A to Z of Music I Love: N is for Nine Inch Nails.

I could write about Nirvana but there is one bad that really marks a trail right along my musical journey.

When I started 7th grade I was listening to Top 40 and oldies. I didn’t have anything that really existed in my world. Modern rock stations never stayed around long enough back home. Mostly country and classic rock and top 40 bullshit. Shortly before their demise the local college rock station (which is now boring jazz) played a hard rock hour late one night. They played Caroline Spine, Radiohead (wait for the R entry), some nondiscript college rock, then they played ministry and then this:


Mentally my mind started opening up and things changed. (the song was edited for radio.) Then things started progressing as more and more music became known to me and then this happened. Their greatest album and most famous song.


I then went and found their first album on tape, yes tape. The first two albums and an EP helped get through high school. Always there when i was upset, angry or lonely. Weird how one band can be there. While Radiohead is my all time favorite band, Nine Inch Nails is number two for a reason. They were the opposite to Radiohead. My yin and yang. My mental guidelines and aids.

Off the tape, I fell in love with this song. Not a great video but I still love the song.

It got better Live too

Then came one of my favorite movies LOST HIGHWAY. I still love it and still love this song.

SO throughout high school they were there and then came college and the release of The Fragile. The album was depressing and affirming. My tastes in music generally broadened but some how i always came back to them. I went through some bad places in college and the music was there. I never got to see NIN live. I made quite a few good friends through our shared love of NIN (holla peaches and karen!) but always it was the concert I never got to go to. Always played live when i was with family or at college but at the opposite side of the continent. I saw Trent a few times in new orleans off and on. Ran into him at a bar in the quarter. Another time he was going to a party after the one i went to let out of an upstairs club. I don't see him as a god of icon but as a man who expressed the emotions so many of have.

Star*uckers Inc

I guess the NIN quiet period that started post this album also equalled my movement to more indie rock, weirder music, and americana. I am not sure why but I started exploring other things than what i had found. Like always when I needed the music, it was there.

Another great track that helped with college (one of the few)

I then ended up waiting like so many till much later for something else. SO i could keep writing about how much NIN means to me. I also wonder how to explain the emotional connection that this music has brought me.

I was so excited to see them live for the first time at Voodoofest. I bought tickets made plans then two months before, Hurricane Katrina. My sadness and my pain from all that got fed into the album "With Teeth" and this video and song became how i felt (and sometimes still do).

"There is no you, there is one me."
I ended up seeing them three times in the last 5 years. The opening acts of Saul Williams, Peaches, TV on the Radio and Bauhaus were all firsts for me. I saw HEALTH too but I don't really like them that much. The prolific last few years of Trent Reznor has produced a wealth of good music and interesting adoption of current internet technology. Only time will tell what happens next.

From this comes a good concept album in "Year Zero" and a great single.

Then Came Ghosts and The Slip

Ghosts 31

The music has been there for 20 years of my life. The band is no more. That means Trent has other things planned and I will look forward too. I need to go and get the legal torrents they put up and make DVDs of the great music and shows that have been made.

Thank you Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). My life would be pretty boring and I would still be listening to Amy Grant and Michael W. SMith with out you. Thank you.

Bonus Cover Awesomeness!!!

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