I am (once again) slow to the party, this time on loving Laurie Anderson, where have I been? Middleagedad took me to see her Dirtday! performance at the South Bank on Friday, as part of Anthony’s Meltdown. Apart from O Superman, I knew little about Laurie apart from the fact she was a little bit artsy-crazy and she dates Lou Reed, I had no idea she was a) very funny b) a tremendous story teller and c) a red lipstick wearer. She was amazing to watch, tiny, compelling. articulate and just mad enough to be interesting.
She also rocks both an androgynous tailoring look in that Patti Smith kinda way, with her simple white shirt, thin black tie and (on Friday at least) sparkly ballet pumps AND that cropped hair cut Jane was talking about recently. Her music is challenging until she starts telling her stories, then I could listen all night to her weaving connections between Darwin, peacock tails, her much missed terrier Lolabelle (who could play the piano) and what to do with all those feelings once someone you love goes and dies on you.
One small snippet I remember was ‘You know those progress bars you get on a computer screen when something is loading? Wouldn’t it be great if we could have progress bars below all our real life conversations, so we knew how long it was going to go on for?”
As well as being at Anthony’s Meltdown, she recently spent time in the little boat perched on the roof of The Southbank, A Room For London’s innovative project with Artangel, you might like to check out what she did here. Below is a glimpse into Laurie’s thinking behing Dirtday!, which is touring the globe, so if you are a fan, watch out for it. I feel a new girl crush coming on….
Isn’t she wonderful?! I have been going to see her for the past few years, and it’s like dropping in on someone’s life once a year – only this life has a crazy sound track. The whole love/death thing made me cry (interspersed with snorts of laughter).
All hail the Meltdown festival for handing over control to Anthony Johnson, he has chosen an eclectic (and mildly bonkers) line-up, and shown far more bravery and creativity in his selections than a commitee ever could.