New York in the '70s was home to more than its fair share of cultural and artistic luminaries. Laurie Anderson was a graduate student at Columbia when she immersed herself in the avant-garde world and became a primary contributor to the development of true multimedia performance art. Her 1984 live album, United States, remains a high-water mark in the realm of integrating visuals and audio, with multiple story lines feeding into a brilliant, overarching narrative about the American zeitgeist of the last half of the twentieth century. Anderson has worked with many of the major experimental artists of her day, including peers William Burroughs, Lou Reed, John Cage and Philip Glass. Her playful sense of humor and incisive social commentary have long made her an inspiration to art weirdos everywhere.