Lou Reed and Metallica Album Stream and Review

Loutallica released a streaming preview of their entire collaborative effort Lulu.  The album’s scheduled release is October 31 worldwide and November 1 in North America.  The ten track Lulu was inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind’s plays Earth Spiritand Pandora’s Box.

Despite the project clearly not being in the safety zone of either piece of the collaboration, most songs manage to work.  The brooding, atmospheric acoustic guitars of “Little Dog” serve as a perfect accompaniment for Reed’s dramatic poetic style.  Another nice moment like that occurs in the middle of “Pumping Blood.”  Unfortunately, however, Metallica singer James Hetfield didn’t take over the vocals on much of the rest of the song.

“Cheat On Me” features Metallica using eerie keyboards, strings and dramatically restrained performances to create a very nice effect.  The song builds instrumentally for nearly four minutes before any vocals appear, and when the metal fury does come in for the final third of this ten-minute track, it is entirely seamless, despite Reed’s grating vocals.

“Iced Honey,” which probably should have been the first single, is very reminiscent of “Sweet Jane” from Reed’s tenure with Velvet Underground.  It serves as the most easily accessible point for the typical listener.  The band slows down to rock speed and features Reed in his most comfortable vocal performance.  Hetfield also gets quite a bit of mic time as well.

Click here to hear the preview.

Click here for more information about Loutallica.

Sonic Youth to Split?

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth, announced that their 27-year marriage has come to an end.  The band formed three decades ago and have fall tour dates planned, yet  the split makes fans wonder about the future of the pioneering alternative rock band.  A statement from their rep at Matador Records states, “Sonic Youth, with both Kim and Thurston involved, will proceed with its South American tour dates in November.  Plans beyond that tour are uncertain.”  When previously asked who the coolest person Moore had ever met was he answered, “It would have to be Kim G!  For sure.  Believe me, she was unbelievable when I first met her.  She wore this sort of hip prison-stripe outfit and flip-up shades on her glasses.  She had a ponytail, a little ponytail that was sort of center at the back of her head and I thought, ‘That’s the coolest fucking person I’ve ever met.'”  Gordon, 58, and Moore, 53, have a 17-year-old daughter Coco.



“Senator” Jack Black

Jack Black plays a coke-sniffing, crooked cowboy senator who likes to use a cattle prod on his genitals and girls behinds in the just-released video for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks’ “Senator.”  In the video for the single from Malkmus’ new album, Mirror Traffic, Black also fulfills the usual running for office duties like holding babies and convincing America of his moral supremacy.

Scott Jacobson, who directed the video states that “Jack Black showed up and put in a 12-hour day that encompassed everything from genital-shocking to a real (unplanned) dog bite to full-on nudity.”  Malkumus explains that “The senator could be me or any singer in a band, anyone that’s trying to hang in there.”  The song and video are a sad commentary about how “Anyone that’s trying to stay in office [will] do whatever they can do to get votes.  They’ll say whatever they can.  Democrat or Republican, they want to stay in office more than anything.”  Here’s hoping Black actually runs for office as it would be an very entertaining campaign.

Click here to watch the video.

Tom Morello Occupies Wall Street

Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello’s folk alter-ego,  recently stopped by Liberty Park and played a four song set for hundreds of Occupy Wall Street crowd.    Morello, who was born in Harlem, opened up the show with “The Fabled City,” the title track from Nightwatchman’s second album.  Morello then played “Save the Hammer for the Man.”  After that, he treated the crowd to Woody Guthrie’s iconic “This Land Is Your Land.”  The protesters bounced up and down while chanting “this land is made for you and me” during the tune.  Morello closed out the set by teaching the crowd his song “World Wide Rebel Songs” and then singing it with the crowd while fists were pumped and American flags were waived.  Morello stated that he doesn’t know why this protest is different, but it is.  He added that it might have something to do with the 99 percent slogan as it is great and accurate.

Click here to see “The Fabled City.”

Click here to see “This Land Is Your Land.”

Free Friday: Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, Iron and Wine, and More on 4AD Sessions Compilation

4AD recently released 4AD Sessions:  2008-2011.  It is available as a free download for a limited time or you can purchase a $20 limited edition (one-time 1000 pressing) clear vinyl compilation which includes one track from each of the London label’s first ten live session series.  By downloading the compilation, you automatically enter into a contest to win a free copy of the vinyl.  The 4AD sessions are an ongoing series of video recordings (the first session with Deerhunter in 2008 was audio only) with various acts from the label’s roster.  The recordings showcase 4AD artists performing back-catalogue covers and alternative versions of their own material.

4AD Sessions: 2008-2011

01 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti –  Menopause Man
02 Blonde Redhead – Here Sometimes
03 Twin Shadow – Forget
04 Gang Gang Dance – Chinese High
05 Deerhunter – Never Stops
06 tUnE-yArDs – Powa
07 Efterklang –  I Was Playing Drums
08 Broken Records – Home
09 Stornoway – Here Comes the Blackout
10 Iron and Wine – Big Burned Hand

You can purchase the LP here or click here and enter your email on the left towards the middle of the page to download the compilation for free and enter the contest.

Free Download: Smashing Pumpkins – “Rhinoceros”

The Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (“SPRC”) has released another excellent unreleased track from their expansive archives.  SPRC emailed an alternative version of “Rhinoceros” to members via email earlier this morning.  As frontman Billy Corgan explained, the track was recorded in 1989 at Reel Time Studios.  The Pumpkins recorded a couple versions of “Rhinoceros,” one of which ended up on Gish.  The Gish version of the tune has a standard rhythm guitar solo.  This newly released “Rhinoceros Version Two,” which the band feels is superior, has a keyboard solo instead.  The solo is played by the studio’s recording engineer and as no real keyboard was available, a “crappy” keyboard was used to make the track.  This alternate version of “Rhinoceros” is the fourth release by SPRC and like all the others, it’s free.

Click here and enter your email to join the club for free and get “Rhinoceros Version Two.”

Click on the “SPRC” tag below to find out how to get the first  three SPRC releases.

Axl or Elvis?

Guns N’ Roses recently played the Rock in Rio Festival.  Unfortunately, one of rock’s former greatest frontmen has decided Elvis was at his best when he was bloated and wearing sequins.  The nearly unrecognizable Axl Rose honored The King by wearing a weird fluorescent trenchcoat thing, a gigantic cowboy hat, and a whole lotta extra pounds.  Them days of rocking skin tight spandex pants are long gone.  The weight wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t for the jacket, hat, glasses, and Michael Jacksonesque glove.  Two Kings are not better than one.  This look makes us miss the good ol’ days of the dreads and hockey-jersey.


Click here to see the Elvis impersonation.

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