Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lars Ulrich - plotting a course for post-Metallica retirement?

First there was the troubling news that Lars Ulrich wasn't just the drummer for Metallica; he was also a multi-millionaire collector of world-class art. The semiotic train wreck here still hasn't been sorted out, as Mr. Millions is currently out on tour banging the skins, shirtless and sweating and far from any kind of image of a wealthy art collector.

Now, Lars is also branching into playing host to art film retrospectives, introducing audiences to the work of fellow Danes and filmmakers Lars Von Trier and Jørgen Leth. Can the diminutive Danish drummer refrain from dropping F-bombs long enough to get through an introduction? That's probably part of the appeal of pairing him up with art-house films.

It'll be interesting to see what the Four Horsemen all decide to do after they fold the Metallica tent for the final time. Unless they're gunning to out-roll the Rolling Stones, who are still out there rocking in their encroaching 70s (drummer Charlie Watts is 68), the Met boys will probably not be touring this time in 2019. They reached the summit with the Black Album, fell off the mountain hard with their next several releases, and finally climbed back up there with Death Magnetic. Going out at the top of the game is a good thing. And the idea of Lars Ulrich as host of a radically updated Masterpiece Theater is oddly, and kind of perversely, appealing.

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