Only an expert can handle the problem...
BFF Donna flew down to Atlanta this weekend for the Laurie Anderson concert at the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech. What an evening!
Laurie Anderson's Homeland is her best work since Home of the Brave. It's a beautiful, chilling, tight work that continues to evolve as the dynamics of American politics change. I feel like I've seen big bits of Homeland on YouTube, but by last night there were references to McCain and Palin. She told me in our interview last month that she's not doing anything "radical," which is true, but she is encapsulating a scary and exciting time in America right now.
Laurie was at her "command center" of keyboards, mics and computers and had a pianist, bass player and viola player. A very tight, synchronized band. The stage was dramatically set with votive candles scattered around the floor and low-hanging bulbs. She began with a story about how birds used to fly and fly because there was no land, only water and when one bird's father died, she decided to bury him in the back of her own head. This was the beginning of memory... She segued into Only an Expert, which has gotten even more dancey and pointed. If you have pitbulls wearing lipstick, this is a problem... An early version is posted above.
There was a beautiful piece about soldiers going off to war called Calling Them Up and then she put the vocoder on and did this piece called "There's Trouble Up At the Mine," which is in the previous post. You could hear a pin drop when she was doing this piece, alone on the stage, bathed in a red glow and her electric violin playing a cinematic dirge.
There was an empty chair on stage all during the show and we wondered if Laurie was going to go and sit down, and then she said they were going to bring on a special guest for a song called The Lost Art of Conversation and out walked Lou Reed. The whole audience gasped and then gave him a standing ovation. Two legends for the price of one!
She returned to a theme throughout the show, calling on everyone to get involved in what's happening in American politics: Your silence means consent...
After the show, we were invited backstage to meet the band and Laurie herself (Lou, sadly, was hiding). Laurie was so incredibly nice and chatty. She was asking my opinion on local restaurants and about the play they were going to see later that evening. Donna and I were so awestruck, that we never even thought of pulling out are CDs and albums to be signed or to even have our pictures taken with her. It just seemed inappropriate. So we have no photographic evidence, but I can tell you that if Laurie is coming anywhere near you on the final leg of this tour, go see Homeland. It's vital.
Thanks for coming down Donna and hanging out! Love ya!
Also this weekend, I went to Megan Volpert's wedding. She and partner Mindy Dawn Friedman tied the knot in a lovely ceremony full of humor and politics. Since same sex marriage and civil partnerships are not allowed in Georgia, they made signing legal documents for power of attorney and living wills part of the program. Congrats to both of those lovely ladies!
The economy continues to tank as two big financial institutions flounder and John McCain nonchalantly says this morning that the economy is "fundamentally strong," one of Bush's talking points. It drew a harsh round of comments and he's been backtracking all afternoon. Further proof that McCain has no fucking idea what's happening in America. When you have seven houses and believe in propping up your rich friends, the plight of the middle class doesn't mean very much. And while McCain is blundering his way across America, Sarah "The Lipstick Barracuda" Palin continues to pander her lies about Obama raising taxes and the "bridge to nowhere." Every news organization and independent think tank has discredited her talking points and yet she keeps trotting them out. How the polls are still in a dead heat boggles the mind. How many stupid people are there in America? I guess we'll find out on Nov. 4.