Jan 30, 2011

Strange Perfumes in Budapest

"My mother is cold and my father is dead
I can only see him in the back of my own head."
(excerpt from 'Strange Perfumes' live version, 2007
music and lyrics by Laurie Anderson)

OMG, this is a mesmerizing live version of 'Strange Perfumes' - recorded in Budapest, Hungary, June 2007. It's got totally different lyrics from the album version, e. g. it mentions names from a long lost past - hear it for yourself.

Jan 29, 2011

Laurie at AndrewAndrew Again, Revisited

"[The reason] why the idea of infinity didn't go over in the Middle Ages [was that] the popes were going like "What if there are infinite number of planets - is there a pope on every planet? And if so, who's top pope?""

Talk radio at its best - no need to say more :)

AndrewAndrew put a video excerpt of Laurie Anderson's recent appearance on their show on East Village Radio's website:

Jan 28, 2011

The Ambience of Memory

'Egypt. Sunken Treasures', an extensive travelling exhibition of ancient Egyptian relics excavated from underwater in the area of the Nile Delta had a special extra feature in Italy: the musical / sound environment of the exhibition in Veneria was provided by Laurie Anderson.

Watch the video and enjoy the unique atmosphere supported by a hypnotic instrumental version of 'The Beginning of Memory' (at 0:53):

Thanks to Viki for the URL!

Out of Luck with Forum Romanum :(

Italian newspaper La Repubblica held a Q & A forum for Laurie Anderson and the readers of the newspaper in Rome, December 2010. (Although having been informed about the event right in time before travelling to Rome, no matter how hard Mnemosyne and her friends tried they could not get the information on the whereabouts and date of the forum... argh!)

Now La Repubblica's online manifestation has published a video of the event; alas, dubbed in Italian. What's more, at the expense of intelligibility. :( Anyway, enjoy what you can make out of it:

Hopefully the English translation of the transcript helps some...

UPDATE: A photo gallery of the event in the Rome section of La Repubblica.

Jan 23, 2011

Happy with No Dance Floor

"[...] When things break down, it can be... either you can choose to see it as a disaster, or you can choose to see it as an opportunity."
(Laurie Anderson to Irish culture magazine VULGO, 2011)

Part two of VULGO.ie's Skype interview with Laurie Anderson: "On Idleness, Capitalism, and the Role of the Artist.", plus a depressive story from Iceland. Along with transcript, yay!

Jan 20, 2011

A Birthday Song and a New Year's Resolution

A must-read: MissMusicNerd's classic interview with the recipient of the 2011 SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award on (among other things) the story behind 'Flow', going back to Chicago, Laurie's unique five-string violin / viola, some of her current favourite music, and her new semi-conscious method of discovering music.

Jan 18, 2011

Pioneer of the Downtown Scene, 1974

'How to Yodel in Soup and Tart' by Laurie Anderson
The Kitchen, NYC, 1974
photo by Peter Moore

Jan 14, 2011

Laurie Anderson: A "Legacy Artist" with Irish Roots

"[...] just to have something more about the illogical way that we get through the world.
(Laurie Anderson on why she included her dreams in 'Delusion', January 2011)

Here's the first part of Irish culture magazine VULGO.ie's Skype interview with Laurie Anderson: "On truth, dreams, delusion, and being half Irish".

FYI: The magazine has also published the transcript of the interview.

Jan 12, 2011

Homecoming #3

"She's as authoritative as a planetarium guide, part HAL, part GPS, with the faintest whisper of wry, amused detachment."

(Sam McPheeters on Laurie Anderson, Chicago Reader)

Sam McPheeters writes about how it felt to listen to Laurie Anderson in 1984 and how it does in 2011; along with a description of 'Delusion' that was recently debuted in Chicago, plus a rough (but very amusing) discography in which he put Laurie's albums from different eras of her three-decade-long career parallel with the actual zeitgeist. Read it in the Chicago Reader: A Space Age Home Companion.

Homecoming #2

"... and then, ['Delusion' is about] the stories you tell yourself about to find meaning in what you're doing, who you are, the way you define yourself. And those are delusional, as we all know. But we need them because otherwise things fall apart without stories."

(Laurie Anderson, January 2011)

WBEZ (Chicagoan radio) host Alison Cuddy talked with Laurie Anderson about the meaning of the word 'Delusion'; singing about the present in 2001: performing 'O Superman' on 9/11 in Chicago; Laurie getting sick of her own voice (wat!); her love-hate relationship with technology; mothers and (failed) expectations; challenge and experimentation: working at McDonald's, and seeing Chicago with the eyes of a child.

Jan 11, 2011


Laurie Anderson was the guest of Chicago Tonight (talk show on a local Chicago tv channel) last night. She talked about the Grammy nomination of 'Flow', 'Delusion', Fenway Bergamot, singing 'O Superman' on the night of 9/11 in Chicago; Lou Reed, and curating at the Stone in New York. The show featured a snippet of an interview with Laurie from 1986, during which they presented some priceless photos from Laurie's high school yearbook.

Jan 10, 2011

Teh Coolness.


Robert Sabino?, Laurie Anderson
Home of the Brave, Hammersmith Apollo
Photo source: jacquemart / Flickr

(Hint: look for more in jacquemart's photo stream.)

Messiness and Chaos (and a Bunch of Other Things, Too)

"I was originally a sculptor and I love things that just don't fit into boxes. I'm really happy when I see that things don't fit."
(Laurie Anderson, October 2010)

KUSF Radio (San Francisco) recently aired a conversation between Laurie Anderson and radio DJ Bryan Chandler, originally recorded in October 2010. Now you can listen to the whole two-hour-long Laurie Anderson Special in KUSF Radio's online archive - with a detailed introduction to Laurie's career by Bryan Chandle.

If you are interested in only the interview, here it is, cut into three parts - I edited the songs out and did some noise reduction on the audio:

(Impatient? Here's some tags for you: 'Homeland', workaholism, Karl Marx, 'Transitory Life', 'Delusion', progress, old hard drives and altitude, messiness and chaos, wedding, yawning, lip-synching, TV-B-Gone, food porn, Ken Nordine - who could wish for more.)

FYI: the list of songs that were played:

Let X = X
It Tango
Only an Expert remix
Sharkey's Day
Transitory Life
O Superman
Is Anybody Home
Strange Perfumes

Another Day in America
Sharkey's Night
Only an Expert
Accompanied by Ghosts
Difficult Listening Hour
The Ugly One with the Jewels

Jan 9, 2011

Laurie Anderson As Avant-Garde Pioneer?

"How come no one considers Laurie Anderson a later generation dub artist, or hip hop artist? In “O Superman”, she’s essentially rapping over loops. She also loves electronically processing her vocals, mixing in samples… Well, I think the answer’s simple: no one considers her as belonging to this lineage! Because dub and deejaying and hip hop aren’t perceived as having had any influence on early 1980s, white, experimental fine art!"

Big Other's blogger A D Jameson ponders on how Laurie Anderson managed to cross fine art with pop culture with the help of 'O Superman', questioning her being "one of America's most daring creative pioneers" by providing an extensive listing of her possible sources of inspiration (while acknowledging her indubitable contributions to culture as well). A enlightening read for an admittedly performance-art-ignorant like Mnemosyne (but still might be enjoyable for you, dear Readers; one can never know):

Jan 8, 2011

Just Another Fire in Dreamland

"What's this bell
Ringing in my ear?"

Zero. Nothing. Has-been. Clod. Zilch. Nada.

"Overall the talk between Laurie and Charles Seife was very interesting: beginning of memory, nothingness, emptiness, morality of numbers, zero and infinity, Laurie's favourite books (How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson, Hebrew Alefbet book which Laurie referenced a lot). Lou Reed was present, as well as Antony. The Q & A session touched on issues of expanding universe, vacum and numbers."

(excerpt from Darek's review of Laurie Anderson + Charles Seife
in RMA's "Talk About Nothing" Series)

Laurie Anderson and Charles Seife Talking about Nothing
Rubin Museum, NYC, December 2010

(FYI: click to the photo above for an extensive photo gallery of the event)

Laurie Anderson Live in San Remo 2001

"Cantiamo hey, hey, nonny hey"

In 2001, Laurie Anderson was awarded by the Tenco Prize (Premio Tenco) for songwriting in San Remo. She also performed a set of songs at the ceremony. By clicking to the picture above, you can enjoy the concert in its entirety :)

  1. Strange Angels
  2. Wildebeests (in Italian)
  3. One Beautiful Evening (in mixed Italo-English) *
  4. Poison
  5. Broken
  6. Progress (a. k. a. The Dream Before)
  7. Beginning French (in Italian)
  8. O Superman
  9. Slip Away
  10. White Lily
  11. Puppet Motel
  12. Love Among the Sailors

* caution: suggestive performance!

Looking Forward to...

... Irish cultural magazine VULGO's New Year's interview with Laurie Anderson.