December 13, 2005
Through Every Honey, Above My Knees
I decided to waste this past Saturday night by watching the streaming internet webcast of that KROQ Almost Acoustic Actually Not Even Close To Acoustic Whoever Came Up With This Title Was A Fucking Moron Christmas concert. More specifically, the performance by Nine Inch Nails, the one band there who sounded like they actually knew what musical instruments are supposed to do. Shockingly enough, Green Day was not there (presumably because Billie Joe was busy getting his eyebrows waxed), so NIN actually got to be the headliner of the evening. Well, along with System of a Down, who are apparently considered important for some reason. It was kind of cool watching the concert from the comfort of my own home with no pants on, but it just didn't feel quite the same without some creepy bald Neanderthal giving me the stink eye from across the room. But hey, at least it was free. I'm sick of always having to pay to go see these goddamned NIN shows.
Anyway, I noticed a few things while watching NIN play their loud Satanic rock music. For one, it seems that Josh Freese is actually a homo. I hadn't been aware of this before, but a gentleman in the audience was kind enough to inform everyone of this fact during the obligatory "Hurt" performance. I mean, I knew Jerome was, but I had no idea about Josh. And wouldn't you know it, NIN really does have a song called "Starfuckers, Inc." I was certain that it had been nothing more than a horrible, horrible dream, but it appears I was mistaken. Hopefully I can suppress the memory again with a few months of therapy.
But there was one aspect of the show that really sticks out in my mind, and I'd like to talk about it here since it's my page and I can do whatever I want. In the approximately 86,301,644 shows NIN has played in the past ten years, they have played their one hit song "Closer" at virtually every single one, which, of course, gets creepier and creepier the older Trent gets. But out of the insane number of times they've played this song, not once has Trent successfully got the last few lyrics right ("through every forest, above the trees / within my stomach, scraped off my knees / I drink the honey inside your hive / you are the reason I stay alive"). Not one single time, ever. Seriously, just pick any bootleg at random, and I guarantee you Trent will fuck up the end of Closer (note: may not apply to Aerosmith bootlegs). People get fired any time a light bulb burns out or a curtain hangs down 1/16th of an inch too low, but apparently it's perfectly okay for Trent to sing his own lyrics like a dyslexic foreigner with Tourette's syndrome every night. That's fine, as long as the LCD panels light up in time.
Sure, in the past he's been excused by the fact that he was hammered literally every night, but now that Trent's supposedly clean and sober in '05, there's really no good reason why he can't remember four simple lines. It's certainly not for lack of opportunities. And it's even more noticeable now that they're doing that completely unnecessary "The Only Time" mash-up.
Perhaps he could benefit from the use of a handy mnemonic device. Take the first letter from each word:
Through Every Forest Above The Trees Within My Stomach Scraped Off My Knees I Drink The Honey Inside Your Hive You Are The Reason I Stay Alive
Now, think of a phrase that consists of words starting with each letter:
Trent Eats Falafel All The Time With Milk Shakes Stolen Out of Maynard Keenan's Icebox. Don't Think He's Into Your Hokey Yanni Albums Though, Right, Icarus? Stupid Asshole!
Truthfully, Ethan, the Fragile Absolutely Tanked. They Were Mostly Shitty Songs; Overmuch Mediocrity Killed It. Damn, That Halo Is Yucky! Hope You Agree The Record Is Simply Awful.
See how easy that is? Any idiot could do it. Not that I'm suggesting Trent is an idiot. He's a very special person and we're all very proud of him, no matter what. He just needs to quit fucking up his songs all the time, that's all.
Of course, there are other options as well. The job of singing the end lyrics could be delegated to Alessandro Cortini instead, since it's not like he's doing anything else back there. Then again, even if he did get the words right, nobody would be able to understand them anyway. Perhaps a better idea would be to use a backing tape, just like they do with all of Jeordie's parts (little-known fun fact: Jeordie can't actually play an instrument, sing, or keep time; his sole purpose in the band is to make the other guys look handsome).
Better yet, why not just omit the lyrics altogether? Try taking a cue from the most important person in the world, Bono. Whenever he forgets the lyrics, he just pulls out the old soapbox and starts talking about this or that for ten minutes. Perhaps this would be the perfect opportunity for Trent to voice his opinions on issues that matter to him, such as the way Burger King's fries used to be way better before they changed the recipe, or how cool it was when characters from The Golden Girls would appear on Empty Nest and vice versa. This would also give people a chance to take a bathroom break (assuming "Something I Can Never Have" wasn't played already).
Now that the band is taking the next two months off, Trent has plenty of time to figure out a solution to this problem. It's not like they need to worry about rehearsing anything, since they're just going to play the same exact setlist they always have, although they may still need to for the sake of the next five drummers the band goes through before the exciting [SHITHOLE_VENUES_2006] tour starts in February. I'm sure he can still find the time.
While I'm throwing out suggestions because I'm so much better than everyone else, here are a few more ideas for the band to consider if they know what's best for them:
• The hand claps during "March of the Pigs" and "The Hand That Feeds" were really awesome and not even the slightest bit lame, but I really think you guys should take it to the next level with jumping jacks next time around. During every song. Pink leotards would be cool too.
• For fuck's sake, Trent, stop laughing during "Hurt." What the hell is your problem? Do you like making Johnny Cash spin in his grave? Show some respect.
• Please make sure your tour manager knows he's under no obligation to book you guys anywhere within 500 miles of my town. I really don't want you to feel like you have to go out of your way just on my account. Oh, he already knows? Cool.
• Make Sweeney wear a Hawaiian shirt all the time, and see how intimidating that motherfucker is then.
• As far as I'm concerned, you can never yell out too much random shit during a show. Shouting "let's go!" at the end of "Beside You In Time" every night really adds an extra element of raw honesty to the performance, and I think you should run with this idea. Try coming up with other things to say at totally appropriate times, like "let's get funky!" or "where my niggaz at?"
• Try serving more flavors of ice cream after the show. Vanilla and butter pecan get boring after a while. I would say go crazy and bust out some sprinkles, but that would probably be just a little too extreme, even for a NIN afterparty. Maybe we can all pile on the couch and watch Mr. Holland's Opus on VHS. That would be pretty wild.
Anyway, I hope my suggestions will help to make the 2006 tour suck a little less than the 2005 one, even though nobody will be there to notice either way. And I'd like to say thank you to everyone for putting up with this mediocre stopgap edition of the Meathead Perspective while clinging desperately to the hope that I have something fun planned for the upcoming holidays. Bye for now!