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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pandora's Metal Box

Metallica and Lou Reed Create New Lulu.
The boys in the band: Metallica pose with Lou Reed (center)
L.R.: James Hetfield, Rob Trujillo, Reed, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett.
Photo by Anton Corbijn, © 2011 Metallica and Lou Reed from
New York songwriter Lou Reed has teamed with Bay area thrashers Metallica to create Lulu, the artists' first collaboration together. Reports indicate that the album, Metallica's tenth studio effort, is complete.

Based on information on the project's official website, Lulu is scheduled for an international release on Oct. 31 and an American release on Nov. 1. Song titles listed include "Junior Dad", "Mistress Dread" and "Pumping Blood". The album, completed at the band's Marin County headquarters, could be Metallica's first concept album or rock opera.

Metallica and Lou Reed first played together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in 2008. The quartet backed up performances of "Sweet Jane" and "White Light, White Heat" as part of the marathon show at Madison Square Garden.

Based on the Franz Wiedekind plays Erdgeist and Pandora's Box, Lulu retells the story of a femme fatale who commits murder, adultery and other deadly sins as she leaves a trail of destruction . Ultimately, Lulu becomes a prostitute and meets her fate at the hands of Jack the Ripper.

The two plays inspired Alban Berg to set Lulu as his second opera in 1929. Berg died in 1935, leaving the opera unfinished. In 1976, following the death of the composer's widow Helene Berg, the third act was completed by composer Friedrich Cerha from Berg's sketches.

The band is scheduled to appear in New York on Sept. 14 at Yankee Stadium, as the headlining act in the heavy metal festival known as The Big Four. There is no word as to whether Mr. Reed, a Brooklyn native, will join them onstage again.

Watch Lou Reed perform "Sweet Jane" with Metallica.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats