O Superwoman

Is Laurie Anderson the coolest chick on the planet? Not only has she thrived all these years with her artistic integrity intact, but she's done it while scoring a number-two hit on the pop charts (in England, even cooler), making the critically acclaimed concert film Home of the Brave, and shacking up with the father of modern rock, Lou Reed.

Despite the peculiar success of the eleven-minute single "O Superman" back in 1981 that introduced her to the mainstream, Anderson is and always has been a performance artist, with sensibilities more akin to John Cage and Brian Eno than anyone on the Billboard Hot 100. In Home of the Brave, Anderson dons a suit of lights, electronically alters her voice to sound something like Big Brother/Isaac Hayes, and makes funny-odd observations on the plight of human sperm. It's not to say she's some sort of court jester; it's just Anderson's way of making us see the wonder in the world through the banality of our own hellishly mechanized lives. And with the world seemingly more mechanized, banal, and hellish than ever, her current concert should be even better suited to bring us wondrous salvation.

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John Anderson