Laurie Anderson

Famous Songs Become Buildings in Federico Babina’s ‘Archimusic’

Music often drives us to change the architecture of our bodies – if it wasn’t for Rod Stewart’s raw, animalistic beats or Barry Manilow’s thrashing guitar, I wonder if I’d ever move at all. But seriously, the idea of music itself being architectural isn’t too hard to fathom, whether in the way that it’s laid out in blueprint form before it’s actualized, in the way that a series of supporting sounds bolster one another and create a song, or in the 4’33” sense that silences create their own music, just as there’s architecture in empty space. … Read More

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Music’s Greatest Gender-Defying Fashion Statements

Earlier this week we did some serious thinking about the role of gender in Shaking the Habitual, the fantastic new album by The Knife. Today, we thought we’d revisit the same topic in a rather more lighthearted way: by looking at some of music’s most memorable gender-defying fashion statements over the years. Androgyny and ambiguity have long been part of popular music, after all, and they’ve been responsible for some of its most iconic imagery. From The Knife to Grace Jones and a certain remarkable German countertenor, here are some of the best… Read More

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Extremely Silly Photos of Extremely Serious Musicians

If you’ve ever wanted to see Blixa Bargeld hanging out in the kitchen, Joy Division pretending to be Monty Python, or Leonard Cohen wearing denim cut offs, then click through and get… Read More

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10 Female Electronic Music Pioneers You Should Know

Of all the great albums out this month, we’re perhaps the most excited about the return of Gudrun Gut. Her new record Wildlife is a fantastic piece of work, and the latest installment in a career that’s spanned three decades and a seemingly endless variety of electronic sounds. Electronic music has long been indebted to female pioneers, so to celebrate, we’re highlighting some other great female innovators in the… Read More

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What Were the Most Popular Art Exhibitions of 2011?

What do Alexander McQueen, a 9th-century monk, and Laurie Anderson have in common? Each year The Art Newspaper publishes a survey of the top-attended museum exhibitions around the world, and this go around, they are all on it. As always, the survey contains a few surprises — like the fact the most popular show worldwide was an M.C. Escher retrospective held in a former bank in Rio de Janeiro. Click through to find out what other crowd-pleasers made the top 10, and head over to The Art Newspaper for a full breakdown of the numbers. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Jo March

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: the second eldest (and most fiery) March sister, Jo. … Read More

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10 Musicians Who Should Really Write Novels

Last week, we read about Alina Simone, who published her first book, a collection of essays, this past year. However, what’s fascinating about her story is that her editor (at big-name publishing house FSG, no less) didn’t discover her in a small literary journal, in a magazine article, or pluck her from an MFA program, but instead found her music on internet radio service Pandora and approached her to suggest that she write a book.

“It seemed like he already viewed music and literature as part of one continuum,” Simone has explained. “Certainly, the best songs out there read like the best poems or short stories.” Though we think there’s some room for argument on that point, we can definitely think of quite a few lyricists who we really wish would write novels — whether we think they’ve got the life experience or imagination to write a fascinating story or just enough chops slapping words together that we want to roll around in ever sentence they assemble. Click through to check out which musicians we think should write novels — and our first imaginings of what those novels would be like — and let us know who you’d like to see transition into fiction in the comments. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Faust

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: the most famous scholar of German legend and literature, Faust. … Read More

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10 Instruments in Art We’d Love to Play

Merely approaching the field of art involving modifying and inventing instruments gives us a pleasant anxiety. There’s so much out there! Violins that play records. Artists that play buildings. Beats that play artists. Seems like magic happens when these mediums of creation entwine, but these few sound and look so amazing, it’s positively seductive. From replicas of Hieronymus Bosch’s surreal harp-lutes to Pierre Bastien’s tiny, mechanical orchestras, here are just a few functioning, artist-created instruments that we’d love to strum, bang, and play. … Read More

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10 of Music’s Best Late-Career Albums

Yesterday, we finally got to hear the first single from Lou Reed and Metallica’s forthcoming album. And it was just as bad as we feared it would be, coming off as little more than an ill-conceived vanity project by two very different acts that are both past their prime. Late-career albums like this one are often the target of disappointment and criticism, partially because the music industry is such a transitory place — audiences and record companies alike are always on the lookout for the next big thing, on whom attention is focused for a couple of years before the spotlight shifts away. This isn’t always entirely unwise, mind you: artists often make their best work at the start of their careers, when their ideas are fresh and their minds are relatively clear. But this isn’t always the case, and there have been some fine albums made long after the hype machine has upped and moved onto the next Next Big Thing. Here’s a selection of our favorite late-career flourishes. There must be loads more, so let us know who else you reckon should be included. … Read More

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