Hey, look who's on Spotify. It's one-time anti-MP3 crusaders Metallica! As Billboard reports, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich showed up at a Spotify press conference on Thursday to announce that the band was throwing their entire catalog up on 'ify. And, in the process, he ended up sharing a moment with Spotify investor Sean Parker, his former Napster nemesis.
For the past decade, every large-scale Metallica concert has started the same way. When the waiting ends, a video comes on the large screens flanked to each side of the stage. It’s a scene from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the one in which Tuco frantically searches the graveyard for the buried gold coins. The soundtrack, Ennio Morricone’s “Ecstasy of Gold,” has introduced every Metallica show for more than 20 years.
That video is how my first concert started. It was 2003, and my dad had driven some friends and me to Metallica’s Summer Sanitarium show at the Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Illinois. It was a month before my 16th birthday. At one point in the drive, I tried to put some Metallica on the CD player when our only concert veteran friend stopped me. “There’s only a couple rules,” he said. “No listening to the band, and no wearing their T-shirts.” Since I’d already broken the second rule, I got defensive and informed him that this was a stupid idea. I haven’t done either since.
"I'm just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican. I can't bear to watch what's happened to our great country. Everybody's got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, 'Oh, Obama's doing such a great job ...' I don't think so. Not from what I see."
And to think, I, too, once thought the best way to prep for a terrifyingly bikini-clad, Ambien-induced, unchoreographed performance was to drink a 24-pack of Michelob Ultra with every bacon-related meal.
Think Metallica and Lou Reed are terrible together only when collaborating on new original material? Think again! The forces behind Lulu — a bizarre joint album garnering all kinds of hilarious, awed pans (Klosterman: “Not really designed for people who like music”) — traveled to the U.K. to perform on Late Night With Jools Holland, bashing their way through a truly remarkable version of “White Light/White Heat." The original, the title track to the Velvet Underground’s 1968 album, is pretty much a perfect drug song: breezy, restrained, oddly lighthearted, and complete with a very necessary bass-guitar freakout. Metallica, of course, does not do "breezy," and this new version finds Lars Ulrich crushing, Kirk Hammett shredding, and James Hetfield dramatically over-enunciating ("awhooo, whiiite liiiight") all over the place. (At the 1:40 mark, Steve Earle, an earlier performer on the show, can be seen very briefly. And even in just that split second, the second-hand awkwardness he’s telegraphing is palpable). Next up: Metallica and Reed re-imagine Lou's entire solo discography!
Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego? has been optioned by Walden Media as a live-action adaptation for Jennifer Lopez to co-produce and possibly star in. In the new version, top detective Sandiego goes on the run as an alleged thief, and has to be tracked down by her former partner. This is a good time to point out that one fun thing to do, when people ask you what kind of music you like, is to just say, “Rockapella.” Grade: A- [Deadline]
Eric Bana will star as Elvis Presley in Elvis & Nixon, which revolves around Presley’s 1970 visit to the White House. The meeting was initiated by Elvis, who wrote a letter asking to be made a "Federal Agent-at-Large" in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and later gifted the Prez with a Colt 45. Danny Huston is in talks for Nixon, and Cary Elwes will be making his directorial debut. Anyway, this is as good a time as any to remind you that if any of us get laid tonight, it’s because of Eric Bana in Munich. Grade: B+ [HR]
Lou Reed and Metallica, “The View”
The unlikely pairing of Lou Reed and Metallica dropped this track from their album, Lulu, on Tuesday — and inspired huge, unyielding torrent of Internet hate. Yes, it’s a silly cut-and-paste job (Lou Reed talks, James Hetfield sings, guitars shred), but did it deserve so much vitriol? Yeah, probably.