Thursday, 1/31/08

NIN expansion pack for Rock Band in March

Perhaps it's a sign of just how popular this game is, we got a flood of news about the March 18th release of a Nine Inch Nails expansion for Rock Band. If you've mastered The Hand That Feeds and are looking for something a little more challenging, you've got your work cut out for you. The new songs to be made available are March of the Pigs, The Collector, and The Perfect Drug. These had been rumored, but the official Xbox Magazine confirms it.

Just like with The Hand That Feeds, these are from the masters, and are not performed by a cover band. Come March 25th, they're putting a cover band's take of Black Sabbath's Supernaut up as well, but you can rock it out like you're the 1,000 Homo DJs. Thanks to Jared, Ninhead, Goldfoot, dhelfric, Folvex, Bry, Guy, and Andrew for sending in that news.
Wednesday, 1/30/08

Saul Williams tour dates announced

Niggy Tardust: Tar Spangled BannerI received an email from Saul's mailing list announcing the Tar Spangled Banner Tour, a thirty-stop live tour in support of his recent release, "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!". While the majority of the stops are full on musical performances, two of the dates in Arizona are spoken-word only. The tour kicks off on March 12th at the SXSW Festival in Austin, and bounces all around the country before ending in Salt Lake City. (I lucked out, as the Philly show at the Trocadero lands on a Friday night.)

Thanks to Jean-Philippe and Michelle for passing along the news!

Photo Credit: boo radley from NYC on ETS

Trent Reznor to appear in shoegazer documentary

Okay, so, this is pretty old news, and lots of people mailed us about it but it never got posted here for whatever reason, and better late then never. Among the many people being interviewed for Eric Green's 'shoegazer' documentary Beautiful Noise, Trent Reznor makes an appearance amongst the artists influenced by the movement, or style, or what have you. If you're not familiar with the shoegazing genre (think My Bloody Valentine), Wikipedia is here to help. If I had Netflix, I'd put this in my queue, if it's available to be queued yet.

On the topic, we recently learned that blooming fuzzers Belong have recently been interviewed for the same documentary. If you don't recall Belong from our intro/contest back in early 2006, you can refresh your memory (or check them out for the first time) at that MySpace link I just posted. Ever since hearing their album, I've been hoping for some kind of follow-up, and it turns out that Belong (that would be Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones) are in fact releasing a four-song EP on February 19th, in all the usual online places (iTunes, eMusic, etc.) as well as a limited run of 300 vinyl copies, entitled "Colorloss Record." I've had the pleasure of hearing it, and it does not disappoint.

You can read more about it in one-sheet PDF, which I hope no one minds I'm posting here, hehe. Word is that another EP is due out in the fall, to be followed up with a full-length record, hopefully expanding on the use of vocals as demonstrated in Colorloss Record.
Monday, 1/28/08

Canadian songwriters propose... $5 ISP tax

Right on the heels of Trent's back and forth with CNet over a line about a $5/month ISP tax, I thought it was kind of interesting that an article was posted on Slashdot today where the The Songwriters association of Canada propose to legalize sharing of a copy of a copyrighted musical work without motive of financial gain, for a monthly fee of $5.00 applied to all Canadian internet connections, which would be distributed to creators and rights holders, or "The Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing."

Canada already has an awful tax on blank media, and while the legalization of file sharing seems fun, the proposal sees the tax revenue going to the record labels, which (in my personal opinion) doesn't really get to the root of the problem. Nonetheless, it's interesting to see some forward movement in the industry as a larger entity.

We think the hearing loss may have been pre-existing

A fellow named James sent in word that today's Doonesbury makes a reference to Nine Inch Nails. Keep in mind, Doonesbury has a very long running story line, so if you don't understand the context, consider spending some time reading up on some of the back story.
Wednesday, 1/23/08

The consequence of writing a bad headline

When CNet posted Greg Sandoval's interview with Trent Reznor, I found it to be a very interesting read, but thought the headline was pretty peculiar. Given all the things he talked about, I know I felt that a passing mention of an ISP tax seemed to be a peculiar choice of a lead. The headline was changed not long after we posted about the article, but not before it was picked up by various aggregators and "lazy journalists" as Trent mentioned in his latest blog. In response, Greg Sandoval posted an audio clip of the interview with the erroneous claim that Trent says he was misquoted.

Mr. Sandoval also posted a comment on the blog:
Hi Trent,
Greg Sandoval here from CNET, the author of the Q&A interview you are referring to. I don't know if Ed passed along my e-mail to you, but you should know I changed a poorly written headline early on the day the story published and explained why the headline was changed. As for your comments in the interview, they are just as you said them I assure you. I can let you listen to the tape if you wish. I am grateful for the interview.


I think that the reporter, Greg, didn't necessarily have an agenda, but no doubt (assuming Cnet functions in any way like the newspaper I used to work at) the editors at Cnet who chose the headline went with something that misled headline skimmers with regards to the general content of the interview. It's crappy journalism on the part of whoever wrote the headline. It probably got them more ad impressions, though.

Also, Heath is dead.
Monday, 1/21/08

The NIN Hotline, v2008

So I was especially jealous when NINremixes.com came out with a new layout that fits the size of your browser and also looks really slick on the iPhone. This lit a fire under my ass to put the wraps on an idea I'd been batting around for the better part of a year - to redo the Hotline to use a liquid layout. My laptop's resolution is something like 1600x1024, and the Hotline looked so tiny on there. In making it work on larger screens, however, I did not want to blow it out on smaller resolution screens. Anyway, I'm still working on the configuration options, but we have at least one more theme available, and you will be able to choose a text size preference, if you're not fond of using CTRL+ or CTRL- to resize your text.

This new layout was designed with Firefox in mind, but actually works better in Safari. Everything looks okay in IE7, but IE6 suffers the loss of some of the transparent elements, and admittedly doesn't look quite as good. Anyway, as mentioned before, new themes will be made available in the near future that will accommodate your need for something other than a black background, a different default text size, and better support for crappy browsers.

If you like to fiddle around with site design & CSS, I'm certainly open to taking theme submissions. I'm also interested in your feedback, both good and bad. Please get in touch with me at leviathant@gmail.com.
Tuesday, 1/15/08

Yahoo posts Sunday, Bloody Sunday video

As noted by the fine folks at Echoing the Sound, you can now see Saul Williams' Sunday Bloody Sunday video at Yahoo! Music. The quality is fairly crappy by default, but you can adjust the quality settings in the player to better suit your fat bandwidth pipe, if you desire.
Monday, 1/14/08

Trent Reznor Fight Club Musical OMG

We've seen another resurgence of this rumor, but unless anything's changed since August 2004 when we first debunked the Fight Club Musical rumor, it's not happening.
Saturday, 1/12/08

Irresponsible Meat Anthem

So Jeordie decides to start hanging out with Marilyn Manson again and I'm not supposed to make fun of it? As if.

Cnet follows up with Saul Williams interview

Over at this article on Cnet's Crave site, Greg Sandoval publishes an interview with Saul Williams to get his perspective on the sales of Niggy Tardust, which also breaks the news of a video for Sunday, Bloody Sunday, a tour that kicks off at South by Southwest in March. It's another great insight into what's going on in the heads of the guys who put out Niggy Tardust.
Thursday, 1/10/08

Cnet interviews Trent about the numbers

Over at CNet's Crave site, Greg Sandoval talked with Trent Reznor about the numbers behind Niggy Tardust. Titled "Trent Reznor favors an ISP 'tax on music' Trent Reznor: Why won't people pay $5?," [ed. note: thet title (thankfully) changed] it's actually a pretty in-depth interview that is far more nuanced than the headline might lead you to believe.
"I'll name check Radiohead on this--they've done a pretty suave marketing plan on this new record. I think generally it's been a pretty cool thing, but what they've done is used those (sales) numbers in a way that they can spin them anyway they want cause you don't know what they are."

Tomorrow, CNet will be publishing an interview with Saul Williams on the topic, which they hype as "a very different take on the sales performance of NiggyTardust." Thanks to sweeterthan and Scott for the linkage.

An exploration of visual influences on NIN

A fellow named Nick wrote in with the following:

"I've recently launched a section of my site which details many of the visual, artistic, occult and filmic influences of Trent & co.

Though some of said content may have been previously posted on yours or other boards, several inclusions are new discoveries I've come across years past, including an shorter article of mine that was published on SeemsLikeSalvation ago."

Over at the aforementioned page -- which contains some NSFW imagery -- you'll find comparisons of Joel-Peter Witkin photography to scenes from Closer, explanation of the occult symbols that appeared on "Dissonance Tour" era t-shirts, video clips from movies from which samples appear in NIN songs, and plenty of other stuff. It's a nice compilation of these things, check it out when you get a chance.

Jeordie White rejoins Marilyn Manson for tour

We got a bunch of emails about a MySpace bulletin that Marilyn Manson sent out, containing news that Twiggy Ramirez will rejoin the lineup for the U.S. leg of the "Rape of the World" tour. The rest of the lineup includes Chris Vrenna, Rob Holliday, and Ginger Fish. Thanks to Ryan, Michael, Scicks, Volk, and preston for the news.
Tuesday, 1/08/08

In case you forgot - get the Hotline via email

While we go through these quiet stretches, maybe you'd find it more convenient to get updated about what's going on with Trent & co. via email, rather than visiting the site regularly, fingers crossed that one of us who still posts here might actually bother to post something. Be that the case, you can sign up here to get notified whenever we post - it's basically an email version of our RSS feed. Also, if you're still running IE6 (and 11% of you are!) and can upgrade to IE7 (20%), Firefox (52%, and my browser of choice) or Safari (12%), please do, as I'm nearly done with a total site overhaul that looks so much better on a browser that natively handles alpha transparency.
Saturday, 1/05/08

Blog reactions to the Niggy Tardust sales

Over at LongTail.com, Chris Anderson made some observations about the numbers posted at nin.com this week. This got followed up by the folks at Tech Dirt, who posted asking Trent not to be disheartened yet. There's also sizable recaps at p2p.net, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable.com, where the conclude that "Reznor should be proud of his efforts, and continue to blaze trails for other artists in this new distribution model."

On a fairly unrelated note, I ran Trent and Saul through Google Trends, the results are kind of interesting.
Friday, 1/04/08

Sony catches up with the rest of the world and a few tidbits

The big news in the music industry today is that Sony/BMG is finally catching up with the other three record labels by announcing that they will begin selling DRM-free mp3s at Amazon, making them the final of the big four to submit to the pressure of removing the crappy software. Check out an article about it here. For those keeping score at home, this means that Amazon has now become the best site to buy DRM-free mp3s from artists signed to the big four. It's the beginning of a small step towards the right direction, I suppose, but there's a lot that needs to be taken care of before we can start singing the praises of record labels and the fat cats who inhabit them.

This will all get fucked up somehow.

Rolling Stone loves lists, especially when it comes to the end of the year. Among the lowlights highlights were Year Zero coming in at #21 of the 50 "best" albums of the year and readers naming "Survivalism" as the best music video of the year. Also, check out your local radio stations and their websites to read their lists to see where NIN placed rather than suffer the agony of listening to them. Bleeding of the ears may/probably will occur.

Thanks to everyone who emailed us about the lists.
Thursday, 1/03/08

Reznor shares digital release sales info on Niggy Tardust

Over at nin.com (Digg it if you get a chance, and/or discuss over at the related thread on Reddit), Trent's posted sales and download stats for The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! I'll not spoil it and post the money shot here, you should head over to nin.com and read the entire write-up. And if you're one of those people who said "I don't have the $5 now but I'll pay for it later" -- I hope you followed up on that.