We knew Spoleto season was upon us last month when people started phoning in Lou Reed sightings a few days ahead of the opening ceremony, and though the former Velvet Underground frontman accompanied wife Laurie Anderson to her official festival house party Wednesday night, he seems generally to have kept a low profile.Thanks for the heads up, Teacherfriend!
But Anderson and Reed had a surprise planned for the audience Thursday night (the second of Anderson’s three Spoleto shows). News of some kind of special guest reached the newsroom at about 3 p.m., and through some mojo I’ll never understand I wound up with a ticket to what appeared to be an otherwise sold-out Anderson performance at Memminger.
The surprise? Near the end of the show, Anderson announced that it was her 61st birthday and called Reed up on stage for a rendition of “The Lost Art of Conversation.” It turns out this isn’t the first time Reed has joined Anderson for a performance of this song from the Homeland cycle, but for what it’s worth, I thought Reed added an electric growl to the piece as it wore on, and for just a moment the five players transformed the relatively minimalistic score into what seemed like a sudden, queasy, blues-rock hallucination, which isn’t exactly an everyday sound when one of your five instruments is an accordion. It surged and faded, but it seemed spontaneous and surprising.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Lou Reed showed up at Spoleto: