Women guitarist Christopher Reimer dies in sleep


Christopher Reimer, guitarist for the Calgary avant-pop act Women, died in his sleep on Tuesday, according to reports. His work with the band over two acclaimed albums, the 2008 self-titled debut and 2010's Public Strain, was coarse, intense, and sonically challenging. But within all of the off-the-wall tunings and prickly notes, there was an undoubted beauty to the material.

The band had been on a hiatus since early last year, but prior to that had visited the Twin Cities several times. One such visit was as the opening act for Mogwai in 2009.

Documented by Culture Bully, the show was dissonant success. Having seen the band perform, their shifting styles swatted away casual listeners, and rewarded the patient ones. But several musicians -- including South Florida indie pop act Surfer Blood -- counted Women among their favorites. The breadth of Public Strain especially should be recognized a bit more in the days to come.

After the band announced its split, Reimer kept busy and toured with the Dodos last year.

An excellent document of the power of Women's live performance style -- including Reimer's intricate guitar work -- exists within this three-song session recorded for Pitchfork last year with "Can't You See," "Drag Open," and "Eyesore."

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