[SINGER-SONGWRITER] Joseph Arthur found himself back in New York late last year in the wake of touring just after Lou Reed's death. It was an unusually harsh winter, and soon the tireless musician was at work on a proper tribute record. He vowed not to incorporate drums or go electric, as those tools belonged to Mr. Reed. The result is Lou, a quiet, subtly chilling tip of the hat to the Velvet Underground frontman that trembles in his spiritual presence. Arthur, who was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s and was the first American to work under Gabriel's Real World Records, has steadily pushed along, building an impressive résumé without really going mainstream. His biggest hit, "In the Sun," came from 2000's Come to Where I'm From, a record co-produced by T-Bone Burnett that captured the shy neo-folk that Beck and Wilco were making popular in the early aughts. Arthur tried going bigger, later forming short-lived group the Lonely Astronauts, and he even incorporated brass and soul singers with last year's The Ballad of Boogie Christ. With Lou, Arthur is back performing by himself again, which is where this multifaceted indie icon is most effective.

SEE IT: Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 328-2865. 10 pm Friday, June 6. 21+.