14 May 02003

Laurie Anderson - Live review (9, 11 May 2003)

I went to see Laurie Anderson on Friday. And because it was the kind of show I'd been waiting 18 years to see her do, I went again on Sunday (same show, but different perspective from the cheap seats). In between, I'd had the opportunity to review some of the material (all new) from my recording. It was an affirmation of those mid-80s concerns of hers about lack of metrics and exchange rates in the economies of experience, feeling and influence, and the uncanny sublimations that take place between these levels.

An affirmation because Laurie Anderson showed that these concerns can be seen under and on the skin of what's been happening in the world just recently. There, I've done it now. Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. I love the way the stories point outside themselves to things that can't be named or even called 'things', and the anxiety that this engenders in audience and performance alike - played mostly for laughs, but with a creepy undertow. As Frank Ramsey said "What you can't say, you can't say,and you can't whistle it either". But what Laurie Anderson does say, she says very carefully. Repeated viewing make you realise that a line like "What is happening to this place" would sound so lame if it weren't phrased and intoned exactly right.

Posted by David Jennings in section(s) Cultural Calendar, Reviews on 14 May 02003
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