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Top 10 Nine Inch Nails Songs That Freaked Your Parents Out

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This article originally ran in 2013. With a new Nine Inch Nails EP about to drop, here’s to another generation of kids getting “corrupted” and freaking their parents out.

When I was 12, my friend Chris and I started writing lyrics together. We never had a game plan or anything (neither of us played any instruments at the time) — these were just melodies we would sing in private to make each other feel cool. As far as the music itself went, it was 1996, so we pretty much got into whatever was on mainstream rock radio, which meant a lot of Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, and, of course, Nine Inch Nails. I don’t think either of us owned The Downward Spiral, as “Closer” was ubiquitously controversial enough that our parents knew better than to let us purchase it. But we did own two separate copies of Pretty Hate Machine, and we were drawn to a track that had the potential to be equally controversial had it ever gotten any airplay.

The song was called “The Only Time”, and in addition to the sleazy porno bass line, it had the lyrics “Lay my hands on Heaven and the sun and the moon and the stars/ While the Devil wants to fuck me in the back of his car.” As 12-year-old boys, we naturally thought this shit was the coolest. So when we began penning our own words, we went straight for the jugular, coming up with things that we just knew would get us in trouble should our parents ever stumble across them. Sample Keep Reading

Top Songs of the Month: Vince Staples, The War on Drugs, and Lorde

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It’s probably just a coincidence that three of our 10 favorite songs from June premiered on the same day, the very first day of the month. It kicked off a calendar page that offered album announcements from cornerstone acts like Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, that saw Halsey and Katy Perry become the first two women to top the Billboard 200 in 2017, and that featured new album drops from Phoenix and Fleet Foxes.

It’s not that those artists didn’t have entries worthy of our monthly wrap-up (well, except for Perry). It just speaks to how strong of a month June was that cuts like “J-Boy” Keep Reading

I’ll Be Missing You: A History of Tribute Songs

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The world’s oldest complete piece of music is, one theory goes, a tribute song. Dating from between 200 BC and 100 AD, the Seikilos epitaph contains a short piece of funereal music, along with lyrics, chiseled into a marble gravestone with a dedication that seems to translate “Seikilos to Euterpe.” In The Harvard Dictionary of Music, editor Don Michael Randel offers one possible (and poignant) explanation: Seikilos wrote the song about his recently departed wife. Instead of a hymn to the gods, the oldest full song in the world appears to be about a guy who misses the woman he loved.

Memorials to the dead make up a large portion of what we usually consider tribute songs and often extend to loss of life on a mass scale. Disasters and war find their way into commemorative songs as a way to make sense of tragedy that defies easy explanation, whether it’s the inferno of the Great Chicago Fire captured Keep Reading

Kendrick Lamar has “thousands” of unreleased songs

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He just can’t access them.

During a recent appearance on Big Boy’s Neighborhood on LA radio station Real 92.3, Kendrick Lamar revealed he has “thousands” of unreleased songs and that some of them are on a broken hard drive he refuses to discard.

“I done lost hard drives. Hard drives from ’05, ’06 that we never got back,” he says. “We took it all the way to San Francisco to get it fixed. Never got fixed. We’re praying to god it’ll come back to life one day.” Keep Reading

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