Guest - I'm not trying to be an asshole about age, and you make some good points in here, even if most of them are more relevant on social and cultural levels than on musical ones. So let me try to respond a bit less dickishly...
Originally Posted by guest
... songs for bro intellectuals at a gym inside the mall of america pumping their arms with what I feel are the most offensively underdone lyrics ever known to man coming out of the manchild mouth of a steroid-addicted megalomaniac who completely lacks any sense of self awareness, ie bemoaning the corporatisation of music while working for fucking beats.
Ok, here's the thing though. First off, despite growing up as a "punk," with plenty of ideas about music similar to those you've laid out, at this point in my life I actually REALLY appreciate the value of a good multimedia and technology product. I happen to love Apple. Not politically of course, but Apple (which owns Beats, and for which Reznor consults... Apple Music soecifically, in addition to their headphone division) makes products that make my life exponentially easier. As a multimedia professional, I really have to say fully and completely that, politics aside, I'm glad Apple exists. Sorry.
But honestly how is so different from Lee Ranaldo or J Mascis making a guitar for Fender? Do you know how Fender operates in terms of trade and distribution? Not awesomely. Certainly, Trent working with Apple is no worse than Kim Gordon working with Calvin Klein. Or hey, remember when "Search and Destroy" was in that jeans commercial? ... ok you probably don't because you were 1.
Also, I don't do steroids, and I don't think I've pumped a fist in years and years. So I think you're making some sweeping generalizations here, and I don't tend to think along those lines, or respect that kind of reasoning.
Originally Posted by guest
I'm not in any way opposed to popular/marketable music, especially coming from someone who on this board on innumerable occasions has expressed a love for r&b, dance pop, the literal dregs of mass culture all the way up to stuff that does actually communicate stuff to me personally and others. that's not the point -- it's that trent reznor is not only symptomatic of these cultures which he very clearly derides with a misplaced passion, but he's a benefactor of it (scoring enormous films, working for a company with the most offensive product placement of any organisation currently operating to create a falsified notion of mainstream 'credibility' -- making what essentially amounts to nu-metal for bros with flourishes of very typical abstraction so as to further bilk people who might accidentally perceive some depth in his music) yet still has the temerity to decry the whole culture of consumerism, one which he presides over.
These reasons you have for disliking Reznor... I'm not saying they're false, but why do they apply so strictly to Reznor? Why aren't you foaming at the mouth about Dr. Dre? U2? The Killers? A million othet suck-ass acts that have mass-marketed a mutilated version of underground culture, or stuffed said culture full of fluff for the purposes of mainstream financial gain? Why Trent Reznor?
Also, these are non-musical reasons for having an opinion about a musician and his music. Have you listened to any of his soundtracks? Spoiler: they're quite good. And the movies are pretty damn good as well, honestly. And it's not just big bloated Hollywood productions. He just scored the climate change doc with the likes of Mogwai.
Trent Reznor, the man, may be symptomatic of a bunch of awful stuff. He's surely not the type of PERSON I'd throw my support behind. But Nine Inch Nails' music is not "Trent Reznor the dude." It's music. And it should be evaluated on one criteria above all others: that being, Does it sound good to you?
. To me, a lot of it does. You need to be able to respect that, just as I would respect it if you said, "Severian, NIN just doesn't sound good to me."
But you didn't say that. You got all hyperbolic and know-it-ally about it and suggested that I was "wasting" my life listening to NIN (which, again, I do maybe once a year). Then you went on and on about all these things that have fuckall to do with the actual music and why it is a waste of time.
No offense, but the fact that you're 21 did put this into perspective a bit. When I was 21, I was too cool for most things, NIN included. And man, I was a serious asshole about it sometimes. It wasn't until much later that I got a burning desire to hear "Wish" and "Suck." I thought it was just probably nostalgia, like the very
occasional, fleeting desire to hear "Rearviewmirror" or what have you. But then I listened to those songs, and — maybe it was all the Joy Division and Throbbing Gristle I'd filled my head with in the interim — but there were elements of the music that really held up, and I realized NIN was like a less arty, less high-brow, more angsty version of Radiohead (another band that has shamelessly milked counterculture bands — everyone from Sonic Youth to Can to Kraftwerk to R.E.M. — for all they're worth). Only NIN actually pushed the envelope for popular use of electronics in music back when Radiohead was still slumming around Oxford covering Talking Heads! And Trent's production work was envied (and his songs were remixed) by none other than my beloved Aphex Twin. The very act whose sound Radiohead rode all the way to "Best Album of all time dude!" status.
To hate Trent Reznor for his business decisions is one thing. To shit on me (your elder
) for listening to The Fragile — which, by the by, is generally accepted as a strong and daring alt rock record by pretty much everyone at this point — its "alt rock" genus making it a different animal, requiring a different level of criteria for analysis than truly experimental/avant-garde/non-mainstream music, mind you. And as an alt rock record, from an alt rock artist, it's pretty goddamn impressive. "The Great Below/La Mer" may be lugubrious and melodramatic, but it also packages elements of ambient, drone, free jazz, and noise into a pop-ballad a la "Hurt"-shaped box (eh? See what I did there?), which is something you just plain didn't hear on #1 albums in 1999.
I may not love Trent Reznor himself... actually, I just plain don't. He's a meathead. He's, like, REALLY into Rush and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He's also a libertarian, which I find more loathsome than any brand affiliation.... but I don't need
to like him for the music he makes to sound good to me. And if you want to take issue with the fact that said music sounds good to me, you should have some musical reasons for taking such a stance.
Though I don't know why you're surprised or even bothered, since, according to you, I like everything from the "dregs of culture" (by which I assume you mean Kanye, and that's an entirely different discussion about which you are partially right about the person
, but OBSCENELY wrong about the music
in a way that makes the NIN conversation seem trivial) to, you know, the "good" stuff... the obscure stuff that you believe is the only good music in the world, because that's the mindset you have to occupy right now, based on the rules of age-correlated musical elitism.