Category: Nine Inch Nails

Live music review: Nine Inch Nails at Hollywood Palladium

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In the first L.A. concert of its farewell tour, the band played 'Downward Spiral' in its entirety, then performed other, mostly older, material with the same relentless power and fury.

"Nothing can stop me now," Trent Reznor snarled as he lunged toward his audience during the song "Piggy" at the outset of Nine Inch Nails' sold-out show at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday. The statement held some irony, given that Reznor has announced he's retiring his band, as a live act at least.

It's been 15 years since "The Downward Spiral," the concept album about loneliness and despair that contained that song, became the most successful industrial music album in history and catapulted Reznor squarely into the mainstream spotlight. Now that the front man has decided to say goodbye to the stage, he's reaching back to the seminal collection.

At the first of the series of L.A. shows being billed as NIN's last, he led his band through "Downward Spiral" in its entirety, then continued to run through a selection of almost exclusively older material.

Reznor might be in a very different place in his life from when he originally wrote and performed those songs -- he's since recovered from the substance abuse that gripped him in those dark days -- but they retained the same relentless power and rage.
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Breaking: Nine Inch Nails cancel tonight’s show at the Fonda

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A posting on the official Nine Inch Nails website this morning announced that tonight’s show at the Music Box @ Fonda has been canceled. It was to have been one of a string of shows scheduled as the last ever Nine Inch Nails performances before an extended hiatus. (Read a full review of last night's show here.)

The first signs of trouble came to light toward the middle of last night’s performance at the Hollywood Palladium when Trent Reznor announced from the stage that he was “really sick, and I can’t hear at all. Everything sounds like the inside of an AM radio. But we’re trying.” He finished the rest of the two-hour performance (including a surprise two-song cameo from electronic music pioneer Gary Numan) without incident.

“We're very sorry to announce that Trent is ill, and on his doctor's orders we will not be able to perform tonight's show at the Henry Fonda Theater,” reads the website posting. “This is the only information we have at this time, we're posting this early announcement as a convenience for those of you who had plans to attend. Reimbursement details will be posted as soon as we figure them out; likely within the next 24 hours.” The fate of the remaining shows scheduled for the Wiltern and the Echoplex have yet to be determined.

-- Scott T. Sterling

UPDATE: According to nin.com, the final dates of the "Wave Goodbye" tour have been rescheduled. The show at the Echoplex will happen on Sept. 6 as planned. The Fonda show has been moved to Sept. 8, while the Wiltern show (which will now be the last show) is set for Sept. 10. 

Photo: Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails performs at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday night. Credit: Ann Johansson

Erika Simmons: Transforming cassette tape into art

Jimi hendrix Remember cassette tapes? Now, remember when your Walkman ate your favorite LL Cool J album, disembodying the string of tape from the plastic case, leaving you with one less thing to listen to and a pile of black waste? Fond memories.

Erika Simmons, an artist from St. Louis, has turned those nostalgic frustrations into beautiful homages to music legends. Intently ripping into her cassettes, Simmons, 25, molds the lump of tape into sculptures of rock stars.

In the year or so since she started the "Ghost in the Machine" project, she has made works in the shapes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, the Beatles and countless others. Her Michael Jackson artwork will be on display in a gallery at UCLA on Oct.  4 -- her first such show in the United States.

"The idea came from the idea of mind-body dualism and how your spirit lives in your body," Simmons said.

The photos of the sculptures on Flickr have drawn tens of thousands of hits each and international attention. Simmons charges between $800 and $4,000 for original cassette-tape artwork.

And she supplies her own cassettes. You can hang onto your bootleg REO Speedwagon tapes.

-- Mark Milian

Jimi Hendrix cassette tape art. Credit: Erika Simmons

Nine things to expect from Nine Inch Nails' farewell tour

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In a week, Nine Inch Nails will roll into Los Angeles to play four nights at the Palladium, the Music Box @ Fonda, the Wiltern and the Echoplex. Barring some kind of Brett Favre-like fake-out, these shows are expected to be the band's last ever -- or at least for a while, according to frontman Trent Reznor.

We caught up with the rock group on Sunday, their second of four dates in New York. NIN played to a Webster Hall crowd packed wall-to-wall.

Fans reeled as the band played its sophomore record, "The Downward Spiral," in its entirety for what was believed to be the first -- and possibly last -- time. Reznor and Co. didn't stop there, following up with a slew of favorites spanning its 20-year catalog.

The show gives us a hint of what to expect when NIN arrives in their home base of L.A. Here are nine things to look out for:

If you didn't get tickets, there is (some) hope: Reznor seems to love treasure hunts. Last summer, the band started hiding envelopes around L.A., ensuring the finders free concert tickets.

Spinning off that game, fans in New York were being told via Twitter to search areas of the city for a band representative to score a free pair of tickets. It's probably a safe bet that they'll do the same in L.A.

They also sold a few tickets at the Webster Hall doors a couple of hours before the show.

Unusual set lists: Playing "The Downward Spiral" at Webster Hall was a testament to the likelihood of hearing song combinations that NIN has never attempted live before. At the same show, the band cautiously ...

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Bringing iPhone apps to the masses: iLike launches custom tools for artists

Ilike-my-artists Bands on the prowl for a quick and reasonable way to commission a custom iPhone app finally have a place to go. Music discovery service iLike, which gained a large following with its Facebook app, is providing musicians with an automated system for creating and managing their own downloadable iPhone applications.

Mobile apps have been all the rage recently. Some larger artists were quick to buy into "app fever." Death Cab for Cutie, along with dozens of other high-profile bands, have basic programs that closely mirror their websites, offering videos, tour dates and music samples.

Other bands have gone above and beyond. Nine Inch Nails, for example, released an iPhone app that, in addition to the normal media, has a sort of locational Twitter. The additional features make the software more "sticky," providing users with more incentive to return.

Although iLike offers more complicated, custom apps at a premium, the majority of the ones it will churn out are more like the former. They contain song samples, concert info, photos, videos, tweets and Facebook wall posts.

Already, more than 300,000 musical acts use iLike to manage their website profiles or Facebook app pages. The iPhone piece ties in with that system, meaning once a band uploads a tour date, it's blasted out to all three platforms.

Musicians pay $99 up front and, if they decide to charge for it, split the revenue 50-50 with iLike. Want to go the more altruistic route? The company says it reserves the right to place ads in apps for ...

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West Indian Girl parts ways with the future Miss Trent Reznor

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Dreamy Los Angeles pop band West Indian Girl has parted ways with singer Mariqueen Maandig, the band announced this weekend on its official website -- and blasted out via Twitter today. Maandig, Pop & Hiss readers may remember, scored national headlines this year when it was announced that she was engaged to Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor.

West Indian Girl has a pair of shows this week -- one at the House of Blues in Anaheim on Wednesday and one at the club's West Hollywood location on Friday. The gigs will go on without Maandig. As to the cause for the departure, Pop & Hiss doesn't have any hard facts at the moment, but the official announcement will leave plenty of room for interpretation for the gossip hounds.

Read the statement: 

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Details released on NIN's final gigs at the Echoplex, Henry Fonda

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The final four shows from Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails are set for the first week in September in Los Angeles, wrapping with a Sept. 6 date at the Echoplex in Echo Park. Tickets for the Echoplex date will be available exclusively via Nine Inch Nails' website, where fans can register for a free membership to purchase tickets.

Nine Inch Nails will also perform at the Hollywood Palladium on Sept. 2, the Henry Fonda Theater on Sept. 3 and the Wiltern on Sept. 5. Tickets will go on sale on July 17 via NIN.com, and will be available to the general public July 31.

However, tickets for the Echoplex and the Henry Fonda will only be available via the Nine Inch Nails website.
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Nine Inch Nails not done yet: Reznor plotting four dates in L.A.

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So Trent Reznor's recent comments from the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival stage that he had played his last shows on U.S soil? Strike those from the record. Here's some good news for those who missed Nine Inch Nails' supposedly last Southern California show in Irvine this May.

Reznor posted today on the band's official website that the act will perform a string of dates in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles beginning August 22. Individual dates weren't announced, but Reznor writes that NIN will grace the stages at the Wiltern, the Henry Fonda Theatre, the Palladium and, in what will surely be one of the hottest, most-packed shows in Los Angeles in 2009, the Echoplex.

 Mew is tapped as the opening act on Nine Inch Nails' four-date L.A. residency.
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Nine Inch Nails say goodbye to the United States

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Fans surely knew the day was coming, but Trent Reznor offered a reminder early this morning in Manchester, Tenn., telling the crowd at the three-day Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival that his performance with Nine Inch Nails would be the band's last in America.

"It just dawned on me that this is our last show ever in the United States," Reznor is quoted by the Associated Press. "Don't be sad. I'll keep going. But I think I'm going to lose my ... mind if I keep doing this, and I have to stop."

Reznor noted earlier this year that Nine Inch Nails would "disappear for a while" in a posting on the band's website, but sounded a little more finite in his declaration from the Bonnaroo stage. Of course, Reznor's statements have been vague enough to not completely shut the door, leaving open the possibility for more studio work under the Nine Inch Nails banner. Additionally, retirements in rock 'n' roll tend to be short-lived, and this year's Bonnaroo saw the return of Phish, which broke up in 2004. 

The Times recently reviewed Nine Inch Nails' farewell tour with Jane's Addiction, and didn't find the band's vitality remotely diminished, writing that Nine Inch Nails would be going out on a "creative hot streak." With 2007's "Year Zero," and last year's "The Slip," Reznor's ambitions, and aggressiveness, haven't shown any signs of waning. Reznor brings the Nine Inch Nails goodbye tour to Europe later this month.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Trent Reznor. Credit: Associated Press

Live: Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction at Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Jane's Addiction sounded like classic rock that had lost its edge; Nine Inch Nails were as sharp and relevant as ever.

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While tens of millions of television viewers watched Kris Allen and Adam Lambert battle for the title of American Idol on Wednesday night, a different kind of showdown was taking place at Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, where Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction -- two veterans of the late-'80s/early-'90s alternative-rock boom -- played to a packed house nostalgic for an era when guyliner wasn't quite ready for prime time.

Both acts on the so-called NIN/JA 2009 tour won huge cheers from the audience Wednesday -- not surprising, given Jane's Addiction's Los Angeles home base and the fact that Nine Inch Nails maestro Trent Reznor has said that this will be the band's final run of shows for the foreseeable future.

As on "American Idol," though, only one had anything interesting to say, and it wasn't the group with the headlining slot.

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