Nine Inch Nails, "The Great Below"

>> Saturday, December 31, 2011

I can't think of anything less appetizing than writing a year-in-review post. "Best Of", "Worst Of", whatever. It was a good year for me, personally, and I can't deny that; I went to SXSW and I fell in love. A few other nice things happened, and inevitably a few not-nice things that could have happened to anyone and didn't cancel anything out. I know some people had a shitty year and so I don't want to seem like I'm rubbing it anyone's face. It just is what it is.

Anyway. Moving along.

I don't necessarily work well in silence; I usually need some kind of tuneage going on while I'm writing, which I know is a controversial subject for some folks. There are people who can't comprehend having background music on or see it as somehow being some kind of moral failure. I've known people who suggested I'd work better if I didn't have anything on in the background; what I think they don't get is that I have this tendency, if there's no music on in the background, to start playing music in my head, which is actually more distracting if I'm trying to get my head to do something else. Worse yet, sometimes the music going on in my head is original, which doesn't mean it's any good but does mean that creative cycles are being stolen from a more important process. Better to have something on.

Except that it can't be just anything. If you're a fellow background-music-er, you probably know that. There are some things that are just distracting for whatever reason. It has nothing to do with quality, there might be a good artist who works really well as background and a shitty artist who doesn't. And something that works as background music might still be something you'd immerse yourself in if you were sitting in a dark room with headphones on or cranking it in the car or whatever.

I don't know why, but Nine Inch Nails has been working really well as work music, lately. Could be that quite a lot of what Reznor writes is, in fact, instrumental music, though even the songs tend to work pretty well for my purposes. Ghosts I-IV, the band's all-instrumental album from 2008, is excellent work music, though. (At least a portion of it is still available for free download if you poke around the official website at the previous link.) Earlier this week, The Slip was the perfect thing to get a few words done to (it's another one Reznor's giving away, bless the magnanimous S.O.B., and I truly mean that with respect and affection--I love that this is an artist who's trying to figure out how to work in the new commercial environment technology's created). And then, the next day, it was The Fragile.

Good stuff. What works changes year-to-year, but Mr. Reznor's been helping me knock out the words this week, bless him.


Bird Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:01:00 PM EST  

First, I am glad that 2011 was a good year for you! Second, on my way to SC I got to listen to lots of good radio programs. One of which was Terry Gross on Fresh Air, interviewing Trent Reznor. If you can find this online to listen to you'd probably enjoy it. Personally, I fell in love with him and need to get some NIN. Can't believe I never got into it before...I think the whole goth thing turned me off, but that's silly because he's amazing and he is an incredible story teller. His albums are real "albums", or stories that he tells...he talked about the characters he created for them in the interview...much like writing a novel.

(also, I started a blog, but I haven't worked out the design totally yet)

Eric Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:23:00 PM EST  

Bird, I'd be happy to make any recommendations you'd care for re: NIN. He really is a phenomenal musician.

(And if you want me to make a mention of your blog here and point friends to it, let me know, sis!)

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