|Didn't they know they'd stain the carpet?|
This morning I boarded an M5 bus with about four passengers on it (no, this is not a math problem) and headed down RSD to go see the new Herzog documentary. Seeing as I was in a rather morbid mood, I decided to give Lulu a try at full volume. Turns out that the opening track "Brandenburg Gate" is really fucking good. In fact, I think it's a masterpiece. I've only listened to it twice, but you can quote me on this one.
Surely Lee's putting us on here, or setting us up for some kind of cruel joke... Right?
Nope, it really is brilliant. The rest of the record is absolute horseshit, which I'll get into a bit later. But "Brandenburg Gate" is seriously as good a track as this cursed partnership could conceivably produce. Let's pretend (wish?) we've never heard the record before, and list all the possible ways Lulu could have turned out:
1) Straight up Metallica riffs with Lou jive-talking semi-randomly on top. In other words, they each do their normal thing. [this is pretty much what the record is]
2) Atmospheric, highbrow artsy shit with occasional Reed-prose and metal/feedback bursts. Or, Metallica gets outside their box and Lou does his thing. [they do this on the record a bit as well]
3) Metallica Machine Music: Lou talks the Four Horsemen into an instrumental noise record, and immediately disowns and trashes the project upon its release, resulting in lengthy lawsuits by Metallica and Reed moving to Indonesia. [unfortunately not the case]
4) The five dudes just plug in and plow through a Ragged Glory-style sludge-cycle, bringing their individual strengths to the table but smashing their own tried & tired templates in the process. ["Brandenburg Gate"]
I have absolutely no idea what Lulu is supposed to be about (sounds like it has something to do with a girl, who might be a slut or possibly a masochist), so I don't really care about the lyrics a whole lot. I will say that Lou, in classic form, manages to outdo any parody/imitation of himself that anyone might throw at him. Ever think you're hilariously clever by pretending to be Lou Reed singing songs by other artists? Give it up, homeboy. Leatherface himself tops all with his "You are my Goliath... you are my Goliath" mantra on "Mistress Dread."
I'm not going to waste anyone's time ripping apart tracks 2 through 10 on Lulu, because any idiot with two ear canals can do it themselves. I'm just overjoyed that at the very least, if only for 4 minutes and 19 seconds, these numbskulls came up with something really exciting. Hey, maybe Lulu will spawn more absurd "mash-downs" in the near future? How about Randy Newman and King Crimson with their new release, Hollywood Serpent? Have you heard the new Al Jarreau & Yo La Tengo collaboration on Matador Records? I think it's called There Is A Street And Its Name Is Bop.