6 Reasons why Nine Inch Nails reforming could be fun

NIN 2009 Toronto by Charwinger21

Nine Inch Nails are starting again from scratch and touring from summer 2013 into next year, according to an announcement by Trent Reznor: 

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5 favourite mash-ups (with download links)

OK, so I was just discussing mash-ups with someone, and though the genre (or practice) of mash-ups is old and tired and done to death, by its very nature it can be limitlessly inventive. Over the years, I’ve heard some frankly awe-inspiring incongruities, and here are just a few of the ones I’ve loved best.

1. Nine Inch Nails – Hand That Feeds / Ghostbusters Theme

This was created by Nathan Chase for a fan remix project

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Why artists shouldn’t stick to art

Salvador-Dali-NYWTS-1965-Roger-Higgins-public-domain-via-wikipedia

Written for Collapse Board

Everett True reckons that Artists Should Stick To Art instead of making mixtapes of obvious dad rock. If mixtapes made by artists are so disappointing in real life, I think we should invent some fantasy selections.

For example:  Continue reading

“Radiohead is because it’s like this total triumph of short people”

We’ve been having fun with Googlism, a website that filters descriptions from Google to tell you what Google “thinks” of you. For example:

princess stomper is normally represented as a small pink bunny
princess stomper is a former magazine contributor and music researcher
princess stomper is making way too many assumptions in this article  Continue reading

Pop vs Rock

Written for Collapse Board

Before they switched off Pandora in the UK, I found its deliberately anti-genre stance interesting because it would place frivolous ‘pop’ songs next to ‘credible’ artists. It’s probably stretching it to call any of these ‘rock’, but they’re of the type admired by people who don’t generally buy records by Beyonce, etc.

Stripped of the genre tag, note for note, there’s really not much difference between the songs. Wallace Wylie pointed out what’s wrong with the package of pop. If you take that away, you’ve got some great music that the middle-aged chin-strokers would probably like if they just started thinking of it as music. For example:  Continue reading

White Swan Event: why success is impossible to predict

Although the term had been floating around for a while, the phrase “Black Swan Event” only recently reached general usage. It’s a random, unpredictable and catastrophic event – so called because of the Old World presumption that all swans were white, which was scuppered when Willem de Vlamingh found a black one.

What anyone writing a blog or playing in a band (etc) will encounter are White Swan Events: random, unpredictable and fortuitous events. Why white swans? Because even though we don’t think of swans as being particularly rare, most people could go a number of years without seeing one. So imagine that you are on a boat and you see a white swan. That’s the kind of serendipity you can expect when being creative: things that you can reasonably expect to happen, can happen at any time, aren’t particularly weird, but are surprising and unpredictable nonetheless.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Skrillex that I didn’t put much time or effort or thought into, but has had more views each day than all the other posts that day combined. I quipped to Him Indoors that this post had more readers than the magazine in his hand – in fact, double – and it would be easy to see the now-consistent traffic charts as being the new average. But then, what happens when people tire of Skrillex? That there will come a point when the freakishly high hit count for that one post tails off, and with it, the traffic for the site as a whole. It’s not the first time it’s happened, either – there was a massive spike, for example, when I live-blogged my Radiohead review, or mentioned the Pottermore website.  I’ve seen the phenomenon elsewhere, too. At Collapse Board, it’s Shut Up About Kreayshawn Being Racist, at Brainwashed, it’s the Peter Christopherson interview. Posts that are phenomenally popular in comparison to the rest of the site. It’s not just blog posts, either. The most obvious white swan event is the one-hit wonder.  Continue reading

7 songs that were much better than the films they were promoting

A great soundtrack accompanying a great film is a uniquely satisfying experience. This can be anything from As Time Goes By in Casablanca to Don’t You Forget About Me in The Breakfast Club. It could be the Mortal Kombat soundtrack (I won’t have a word said against those films!), or it could be Michael Giacchino’s superlative score to Up.

Sometimes, however, there’s a mismatch between the quality of the music and the quality of the film. The promotional single – usually released in advance – might have you all fired up, only to face disappointment when you watch the movie. So here’s a shout-out to some memorable music that accompanied some pretty forgettable films.

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The life and death of a genre

cybergoth

There were always old punks lurking at the local, or skulking in the nightclub, and we thought they were OK. Punk was old and dead, and the few wrinkly remainders trying to hit on women or men half their ages were smiled at like old WWII veterans. They might be a little out-of-place, perhaps a little embarrassing, but we wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for them, so there was a reverence there. We respected our elders. Nearly 20 years later, I see how young people today regard my own clubbing years. On Buzzfeed, a meme is going viral where fans are taking some footage of some terribly earnest-looking industrial fans dancing and overdubbing the music with ever more ridiculous novelty hits, with even more mischief to be found on Reddit. These fans are a laughing stock – and rightly so, because they are ridiculous.

What turns it from pathetic to outright upsetting is how little resemblance either the people or the music bears to the genre I loved with such a passion. It’s painful watching something you love die. Even when I was young, the old guard complained that Nine Inch Nails weren’t “real industrial”, and we smiled because things have to evolve and grow. But now there’s no trace of anything that ever made us love it in the first place. It hasn’t just evolved, it’s an entirely separate species, and it needs to be put out of its misery. Continue reading

How To Do Festivals

Glastonbury festival-goers covered in mud

So this year’s Glastonbury line-up sucked, much like most of the bills in recent years. Let’s take a look, shall we? U2, yuck, but at least they’re “stadium rock” so you could make excuses. Coldplay? Why did someone shoot Lennon and let these guys live?* Beyoncé? Hells, no! I mean, I bought Single Ladies along with everyone else on the sodding planet and even contemplated trying to learn the dance routine before realising that I could never get my booty to shake that way. I like Beyoncé – just not in that context. Jesse J? Isn’t she the one they’ve desperately, desperately been trying to push to not much interest from anyone? They put her on the Glastonbury bill? Janelle Monáe – I’d love to see her in concert, but that would be a concert. Somewhere with plush seats and a foyer. Ke$ha, ffs? But it’s not just Glastonbury: it’s an epidemic. It’s like people have completely forgotten what festivals are supposed to do and to be, and they’re getting it wrong.

So, here is Reinspired’s public information broadcast on how festivals are supposed to work.

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Producers that make (or break) the band

New on Collapse Board

Band-members are like the ingredients of a cake: get it wrong, and the result is bland or sickly. It’s about getting people together who make each other feel comfortable, who can inspire the audience, and who can deflate the ego of an overindulgent songwriter. The producer is the mould. If you pour cake mix onto a baking tray, you’ll end up with a flat, sticky mess. Some producers are like old-fashioned round cake tins, providing a strong but subtle structure that simply allows the flavours to emerge. Others make fancy shapes, so vibrant and daring that its cakeness comes second to its art-form. Like the line-up, the right producer for your band is the one that fits your personal dynamic, and brings out the best in what you, uniquely, have to offer.

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