Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

How to Destroy Angels is a new project that Trent Reznor and wife Mariqueen Maandig revealed to us recently (with a video clip featuring 40 seconds of music and the subsequent official announcement). By now we all know that HTDA (which also features Atticus Ross of 12 Rounds and recent Nine Inch Nails producer/programmer) are planning on releasing a 6-song EP this summer.

Earlier this month, the first song to emerge from the forth-coming EP titled “A Drowning” was digitally released. Late last week, a second song surfaced accompanied by the following video. The video is fairly graphic as Reznor and Mariqueen not only appear to have been bludgeoned to death (despite her still being able to sing), but they are also then engulfed in flames as a very much alive couple in the same hotel room sit idly by, watching a dirt-bike race and having a seemingly pleasant conversation on the phone, no less.

Both the video and the song bear some strong resemblances to Reznor’s previous work (not surprisingly) as the song sounds very much like it could’ve been pulled from NIN’s back catalogue with the only difference being the female vocals. I do have to say though, hers fits in quite well in the song. It almost appears as if the song ends too soon, as though this video is incomplete but there’s nothing I could find to support that this is just a sample and not a finished product.

Popularity: unranked [?]

How to Destroy Angels to feature Trent Reznor and his Wife?

Posted by newsboy On April - 28 - 2010

From our good friend James Callsen over at x92.9;

Word is Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig (ex-West Indian Girl) are getting ready to release a project called How To Destroy Angels (the title of a Coil album, one of Reznor’s favorite records).

Apparently their mutual publicist sent out a cryptic e-mail stating:

“Self-titled 6-track EP out this summer. Exact date TBA. More details to be announced as they become available at http://howtodestroyangels.com/

If you hit up the website, you also get this little snippet:

Editors note: Sounds a lot like Nine Inch Nails to me but then again, NIN IS Trent Reznor so who knows. Sounds decent enough though and personally, most anything Reznor does is good in my books.

You can hear James, a.k.a. Newsboy, dish out the news weekday afternoons on x92.9 fm in Calgary. Make sure to check out his blog too.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Nine Inch Nails Featured in Fringe Promo Spot This Week

Posted by cristóvão On October - 22 - 2009

ninb4For those who know me, I’m an enormous fan of Fringe, the new paranormal drama in it’s second season on FOX Thursdays.  My obsession is bordering on the fan-boy, but this may just catapult me (and likely many others) into a whole new dimension…so to speak.

Entertainment Weekly revealed today that Trent Reznor re-worked the song “Zero-Sum” (from the 2007 Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero) for a promo ad that will be aired tonight during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels (Fringe is off tonight due to the game and returns on November 5th, 2009).

In the one minute ad, which features scenes from the next episode titled “Earthling”, Reznor is said to be replace lyrics in the song with quotes from Fringe character William Bell (played on the show by Leonard Nimoy).

Here’s a video of the promo ad;

If this doesn’t get more people watching Fringe, I don’t know what will. Fringe stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson (of Dawson’s Creek fame), Lance Reddick (LOST, Oz) and John Noble (24, the Lord of the Rings).

Popularity: unranked [?]

Virgin Festival Ontario Announced!

Posted by cristóvão On July - 14 - 2009

2008virginfestlogoThe last of the 2009 Canadian Virgin Festivals was just announced today and it looks to be the best of the lot.

Virgin Festival Ontario, to be held at Burl’s Creek Park just North-East of Barrie, ON, about an hour North of Toronto, will take place on August 29th and 30th featuring plenty of big names on the bill.

The Saturday night, the headliners will be Ben Harper _ Relentless7, the Pixies and Franz Ferdinand while on Sunday night, Nine Inch Nails, Pet Shop Boys and Our Lady Peace. Of course, there are loads of other acts so here’s the confirmed line-up thus far;

NIN fans in Ontario should be absolutely delighted since Trent Reznor announced the band would be no more after his tour was done. This new addition to NIN‘s Wave Goodbye tour (along with a host of to-be-announced club dates in the U.S.) stretches out the group’s farewell which should be fine by many.

Tickets for Virgin Festival Ontario go on sale this Saturday, July 18th at 12:00 hrs NOON Eastern Time but stay tuned for pre-sale details once they are announced. Tickets for the full weekend are $99 plus fees, significantly less than Virgin Festival Alberta (boo-urns!) yet not as cheap as Virgin Festival Nova Scotia turned out to be. The one-day show on July 4th was supposed to feature the Tragically Hip as the headliners but at the last minute they had to cancel due to a family emergency and Virgin organizers refunded everyone their ticket price and let everyone else for free.

Popularity: unranked [?]

NINtendo

Posted by cristóvão On June - 29 - 2009

This was posted on the Nine Inch Nails site today. Gotta love it!

nintendo

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Nine Inch Nails ~ “Lights in the Sky” LIVE

Posted by cristóvão On June - 11 - 2009

Currently on their NIN|JA tour with Jane’s Addiction and Street Sweeper Social Club, here’s a video fo Nine Inch Nails performing “Lights in the Sky” live in Austin, TX on May 12th, 2009;

NIN: “Lights In The Sky” live from on stage, Austin 5.12.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Pretty fantastic video quality, filmed by Rob Sheridan on a Canon 5D Mark II dSLR.

Popularity: 4% [?]

EP Review: NIN|JA 2009 Tour Sampler

Posted by cristóvão On May - 8 - 2009

ninjaIt may have took a little while to get this review out but if you haven’t yet get your hands on this FREE EP, hopefully this will be the instigator.

Naturally, whenever you can get something for free, it increases it’s value and worth by a few points. When that free EP comes from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction (hence the NIN|JA), it makes things that much more intriguing. But the real star on this EP is a duo known as Street Sweeper Social Club.

You may know these two gentlemen from their other endeavors; the Coup and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave. Street Sweeper (their original, shorter name) emerged while Tom Morello was touring his solo act, known by the name of the Nightwatchmen. The Coup vocalist/emcee Boots Riley made a number of on-stage performing appearances on a song called “100 Little Curses“. 

Although that song does not appear on this EP, current radio single “Clap For the Killers” does and it’s a pretty catchy song with Riley’s captivating vocals and Morello’s simple yet awesome guitar. Skip to track six though, and it’s “the Oath” that is the absolute winner in this free offering. Simply put, it’s just a fantastic, infectious song that you can listen to over and over again.

Of course, NIN and JA are no slouches. They each have two brand new tracks on the EP. Lead track “Chirp Away” is a tribal, mostly instrumental romp from the latter but “Whores” is vintage Jane’s Addiction. “Not So Pretty Now” is just so awesome that it only leaves you begging Trent Reznor to not close the door on NIN after this tour is done. Oh, and “Non-Entity” is pretty fucking sweet too.

Do yourself a monster favour; head to the official NIN|JA page, drop in your email address and download this amazing EP. You might want to travel to the nearest city this tour will stop in and check them out live too.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Day 91 Shenanigans

Posted by cristóvão On April - 2 - 2009

I understand that many people hate April Fools Day but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Back in 2005 when we were known as a weekly newsletter called kMNR, we pulled an April Fools reporting that System of a Down had abruptly broken up while recording what would become Mezmerize/Hypnotize. Of course, it wasn’t true but we managed to fool a few loyal readers. Sadly, it did eventually come true in a sense when SOAD went on indefinite hiatus in 2007.

This year, we returned to the antics with “Our Prayers Have Been Answered…Nirvana Return!” which not only fooled a few readers, but even fooled an unnamed Off the Dial contributor! We weren’t the only ones having fun this year. Check out what Trent Reznor pulled off yesterday;

ninstrobelight

Gotta love the track titles (“Even Closer“, “Clap Trap Crack Slap“, “Laid, Paid and Played“, “Still Hurts“) and featured artists, especially the pairing. I can’t decide which is better; Fergie with Al Jourgensen or Justin Timberlake with Maynard James Keenan. Oh, and if you actually tried to sign up for your free, $18.99 + $10 digital convenience fee copy of the album, here’s what you got;

ninstrobelighterr

Speaking of Maynard, the original kMNR 2005 April Fools was inspried by toolshed.down.net, a long-running Tool fan-site run by Kabir. He’s been pulling April Fools on Tool fans for well over ten years, the most famous being the 1997 Australian auto accident that reportedly injured several band members. The result was an online uproar from those who fell for it and thought the joke was inappropriate. Even more hilarious was the fact that a number of radio stations in the U.S. reported the story although others, plus MTV News, reported the hoax as exactly that. Ten years later, t.d.n reported on April 1st that drummer Danny Carey had injured his arm and the band had to cancel/postpone several tour dates. Nothing really outlandish but when SPIN magazine picked it up as truth, it pushed it up the ranks of excellence.

This year, t.d.n falsely reported that the band were going to play a limited number of small venue shows in between their summer festival tour and you had to call in to your local rock radio station and provide them with the password (“cozened”) to obtain ticket details. One radio station announced on-air that it was NOT true (they must’ve got quite a few calls).

Lastly, Microsoft revealed this on an XBOX web site yesterday. Enjoy!

Popularity: 5% [?]

Trent Reznor Speaks Out AGAINST the Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger

Posted by cristóvão On March - 15 - 2009

trent-reznorI started writing this article over a week ago. Unfortunately, my utter disdain for Ticketmaster led me to write in circles about how much I can’t believe they get away with what they do and my point got lost in the shuffle of madness.

Then last week news broke of Billy Corgan supporting the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger and all bets were off. I tasked contributing writer Show (aka Andy Stewart) with tackling this story and he pulled it off with flying colours (read Part 1 and Part 2)!

Today, whilst twittering (Yes, I keep neglecting to tell all of you that Off the Dial is now on Twitter), I came across a note Trent Reznor posted on the Nine Inch Nails forum. Rather than try to paraphrase or quote what genius he offered, I decided to present it to you here, in full;

As we approach on-sale dates for the upcoming tour, I’ve noticed lots of you are curious / concerned / outraged at the plethora of tickets that somehow appear on all these reseller sites at inflated prices – even before the pre-sale dates. I’ll do my best to explain the situation as I see it, as well as clarify my organization’s stance in the matter.

NIN decides to tour this summer. We arrive at the conclusion outdoor amphitheaters are the right venue for this outing, for a variety of reasons we’ve throughly considered*. In the past, NIN would sell the shows in each market to local promoters, who then “buy” the show from us to sell to you. Live Nation happens to own all the amphitheaters and bought most of the local promoters – so if you want to play those venues, you’re being promoted by Live Nation. Live Nation has had an exclusive deal with TicketMaster that has just expired, so Live Nation launched their own ticketing service. Most of the dates on this tour are through Live Nation, some are through TicketMaster – this is determined by the promoter (Live Nation), not us.
Now we get into the issue of secondary markets for tickets, which is the hot issue here. The ticketing marketplace for rock concerts shows a real lack of sophistication, meaning this: the true market value of some tickets for some concerts is much higher than what the act wants to be perceived as charging. For example, there are some people who would be willing to pay $1,000 and up to be in the best seats for various shows, but MOST acts in the rock / pop world don’t want to come off as greedy pricks asking that much, even though the market says its value is that high. The acts know this, the venue knows this, the promoters know this, the ticketing company knows this and the scalpers really know this. So…

The venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller (which from this point on will be referred to by their true name: SCALPER). I am not saying every one of the above entities all do this, nor am I saying they do it for all shows but this is a very common practice that happens more often than not. There is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it. There are a number of scams they employ to pull this off which is beyond the scope of this note.

StubHub.com is an example of a re-seller / scalper. So is TicketsNow.com.

Here’s the rub: TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years – certainly up until Live Nation’s exclusive deal ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don’t THEY do it? It’s obvious – they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (TicketsNow.com)!

NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket. We charge you a surcharge that has been less than TicketMaster’s or Live Nation’s in all cases so far to pay for the costs of doing this – it’s not a profit center for us. We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things – because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites.

I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it’s not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it’s not always about money.
Being completely honest, it IS something I’ve had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I’m the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do – simple as that.

My guess as to what will eventually happen if / when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they’ll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme – which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show. They will simply BECOME the scalper, eliminating them from the mix.

Nothing’s going to change until the ticketing entity gets serious about stopping the problem – which of course they don’t see as a problem. The ultimate way to hurt scalpers is to not support them. Leave them holding the merchandise. If this subject interests you, check out the following links. Don’t buy from scalpers, and be suspect of artists singing the praises of the Live Nation / TicketMaster merger. What’s in it for them?

* I fully realize by playing those venues we are getting into bed with all these guys. I’ve learned to choose my fights and at this point in time it would be logistically too difficult to attempt to circumvent the venues / promoter / ticketing infrastructure already in place for this type of tour. For those of you about to snipe “it’s your fault for playing there, etc… ” – I know it is.

It’s refershing to see an artist come out and tell it like it is, being so candid as to explain their own actions. Long before I started writing for this site, I hailed Pearl Jam for their efforts to fight the Ticketmaster behemoth and their unfair fees. Naturally, I was saddened to see that fight end in less than satisfactory fashion. After hearing Corgan’s put his support behind the merger and not against it, I experienced similar sadness (and for the record, I like what Corgan has done in both Zwan and Smashing Pumpkins but was never blind to his prima-donna manners).

The fact of the matter is, Ticketmaster has for far too long gotten away with exorbitantly charging concert and event-goers fees that hardly seem fair. Now that they have purchased “auction” (read: SCALPING) site TicketsNow.com, it’s obvious they are getting to big and too bold for the good of the public. They’re already facing two lawsuits in Canada for directing consumers to the aformentioned scalping site seconds after tickets went on sale (and conveniently sold out almost immediately, as was the case for the recent Leonard Cohen shows) and have even lost a battle against “The Boss”, Bruce Springsteen.

When will this blatently open greed end? I suppose it’s more appropriate to ask, when will consumers finally stand up to these monsters and say, “Enough is enough!”

Popularity: 6% [?]

NIN to Tour with Jane’s Addiction…and Disappear for a While?

Posted by cristóvão On February - 17 - 2009

ninb4Yesterday, Nine Inch Nails front-man Trent Reznor posted on nin.com that the band will be heading back out on tour this year with none other than Jane’s Addiction. In the post, he reminisced about first touring with Perry Farrell and company in his early career on the Lollapalooza tour as follows;

“Towards the beginning of my career in Nine Inch Nails, our biggest break came in the form of an invitation to perform a series of shows with Jane’s Addiction. These performances essentially created and defined the term “alternative” rock in the US, created an ongoing festival franchise that is still thriving (Lollapalooza), set the stage for Nirvana to shift popular taste a few months later, and were really fucking FUN to play and attend – truly the best times I’ve had. The shows were epic. So epic, they propelled NIN to the “next level” (whatever that means), but caused Jane’s to implode. The band broke up at the end of that tour.”

Fast forward to the present. Corporate rock STILL sucks. A friend tells me they saw the original Jane’s lineup play a tiny show in LA that was unbelievable. I break out my Jane’s records and am amazed by how vital they sound. These guys were the real deal and in this current climate mostly dominated by poseurs and pussies it was refreshing to hear something that sounded dangerous, volatile, beautiful and SINCERE.
Emails were sent, phone calls were made, dinner was arranged, ideas were discussed and the next thing I know we’re in the studio experimenting. We laugh, we get to know each other, we cry, we yell, we almost quit, we record LOTS of guitar solos, we discuss, we actually begin to all communicate, we yell some more, we become FRIENDS, we laugh again and we do some great things. I get to see first hand why they broke up all those years ago but I also get the chance to see four distinct personalities that become an INCREDIBLE band when they’re in the same room.”

He then goes on to explain that last year’s “Lights in the Sky” tour was very tough for them and how this upcoming tour could very well be the last one for quite some time;

“In NIN world, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I’ve been thinking for some time now it’s time to make NIN disappear for a while. Last year’s “Lights in the Sky” tour was something I’m quite proud of and seems like the culmination of what I could pull off in terms of an elaborate production. It was also quite difficult to pull off technically and physically night after night and left us all a bit dazed. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year. The approach to these shows is quite different from last year – much more raw, spontaneous and less scripted. Fun for us and a different way for you to see us and wave goodbye. I reached out to Jane’s to see if they’d want to join us across the US and we all felt it could be a great thing. Will it work? Will it resonate in the marketplace? Who knows. Are there big record label marketing dollars to convince you to attend? Nope.
Does it feel right to us and does it seem like it will be fun for us and you? Yes it does.
Look for tour dates soon and I hope to see you out there.”

It’s unclear whether that means NIN will cease to tour for some time or if Reznor will even halt working on any NIN material for the near future. I suppose only time will tell but regardless, fans (including this one) are frothing at the mouth about the tour with Jane’s Addiction. Stay tuned to Off the Dial for news on tour dates once they’re released!

Popularity: 4% [?]

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