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Over the years, Metallica has made a lot of bad choices and done shitty things to their fans. As good as the “Black” album is, and as fundamental as it was to the future money-hungry success of the band, it was the beginning of a downhill progression. Core fans were appalled by Load, ReLoad only to be appeased by S&M, which only paid homage to themselves in a grandiose, self-absorbed way. Then came St. Anger — which core fans and -radio fans alike either loved or hated and ultimately found confusing — and the sappy bitchfest known as Some Kind of Monster; did fans really need to see such snivelling?
Don’t forget, however, about Metallica’s biggest kick to the groin that they ever gave their fans, which was going after Napster and anyone who downloaded their property. Besides scaring the shit out of many of their fans, they also showed just how ignorant and unsavvy they were to the future of music entertainment. And why would they care? Metallica has long had one of the most lucrative record contracts: While most bands only see $1 from he sale of each CD (which they only get after the label recoups recording costs and the band has to split among its members), Metallica has been getting roughly $6 from the sale of each CD. I know this is becoming less and less relevant in today’s download market, but it was very relevant when Napster was king.
Now, in 2011, Metallica is alienating their fans further with what appears to be… well, Christ, I don’t what to call it. Shit comes to mind. Pretentious bullying. Art? Whoa! Hey, Metallica, you’re not artists, you’re a metal band. You’re musicians. At any rate, Metallica has decided to do a project for themselves instead of their fans. Good for you Metallica. You know that coffin on the cover of your last album, Death Magnetic? You might be putting the last nail in with this new project.
The new project is called LuLu, and instead of giving fans more of that promise we heard on Death Magnetic (which was a return to thrash roots), we’re getting Velvet Underground… well, Lou Reed anyway. Now, don’t get me wrong: Lou Reed is a formidable artist in his own right. But Metallica and Lou Reed is like ice cream and kimchi, great on their own, but together… not so much.
LuLu – “The View”
…and that’s what you can expect from LuLu. While the 30-second preview to “The View” was made available last week, it was such a blow to the head that I’ve just come out of the coma today. What exactly is that shit? Wow, did anyone think that Metallica could do more damage to their reputation?
Anyway, there’s an explanation of sorts for where this project got its legs on LouReedMetallica.com and it goes something like this:
“Lulu” was inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind’s plays “Earth Spirit” and “Pandora’s Box,” which tell a story of a young abused dancer’s life and relationships and are now collectively known as the “Lulu Plays.” Since their publication in the early 1900’s, the plays have been the inspiration for a silent film (“Pandora’s Box,” 1929), an opera, and countless other creative endeavors. Originally the lyrics and musical landscape were sketched out by Lou for a theatrical production in Berlin, but after coming together with the ‘Tallica boys for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York in 2009 all guilty parties knew they wanted to make more music together. Lou was inspired enough by that performance to recently ask the band to join him in taking his theatrical “Lulu” piece to the next level and so starting in early May of this year we were all camped out recording at HQ studios in Northern California, bringing us to today and ten complete songs.