We've had a great run here at WearingTheseChains. From our first post back in May of 2005, when we were just another free stop on blogspot.com, and the primogenial Dear Trent, which in and of itself set the blueprint for pretty much everything to come, we've gotten to partake in a lot of good times with all you guys. The Meathead Wars, Dierdre's engagement, and a whole lotta haiku... it's been a good run.
But passion is elastic, the progress of time is constant, and things... well, things change.
With that, I'm here to announce that WearingTheseChains is going on extended hiatus. For the record, this isn't me acting unilaterally; this was a decision reached amongst all current staff members (and yes, that means Iris and Maise, too). It wasn't a decision that was reached lightly, either. It involved a lot of arguing, back and forth, slammed doors, thrown soft drinks, and broken monitors. Two people got hit in the head with staplers, significant others became concerned, the police were called in... it wasn't pretty folks. But point is, we're now all out of the hospital, and on the same page.
"But Gabriel!," I hear our legion of fan crying out, "Blink 182 went on an extended hiatus and they've never come back! We know what you really mean!"
Well yes, that is always a possibility I suppose, but Blink 182's hiatus also gave us both Box Car Racer AND Angels & Airwaves, so maybe it was sorta AWESOME, no?
And in that vein, I am REALLY happy to finally be able to announce our very own BCR/A&A, Places Parallel.
Birthed from the snarky loins of Maise and Iris, Places Parallel takes the commentary and conversation (and straight up obnoxiousness) of WTC, and uses the entire music scene as its target. Really good stuff (and if you're a Pumpkins fan you'll definitely want to read). We'll all be making stops in there from time to time, so please check them out, leave a comment and support 'em -- they did great work here, and Dierdre and I are really looking forward to what they've got in store.
And that's it folks. I want to thank everybody for all their support and readership over the past couple years -- it's really been fun. Dierdre did want me to emphasize that this is not a closing... eventually that Formerly Angry Now Seemingly Well-Adjusted And Isn't That Dull? Midget is going to put out another record, and I'm sure we'll have something to say when that time comes. We'll have the folks at PP give everyone a heads up as well when there's new content.
In the meantime, comments will remain open, enjoy reading some of the old shit if that's your thing, and keep on listening to Trent Reznor and digging your Nine Inch Nails records. Some great fucking music is what all of this was about, and no matter what comes and goes in our respective lives, that will never change.
Much love to everyone (except for those fuckers we don't like -- you know who you are).
Gabriel, Dierdre, Iris, Maise, & Mimi
Here at Avril Is Resistance, it's hard to know which era of our FAVE ginger/blonde/black-haired angel is the bestest. There's so many SEXXXY looks to choose from, there's only one thing to be sure of: No matter which Era of Avril you're looking at, it's gonna be HOTT!
But we're like to hear from you, dear readers -- which Avril Is YOUR Favorite?
I don't know, it's hard to know which era of Sparklehair I love the most. But vote away, Avril-ites! Who's your Fave?
Well folks, it's come to this.
Maybe it's the fact that the ARG died so abruptly, without fully delivering on the immense promise it held, that had has all so excited. Maybe it's the fact that "Year Zero" didn't really come through on the whole "makes you wanna fuck" vibe we were hoping for. Maybe we're just older, and tireder this time around -- and maybe Trent is too.
Either way, pickins is slim when it comes to talking about Herr Reznor these days, and here at WTC, it's pretty much boresville. Earlier today, the topic of TEH SEXXIEST EVAR -- Ms. Avril Lavigne -- came up, a GODDESS who Maise will not acknowledge the hotness of because Maise is bitter and jealous. Between the two, we found this former home of scathing sarcasm and hopefully funny insight turned into a turgid turd of denial and lethargy.
So that's it folks. Until Maise owns up to Avril's hotness (or until Trent does something fucking interesting, which won't be for another like 10 months, if we're lucky), there is now an EMBARGO ON ALL THINGS TRENT at WTC. Any comments about Trent Reznor will get you banned.
This may also be referred to as The Boredom Embargo.
I hope you're happy Maise. Nice work.
What up, bitches. So as you probably know by now, after two cancelled shows Pastor Mike Reznor and his technicolor rock machine Nine Inch Nails resumed touring in Australia the last two nights. We've known things were going to be somewhat different this time around -- incorporating songs we'd all never heard before, such as "Last", "We're In This Together", "Into The Void", and whatnot -- which was a welcome change to the geriatic SNOOZEFEST of a setlist that was being trotted out during the With_Greatest_Hits tour of 2005-2006. But little did we know how different.
Last night, Nine Inch Nails played a show that did not include "Closer", "Hurt", or even (okay, this one sorta sucks) "Terrible Lie".
All I can say is, THANK FUCKING HACKEY SACKING CHRIST.
I guess you FINALLY realized that I was fucking right, Old Man -- it only took you two goddamned years. I mean, no matter how much you dress up "Closer" with "sweet" breakdowns like that one from "The Only Time", it's still a song we've heard exactly ONE BILLION, FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY SIX THOUSAND, AND TWELVE TIMES. Same goes for "Hurt". Yeah, we know, you hurt yourself today, BLAHBLAHBLAH. Trust me, it was fucking boring all of us -- not just you.
But since you've decided to cut this shit from your set -- and by this action once again admitting you are a reader of mine (It's cool dude -- I like your shit, too) -- I've got some more suggestions for you...
Songs You Need To Fucking Quit It With
I Am Serious
a list of shit that will make Trent suck less, by Gabriel Miller
I don't care that this is from the new record, and I don't care that you think this is a "song". It sucks as the opening to the record (if it's a mood-setter, shouldn't the mood not be fist-raped by the bouncy "Beginning of the End"?), and even though I haven't seen it yet, I know for a fact it sucks live. Use "Pinion", and "Pinion" only. Bring back that fucking bedsheet even, and do your spooky shadow thing; I don't care. But "Hyperpower!" as been Hyperass since you revealed the title. Don't kid yourself.
2. "Something Damaged"
We all know you were fucked up when you made The Fragile, but seriously -- have you ever read your lyrics on this one? This is what Wierd Al would write if he were doing a NIN parody, only minus the irony. "Broken bruised forgotten sore / Too fucked up to care anymore"? Stabbing Westward called; they want their suck back. And yes, we all know you think you're clever because the song is in 9/4, or some other musical bullshit, so the dumb kids up front get all confused trying to mosh and trip on each other, but seriously -- just cause I can shit in 9/4 doesn't mean I should do it on a stage.
3. "Something I Can Never Have"
I love this song as much as anybody, but come on man -- you've got to be what, almost 50 now? Don't be such a fag.
4. "You Know What You Are"
Yes, I know what you are -- WASTING MY TIME. When I open up Garageband there's a demo song that's called "Hard As Nails" and it is this EXACT SONG. Obvious, boring and DUMB DUMB DUMB. Yes, the retarded 14-year-olds can sing along to it because pretty much the ENTIRE CHORUS is spelled out in the title of the song and it uses the FUCK WORD (oh, hooray) but this songs sucks like Marilyn Manson on Robin Finck. STOP IT.
Okay, dude -- do we really need a 14-minute song of you wanking off playing cheesy 70's wah-wah disco guitar, only without the wah? And then the neat lyrics to this one; oh, POWERFUL! Maybe this was cool back in the day, but I seriously think these days you're just going backstage and changing out your colostomy back or something and want the extra time in case you spill. Eraser this from your laptop and GET ON WITH IT.
This song rules on record. One of the best on Teeth. But sometime in rehearsals you apparently thought it would be a really good idea to change the whole thing over to a guitar based song, apparently so it could "suck more." Seriously, this is just embarassing live. I'm suprised the audience doesn't just turn their back on you so they don't have to see their idol fail so miserably in front of them. When it comes to thinking this song is good live, there is no us, there is only you.
7. "Help Me I Am In Hell"
See 1 and 5 above. Seriously dude, this is even less of a song that "Hyperass!" -- it was just something cool to listen to while you watched a guy eat flies. If you want to waste our time with it opening your set, and setting a tone of boredom, feel free, but in the middle of it all? What, is this your Axl Rose oxygen tank break?
8. "Starfuckers, Inc."
You know how I feel about this shit sandwich already. You've been doing good so far, but just like heroin, some things are easy to slip back into. Stay strong. You can do it. We believe in you.
9. "March of the Pigs (clapping mix)"
You can try to push it all you want, but you just look like a fucking tard at a county fair. The clapping DOES NOT WORK, it HAS NEVER WORKED, and it WILL NEVER WORK. We're all FINE with being your little piggies and whatnot, but dude -- KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE MIC AND YOUR CROTCH WHERE THEY GODDAMNED BELONG.
Seriously, you can rag on My Chemical Romance in the press all you want, but you know what they love to do live? LEAD THEIR FANS IN CLAPPING. That's right, bitch -- you're stealing shit from My Chemical Romance. Embarassed yet?
10. "Head Like A Hole"
Yes, it is the song that put NIN on the map for most people. Yes, it used to be a great way to close shows and get everybody excited. Yes, it kinda sorta is still relevant with the whole God Money thing (which cleverly is pretty ambigious and not really about anything specific). But Give It A Rest already. It comes at the same place in every show, is played the exact same way, we all know how it goes -- shit, we all know the individual backing parts at this point. When the audience can differentiate between Jeordie or Aaron fucking up their backing vocals, a song is overplayed.
I'm sure many of the little shit newbie fans that have jumped on board since WT would be just SO SAD, because "HLAH" is their FAVORTIST SONG EVER next to "Closer", but FUCK THEM. This song is played out -- I know it, therefore you know it, and certainly everybody that's seen you more than once knows it. Maybe if you tried something new with it, like doing it to a salsa beat or something it would have some life (I've got a Casio with some sweet beats on it, if you want to borrow) , but unless you plan to give it a radical facelift, DROP THIS SHIT FROM THE SETLIST. Not only will you stop boring the shit out of ME, but you'll suddenly feel a glowing warmth overtake your body -- that is what Mel Gibson likes to call FREEDOM, my man. Embrace it.
So there you go, Mike. Ten steps on how to kick some ass. You know what to do -- now don't be a douche.
Gabriel here. I went to see Daniel Ash spin at my underground event this weekend. He didn't show.
It turns out the Bauhaus guitarist was in a motorcycle accident. From what I heard he's okay - just a little road rash - but our thoughts and prayers go out to him.
I know you're all waiting with motherfucking baited breath for my amazing concert review of the [3_30_07] show in [Vienna_Austria] about [Nine_Inch_Nails] and the amazing [rock_show] they put on while we [were_there], and IT'S FUCKING COMING, so simmer down bitches.
For now, I have to post this.
Sum 41, Go Fuck Yourselves. Please.
As you all know, I have been a little nonplussed with Year Zero since it leaked last week. Though there are certain tracks on it that I think have been amazing since I first heard them ("Me, I'm Not", "Meet Your Master") my general feeling was that the album may have been a little less nuanced that what we've come to expect. A little bit of a thick mess, without the thought-out subtlety -- not necessarily lyrically (our man has always been a broad canvas, relatable artist on that front), but musically -- something that has always characterized the sound of Nine Inch Nails.
Quite frankly, I was worried that it was a rather simple record.
Last night, I went down to my local Virgin records at midnight and picked up the CD. I gave it one listen last night, and then another listen through headphones this morning.
Suffice it to say, that with such a low-end and noise-driven album, the limitations of mp3 compression have never been more apparent. Not only is this not a simple record, it is as nuanced and layered as anything we've ever heard from Reznor. It is as by turns as brutal and pummeling as his work on The Downward Spiral ("My Violent Heart"), and and as beautiful and rapturous as anything on The Fragile ("Zero Sum", a track which quite frankly I considered an absolute bust from the leaked track). The last two listens have truly been like listening to a totally different record entirely.
Perhaps it's simply the fact that this record does require you listen to it differently than any other Nine Inch Nails record -- gone are many of the broad hooks that helped him define the genre, and instead, the devil is in the details, but what a glorious, fucking-you-in-the-back-of-your-car devil it is.
The much discussed perspective shifts that I never heard before -- indeed, on the previous leaked versions, there seemed to be only one, strange cacophonous voice, nothing more -- are there, and they are executed in the most subtle of ways; you're never hit over the head that a different person is telling the story when you switch from "The Beginning of the End" to "Survivalism" to "My Violent Heart" to "The Great Destroyer", you simply are there in that place.
Lyrically, I suspect more will be revealed about the storyline being described via the ARG, but lacking this knowledge is not diminshing my experience of the record, as it had before; it's simply hungering me for more.
And this is to not even speak directly of said presentation of the album -- the artwork, the game surrounding it, the entire world that is being created as a platform for this music; nay, for this experience.
If any of you out there has ever had similar qualms about YZ post-leak, I urge you to immediately set those aside and buy the CD if you haven't already. It is a different experience entirely. It is the work, I dare say, of an artist at the top of his game, and what we are all being allowed to participate in now is not just a man putting out a record, it is a truly immersive multimedia experience the like of which I have never seen.
On an earlier thread here I'd posted how I'd become a fan of this band because pretty hate machine came into my life at at time when it spoke to me on almost every level, and gave me an external voice to identify with. I'm no longer in that place in my life, and I wondered if there was any statement they could make that would resonate with me today the way the first-person confessional had with my former self.
What I'm realizing is that the Year Zero experience does that exact thing. So all joking, satire, and tomfoolery aside, to Trent Rezor I'd like to say Job Well Fucking Done, Mission Accomplished, and thank you for the ride. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Year Zero is now available for sale at a retailer near you.
Edit: Today's Los Angeles Times has a great YZ Review up on their site, focusing particularly on the meshing of game and music, and the resultant experience. Good readin', kids.
So, as you probably figured, Angelman and I went out tonight, in Los Angeles, to the first live interactive moment of the YEAR ZERO ARG. I received an email from "Neil", stating that individuals that wanted to take part in a meeting of Open Source Resistance (the organization that spawned the "Art Is Resistance" movement in the game world of the ARG) should meet at the new mural found in Los Angeles, and get materials from the marked van.
As you can see, Angelman was ready for action.
As was I. Now, this was the moment in the game I had been waiting for since it first became clear this was an ARG we were dealing with. The moment where the websites and we'd been reading finally bleed over into our real lives. This is the moment the geek in me was excited about, when we're actually taking part in something fictional, yet real-world... where we can actually "play" this game in our real lives -- not just hiding behind a computer screen and reading text that somebody has written and published, but TRULY interact.
Last night I stayed up late, making my AiR gear (they said wear something so we can recognize you, after all), and with my large AiR armband pinned on, I left work a half hour early to hit the rendezvous point.
I made it there at 7, as request by the email. The van had just arrived, and Angelman and I got in line. We got the below supercool ammo boxes full of tagging materials, as I'm sure you've all read about by now:
Althought the shit is VERY cool, I was a little let down -- I had anticipated directions to this "meeting", a puzzle or mission we'd have to go on (tagging something in Hollywood, who knows?) In any event, I had been excited for playing this game finally, really becoming a part of it --- not just promotional materials.
We were about to leave when Angelman pointed out the girl next to me, and the cell phone she had in her box:
This phone came in the boxes that had been marked with a red star, and included instructions about the "meeting" we were all emailed about; the cell phone is the person's "membership card" to the resistance, and they're going to get a call about the first meeting, which will take place this Wednesday the 18th, and if they're over 18 they and a friend can come.
Pretty cool, right? Some folks are saying secret show; I hope it's something even more clever and in-game than that. But how did this person get the phone?
Turns out that long before seven o'clock, somebody, when everybody was hanging about, distributed buttons. Some people got yellow buttons, some white. If you got a yellow button, you got a cell phone box. And aparently, you needed to be "showing something so they could recognize you" for you to get the yellow button.
Not to be rude here guys, but WHAT THE FUCK? The email specifically said, "If you're interested, show up at the Melrose location at or a little after 7pm..." Why then, would they decide to hand out these buttons before the players were supposed to arrive? Particularly given the "Don't attract attention" warning -- quite honestly, NOBODY should have been there prior to 7, much less hanging out in a sea of black-clad Hot Topic angst. Was the idea here not to reward those who were paying attention and playing the game, and to instead give entry to the next stage of the game to those who just showed up because it was a NIN event that they found out about that afternoon from a friend (and believe me, a good number of people there were exactly that).
That's not even speaking to the fact that many of those that got yellow buttons weren't sporting gear -- unless you consider a hastily stuck sticker (that they got from somebody there) on a white t-shirt to be "sporting gear".
I'm sure the intent behind it all was to have people arrive at the designated time, those that were playing along would be wearing AIR insignias, and they would receive the yellow buttons and get to play the next portion of the L.A. live game. But when the move was made to hand out the buttons early, this was thrown in the shitter, the game ceased to become about paying attention or playing smart, and became about blind luck, and the people that had been PLAYING ALONG THE ENTIRE TIME got shafted, big time.
Now, I know this sound like sour grapes. I'm sure Trent would have a comment about whiny Internet bitchery, and to a degree, he'd be right. I mean, I've had more than my fair share of great breaks in being a fan of Nine Inch Nails -- even scoring his microphone back in San Diego. I've been a fan for 15 some years now, and I've got some great experiences that go with that.
But this wasn't supposed to be just about the band. This was supposed to be about this new art form of the ARG. And though the cell phone business is inspired, the way it was handled was, quite simply, a disappointment. Would it have been THAT difficult for the people handling the handouts to simply follow the rules they themselves had set up? Or to just check for AiR logos on people that came up? So that people that had played properly could get the admission pass to the next layer of the game?
My biggest fear going into today was high expectations, because I'm a game geek from way back -- I'm the kid that obsessed over Infocom games in my youth, and thus far, the Year Zero ARG has been the closest thing to that. I think what Trent, Rob, and the guys at 42 Ent. have put together has been compelling in a way I never would have anticipated. I worried I would emotionally invest in the game, get in the character mindset, create a costume so I could be a member of the resistance, and then have the whole thing simply be a fat guy from Interscope handing out stickers.
It wasn't that bad by any means, and I'm sure it looked great on paper, but it sadly wasn't in practice. With MTV there, and people giving interviews about "this brilliant viral marketing campaign, blahblahblah...", well, it frankly ruined any posssible suspension of disbelief. Not that I expected much, but maybe, just for a second, I thought that everybody would be in it for the game, and not to just be the obsessive NIN fans we all can be.
I suppose I've learned my lesson, and in the future, I'll know the routine -- forget the rules given to you, ignore the world of the game; just act like you're trying to get on the rail through the Spiral Entrance and get there as early as possible, and you'll get all the cool rewards.
Because paying attention and giving a shit will only get you excluded. That, and a pretty sweet box with a stencil in it.
Problem is, I don't need a stencil, because I already made one myself. Because I just wanted a chance to play the game.
Edit: It has come to my attention that Steve Peters, Game Designer extraordinaire at 42 Entertainment, was the one that actually handed out the buttons to people yesterday, pretty much right after 6pm. Steve, this is my first 42 game, and up until now it has been amazing, but whatever reason made you decide to do the whole button giveaway thing at the time you did was simply wrong. Maybe you're not familiar with NIN fans, maybe you just wanted to start your weekend; maybe you and Trent were going to catch Grindhouse later that night; I don't know. But the net result is you squandered the coolest part of the game thus far on a bunch of people that didn't know what the fuck was going on, and let down a good number of people who were there, both as fans of the band and fans of this experience, that wanted to participate in this portion of it, and because you broke the trust between Storyteller and Audience, they -- we -- won't get that chance.
Edit 4.15.07: So yesterday the phones started ringing, and people who answered were vigorously questioned -- in character -- as to where they got the phones, their knowledge of OSR, etc. While I still feel the way the dispersal of the phones was handled was a bit of a disappointment, this next level of play is exactly what I was hoping was in store -- so kudos to everyone at 42 and the NIN camp, for continuing to deliver a great game experience. I hope we all get more oppportunities for this type of interaction as the game progresses.
Edit 4.16.07: MTV thought we kicked so much ass, they put us on the front page of their photo gallery. Oh, and my armband got a close-up too. Guess who's not Resistance enough to get into the secret meeting now, bitches???
report systems check_
Listen up everybody, this is Gabriel Miller here. Angelman and I have a mission to tend to tonight. Los Angeles is a dangerous city sometimes, and even with a fist, and a plan, you can still end up with a taiwanese transvestite if you're not careful.
All I'm saying is wish us well. Sometimes you need to stand up, to get up off your hands and knees, and walk, not crawl, to the nearest rally point.
You all know what I'm talking about. And if you don't, it's too late for you anyway.
You can make a difference.
You can change the world.
SCARF IS RESISTANCE