Saturday, December 1, 2007
Long ago and far away, I did this radio show. Record companies were releasing a lot of 12 inch singles, and on the reverse side they had dub verions, or bonus beats or whatever. I had some fun playing them and mixing them. Some very early scratchin' as well, but not by me, but by Malcolm McLaren. Then I went on into some harder stuff.
Music included: Kraftwerk, Alisha, SOS Band, Johnson Crew, Malcom McLaren, Imagination, Waterfront Home, China Crisis, Ear-Ons, Group 87, Mitchell Froom, Cure, REM, Psychedelic Furs, Modern English, Minimal Man, Cramps, Tom Tom Club and a lot more.
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Ira Melnick interviewed Laurie Anderson on his WRUV-FM radio program. Wow.
Laurie Anderson is one of today’s premier performance artists. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist.
O Superman launched Anderson’s recording career in 1980, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on Big Science, the first of her seven albums on the Warner Brothers label. Other record releases include Mister Heartbreak, United States Live, Strange Angels, Bright Red, and the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave. A deluxe box set of her Warner Brothers output, Talk Normal, was released in the fall of 2000 on Rhino/Warner Archives. In 2001, Anderson released her first record for Nonesuch Records, entitled Life on a String, which was followed by Live in New York, recorded at Town Hall in New York City in September 2001, and released in May 2002.
Anderson has toured the United States and internationally numerous times with shows ranging from simple spoken word performances to elaborate multimedia events. Major works include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick, a multimedia stage performance based on the novel by Herman Melville. Songs and Stories for Moby Dick toured internationally throughout 1999 and 2000. In the fall of 2001, Anderson toured the United States and Europe with a three-person band, performing music from Life on a String. She has also presented many solo works, her most recent being Happiness, which premiered in 2001 and toured internationally through spring 2003.
Anderson has published six books, the most recent of which is Laurie Anderson by RoseLee Goldberg (Abrams, 2000), a retrospective of her visual work. Text from Anderson’s solo performances appears in the book Extreme Exposure, edited by Jo Bonney. She has also written the entry for New York for the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Laurie Anderson’s visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. In 2003, The Musée Art Contemporain of Lyon in France produced a touring retrospective of her work, entitled The Record of the Time: Sound in the Work of Laurie Anderson. This retrospective encompasses installation, audio, video and art objects and spans Anderson’s career from the 1970's to her most current works. It will continue to tour through 2005. As a visual artist, Anderson is represented by the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
As composer, Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley, and a score for Robert LePage’s theater production, Far Side of the Moon. She has created pieces for National Public Radio, The BBC, and Expo 92 in Seville. In 1997 she curated the two-week Meltdown Festival at Royal Festival Hall in London. Her orchestra work Songs for A.E. premiered at Carnegie Hall in February 2000, played by the American Composers Orchestra, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, Anderson collaborated with Interval Research Corporation, a research and development laboratory founded by Paul Allen and David Liddle, in the exploration of new creative tools, including the Talking Stick. She created the introduction sequence for the first segment of the PBS special Art 21, a series about Art in the 21st century. Her awards include the 2001 Tenco Prize for Songwriting in San Remo, Italy and the 2001 Deutsche Schallplatten prize for Life On A String.
In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA. Other current projects include a commission to create a series of audio-visual installations and a high definition film for the World Expo 2005 in Japan and a series of programs for French radio. She will premier her new score “O!” at the Opera Garnier in Paris in December ’04. She was also recently part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Athens. Her next project will involve a series of long walks. Anderson lives in New York City.
She is still extemely creative and active:
From the New York Times, Sept. 25, 2007
The performance artist Laurie Anderson has been named the winner of the 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. She will receive about $300,000 and a silver medal in ceremonies at the Hudson Theater on Nov. 13. Recognizing outstanding talents in the arts, the prize, in its 14th year, is a legacy from the silent screen stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish, who were sisters. Lillian's will specified that it should be awarded annually to "a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." Previous recipients include Ornette Coleman, Bill T. Jones, Lloyd Richards, Arthur Miller, Isabel Allende, Bob Dylan, Ingmar Bergman and Frank Gehry.
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Marvin Gaye had one of the greatest voices in history. In my usual clunking way, I did not realize this until he was gone. Tragically murdered by his own father, I decided to do a salute to his work. Fantastic, even now 23 years later. I am still looking for his a capella version of the USA national anthem that he did before an LA Lakers game, the only time I ever liked that song, and it brought tears to many. Let me know if you have access to it.
(What’s Going On?, 1971)Right click to download, click to listen right away, always better in iTunes:
A little bit softer now. “Picket lines and picket signs / Don’t punish me with brutality / Talk to me, so you can see / Oh, what’s going on?” Gaye delivered those words with a voice so supple, it’s easy to forget that What’s Going On? was as stirring a message of social protest as the outspoken works of Dylan, Curtis Mayfield or, well, anyone.
What’s Going On? described an impoverished land divided by war and prejudice. Its lyrics, co-written by Gaye, Renaldo Benson and Al Cleveland, keyed on family matters. Gaye’s marriage was failing; his duet partner, Tammi Terrell, had died; his brother had just returned from combat. The song’s plaintive repetitions of the words father, mother and brother made What’s Going On? feel simultaneously sweeping and intimate. “Father, father,” Gaye sang, meaning God or his own dad (father and son had a stormy relationship) or both. The song’s key line, however, came but once: “For only love can conquer hate.”
Brian Eno is a creative artist that stands out above so many others because of his innovative work, his variety as well as his humility. I have been fascinated by his work. I did a three-part show on this date, but only parts 1 and 3 remain intact. We go from the rock and roll Eno to the more ambient Eno. Heck, I believe he invested ambient music.
Brian Eno born on 15 May 1948 in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England) is an English electronic musician, music theorist and record producer. As a solo artist, he is probably best known as the father of modern ambient music, though he is also a highly celebrated record producer. With an art school background and inspiration from minimalism, Eno first came to prominence as the keyboard and synthesizer player of the 1970s glam and art rock band Roxy Music. After leaving the group, Eno recorded four highly idiosyncratic and original rock albums, before turning to more abstract soundscapes on records such as Discreet Music (1975) and Ambient 1/Music for Airports (1978). Since then he has made dozens of albums, many with similarly-minded collaborators such as Harold Budd, Cluster, John Cale, David Byrne and Robert Fripp. Eno also became involved in pop music collaborations beginning in the late 1970s, joining David Bowie on his avant-garde 'Berlin Trilogy' and helping to popularise the band Devo and the punk rock-influenced "No Wave" scene. Eno is also notable for introducing the concepts of chance music to pop and rock and roll. Eno's production and songwriting credits include critical and commercial successes by Talking Heads and U2, such as Remain in Light and The Joshua Tree, as well as work with James, Slowdive, Paul Simon and the upcoming Coldplay album scheduled for release in early 2008. Eno has pursued several artistic ventures parallel to his music career, including visual art installations, a regular column in the newspaper The Observer and, with artist Peter Schmidt, Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards recommending various artistic strategies.
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