Category Archives: Music

Nine Inch Nails: Lights in the Sky North America Tour

I can’t believe I got my hands on these tickets. Floor tickets at that.

While I shelled out double than what the face value of the tickets are, I seriously don’t mind the cost one bit. For those out of the loop, NIN is back in town November 12th in Montreal. After 3 years of silence, they’re touring North and South America all over again. As of this writing, they’re on a two week ‘off’ period, taking a break. There’s roughly 2 months to go before I see them perform, which is going to kill me as I have no patience these days.

There’s an article over at Wired’s site discussing the tech behind a Nine Inch Nails show. When I saw them live three years ago, their visual effects were superb. Supposedly this time around, the effects far surpass anything they have done before. I can’t wait.

Justice – DVNO

I was looking for a specific song today, heard in the Hitman (2007) movie when Agent 47 walks into Udre Belicoff’s lair (filled with weapons, illicit substances and hookers… sounds like my kind of party :)). It sounded like it was made in the 70′s and 80′s, filled with electro beats and a somewhat high-pitched voice singing whatever (you can’t really make out the lyrics that well). The song is called DVNO and it’s by the artist Justice. The lyrics that you may hear in the background are “DVNO, four capital letters, printed in gold”. It’s quite a catchy beat and it suits that one movie scene very well. The full lyrics are as follows:

It’s always the same
always ashamed of sory telling
When I can’t come in
To a hopeless troglodyte
But one more time
my answer stands
I swear I mean no offense
But you better learn to read
it’s all ’bout membership

Hey, all the young and old
Ugly girls and boys
I put you on my list
And make you clap to this
But man it’s just an ego trip
And only one can win
And soon you’re saying different

[Chorus x2]
D V N O
Four capital letters
Printed in gold
‘Cause details make the girls sweat even more
while they’re shaking their belt
No need to ask my name
to figure out how cool I am

[Refrain x2]
Can anyone read, anyone feel
That I’m losing my patience
I just came here to bounce
Ladies are all waxed
They all now I’m coming
I’m losing my patience
I just came here to bounce

[Chorus x2]

[Refrain]

[Chorus]

Here’s the music video if anyone’s interested in knowing what the song is.
 

Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I-IV (HALO 26) Review

March 3rd was going to be another regular day until I heard that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails released a new compilation/series: Ghosts (also known as HALO 26). The big news, however, was that he released the first volume (I) for free, in high quality DRM-free MP3 files under a Creative Commons license (free to share but not to sell). Reznor finally freed himself from Interscope records after delivering his last album, Year Zero (along with the final contract album, Year Zero Remixed). Mind you, Year Zero wasn’t his greatest work… totally unoriginal and boring. Actually, I think it was his worst work to date. But I guess now I understand why it was that way: he was simply obligated to fill out his contract terms with the label. I read that Reznor was pretty much tired of being screwed over by big record companies, especially when said companies screwed with his loyal fans. There’s a YouTube video of NIN at a concert in Australia, with Trent Reznor telling his fans to pirate his albums because of the over-inflated prices.

I was pretty happy to find out that Ghosts was an instrumental-only series, as I have always been a fan of The Fragile‘s melodic vocal-free tracks (La Mer, Just Like You Imagined, Pilgrimage, etc.). I decided to try out the first album before purchasing the rest. On the topic of prices, all four volumes (I to IV) are 5$ for a download-able version (in either FLAC or MP3), 10$ for a two-disc version with a 16 page booklet and PDF, 75$ for the Deluxe Edition (2 CDs, 1 Data DVD with MP3s/FLACs, 1 Blu-Ray slideshow disc, booklet and 40 page print-book with accompanying images for every track) and a Limited Edition set that has everything the Deluxe Edition has with pressed vinyls for audiophiles. The Limited Edition is 300$ and limited to 2,500 releases. Supposedly, the latter edition got sold out within hours of its announcement. The people who plan on selling the Limited Edition are bound to make some killer profits off eBay.

After downloading the first volume from a fast server, a listen through all 9 tracks made my decision right there and then. I immediately fell in love with Ghosts. So, to show my support, I purchased the two-disc version of Ghosts for a total of 23$ USD with shipping included. Because it was a pre-order (shipments only going through next month), I got offered to download the remainder of the volumes from the website via a one-time download URL. Since I wanted the best quality, I opted for the FLAC files (which I could convert to MP3 easily for the car). I have to say the remainder of the series was totally what I had expected, and I do not regret the purchase whatsoever. I must’ve listened the entire series over twenty times now and I still do not get bored. Ghosts starts from a light, warm-hearted piano solo to an industrial metal-grinding finish that makes you crave for more. Simply put, the volumes are highly original and every track has a different sound and “feel”. The tracks do not have any unique titles whatsoever – they’re just numbers (e.g. “24 Ghosts III”) and that goes for all 36 tracks. For the electronic/industrial/ambient music fans out there, this release is orgasmic. My favourite tracks have to be 9, 31 and 34. I would have to say that the majority of the songs from Ghosts feature that NIN ‘sound’ I have heard over the years from Reznor’s albums and I’m glad to hear them once again. It feels that HALO 26 is a sum of The Fragile, Still and a little bit of The Downward Spiral (in my opinion, anyway). From the soft, melodic piano pieces to the noisy, metal-bashing electronic guitar rifts, Ghosts has a song for every mood and is perfect for those late-night cruises around the neighbourhood.

I could go on and on detailing every track from the series, but I will let the listener decide whether this release is worthy or not. Reznor has definitely polished Ghosts and has given it the NIN feel we all truly love. Some fans might despise the instrumental-only aspect of this HALO, but I always thought a vocal-less song could give the listener the imagination needed to paint the “gaps” where vocals would otherwise be necessary. All in all, I have placed Ghosts among my all-time favourite albums to date, and definitely top 3 Nine Inch Nails releases. I can’t wait to see where Reznor will take this series next.

Nine Inch Nails Ghosts 400×400 - 4

Mazda Tribute 2008 Aftermarket Stereo Installation

I just installed my after-market Pioneer Premier DEH-P770MP headunit in the Tribute (yes, at 9:00 PM at night since I was so eager to do it) because the stock radio is garbage. I had a bit of trouble finding guides and HOWTO’s on the web on how to replace the stock headunit, so I decided to document it here on my site. There are more upcoming changes to the stock stereo, such as replacing all four stock speakers with some components and powering them through a four channel amplifier. If anyone is curious on how to do all this, read on! I don’t have any custom pictures yet, but I can guide you step by step on how to remove and disassemble your stock radio and install a spiffy aftermarket headunit that will make music sound so much better.

Okay, without further ado, here’s the parts you will need to successfully install an aftermarket radio in your Mazda Tribute 2008:

  • Metra dash kit, matte black, model #99-5814 (note that you won’t find a glossy surface finish for the dash kit… at least I wasn’t able to)
  • Metra Tribute 2008 wire harness, model #XSVI-5520
  • Metra antenna harness, model #40-CR10
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 7MM and 8MM socket (with extensions), 8MM wrench might come in handy when removing ground plug
  • Torx T-15 screwdriver (I think, or T20)
  • Small pry-bar or flat screwdriver (be careful with this suggestion as it’ll be used for removing dash, you don’t want something that’ll scratch the panels)

I had a bit of trouble finding the first two parts, but after realizing that the Ford Escape 2008 is an identical vehicle to the Tribute 2008, I looked up for aftermarket parts for the former and concluded that Ford parts will work for the Mazda. I went on MetraOnline.com and confirmed that the dash kit will work for my car (see the Vehicle Fit Guide). Doing a quick search on eBay landed me on the necessary parts for my car. In total, the dash kit cost me 20.00$ CDN while the harness was more expensive, coming in at 70.00$ CDN. All items shipped, the final price was 90.00$ CDN for the whole she-bang.

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That Money Song

For the longest time, since that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode aired (titled “You’d Better Shop Around”, where Will Smith becomes a salesperson for a car dealership) I have been trying to find that ‘money’ song. It’s the scene where Will and a customer are in the car, blasting the air conditioning and reclining the seats backwards. The song goes “Money money money money [long], money!”. I find out it’s by the artist O’Jays, title “For the Love of Money”. After ten years, I found it off the Internet by searching Google (forum). I’m so proud of myself. :)