« [physical: insertion] | Main | [Yeah, I'm_Pretty_Awesome] »


[Absorbing: Tickering_Broken]

Ok, what follows is a totally self-indulgent, string-of-consciousness, blow by blow ticker of the thoughts that crossed my mind while listening to one of the most fucking awesome recordings of all time: Broken.

Pinion: Good concert opener. Can barely get through it in the headphones though. Dudes! "Wish" is next! How am I supposed to wait even another second to hear that? Plus, the toilet thing. Gross. I guess it's cool how the tension builds, though. It reminds me of the HBO show about prison sex and shanking. What was that show called again? Baal?

Wish: Beavis and Butthead. "This rules. Yeah. Yeah." Trent is nice. I love him. His voice was different when he was 26, but he had already totally mastered the art of the pregnant heavy metal pause. I don't believe him about not having a soul, though. Also, I don't think he's going to hell. Fist Fuck! I also don't believe that he hates everyone. The growl that starts at 1:33 is fucking hot, and so is the thunder that follows it. Trent rules. This song is bitchin'. I totally want to be in an army led by Trent. When he says "This world full of you" does he mean us, or them? I mean, when he sings it in concert, he looks like he means us, but then again, we're the ones singing along... Whatever. This song makes me feel delighted to be his little piggy. This song rules my ass so hard. I like the way it's all about how fucking rotten to the core he is, but at the same time, how idealistic he is. I love the way Trent is all about the contradictions sometimes. Seriously... it kicks ass... but...

Last: ...Dude, what is cooler than the way this song kicks in? I can't think of enough superlatives to talk about how much I love the way Trent screams and whimpers, and can anyone help me out on how fucking brilliant the guitar part is that starts at 0:42? And, dudes: "I'm going all the way down I'm leaving today" is one of my favorite lines of lyric EVER. I love that committment, Trent. Dom is so wrong; Trent is ALL SACK. It's kinda sad how much it sounds like a mission statement, though, in light of the years that followed. Poor Trent. "My lips may promise but my heart is a whore." And people say he can't write! Fuck off, haters. I love the tension in this, and I totally come everytime I hear him roar "I know it's all getting away, but it comes to me as no surprise..." I love the bottom tension of the guitar, and the way his voice makes you feel stretched out on a medieval rack of torture when paired with it. I love how his voice is out. of. control. right there. Delicious! I don't know what it is about Trent's violence that is so enthralling. Personally, while I do enjoy a little bit of absolute filth now and then (and yeah, I do mean IN BED), violence has never turned me on, really. I don't know how Trent manages to make his violence so mind-bogglingly hot. It's a matter for scientific inquiry, but all I'm sayin' is this: I'll give that little bitch what's coming to him. However, He is fucking nuts if he thinks that hot ass is a "rotten carcass", and anytime he wants to get inside of me, all that guy needs to do is give me a call. Especially if I've been listening to Broken. Fucking hell. I love the guitar at the end. SEXXXY! OMG the whispering! "I want you to make me, I want you to take me, I want you to break me, and I want you to throw me away." It's so weird, because, while there's something totally icky about what he's saying, there's totally a response in me that goes: OK, bitch. Bring your sorry, filthy little ass over, and I will totally violate you 20 ways to Sunday." Then I feel kinda sick. Plus, I wouldn't throw him away, I'd clean him up and fix him a sandwich. That last "throw me away" is so ferocious! Way to BRING IT, Trent.

Help Me I Am In Hell: Yeah. I totally am. I am BORED. You know how every record has a song on it that you skip every time? I kinda like the heart-beaty drum in the background, though. That's nice. I want Trent to be singing/screaming, though. This little musical interlude just doesn't pack much emotional punch. Maybe he felt like we needed a break before he turned into a screaming slave and started pummeling us again. I see his point. If he pounded too constantly, I think the volume and hysteria would eventually anesthetize us. It's a good plan, breaking it up... Ok, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe it's like, the part of your crazy S&M dungeon experience where you wait for Daddy to come back, all chained up, naked, and goose-fleshy. Yeah. Maybe it's that.

Happiness In Slavery: This song, for me, is one of Trent's most successful political numbers. This song really makes clear the relationship between that which dominates and that which submits, and it damns everyone who's involved in the transaction. He's screaming, but this song knows that the powers that be want to hear you scream. You're nothing but a little screaming bitch. I like the self-consciousness of this song, and really relate to the way he wishes for blindness -- just to be in a role, without seeing a bigger picture, and being aware of the pathos of every single fucking aspect of it. Has anyone here ever read Michel Foucault's book Discipline and Punish? I have. It's not that good, but it's about shit like this. Anyway, this song makes me think about how the only thing you can really grow up to be in America is a wage slave and a consumer, and then I start thinking about packaged rebellion, a la Hot Topic. Plus, I think about Trent, chained to a wall. That's hot. This video is gross, but Bob Flanagan is a really interesting man. "I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been, human junk, just words and so much skin, stick my hands through the cage of this endless routine, just some flesh caught in this big broken machine." Brilliant. Seriously, you guys: Trent can too write. I love how keenly sad that is. You know that gets me? The way he includes "words." Human beings tell themselves stories about who they are, and what their lives mean. To say that words, and the physical self are all just junk -- cogs in a wheel -- that is really a horrible kind of despair. If you know that, how can you invest yourself in anything. I feel like it's true, but you have to fight it... not by screaming, but by meaning. I love Trent. Again with the whispering. I love the way this song ends on an intake of breath. Nice.

Gave Up: Beat me, baby. This is one of my favorite videos ever. I love the zero to full rage Trent acheives in this video in under 30 seconds... Plus, THE TEETH. This video is ALL ABOUT the teeth. HOT! I love that he's really just saying that if the world, and he, can't be perfect, he'd rather smash himself to pieces. It's all about the contradictions, because that response is very fist of power -- he'd rather self-destruct than be controlled by the mediocrity all around him, and in him -- but at the same time, it's really so abject. His self-loathing is every bit as real as his out-of-control ego. "Covered in hope and vaseline" is pure, unmitigated genius.

Physical (You're So...): Mmmmm. I love the way my iPod doesn't make me cycle through 99 empty tracks before this one starts, and it's a good thing we're giving this one a spin right now, guys, huh? I need to wash Gabriel's mealy-mouthed Olivia Newton John cover out of my brain and put TRENT back inside, you know? Could the slow burn of the guitar at the beginning of this song be any hotter? Is it possible to sound like a dirtier, naughtier, sexier beast than Trent does on this number? GODDAMN, this song is HOTTT. Every note of this performance is like grinding, dirty, angry sex. I try hard not to think about Trent's actual cock, you know? That just seems, well, RUDE, somehow. I mean, I totally respect that guy! But, this performance makes it impossible for me to demure. Maybe it's because he totally sounds like he has it in his hand for every second of this performance. He's the one who's a little too fucking physical in this number... but, I gotta say: NOT too physical to fuck. I mean, what does that MEAN? All that panting before he starts in with the wanting our "rough-house"? That is PURE DIRTY. Plus, the growling. EURGH! HOT, HOT, HOT! Mmmm. The heat of his breath would fucking KILL ME. I think I'm saying a few of the things that would be better unsaid right now, but honestly: HOW FUCKABLE is the man who sings this song? I need CAPS LOCK to really get this accross, it seems. Ok... the part just before he says "..too really FUCK YOU!" is what just aches me to the very CORE. You know the ache I mean, ladies. Goddammit is right. I am totally convinced that Trent's hands have got to be all up in his junk while he's singing this. Don't you love hearing a man come? I love that. This song is too fucking sexy. Trent just totally aurally fucked me. Gabriel? Keep dreaming, bitch.

Suck: Oh man. Yes! Yes! Yes!! You know how the second orgasm is always a little nicer than the first one? That's what this song reminds me of. That, and the way, the last time I saw Trent, his hips were OUT OF CONTROL while he was singing it. The big guitars are delicious. Trent is so dirty on the inside, you guys! His temple walls are made of flesh, 'n' shit. I love the scream at 1:48. How does a guy GET this sexy? I mean, Trent on this record, is FREAK OF NATURE sexy, and in this really weird, impossible to resist way that makes you say "WTF???" to yourself, because he's also, obviously, a total fucknut. I mean, when he says he wants to do terrible things to me in that insistent whisper in my right headphone, I swear, I cannot wait. I am literally SHIVERING with desire. I want him to do something terrible to me! And, I have to be honest when I tell you that it isn't my usual poison, having terrible things done to me. I don't want anyone else to do terrible things to me, so what makes Trent so special? Again, a total question for science.

How does a whole record about anger, self-loathing, hate, violence, evil power, slavery, and filth reduce a girl to a CAPS LOCK declaration of her willingness to submit to terrible things? I mean, A GIRL WHO'S NOT INTO THAT, EVEN?

Trent is such a genius. That record rules.

What do you guys think?

Posted by Dierdre ~ in absorbing | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference [Absorbing: Tickering_Broken]:


I'm so ridiculously swamped here today that I'll just have to comment in spurts.

I'll start with my favorite, for obvious reasons, "Physical (You're So)." *Aside from issues of my online alter ego*, isn't it telling that on the recording of the single sexiest musical performance in the history of rock, he's got his beloved dog involved? He may be giving you the fuck of your life, but the dog has his heart!

Posted by: maise | Aug 9, 2006 11:45:24 AM

I think I need to sit and fan myself just from reading your interpretation of “Broken”, Dierdre. Jesus Christ is it hot in here or is it just Trent! **fans self faster** Although I've listened to this album (is it even long enough to call it an album?) so many times that I pretty much have every nuance memorized, I can't wait to get home and listen again. And again. And again. While "PHM" has a couple songs I listen to fairly often, almost all the songs on "Broken" get played at least once a day. I wouldn’t even be able to list which is my favorite because they all serve a separate yet combined theme of Trent’s anger, angst, and unbridled sexual prowess. And that shit is hot. He just conveys so much into those little 3 to 5 minutes songs and I think something is transferred through my headphones when I fire this album up.

And Gabriel, while I think that your cover of “Physical” was pretty good, that pathetic double dutching bitch you’ve got groaning in the background is NO match for the panting Trent has going on in his version. I mean WTF…we’re chicks who (I may be wrong in my assumption) are hot for men. So if you really wanted to get us riled up to the point of raiding our own panties you would have ditched your vain attempt and just played the original.

Posted by: Iris | Aug 9, 2006 11:59:18 AM

Goddammit, Dierdre. This post is too fucking long.

Posted by: Jane | Aug 9, 2006 12:17:43 PM

...isn't it telling that on the recording of the single sexiest musical performance in the history of rock, he's got his beloved dog involved? He may be giving you the fuck of your life, but the dog has his heart!

Which is touching. As much as he wants to beat himself up, he's a lover, not a fighter.

I was involved in radio in college, and have another show now, and I've always wanted so badly to play "Physical", but I can't bring myself to. Part of me would be a little embarrassed, but a bigger part of me doesn't want to share that with listeners. And it's not like it's my song!

I guess that's what he's getting at when he says that he feels as though he's been through something with each audience after each show (I think 10+ years ago, he phrased it as feeling like he fucked the audience, and I think now he referred to it more like going through battle, which figures).


"...when he says he wants to do terrible things to me in that insistent whisper in my right headphone, I swear, I cannot wait..."

He has an unparallelled whisper. I've never heard another that even comes close.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 2:42:58 PM

And, for the record, I hate the guitar part in "Gave Up" that starts at 0:42. It sounds like Black Sabbath in a bad way.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 2:47:47 PM

Dammit, make that "Last".

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 2:48:16 PM

Okay, JR, I really have to say a WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ON to you here.

That lick is probably the fucking coolest piece of guitar work on "broken" -- it's badass, sexy in the way it slithers, somehow mechanical it its precision yet organic all at the same time. It's the fucking EPITOME of broken's aesthetic.

And there is no such thing as "like Sabbath in a bad way".

Posted by: Gabriel | Aug 9, 2006 4:30:58 PM

It's the fucking EPITOME of broken's aesthetic.

I disagree. I think that "Wish", in it's entirety, is the epitome of Broken.

What I don't like about that "lick" is that I don't hear Trent in it, I hear Tony Iommi. I do like the rest of the song, and in the rest of it I hear Trent, but that little piece I could easily do without.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 5:01:17 PM

And there is no such thing as "like Sabbath in a bad way".

Yeah, there is.

But you hardly strike me as a Black Sabbath fan, so calm down.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 5:02:45 PM

I would actually disagree with you on "Wish"; firstly, comparing the characterists of a single phrase against a whole song isn't really a comparison at all, but if you DID want to talk songs, I would hardly pick "Wish". "Wish" is the lightest song (outside of the instrumentals, of course) on a record that was intended to be "one big blast of destruction". "Wish" is the most popular song from the EP, and certainyl the most well known, but if you wanted to expand my EMPIRICALLY CORRECT assessment of The Last Lick, into a more song based context, I think "Gave Up" is clearly the song that is the sum of broken's parts. Both thematically, and its mix of cacophony and real chaos/aural destruction, something that "Wish" flirts with towards the end, but "Gave Up" actually accomplishes. The sounds literally start to break down upon themselves as the song progresses, a literal representation of the machine in question moving from malfunctioning to just plain Broke.

"Wish", in contrast, is simply a super noisy pop song -- and it's marvelous in that, and paved the for many neato bands like Linkin Park and Hawthorne Heights -- but to say it's representative of the darker sides of broken -- i.e., "Happiness in slavery", etc. -- isn't accurate, in my never-humble opinion.0

Oh, and "calm down"? Are you serious? C'mon, JR, you know that kind of comment directed at me makes ZERO sense. That's like going to the White House and yelling "Be Smart!"

Posted by: Gabriel | Aug 9, 2006 7:33:00 PM

I think "Gave Up" is clearly the song that is the sum of broken's parts. Both thematically, and its mix of cacophony and real chaos/aural destruction, something that "Wish" flirts with towards the end, but "Gave Up" actually accomplishes.

You're so cute when you're coherent.

I think you've actually got a point there. I'll have to give "Gave Up" a re-listen in light of what you said.

(But I stand behind my assessment of that lick. Sabbath imitation all the way...if they still had the show "Name That Tune" and someone had to name that tune in one note--okay, a riff--they'd think it was a Sabbath song they didn't know, not a NIN song.)

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 7:47:25 PM

Broken and The Fragile are the two cd's you will find NEVER leave my iPod of car CD player.

Wish was the first video and song i ever heard from Nine Inch Nails and from that point in time ever so long ago, it made me a near maniac fan.

I think that the video for Wish is probably one of the crazier ones. I always see it as a kind of... what's the word i'm looking for? a signification??? is that even a word? anyways is see it as a way to signify the feel of the entire album. From the way in the video that they're performing for this mad mass to the fact that in the end they're torn apart and almost eaten alive by this multitude of, shall we say, "pigs" who pulsed and raged at the fences.

Anyways- this is at least in my top 10 of favorite albums, ever.

Posted by: Tori | Aug 9, 2006 8:23:04 PM

I gotta say, JR, I think you're NUTZ about that guitar part in "Last". In fact, listening to it again, I can't believe I forgot to rave on about the bit that starts at about 1:00, and that I can't seem to find any words to describe, but it's the part where the guitar keeps pausing, and then becomes just a drone with these moments of lifting tension. I LOVE IT. I think it's so freaking sexy.

Anyway, all that awesome guitar mania is connected in the most delicious way. I really enjoy the way it doesn't just feel like ordinary guitar, but like guitar that's been fucked up the ass with his computer. In fact, the more I think about it, I think Gabriel is absolutely right when he says that guitar "epitomizes" the aesthetic of Broken, and I think part of how it does that is by recalling the cock guitar of something (awesome) like Black Sabbath, and then FUCKING IT and subverting it with his abject sexuality and sissy-boy computer rock.

OH MY GOD, I love Trent for this record. Listening to Broken again and again just makes it sound awesomer and awesomer.

Posted by: Dierdre | Aug 9, 2006 8:38:28 PM

Oh boy, I was looking forward to this one.

I agree with Dierdre, I don't quite know how he makes his violence and rage so compelling; anyone else and I would be thinking, "Jesus, just get a fucking grip already."

Maybe it's the way he absolutely glories in his own anger. I've always thought of Broken as the top of The Downward Spiral; there's sort of a mad joy in all this destructiveness, a liberating freedom in screaming that the world is fucked and we're all going to hell and we're just bits of pulp in a clockwork we have no control over.

Posted by: Muskles | Aug 9, 2006 8:41:50 PM

I guess what I'm trying to say, here, is that this record is great because while it recalls a whole masculine rock angst drama with things like that power guitar, it in fact has totally different content, and content that runs counter to that kind of sound -- content that is actually somewhat feminized. But, the contradictions keep piling on, because Trent, on this record (and on TDS) is sheer WILL. Dude, the more I think about it, the more I think his guitar parts on this record HAVE to make you think about shit like Tommy Iommi. Don't you think, JR? It's not like he quotes it without comment, you know?

Posted by: Dierdre | Aug 9, 2006 8:43:39 PM

Yeah, I like that although that one lick--and that was really all I was talking about was that one part of "Last"--sounds so heavily borrowed, but in a vastly different context.

And I have to admit that I've probably got virtually the same list of reference points that TR does; I suppose that's why I get his music and like it so much.

But honestly, if I was going to compare Broken, as a whole, to something else, I'd compare it to the old Icicle Works song, "Whisper to a Scream". Not because it sounds anything like that song, but because the title of that song sums up the essence of the sound and intent of Broken for me.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 8:51:10 PM

And I'd never seen the video for "Gave Up" before...damn. The fangirl side of me has to say how dreamy and angelic he looked in that.

A sigh for the old days.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 8:53:28 PM

I think "Gave Up" is clearly the song that is the sum of broken's parts

Gabriel: You were right.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 9:04:45 PM

You know what I love about the video? I mean, other than the fact that Trent is UNSPEAKABLY HOT in it? Is the way it's supposed to look all "live" 'n' shit, but he had no problem inserting the Breck Girl... er... Marilyn Manson, who was reportedly incapable of playing guitar, and was told to just pretend, and look like he was playing it. I like how that gives the finger to the twin hegemonies of "authenticity" and "virtuousity" that are so clearly invoked here.

Then again, it's still pure cock that he does that, because, you know, deep down, he knows exactly what the depth of his authenticity and range of his virtuosity are. He's not worred about about looking like Vanilla Ice, or some shit. He knows he's dope.

Posted by: Dierdre | Aug 9, 2006 9:05:13 PM

Manson hadn't yet reached his zenith of image-mongering, huh?...he just looked like some silly hanger-on. Oh wait, he WAS.

I do have to laugh at that horrible soul patch. How 1992. But otherwise...oh my GOD.

Posted by: JR | Aug 9, 2006 9:15:44 PM

Trent was Manson's fluffer back then. He's just begging for a good deep-dickin'. He got one, too, and it's all been downhill since then.

Posted by: Dom | Aug 9, 2006 9:44:05 PM

Just for the record, I fucking love "wish", and it is the song that first introduced me to the band --- I was watching Headbanger's Ball late one night, in the throes of my GN'R and heavy metal teendom, and on came this fucking wierd ass video that was clearly just a riff on the Scorpions "Rock You Like A Hurricane" vid, with some freaky dude wearing fishnet STOCKINGs for Christ's sakes.

Between that, and the black Christ imagery, the video fucked up my ignorant suburban mind -- and I got the record (no joke) as a Christmas present that year.

Imagine hearing "big time hard line bad luck fist fuck" for the first time on Christmas morning with Grandma and Grandpa making dinner in the kitchen a few feet away. Strange times.

My long-winded point, though, is simply that the pop-meets-dirty of that song was (and continues to be for many, as "closer" does) the perfect introduction, and remains one of my favorite songs by the band. Didn't want it to seem I was dissing "wish" because of the conceptual discussion JR and I were having.

Posted by: Gabriel | Aug 9, 2006 10:50:16 PM

Shit you guys! Check Gabriel out! Falling all over himself to offer Trent some well-deserved LOVE? It must be a cold day in hell.

Muskles, I think, hits on a point not breached in Dierdre's soft-porn paean, but to the point: Trent's violence on this record is heady, and I don't think it's possible to put it better than she does herself, when she says there's some kind of "mad joy" in his destruction. Too true. This record makes me want to drive fast and take chances. It makes me want to take strangers home and leave bruises all over them, and not worry about being a LADY for a single fucking minute. It makes me feel aggressive and righteously indignant.

I think it's true that there's something incredibly liberating about the willful recklessness; something thrilling about throwing it all away. On Broken, Trent hasn't really managed to actually articulate the dark side of that proposition the way he will in the next chapter.

I think those are some of the ingredients that make it so sexually compelling.

And, PS: Dom? I love you, and I would do anything to make you love me.

Posted by: Jane | Aug 10, 2006 12:55:08 AM

Oh and something else...who the fuck is Stevie? Isn't that what he whispers at the beginning of Physical?

"Eat your heart out, Stevie."

I dunno who this Stevie character is, but he shoulda said:

"Eat your heart out, Gabriel Miller, you and your fucking skeevy mangina."

Posted by: Muskles | Aug 10, 2006 7:04:38 AM

Wasn't "Steve" some guy at the PHM record label he was all pissed at? I dunno.

I love, love, love, love "Last." All the total cock rock guitars, and the lyrics are all about the total mindfuck that some guys deliver to women that you can totally see through, but Trent makes it really hot anyway. "Oooh, I'm such a bad, bad, terrible person...I'm going to be a total shithead to you, but if you fuck me, maybe you can fix me."

Why does this WORK?????

Posted by: maise | Aug 10, 2006 7:39:39 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.