Heart of a Dog is musician and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson's first feature film in decades--a mix of live-action images and animation. The film is a personal reflection that grew out of a difficult period when Anderson lost her mother Mary Louise, her husband Lou Reed, and their beloved piano-playing dog Lolabelle within a short span of time. Although Heart of a Dog is a meditation on personal loss, grief, and acceptance, it also examines these themes on a larger scale when Anderson reflects on life in downtown New York in the period after 9/11. [more inside]
* (Not really, but they would have if they had given it any thought) Mosey Sumney does an improvised cover of Laurie Anderson's O Superman. He doesn't attempt the verses, but it is still going to the top of my summer playlist.
Over 30 years since it was finally presented in full as a two-night, seven-and-a-half hour multimedia opera only a handful of times in only three cities, Laurie Anderson is revisiting her seminal work United States with United States V. Produced by pomegranate arts, who recently brought back Philip Glass' Einstein On The Beach. [more inside]
The Vocoder, a short New Yorker video (11:30) about the military origins of the vocoder. The vocoder—the musical instrument that gave Kraftwerk its robotic sound—began as an early telecommunications device and a top-secret military encoding machine.
A Think-piece About Female Pioneerism in Electronic Music, Post-post Feminism and Some Sassy Statements On Sexism ’Woman’ is not a genre. Stop acting like we’re a passing fad. Delia Derbyshire (previously), Daphne Oram (previously), Wendy Carlos, Doris Norton, Suzanne Ciani, Cynthia Webster… even Goldfrapp and Add N To (X)’s Ann Shenton. These women weren’t on the periphery of electronic music…they pioneered it”, says Mollie Wells of dark pop band Funerals in an Electronic Beats feature on women in electronic music. And she is right. Females have, since the post-war inception of electronically produced music, played a crucial role in its development and presentation. [more inside]
"Five thousand years from now—let’s say we didn’t find the God particle. We’re still looking. I think we probably won’t be making things of the nature that we are now. I think we’ll just be trying to appreciate things more. Maybe we’ll design better ears. I mean, our hearing’s crappy. We’ll have huge ears and we’ll be able to tune in to Mars, or we’ll have a hundred lenses through which we can look onto the surface of Mars with our so-called “bare eyes,” or look through our hands. We’ll be able to be in the present more effectively." The Believer interviews Laurie Anderson.
Music is a book/app/documentary film by photographer/film-maker Andrew Zuckerman (previously). Similar in format to Zuckerman's film Wisdom, Music features interviews with musical luminaries both fully- and not-so-luminous. [more inside]
She just released her Christmas record, which is maybe not the best Christmas record you have ever heard in your life.
There were a lot of rocker dogs. You know, I want rock! My favorite were the ones in the front row—the droolers. They had all been really primed because for one week before the show, all of the owners had been like, “We are going to a concert just for you—you are going to love it." [more inside]
Why I Hate the Avant-Garde or, Why Laurie Anderson is less Avant-Garde than DJ Kool Herc. A rant with videos. Via The Front Section.
Performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson frightens milliennial when she appears on Letterman to perform Only An Expert with the very natural addition of a verse about the Oil Spill. (via the Awl, who also offers a nice introduction to Anderson)
The Needle Drop with Anthony Fantano (self-described as "the internet's busiest music nerd") featuring new music from The Books - “A Cold Freezin’ Night” , Laurie Anderson -- stream Laurie's new album, Homeland, here -- Ariel Pink and lots more. Youtube channel.
Five short "Personal Service Announcements" from Laurie Anderson • The National Debt • TV Lunch • Women and Money • Jerry-Rigging • The National Anthem • They were aired in 1990 on VH1 as bumpers between videos. [ Thanks hippybear! ]
Laurie Anderson live in concert - 1984; Sharkey's Night: Language is a Virus: Talk Normal: Langue D'amour: Sharkey's Day: Gravity's Angel: Radar: Kokoku: How to Write: Late Show: Excellent Birds: Zero and One
O Superman I went to the Laurie Anderson show last night in Toronto. I seriously didn't want to and was praying for a cancelled show. I ended up enjoying it fully. Art really can heal. She began the show by dedicating the music to "everyone who died Tuesday, freedom and sanity." Strangely, many of her songs make reference to airplanes and fire. Spookiest moment of the night: during her signature song "O Superman," the lines "Here come the planes. They're American planes, made by Americans." Read the lyrics - the song is loaded with eerie references.