Jul 27, 2010

The 'Homeland' Zoo

Getting absorbed in the world of Laurie Anderson's 'Homeland' led me to the following fun revelation: that animals appearing in various aspects of the album almost could fill a zoo.

Take, for example, The Beginning of Memory, with the billions and billions of songbirds circling around in the sky, and the lark, whose father dies one day, and whose decision to bury the corpse in her own head marks the beginning of memory.

There's one more bird - another songbird - in 'Homeland': the robin that sings the song of long lost love in Strange Perfumes. Oh, and let's not forget the sky-flying birds at the beginning of Thinking of You.

Some mammals also pop up here and there throughout the album: right at the start, Transitory Life's mouse who realizes that he's in a trap, and, from then on, he is literally condemned to death. [Not really a vision for sore eyes.] And, of course, Lolabelle, who leaves her mark on Bodies in Motion by her barking and playing the piano in her sweet, eccentric way.

Then there's Only an Expert that not only mentions the Pet Solution, but its updated lyrics also contain fish poisoned by, and ducks and dolphins completely coated with oil that spilled out into the ocean.

... plus a bonus from Mambo and Bling (the first vinyl of 'Homeland'):
"[...] the classic problem calculating your odds for accidents that might happen. Like, you have more chance, for example, getting hit and killed in a car crash than dying in a plane crash. But things keep changing, so you have to keep re-calculating the odds and updating the list. You you have to keep adding things like [...] being crushed by a crane falling onto your building. And you have to keep crossing other things off the list, like [...] getting trampled by hordes of horses"