CRITIC'S CHOICE

Laurie Anderson, Thursday, March 2, at the Paramount Theatre, has been busy lately: She recently issued Bright Red, her first new recording in five years (another disc, The Ugly One With the Jewels, is due in mid-March); Stories From the Nerve Bible, a book-length retrospective of her career over the past twenty years; and Puppet Motel, a CD-ROM marketed by Voyager, a software company sponsoring her current tour. That outing--a multimedia presentation called The Nerve Bible--is a major project in its own right, presenting Anderson in a light that's both serious (themes include mortality and the limits of human consciousness) and playful (she makes her stage entrance hanging upside down from a rope). The 47-year-old techno empress and Lou Reed paramour, who once upon a time worked as a migrant cotton picker, says she creates at such a hectic pace because doing so helps her "feel her own freedom." "Tightrope," from Bright Red, is symbolic of this quest. During the song, Anderson describes standing on a tightrope, then meekly entreats those below with the request, "Remember me is all I ask/And if remembered be a task, forget me." No chance of that--as anyone who has ever seen her perform already knows.

 
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