Saturday, July 02, 2005

Women: Laurie Anderson/Home of The Brave

I don't know about your dreams, but mine are sort of hackneyed
Same thing, night after night, just...repetitive
And the color's pretty bad, and the themes are just infantile
And you always get what you want, and that's just not the way life is
Talk Normal

It must have been a weekend night, or during the summer. All I know is that I was up late trying to catch some scrambled cable porn, finding nothing and heading over to Skinemax, only to find some nonsense called "Vanguard Cinema" about to start.

Hmmm. "Home of The Brave." A baseball movie? Maybe they'll have a sex scene with a groupie or something.

Credits roll, the band sets up, the audience applauds at a tall white image walking onto the set, and the opening notes from "Smoke Rings" start playing. Que es mas macho? Pineapple o Knife?

I was dumbfounded, and all thought of squiggly sex went right out the window. Who was this woman? Is she really playing a violin-looking contraption that says "listen to my heartbeat?" Why is she talking about zeroes and ones, what the fuck is binary code? Who's that old man she's dancing with? (William S Burroughs, I later find out.)

And thus began an ongoing obsession...

Watching that movie started a change in musical tastes, which would become increasingly frustrated in Colorado "Top 40 Lives Forever" Springs. Girls may just wanna have fun, but I wanna find out about the town where all the girls are named Betty.

Laurie Anderson introduced me to subtle dry wit and non sequiteurs in a way that Monty Python's eccentricities had not. She also taught me the value of brevity in all forms of writing.

Well I went down to big DC
And I went into room 1-0-0-3
And there they were, the big boys
And they were saying: Big B, little o
Little m, silent b
Sharkey's Night

Ominous, and still effective and relevant.

To this day, I still can't get enough of her and her material, she's one of the few artists I've seen more than once (I swear to you, she's looked at me. No, I'm not kidding. Shut up). I've finally become reconciled with the fact that she's shacked up with Lou Reed (stupid Velvet Underground...take a walk on the wild side, my ass. You know what the colored girls say? They say "who you callin' 'colored,' whitey? Better get your tired skinny ass back to that needle and you best take Holly with ya!").

I mean, I guess if you really want to go out with a "musical genius," fine! Yeah, he knew Andy Warhol, yeah, he's in your age range. Whatevs.

There's a beige man over here! Boombox over his head, standing in the rain, looking at your window all John Cusack.

And playing on that boom box? The plaintive message of love you spread on your first album, Laurie...Remember that?

the sun is shining slowly
the birds are flying so low
honey you’re my one and only
so pay me what you owe me
Example # 22

>le sniff< Call me, Laurie...You know where I'll be.


At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was introduced to Laurie's music at the tender age of 17 through a woman I worked with that summer. She was older than me - a College Student - and I was her assistant Craft Instructor to a bunch of 8-12 year old girls (and I got the job through nothing but nepotism). I thought she was so fuckin' cool. So yeah. I latched onto the Laurie love. I'm going to have to play some of that - especially that crazy shit with the trombones - at some of the music kids next week. -Rood1


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