Monday, 11/11/19

More updates about Watchmen Vol 1

Over at Birth. Movies. Death., Scott Wampler opens up his press copy of Watchmen Vol 1, including a card that only went out with promo copies. Scott breaks down the Sons of Pale Horse/The Book of Rorschach connections to the world of Watchmen, and shares copious photos of the album packaging.

Also last week, Andrew Unterberger shared his interview with Trent Reznor via Billboard - another really good conversation to add to the pile, talking about working with Pixar, sharing thoughts about Old Town Road, and of course, talking about the three-volume Watchmen score.
Tuesday, 11/05/19

With the release of Watchmen vol 1, Reznor hits the press

A couple of interviews came out today that are worth your time reading through. First, over at Rolling Stone, Kory Grow spoke with Trent and covered topics ranging from Pretty Hate Machine, playing The Fragile as a live set, the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, and of course, scoring Watchmen.

In a less traditional setting, Steve Baltin does a thoughtful Q&A over on Forbes, going in pretty deep about scoring Watchmen as a television series compared to scoring film, but also talking about things like sequencing your album, music that reveals itself over time, and more. It's a very good read - nice job Steve.
Monday, 11/04/19

Watchmen Vinyl @ Target, buy 2 get 1 free

Now that (spoiler alert) the amazing packaging has been unveiled for volume 1 of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score for Watchmen, you may have revisited Amazon hoping to get an order in, only to find that the first volume is no longer accessible from Amazon.

It's still going out to retailers, and you still should go make friends with your local record shop, but there's also a really hard to pass up deal at Target, where you can pre-order all three volumes for $50.74 shipped, now through November 9th.

Important caveat: It is entirely possible that, given that shipping is free, the order may not ship until the final of the three volumes is released. I would even go so far as to say it is probable that if you have three items in a cart with free shipping, they are going to be shipped together, which means your order will be put aside until December 26, and you'll receive all three records at once.

Of course, the digital releases will be available soon at the official NIN website, so you could snag those while you wait, and you might just about break even.

Watchmen Vinyl at Target
Wednesday, 10/23/19

Trent Reznor taps Mike Garson for Watchmen

Over on Twitter, pianist Mike Garson - who you may remember from his contributions to David Bowie's Aladdin Sane and Nine Inch Nails' Just Like You Imagined, among others - shared this tidbit about contributing to the music in HBO's Watchmen, along with the clip he scored:

Monday, 10/21/19

Watchmen score to be released across three volumes

Watchmen Volumes 1, 2, and 3

Remember when it was hard to come by details about NIN releases? As fun as the hunt sometimes was, I really appreciate how nin.com gets right to the point these days, so I'm going to just quote them here:

The score will be available in three unique volumes, released at strategic times over the rollout of the series. The only physical media will be 180g vinyl.

Created in collaboration with the show’s writers, each LP features the score from Academy Award Winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as artwork and packaging exclusive to this vinyl release that explores the culture of Watchmen America and provides revealing insights into the saga’s mythology and mysteries

The artwork for each volume will be revealed as each volume is reelased, and the official store actually links to a special Amazon pre-order page, where each vinyl album is $25.98. It's worth noting that while the artwork is unique for the vinyl releases, what you pre-order is going to be the same as what becomes available in stores later this year.

Release dates are November 4, November 25, and December 16, and have 15 tracks, 13 tracks, and 11 tracks, respective to the order of release.

Tuesday, 10/15/19

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote

Nine Inch Nails​ is in the running once again for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020. Fans can vote for nin here up to five times daily.
Tuesday, 10/08/19

Damon Lindelof on the music for The Watchmen on HBO

Paul Guyet got in touch, having finagled his way into a press seat at the New York Comic Con last week. Not only was the first episode debuted - with an opening that Guyet describes as "THE BEST pairing of Reznor and Ross' music with imagery that I have ever seen", but during the talkback and Q&A, an audience member asked about the score. Lindelof replied, and I'm quoting:

I have a rule about composers, that they're different from show to show...one of the things that I didn't know about Watchmen was what it was going to sound like and every time I imagined what it would sound like, it sounded like Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. So I called HBO and said "these guys have never done TV before but do you think we could take a shot at them?" and Francesca Orsi said "that is so weird, Trent and Atticus' manager called this morning and they were asking about Watchmen".

One of the first things Trent said was "so...are you doing the squid?" and I was like "oh this guy is all the way in". They wrote a lot of this music and sent it to Nikki (director of some of the episodes) and I before we started shooting. They said "we read the script and these are some of the things we were thinking". I'd say close to 80% of the music they wrote before we even shot is in the pilot. We were just trying to make stuff worthy of those guys, they're amazing.

Sounds like we have a lot to look forward to with this one, and with any luck, maybe we'll see an original score made available in the not-too-distant future. Thanks again, Paul!
Tuesday, 10/01/19

Oh, and one more thing.

"I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil."

- Doctor Loomis, Halloween, 1978

Sacred Bones Records quietly sent out an email to folks on their distribution list informing them of October releases centered around the John Carpenter, and quietly tucked away with the reminder that the deluxe edition soundtrack from last year's Halloween movie, posters, and a preorder for a Big Trouble in Little China vinyl was an announcement that they were selling all of their remaining stock for last year's vinyl release of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' version of the Halloween theme. Here's a link to purchase either the black or orange versions which, at this time, are both in stock.

Now, I'd likely wager that this is for the corrected version and not the accidental first release that included a WIP version of the theme. BUT, and this is a big but, if you were bummed that you missed this either time around, now is your chance to get this sucker on vinyl. The b-side is the original theme, BTW.

New music from Telefon Tel Aviv and Alessandro Cortini

Beeps. Boops. Stutters. Ethereal voices. Synths. Pulsating synths.


Last Friday saw the release of two new albums - the first being from Josh Eustis under the Telefon Tel Aviv banner called Dreams Are Not Enough. This is the first major follow-up to 2009's Immolate Yourself. This is a wonderful record that recalls everything I've always enjoyed about TTA, but also moves into new territory that I'd like to think was influenced by Josh's other band, The Black Queen. Check out a sample below and order the album here.

The second of our mentioned releases comes from Alessandro Cortini under his solo banner entitled Volume Massimo. The natural evolution of Cortini's sound post-SONOIO, this album has really reminded me of a mixture of Stranger Things influence with his signature Buchla sounds. Like much of his other solo work, it's been fun listening for new things and allowing myself to kind of drift away and fade into the music. Again, check out a sampling below and order the album here.

Saturday, 9/21/19

The Fragile is 20

Two decades ago, Nine Inch Nails followed The Downward Spiral with an ambitious work of art. The first single had no drums, the photography around the release abstract, and the famous NIN logo appeared cut in half on the album cover. Below are David Carson's original visuals for La Mer, The Great Below, and The Way Out Is Through, some of which were used for Nine Inch Nails' "Fragility" tour through Europe.

Wednesday, 9/18/19

If you can't find a Fragility guitar, make one yourself

DIY NIN Fragility GuitarA while ago, when Monoprice started selling $100 Les Paul knockoffs, I briefly considered putting several hundred dollars on an order of several of them, and then getting wraps made at any of a number of available guitar decal companies online, and turning them around for a profit on eBay - not being misleading about their origins, but also figuring I could easily double my buying price.

I'm not especially good at this capitalism thing though, because the whole thing felt kind of dirty, even though all I really wanted was to profit enough to cover the costs of my own knock-off Fragility guitar.

Over on Reddit, user N1I2N3, aka Liam O'Brien, felt this same struggle. Unable to locate an original Fragility guitar, or even high quality photos of them (Liam, I could have helped you out buddy), he set forth to build his own replica.

As in from scratch.

In this imgur gallery, Liam documented everything from the chainsaw cutting through an elm tree to the CNC machines shaping the slab into a body, a few false starts and lessons learned, all the way through to the finished product.

For as much as the original guitars go for these days, he might still have come out ahead in terms of dollars spent. Liam does not yet know how to play guitar, so we don't know how it sounds either, but it sure does look nice, and I bet it's got some heft to it, too.

Thursday, 9/12/19

Alternative Press does a 30 year retrospective on NIN

Normally I don't care for listicles - and this is a listicle, there's no doubt about that - but it gets a pass because it's written by Jason Pettigrew, who's been covering Nine Inch Nails a lot longer than we have. As with any of these, there's nothing new to read, but Pettigrew offers his perspective on the arc of Trent's career so far.
When it looked like every dude with bigger external hard drives and terrible haircuts was biting his moves, he pushed himself further, ending up—with creative foil Atticus Ross—as a go-to team to raise the bar for Hollywood soundtracks.

Read the full article for more of Jason's well-informed quips.
Wednesday, 9/11/19

Bad Witch vinyl for $11 on Amazon

At the time of this post, Bad Witch is available for $10.98 shipped if you're in the US.

Thursday, 8/29/19

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross nominated for a Country Music Award

The Country Music Awards announced this year's nominees, and in the "Musical Event of the Year" award(?), vying against the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and Brantley Gilbert, we of course find the longest running number one song in the charts, "Old Town Road" - credited alongside Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus are the three producers: YoungKio, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross.

Keep it coming, 2019.
Saturday, 8/24/19

Ashley O gets the remix treatment

Ashley O - On a RollAs weird as this year is, 2020's going to put 2019 to shame. But that doesn't mean 2019 isn't going to slow down any time soon, as evidenced by the quiet release of a remix EP for On a Roll (Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Apple Music, Beatport), featuring five clubby remixes by five different DJs. I can get behind the Londin vibes of the Wax Wings (Soundcloud, Instagram) version, and Junior Vasquez feels right at home doing the thing he's been doing for a very long time. KDA's mix is house music, Basic Tape are definitely French, and the DallasK mix is where I run out of enthusiasm. It's probably amazing playing through the Coked Out Casino Pool Club's sweet-ass system.

I think it's actually a pretty decent spread, from dance music veterans to dudes with less social media presence than I have. And if they're still releasing Ashley O stuff, maybe there's still a chance we'll hear "Flirt" (Hurt) one day.