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“Fear of Music- A Pledge to a Simpler Time (When Everything Was Toxic and Deadly)”

I am jagged by this Lester Bangs blurb on Talking Heads’ album Fear of Music even upon rereading it, and I think the reason is that the statement he makes is incredibly clear. It’s indelibly sure (and probably full of anxiety, a state which he prizes within the piece).

“These are mutant times,” he writes, “and the Talking Heads are the most human of mutant groups.”
One thing that strikes me about his New York writing is that he seems entirely unconcerned with style. New York “style” has long been an issue for me, because, as is the case with Chicago, there really is no such thing, highly disparate of west coast cities more prone to churning out “punk” or “grunge.” The Ramones were basically a boy band, possibly promoted to detract attention from hip-hop? I’m not sure why the powers at be would want to do that, but it seems like a charmingly liberal-bratty quip to accuse them of it.
So just as “air,” “animals,” “drugs,” “electric guitars” et. al. don’t care about humans, as he states, Lester Bangs doesn’t actually care about music. He’ll get by fine without it. It just amuses him. It’s something other than chess to write about, because the rules keep changing.

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