When I learned that Laurie Anderson would be performing for the TBA festival this year, my reaction was something like- “Are you effing serious?” You see, I have this bad habit of crudely asking people to confirm the factuality of things they have just told me… Things which I find amazing or unlikely. As it turned out, yes, they were effing serious.
I don’t know when I was first exposed to Laurie Andersons work. I believe it must have been when I was a young artist, gestating in Southern Oregon. The first thing I remember hearing was “Sweaters” from the Big Science album. I was immediately taken by the lyrics and the grating whine of the song. Shortly after that, I bought Big Science (hallelujah, yodel-eh-he-hoo) and played it for everyone I knew. I was further hooked after watching the concert video Home of the Brave, based on performances from her Mr. Heartbreak tour.
I don’t think there is a modern performance artist who has been more inventive and innovative with sound and electronics than Laurie Anderson. This inventiveness, combined with her enigmatic, thought provoking and often humorous prose and poetry results in, at least for me, a total emersion into a strange world of light and sound which operates on a completely unique set of rules. That is a vague description, I know…
So lately, partly in order to solidify my description of the Laurie Anderson experience and partly to prime myself for seeing her on stage, I have been delving into all things Laurie. I have pulled out my five LP copy of United States Live, listening intently from the comfort of my nagauhide recliner. I have rented Home of the Brave (again) and I have poured over the official Laurie Anderson web site. But the most fascinating thing I have come across, web-wise, is the unofficial Laurie Anderson web site and its bizarre FAQ (frequently asked questions) section, which includes answers to all your burning questions like, “What is the song that goes ha ha ha ha ha ha?” and “I’ve heard that LA [Laurie Anderson] is going to open an amusement park in Spain. Is this true?”
Whether or not LA is going to open a theme park in Spain, the fact remains she is going to perform The End of the Moon, Sept 8th and 9th at the Newmark theatre. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. You shouldn’t miss it either, in my humble opinion.
posted by P.A. Coleman