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!!!
Health and Nine Inch Nails have collaborated on a new track together on Health’s upcoming album, DISCO4 :: Part II. The song “Isn’t Everyone” is one hell of a banging track. Both groups oversaw the production of the song while NIN’s Atticus Ross handled the mixing duties. When asked about working with Nine Inch Nails, Health had this to say “It’s fucking Nine Inch Nails. That speaks for itself. You don’t need a clever quote to encapsulate it.” I couldn’t agree more!!
Back in 2009, Nine Inch Nails announced a series of shows to sort of say goodbye for the time being. It was a very bittersweet thing to hear but, as a fan for many many many years, it made sense. Before the shows were announced, Nine Inch Nails spent the summer on the road with Jane’s Addiction (with all the original members). That was origianlly supposed to be the end but, seeing as Nine Inch Nails would be playing at different times and under the backdrop of a sunset many a times, it just didn’t feel quite right for that to be the end. Instead, a series of shows were announced in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to attend 3 of the 4 Los Angeles shows. The final one was at The Wiltern and what a show it was. Over 3 hours (yes, THREE HOURS) of nonstop Nine Inch Nails at it’s absolute finest. The setlist was utterly perfect and beyond emotional. Thankfully too, there were a group of fans in the audience that night filming it all and they put together one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to. Without giving anything away, I highly recommend you taking the time to watch/listen to this show!
It is no secret that Nine Inch Nails is my favorite band. I’ve spent many many days, nights and years, delving deep into the catalog. When you take a real close listen to a lot of the songs and the order they were placed in on the albums, you really get to feel the vibe. For example, The Fragile (my all time favorite NIN album and favorite album EVER), on disc 2 (better known as the right disc), there is an instrumental song called “The Mark Has Been Made” that is a wonderful almost segue into the next song “Please.” This instrumental is a beast live too. Take a moment and let this one sink into your head!
Page Hamilton of Helmet has one of the most distinct guitar sounds in the last 30 years. His style and tone has often been tried to be duplicated and has influenced and inspired countless bands and players. His work in Helmet is truly exceptional along with his other work with Glenn Branca, Band of Susans and his experimental jazz work. His style is so unique that when he’s guested on other band’s albums, there is no denying it’s Page. Here’s a few of the songs he has guested on over the years.
Nine Inch Nails- No, You Don’t (from The Fragile):
Therapy?- Unbeliever (from Troublegum):
Wire- All Fours (from Object 47):
Norma Jean- Opposite of Left and Wrong (from The Anti-Mother):
P.O.D- God Forbid (fro When Angels and Serpents Dance):
Linkin Park- All For Nothing (from The Hunting Party):
When you think of guitar solos, Nine Inch Nails is probably not very high on the first ones that come to mind. That is about to change though. On the epic masterpiece of an album that is The Downward Spiral, there is a song on there that has a guitar solo that oozes the pain and anguish that perfectly coincides with the thematic nature of the record. That song is “Ruiner” and it’s one of the most underrated songs on the album. The solo on the song is actually inspired by Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Trent was interviewed by Guitar World magazine years ago and this is what he had to say about the solo, “Ah yes, the great, Pink Floyd-esque, Seventies-sounding section of the song. That’s just a preset on the Zoom. I think I accidentally called up the wrong patch. I’m not a soloist. I was just laughing when I was playing with this ridiculous sound, recording into the computer saying like, “This is so cheesy,” you know? I later realized that I basically tried to play a “Comfortably Numb”-type solo with this sound. I played the song for Chris, our drummer, and I was thinking, “He’s going to start laughing. It’s silly.” But he goes, “Man, that guitar section was fucking great.” Anyways, this solo when “Ruiner” is played live is stunning.
Nine Inch Nails- Ruiner:
Nine Inch Nails- Ruiner (Live at The Wiltern 2009- FINAL Wave Goodbye Show):
I will never forget the first time I listened to Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile the whole way through. There was something so special about that album. I could and will go into more detail about that album at some point down the road. One of the immediate songs that hit me like a ton of bricks was track number 7 on Disc 1 (or the left side), “Just Like You Imagined.” This instrumental track blew me away. It’s a total encompassing of everything that makes The Fragile so great. The song on the studio recording features David Bowie’s longtime pianist, Michael Garson, who adds some beautiful moments. Live, this song is even better. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing it live a few times and each one of those I was totally in awe at how amazing the song truly is.
I really love going back through albums at different points in time and connecting with songs that I might have not had that connection with at first. On Nine Inch Nails debut album Pretty Hate Machine, there is one song in particular that stood out on my most recent listen. “That’s What I Get” is that song and the more I listen to it now, I hear so many different things in it. This song has an interesting history too. The song was not originally intended to the be on the album, but was rather meant for b-side material, due to not fitting in lyrically with the rest of the songs. Which makes total sense. This track also harks back to “Down In It” based on the use of the same recognizable melodic synth voice. Also, it sort of feels like a precursor to some of the songs on The Fragile in a strange way. When you listen to it and hone in on the verses musically along with the “hammer” synth bassline, there is some of that on songs like “The Mark Has Been Made,” “The Way Out Is Through.” Either way, this song is a great deep cut in the Nine Inch Nails catalog to sink your teeth into.
Back in 2001, the first Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie with Angelina Jolie came out. There was a lot of hype about the movie and it was pretty meh. The one thing that I really enjoyed about this movie was the soundtrack, in particular, the song “Deep” by Nine Inch Nails. The song has some interesting history. It’s been argued that this was written specifically for the soundtrack while others say it was written during The Fragile era. I tend to agree with the latter. There’s even some speculation that “Deep” has some tie ins with the song “Even Deeper.” The video for the song is quite cool and interesting. The story in the video is told in reverse, with the end of the story beginning the video. Anyways, when you are a big Nine Inch Nails fan like myself, you tend to get excited anytime you hear a NIN song in a movie or trailer. This song is a pretty cool jam and deserves some more attention, so enjoy it!