Laurie Anderson (or O Superman)

Any other Laurie fans out there? I was introduced to her in college and have been fascinated with her stuff ever since. A bunch of us would all get together whenever one of us had scored some acid, and we’d take it and spend our time tripping and watching her videos (speaking of which, are any of them on DVD?). She’s a definate genius (and currently chewing on Lou Reed). One of my favorite lines of hers comes from the song Sharky’s Day: “The sun’s coming up, like a big bald head.”

Bought Big Science in 1983 (IIRC).

*“Hey Pal! How do I get to town from here? And he said: Well just take a right where they’re going to build that new shopping mall, go straight past where they’re going to put in the freeway, take a left at what’s going to be the new sports center, and keep going until you hit the place where they’re thinking of building that drive-in bank. You can’t miss it. And I said: This must be the place.”

“I met this guy - and he looked like might have been a hat check clerk at an ice rink. Which, in fact, he turned out to be. And I said: Oh boy. Right again”*

Brilliant. I still listen to it. I’d love to see a video of the performance/visuals side of it.

My kids know all the word to “From The Air” by heart. We sing it together in the car.
Good Evening
This is your Captain

It’s the heat

my LAST acid trip, in 1982, featured laurie anderson. my pals went out for pepsi; i was too high so i stayed behind in my friend’s room.

i was feeling a tad paranoid and i decided to chill out with some music. my pal patrick had taped ms anderson’s ‘united states I-IV’ (my favorite work of hers) from NPR. (she went into a radio studio with her violin and some tape loops and stuff and did the whole thing right there.)

well, i laid down on the bed, and the bed was moving, and i couldnt believe this was real, so i kept getting up to peer at the tape player to see if the heads were moving or was this all a hallucination, but my sight was all blurry and i couldnt tell, and i began to sweat and get all nervous, and by the time my pals came back, i was babbling incoherently and pointing at the tape deck. took em quite a while to calm me down. no more acid for me after that.

I saw a lot of trees today, and they were all…made…of wood.

Well, they were wooden trees, and they were made…entirely…of wood.

Yeah, I love her too. Saw her once, in Dallas, a thousand years ago, and even quoted from Strange Angels in my M.A. thesis. But I haven’t kept up with what she’s done lately.

My favorite line, also from Strange Angels: “I’ve wasted my life on our stupid legend, when my one and only love was the wicked witch.”

O Superwoman

Well at his funeral, all his friends stood around looking sad…
But they were really thinking of the ham and cheese sandwiches in the next room…

Mr. Sharkey…white courtesy telephone please…

I had her on the turntable last night as a matter of fact.

What is it about Laurie that makes people want to drop acid? I have to admit that I was introduced to her while I was in college and at some point in time acid was involved (kids, don’t try this at home*). And like countless others, she was the message on my answering machine.

  • There is a time and a place for everything, and it is called college.

I’ve got the original 5 album United States somewhere. I’ve got to get myself a turntable so I can burn it on disc.

Let X=X

You were born
And so you are free
So happy birthday.

Paradise – is exactly like – where you are right now – only much – much – better.

I dreamed I had to take a test…
I dreamed I had to take a test in a Dairy Queen…
I dreamed I had to take a test in a Dairy Queen on another planet…


Like many techno saavy people, Laurie Anderson has a web site. I just saw that she is supposed to be in Dallas at the end of the month. I’m already looking for people who are interested in going.

Incredibly lame Laurie moment:

Back in college, I used to be a DJ on the school radio station (WUNH - Durham). Every once in a while I would start off my show by playing “Difficult Listening Hour.” I though I was so cool.

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only much…much…better.

They say that Heaven is like TV
A perfect little world
That doesn’t really need you
And everything there is made of light

Geronimo and little Nancy
Marilyn and John F. dancing
Uncle took the message
and it’s written on the wall.
These are pictures of the houses
Shining in the midnight moonlight
While the King sings Love Me Tender.
Yup, another misspent youth checking in. Great, great stuff.

About the United States Live thing. I don’t think it was originally recorded at NPR. If memory serves it was comissioned by several different sources as a performance piece about communication.
Big Science was the studio version of some of the songs from United States Live.
Of course, I could be off my nut, too.

I was lucky enough to see this concert when she originally did the series.
Even her work today is wonderful.

“Language is a virus from outer space”
-Willaim S. Burroughs via Laurie Anderson