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Two historically significant artists merging unrelated genres for no defined reason.
October 25, 2011 11:02 AM   Subscribe

If these cagey tunesmiths had consciously tried to make a record this simultaneously dull and comedic, they'd never have succeeded; the closest artistic equivalent would be what might have happened if Vincent Gallo had been a script consultant for The Room.
Chuck Klosterman is not fond of the new Lou Reed/Metallica album.
posted by griphus (130 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is my 100th FPP,
posted by griphus at 11:03 AM on October 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's not really designed for people who like music.

I'm going to re-use that in some upcoming music thread on metafilter, i'm sure.
posted by empath at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2011


The irony is that he's invoking that criticism in a review where he sets himself up as an omniscient outsider, above it all.
posted by rhizome at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2011


will outrage the Village Voice and mildly impress Laurie Anderson.

But this is pretty much my ultimate dream
posted by Greg Nog at 11:13 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I kind of like Lou Reed's track on the last proper Gorillaz album.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Considering the latter output of both of these artists, who's surprised it's not the best thing ever?

Despite agreeing with CK in this case, I still hate him with the fury of a thousand suns. And it's for moments like this. He doesn't like the record, but still has to dazzle you with how self-consciously culturally aware he is. A premise he sets up with this infuriating phrase:

"As a rule, we're always supposed to applaud the collapse of the record industry. We are supposed to feel good about the democratization of music and the limitless palette upon which artists can now operate"

Except of course you're going to prove us wrong aren't you CK? You radical anti-intellectual, you.

Idiot.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:14 AM on October 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


I wonder how much time Lou Reed has spent over his career caring what Chuck Klosterman thinks.
posted by timsteil at 11:15 AM on October 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


Chuck Klosterman is not fond of the new Lou Reed/Metallica album. I am not fond of Chuck Klosterman. Lou Reed & Metallica likely don't care about either of theses things.
posted by MikeMc at 11:16 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Chuck Klosterman is not fond of the new Lou Reed/Metallica album.

Very few people seem to be.
posted by inigo2 at 11:16 AM on October 25, 2011


I have no particular opinion on Klosterman, but the album does pretty much sound like those "Metallica Shreds" YouTube videos, as far as I can tell.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:18 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


wait it's named "Lulu" after the Alban Berg opera? mind blown. although maybe it shouldn't be.
posted by JPD at 11:18 AM on October 25, 2011


Any time I catch myself doing a knee-jerk "this is just terrible! what is this? this is terrible!" reaction to music that's off the beaten path, I usually find if I open my mind and spend some time with it I was just being stupid and it's in some way or another quite mind-expanding.

I really tried with this one. But...
posted by Wolfdog at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's more named Lulu after the same poems that Alban Berg's opera was named after, not after the Berg opera itself (which is much more listenable than this thing is).
posted by Wolfdog at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Despite agreeing with CK in this case, I still hate him with the fury of a thousand suns.

Indeed. Mark Ames' review/takedown of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is still the definitive word on Klosterman for me.
posted by mreleganza at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, the Lou Reed/Metallica album seems in many respects like the kind of thing that Klosterman would absolutely love.
posted by box at 11:20 AM on October 25, 2011


I actually really liked this review. I don't like Chuck Klosterman, or flameout-style music reviews, but I thought the level of writing and the baroqueness of the snark here were both notable and impressive./

But then I looked up the Lulu song The View, which is briefly mentioned. And it starts with a post-grunge riff that took me right back to high school. And then Lou Reed went, "I am a chorus, of the voices, that gather up the magnets."

So, what I'm trying to tell you is that I fucking love this band. Eat it, Chuck.
posted by liminalrampaste at 11:20 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


not after the Berg opera itself (which is much more listenable than this thing is).


Hey - I like Berg.
posted by JPD at 11:21 AM on October 25, 2011


"There's also a track called "The View" that's pretty mind-expanding if you pretend the lyrics are literally about watching The View."

Klosterman is reliably annoying, but I just love that sentence.
posted by longsleeves at 11:21 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Loutallica" makes SuperHeavy seem like Big Star. But this is what happens in a free society. Enjoy your freedom, slaves."

Someone, anyone, please kick Chuck Klosterman in the nuts. I'll give you $20.
posted by MikeMc at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time I read anything that guy writes I imagine him writing from a Mad-Libs book where every other word says ____POP CULTURE REFERENCE___.

Still though, this is kind of like writing a bad review of Police Academy 15. Is anyone really expecting it to be any good? Jaymes and the boys really should have cashed it in after The Black Album. I'd love to hear a Hetfeld solo record. Anything but this nonsense.

If the Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustically covered the 12 worst Primus songs for Starbucks.

Am I the only one who thinks this would be awesome? Seriously. Anthony, Les, you make this happen and I will give you my first born child.
posted by bondcliff at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


liminalrampaste, you might want to listen to the rest before you claim you love it. I am in sympathy with the sentiment, but really this album is kind of overall only listenable in a Shatnerian way.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2011


"I suppose a handful of Lou Reed obsessives will consider this record hilarious as long as they don't have to listen to it..."

I don't like Chuck Klosterman -- I consider him a third-rate jonmc, at best -- but boy, does he have me pegged.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


What is more interesting? That Metallica and Lou Reed made an album based on a Weimar-era operetta, or the Chuck Closterman shit on it?

If you are the less interesting option, you claim the moral low ground.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2011


No, no, guys, like, please, listen to this Lulu song. It's incredible.

It's not like Mystery Science Theatre 3k, where I'm telling you to go laugh at this song. It's actually more like Zardoz, where it is so far away from anything I can even remotely measure with words like "quality" or "successfulness."

You know at Star Wars? At the end? When Luke shoots the Death Star? And it goes KKHHRHKPCHKHHRH? That just happened to my frontal cortex, and half of my limbic system.
posted by liminalrampaste at 11:27 AM on October 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


The record is seriously growing on me. I can't explain it.
posted by mintcake! at 11:27 AM on October 25, 2011


If we still lived in the radio prison of 1992, do you think Metallica would purposefully release an album that no one wants? No way. Cliff Burnstein from Q Prime Management would listen to their various ideas, stroke his white beard, and deliver the following 45-second pep talk: "OK, great. Love these concepts. Your allusion to Basquiat's middle period was very apt, Lars. Incisive! But here's our situation. If you guys spend two months writing superfast Diamond Head songs about nuclear winter and shape-shifting, we can earn $752 million in 18 months, plus merchandizing. That's option A. The alternative is that you can make a ponderous, quasi-ironic art record about 'the lexicon of hate' that will outrage the Village Voice and mildly impress Laurie Anderson. Your call."

That bit of writing almost made me hard.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:28 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reading this thread I get a mental image of a cartoon James Hetfield going "Klosterman--baaad"
posted by TedW at 11:29 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


In all fairness the review was more entertaining than the video of Roger Ebert's colonoscopy.

Well, up until the Tim Tebow tangent.

I mean I have a habit of going off on weird tangents and I'm all Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:29 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the best thing the Metalli-droids have recorded since they officially replaced human version in 1991.
posted by SharkParty at 11:30 AM on October 25, 2011


What is more interesting? That Metallica and Lou Reed made an album based on a Weimar-era operetta, or the Chuck Closterman shit on it?

If you are the less interesting option, you claim the moral low ground.


Band made record. Reviewer reviewed it. Not sure either one's the moral anything, really.
posted by inigo2 at 11:32 AM on October 25, 2011


Okay, I've been watching this from the sidelines for a while now, but I've got to know: what's the real story here? Who's trying to burn who over what contract dispute?

sadly, I don't really think they had such noble motives in making this...
posted by saulgoodman at 11:36 AM on October 25, 2011


Band made record. Reviewer reviewed it. Not sure either one's the moral anything, really.

You forgot to add "commenters lined up again to remind everyone how much they hate reviewer".
posted by middleclasstool at 11:38 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would it help if I mentioned that I don't like Metallica, either?
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:39 AM on October 25, 2011


I'd rather have Cliff Burton review this.
posted by justgary at 11:41 AM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


liminalrampaste, you might want to listen to the rest before you claim you love it. I am in sympathy with the sentiment, but really this album is kind of overall only listenable in a Shatnerian way.

Good idea. I have now listened to about two thirds of this record, and I'm still stuck on "The View", but I'm quite positive, so far.

I actually can't understand the ubiquitously negative reaction to this. Anyone who doesn't like a record where the dude from Metallica goes "I AM THE TABLE!" has fundamentally different ideas from me. To me, not liking this is the musical equivalent to getting angry at someone for eating Chinese food with a fork. It's like, get over yourself. I am going to shout this record from the rooftops. If my girlfriend ever invites Chuck Klosterman for dinner, I will bang my shoe on the table and throw him out of my house.
posted by liminalrampaste at 11:41 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


what's the real story here? Who's trying to burn who over what contract dispute?

I sort of picture it like that Monty Python skit. Like Lars ran into Lou at a studio one day and engaged him in an awkward small talk. As Lou struggled to find a break in the conversation and get away from this weird kid, Lars said "We should totally make a record together some day, man!" and Lou said "Yeah, sure, that'd be great."

Then one day there was a knock at Lou's door.

"Hello! Remember me? In the studio, about three years ago? You said we should do a record some time so I thought I'd take you up on it as the film society meeting was cancelled this evening."
posted by bondcliff at 11:43 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Band made record. Reviewer reviewed it. Not sure either one's the moral anything, really.

Speaking as a reviewer, I disagree. The least interesting reviews are "here's my arbitrary opinions justified by me demonstrating how clever I am." It is, I know, the way most people write reviews, but this is just a punched up version of a consumer guide, with Klosterman telling us whether we should buy something or not.

Note that he can't be bothered to actually talk about the music, or the lyrics, or much about the process of creating the music, but for one or two pugilistic, dismissive asides. He imagines the decisions that went into making the album, and uses it at a pretext for mocking broad social trends that he doesn't seem to understand very well. This is not criticism, it's a prettier version of the sort of noxious "meh" comments we get here on MetaFilter once in a while, that really have no analysis to offer but for what the author thinks is a clever dismissal.

It may be well-written, but it's bad writing. And, worse still, it's being used to entirely disregard what is, in fact, an enormously interesting album.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter: It may be well-written, but it's bad writing.
posted by MikeMc at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2011


Bunny Ultramod, I just wanted to say right on. I think the expression is "This."

Also, I want to say that my bursts of enthusiasm for this record in the thread so far are not in any way ironic. I think this record is funny, weird, catchy, and fresh -- it shows there's still a tremendous amount to be gained from mining the juxtaposition of artistic resources (I'm talking about the artists and the styles here) that we might suspect of being exhausted.
posted by liminalrampaste at 11:49 AM on October 25, 2011


I can see why people would instantly dislike this album and I wouldn't even blame them... there's quite a bit of weirdo droopy-dawg vocals and Lou Reed literally sounds like various Simpsons characters at times, but the fact that this whole pairing is pretty fucked up, still has lots and lots of rough edges left intact, and has some non-Metallica moments like "Little Dog" and some harmonically really interesting moments like "Dragon" and "Junior Dad" makes this seriously album of the century compared to everything since Load.
posted by SharkParty at 11:51 AM on October 25, 2011


It may be well-written, but it's bad writing. And, worse still, it's being used to entirely disregard what is, in fact, an enormously interesting album.

I much preferred the review to the album, but I'm not a fan of either Lou Reed or Metallica, I have no idea who Chuck Klosterman is.
posted by empath at 11:52 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Musicians should feel free to do projects that are just fun and might completely suck. Musicians who never do anything terrible like this are lame.
posted by The World Famous at 11:53 AM on October 25, 2011 [14 favorites]


Let me point out as well that Klosterman is completely wrong about one thing -- that this sort of album is a product of some sort of post-capitalism where artists do whatever they want. In the past, record companies could be tremendously indulgent of artists. I am not sure what motivated this -- I am going to go ahead and guess cocaine -- but the end results were always better. Sometimes, artists need an album or two to experiment with stuff until they figure out precisely what they're trying to do.

Whatever Reed has done here, it's not Metal Machine Music, which came out in 1975.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:56 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Remember when Nick Cave teamed up with Kyle Minogue, of all people, for tracks on an album entirely about murder? that was pretty cool. Sometimes these weird high concept cats and dogs collisions work.

This one just sounds crap though.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It may be well-written, but it's bad writing."

Or as the Talking Heads would say "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything."

I find Closterman fitfully amusing, but also someone in love with his own cleverness. I know something about being in love with one's own cleverness.

That said, this album is at least more interesting than The Raven.
posted by jscalzi at 11:59 AM on October 25, 2011


Whatever Reed has done here, it's not Metal Machine Music, which came out in 1975.

MMM is one of those things the historical register has no account for. It's like going an an archeological dig in Pompeii and unearthing a DVD Box Set of Three's Company. Any questions as to the meaning of the content are far outstripped by the confounding nature of its genesis.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I find it hysterical that Chuck Klosterman physically resembles Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Lester Bangs.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:02 PM on October 25, 2011


It's like going an an archeological dig in Pompeii and unearthing a DVD Box Set of Three's Company.

As I recall, the source of that was a contemporary military unit being transported back in time to battle Rome.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:04 PM on October 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


Upon occasion I write local music reviews.. today I'm driving around listing to the new Tom Waits album and having a particular reaction to it, and sort of formulating how a review would go.. and then I have to catch myself, because writing a review of an album based on one or two listens is.. well.. stupid. I don't know if that is what CW is doing, and despite liking a lot og Lou Reed stuff.. yeah I can see him putting out an album that isn't great or good, again no idea if that is the case... but the wider point still stands, judging an album you are going to publicly review, especially if the initial reaction is negative, after the briefest time with it is idiotic.
posted by edgeways at 12:07 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and much like Metal Machine Music, we have no idea if it was there as a war trophy or because the Geneva convention did not apply to that particular situation.
posted by griphus at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod, have you read Klosterman's piece on Nirvana's Bleach? I wonder what you'd think of it. It seems more like the kind of criticism you're asking for.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2011


Nice review, but it's not really designed for people who like music reviews.
posted by acheekymonkey at 12:09 PM on October 25, 2011


Bunny Ultramod, have you read Klosterman's piece on Nirvana's Bleach?

I glanced at it, and think it represents everything wrong with a generalized social trend, and also if he were trying to write a more self-indulgent and silly book, he would not have succeeded ...

Nah, I haven't seen it. I was just wondering if these techniques could be generally applied. Turns out they can!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2011


goddammit.

Note that he can't be bothered to actually talk about the music, or the lyrics, or much about the process of creating the music, but for one or two pugilistic, dismissive asides. He imagines the decisions that went into making the album, and uses it at a pretext for mocking broad social trends that he doesn't seem to understand very well. This is not criticism, it's a prettier version of the sort of noxious "meh" comments we get here on MetaFilter once in a while, that really have no analysis to offer but for what the author thinks is a clever dismissal.

Exactly. The whole album is available for streaming, if you want to listen.

NoiseShaft likewise rips Lulu, but at least comments on the actual songs.

"Metallica with Lou Reed on board--more precisely, Lou Reed with Metallica on board--is not a major disaster though, at the end of the day. It is a minor one, only."

...

"Even though Lulu is a horrible album, to its credit it still sounds way better than anything on St. Anger"

- Kill Hipsters

...


"HOLY FUCK METALLICA IS PLAYING SUPER FUCKIN FAST AND THIS IS AWEohshit here comes fuckin' Lou Reed ruining it all."

- Geek Furious
posted by mrgrimm at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2011


I'm sorry, did somebody mention Metal Machine Music within 480 pixels of a prior mention of Lester Bangs? Looks like I'll have to invoke this, then.
posted by steambadger at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2011


I wonder how much time Lou Reed has spent over his career caring what Chuck Klosterman thinks.

Lou's a sensitive guy, so I'll say somewhat less than he spent caring what Lester Bangs thought.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:18 PM on October 25, 2011


Lester Bangs' Metal machine Music review mentions Pompeii. The circle has been closed.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:18 PM on October 25, 2011


It's not really designed for people who like music.

I have to say this is totally wrong.

Food for people who don't like food is unsubtle formulaic crap like McDonalds, KFC, Doritos, Kraft Mac and Cheez Dinner, Top Ramen etc.

By analogy Music for people that don't like music is vintage Metallica, house music, Lady Gaga, Micheal Jackson, hair metal - broadly appealing, unchallenging, formulaic.
posted by idiopath at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2011


Oh, THIS is why you guys hate Chuck Klosterman. I've never understood why he was so disliked but I should not react so strongly to a review of a subject I don't care about. This reads like a parody of the writer Chuck Klosterman I thought I knew. That one who often writes about subjects I'm interested in but beyond that I was pretty indifferent toward, but apparently its this parody that some of you see all the time which inspires (still somewhat hyperbolic, I think) rage.

(I think it was somehow shoving a Tebow reference in there that finally made the scales fall off my eyes. Fuckin' Tebow.)

All that being said, I'm not sure it's fair to judge what he's writing over there like a traditional music review. I'm still not sure what Grantland is going for over there but it isn't Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, or whatever reputable music reviewer you choose. He's writing blog posts in the forms of columns or columns in the form of blog posts.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2011


I know nothing about Chuck Klosterman, but I'm listening to The View right now and it is honestly fucking terrible. I clicked over thinking that lumpenprole's comment of "Shatnerian" couldn't possibly be accurate (especially since I watched that Shatner Bohemian Rhapsode video the other day) but wow, Shatnerian really is the perfect word for it. :/

My inner teenage Metallica-lover has just gone a little bit deader.
posted by marginaliana at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2011


By analogy Music for people that don't like music is vintage Metallica, house music, Lady Gaga, Micheal Jackson, hair metal - broadly appealing, unchallenging, formulaic.

This is possibly the most bizarre sentence I will read all day.
posted by sparkletone at 12:33 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Food for people who don't like food is unsubtle formulaic crap

Sure, but food for food-lovers isn't broadly, specifically unappealing. This album is like the durian of music. Maybe it's got some redeeming qualities, but I can't bring myself to spend long enough with it to find out.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:34 PM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is possibly the most bizarre sentence I will read all day.

What a kind way of putting that.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:39 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


By analogy Music for people that don't like music is vintage Metallica, house music, Lady Gaga, Micheal Jackson, hair metal - broadly appealing, unchallenging, formulaic.

Nah. Music for people who don't like music would be stuff like Train or Nickelback. There's a lot of value in intelligently-crafted shallow dance music, whereas something like "Hey Soul Sister" pretty much only exists for the sort of colorless people who haven't quite been certain what to do with themselves since Ally McBeal went off the air.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:48 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Duran Durian Duran
posted by Meatbomb at 12:50 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a valid place for a mac and cheez dinner.

I wasn't defending this album. Just saying that criticism was way off base. The elements here are all over the map, you have to be kind of into music to even get a foothold (a bit of LaMont Young here, a dash of Iggy Pop there). It isn't all that accessible, but it still isn't any good.
posted by idiopath at 12:51 PM on October 25, 2011


I am heartened to hear it is better than St. Anger.

I took two listens to The View. All I can say so far is that it sounds almost like a mash up. Like Lou Reed was in one studio and Metallica were next door and an engineer just keeps moving the mix up and down. I'll give the album a good honest listen.

The whole speed of Metallica has kind of reached self parodying to me. I thought Load/Reload was actually a reasonable (d)evolution for them. You know, growing older, playing more bluesy riffs, slower, etcetera. St. Anger sounded desperate. Death Magnetic rocks a bit (always a sucker for Hetfield's imagery -- "hunt you down with no mercy, hunt you down all nightmare long"), but to still be so fast. Hrmn.
posted by cavalier at 12:52 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I appreciate liminalrampaste's excitement over that track, but respectfully can't even begin to see how this is interesting, let alone mind-blowing. Take pedestrian riffs from an unknown myspace metal band, combine them with stilted, noncommital spoken word, and you too can be Loutallica!
posted by naju at 12:54 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sort of picture it like that Monty Python skit. Like Lars ran into Lou at a studio one day and engaged him in an awkward small talk. As Lou struggled to find a break in the conversation and get away from this weird kid, Lars said "We should totally make a record together some day, man!" and Lou said "Yeah, sure, that'd be great."

Then one day there was a knock at Lou's door.

"Hello! Remember me? In the studio, about three years ago? You said we should do a record some time so I thought I'd take you up on it as the film society meeting was cancelled this evening."


And then Lou does that thing where he has to shut the door for a moment to undo the chain. For that second he rolls his eyes and screams to himself "Fuuuuuuuuuuck. FUUUUUUUUCK!" When the door opens, Lou's face can't be bothered to make a complete smile as he greets Lars.

I totally see that.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]




What a kind way of putting that.

To expand a little: The implication of what he wrote is that "music for people who love music" is by definition niche, difficult, etc. Which is just... dumb.

Someone who doesn't like, say, Merzbow or the stranger stuff autechre's put out (just picking some "difficult" music without broad appeal at random) can't be classified as someone who "doesn't like music" in the sense he's talking about.

It's a terrible analogy and there's loads of hipster jokes based around people who think about music this way. Hell, there's even a shirt.
posted by sparkletone at 1:03 PM on October 25, 2011


Damn, that takedown mreleganza posted is indeed a full-bore savaging, mean enough it makes me feel a bit sorry for Klosterman (which I'm not predisposed to do). In any case, it nailed my main criticism of his work:

Even if Klosterman is merely being ironic, it’s an incredibly dated irony appropriated from late-80s grunge cliches about anti-inspiration and sleepiness. The horrible truth is that he’s doing both - lying and being ironic . . . if Sean Penn’s retarded character from I Am Sam had read Baudrillard, you’d get Chuck Klosterman. Or rather, one of many vile facets of his literary persona.

Even Fargo Rock City - which I liked - suffered from this cake-and-eat-it-too false irony thing. And the linked review's another strong example. Klosterman wants you to know he's totally down with the original, old-school, shamelessly self-serious Metallica, knows its mythos and history, has banged his head heartily to every last furious minute of "Master of Puppets." But he also pokes fun at their fans, their recurring sense of betrayal. He loves the band, but he's not a fan. He'll pretend to the authenticity of the '80s metalhead, but he also wants to be taken seriously by the Lou Reed art-rockers, which means he can't take Metallica too seriously.

Chuck Klosterman is very, very serious about not being very serious about anything. Which is, more often than not, a maddening pose to have to observe for any length of time.
posted by gompa at 1:04 PM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this be the wrong place to say that I really enjoyed Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City" because I un-ironically enjoy so many of the bands he talks about in the book? I'm having a really hard time working-up the nerve to listen to LouTallica, but maybe by the time the kids are in bed I can manage it.
posted by wintermind at 1:06 PM on October 25, 2011


For a strange, despised, but ultimately fascinating and rewarding spoken word concept album: how about The Fiery Furnaces' Rehearsing My Choir?
posted by naju at 1:07 PM on October 25, 2011


Metafilter: literally sounds like various Simpsons characters at times.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:08 PM on October 25, 2011


Okay, now, I love classic Lou Reed, and while I'm not a Metallica fan I can get a lot of it, and even love some of it. But I just listend to The View a couple of times and what bugged me was how uninspired it seemed. Based on what people were saying I expected something bizarre, not just uninteresting and meaningless lyrics half-crooned over a throwaway sludge-riff that wouldn't make the cut on any other album and provided no counterpoint for the vocal melody.

It's like they thought the idea would be enough. I could praise this if I thought they were actually going for something, but this is just shit.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:08 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Klosterman:Music::Simmons:Sports
posted by drezdn at 1:22 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone who doesn't like a record where the dude from Metallica goes "I AM THE TABLE!" has fundamentally different ideas from me.

Awww. I was excited for that, but it sounded like he actually said I Am The Tablet
posted by mannequito at 1:23 PM on October 25, 2011


Wait, no, now he's definitely saying Table

awesome
posted by mannequito at 1:24 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mark my words - this album will very quickly become a cult item with hipsters. Not in the good way.
posted by davebush at 1:25 PM on October 25, 2011


Someone, anyone, please kick Chuck Klosterman in the nuts. I'll give you $20.

Damn the timing!! He was in the area a few days ago and I could do with the money.
posted by ambient2 at 1:30 PM on October 25, 2011


I am not saying Merzbow is for people who love music.

I am saying that Lulu isn't for people who hate music.

TV for people that hate TV is The Simpsons, movies for people who hate movies are Michael Bay blockbusters, books for people who hate books are written by Stephen King. Accessibility doesn't make any of these things bad (hell, as a TV hater I think the Simpsons are great). But to appeal to the haters you must be accessible.

This album is crap, it sounds like a bad mashup, but it definitely isn't for music haters.
posted by idiopath at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2011


I like CK and I don't care how cool that unmakes me. You don't like him, okay fine, but do you really need to take that many comments to say that you don't, over and over?
posted by waraw at 1:35 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nah. Music for people who don't like music would be stuff like Train or Nickelback. There's a lot of value in intelligently-crafted shallow dance music, whereas something like "Hey Soul Sister" pretty much only exists for the sort of colorless people who haven't quite been certain what to do with themselves since Ally McBeal went off the air.

I suspect that we'd have a lot to talk about, and I probably like your taste in music. But I have to disgaree with even this dilation of "there's music for people who don't like music".

I don't think there's such a thing.

I'm not against having taste. I'm not against liking music for any reason, whether you want to call that reason 'sincere' or 'ironic'. And if you don't like Train, and don't like people who like Train, that's fine. I suspect that I wouldn't have much to talk about with them, either.

I just think that statements about whether people "like music" are venomous and weird. It's just as coherent as saying "Well, I could've made that" to an abstract expressionist painter. People like what they like. Train is music. So is smooth jazz. People probably pay a lot of money to see Kenny G. It's not because they don't like music.

One interesting thing is how it's cool to like bubblegum pop and MOR from the 60s and 70s, but it's also cool to hate bubblegum pop music and MOR today. Just something to think about.

Actually, someone in high school told me once that he didn't like music. What he meant was he listened pretty much exclusively to black metal. I'd never heard black metal before. I'm really glad I met that guy.
posted by liminalrampaste at 1:38 PM on October 25, 2011 [7 favorites]




oh my god i can't wait to listen to this album

i motherfucking hate chuck klosterman think chuck klosterman's entire career has been a years-long defensive "apology" for growing up in north dakota and his taste is very different than mine and not good, either. i also suspect that people like me getting all frothy over hating him is one reason why he is so popular?

in conclusion: still waiting for a motorhead/diamanda galas mashup but i will listen to this album and most likely enjoy it and probably make a version of it at "33 rpm" to listen to while drinking cheap wine in the shower.
posted by beefetish at 1:41 PM on October 25, 2011


also on n for people who don't like n, i humbly submit that this is an extension of the ancient "art i don't like isn't art" gambit, but that there is definitely music out there made for people to enjoy in different ways and possibly "uncritically enjoy n that they don't have to think a lot about but feels good nonetheless, and is readily available" is a suitable substitute for the "n for people who don't like n" phrase.
posted by beefetish at 1:45 PM on October 25, 2011


We're all agreed on hating Coldplay though, right?
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, I just listened to about 30 seconds of The View until I couldn't stand it anymore. The only way it could possibly not be horrible is if it were preceded by Peter Griffin saying "It's like that time Lou Reed and Mini Kiss showed up at Meg's poetry slam..."
posted by bondcliff at 1:46 PM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


No, Coldplay are wonderful, although I like their recent stadium-ish direction a lot less than their first two albums. But I still like them.

It's going to be cool to like Yellow in thirty years. Someone will be like, "Remember when pop music was good? Like, Coldplay?" Mark my words.
posted by liminalrampaste at 1:47 PM on October 25, 2011


We're all agreed on hating Coldplay though, right?

Parachutes is a brilliant album, and you have to be a stone cold motherfucker not to agree.
posted by empath at 1:48 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Be cool, empath! We're Coldplay fans. We should express our disagreement with a pout and a sullen look. And then we should go to a bar and look at a beautiful woman but not even consider talking to her.
posted by liminalrampaste at 1:49 PM on October 25, 2011


Here's thing thing, people. Music for people who hate music isn't Train, or Metallica or whatever genre or sonic trend you dislike.

IT IS BLESSED, BLESSED SILENCE.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:56 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


People like what they like. Train is music. So is smooth jazz. People probably pay a lot of money to see Kenny G. It's not because they don't like music.

Oh, true enough; I tend to exaggerate for comedic effect. The joke is that Train is so bad as to be an exception to every rule, but really, you're right - people like what they like.

On the subject of Coldplay: Never cared for them, but Viva la Vida is a really good song. Credit where it's due. I may not be into their stuff (again, except for the one song) but I can appreciate the craftsmanship of it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:58 PM on October 25, 2011


I haven't given this fun weird object any real time yet, but the last few minutes of the last track, "Junior Dad," suddenly get very pretty. The band drops out, Lou drops out. Seriously, given that one a listen.

I hope his lyrics sound better than they do on paper. He's using the word "colored" again. And "passionatelessness."

I'd kind of like to buy all the albums CK hates but I guess his taste probably isn't as objectionable as the way he writes about it. I agree with the "overcompensating for North Dakota" theory but of course North Dakota doesn't have that much to do with it, except in his head; there are plenty of people from mostly-rural states who ended up more broad-minded or snobbier than Chuck did and who can interact with music without starting off all defensive about being a corn-fed man of the people or whatever.
posted by Adventurer at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2011


AND ONE OTHER THING: I think it's really important to be able to distinguish between "I can't get into it" vs. "it sucks." So when I say I never cared for Coldplay - they're not for me, but they're good musicians, they're just making music that doesn't really do it for me.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


adventurer, i think it is not actually north dakota either but ck's idea of what people might think of him if they knew he grew up in north dakota. speaking as someone who grew up as a rural, that is.
posted by beefetish at 2:04 PM on October 25, 2011


Blah blah blah, we get it.
You dont like Klosterman.
It's getting tiring having to read it every time his name comes up.
At least do a remix or mashup of other constant MeFi axegrinds where you accuse Klosterman fans of being slaves to marketing and just using him as a shiny status symbol or whatever.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like it when people speak to an entire thread as though it was one person.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:14 PM on October 25, 2011


beefetish: got it. I'm Oklahoman myself.

I understand, in theory, liking Klosterman and getting sick of hearing about hating him, but I don't understand the accusation that people who claim to hate him don't really hate him as much as they say they do, or why the fact that so many people turn out to criticize him would mean it's cool to do that instead of there's something about him that makes people angry. Would it be different if he were writing about sports or politics instead of music? Because honestly, I don't see any difference between focusing on problems with his writing and doing the same with Thomas Friedman's. Of course Klosterman writes much better sentences than Friedman does, but for a lot of readers the overall effect can be almost as maddening.
posted by Adventurer at 2:27 PM on October 25, 2011


Metallica Machine Music.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:36 PM on October 25, 2011


I just think that statements about whether people "like music" are venomous and weird. It's just as coherent as saying "Well, I could've made that" to an abstract expressionist painter. People like what they like. Train is music. So is smooth jazz. People probably pay a lot of money to see Kenny G. It's not because they don't like music.

This pretty much nails my problem with what idiopath's saying. People might be apathetic or incurious about music, but the use of the word "hate" in the way he is makes for a bizarre way of dividing the world (or at least music) in two that I don't think is useful.
posted by sparkletone at 2:44 PM on October 25, 2011


Metafilter: An attempt to produce something authentically different from anything we've ever heard before, motivated only by a desire to see what would happen.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:49 PM on October 25, 2011


Music for people who don't like music is music that I don't like.

It's really an amazing coincidence, when you think about it.
posted by box at 2:55 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I like CK and I don't care how cool that unmakes me. You don't like him, okay fine, but do you really need to take that many comments to say that you don't, over and over?"

Well, yeah. Chuck Klosterman is my personal analogue to the cast of Jersey Shore.
posted by MikeMc at 2:59 PM on October 25, 2011


"in conclusion: still waiting for a motorhead/diamanda galas mashup"

One does not "mashup" Mötörhead, one gets mashed up by Mötörhead.
posted by MikeMc at 3:04 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


im pretty sure diamanda galas can flit through lemmy's umbra unscathed. she is the motherfucking shitbutt.
posted by beefetish at 3:06 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Musicians should feel free to do projects that are just fun and might completely suck. Musicians who never do anything terrible like this are lame.

While this is true, and don't disagree, that linked Metallica video makes me wish they were still that awesome.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:07 PM on October 25, 2011


One does not "mashup" Mötörhead, one gets mashed up by Mötörhead.

I'm... pretty sure this is not true in the case of Diamanda Galas.
posted by mykescipark at 3:41 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Get off my lawn Loutallica that's where the sacred cows graze! (Also this album is terrible.)
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:27 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't believe this pairing is getting called Loutallica when Metal Reed was available as an option.
posted by No-sword at 5:32 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus, did Chuck Klosterman touch someones' butthole or toss puppies into a wood-chipper? What a weird bunch of vitriol in this thread toward this guy. To review:

METALLICA and LOU REED. LOLOMGWTF???
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I can't believe this pairing is getting called Loutallica when Metal Reed was available as an option."

Reedllica sounds vaguely obscene, I like it.
posted by MikeMc at 5:35 PM on October 25, 2011


"Jesus, did Chuck Klosterman touch someones' butthole or toss puppies into a wood-chipper?"

Well, he did touch my puppy's butthole, possibly in the general vicinity of a wood chipper, back in '93. And let us not forget the time he stole the tip money off of the table at Denny's after pretending he left his keys on the table. He thought nobody saw him. He was wrong.
posted by MikeMc at 5:40 PM on October 25, 2011


Metafilter: alienating the people who love you is an important part of being important.
posted by Renoroc at 6:11 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you one thing CK got right in this: fans contention that the mix of ...And Justice for All is an affront to all things good and decent in this world. It's not just the lack of bass, it's the horrific guitar tone, the little toy drum set, the driest production in the history of metal. And this band is no stranger to bad production. St Anger was an experiment to see if they could get a worse drum sound that AJFA and nearly succeeded. Death Magnetic was so "brickwalled" it made a Lady Gaga CD sound like Kind of Blue. And the band refuses to address the issue with a decent remaster, which pisses off fans even more.
posted by Ber at 7:45 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I too late to hate Chuck Klosterman too?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:34 PM on October 25, 2011


Food for people who don't like food is unsubtle formulaic crap like McDonalds, KFC, Doritos, Kraft Mac and Cheez Dinner, Top Ramen etc.

I love food. Among the many kinds, there is KraftMac'n'Cheese.

By analogy Music for people that don't like music is vintage Metallica, house music, Lady Gaga, Micheal Jackson, hair metal - broadly appealing, unchallenging, formulaic.

I love music. Among the many kinds, there is house.

I don't feel like arguing these points, just being a counter-example.

I like Chuck Klosterman. But I wouldn't say I love him.
posted by flaterik at 8:56 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm also from North Dakota, but have never wondered what people thought of me because of it most people actually have exactly zero pre-conceived notions about North Dakotans because they have had exactly zero occasion to think about it.

Aside from wondering about Chuck Klosterman.
posted by flaterik at 9:04 PM on October 25, 2011


As somebody who huffs gas in Arizona parking lots, I was deeply offended.
posted by bardic at 9:14 PM on October 25, 2011


I'll bet they called it "Lulu" to create bargain-bin confusion for senior citizens looking for To Sir With Love.

And, um, also, because it's Lou Reed's nickname.

(Incidentally, this exists.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:57 PM on October 25, 2011


Seems as good a place as any to link to this:

My Name Is Mok (Thanks A Lot)
posted by sklero at 5:45 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


My Name Is Mok (Thanks A Lot)

Glad SOMEONE remembers the best work Lou Reed has ever done.
posted by quibx at 7:22 AM on October 26, 2011


I love music. Among the many kinds, there is house.

I was going to chime in on that too. I actually don't like house music very much, but I certainly do like parts of it, and like many music fans I enjoy a little dance pop like Poker Face or Just Dance now and then as well. And don't get me started on hair metal!

It's possible to like Fennesz, Kurt Vile or Russian Circles (insert your favorite music-iz-important-business signifier here) and still like Kelly Clarkson or Cinderella.

To imply that people who enjoy popular music don't actually like music is nothing less than assholery.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:02 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


From "Pumping Blood:"
off the pump
off the thing
the blood that im pumping away
if i pump blood in the sunshine
anywhere, a leather box with azaleas
and i pump more blood and it seeps through my skin
will you adore the river?


Um, no...? To say nothing of the music, for which Mr. Reed hopefully isn't taking too much flak, the lyrics are abominable coffeehouse poetry...only it's not coffee being served. This is, perhaps, opium den poetry. The only modern feat this album has achieved, if any, is to make itself utterly mashup-proof, knock on LCD.
posted by obscurator at 8:19 PM on October 27, 2011


I don't like Chuck Klosterman -- I consider him a third-rate jonmc, at best -- but boy, does he have me pegged.

Heh. I've met Chuck a few times. He's actually a really nice guy. I'll admit that I think New York celebrity has fucked with him a bit. Fargo Rock City is still genius tho.
posted by jonmc at 4:40 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's really annoying about all the reviews of this record (especially Chuck's, because he often knows better than this) is that they're woefully missing the point. No matter what you think of Lulu, the fact remains almost indisputable that it's the best thing either Lou Reed or Metallica have done in the past two decades. That ought to count for something. Where were these people when Death Magnetic and (heaven forfend) Hudson River Wind Meditations happened? Were they wringing their hands then with despair and disgust that once-proud heroes had lapsed into middle-aged mediocrity? It's like all these people expected a Lou Reed / Metallica collaboration in 2011 to sound like a combination of The Blue Mask and ... And Justice For All. That is: it's like all these people don't know anything about Lou Reed or Metallica at all.

For what it is, this album is awesome. Just getting James Hetfield to intone "I AM THE TABLE!" over and over again was a major triumph and something of a delight.
posted by koeselitz at 9:34 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chuck Klosterman is very, very serious about not being very serious about anything. Which is, more often than not, a maddening pose to have to observe for any length of time.
posted by gompa at 4:04 PM on October 25 [4 favorites +] [!]


I think this is exactly the reason i LIKE Chuck Klosterman, and sadly I realize this is probably the reason that most people similarly dislike me.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:49 AM on November 1, 2011


It keeps getting better...

Darren Aronofsky to direct a music video for Lou Reed / Metallica. "The avant-garde Reed said he hopes the video can be 'his Black Swan.'"
posted by naju at 12:32 PM on November 3, 2011


Googling gave me these lyrics for Iced Honey:


One...Two...Three...

You can't put a butterfly in a jar.
Guess that is who am I, no matter who you are.
You can't have the moon...or the sun or that stars.
It doesn't matter who you are.

Iced Honey.
Iced Honey.


This should be good...
posted by mannequito at 12:35 PM on November 3, 2011


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