Lulu. Until six months ago, that word made me think of a round-eyed cartoon character that polluted comic sections in WWII era newspapers.  Or that singer from the 60s.  Now when I hear 'Lulu', I cringe. Damn you Metallica and Lou Reed! I'm a fan of Metallica. I can certainly tolerate small doses of Lou Reed (Velvet Underground stuff, "Rock and Roll Animal'). But together...at least in that particular collection of songs...they give me the shats. I know that Lou explains away most people's hatred of 'Lulu' by saying "it wasn't made for the masses. It was made for more INTELLIGENT people." Well, check me into Special Ed, Lou, because I think 'Lulu' sucks. Give me loud, fast, vile, raw Metallica anytime. Let me clarify: Give me loud, fast, vile, raw non St. Anger Metallica anytime.

Which brings me to today's topic. In the spirit of Christmas, Metallica has given us ("us" in this particular situation being fan club members) four previously unreleased songs recorded during the "Death Magnetic' sessions. And, thank the metal Gods, they're pretty damn good songs. How good? Well, 'Death Magnetic' was a pretty decent Metallica record, that I dare say could have been better by including a couple of the songs they left out. Rumor has it that we'll being hearing fully produced versions of these four, and possibly more, when the band releases a 'Beyond Magnetic' EP sometime in the next few months.

In the meantime, enjoy some 'new' non-Lou Reed Metallica, right here, right now:

HATE TRAIN

JUST A BULLET AWAY

HELL AND BACK

REBEL OF BABYLON

Maybe Metallica should have officially released "Beyond Magnetic' instead of 'Lulu' and saved fans (like myself) a lot of (literal) headaches. What do you think?