Trini sent me a download link for the newest Nine Inch Nails project, The Slip, which was offered as a Zip file full of variable-rate MP3s or, if you do torrents, Apple Lossless, FLAC or actual .wav files. I don’t do torrents, so I opted for the MP3s, which sounded decent enough.
Somewhere during the download, I found myself with a horrible thought: What if I actually met NIN’s Trent Reznor and he turned out to be your genial, neighborly, 1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero sort of guy? Surely he can’t be this angst-y all the time, especially after having cleaned up 100 percent following some industrial-strength substance abuse.
Or maybe he can, and after some reflection (and listening to the tracks on The Slip), I figured out just what it was I’ve been responding to in NIN’s music. Reznor isn’t even close to monochromatic, tonally or emotionally; but his reaction to emotion, as I perceive it anyway, is binary: he confronts it, or he wallows in it. This is very like me, except that I do way more wallowing than confronting. I tossed this notion at Trini, who is more of a NIN fan than I am, and she said that it made sense to her. Then again, I suspect she’s still a bit surprised that I, barely on the near side of fifty-five, pay the slightest bit of attention to Nine Inch Nails, especially given my affinity for the Dawn Eden dictum “I don’t consider myself legally bound to know about any music past 1968.”
Speaking of 1968, Kim du Toit has a nice overview of some choice albums of that year, not all of which have been played to death in the subsequent four decades. Trent Reznor, I note for no particular reason, was three that year.