Category Archives: Music

NIN: Hesitation Marks-another step on the path


Hesitation-Marks-standard

Pretty Hate Machine.  Came out in 1989.  Trent Reznor was 24 years old.  An album that was “popular” and seemingly meant to be that way, with lots of club-worthy beats and synth-pop style, with words that spoke to the urgings of a teenaged boy becoming a man and the desires and experiences that drive him.

Broken.  Came out in 1992.  Trent Reznor was 27 years old.  Written during a fight with his label at time, and released after he was “traded” to another.  An anger filled album about what it’s like being forced to take orders from a disrespectful patron who believe themselves your master.

The Downward Spiral came out in 1994.  Trent Reznor was 29, and this album “made” him, according to many.  It’s an examination of hopelessness in many ways, through the cynical, jaded eye of a man trying to understand life, trying to function within the madness.

The Fragile came out in 1999.  Trent Reznor was 34 years old.  He was still riding high off the last album, and this one was excellent in and of itself.  It examined many more of life’s experiences.

With Teeth came out in 2005.  Trent Reznor was 40 years old.  He had battled with addiction and “won”, entering the “recovery” period of addiction.  It examined politics of the time as well as delving a bit deeper into philosophy, as if Trent was trying to find a new focus, to “do something that mattered”.

Year Zero came out in 2007.  Trent Reznor was 42 years old.  This album was a story.  It reminded me of how Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was very much a story.  This one was an alternate reality, and a pretty cool one…  well, if you like dystopian futures that get overrun by aliens/deities eliminating the human race.

Ghosts and The Slip were released in 2008.  Trent Reznor was 43 years old.  They were sort of “gifts” from Trent, being freely available.  Ghosts is a cool set of instrumentals, great for thinking.  I never really got into The Slip as heavily, personally, but I’m going to have to reexamine it, and see if it “fits” with what I’m about to say.

Hesitation Marks was just released, September 3rd, 2013.  Trent Reznor is now 48 years old.

This album is evolutionary, just like every other album has been since PHM.  Trent Reznor is married with a couple of kids.  He has won awards.  He has money.  These are not the energy filled, sex-focused days of PHM.  There’s more to life than the angst of Downward Spiral, and he’s come through the rest of the “experimental” times of his life.

I’m not sure what each of the songs meant to Trent Reznor while he was writing them or while he performs them, but if he’s like me, he’s disconnected from them anyway, as his creativity comes from some inner place that’s not consciously accessible to examination.

My view of it, though, is not what I have read in the various reviews, some enthused, some seemingly well-researched, but by people who have no real affinity for the band, by reviewers who see the art as an abstract.

I like it.  It’s an older look at life, with all of the anxiety and self-doubt that come from looking at the world and one’s place in it.  “I am just a copy of a” is the philosophical basis for the album, and everything that follows stems from it.  It’s a story, and here’s my summary of it:

Copy of a” is the basis for the album, an introspective and disturbing discovery.  With this discovery in mind, he “Came Back Haunted“.  He realizes he made a mistake and he sings, “I’m just trying to Find My Way“.  He has a relapse and hits an “All time low“, and then beats the crap out of himself with “Disappointed“.  He comes back from that dark place by repeating to himself that he’s survived “Everything“, but it’s all really just self-talk.  He feels like he’s under a microscope now, and gets paranoid, looking for the “Satellite” that’s watching him.  He thinks about “Various methods of escape“, to include suicide.  It’s a dark place he retreats to because he feels trapped and wants to get away from everything.  He starts “Running” to chase the one he loves and feels he has disappointed the most.  He wants to fix things, singing, “If I could be somebody else, Well I think I would for you“.   He decides to try to divide himself “In Two“, to become only the good for this person, but they point out that it’s hard to tell the person from the monster he wants to avoid being.  He sees that his whole world is falling apart, that he faces death at some point, whether at his own hand or otherwise, and just seeks to survive it, asking for some comfort “While I’m Still Here“.

——————————————

Maybe it’s me, the writer, seeing more than is really meant to be there.  Maybe it’s Trent Reznor’s subconscious mind now or in the past.  Maybe it’s just a series of poems he strung together and put to words to make a buck.

I don’t know, and honestly?  I don’t care.  I like the story I see here, and I like the album.  Each album takes me a couple of listens to thoroughly “get into”, and this one will as well.

If  you’re a fan of NIN, or Trent Reznor, get this album.  It’s not “The Wall”, but it’s not meant to be. It’s another evolutionary step for Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.  A small portion of the whole story of the man and the machine.

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Copy of A-new NIN


I am just a copy of a copy of a copy of a….

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White Zombie-Blood, Milk, and Sky


This is probably the most fitting video I have ever seen made for this song.  The darkness of the song and the images from the 1950’s commercials all mixed together really give me a sense of dystopian darkness poorly covered with a sheet of happy capitalism.

 

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A favor for my adopted daughter, please. (5 minutes of your time and a moment on Facebook, by August 12th, 2013)


Go to this page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dear-Creek/262507910471707?fref=ts

look for this comment(you have to let it load and scroll down)

for grace

Grace is my daughter, who was adopted by a loving family when I was 16.  I can’t do much for her, but I try to do what I can.  Thank you!

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Ted Nugent-Stranglehold


Ted Nugent has a lot of political ideas.  Agree with him disagree with him…  his guitar skills are amazing.  This is probably my favorite song from him.  The bass riff counterpoint to the guitar just sucks me in.

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“Tainted Love” Evolution of a song…


This is the earliest version I could find on youtube:

Great song, right?  It appeals to so many for so many reasons.  At the time, there was so much strife, women’s rights were still a new idea, segregation was still in effect, Vietnam was going on.  Gloria Jones was a black female singer during this time, and sang this popular song, written by Ed Cobb.

20 years later, “Soft Cell” covered the song.  This was not the first cover, but it was the cover that really brought the song back into the limelight, being played on MTV and associated with a popular music video.  The singer is male, and it speaks to the near desperation of a young man and his desires.  The “synthpop” styling revamped the song into something that appealed more easily to the youth of the 80s, and the song set a guinness book of world records for “longest stay on the top 100”.

Redone again, 20 years later, for the move titled,”Not another teen movie” by Marilyn Manson.  The song and video now become an attention getting anthem for the “Gothic” subculture and it’s dark “forbidden” calls.  The video mocks the “prep” college culture, suggesting that all those people in all black just might be having a more awesome time than the “popular” kids.

All of that said, I love the song.  I really like how one song, redone slightly, appeals to different audiences over a period of 40 years.  It doesn’t matter when you first heard the song, you can jam to any of the versions.  Some songs are good enough to do this, and I always enjoy trying to trace it back over time.  I look forward to the next version that will be a real change, in my opinion-the version I hope we’ll see in 2021.  🙂

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Gnarls Barkley-Crazy


Gnarls Barkley, aka Cee Lo Green, is one of my favorite musicians.  This song, “Crazy” speaks to the idea that no one really has control of their lives or anything, that such thinking is wishful at best.  I like the places I can go philosophically and thoughtfully with the message.  Add to that, the way it makes me think of “old” music in it’s melodic tones is an interesting counterpoint to the gritty sounds of more “modern” sounding musicians.  I think there is a real attraction to this type of music among gen X and later.  I know I like it, anyway.  🙂

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