Brand-new Nine Inch Nails: STROBE LIGHT

Produced by Timbaland, out April 1!  Strobe Light:  it’s real and IT’S SPECTACULAR

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In a stunning reversal of his current business model, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has today released a new downloadable album, totally free except for the $18.98 charge to your credit card and, in a salute to his good friends over at Ticketmaster, a $10 “convenience fee” for the instant digital delivery.

Reznor is well known for having broken all ties to Universal/Interscope, his previous record label, after the last release he was obligated to them for in 2007. Since that time he has gone independent and been a shining example to both a new and the old generation of artists by producing, distributing, and touring his music not only independent from any traditional label, but by giving the music files away under a Creative Commons license FOR FREE.

Today’s shocking announcement, deliver via Twitter, said:”I’ve been busy. Brand new FULL LENGTH NIN record available now. http://bit.ly/QtDzR ” and was both a cause for joy (new NIN album! That makes FIVE original releases in 4 years! Which makes it just as much since 2005 as in the entire rest of his career!  Wow those protein shakes are really working!) and incredulous disbelief: that he had clearly gone over to the dark side. Obviously his well-documented former disagreements with Interscope, and even his recent thoughts about being forced to “get into bed” with Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and others (wow now that’s a party!) in order to get into the most appropriate live-show venues, have all been kissy-faced smooch-smooched and made up. This is clearly why with this new release he is emulating Ticketmaster’s “convenience” fee that they charge you to print your own tickets at home using your own paper and ink. Because it’s CONVENIENT for you to not have to wait for Ticketmaster to mail them, even though you paid for them and paid a delivery fee no matter what. See? Ticketmaster is just looking out for you. Because they CARE. And so does Trent.

Anyhoo, the 14 full-length tracks include “Black T-Shirt,” of which Reznor said:

“I decided with this track I was just going to feel the music, feel whatever deeply buried painful emotions came out of me based on whatever the first thing I saw that day which made me stop in my tracks… actually the first thing I saw was Dave Navarro coming out of the sauna, AGAIN, at my gym–is that guy following me or something?–but I felt like that was a little too personal, and you know, I gotta work with that dude all summer, so the next thing on the list was when I got angry about my fave black t-shirt not being ironed correctly, AGAIN, [my assistant has *really* been slacking off] and that’s how this song came out of it.  All the impossible pain of not having that fucking shirt just the way I want it.  It really hurt me.  Unngh.”

“Feel Like Being Dead Again,” hearkens back to his time in New Orleans when he was still possibly a vampire. (He’s over that now, as everyone knows except the few stuck-in-the-90s goth groupies who show up at every show and hang out pitifully in the hotel lobby for a glimpse of their Dark Idol. They usually miss him because he’s now wearing sneakers and eating a stalk of celery while on the way to the gym).  The dark lyrics belie the upbeat “Barney”-like 3/4 beat.  It’s one of those happy-sounding songs until you really listen, and then you want to go crawl under the covers and never come out.  (But don’t–go lift some weights or something, it will make you feel better.)

The third track is an incredible duet of unrequited forever love, aptly and tenderly named “Pussygrinder,” with Sheryl Crow. I’ve just learned this will be the theme song for his upcoming tour DVD directed by James Cameron, “NIN In 2D. It’s a Windows Movie Maker slideshow of tour photos with that song playing behind it–NIN couldn’t get permission from Interscope for an actual live video so “luckily” they “found” this footage one day on the steps of the studio, no doubt left there by some team of technologically challenged subversives.

Perhaps the most carefully crafted and musically complex song on the whole album is Trent’s ode to Chris Cornell’s latest (another favorite of his), “Clap Trap Crack Slap.” The title says it all.

So anyway while it sucks that Trent is charging for records again, this one is WORTH IT. *And* you get these files in Windows Media format. AND you get an exclusive Gmail address! All for FREE except for the $18.98 plus the $10 convenience fee! That’s a deal that cannot be beat. So go now and download it. You will thank me.

Note: $18.98 / $10 download will expire on April 2, 2009. Subject to availability. All rights reserved. Listening to this album may cause unpleasant side effects including brain warble, loss of hearing at low frequency, rash in sensitive areas, and heart fungus. Consult a physician. Do not download while driving. Not responsible for items lost or stolen from the airport bathroom if distracted by Bono’s emoting.