Happiness in Slavery – 1989-2009

Undoubtedly, one of the most influential bands of my life has always been Nine Inch Nails. “Band” is sort of a misnomer since NIN begins and ends with the genius of one man:

I can’t really pin down what it is about NIN that has always resonated with me. Maybe it was the feeling of isolation that was at the root of a lot of his early work. At 16, you feel as if no one really understands you…then all of a sudden you see a guy dressed in black who is able to communicate your feelings of loneliness and misplaced teen angst, over a perfect drum pattern and creative ambient noises.

And then there is this short film. Arguably one of the most visually creative videos of all time, Closer opened my (as well as a few others’) eyes to the world of absolutely fucked up people that dress in latex and chains and use the word fuck a lot.

Tonight at the Aragon, NIN will be performing the 1st of 2 sold out farewell shows. The New York Times ran a review, sounding off on how incredible the night is, as Trent and co. begin the farewell by playing the ENTIRE Downward Spiral album in order, front to back.

Will it be as intense as the Woodstock ’94 performance of “Down In It?”

One can only hope and wish. I’ve seen NIN the last 3 times they’ve come around Chicago,  but to be able to hear them play one of my top 5 albums of all time LIVE, in a venue where I spent quite of few of those teenage nights, is going to be amazing nonetheless.

Late 90’s Retro Blast (glo sticks and baggy pants edition)

People who know me will definitely attest to the fact that I have a very special in my place in my heart for all things 90’s. For some reason, this decade (the ’00s) hasn’t really defined itself yet as a “thing” we (or at least I) can define. There is no real personality of the current decade, probably because something new pops up every day, and the attention span of the youth has grown shorter and shorter, not allowing a scene to be really dominant.  Or maybe I am just getting older.

The late 90’s (96-99) were a fun time for me. I kind of veered away from hip hop, as it became a little too flashy and less organic (except for Mobb Deep, shit was classic), and really started getting into Drum and Bass/Jungle/Ambient/Trance.  I distinctly remember going to Raves/Daytimes/Sets with my friends, wearing ridiculously colorful (and oversized) clothes, and staying out until the sun came up.  In 1998, I moved out to California, and remember going to see Rabbit in the Moon perform on a beach just south of San Francisco surrounded by Fire.

I’m amazed I can remember even half of what was going on back then, but the one thing that always stayed in my head was the music.

Here are some of my faves of the era.

Art of Noise : Something Always Happens (Doc Scott Remix) – This song immediately brings me back to driving up Highway 1 from Monterey to San Francisco for late nights at 1015 Folsom. Very chill, ethereal. Wind in your face, waves crashing on the cliffs to your left as you head north along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Roni Size : Brown Paper Bag – NEW FORMS was/is a fucking classic album. I need to find it like, yesterday. I think he re-released it last year with some changes, but fuck that, I want the original.

Photek : Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (Two Swords Technique) – very cold and paranoid, with highly complex drums. plus the video is KILLER.

Orbital : Halcyon (and on and on) – I have a special place in my heart for this one, since it was during the end credits of the first Mortal Kombat movie. Who would have known?

Dieselboy and Tech Itch : Atlantic State – from “A Soldier’s Story” on the Moonshine label. another classic album i need to find again.

Underworld : Banstyle / Sappy’s Curry – There could have been a million Underworld tracks for this list, but I chose this one becasue it reminds me of watching the sunset on the Pacific Ocean.in the dark with the lights off. concealed. I’m thinking of you still”

I’ll have these videos and more as I think of them on my glosticks playlist on youtube. Check it here:


a little torn

I am having a hard time with this video. Is this mockery?

Some friends and I had a quick conversation about it (being as a majority of us were drum and bass heads in the 90’s) and we did think there is a parallel between getting in that ‘zone’ dancing and what many of these followers of faith experience when trying to connect with the Holy Spirit.

Regardless, the editing is on point.

Old School R & B Love Fest Volume 1

Haven’t posted in a minute, but today I’m feeling some old school R & B so I’m gonna lay it all out there.

Luther Vandross : Never Too Much – The legend. I don’t even have to say anything more about this, other than the fact that video production sure has come a long way since 1981.

Al Green : Tired of Being Alone (Live) – Where can I get that suit?

Lenny Williams : Cause I Love You – “girl you know i love you, no matter what you do.” I mean, Damn! He means that shit when he sings it. Why don’t they make songs like this anymore? I’m looking at you, T-Pain.

Tim Maia : Imunização Racional (Que beleza!) – My dude Marty Mar turned me on to Tim Maia earlier this year and this is by far my favorite song. The video is kinda weird but the song itself is beautiful. Apparently this guy was in some sort of cult who believed that aliens came down from space and gave the human race love and good things. Whatever, this song is the jam.

Curtis Mayfield : The Makings of You – Epic intro, great melody. Dude is classic. “Love of all mankind, should reflect some sign, Of the words I’m trying to recite”

Hector Lavoe : Emborrachame de Amor – I think my parents used to sneak out to this song when they were shorties and drink Night Train.

Munich Monday

Chilling at some bar in Munich, it’s amazing how small the world really feels at this moment. I could easily be sipping this Macallan at a comparable bar in Brooklyn, or San Francisco, or San Juan. It really does feel the same. Is that good or bad?

Bavaria is a very Conservative state. No smoking inside. A friend told me the reason is the geographical make up of southern Germany. When you are surrounded by mountains, you cannot see the vastness of the world, so you tend to stay very closed minded about things. I can see that.

Hopefully London is more exciting.

Sucker Punch!

Nothing I love more than a good sucker punch.



Originally uploaded by p_rentfrow

Loves it.

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