Monday, October 28, 2013

Homage to Lulu: Lou Reed has died

Rock musician, former Velvet Underground singer, and poet Lou Reed has died. Follow this link for an excellent, extended obit. In 2011, Reed had collaborated with Metallica on a concept album called Lulu. It is an obtuse homage to the Lulu archetype, and Louise Brooks - notice the bobbed hair worn by the Venus-like mannequin. All-in-all, fans had a hard time relating toits  dissonant lyrics and music. The album was praised by some, but mostly panned.

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 1900's, the plays have been the inspiration for the Louise Brooks 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 Metallica for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York in 2009, each knew they wanted to make more music together. Lou was inspired enough by that performance to ask the band to join him in taking his theatrical Lulu piece to the next level.
In early May of 2011, they camped out recording at HQ studios in Northern California (not far from where Frank Wedekind was conceived), and complete ten songs. A deluxe packaging of the Lulu CD is pictured below.


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