1. What! Thanks to Lauren Cerand
for the very surprising news
that singer-songwriter Lou Reed is debuting a concert performance of his greatest album, Berlin. Berlin, released in 1973, is a narrative cycle about obsessive love. It's the story of an American man who visits Berlin and falls for a beautiful but selfish and decadent woman who forces him to beat her, sleeps with every other guy in town, loses her children for immoral behavior and finally kills herself with a razor. It's not a cheerful story, but it hums with tension and real emotion, and Lou Reed turns in the vocal performance of a lifetime -- quiet, controlled and amazingly intense -- to a ghostly soundtrack that finally reaches a crescendo of chiming acoustic guitars and melodic flutes by the last few songs.
I never expected Lou to turn Berlin into a theatrical production, and I'm not sure he'll be able to mount the level of personal conviction required to sing these painful lyrics (Lou's vocal performance at a Velvet Underground reunion several years ago was disappointingly rote). But I'm encouraged that original guitarist Steve Hunter (a legend of 70's proto-metal who also recorded with Alice Cooper) and talented original producer Bob Ezrin (whose production credits also include Alice Cooper's Go To Hell, Pink Floyd's The Wall and Jay-Z's Fade to Black) are involved with this production. I'm also encouraged that the show is taking place at St. Ann's in Brooklyn, where I saw Lou Reed and John Cale deliver a stunning performance of Songs For Drella many years ago. Here's the only problem: the damn shows are sold out. I'm hoping they add some more dates.
2. Oh, and I guess I've got some even more exciting news. And here it is: Caryn and I just got engaged
If you've ever met Caryn, you know how happy I must feel. And if you haven't met her, I'll be glad to tell you a little about her. We met six years ago when we were assigned to work together on an online community project for a major Silicon Alley dot-com, but honestly the only hot stuff happening on this community site was our private conversations (which nobody saw but us). Caryn still works as an online community specialist and a web developer, and you may occasionally spot us joining forces on projects. She comes from a rural town in Indiana (home of Cole Porter, Axl Rose, Dan Quayle and Kurt Vonnegut) but we've been all over America together, including Battle Creek
, Flushing, Queens
and the Shenandoah valley
. We mostly enjoy going to karaoke parties
, exploring new territories
and getting seriously wacky
with friends. She has one daughter, so with my three kids we'll be quite a crowd.
The main thing about Caryn, though, is that after knowing her for six years, she still makes me laugh and smile more than I ever thought I would. Oh yeah, and I think she's a knockout
. I'm definitely a lucky guy.