Red Right Hand: ART IS RESISTANCE
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

ART IS RESISTANCE

Yes, I am a huge Nine Inch Nails fan and have been for a long time (down front at two shows, jumped down off the stage during "Piggy" directly in front of me both times). As such, my objectivity is very much in question, but fuck you. What do you know?

Year Zero, the new NIN CD was released earlier this week and according to sales reports on HITS Daily Double, it is only outsold by Avril LaVigne (and basically, it's tough to fight the young and pretty (she wears eye make up, she's a rebel*)). That's over 200,000 units as I understand it. EDIT TO ADD: #2 on iTunes also, behind...her.

Why do I give a crap? Because the entire album was released by Reznor (and continues to be available on yearzero.nin.com) in CD quality over two weeks ago. Just take this as reason #42,067 why the RIAA is full of shit. Piracy destroys sales, my shiny metal ass. If anything, the release boosted sales. Lots of people gave it a listen and liked it. Even Warren Ellis liked it (though I really don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing). A lot of those people are buying it.

Some of them listened because Reznor's doing this vast alternative reality thing (not unlike The Lost Experience) to go along with the CD which is a concept album (and there's a wiki to track it all). While the dystopian future thing is scarcely new to rock concept albums, Reznor's music and creativity in the alternate reality make up for it. If you get the CD itself, you get more clues (most notably in that the disc changes color when you play it, revealing a code). Also, with the strategically placed USB drives found around the world, the codes on concert t-shirts, weird e-mails, this campaign really takes hold of the reality part of alternate reality.

Earlier this week, fans that followed directions found on one of the concepts numerous website to find an unmarked van. Inside that van, an "operative" would give them some "materials." One of the items some people got was a cell phone. A call on that phone directed them to a secret "resistance meeting." That meeting was a short set by NIN. What's more, the set was ended by a (fake) SWAT raid.

Whether you are into NIN or not, you have to admire the way Reznor's ditched the retarded old conventional wisdom and embraced the future in as many ways as possible. This whole concept is supposed to continue on for 18 months culminating in another album. Should be a good ride.

*Come the fuck on, she choreographs her moves with her back-up singers. She's got more in common with Britney than Courtney.
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan