Last month lots of ink and pixels were spent on Lulu, the collaboration between downtown bard Lou Reed and thrash lifers Metallica—”worst album of the year or maybe ever” declarations; “you just don’t understand what Lou is trying to do” cries from partisans/people suspicious of the unwashed’s lack of knowledge about the Frank Wedekind plays the album was based on; head-scratching so fervent it resulted in bleeding. But for all that hue and cry and Internet arguing, the thing didn’t make much of a dent sales-wise; it debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 36, selling 13,000 copies in its first week, and then nosedived off the chart in week two. Blame the leak, which came a couple of weeks before the album’s bow in stores, or blame the bad buzz, or blame the economy—but don’t blame a weak promotional campaign: Despite the soft launch, a video by a big-name director—Requiem For A Dream/Black Swan helmsman Darren Aronofsky—debuted over the weekend. It’s for the 3:45 single edit (work with me here; the full track’s 5:18!) of “The View,” and it starts off as your pretty standard black-and-white “guys rehearsing” clip (complete with people getting out of their cars), then gets hazier as the murk of metal and back-and-forth shouts by Reed and Metallica frontman James Hetfield intensifies. And of course, it ends with Reed being thrilled by the brilliance that has just ensued. Clip below.
How is Metallica celebrating this event? Why, by playing a string of cheap shows for fan club members in its hometown of San Francisco this week. (They kind of missed an opportunity by not making the six-dollar tickets $5.98, but oh well.) Oh, and letting Lars Ulrich give this quote to the poor sop responsible for putting together the video’s press release:
“To have a song like ‘The View’ visualized through the eyes and magic touch of Darren Aronofsky is beyond my wildest dream,” said Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. “The marriage between images, music, and words in this video is indescribably thrilling and I am so next level psyched to be involved in a project that brings together the creative minds of Darren Aronofsky, Lou Reed… and The ‘Tallica”
What can you say to that? (I’ve been trying to figure it out for the past ten minutes, actually. Do you think the lack of a period on that last sentence means something?)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 5, 2011