I just discovered that Laurie Anderson has a new CD out, Homeland .
It sounds a lot like a Laurie Anderson album, but with some Tuvan throat singing. There’s been throat singing on Prairie Home Companion, Battlestar Galactica, Xena Warrior Princess, and I’m told The Passion of the Christ. It’s all about the harmonics, which is what Laurie Anderson has often been about. So it’s almost metaphoric.
Oddly, I’ve only just now realized that many of her works are patriotic in nature: United States, Home of the Brave, and now Homeland.
Generally, I prefer her earlier, funny films. By that I mean that while I almost daily quote “O, Superman” or “Let X=X”, later stuff not so much. The Ugly One With The Jewels And Other Stories is awesome, however. She keeps talking about travelling and putting on shows. It’s repetivie and self-referential, kind of like how Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, or If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler keeps starting over in a different place.
There was a DVD included. I was expecting some avante garde film that I wouldn’t understand. Instead, it’s an interview with everyone associated with the recording. I’ve never seen Laurie just sitting there talking before. There always seems to be a smile on her face. But all these other expressions play through too.
I got to feeling like I really knew and understood these people on the video. They seemed reasonable. I could see where they’re coming from. And then I wondered: Is she really talking to me, or is she practicing one of her performance art pieces?
Fair warning, if you voted for President Bush’s reelection, there’s at least one song that may rub you the wrong way. But you’d expect that from someone who actually chooses to live in NYC.