Works ($21), David Byrne — the former Talking Heads front man and writer of the best-seller Bicycle Diaries — dives headlong into what affects the music that so affects us.

From examining the history of music from tribal hymns to iPods, to analyzing the actual physics behind sound, Byrne follows the evolution of music and, more importantly, asks why it’s taken the path it has. In short, Byrne argues that music isn’t so much purely inspiration from within a particular musician or artist, but rather a culmination of everything — literally, everything — that is happening when that music comes into existence. We don’t know if all this is true, but if it is, somebody better start explaining to us who, what or when is to blame for the Bieb’s creation of the word “swaggy.”

Buy Now: $21