The year was 2013, Nine Inch Nails have returned from a 5 year hiatus and a new album, Hesitation Marks. When news of this came out, needless to say I was pretty damn excited. Around the time of the release of the album, it was announced that Nine Inch Nails would be the musical guest on an upcoming episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. This would mark the bands network TV debut. They have obviously previously performed on MTV but, never a late night network show. They would perform 5 songs this evening with “Various Methods Of Escape” leading it off on TV followed by “All Time Low,” “Sanctified (altered version),” “Came Back Haunted,” and “The Hand That Feeds.” It was quite a fun set as those of us in attendance got to hear 3 new songs live for the first time plus a couple classics. It’s crazy to think that this was almost 10 years ago now. And since today is May 17… Happy Birthday Trent!
Nine Inch Nails- Various Methods Of Escape (Live On Jimmy Kimmel 2013):
When put in the context of certain albums, an instrumental song can shift the mood, vibe and all the in between. For years, I’ve always loved (shocker I know) the Nine Inch Nails song “A Warm Place.” I’ll never forget hearing it for the first time when I was younger and how the shift of The Downward Spiral turned when this song came on right after “Big Man With A Gun” and before “Eraser.” The way this song captivated me then and still to this day is pretty interesting. On one side you have this really delicate piece of music that has a calming sense to it. Then on the flip side of it, knowing that it’s part of something more and how it leads into “Eraser” makes it one of those songs to bridge a certain section of an album together. A song like “A Warm Place” is more reflective and introspective and in the context of The Downward Spiral, it gives you a moment in time to soak in all of what has happened, knowing what is inevitable in the end. Getting to hear this song live over the years too has given me all sorts of different vibes from it. The 1, 2 punch though of “A Warm Place” into “Eraser” on the album is truly one of those that to this day gives me chills. If you ever need a little break from everything, I recommend taking 3 and a half minutes out of your day and putting this song on and letting it just take you away.
Nine Inch Nails- A Warm Place:
Nine Inch Nails- A Warm Place, Eraser, Dead Souls (Live 2018):
One of the most fun things about discovering new bands is when you hear even just one song and it comes together, it’s almost like this cosmic force of meant to be. A little while back I was introduced to the band Black Magnet and they really knocked my socks off. Upon hearing the record it was as though Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine/Broken era and Godflesh Streetcleaner/Pure era came together with bits of Ministry and Skinny Puppy to make the album that brought industrial music back. Formed by James Hammontree in 2018, Black Magnet has set the underground industrial scene a blaze with a ferocious force that will get under your skin and give you chills in the way you’d want a horror film to. Not only does Black Magnet posses an industrial sound there is also a post-punk sensibility within that also coincides with metal that drives it all home with harsh precision and tinges of a melodic pulse. On the latest offering Body Prophecy, the onslaught continues with even more depth and tenacity. One of the things I love most about this album is that it is cohesive and full of life. Each song feels like it’s own revelation but keeps you focus and transfixed on everything that is going on. This is one of those albums that you feel compelled to start over once it reaches the end. I’m completely enthralled by the magnitude and intensity on this album. The production, engineering and mixing by Sanford Parker is exquisite and should be a masterclass on how to make proper industrial albums in today’s world. I’m looking at all you wannabe lame “laptop rock” bands. Black Magnet is a band not just for now but for the future! Also I’m just putting this out in the aether, BLACK MAGNET NEEDS TO OPEN FOR NINE INCH NAILS!!!!
This one is too easy and since I’m still on a roll from my 19th NIN show, it’s only fitting. There is no denying the power of this song. There is a reason why it’s been a live staple since the beginning and why it pretty much closes the show. “Head Like A Hole” is an absolute triumph of a track one. Interestingly, “Down In It” was the first single from Pretty Hate Machine but, once “Head Like A Hole” was released and the video too, there was nothing that was going to stop Nine Inch Nails. This song is pure awesome. It’s song with 2 choruses and both are equally as punishing as the other! Live, this song goes to a whole other level especially with thousands of people singing along. Head Like A Hole is a perfect example of what a track one should be!
It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails (this was number 19), I’m always left speechless at the end of their shows. It’s more than just a band playing a show to me. There is so much more to it and the level at which Trent and Company perform at is astounding. Plus seeing them at the Santa Barbara Bowl makes it a little more special as that venue has it’s own cool, mystic vibe with it being tucked away in the hill and the sound there is just incredible.
The night was perfect for this show. The cool night air coming off the pacific was coming in creating this very distinct atmosphere that was shaping up for something to explode, and that it did. As the clock struck 8:15 pm the rumble began and out came Mr. Self Destruct right out of the gate like they just released the bulls in the streets of Spain. Then the assault kept coming as “Wish,” “Last,” and “March Of The Pigs” utterly destroyed and decimated the audience. Then came “Piggy” which has always been a live favorite of mine. There was something about this version of “Piggy” that hit a bit harder than usual. Perhaps it’s all the things going on with me but, I keep having “Nothing Can Stop Me Now” repeating in my head as a mantra and I hope that doesn’t go away.” Then Trent moved along to “The Lovers” a track off their EP, Add Violence that hits so well live. It’s a song with tinges of the Pretty Hate Machine era mixed with a bit of a Fragile vibe. Next up is where I’m pretty sure I lost my voice as The Frail/The Wretched were played. I apologize to the guy next to me but, something came over me and I was in another place while screaming my lungs out during that song. And it didn’t help my voice much after that song as NIN charged into one of my favorites from The Downward Spiral, “Reptile.” After that there was a bit of break with the inclusion of a really great live version of “God Break Down The Door” and “Copy Of A.” The one song I could have done without and gave me a break was “Closer.” Then a quick talk with the audience with Trent saying “now how bout we play a sad song” and then they broke out “This Isn’t The Place” which is one of my favorite newer songs. It’s such a beautiful song that really hits you in the feels. Listen to it and you’ll hear it. Then another eruption happened with “Heresy” and right into one of my top 5 NIN songs of all time “The Perfect Drug.” As the night was winding down we got a very rocking (almost extended) version of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans,” a heavy hard charging “Gave Up” into the closing staples of “The Hand That Feeds” and “Head Like A Hole.” For the encore, I couldn’t have been more elated to have “Even Deeper” be part of it. I love that song. Finally, the end came and “Hurt” closed it out.
I’ve seen now seen Nine Inch Nails 19 times and each of them have been their own experience. It’s truly something remarkable to have seen a band this many times in the 22 years since the first time, and still walk out of the show like it’s something fresh and new. Trent Reznor never disappoints. The songs are classic and timeless. On a performance level, to be able to go out there and still give it everything they have each night, on top of the intricate lights, and other behind the scenes work, makes each Nine Inch Nails tour and show special. I will go every chance I get to see this band. Thank you Nine Inch Nails for all the years of amazingness! I will see you again very soon!
Review and Photos: Brian Lacy
PHOTOS: NINE INCH NAILS- Live at the Santa Barbara Bowl
01) Mr. Self Destruct 02) Wish 03) Last 04) March Of The Pigs 05) Piggy 06) The Lovers 07) The Frail 08) The Wretched 09) Reptile 10) God Break Down The Door 11) Copy Of A 12) Closer (with The Only Time breakdown) 13) This Isn’t The Place 14) Heresy 15) The Perfect Drug 16) I’m Afraid Of Americans (David Bowie Cover) 17) Gave Up 18) The Hand That Feeds 19) Head Like A Hole
Since the news broke today that Nine Inch Nails annouced new tour dates for 2022, of course it would put me in a NIN frame of mind. Instead of something typical to post about why not explore some of the remixes. One of the remix albums that often gets overlooked in their catalog is Things Falling Apart from The Fragile era. The remix version of “Where Is Everybody?” done by Danny Lohner (aka Renholder) and Josh Eustis and Charles Cooper of Telefon Tel Aviv is superb. This version is much more atmospheric and features some really cool glitch beats towards the latter half of the song. Take a moment to dig into this awesome version and the whole remix album!
Nine Inch Nails- Where Is Everybody? (Renholder/Telefon Tel Aviv Remix):
I have hope that 2022 will be a good year. Not that 2021 was all that bad, at least it wasn’t 2020 all over again. We did after all get some amazing new albums in 2021. Now that we are in 2022, there are a ton of new albums that I’m sure will make the end of the year lists vert difficult to put in order. Here’s a list of the bands with the most anticipated albums of 2022 (I’m sure I missed some. So If I did, let me know)!!!
Centershift- A Different Shade Of… NVision- Black Map- Melodoria Cave In The Cure Coheed and Cambria Crosses Dead Cross Ghost Greg Puciatio- Mirrorcell H09909 (Horror) Korn- Requiem Loathe Megadeth- The Sick. The Dying. The Dead Rammstein Author & Punisher Once Human Machine Head Jimmy Eat World The Smashing Pumpkins Chelsea Wolfe In Parallel Nine Inch Nails If It Kills You Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals Be Well Anthrax Baroness Cult Leader The Cult Darkest Hour Deadsy? Filter Jane’s Addiction? Placebo Red Hot Chili Peppers Rollin Coffin Deaf Club Kiss The Scientist Duhkha
It’s always fun to take songs of the same name and put them on back to back and contemplate about which one is better. There are so many of them out there and some are definitely better than some. One that I did recently were the songs “Sin” by Nine Inch Nails from Pretty Hate Machine and by Stone Temple Pilots on their album Core. Now these are both totally different but are quite good songs. The NIN one will always take the top prize for me. “Sin” the NIN version is in my top 10 all time favorite NIN songs.
Nine Inch Nails 2007 album Year Zero is a true Unsung Masterpiece. It’s one hell of an album. The concept behind it is super eerie when you think about what has been happening to society and government over the years. The first single from the album, “Survivalism” is tremendous. The lyrical content along with the pulsating beat are so damn good. The video for the song is on a whole other level. At the end of 2007, Rolling Stone readers voted the video as the best music video of year. Directed by Trent Reznor, Rob Sheridan and Alex Lieu, the video consists of a series of images from a console of secret cameras installed in an apartment block. As the camera moves between the footage, viewers are able to see into the lives of a number of residents, including:
A catatonic older couple watching television with a portrait of Jesus behind them.
A man looking after his drugged spouse (and in one scene possibly dripping or injecting the fictional drug “opal” in her eyes).
Two men having sexual intercourse in bed. (Covered by the US Bureau of Morality image in the TV edit.)
A topless woman applying make-up in a bathroom. (Covered by the US Bureau of Morality image in the TV edit.)
A man sitting at a table staring at his food.
Three men in a shop (and later in an alley) working with stencils.
A man in his cubicle surfing the Internet on his laptop computer.
Nine Inch Nails performing the song in a room.
There’s so much more to this video. Each time you watch it, you find something else that was hidden in there and a bit subliminal. Nine Inch Nails videos are some of the best you’ll see.
I’ve been contemplating on what to do with certain things as of late in regards to Audioeclectica. I have a giant list of things I want to do and bunch of new topics on the way. The radio show will be making a return soon. I finally found the right person to do the show with. It’s going to be awesome and the playlist for the show is superb. In the meantime before all that happens, I thought it would be quite fun to start putting out playlists for you all to enjoy! So, what you have below is a link to the first Audioeclectica Playlist. On it you’ll find new music by artists/bands you know of and some you might not. If you’ve been keeping up with the articles on Audioeclectica, you will probably recognize a good amount of the bands. So, without anymore delay, here it is!!!