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Lou Reed collaboration holds special meaning for Metric

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Toronto's Metric has found itself an odd sidebar in rock icon Lou Reed's death last month.

One of Reed's final recordings was "The Wanderlust," a track on Metric's 2012 album "Synthetica."

Guitarist James Shaw says the collaboration came about after he and Metric frontwoman Emily Haines met Reed at a Neil Young tribute concert in Vancouver. "Lou's opening line to her was 'Oh, Emily, who would you rather be -- the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?' " Shaw recalls. "She said, 'The Velvet Underground, Lou,' and that was kind of the beginning of their friendship.

"They did a few things together, and when we were finishing ('The Wanderlust') it was missing something, and we didn't want to just multi-track Emily's vocals and have Emily singing against Emily. She said, 'I should ask Lou if he wants to do this.' He said yes and when were in New York at the time, so he came in and did it and there you have it.

"He was a pleasure. People were afraid of the guy in a sense; he's known for having an attitude. But once we kind of settled in, he was a joy to work with, a very pleasant guy. So it's a great memory to have."

Despite the connection, however, Shaw says Metric hasn't added "The Wanderlust" to its shows in tribute. "The only time we've done it was last fall when we played Radio City Music Hall and we sang it with Lou," the guitarist says. "We were obviously really saddened by (his death) and grateful we were fortunate enough to have our paths cross, but without him it doesn't make a lot of sense to play it. You need that singer, that other narrative, and I just don't have the kind of voice to pull that off so it's best to leave it alone."

Metric performs with Paramore and Hellogoodbye at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $25-$45. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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