Tag Archives: industrial

winter 2016-2017 on last.fm

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.11.33 AM Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

late Ramadan

i just scarfed down a whole cookie sheet of green chile cheese nachos. that is to say, a can of green chile, a large chunk of mild cheddar cheese, and half a bag of tortilla chips was my dinner. am i vegetarian yet?

i’ve been back home for nearly two weeks and it would already feel like i’d never been gone, except for the fact that my return from Europe marks a turning point in lifestyle. whether temporary or permanent, only Allah/Yahweh knows.

for one, as i’ve been hinting, i’m not eating meat. to be specific, i’m trying to avoid meat as best i can. that means i skipped the free meat tacos at lunch today… but i ate somebody’s leftover corn dog last night. it means the pastas i make are meatless… but i ate somebody’s salad full of bacon bits. it means i ordered a green pizza (asparagus, artichokes, etc.) at 21st Amendment the other night… but i ate a steak for dinner at my parent’s house two days later.

basically, there are two key circumstances in which i will eat meat. first, if somebody is throwing away perfectly good food, i will eat it no matter what. if there’s anything i despise more than climate change, tortured animals, and extreme wealth, it’s wasted food. besides, the animal has died; let it not be in vain. secondly, if somebody has gone through trouble to gift me a meal (as my mother did the other night), i will not spurn the gift. i will rejoice in it! and may i always. that said, maybe i should start advertising more that i’m not eating meat so as to limit the chances that people make it for me. (already, my beautiful girlfriend chef lover friend has put together an excellent eggplant sandwich and a roasted vegetable pasta. she’s an expert.)

so i’m not buying it. i’m not cooking it. and i’m not ordering it. that’s a start, right?

besides the meat thing, i’m also trying to not drink alcohol. i last tried to do this a year ago and ended up averaging out to about a drink per day for an entire month. this time around, i’m doing about the same. last night, celebrating Lexi and laughter, i drank a total of one margarita, one shot of Jameson, and one tall PBR over the course of over six hours. not bad, i’d say!

besides the meat and alcohol things… well, there’s one other thing. but it’s quite private. Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nine Inch Nails: live [archive]

this is how i got into Nine Inch Nails:

it has always been about the live experience with this band. before i fell into The Downward Spiral, before i touched The Fragile or Pretty Hate Machine, there was And All That Could Have Been and nothing else.

i’ve come to realize that my main criterion for judging music is sincerity. i don’t care if you sound like death metal or like a guy dragging a tipped over ice cream truck or something in between: as long as what you’re doing is making you happy, as long as you are making music that you love, then i love it too. and what better test is there for sincerity than a live demonstration?

if you watch that video, you’ll see NIN performing the usual two first songs of their Fragility Tour shows, “Terrible Lie” and “Sin.” and, in less than ten minutes, you’ll see the energy, the love, the destruction, the emotion, the absolute fucking sincerity of Trent Reznor performing his music.

sure, he’s wearing a mask of cornstarch and makeup and, whatever, the videos are not actually complete performances, instead composed of patched up clips from ten different shows, but these things don’t make Trent seem any less sincere. what’s really important is how much detail goes into each performance. notice every flash of lighting, perfectly matched up with a synth or drum break. notice the structure of the bandmembers on stage, like a pentagon: bassist, front left. keyboardist, back left. guitarist, front right. drummer, back right. Reznor, center stage. five musicians with the main man at the front leading the charge. beyond that, there’s the obvious stuff. the whole band headbanging like they fucking mean it (take a look at 4:30-4:50, in particular… those 20 seconds practically taught me how to headbang). you don’t headbang the whole song, goddamnit, you wait until that shit breaks, and you follow the dynamics closely. this is a science. then at 5:10, there’s that fucking lighting again. a guy playing a theremin. strobe lights. the usual, the weird, the greatness.

but i’m not posting this just to talk about And All That Could Have Been, although that album and all of its distinct parts (CD/DVD/Still) certainly deserve their own posts. this is the Nine Inch Nails live experience. and though they are all created equal in awesomeness, they are not all the same.

it used to be a lot messier. NIN’s Woodstock 1994 performances are famous because, just minutes before going on stage, the band got into a fun little mud fight backstage, making for quite the picture-perfect look onstage:

there are legends that tell of performances on the Spiral tours in 94-95, in which, sick of sitting in bloody fucking SEATS at a Nine Inch Nails show, rabid fans tore apart whole rows and sections of seats, ripping them straight out of the ground. whether those stories are true or not, there’s plenty of evidence on Closure, the documentary of that tour, that the band caused enough destruction themselves to not even warrant the extra legends. check out the trailer for Closure for a peak into the madness:

a few years later, things got toned down a little bit on the Fragility tour, which i’ve already talked a little bit about above. Trent was still doing a shit ton of drugs, but he was destroying himself more than hotel rooms (oh, fragile Trent) and focusing his madness more on the visual experience than on anything else.

and that ended the era that i would never get to see because i was too young.

when i finally got into the band, Nine Inch Nails didn’t really exist. it was 2003 or so, And All That Could Have Been was three years in the past and the last thing Trent had said was inscribed as a little message in that DVD’s packaging:

just a glimpse
just a little reminder
of a time and place we
used to live in
this dvd attempts to
document the
experience of
nine inch nails live,
as we were in the
summer of 2000
we filmed and recorded
most of the dates of
the north american
fragility 2.0 tour
with home video cameras
then assembled
mixed and edited this
ourselves with our
home computers
in my eyes
fragility 2.0
was a summation of
what we had
accomplished up to
that time so this dvd
serves as a reminder
of achievement
as well as
a departure point
this is almost what
it felt like being there
trent reznor

i read this little message often, perhaps too often, and almost cried every time i read that last line, because i was certain that the DVD would be all i could ever have. i would only ever have “almost what it felt like.”

with 2005 came new hope (sort of), when NINdom found out that Trent barely made it alive through a hefty battle with alcohol, cocaine, and heroin addiction. next came news of a new album. i said “new hope (sort of)” because when i heard the first new NIN song in 6 years–“The Hand That Feeds”–i instantly knew that the Reznor who had composed songs like “Terrible Lie,” “Mr. Self Destruct,” and “Somewhat Damaged” was a changed man now.

he would be clean, sharp, and productive as shit.

it took stoned Trent ten years to release 3 studio albums and 1 ep. it took sober Trent three years to release 4 studio albums. ridiculous. and though i’ll agree that the quality of the music decreased, i can’t say the same about the live experience. though i never truly experienced a pre-With Teeth show, i think i landed on the same heavenly cloud of musically energetic paradise that existed in those early years. though he may not be able to make music like he could back then, he can still play it like he used to.

i still remember the exact date the first time i saw NIN the first time: March 25, 2005. it was that time of year where my allergies start picking up, and when they pick up, so does my asthma. but fuck it. i was seeing motherfucking NIN in a tiny auditorium on the uc davis campus. i had moaned for this for too long. he opened with The Frail –> The Wretched. it was a dream come true. i screamed the whole night and nearly rushed the barricade when he started singing Piggy. i killed myself at that show.

the next day i was sick as shit, but it didn’t matter. i could fucking die for all i cared because i had finally seen Nine Inch Nails live. i didn’t die. i went to my computer and downloaded a bootleg of the show and listened to it nonstop for days, sick in bed. the song “With Teeth,” in particular, with its soft, soothing, brutal refusal to let go of life, struck me so hard.

i was in love.

i proceeded to see NIN four more times that year: twice in the next month (two days in a row in San Francisco at a small venue called the Warfield, once with a bunch of friends and once by myself because none of my friends were as psycho as I was), once in November at the huge Oakland Arena, and once in December at a smaller venue in Santa Cruz.

the Oakland show was the one.

the show had originally been planned for an earlier date, about a month earlier, but the drummer at the time, Jerome Dillon, had repeatedly called in sick. Trent got pissed, got a new drummer, made a new date, and made it up to us more than we could have possibly imagined. Adam and i got to the venue before noon and we were still about 50 people back. we waited all day, hearing about how at other shows Trent had let NIN fan club members in for meet & greets and/or soundchecks. we got the latter. everyone casually walked into the venue as NIN was right there on stage, in broad daylight, like any other band, rocking out to Into the Void. and even when they were just playing for sound levels, they were having a good time. sincerity.

the actual show destroyed me and actually destroyed Adam. he hadn’t eaten enough during the day and hardly enjoyed the show because he was dying. i didn’t need food that night. firmly planted on the barricade, my arms, firmly planted on the band, my eyes, dazzled, firmly planted on the music, my mind. the light show, unlike any other NIN show (nay, any other show, by anyone) that i had every seen, was phenomenal. and they weren’t just rehashing the same old shit over and over. i think Trent got sick of playing same old Closer, so he remixed it with a song from Pretty Hate Machine, “The Only Time.” and it worked beautifully. check out the switch around 2:50.

i even got to experience that shit i saw on And All That Could Have Been, where in the middle of “Piggy,” Trent hands the mic to a bunch of fans in front so they could sing. a few people around me and i caught a thrown microphone from Trent in the middle of “Suck” and belted out the lyrics like it was the last song in the universe. the light show was stellar, the whole band was feeling it, movement, movement, motion, motion, madness, madness, music music music music music music. i wanted to die (again).

and so it went.

in the summer of 2006, i saw NIN at Mountain View with my dad. another great show, and the second time a parent of mine attended a NIN show with me. (the first was in Oakland, but my mom and little brother were in the seats while i was at the barricade with Adam… not everyone likes getting to shows nine hours early.)

a year ago was the first time i took a girlfriend to a Nine Inch Nails show. i thought it would suck. for years, i had witnessed boyfriends have miserable times trying to defend their little girlfriends, half the time fighting with everyone around them instead of making love to Trent. thank god, Meryl and i got to the show ballsass early, like Adam and i in 2005, and we got barricade, once again. protecting the girl was hardly a problem.

the show itself, of course, was amazing. it got interactive again, too. to go along with the Year Zero theme, security-style cams displayed everyone at the barricade in our section on giant screens in the arena during “Survivalism.” so silly, but so fun.

my favorite part of this show was the Ghosts breakdown. of all of NIN’s new releases, Ghosts is the best. it’s experimental and instrumental and glorious sound manipulation, which is all music is. oh, and it feels sincere. at the show, the band replicated a few songs off the album with upright bass and xylophones and all sorts of strange instruments i don’t know the names of. oh yeah, and the lighting ruled, of course.

i saw Nine Inch Nails for the eighth and (supposedly) last time two nights ago. and i’ve concluded a few things: Trent loves music, NIN still rocks, and Trent loves music. over the course of the night he had a bunch of his friends, influences, and more come on stage to play music with him over the course of the 31-song and 2.5 hour set. they included Gary Numan, Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction, Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan, and Danny Lohner, the bassist from the Fragility tour. in the following video, Mike Garson, who was David Bowie’s keyboardist back in the day and played those insane arpeggios on The Fragile for “Just Like You Imagined,” made an appearance to add some piano mischief to the standard NIN repertoire.

i was stunned. and almost died (once again).

also, i’d be stunned if you actually read this whole thing. i just wanted to express how important the Nine Inch Nails live experience has been to me over the years and how, i’m sure, it will continue to be important to me for the rest of my life.

probably for a very long time, i will continue to say that a mass of people ebbing to Nine Inch Nails performing “Terrible Lie” live is probably the best possible thing that anybody can ever experience. i will compare all light shows to NIN’s light shows. i will compare all bands’ endurances to the endurance of a band that can rock and rock hard for well over 2 hours. every night. i will compare the dedication of other musicians’ fans to the dedication of NIN fans who line up before the sun starts rising just for a barricade spot. at every show. i will compare the recording policies of other bands to NIN’s policies, which strictly demand that everyone bring an HD camera and sturdy tripod to the show for the best quality possible. and, more than anything, i will compare your favorite musician’s sincerity to the sincerity of Trent Reznor, who bleeds the stuff from his fucking eyes and throat.

sincerity. Continue reading

Posted in six stars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment