Anna Oxygen Wed Feb 5


Anna Oxygen creates a bass-heavy, bubbly electro/ new wave with synths, her voice, and a drum machine; musically, she's similar to such electronic artists as Avenue D or Prance. However, Anna's elaborate thematic content lands her squarely in the realm of conceptual artist. Too imaginative to be content with the sex- and fashion-happy, trite crap that is electro's order of the day, Anna's live performances are audience-interactive, lo-fi theatrical events/aerobics parties, which include visual aids projected on an overhead. Also: her singing voice is incredible. It's a clear alto, thick with vibrato, that holds its own against Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich.

What's the main idea behind Anna Oxygen?

"I don't know if I can pinpoint a specific theoretical framework, but most of the songs have been about a story I've made up over the last few years. Awhile back, I was having these vivid dreams about cartoon-y girls experiencing different levels of consciousness. So I made up a story about a space scientist who captures girls' universes and puts them in petri dishes/test tubes. The scientist then listens to each universe on headphones as a way to vicariously experience their lives. Each new imaginary girl-world I came up with became a motivation for me to make up a new soundtrack to go along with it."

I heard your hamster is a feminist. What's up with that?

"I've been dedicating all of my shows to my old hamster, Violette. She's a lot like the other girl characters I come up with, except that she actually existed. I usually introduce her as one of the most important feminists I've ever known, and here's why: She had tons of babies, but she had to eat some of them.* She was also smart. One time, she fell out of the window, and when we got home she was waiting by the front door to get back to her babies. She also chewed through things.

"I think a danger in talking about feminism or any 'ism' is the tendency to come across as didactic. But there is something about Violette as a female creature/character that I feel personally (and not necessarily ideologically) connected to. Her biological/instinctive reactions to things were about survival. She did what she had to do at any given time to get by. But maybe I'm just brainwashed by science."

* Anna:"Please explain that hamsters have strong instincts, and mother nature has programmed them to react certain ways to problems, real or not The mother hamster may be programmed to destroy all evidence of 'failed' birth to help keep predators away from the den (destroying all scent and evidence of the young).