Laurie Anderson (7) Takes On Norah Jones (10) As The First Round Of SOTC's March Madness Begins To Wrap Up

Categories: Laurie Anderson

​The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—finishes up this week, with the Round of 32 scheduled to kick off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) Taking a cue from our neighbors at the Curbed Network, we're going to have a power hour—new polls every 15 minutes until 4 p.m., at which point we'll reveal more results. Our final matchup of the hour pits Laurie Anderson against Norah Jones. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for the musician that you think should move on to the next round.

More »

Live: Das Racist, Rahzel, Laurie Anderson And Many Others Play Philip Glass's Tibet House Benefit At Carnegie Hall

Philip Glass and Friends Tibet House U.S. Benefit w/Laurie Anderson, Tim Fain, Das Racist, Antony, Lou Reed, Stephin Merritt, and Rahzel
Carnegie Hall
Monday, February 13

Better than: Seeing how most ethnic Tibetans live.

Last night's all-star benefit at Carnegie Hall began with a performance by eight unnamed monks from the Drepung Monestary, who entered the hall in silence. The saffron-robed throat singers (each of whom wore a striking orange headpiece reminiscent of a Roman centurion's) took the stage like religious royalty being received by devoted followers. They used microphones that were hardly necessary; their throaty chants sounded like (and carried as strongly as) didgeridoos throughout the hall. It was a pretty surprising and impressive thing to look around the dress circle in Carnegie Hall and see dozens of people with their eyes closed and their hands folded in silent prayer.

More »

Tonight! Will Hermes Talks About His New Book With Kool Herc, Laurie Anderson, Bob Christgau, And More

River left empty for obligatory Klosterman blurb.
Yes, tonight at Housing Works longtime Voice pal Will Hermes assembles hip-hop Godfather DJ Kool Herc, Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, Laurie Anderson, Salsa legend Larry Harlow, and former Voice music editor Robert Christgau to discuss the city's music scene(s), as they unfolded from 1973 through 1977. This period is also the subject of Hermes's recent book Love Goes to Buildings on Fire, a remarkable side-by-side examination of downtown rock, loft jazz, salsa, disco, early hip-hop, and whatever else was going on sonically, tracking each genre as it evolved over the period. Hermes has been part of a few excellent panels lately, joining Mark Yarm, Marcus Reeves, and Marisa Meltzer at the Brooklyn Book Festival and Nitsuh Abebe at a recent Love Goes To event, but this looks like the best one yet.

And in slightly nerdier news, on Friday, Steven Shaviro, whose essay on Greil Marcus and the Pointer Sisters was one of the highlights from Zer0 Books's extraordinary The Resistable Demise of Michael Jackson, speaks uptown at Columbia's Center for Ethnomusicology, where he'll deliver a paper entitled, "Splitting the Atom: Post-Cinematic Articulations of Sound and Vision." Apparently, he'll be focusing on the music video for the Massive Attack song of the same name, embedded below.

More »

Five New York-Inspired Dogs From Christopher Weingarten's Hipster Puppies, Which Is Out Today

Today marks the publication of SOTC local-music/lousy-music enthusiast Christopher Weingarten's Hipster Puppies, the blog-gone-book that pairs adorable photos of dogs with withering critiques of American youth culture circa, well, now. (Here are some online merchants selling it, or you can just head to your local bookstore and pick up a copy.) Chris was inspired by his daily life as a freelance writer/rabblerouser to write more than a few of the book's captions, and here he shares with us five of the captions spurred by his time in New York City.

More »

Q&A: Okkyung Lee On Playing With Laurie Anderson, Drum Commentary Tracks, And New York's Changing Landscape For Experimental Musicians

For more than a decade, cellist Okkyung Lee has been an integral figure in New York's experimental music scene. The Korean native moved to Manhattan in 2000 after studying at Boston's Berklee College of Music and quickly became a fixture at venues such as Tonic and the Stone; she played with the likes of Ikue Mori, Vijay Iyer, and Laurie Anderson and made albums for John Zorn's Tzadik and Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace.

On her latest release (and second for Tzadik), Noisy Love Songs, she leads an ensemble that includes trumpeter Peter Evans and pianist Craig Taborn; Lee crafts a wordless narrative, shifting seamlessly from subdued reverence to chilling atmospheres to cathartic aggression. Her cello playing is equally capable of melodic subtlety and unfettered abstraction, but it is always grounded in consistent moods and--more than ever before--accessible melodies.

We recently talked to Lee about writing Noisy Love Songs, how New York has changed in the past decade, and her current Artist-in-Residence gig at Brooklyn's Issue Project Room.

More »

Rob Harvilla's Top 10 Singles of 2010

cee lo fuck you too.jpg
Not every great song this year was released by Katy Perry. From a snarling avant-electro NPR lecture to a haunted-house posse cut to a ludicrously profane viral sensation, here are 10 examples. "Teenage Dream" might still be better than all of these, though. Better get this started before I change my mind.

More »

Laurie Anderson Is Appearing On East Village Radio At 4 P.M.

laurie anderson.jpg
Of all the people I interviewed in 2010, Laurie Anderson was easily my favorite, based entirely on that voice -- even snaking through a phone line, it's a wise, warm, profoundly soothing phenomenon, Kim Deal-esque in its capacity to soothe even the most savage of beasts, and put to equally phenomenal effect on this year's Homeland, an avant-pop exploration of death, decay, and financial devastation that nonetheless leaves you feeling bizarrely cheerful. In the event you're a bit keyed up with pre-holiday jitters today, I suggest you turn into East Village Radio right now.

More »

Live: Laurie Anderson Brings Her Delusion To BAM

laurie anderson rain.jpg
Theories on the afterlife, and how many times you die. Photos by Rahav Segev courtesy of BAM, more below.
Laurie Anderson
BAM/Harvey Theater
Tuesday, September 21

Better Than: Hearing anyone else on earth talk about their dreams.

Laurie Anderson should be legally required to provide the voice for every audiobook, ever. As an instrument, it's just perfect: wise and bewildered, cutting and soothing, deadly serious and profoundly amusing. Every syllable of every word cuts like a machete. The downtown avant-garde (and Mermaid Parade!) queen will spend the next couple weeks holding court at BAM for Delusion, a new multimedia work of sublime bewilderment, a "series of short mystery plays" presenting in a music/video/spoken-word conflagration that's a little slow and sleepy, but appropriately so, as often Anderson is simply listing the daffy shit she dreams about.

More »

Verily, Lou Reed And Laurie Anderson Did Preside Over Saturday's Mermaid Parade At Coney Island

I will admit to being bummed out that their "chariot," as it were, wasn't more regal and elaborate -- and that Lou himself seemed so nonplussed, though of course nonplussed is his thing -- but all the same, here are your 2010 King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, living it up. Laurie, at least, seemed pretty jazzed -- a convincing howl of joy at the tail-end of this. More pics here and here. Looks like Lou was better suited to all this than we thought.