Sound Checkby Amber Goodwyn

Lou Reed has passed and I have nothing to say. Not that there isn’t anything to say, of course. Of course. Rather, everyone else seems to be saying all the right things, or at least their own special things, and all I feel is a mild and resigned sense of loss. What can you say about the giants of our time, finally and humanly, falling?

I won’t presume to adopt the guise of a mourner. Reed wasn’t someone I knew personally, though his music moved me and touched most of the other music that’s moved me. I am in his debt. His songs are rock ‘n’ roll lessons in dark elegance and his creative exploration is a blueprint for any musician who wants to grow. A few years ago, Reed performed a 100-per-cent improvised jazz set in Montreal alongside his wife, the multi-instrumentalist Laurie Anderson, and saxophonist John Zorn. They were booed on stage by fans disappointed by the lack of hits. No matter; they kept on. Reed seemed to be one of the truly independent music heroes, defiantly expanding as an artist all these decades later when he could have rested on his rock-n’-roll laurels.

This is encouraging.

If I were to recommend goodbye messages to Lou Reed, I would suggest the brief and beautiful obituary written by Laurie Anderson. Her message is an intimate farewell, infused with sweet thankfulness for her husband and gentle acceptance of his passing. One of my idols, Patti Smith, herself no stranger to loss, also wrote a Reed memorial for The New Yorker, which is as it should be. Her send-off was filled with incredible memories, portents and wonder, and naked admiration for her peer.


Elsewhere, live music is afoot in Regina: check out this classical concert celebrating the legacy of French musician and composer of Spanish descent, Pauline Viardot-Garcia. The Passionate Muse: The Life & Music of Pauline Viardot-Garcia is presented by the Regina Musical Club, featuring Elisabeth Wagner (mezzo-soprano), Susie Mullen (actor) and Charlotte Hale (piano) at the University Theatre on Nov.17.

For some enthusiastic indie rock outta Ontario, be sure to catch the lady-fronted rock trio The Balconies with The Motorleague at the SCES Club on Nov 17. CBC Radio 3 faves, Hollerado, play with the Zolas and Pup at the Exchange on Friday Nov. 22.

In my ears: Berlin by Lou Reed

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