Tag Archives: Nine Inch Nails

Episode 96: One Hit

Thanks to Jacob Heiteen for joining us this week! You can listen to the episode above, or download it right here.

Topic:

  • One-Hit Wonders
  • What exactly makes something a “one-hit wonder”? What qualifies as a “hit”?
  • Where do one-hit wonders come from? Why do they become so popular?
  • Can a song be a one-hit wonder if produced by a highly popular/influential band?
  • Do record sales/airplay work as a way to judge if a song is or isn’t a one-hit wonder, or even just a “hit”?
  • What makes a song a “hit” in the first place?
  • Do they still exist in the internet age? Does a YouTube play count tell you as much as sales used to?
  • Why do people love the concept of the “one-hit wonder” so much?

Songs:

  • John Williams – “Jurassic Park Theme”
  • Len – “Steal My Sunshine”
  • Swans – “Song For a Warrior”
  • Castanets – “Tell Them Memphis”

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Episode 95: Always True

Thanks to Mo Troper for joining us this week! You can listen to the episode above, and download it right here!

Topic:

  • Elvis Costello!
  • Our introductions to his music
  • The importance of his work, and the impact he’s had on rock music
  • The versatility of Costello as an artist

Songs:

  • Saturday Night Live theme
  • Elvis Costello – “Radio, Radio”
  • Elvis Costello – “Uncomplicated”
  • Slint – “Breadcrumb Trail”
  • The Replacements – “Unsatisfied”

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Episode 72: Machine Music

Thanks again to Novak for joining us on the show! You can listen above, or download it here.

Topic:

  • Industrial music (and a little bit of Goth!)
  • What are the origins of the genre? Did it truly start with Throbbing Gristle?
  • Is the music as much about attitude as it is about sound?
  • What does the future hold for the genre?

Songs:

Bands:

  • Ray Parker, Jr.
  • John Lennon / The Beatles
  • Honeyblood
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks
  • Surfer Blood
  • Deaf Havana
  • Deafheaven
  • The Bronx
  • Mariachi El Bronx
  • Public Service Broadcasting
  • Cibo Matto
  • Salt Cathedral
  • Peter Hook / Ian Curtis / Joy Division
  • Morrissey
  • Sean Lennon / The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
  • Purity Ring
  • Chvrches
  • Light
  • Mike Watt
  • Tennis
  • Chris Thile / Nickel Creek
  • Mike Marshall
  • James Blake
  • Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat
  • Shores of Oblivion
  • Levon’s Helmet
  • Supercrow
  • Charming Birds
  • The Bee Gees
  • Brother Elf
  • Liquid Light
  • Electro Kracken
  • Billy Corgan / Smashing Pumpkins
  • Daniel Lopatin / Oneohtrix Point Never
  • Author & Punisher
  • Skinny Puppy
  • Genesis P-Orridge / Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson/ Throbbing Gristle
  • Einstürzende Neubauten
  • Jim Thirlwell / Foetus
  • Al Jourgensen / Ministry
  • Bauhaus
  • The Cure
  • Can
  • Raymond Watts / KMFDM
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Michael Gira / Swans
  • VNV Nation
  • Combichrist
  • Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • The Edge / U2
  • Rammstein
  • Elvis Costello
  • Charles Mingus
  • Justin Broadrick / Godflesh
  • Isis
  • Pitchshifter
  • Fear Factory
  • Death Grips
  • The Knife
  • David Bowie
  • Brian Eno
  • Kanye West
  • Phil Anselmo / Pantera
  • The Horrors
  • Martin Sexton
  • Maynard James Keenan / Tool
  • A Perfect Circle
  • Failure
  • Pixies
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
  • Dr. Dog
  • Red Fang
  • Your Rival
  • Genders
  • Fresh Hair
  • Joy Pearson
  • Yob
  • Baal
  • Witch Mountain
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Episode 58: The People Vs. Faces on the Radio

Thank you to Michele Ari for joining us on this episode! You can listen at the top, and download it right HERE.

Topic:

  • Censorship in music (and other art)
  • Is censorship a necessary evil?
  • Should we have a better way to restrict questionable music, like those placed on movies, TV, and video games?
  • What does censorship look like in other countries?
  • Does the Parental Advisory sticker make you want to buy the album even more?

Songs:

  • U2 – “Ordinary Love”
  • Prince – “Darling Nikki”
  • Michele Ari – “Uncharted Territory”

Bands Mentioned:

  • Michele Ari
  • U2
  • Johnny Marr
  • Stone Roses
  • Rolling Stones
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Band
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails
  • Bill Callahan
  • Lou Reed / Velvet Underground
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
  • Alejandro Escovedo
  • Johnny & the Bells
  • Meat Puppets
  • Beach Boys
  • Kurt Cobain / Nirvana
  • Wire
  • Helmet
  • Robert Plant
  • Patti Smith
  • James Blake
  • Mick Turner
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Neurosis
  • Profcal
  • Chris Hillman / The Byrds
  • Flying Burrito Brothers
  • KMFDM
  • Split Squad
  • The Fleshtones
  • Blondie
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Kanye West
  • Lisa Fischer
  • Philip Glass
  • Tragedy
  • Kevin Barnes / of Montreal
  • Prince
  • Twisted Sister
  • Motley Crue
  • Madonna
  • King Diamond / Mercyful Fate
  • Eminem
  • Frank Zappa
  • Dee Snider
  • John Lennon / Paul McCartney / George Harrison / The Beatles
  • Rob Zombie
  • Metallica
  • Nick Lowe
  • Obie Trice
  • Howe Gelb
  • Norfolk & Western
  • Typhoon
  • Eddie Vedder / Pearl Jam
  • Mudhoney
  • AC/DC
  • Chris Cornell / Audioslave
  • Tom Morello
  • Robin Pecknold
  • Ed Droste / Grizzly Bear
  • Courtney Love
  • John Bon Jovi / Bon Jovi
  • Van Halen
  • Menomena
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Episode 50: Cover Stories

Thank you to Joey Gerber for joining us for this episode! You can listen at the top, or download HERE.

Topic:

  • Covers!
  • Where did the tradition of covering songs begin?
  • What are some of the best covers of all time?
  • What covers are more well-known than the original versions?
  • Is there a problem with not writing your own songs?
  • Is it better to play your own take on someone else’s song, or is it better to play it straight?

Songs:

Bands Mentioned:

  • The Cranberries
  • Faye Wong
  • India.arie
  • Tom Petty
  • Rolling Stones
  • Nels Cline
  • Ben Goldberg
  • Huey Lewis & the News
  • Chess Smith
  • Bob Dylan
  • Savages
  • Suicide
  • St. Rich
  • Wild Belle
  • Jackson Scott
  • Delicate Steve
  • Grateful Dead
  • The Strokes
  • Stephen Malkmus
  • Duke Garwood
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Ian Curtis / Joy Division
  • Siouxie & the Banshees
  • Peter Hook / The Light
  • Slaves of Venus
  • New Order
  • Light Asylum
  • Father Strangeluv
  • Noble Firs
  • Wild & Scenic
  • Neil Young
  • Joan of Arc
  • Arrington de Dionyso’s Songs of Psychic Fire
  • Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa
  • Old Time Relijun
  • Cap’n Jazz
  • Jarboe
  • Behalf
  • Skinny Puppy
  • Lost Lockets
  • Helen Money
  • Steve Albini / Shellac
  • John Cale
  • Swans
  • MIA
  • Madonna
  • Janet Jackson
  • Elvis Presley
  • The Clash
  • Carl Perkins
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Marianne Faithful
  • John Lennon / Paul McCartney / The Beatles
  • Phish
  • Joe Cocker
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Isaac Hayes
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Gwar
  • Sonny & Cher
  • The Byrds
  • Joan Baez
  • David Bowie
  • Pixies
  • Nirvana
  • Scott Walker
  • Mott the Hoople
  • Johnny Cash
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • Depeche Mode
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Porter Wagoner
  • Dolly Parton
  • Sam the Sham
  • The Pharaohs
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Dirty Projectors
  • Black Flag
  • Solange Knowles
  • Otis Redding
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Nouvelle Vague
  • The National
  • Perfume Genius
  • Elvis Costello
  • Nick Lowe
  • Sting
  • P. Diddy
  • 2Pac
  • Biggie Smalls
  • Jimmy Page / Led Zeppelin
  • Queen
  • Kanye West
  • Daft Punk
  • Nina Simone
  • thom Yorke / Radiohead
  • Sparklehorse
  • Modest Mouse
  • The Stone Roses
  • Interpol
  • U2
  • Mark Kozelek / Sun Kil Moon
  • Joey Ramone / The Ramones
  • Wilco
  • Billy Bragg
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Hank Williams
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Tom Waits
  • Sebastian Cabot
  • The Walkmen
  • Harry Nilsson
  • Crass
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Elzhi
  • Nas
  • Danger Mouse
  • Jay-Z
  • The Clash
  • Ben Fold
  • Ke$ha
  • Steven Page / Barenaked Ladies
  • Parenthetical Girls
  • The Animals
  • Dave van Ronk
  • Elliott Smith
  • The Bad Plus
  • Apocalyptica
  • The Smiths
  • This Charming Man
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Glenn Tilbrook / Squeeze
  • Steve Earle
  • Fiona Apple
  • Pet Show Boys
  • Tom Odell
  • Nine Inch Nilina
  • Stereophonics
  • Rod Stewart
  • Michael the Blind & the Moonshine
  • Iam MacKaye
  • John Cale
  • The Evens
  • Minor Threat
  • Fugazi
  • Greil Marcus
  • Arcade Fire
  • Soft Skills
  • Mo Troper / Your Rival
  • Our First Brains
  • Paul Simon
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Episode 21: On The Side

Many apologies for the lateness, everybody. Moving is a hassle, and not having an internet connection ruins everything. Thanks as always to Will Baab for his gracious guest-hosting! Listen above, and right-click to download!

Topic:

  • Supergroups, solo projects, and side projects
  • Who are the best of these three categories?
  • How many bands/musicians succeed in overcoming their day job (i.e., the band that they are known for) when making music apart from that?

Songs Used:

Further Reading / Viewing:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Parenthetical Girls
  • KMFDM
  • Frightened Rabbit
  • The Twilight Sad
  • Morrissey
  • Leaves Russell
  • No Kind of Rider
  • James Blake
  • The Horrors
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard
  • Kanye West
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Rodriguez
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Bono / U2
  • J Dilla
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Atoms For Peace
  • Thom Yorke / Radiohead
  • Flea
  • Nigel Godrich
  • Scott Stapp / Creed
  • Eddie Vedder
  • Gwen Stefani / No Doubt
  • Brian Eno / Roxy Music
  • David Bowie
  • Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails
  • Mariqueen Maandig / Atticus Ross / Rob Sheridan / How To Destroy Angels
  • Maynard James Keenan / Tool
  • A Perfect Circle
  • James Iha
  • Mila Jovovich / Puscifer
  • Phil Anselmo / Rex Brown / Pantera
  • Down
  • Pepper Keenan / Corrosion of Conformity
  • Kirk Windstein / Crowbar
  • Jimmy Bower / Eyehategod
  • Broken Social Scene
  • The New Pornographers
  • Damon Albarn / Blur
  • Gorillaz
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Queen
  • Mike Patton / Faith No More
  • Fantômas
  • Rahzel
  • Wolfmother
  • Electronic
  • The Gutter Twins
  • Afghan Whigs
  • Screaming Trees
  • Wu-Tang Clan
  • Mad Season
  • Axl Rose / Slash / Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Velvet Revolver
  • The Postal Service
  • Moby
  • Weird Al Yankovic
  • Snoop Dog / Snoop Lion
  • Craig Finn / Franz Nicolay / The Hold Steady
  • Iggy Pop
  • Ian Curtis / Joy Division
  • New Order
  • Paul McCartney / John Lennon / The Beatles
  • Wings
  • Lou Reed / John Cale / The Velvet Underground
  • Michael Stipe / Peter Buck / R.E.M.
  • Henry Rollins / Black Flag
  • Jello Biafra / Dead Kennedys
  • Kurt Cobain / Nirvana
  • Codeine
  • Jeff Mangum
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Pearl Jam
  • James Dean Bradfield / Nicky Wire / Manic Street Preachers
  • Efterklang
  • Sigur Ros
  • Bright Eyes
  • Iron & Wine
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REVIEW: How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

We fade away.

When I was 13, I used to take daily walks on this massive trail that went near the apartments we lived in, which took at least an hour-and-a-half to traverse. Along this trail was a very short tunnel that went under a road, and one day, I noticed that there was something doodled in that tunnel: “so much blood from such a tiny little hole.” I am young enough that it was incredibly easy to simply go home and look that lyric up, and I discovered that it was from “The Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails. Not long after this, I went to Fred Meyer to attempt to buy this album – only to be turned down because, really, who wants to sell a Nine Inch Nails record to a 13-year-old? “My parents won’t allow it – they’re Nazis,” I told the clerk, who looked to be maybe four years older than I was. She didn’t budge. It wasn’t a big deal – I had the thing, I just wouldn’t buy it. This story is unique for me because, unlike the experience of choosing between Muse and Modest Mouse, this decision did nothing to affect my personal time line. In fact, if pressed to tell you what I bought instead, I probably couldn’t – what happened after I was unceremoniously denied was nowhere near as important as that act. This story is nothing compared to the inner struggle of Trent Reznor, and even in the pit of despair that I seemed to have taken up Vegas-style residence in, I knew that there was further down to go – and Nine Inch Nails was it.

Over time, Nine Inch Nails became a background companion in my life. I ho-hummed with the best of them about what a weak release With_Teeth was, and rejoiced at how truly good Year Zero was (confession: I stole that record from Fred Meyer after it came out, as a small bit of revenge. It is only now that I remember that I stole it along with a copy of Se7en, which actually had Nine Inch Nails music in it – how strange!) I sat atop the stairs in a house in Northeast Portland, attempting to download the surprise release The Slip, before giving up and simply going down the street with my laptop to get it from somewhere that had WiFi. I never got the chance to see NIN, but something about Trent Reznor’s music has always brought me a small degree of comfort, despite the fact that I likely would not include them in my Top 20 favorite bands. To me, this is the best way to enjoy those records: at arm’s length. Those are albums you didn’t want to truly get inside you.

Once NIN was over, Reznor started doing truly incredible things. He won himself an Oscar and a Golden Globe, for the score he did for The Social Network, David Fincher’s too-good-for-words Mark Zuckerberg biopic. Then a Grammy, for score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He defended the necessities of the major label, and started up a brand new band, with his brand new wife, former West Indian Girl vocalist Mariqueen Maandig and long-time collaborator Atticus Ross, called How To Destroy Angels. After two EPs, it was hard to really grab onto the difference between Nine Inch Nails and this new outfit, other than the fact that there was a woman singing the songs instead. The churning, industrial aesthetic was still there – just with a different voice. However, now, there’s a full-length album to show us what they’ve all been up to.

Welcome Oblivion clearly picks up where The Slip left off. On that album, Reznor somehow tapped into a strange dissonance, where everything was clearly industrial in nature, but the beats and blips sounded like they were grown, rather than created. “Keep It Together” grows out of muddy downbeats, and the energy of the track feels like it was raised from infancy right before your very eyes. There’s a sickly, lurching calm in Maandig’s voice as she whispers over the sputtering: “I can not keep it together,” she repeats, joined solemnly and unassumingly by Reznor. It’s disorienting, and it’s hard to shake a feeling that there’s something hanging just above your head, or right behind your back, not waiting to strike, but ready for something. “And the Sky Began To Scream” feels this way as well, though it feels like a monster underneath your bed – and that monster is just as obsessed with the wobbler bass effect that you and Mary Ann Hobbs. These are not songs made for dissent – these songs are made for slightly fucked up lovers. This is a feeling that’s hard to shake when, a lot of the time, Reznor creeps in, just there in the background, where you know he’s there, but you can’t quite get him in focus.

Then something out-of-nowhere happens, and five songs in, “Ice Age” shows up. Do you remember, about halfway through Portishead’s Third, when a ukulele song shows up? This is exactly like that. Sweet little strings blip in and out, as Maandig coos about the ocean, and the color of your eyes. It’s a lot creepier than it sounds, but after the tracks before it, it’s a song that feels a lot like whiplash, especially when she sings a line like “Sometimes the hate in me is keeping me alive.” It feels even crazier when we dive back into the world that we were in before, with “On The Wing,” which is just as subdued, but with a vocoder’d haze to go with it. The height of energy comes in the form of “How Long” and “Strings & Attractors,” which present themselves as being tracks that could have been club bangers in another life, but are happier being here. That energetic peak only lasts for 11 minutes of the album’s 60-minute run time, until it dives back into the haze and honey.

Welcome Oblivion never quite rises out of that haze – though this isn’t a bad thing. How To Destroy Angels is another version of the truth that is Nine Inch Nails, if that truth were really obsessed with Loveless. On the slow-burning, seven-minute closer, “Hallowed Ground,” the band sees you out with a wash of static feedback and whitewash, and by the time that track finishes, it’s hard to even believe that it was seven minutes. That’s exactly how the entirety of the album feels – it never feels like you’ve spent an hour on the record, which is definitely a very good thing. Those first two EPs might have felt like a sign that Reznor had lost his edge, but the reality is miles away from it. It feels like, instead of losing his edge, he’s just found a brand new, increasingly interesting edge.

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