In a simpler time James Brown & His Famous Flames or Huey Lewis & the News wove a series of place names into a song like "Night Train" or "The Heart of Rock and Roll," embedding a shout-out to fans listening on radios "all over the world," a tradition which obviously originated in more personalized onstage salutes, as well as stage props like the place-name-stickered guitar case. (Chuck Berry made a career of such songs. The obverse of this love-of-localities is the generic joke of the lead singer so befuddled about destinations in the course of a long tour that he hails the wrong city. "We love you Minneap - uh, Detroit!" Several 1978 Talking Heads shows in the US heartland opened with "Big Country": Wouldn't live here, thank you very much, now here's our act. Call this having the courage of your convictions. "Cities," a year later, can't yet be troubled to make too sincere a retraction. That's from Jonathan Lethem's book on Talking Heads' Fear of Music. A short book, yes, but a whole book. It's part of Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series (where your supposed to see a little 1 over a little 3, but blogger layout doesn't support that) where writers and in some cases musicians do a close reading of various albums. From a music appreciation standpoint it's unnecessary. I mean, my ears are pretty much all I need in order to appreciate Talking Heads. On the other hand, music isn't just music but what it does to you. And what it does to other people. So there is something to be gained from hearing someone else's feedback, maybe. And Lethem, who I've already enjoyed as a novelist, certainly seems keyed up about the project.