Tag Archive | Trent Reznor

Video Clip of The Week: Jonny Polonsky, “Lay Down Your Arms”

If Trent Reznor were to endeavor to make a ‘pop’ record in the style of Paul Westerberg, the result might be an album that sounds something like The Other Side Of Midnight, from multi-instrumentalist wunderkind, Jonny Polonsky. Though he is hardly a kid anymore, Jonny’s professional journey is one of the more fascinating True Stories in the music business. He was signed to Rick Ruben’s American Recordings at 21, and his debut album, Hi My Name in Jonny released in 1996, became the most-well-reviewed album of that year (yes, that is a thing). Two decades later, Jonny continues to record and release his own original material, while writing songs for, touring with, and recording with artists as diverse as Frank Black, Neil Diamond, Reeves Gabrels of David Bowie’s Tin Machine, Pusicfer, The Dixie Chicks, and he also played on posthumous releases from Johnny Cash. Wow, Jonny Polonsky is amazing!

The Other Side of Midnight is a couple of years old now, but I just discovered this crazy-stylish video for the track “Lay Down Your Arms” last week, when Jonny sent me the link, and I think it shows a Beatles-esque growth curve not only in his sound and but also his rock persona, and so it deserves some love from the Gig. The video’s desert setting is the perfect place for this song that tells the tale of a long dead love affair from which both sides are still seeking an armistice with regard to what went down, and what needs to happen in order to move forward. Have most of us been there? I think so. Try not to fall in love with Jonny’s aching, emotionally-rich vocal delivery over a seductive, tribal beat, languid flow and a killer ’80s-reminiscent keyboard hook that is sharp enough to draw blood. I dare you.

The Other Side of Midnight (available on iTunes) was written, produced and recorded entirely by Jonny, and then mixed at David Lynch’s Asymmetrical Studios by Lynch’s longtime Collaborator/Engineer, Dean Hurley (Twin Peaks). Enjoy!

Jonny Polonsky Lay Down Your Arms

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Video Clip of The Week: Moondy, “Boo”



Created and directed by Provoke Films, the animated video for “Boo,” from Atlanta based solo project Moondy makes me wish this year’s Halloween wasn’t already behind us — because what a fitting soundtrack it would be! Part Industrial Dirge, part Psychobilly Rave Up, “Boo” follows a post-apocalyptic gladiator, who looks an awful lot like Trent Reznor, as he does battle against monsters and assorted zombies in the arena of an evil King. Feel the satisfaction as Trent kicks undead ass repeatedly until the only remaining opponent is the king himself. You’ll have to watch to find out what happens next.

“Boo” comes from the Moondy’s most recent album, Puffers, which was released on August 5th, 2014. Buy it at This Link! Enjoy!

Fix: The Ministry Movie


“Just One Fix…”

I don’t imagine that many individuals would disagree with a statement made by Ministry front man Al Jourgensen close to the beginning of Fix – a profoundly gritty and utterly compelling documentary of which he is the primary focus – that the best job to have is one where you’re paid to be yourself. Possibly the single most influential musician of the Industrial music genre and an undeniably notorious and outspoken character, Jourgensen has never “posed” nor compromised for the sake of his art. In fact, he’s pretty much always earned a pay check for the talents involved in just being Al Jourgensen. Fifteen years ago, while Ministry was touring the world in support of the Filth Pig album, Al was a relentless junkie who was equal parts devil and messiah to everyone who entered his orbit. Someone on that tour bus was a filmmaker with a camera. Fix: The Ministry Movie is the resultant documentation of the full immersion into Al’s world of someone who was, essentially, just along for the ride. Most of the journey isn’t very pretty.

Directed by Douglas Freel (an award-winning music video director now working in feature length films) Fix is a straightforward, unapologetically graphic and unflinchingly brutal look into the behind the scenes minutia of Ministry’s 1996 Sphinctour. Adding depth and amazing color to what would have been outstanding subject matter even if simply left as a tour documentary (see Sphinctour 2002) are extensive “Talking Head” interviews with musical luminaries and Jourgensen devotees such as Trent Reznor, Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Dave Navarro, Maynard James Keenan, the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, Jonathan Davis of Korn and Jesus Lizard front man David Yow (who is also extensively fully naked in the film. You have been warned). These heavy hitters – many of them former addicts and alcoholics themselves – not only freely praise Al’s creative genius and often beguiling personality but also closely examine his addiction as being almost expected given his chosen work environment. As both insiders and critics, they universally offer wide-eyed wonder that Al could abuse himself to such an extreme degree and not be six feet under. Ultimately, Fix explores how far beyond sanity it is possible to go under the right circumstances and still manage to come back alive.

Also invited to shine a light on the claustrophobic inner workings of the band is Al’s long time creative partner Paul Barker, as well as then-Ministry touring members Duane Buford, Zlatko Hukic, Louis Svitek and, in what I would call one of the films “significant supporting roles,” drummer Rey Washam. Washam, an amazing drummer and obviously a very smart guy, openly discusses how the pressure of being a part of the Ministry machine drove him to heroin addiction. His occasional voice over narrations and on-screen time provide some of the best moments in the film. Other highlights include Reznor’s comment that it was so refreshing to hear a band doing something that couldn’t be directly linked to the influence of “The Beatles or Black Sabbath” and Dave Navarro’s hilarious confession that, while he and fellow Jane’s Addiction members Perry Farrel and Eric Avery were certainly full on Junkies during a shared tour bill with Ministry, at least they weren’t “as bad as Al.” Various record label executives from Ministry’s tenure on the Warner Bros label also chime in with insightful and deeply candid personal accounts of what it was like working with Ministry and Al. One gentleman remembers that it was never possible to have an appointment to hear samples of Ministry’s progress in the studio on one day “and make it to work the next day.”

Seeing Ministry live is comparable to being on a battle field, and that’s the closest I ever want to get to going to war. I’m a fan, but if you’re not familiar with their music, let’s just say that it makes Nine Inch Nails (generally considered by the mainstream to be a rather challenging listen) sound like Ace of Base by comparison. While there are many concert clips in Fix, the music really takes a back seat here, as fairly often there is less than a minute of music featured in each of over a dozen or so songs. That it seems like much more is testament to the music’s immense, battering-ram-to-the face emotional impact. Last but not least, every second of the video footage is pristine High Def quality and scattered shots of the tour bus travelling through a gorgeous open dessert landscape or along the shore of some unnamed locale stands in sharp contrast to multiple scenes of Al tying off and looking for  “a good vein” so he can fix while telling the camera that what he’s doing isn’t any worse than getting drunk. Freel also switches back and forth between color and black & white stock, to great artistic effect. You can’t miss this film.

Unrated for adult content that includes sex, nudity, adult language and blatant drug use, Fix is definitely not for children (say 15 and over is a safe guideline). Visit Fix The Ministry Movie Dot Com for more information on Fix and to find a screening in your area.

The Worley Gig Gives Fix Five out of Five Stars.

Watch The Trailer After the Jump!

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Trent Reznor to Be Honored with ASCAP Film Music Award

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has announced that Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer Trent Reznor will be honored with an ASCAP Film Music Award at the 26th Annual ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards. The black-tie gala salutes those ASCAP composers whose music was featured in the top box office films and top television series of 2010. Reznor is being honored for The Social Network.

Also being honored are John Debney for Iron Man 2, Valentine’s Day and Yogi Bear, James Newton Howard for The Last Airbender, Salt and The Tourist, Randy Newman for Toy Story 3, Trevor Rabin for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me) and Hans Zimmer for Inception and Megamind, among others.

Two special ASCAP awards will be presented to Angelo Badalamenti, who will receive the ASCAP Henry Mancini Award, and Alf Clausen, who will receive the ASCAP Golden Note Award. Badalamenti is widely known for his collaboration with the director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks). Clausen is best known for his scoring and songwriting for the hit television series The Simpsons.

The invitation-only event takes place June 23, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Happy 46th Birthday, Trent Reznor!


Not Angry Anymore

Trent Reznor was born on this day, May 17, in 1965, which makes him 46 today. This has been a pretty good year for Trent, what with winning both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his soundtrack (composed with Atticus Ross) for the best movie (IMHO)  of 2010, The Social Network. The world loves a winner. I’m looking forward to hearing Reznor’s score for the upcoming American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well. Happy Birthday Trent!

The Social Network Takes Home Four Golden Globe Awards!

In what was otherwise pretty much a yawnfest enlivened only by host Ricky Gervais’s hilariously mean-spirited jokes that nobody “got,” The Golden Globe Awards delivered the goods by awarding The Social Network – my favorite film of 2010 – four of the six Golden Globes for which it was nominated. Globes going home with “The FaceBook Movie” included:

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross for Best Original Score
Aaron Sorkin for Best Screenplay
David Fincher for Best Director
And – most deservedly – Best Picture (Drama)

The two categories in which The Social Network nominees were passed over were Best Actor, in which the adorable Jesse Eisenberg – who was amazing as Mark Zuckerburg – lost to a very brilliant performance by Colin Firth in The King’s Speech. I hate to tell you, Jesse (because you gotta know they’re both going to be nominated again) but you’re going to lose the Oscar to Firth as well, because nobody beats a stuttering Monarch. Andrew Garfield, nominated for Best Supporting Actor – did you know he was British? Acting! – was also bested by fellow nominee Christian Bale for his role in The Fighter. I probably won’t be seeing The Fighter, but I do really like Bale’s new long-haired, Jesus look, which reminds me of the late George Harrison around the time The Beatles recorded Let It Be. Congratulations to all! See you at the Oscars!

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Snag Golden Globe Nomination for The Social Network

The Golden Globe nominations were announced today, which is always exciting because it gives you some insight as to what to expect for the Oscar noms a little ways down the road. In the Best Original Score category, I was pleased to see Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross included for the skull splittingly brilliant soundtrack they penned for The Social Network – my pick for Best Picture of The Year. Congrats, Trent and Atticus, and good luck on awards night!

Nine Inch Nails’ Remastered Pretty Hate Machine Now Available

“Take In the Extent of My Sin”

The newly remastered edition of Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails’ groundbreaking industrial dance debut, Pretty Hate Machine, is available now on CD and digital download, with vinyl coming December 7th (I bet it sounds amazing). Visit Pretty Hate Machine Dot Com for Pretty Hate Machine videos, themed wallpapers for the desk top and cell phone, assorted links – including a live photo archive from the PHM/Broken era – and purchase options.

Must See Movie: The Social Network

Jesse Eisenberg Stars in The Social Network

One thing to keep in mind when going to see the fantastic new film, The Social Network is that this is not a movie about Facebook. The billion-dollar creation of Mark Zuckerberg could have been anything – an advice column or a shopping website – it really wouldn’t have mattered. The only thing that mattered in sealing the fate of this now 26-year-old computer nerd as the youngest billionaire in history was Zuckerberg’s ability to fine-tune an already existing idea (a phenomenon that is also known as ‘building a better mousetrap’). Not only do you not need to be user of FaceBook to enjoy The Social Network – a film that will surely be feted with many Academy Award nominations – you don’t even need to know what FaceBook is. The Social Network – which at its core tells a gripping tale of rampant personal ambition and the relationships sacrificed due to inadequate foresight – is an entertaining and highly engaging film that never loses sight of where it is going. Director David Fincher (Fight Club) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin have created a taught drama with psychological undertones and many belly laugh-inducing moments evoked by some of the smartest, wittiest dialogue I’ve heard in a movie in ages. I can’t say enough positive things about this film.

Whoever cast The Social Network should get an Academy Award of his or her own for making such spot-on choices. On screen, Jesse Eisenberg, whom I’ve always considered to be the “straight man version of Michael Cera,” becomes Mark Zuckerberg – a brilliant but almost borderline-autistic social misfit seemingly obsessed with one-upping anyone he perceives as his intellectual competition. Eisenberg carries the movie on his performance alone, but there are so many other fantastic performances to revel in. Pop singer Justin Timberlake is excellent in the role of Napster founder Sean Parker, who plays devil’s advocate to a naïve Zuckerberg.  I’ve always found Timberlake’s music to be mainstream and mediocre at best, but he is obviously a naturally gifted actor. Maybe he should go the way of Mark Wahlberg, leave pop music behind and concentrate on acting? Just saying.

This was also my first exposure to actor Armie Hammer (the devastatingly handsome, great grandson of late tycoon/philanthropist, Armand Hammer), who plays a dual role of Zuckerberg’s chief nemesis, identical twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss; two financially privileged students who row for Harvard’s crew team, and who unknowingly set the wheels in motion when they hire Zuckerberg to write code for their start-up dating website. Hammer does a fascinating job of playing identical twins, and if you didn’t already know that a single actor played both roles you certainly would not guess. My very favorite use of an actor whom you rarely see anymore is David Selby’s appearance as the lawyer to Zuckerberg’s original partner in the creation of FaceBook. Fans of the 1970s-era Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows may recognize Selby from his role as Quentin Collins in that legendary TV series. Selby, now in his late 60s and white-haired, still looks absolutely fantastic. What a treat to see him in this film!

Much has also been said about the film’s score, composed by Trent Reznor and his longtime cohort, Atticus Ross. It’s been ten years since Reznor produced anything that caught my attention or held my interest. But his and Ross’s contribution to The Social Network includes intense, propulsive and storyline-appropriate techno-flavored musical themes that serve the film beautifully. More than once, the score carried a scene without need for any additional dialogue by the characters – quite a noteworthy accomplishment! I’ve avoided giving too many details about the actual plot of The Social Network because, as is the case with so many films of high quality, I feel that less is definitely more as far as how much you need to know going in versus how much enjoyment you will get if you just let the film unfold for you.

The Worley Gig Gives The Social Network – now in nationwide release – Five out of Five Stars.

Happy Birthday, Trent Reznor!


Old School Trent: I’d Do It (Image Source)

The world’s happiest Birthday Boy, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was born on this day, May 17th, in 1965. Remember back in the nineties when Trent was all hot and sexy and everyone wanted to bang him? What happened? Answers in the comments section, please.