Thursday, August 26, 2010

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

How is it that I've gone this long without highlighting one of the best disks of the '80s?? But I went back and checked all my Record of the Month's - Classic and current, and did not find an entry. Go figure.

Thanks to my friend Jon, Laurie Anderson's Home of the Brave was the reason I purchased my first cd player. It was a co-first cd I bought (Kate Bush's The Hounds of Love, being the other).

Home of the Brave soundtrack was the companion piece to Anderson's movie of the same name.

The movie was, in essence, a concert film - but more the taping of a multi-media event that most would call a concert. It was and is performance art - and a movie I highly recommend, though it has never been released on DVD.

The Home of the Brave "tour", as it were, consisted of songs from Mister Heartbreak disk, some of which is covered in the film, but only one song from that set captured on this disk. The rest of HotB is new material.

Anderson, is technically not a singer, but she uses music, technology, humour and great supporting musicians to make up the difference. Her work is innovative (even 26 years later!), fun/funny and thought provoking.

Some of the songs don't even have words, per se ("Radar", "Credit Racket"), but it provides some great visuals - if you were watching the movie, that is. There is one epic-like song: "Smoke Rings" (Well I had a dream and in it I went to a little town...and all the girls in town were named Betty), and then there is the pseudo-most popular "Language is a Virus". It played on MTV, but I can't say it was really popular.

The songs here, while from the film, are not really live recordings. The film ones are live and for the most part these are studio recordings, save "Radar", "White Lily" and "Sharkey's Night". It works in either medium whether you watch or hear it.

If you're looking for something easy to listen to - this isn't it. It takes a little work, if that makes sense.

My favourite piece on the disk is also the shortest - "White Lily". Here's the clip from the movie.

It is a short album - like 34 minutes, but totally worth it. If you ever have a chance to check out the movie, I highly suggest it too.


Wonder Man said...

I need to check her out

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a blog series! Have a great weekend!

BentonQuest said...

I LOVE Laurie Anderson! I was able to see her live in Chicago and Iowa City. If you are not oppposed to torrents, you can find the video. I am still trying to find the program "Puppet Hotel" but I think it will be in vain.