Dread Amongst Swirling Dislocation: The Talking Heads’ ‘Fear of Music’

Fear of music. Is it about paranoia over the effects of music? Is it the paranoia of art itself, deeply aware of its tenuous position in a world of sirens blaring, lives lived during wartime? Is it about fear of everything, everything around you, even the air and even your own pets? If I’m making sense, should I stop?

“Talking Head’s have a new album. It’s called Fear of Music.”

“Talking Heads have a new album. Its called Fear of Music.”

Novelist Jonathan Lethem remembers hearing this repeated tag-line in an ad for the album on his Brooklyn radio station, repeated over and over, calling into question tag lines and advertisements and even the idea of, the cultural nimbus around, the notion of the “new album”.