Laurie Anderson, 'O Superman,' 1981




Gravity’s Angel is my favorite track of hers. I hope there are some Gen X parents out there turning their kids onto this stuff. It was so dreamlike back when I was young…


I’ve always loved Big Science…

“This is the time. And this is the record of the time…”


Monkey’s Paw, The Day the Devil Comes to Get Ya . . . so much great stuff.

Ah ah ah ah ah . . .


One thing that I find fascinating is how much different that song feels in the recording she made in New York City on September 19th, 2001, twenty years and one world later.


Not sure about the “footnote” comment. This week the focus was on her late husband, and so Anderson would not be front and center (though I think footnote is a bit harsh). If the circumstances were reversed I don’t think it would be any different.


Laurie Anderson started as a performance artist in the absurdly elitist art world, and a very successful one at that. “Crossover?” well, she would be the sole example. Oh wait. there is also Yoko Ono. Good company.


Man, I just remembered this cool gig that Anderson had once.

PBS had a cool short film showcase series, maybe mid to late 80s, which Anderson hosted. Anderson, her video dwarf persona, and her cockateil. It was cool and freaky and low-key.


i did not even know until this week who her husband was.

oh, my, i remember the first time i ever heard her work! i was young and i had just walked into a store and big science was playing on the stereo. i asked the clerks what music this was. they told me it was laurie anderson as if i was from some backward planet.

i have to go buy it now, i said.

and i walked out of the store and ten minutes later i was walking out of a record store, big science in my hand.


You mean Alive From Off Center?


If BoingBoing had an entrance song, this would be it.


Yes, thanks! We didn’t have a VCR then, so I only knew it from memory.


I love this song… I love Laurie Anderson… I’m not sure there is much else to say about this awesomeness.


“Home of the Brave” is probably a good place to start that’s less “Difficult”.

It’s on Youtube. in full version.

The “drum dance” would be nice place as you get to see her midi drum suit and her tape violin. (using samples of tape on the bow; or midi signals).


How do you dance to it?


Yes! Me too! The Big Science concert was one of the best concerts of my life, and I have been to many many concerts. I also had no idea who her husband was. I am glad she is in the public eye again, though my son just made it through approximately 30 seconds of the video before he rolled his eyes and wandered off. It was so cutting edge and transgressive then.


Thanks to my dad, I experienced Big Science on vinyl and on car rides in the dark. The perfect soundtrack for trips in the car! My conceptualism in photography and design, and thoughts on music, stem from my introduction to laurie anderson at a way young age (was 5 yrs old when big science came out). I was lucky enough to see her live during the “Strange Angels” tour, and again post college when she started “The End of The Moon,” both in Iowa City.

And for a modern spin, The Big Pink did a song “Hit the Ground (Superman)” which you may have heard on HTC ads that same year. lol

truly awesome and influential in my work.


Big Science was nothing less than amazing to me. It was so avant-garde and dark and whimsical all at the same time. I first heard “Let X = X” late at night on a local public radio station and I was completely captivated. “Walking and Falling” still makes me weep…


Gotta tell this one.

Many years back, I went to a reading by William Gibson. It was in some odd venue . . . the Adventurer’s Club or something like that. It was scheduled to celebrate the release of AGRIPPA, the self-destructing floppy-disk-book based ebook Gibson wrote.

The MC was Laurie Anderson. She was tinier than I imagined, and dressed in a glittery dress. Total fanboy crush.

In her introduction, Anderson talked about the first time she read NEUROMANCER. She was vacationing on a really hot, humid Caribbean island . . . so humid that the paperback novel started to fall apart, like a low-tech AGRIPPA. As she turned the pages, the book shed pages. She liked to imagine people finding them blowing around, picking them up, and getting their minds blown.


Still dreamlike. Thanks Xeni for the reminder…