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Author Topic: Victoriana, Goth and Trent Reznor  (Read 2856 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: September 07, 2012, 12:22:24 pm »

Good day ladies and gentlemen:

Just revisiting some old videos.  I'm somewhat sure this may have been mentioned in this forum before, but there were some wonderful steampunk tendencies in some of Nine Inch Nails' a/k/a Trent Reznor's Gothic videos:

For starters, "The Perfect Drug" (1997):
Nine Inch Nails: The Perfect Drug (1997) on Vimeo


And "Closer" (uncensored version, 1994) *WARNING: NSFW*
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Somehow upon finding this exhibition at the Packer Schopf Gallery by Ron Bell, thanks to  own Cptn. Salt from Brassgoggles, I find this imagery is somewhat appropriate to the music:

http://www.packergallery.com/bell/index.php


Just posting to see reactions...  Any comments?  Thoughts? Rebuttals?  Did you notice the Absinthe bottle and consumption thereof? I find the imagery and accompanying sound compelling...

Cheers,

J. Wilhelm

« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 01:06:42 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 03:19:46 pm »

Ah, yes...I do love Mr. Reznor Smiley  Had the pleasure of meeting him; he's such a humble person, and gives wonderful hugs.  Kiss

And I agree, those two video in particular are riddled with various 'steampunk' elements. I love the darker, aged look of 'Closer'.
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 09:54:01 pm »

One of my favourite bands also Smiley
Seen them live many times.

The vid for perfect drug is excellent.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 01:06:27 am »

It's a bit shocking to see how long ago the videos were made (Trent Reznor is older than I am!!), but not surprising as I was in college and too busy to notice.  I think that the main thesis revolved more around the Goth theme, and I wouldn't have noticed anyway, save I thought the video was very creative when it came out. But now being a Steampunk I recognised so many of the icons associated with Steampunk.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 01:08:48 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 08:19:47 am »

This is one of the reasons why Steampunk sometimes gets accused of being derivative and unoriginal. It was also partly why I was initially confused as to why some folks couldn't seem to understand its appeal to some Goth/Punk/Alt types.

It's a difficult one to quantify, but there is most definitely a relationship. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is a good example. The Gothic aspect seems to focus on the horror elements, and the pathos of the monster itself. It could be argued that the SP aspects are more focused on Dr F and his mad science and technology.

But of course science and tech was at least initially partly a focus of the Cyber and Rivet scenes. And despite the fact that everything now seems to revolve around music and fashion (folks confusing everything with EMO doesn't help either), there always has been at least a section of the Goth community that have been genuine fans of the history and literature (Whitby Gothic Weekend doesn't just take place there for no reason)

I'm just making an observation btw, and hopefully we won't get into the "yeah but NIN aren't Goth, they're industrial" type arguments that make me facedesk myself into oblivion. There is a lineage lets just leave it at that.

BTW, speaking of industrial focus, I have been alerted to the fact that Mr Joe Rush of Mutoid Waste Company fame has been working on the Para Olympics closing ceremony.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 08:23:11 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:08:51 am »

True on the musical genre, Mr. Fairbrass. I was pointing more at the styling of the video rather that Mr. Reznor's music.  Unoriginal is a wrong qualifier that one can disprove simply by pointing out the works of Jules Verne and the non-Goth seminal works.

As you point out there is common ground on Victorian Mad Science / Horror ideas. Originally. the focus of American Goth, while making strong mainstream inroads in fashion and film,  in the early 90's was more removed from the 19th. C. Mary Shelley/Bram Stoker type of concept, but the eventual gravitation toward it (and not totally unrelated to the Japanese version of Goth) is illustrated by the video "The Perfect Drug" in '97.  That would have been at the end of my first college degree (which meant that other things were in my mind).  Reznor definitely latched on to the concept and I do remember thinking it was a very good video at the time (left enough of an imprint for me to remember it now!), but like I wrote I still had no real interest on the subject at the time (and I wasn't into Goth proper either - actually never have been to be precise), so this was my late "ah-ha!" moment...  Grin

EDIT:

Taking a look at the '94 video ("Closer") it reminds me strongly of the visuals in Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy" album (c. 1993, I own one copy, and has a kick-posterior presentation, by the way, looking like a tiny book full of Edwardianesque medical-quackery images).  Reznor may have taken inspired  by those images...  another type of Steampunk presence perhaps

I may have been inspired....  Roll Eyes

*calling Mr. SPBrewer as evil doctor with his X-Ray machine, and Ms. Darkshines as malevolent nurse!*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalogy




http://www.twitsessions.com/2012/05/regalamos-vitalogy-de-pearl-jam-en-vinilo/
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 11:56:06 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 12:36:56 am »

I'd say the lineage continued to a degree with the likes of Reznor's prodigy Marilyn Manson, and also Rob Zombie. When Manson released his "Smells Like Children" ep, a title obviously deliberately calculated to outrage conservative America. I must say I chuckled because I instantly recognized it as actually being a playful reference to the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There was also a rather large clue in the cover photo .

And Mr Zombie of course has always had a fondness for retro horror, sometimes reflected in his artistic choices.

Rob Zombie - Living Dead Girl


There are differences of course, but I've often felt if these folks wanted to turn their hand to something specifically Steampunk, they could probably do so quite effectively.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 12:57:35 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 06:35:56 am »

I love Rob Zombie's intrinsic sense of humour (and his mode of transport).  If born at an earlier time he would have have been a member of the Munsters cast or the Addams Family  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 09:46:44 am »

Heh! I was just randomly directed to one of Trent Reznor's 1997 videos and I watched the video for "The Perfect Drug" again. The resolution is low and they look all blurry now, unless you resize the window (such as this embedded video), but I keep marvelling at his wonderful pieces of Gothery even when the video is almost 20 years old... I know young kids today who don't even know what "The Matrix" is. Where has time gone? Are people even aware how alive we were back then?
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2016, 03:30:09 pm »

Aren't goths usually more dead than alive?
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 12:08:55 am »

Aren't goths usually more dead than alive?

Perhaps "undead" is a better adjective
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 09:12:55 am »



I was o  a big diesel  bus the other week, with a couple of old ladies, 2 teen school girls and a  intellectually  challenged woman,  Closer came on the radio .  Just as I was starting  to tap my feet  to the first verse - the driver scrambled to change the station.   I was ripped off  .

Because I was enjoying their song

And because I wanted to see the diverse reactions of other passengers
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2016, 08:22:50 am »



I was o  a big diesel  bus the other week, with a couple of old ladies, 2 teen school girls and a  intellectually  challenged woman,  Closer came on the radio .  Just as I was starting  to tap my feet  to the first verse - the driver scrambled to change the station.   I was ripped off  .

Because I was enjoying their song

And because I wanted to see the diverse reactions of other passengers

See no evil , hear no evil, speak no evil....

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil-three-figurines-represent-proverb-three-wise-monkeys-chimpanzees-white-image51108719
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