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.