Entertainment behind the scenes
Veteran rocker Lou Reed joined his wife Laurie Anderson onstage for a song on the lost art of conversation and empty relationships in Anderson’s new performance piece “Homeland”, which had its final performance at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York on Saturday. It was a haunting mix of styles — Lou Reed’s raw and gritty electric guitar and Anderson’s trademark electric violin. The newlyweds’ duet — Reed and Anderson married in April — was the musical high point of the evening.
The rest of the music was mostly slow-moving and atmospheric, often chilling. It was reminiscent of the avante garde performance artist’s works from the 1980s, relying on synthesizers, live and electronic percussion and voice distortion, spiced up with viola, bass and trumpet licks.
As the title indicates, “Homeland” is a political work, probably Anderson’s most political “concert poem” in a long time. She explained the title in a recent interview: ”It’s a fuzzy word that Americans don’t use,” Anderson said. “You don’t just say ‘homeland’. The next word is ‘security.’”
The narration for one song calls to mind Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction: ”And other experts looking for weapons find things, like cleaning fluids and refrigerator rods and small magnets, and they say, ‘These may look like common objects to you, but to us they could be weapons, or they could be used to make weapons or to ship weapons or to store weapons, because only an expert can see they might be weapons.’”