Lester Bangs? Only the most famous music critic ever. Chronicles: Volume One? Who hasn’t read that? David Byrne’s How Music Works, which hits shelves today? Well, now we’re getting somewhere. Obviously, we’re joking — both Bangs’ criticism and Dylan’s autobiography are fantastic and essential — but today we thought we’d put together a list of books just a little further from the beaten path, and likely to score you some serious points with your resident music snob. But of course, everyone’s tastes (and snobberies) run differently, and this is by no means a complete list of the best books on music out there. With that in mind, click through to check out our choices, and let us know what you’d add in the comments.
How Music Works, David Byrne
In this very cool book on the “everything” of music, the mega-talented Talking Heads frontman sounds off on everything from his own extensive experiences to the way technology has shaped music to bird-song and opera to the purpose of music itself. As he writes in the premise, “I am moved by more music now than I have ever been. Trying to see it from a wider and deeper perspective only makes it more clear that the lake itself is wider and deeper than we thought.” This book will help you take the plunge.