Most of us recognize experimentation as part of the music-making process. We dabble, we jam, we fool around and then we scrape the gunk from off the top and keep the bits we can use. It may not all be golden, but hell, that’s the process. We keep our minds and our ears open. But some of us — scratch that: those special some of us — chuck any aural ability we may have honed over the past four decades and opt to swap the gold for the gunk without sense or shame or a fear of death threats and call it “Lulu.”
Thanks for this clusterfuck of seizure-inducing musical goulash goes to the legendary Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground (still love you) and his heavy metal chums Metallica (still thinking). It’s been said that vanity got in the way of this vanity project, or perhaps it was just straight-up sycophancy on part of the ‘Tallica boys — they just wanted to pay homage to the master. But whatever the delusion reason, these songs remain cruelly and efficiently accessible for partial download at the Lou Reed/Metallica website.
Query: Why name your album after a French bulldog and/or underaged female prostie? Was “Bullshit Fondue” taken?
Still unconvinced? Does the memory of that emo-teenaged rite-of-listening-passage known as “Venus in Furs” prevent you from dismissing what everyone is saying? Or maybe you’re a Metallica fan because (fill in “but I was high on ‘shrooms!” justification here). All right then, let’s examine the first track, “Brandenburg Gate,” and go from there.
Nutshell Analysis: Lou Reed does his best post-menopausal Bob Dylan impression and slithers in solo with a gravely poetic waxing about his dream of “Nosferatu” and entrapment on the “Isle of Dr. Moreau.” Remember, Reed has declared himself the “king of New York avant-rock” so singing about vampires and sociopaths who mutate men into animals and animals into men called Hyena-Swine on a scary island of unknown origins is permissible and/or artistic. Next, Metallica thunders in with the all-too-familiar bad-ass crunch of grinding guitar jams and death-throttle drum beats to create an atmosphere of absolute mayhem, which is really not mayhem at all, because mayhem died with heavy metal in 1987.
Nutshell Conclusion: Not even legends are fail-proof.
There might be a reason to continue to opine on the lows and lows of this musical hybrid of ego and wishful thinking, but let’s leave the intellectual breakdown of “Lulu” to “Loutallica” via their website:
“‘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 1900s, 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.”
So there you have it. The guilty parties have spoken. It’s art, baby, A-R-T. A bonafide tribute to German Expressionism and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famously Bad Musical Duos Still Chasing Fame and/or Relevancy. Is there anything left to say? Maybe headlines from some of the metal blogs like “LuLu – Metallica/Lou Reed Project & 30-Second Preview Of Shit” or “Metallica And Lou Reed: Audio Sample Proves This Album Will Be Shit” can provide the 1.5 people who remain uncertain with additional evidence food for thought. Next stop on the musical mish-mash craptacular? Radiohead merges with Lady Gaga forming ‘GagaHead,’ resulting in legions of fans falling pants-less onto the kitchen floor in tears from the fallout of indie-rock ruin, crying “OK!” for their computers.