Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm Listening to the new NIN single RIGHT NOW...

And it's a real song...with words!

The title is...I swear to God..."Discipline." And part of the chorus is...I swear to God..."I need your discipline." Ooh, dirty in a "Master and Servant" kind of way! Or at least I hope so because that would be more fun than a song about, say, addiction and relapse or something. It kind of mixes the ponderous piano of the "Ghost I-IV" tracks with the gothy disco of "Closer" or "The Big Comedown."

I'm giving it a thumbs up, as I'm sure will be no surprise to you all. But all this talk of discipline is cracking me up.

Trent, honey, what exactly do you need to be disciplined for? Did you break the vase in the hallway while rough-housing with Atticus? Have you been having trouble getting off the couch and going to the gym? (Me too!) I can totally help you out on the discipline part; I went to Catholic school for TWELVE YEARS. I know I've got a ruler around here somewhere...

So bitches and Dan, what do you think? Do you like the new song? What the hell are the lyrics? Does anyone know yet?

illustration by Zeemort


maise said...

Okay, my latest theory...

Trent wants to star in the next season of "Hell's Kitchen," and the discipline he needs is that of Gordon Ramsey.



Iris said...

The one day I don't check in with and Trent posts something. Always the way it goes.

Thanks for the tipoff though Zeemort! I LOVE this new song. It's so pop-y which means JR and Dan are going to HATE it.

Trent's made it through all his days of angst and come full circle to his pop record roots of Exotic Birds. Do your dance oriented thing, Trent!

Iris said...


Am I still tough enough?
Feels like I'm running down, down, down down down
Is my viciousness
Losing ground ground ground ground ground
Am I taking too much?
Did I cross the line, line, line?
I'm in my loneliness
That I clearly defined

I need your discipline
I need your help
I need your discipline
You know once I start I cannot help myself

Now it's starting up
Feels like I'm losing touch
Oh nothing matters to me
Nothing matters as much

I see you left a mark
Up and down the skin skin skin
I don't know where I am
or where to begin

I need your discipline
I need your help
I need your discipline
You know once I start I cannot help myself


I cannot stop myself
Once I start I cannot stop myself
(And you know)
Once I start I cannot stop myself
(And you may know)
Once I start I cannot stop myself
I need your discipline
(And you know)
I need your help
(Once I stop I cannot stop myself)
I need your discipline

Iris said...

These lyrics are CLEARLY a message to NIN fans. Trent's pondering his position as reigning badass and his efforts to reshape the music industry. And you know him...Mr. Nothing Can Stop Me Now...once he gets going, well, nothing can stop him so he needs some discipline.

maise said...

You know, listening to this for like the eighth time tonight, I've got to agree with Gabe (with whome I'm chatting) that this is Trent going back to his PUREST FEELING roots. It's awesomely gay.

Iris said...

Slight lyric correction:

i need my role in this
very clearly defined

There's a link up on now to officially download the song. For this being a new release and I'm sure all the Ninternet trying to download it, it went really smoothly for me. Not like the clusterfuck downloading process of Ghosts.

I wonder what this is associated with? Just a freebie song or part of a new album? And really...another album so soon? But when you look at the info in iTunes it just has a question mark for album.

Also, what's with the artwork? Been playing Tetris much?

Fuck. It's 3am and I'm still wired! That'll teach me not to take a 3 hour nap after dinner.

Isabel said...

This is so exciting, i'm in the UK and have only just heard it. I think Trent has some masterplan somewhere or maybe he just likes messing with us - one minute its a somewhat pompous 36 song instrumental, the next a cheesy ditty about discipline, I love it! So you have heard of Gordon Ramsay in the US? I think he'd use a somewhat stronger word than 'donkey'

Iris said...

Heard of him? We fucking LOVE him! Gordon Ramsay fills the void left by some other now well adjusted guy who used to have huge temper tantrums and use vast amounts of profanity. Gordon just does it in the kitchen rather than on stage.

I've watched a few episodes of his British cooking shows up at Maise's house. I don't think he's as foul on those ones. Maybe just hamming it up for the Americans? Who knows and who cares.

Yeah. 4am and still wide awake. Later today is going to SUCK.

Zeemort said...

Seriously I've had a smile plastered on my face since I heard this song.

I had the first part of my graphics exam today and I've been humming it for most of it.

I may have also wiggled (I would not call it dancing) around my house to it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man.

Oh man oh man oh man.

Who remembers "Men On Film" from In Living Color?

"Hated it!"

It's not because it's poppy. It's because, once again, it's not very good. I'm pretty sure that Danny Boy will back me up on this one, but if anybody else released this--say, someone you all didn't want to fuck--you'd laff at it.

I will say that it's better than the part of Ghosts that I reviewed, but again, that's not saying much. Our Trent is either turning into a cliche of himself, or the NINtrain is running out of steam--or both.

Either way, it's not pretty. And I'm really sorry to see it happen.

Iris said...

Don't worry, JR. You'll come around to your senses in about 20 years and see why this song is so fun. That seems to be your time frame for "getting things". You just have to embrace the SUPER GAYNESS of it. I may want to fuck him but that isn't stopping me from laughing my ass off along with this song.

Just because you're always bitter doesn't mean El Rez has to be.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it does.

And I'm going to upload a Song Of The Day that I'm listening to RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS that proves I'm not always bitter.

Oh, one more thing: it'll take a day or two for the reality of my first post to settle in, and for you to realize I'm right. Just like with my review. Yeah.

D:ANGEL said...

All right.

So I agree a lot with JR... but a little with Iris. I'll start with Iris.

Lyrically I like it, a lot. It actually shows some real introspection (is that a word), like "hey, I'm old, I'm feel like I am losing my anger that has defined me, I feel like I'm losing my touch" It is kind of what a lot of us have said about his seemingly desperate attempts to cling that dude from 1989 that he used to be and clearly no longer is. The lyrics are tragic, but honest and I really really think that is cool of him to put that out there.

Musically this is ridiculous garbage. Seriously. Don't call it "fun" because it is in a stock pop song format. It is weak. Trent at his best is offbeat abd inventive, incorporating real world artistic movements into the music world (John Cage-inspired piano or sound collage or whatever).

Lyrically I want more. Go there. Be old. Don't know what your identity is post 90s/post addictions. Let me know the confusing pain of that. That is REAL and COMPELLING.

Musically, throw it all out and re-invent the wheel. Redefine the genre. Don't be fun, cute or retro. Knock me on my ass. But DO NOT do another craptastic voyage of music like this again.

Iris said...


Trent has some weird fans. Check out Someone has made him more Trent dolls. And he says they'll destroy you if you don't download the new song.

How can he not be pop when he's got his own pop icon dolls now?

Lyrically though I'm hoping this is just a starting point. A good one but one he should run with further. And who knows, if this is just one song off of what's to be a new album then maybe this is his "get me back on the radio" single. Like The Hand That Feeds was off [With_Teeth]. THTF wasn't the best song off the album but it was playable for radio stations.

What was played on the radio for Year Zero? My Violent Heart and Survivalism? I rarely hear NIN played here. If it's not country or classic rock then it's not on the radio. Once in a blue moon they'll play Closer.

maise said...

Thanks, Iris. Those dolls will haunt my dreams.

JR, Dan, I get what you're isn't Trent's *best song ever* by any means, and it seems a little odd to me to build a song around the word "discipline," but I still love it. A) It's Trent, and I'm always interested to hear what he has to say. B) It's nice to see him embrace the SUPER-GAYNESS within. This song says to me, despite the lyrics, "I don't give a shit what the cynical or hipper-than-thou think, I'm going to use my god-given talen to create pop hooks." In all sincerity, he's brilliant at creating hooks...the song with despairing lyrics that you also would like to dance or fuck to. And I have no problem with him exercising that ability, given that he's just given us 36 tracks of experimental instrumentals.

And as Iris said, we have no idea what the new record will sound like.

Anonymous said...

"A) It's Trent, and I'm always interested to hear what he has to say. B) It's nice to see him embrace the SUPER-GAYNESS within."

A) Then you're being a sychophant, admit it.
B) How about embracing the SUPER TALENTEDNESS within? Then I wouldn't be so bummed with the results.

[With_Teeth] was pretty good, and I'm afraid unless he really gets his head together, maybe the last good record he's going to make for a while. I mean, come on, the other things that he has put out since are records, sure, but they're not good. Filler!

maise said...

To admit that I admire Trent Reznor and want to continue to hear what he has to say is not sycophancy. I take issue with that. I don't love absolutely everything the man says and does (see: "Deep" video), but he has had one of the most interesting careers in modern rock, and he continues to pleasantly surprise me. Will I always pay attention to his work? Yes. Will I see the flaws? Yes. Will I attempt to determine his intent and understand the new directions he travels? Yes. That's not sycophancy, it's admiration. And I'm not ashamed to say I admire him as an artist.

[With_Teeth] I loved, and it is a deeply personal album for me. "Year Zero," represents an innovative departure, but it continues to hold up well as an album. "Ghosts I-IV" might not be to anyone's taste, but I see it as an expression of Trent's creativity and an invitation to the rest of us to be creative as well, to use it as a soundtrack for whatever projects we want to put together. Now we've got the gothic disco of "Discipline," which behind all the danciness has some poignant lyrics. If I'm wrong for enjoying it (as well as snickering at the "Purest Feeling"-esque lyrics), then I don't wanna be right.

Anonymous said...

Maise, I'm not trying to be difficult (really!), but I am left with a couple of questions, because I am genuinely curious, not because I'm trying to grill you:

-What makes Trent's career in modern rock interesting to you?
-Is it his personal issues/crises that bled over into the music, or just strictly the music?
-With someone who has had the amount of output that TR has, do you really think it's fair to cite one song/video as proof that you don't always agree? That's one piece out of how many?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more:

-Do you really think this is a good example of Trent's talent, or more of a quickly knocked-off three minute ditty?

maise said...

Hm, well, I'll try to answer those as completely as I can off-the-cuff.

1) Trent's career in modern rock: I consider it extremely compelling because beneath all the Sturm and Drang of the lyrics and the way he used to immolate himself onstage, the musical choices he makes are very careful and deliberate. He's not just the screaming rocker breaking his guitar, you can also hear traces of the child whose grandmother forced him to play piano and the high school band geek.

Also, he's fascinating because he is capable of such creative diversity. He can create a fast-paced rock song with lyrics that will certainly piss off one's parents, like "Heresy," but he will also create something heartbreakingly beautiful like "La Mer" and "The Great Below." I'd be happy if either song were played at my funeral, not something I'm likely to say about the average...oh, I don't know...Nickelback song.

Also, did you notice how none of his albums sound like any of the others? He grows and evolves, and I'm always curious to see where he goes next.

Finally, there's his personal narrative that I find very compelling...from the descent into self-destruction to the ascent into recovery and strength...from an unrelenting focus on the interior to a gradual curiosity and engagement with the exterior.

When I see the dork within Trent Reznor, I can personally relate to him, yet he seems remote and intimidating and powerful at the same time.

Plus, he's also influencing the careers of up-and-coming artists like Saul Williams, with excellent results thus far, so that's more to look forward to. Plus, he's trying to change the face of music distribution AND open himself up to unprecendent interaction with his fans.

2) Personal issues or just music?
It's both the personal issues AND the music. The personal issues inform the music, but the music saves it all from becoming overly maudlin or self-pitying.

3) I was being facetious. I just didn't have time to cite all the decisions Trent has made in his life that I wouldn't agree with.

I feel that the last half of "Downward Spiral" isn't as strong as the first half. "Reptile" always irritates me with the hypocritical virgin/whore complex. "The Downward Spiral" (the song) seems to cross the line into melodrama.

There's filler on "The Fragile," like "The Mark Has Been Made" and "Ripe [With Decay]."

[With_Teeth] has some filler...songs that don't distinguish themselves. I find myself skipping "You Know What You Are?" and "The Collector."

If there's a point to "The Greater Good" or a meaning to "Vessel," on "Year Zero," then someone please fill me in. I don't want to get into THIS debate again, but I felt like the narrative established by the ARG could have been more effective by not ending so abruptly.

Some pieces on Ghosts I-IV are more effective than others...some are quite powerful, while others feel like more pointless noodling.

And now your final question...I would say that "Discipline" is probably more of a quickly knocked-off ditty, but I also enjoy listening to it, and I want to see how it fits in with the rest of the new album.

maise said...

Forgive any typos on the last post...Blogger doesn't lend itself to editing...

Zeemort said...

Maybe I'm a BAD PERSON musically or something

but uh
what's wrong with it sounding poppy?

maise said...

Nothing, really. It's not likely to win over the Dans of the world, is all.

D:ANGEL said...


But I think it comes from a place of respect. The things I have liked of NIN were challenging and, given the context of the time they were released, were ahead-ish of their time. I admire that.

But WT, YZ and this single just felt so tired. How many variations on the piano melody at the end of Closer can Trent do? He has reused it like 3-4 times over the last few records and it is in this song too.

There were times listening to the last two Danzig records (Glenn Danzig being very much in the Trent mold - writing all the songs, creative control, etc) where I could _FEEL_ him pulling riffs and lyrics from old, better records. Trent's post-Fragile output gives me that vibe.

now there are two camps here:

1) Those just happy to have new NIN, whether it is creative or challenging or not (and I don't point fingers because Danzig and Megadeth certainly haven't been challenging at all in at least 10 years, if not more).

2) Those who want Trent to surprise us with his creativity and musical genius.

Maise is in the former, I in the latter.

D:ANGEL said...

And yes, Zeemort, you are a BAD PERSON musically.

Anonymous said...

I am, once again, in complete agreement with DA.

And I really can't point fingers, because all of my favorite artists tend to write the same song over and over again.

But that won't stop me from pointing fingers anyway.

And if I didn't care about Trent, then I wouldn't even bother to have an opinion. This is Tough Musical Love.

Isabel said...

Is this debate just all reflective of people's personalities? Some people naturally are glass half full kind of people, and some are glass half empty.

I think the fact that Trent can knock up a 3 minute ditty in 10 minutes that sounds so great is just more evidence of his talents - we got it for free after all. And it doesn't stop me appreciating his more experimental side

maise said...

Is this debate just all reflective of people's personalities?

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I'm not going to apologize for liking "Discipline," nor am I going to maintain that it's the Best Song Ever.

And it's true, I'm sure, that I'd rather have more NIN than perfect NIN. I mean, I'm looking for music to sing along to in the car and work out to more than I'm looking for music to put in the Museum of Modern Art. It's not that I don't appreciate innovation and genius; it's just that I'm not demanding constant innovation and genius from Trent. You put an artist under that kind of pressure, and he'll produce nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Maise, you're making excuses for Trent. Admit it.

And you know what? I bristle, I really do, at the assumption that I am a "glass half full" kind of person. Having standards does not a pessimist make. In fact, you could really argue that I am the bigger optimist, since I think it possible for him to do better. The fact that the rest of you are happy with whatever he gives you is what I would consider pessimistic ("It's better than nothing" "At least he's not doing drugs" "This one has words...that's something").

Realizing that someone is capable of more and then holding them to a higher standard is glass half full. You know that glass will hold more, and you want it filled. Now. Or you're going to have to speak with the maitre d'.

Why am I always so misunderstood?

D:ANGEL said...

Well, the thing is that I don't dislike the song either. It is catchy. And I don't mind the poppiness of it. What I kind of crinkle my brow at is the tierdness of it. The distort-o bass. The thin drum samples. The piano, and the dissonant melody played by it. it all feels VERY VERY familiar. Like an outtake. Even the production and mixing sound like they were done on auto-pilot. This is _so_ standard NIN stuff that it tempers my excitement A LOT. Trent is so talented and creative, and has so many music making toys and options at his disposal that it just feels like he is:

A) Bored and lacking drive to create soemthing new


B) Pandering to an audience he believes will only accept stuff like this from him (and maybe he is right - he is the one making buckets of dough with music, not me).

D:ANGEL said...


Forget NIN.

The new JUDAS PRIEST single just debuted and it shreds.

Part of a 104 minute rock opera based on Nostradamus.


That's innovation, folks.

Anonymous said...

Part of a 104 minute rock opera based on Nostradamus.

For real?

D:ANGEL said...

Yes, for real.

D:ANGEL said...

From an early review:

"Some fans have expressed concern to me about this album being potentially 'Spinal Tap', but they have nothing to fear. The current free download (the title track) delivers a ferocious song that will certainly remind PRIEST fans of 'Painkiller', but the whole album goes far deeper. Over the course of 104 minutes, they deliver everything from emotional ballads to heavy anthems to orchestral interludes that are quite impressive in their musical and emotional scope. 'Angel of Retribution' was a good but safe comeback album. 'Nostradamus' takes PRIEST to another level. They're exploring many areas we've never heard from them. The main songs, which are all between four and eight minutes apiece, have classical or operatic overtones but are still heavy. They use live strings, piano, acoustic and Spanish guitar, and keyboards in different places. Rob even sings in Italian during 'Plague and Pestilence'. Instead of focusing on Nostradamus' prophecies, which have been debated ad nauseum, he tackles the dramas and tragedies within his life. Even though the individual songs are strong, PRIEST aren't going for hit singles here. It's powerful conceptual metal all the way. Rob's voice sounds great and his vocals the most diverse since 'Stained Class', and Glenn and Ken's guitar playing is stellar. Beyond the tours this year, they're hoping to stage the album on a grander scale next year at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall or the Royal Albert Hall."

Anonymous said...

Weird that a band who had a release titled "Stained Class" would be mentioned in the same light as Spinal Tap...

Isabel said...

Come on D:angel, innovation? Have you never heard of Rush?

D:ANGEL said...

I don't mind Rush... they are good. I own Moving Pictures.

D:ANGEL said...

Stained Class is considered Judas Priest's artistic Peak. Their "rockin'" peak is either Screaming for Vengeance or Painkiller.

Turbo is their worst.

D:ANGEL said...

Are there two versions of this new NIN song? A 3:40 version and a "full version"?

Youtube has some versions that are almost 5 minutes. I like the long version better.

Iris said...

I searched some of the 5 minute versions on YouTube and it sounds like the song has been "officially released" as 4:29 version and the sound is a little better. Longer intro and exit tacked on. As for the other extra time it seems like just silence or people's titles/credits to their videos.

The 3:34 version I had in our video was a leaked copy emailed to me. Not sure if it was a rip from the radio stations that were playing it or what. Are there other differences you hear, DA? I'm kind of wiped out from another long day at the office.

And I've got a totally random question for you DA. How do you feel about Henry Rollins? I watched a bunch of his videos on YouTube this weekend from his stand-up comedy routine and from his "talk show". Really funny and seems to be a pretty bright fellow, too.

Anonymous said...

Henry Rollins kicks ASS.



Not self important?

The only drawback is that he's kinda too liberal, and too much a fan of that waste of space Janeane Garafalo.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Iris, I missed the "stand up" part of your comment.

Rollins is not a stand up comedian. He has been doing the spoken word thing for 20 something years, and he stands while he does it, and he is quite funny, but he's not a stand up comedian.

Iris said...

So yeah I agree with just about everything you said there, JR, but does talking about dating still count as spoken word?

D:ANGEL said...

as for long NIN: I only listened once... maybe I was just experiencing it differently.

Um.. let's see Henry R. is great. He has written all these books, of about 50% are crap but there are some are really sad/good - like the one (I forget which) where he talks about a friend that was shot. I like old Black Flag too.

I used to have a celebrity crush on Janeane Garafalo. The sarcasm, the dark hair, the kooky glasses. Yeah.

Anonymous said...

Spoken word = speaking.

Content is irrelevant. Or at least very secondary.

So I guess you could call Kathy Griffin a spoken word artist, too. And there's my dream couple: Kathy Griffin and Henry Rollins. That'd be GREAT. They're both big USO people, so they've got stuff in common. AND she'd make him laff.

(And I'm looking at bringing HR to my theatre before the end of the year...keep yr fingers crossed for me...)

Anonymous said...

It was Joe Cole, DannyBoy. He of the mention in Sonic Youth's "100%".

Anonymous said...

Henry is also admirable for his 2.13.61, his publishing/record label enterprise.

Iris said...

Hell, JR, you get Mr. Rollins in you theater and I just might come stay on your couch. ;)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if you get a chance to check him out--either the spoken stuff or with Rollins Band--he come highly recommended, with the JR Seal of Approval.

Iris said...

Insight from the "unofficial" Giant Head, Teitan.

You guys...
I've skimmed around a bit here seeing what the mob has to say. I'm posting here because I don't want this to be "official".
Interesting reading comparisons to WT and PHM. The truth is, this track just came out "as is". I am obviously aware of how "poppy" it is and that should be taken as no indication of what other music I may or may not be working on might sound like. It's almost summer, it felt right, it was refreshing after GHOSTS, I went with it.

Freedom from the infrastructure of record labels means immediate turn-around time from me to you, if that's the plan. It's exciting to be able to do that and it's affecting my method of working at the moment. I suspect soon I will purposely take more time away and work differently - perhaps more calculated and deliberate. For now, this method is stimulating to me and is yielding results I'm pleased with.

What in the hell am I saying? Take your fucking shirts off and dance!

This entry is also funny. Poor Trent. No respect, I tell ya.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that La Rez doesn't like the freedom of the speech, especially if it hits anywhere close to home.

Isabel said...

Come on JR, him saying 'blow me' on a forum is the epitome of freedom of speech. If he didn't believe in freedom of speech, he'd try and close the site down or have the offenders banned, not come up with a riposte and engage in banter with them

Iris said...

What's wrong with him addressing some questions from a messageboard semi-anonymously? Besides it's not like he's consistently using ETS to address issues. This was like his 79th comment in the 6 years since he registered the name. Not exactly a big talker.

D:ANGEL said...

Ah, joe cole. Yes. It's been like over 10 years since I read it and I'm fuzzy. Plus I am in the last week of classes and running on fumes. My paper on Nietzsche in support of animal rights is going well though!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't referring to his "charming" use of the juvenile term "blow me," but rather to his reaction to someone not liking his subpar release. Apparently, the freedom of speech is okay if he gets to say "blow me" but not so okay if someone wants to say "Trent, that just wasn't so good."

And ladies, I hate to say it, but that must be the final proof that Trent DOESN'T read...cause if he did, there's no way he would have stood for my not liking Ghosts or that craptastic new single. I'm just sayin'.

By the way, I have food poisoning, and I'm supposed to go to Vegas this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and you should all check out this.

teitan said...

Blow me.

Anonymous said...