A Short Post about Laurie Anderson

Not everybody knows Laurie Anderson, even during her most popular period, 1980-1986. So I have trawled YouTube to see what I could find for all y’alls education. Her most enduring track is 1980’s O Superman, her mesmerizing 8 minute opus that amazingly went to Number One in the UK in some sort of aberration of coolness. If you’ve never seen it, well:

Then there’s her 1984 album, Mister Heartbreak, which has a number of great tracks on it. But Sharkey’s Day was the only (?) video from it:

There’s some great moments of early video surrealism here.
Finally, there’s a great Stop Making Sense-like concert movie called Home of the Brave, which has yet to be released on DVD. In the meantime, here’s the Language Is a Virus video, which is a sort of trailer for the film. This remix of the song is not in the film, but was produced by Nile Rogers to promote it.
For an idea of what the film actually looks like, though, here’s one of the best songs, Smoke Rings. There’s several things I love here: the gameshow intro (a parody of a SNL skit); Anderson’s second microphone, which is connected to a echoey delay so she can sing a single high note into it and have it careen around the mix; the morphing of a smoke ring into a zero and then its binary opposite, a ‘1’, then turning into ‘911’; Anderson’s weird electronic sampler-violin at the end that make sawing, diving sounds.

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