Laurie Anderson, 'O Superman,' 1981

[Video Link] 'O Superman (For Massenet),' from "Big Science." Because the work of the woman the Los Angeles Times once called "the most important multimedia artist of our time" should be more than a footnote this week. It's not her only work, but it's a great place to start for younger readers of this blog who are not familiar with her 5-decades-and-counting career.

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  1. Gravity's Angel is my favorite track of hers. I hope there are some Gen X parents out there turning their kids onto this stuff. It was so dreamlike back when I was young...

  2. eflask says:

    i did not even know until this week who her husband was.

    oh, my, i remember the first time i ever heard her work! i was young and i had just walked into a store and big science was playing on the stereo. i asked the clerks what music this was. they told me it was laurie anderson as if i was from some backward planet.

    i have to go buy it now, i said.

    and i walked out of the store and ten minutes later i was walking out of a record store, big science in my hand.

  3. Gotta tell this one.

    Many years back, I went to a reading by William Gibson. It was in some odd venue . . . the Adventurer's Club or something like that. It was scheduled to celebrate the release of AGRIPPA, the self-destructing floppy-disk-book based ebook Gibson wrote.

    The MC was Laurie Anderson. She was tinier than I imagined, and dressed in a glittery dress. Total fanboy crush.

    In her introduction, Anderson talked about the first time she read NEUROMANCER. She was vacationing on a really hot, humid Caribbean island . . . so humid that the paperback novel started to fall apart, like a low-tech AGRIPPA. As she turned the pages, the book shed pages. She liked to imagine people finding them blowing around, picking them up, and getting their minds blown.

  4. She was in Chicago on 9/11/2001. She had a gig at the Park West, my GF & I had tickets, and none of us could think of anything better to do with our dazed selves. It was one of the strangest, but most moving concerts I've ever been to.

    The meaning of her songs had been changed by history, in one day, in one hour, that morning.

    *Here come the planes ...
    They're American planes.
    Made in America.*

    or the song "Walking and Falling"

    *I wanted you. And I was looking for you.
    But I couldn't find you.*

    I was too dazed to think -- I didn't even know if my cousin, who worked on the 85th floor of the North Tower, was alive until I got home.

    I bought, but have never listened to, the record she made of her show in NYC a week later.

    Here's a review of that show

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