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Live at Town Hall NYC
     

Live at Town Hall NYC

5.0 2
by Laurie Anderson
 
By placing the location and dates, "New York City, September 19-20, 2001," on the stark cover of this concert album, Laurie Anderson evokes the context in which the shows from which it was drawn occurred: They took place less than two weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the city that was one of the principal targets. Anderson is not the sort of artist

Overview

By placing the location and dates, "New York City, September 19-20, 2001," on the stark cover of this concert album, Laurie Anderson evokes the context in which the shows from which it was drawn occurred: They took place less than two weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the city that was one of the principal targets. Anderson is not the sort of artist one would think of immediately as an ideal commentator on those cataclysmic events; hers is a cool, ironic persona, and irony was one of the immediate casualties of the attacks. Her introductory comments do not bode well, as she speaks, in her perpetually becalmed voice, of the "great opportunity" the attacks provide to "live in a completely new world," surely not a sentiment her listeners can have shared, as the sparse applause indicates. But as the concert goes on, her music comes across as elegiac in a way it did not before, and her abstract, discontinuous lyrics are full of observations newly transformed by tragedy. As she notes in her annotations, "Here come the planes/They're American planes, made in America," from 1981's "O Superman" has a new connotation here, and when she closes the show with "Love Among the Sailors" from 1994's Bright Red ("There is no pure land now, no safe place/If this is the work of an angry god, I want to look into his angry face"), the new meaning is unmistakable. As these selections suggest, the concert, unlike other performances of Anderson's, is a conventional look back at her career, picking highlights from old albums rather than an all-new program, which is what she usually presents. As such, the album is a live complement to 2000's Talk Normal: The Laurie Anderson Anthology, though its material is not as well chosen.

Editorial Reviews

Downbeat
Part of the magic resides within the pristinely recorded characteristics, multifarious presentation and the artist’s acute observations of life.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2002
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597968125
catalogNumber:
79681

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Live at Town Hall NYC 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is very probably THE Laurie Anderson CD to buy: It contains a wealth of her material from 'oldies' like O! Superman, through the middle period classics like Coolsville, right up to date with some of the best selections from the Life On A String CD of 2001, all perfectly performed to a live audience. I leave you to draw the significance of the date and place of this recording: I saw her playing in London a few weeks later, and - in common with the whole audience - was moved almost to tears by the song ''Washington Street'' which - I MUST point out - was released in August 2001. Nothing is unduly dwellt upon here, but the emotion and humanity is very evident. This is a record for anyone who has admired any of Anderson's work over the past 20 years, but, even more so, it is a record for anyone who likes to enjoy and think at the same time. I cannot praise this CD highly enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Anderson has given us a body of work that requires us to think and feel; this collection of cells of her work is refreshing. I own all her work, this is a great compilation recording, it truly ROCKS.