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NINE INCH NAILS 33 1/3: PRETTY HATE MACHINE FINALLY GETS A RELEASE (WE THINK)

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Longtime readers of MetalSucks will know that I’m a big fan of Continuum’s 33 1/3 books series. Each one is by a different writer, and each one is devoted entirely to the study of a different classic album – and “study” has a pretty broad definition here, as the manner in which the books approach the album-in-question really depends on the author. Sure, Eric Weisbard’s entry on GN’R’s Use Your Illusion albums was basically one long apology by an ironic hipster who couldn’t bring himself to admit that he actually enjoys those records. But the great John Darnielle’s book, on Sabbath’s Master of Reality, is one of the most creative pieces of music writing I’ve read in some time – the entire thing takes the form of journal entries written by a teenager who has been committed to a psychiatric center – and I loved D.X. Ferris’ take on Slayer’s Reign in Blood that not only did I interview him, but I basically bullied him into writing some pieces for MetalSucks (Most recently, he did an incredibly in-depth interview with the one and only Tom G. Warrior).

So far those three books have been the only ones in the series that deal with metal or sorta-kinda-metal (which isn’t to say the other books in the series aren’t worth reading, just to say, y’know, metal will always be my first and greatest love). Which is why I’ve been so excited to read Daphne Carr’s contribution, on Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine. The book was announced for-ever ago, and I kept seeing release dates on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s web site, which would come and go without the thing ever actually getting released. It was like 33 1/3‘s version of Chinese Democracy.

Well, Mr. Ferris himself, writing for Cleveland Scene, now reports that the book is finally coming out! Just don’t ask when:

“Earlier yesterday morning, Amazon sent an e-mail declaring the on-again-off-again book about Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine would finally arrive on April 1.

The publisher, Continuum Books, confirms it now has a manuscript, but says it won’t be released until August or September.”

And at the risk of being my usual cynical self, I’ve been waiting for this book for so long that I wouldn’t be surprised if “August or September” turned into “sometime in 2011.” But it’s good to know that at least the publisher actually has a manuscript now. (This makes it sound like the delay all this time as been Carr’s fault, but maybe that’s presumptuous of me.) In any case, I’m really, really stoked to finally get to read this thing, especially since it promises to “fill in the background of Trent Reznor’s early years in Mercer, Pennsylvania.” Being a big NIN fan but not one of those creepy “Trent Reznor is a GOD” goth-obsessives, I don’t actually know very much about the events leading up to this one-man band getting to put out such a monumental release, so this should be fun.

On a semi-related note: I tweeted about my excitement for this book earlier this week, and was pretty appalled to be met with a reader reply that amounted to “reading about and intellectually analyzing music is lame.” I don’t know which of you sent that tweet, but all I could keep thinking after I saw it was, “Why the fuck would you ever read MetalSucks, then?” I know our writing isn’t exactly “highbrow,” but in case you haven’t noticed, we take a lot of joy in over-thinking shit around these parts. Art was meant to be engaged with and considered, not just consumed. And until we can figure out a way to express our thoughts about music in fart-form, the written word seems to be the way to go. So stop being anti-intellectual. It doesn’t make you look cool.

-AR

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