Results for Year Zero

interviews

Trent Reznor

Jim and Greg are joined by Trent Reznor this week. The Nine Inch Nails frontman is one of the most innovative and inventive musicians out there. He not only created his own“sonic palette,”but his ideas about business are equally unique. In 2007 he released Year Zero, a multimedia experience that was more than just an album. He followed that up with a slew of free and almost-free web releases. He shares with Jim and Greg his frank thoughts about how the record industry is digging its own grave. He explains that this current Nine Inch Nails tour will be his last, and shares what he thinks about the career choices of his former alternative peer Chris Cornell.

Go to episode 186
reviews
Ghosts I-IVGhosts I-IV available on iTunes

Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I-IV

Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, who successfully released an internet version of In Rainbows, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has a new web release called Ghosts I-IV. The four-part instrumental release comes on the heels of an album Reznor produced and digitally released by Saul Williams. This time Reznor is offering fans different listening options at different prices. Whether you want a free, nine song collection, or a $300 box set, there appears to be something for everyone. But is the music worth your time or money? Jim was a big fan of Reznor's last record, a concept album called Year Zero, but this time he is more interested in hearing what other artists will do with these instrumentals. He thinks Ghosts I-IV is worth a listen but only as a Burn It. Greg found Reznor's production to be as inventive as ever and would recommend people Buy It — at whatever level they choose.

JimGreg
Go to episode 119
Year ZeroYear Zero available on iTunes

Nine Inch Nails Year Zero

Trent Reznor's new Nine Inch Nails release is making news not just for its music, but for its marketing campaign. Rather than do the standard set of interviews and appearances, Reznor launched an interactive internet scavenger hunt to explain the album's story and gain interest. The story behind Year Zero began to unfold when fans discovered that highlighted letters on a NIN concert t-shirt spelled out“I am trying to believe.”Add a .com to that, and they were led to their first clue. A series of other clues were then revealed via a network of web sites, MP3 files, videos, phone lines, and even USB drives found in concert bathrooms. Jim and Greg discuss how savvy and 21st century Reznor's guerilla marketing tactics are. While some members of the music industry mourn the death of the CD, Reznor responds by giving the consumer much more than a hard disc of music. It's the modern equivalent to the kind of interactive package and experience fans would get with the great concept albums of the previous rock era. The critics are also impressed with the album itself, which Jim explains is essentially about the end of the world. He calls Reznor a sonic architect for his ability to create amazing soundscapes with just his lap top. And, Greg notes that Reznor's voice is more expressive than it's been on previous albums. Therefore, the album and the entire experience of Year Zero get two Buy Its from both Jim and Greg.

JimGreg
Go to episode 72
lists

The Best of 2007… So Far

Jim and Greg just couldn‘t wait until the end of the year to start picking their favorite albums, so they’ve decided to name their 2007 mid-year best.

Go to episode 81
news

Music News

Jim and Greg discussed the great Kanye West/50 Cent sales battle a couple of weeks ago, and this week the results are in. Kanye took it in a landslide with a #1 spot on the Billboard charts and a whopping 957,000 copies sold. Kanye's album Graduation is the biggest selling album so far this year and is the 15th biggest sales frame since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. 50 Cent's album Curtis only sold 691,000 in the first week, though for a hip hop debut that's nothing to scoff at. As Jim and Greg note, no one should shed a tear for 50 Cent. On Forbes' list of the biggest earning hip hop stars, Fiddy holds the #2 spot behind mogul Jay-Z. So, despite this recent loss, 50 Cent is laughing "Straight to the Bank."

If you've been surfing YouTube recently, you may have noticed Trent Reznor's call for more stealing. The man behind Nine Inch Nails is fed up with his record company's decision to hike prices for his album Year Zero and he let his grievances be known at an Australian concert. While he doesn't legally have the authority to give his music away, he does have a point; HMV in Australia is selling Year Zero for AU $32.99, which converts to about $28 in the States. That's definitely more than a music fan should have to pay for an album, especially one that utilized a web-based marketing campaign.

And while one musician embraces the web, another does not. Pop icon Prince plans to sue YouTube and other major web sites for unauthorized use of his music in a bid to“reclaim his art on the Internet.”In a recent statement his representative wrote:“YouTube … are clearly able (to) filter porn and pedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success.”Prince obviously doesn‘t need to use the web to build a fan base, but to Sound Opinions H.Q., he’s beginning to sound like a cranky old man.

Also in the news is the death of longtime James Brown collaborator Bobby Byrd at the age of 73. One of the chief architects of Brown's trademark sound, Byrd is often referred to as“The Godfather of Soul's Godfather.”You can hear his contribution in tons of early Brown tracks. In fact, the repeating phrase“Get on up,”on "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" was sung by Byrd. Byrd also had a successful solo career, and as Greg explains, his music can be heard sampled in countless late early hip hop songs. To pay honor to the soul/funk/R&B legend, Jim and Greg play his song, "I Know You Got Soul."

Jim and Greg speak with John Jurgensen, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. John recently wrote an article about how US visa procedures are squelching a British pop invasion. Artists like Lily Allen, M.I.A. and recent Mercury Prize winners The Klaxons have had to cancel tour dates and postpone recording sessions due to difficulties obtaining visas. John explains that this is partly due to Homeland Security crackdowns, which now mandate that artists themselves have to go to an embassy in person for fingerprinting and a retinal scan. John also says that artists have to prove that that they are legitimate,“internationally recognizable”acts. Jim and Greg wonder just how much more legit you have to be if Mercury Prize winners are getting hassled. The three reporters understand that these procedures are in place not just to protect Americans from danger but also from a loss of jobs, but unlike in the agriculture and technology industries, you can't sub one musician for another. And a loss of jobs and tour dates for one singer means the loss of many for the hundreds and thousands of promoters, roadies, sound engineers and teamsters here in the States.

Go to episode 95