I’m the one wearing a pink shirt…and red wig. My head was shaved at the time.

Trent Reznor’s music project How to Destroy Angels is streaming a new EP called An omen on SoundCloud. All the usual music website-suspects announced the stream this morning and my teenage self looked down through these older eyes into the Twitter glow cupped between my palms and promptly wrestled me into a pair of headphones. The resulting listening session was a pleasant surprise: the tunes are still industrial-tinged electro but more minimal, delicate and…optimistic-seeming? A quick Google-search revealed to me that Trent may have found happiness in 2009 when he married Mariqueen Maandig, vocalist on the An omen, which behooves me to jump to the conclusion that domesticity and fatherhood may have softened some of The Black Crow’s angst (Trent’s longtime collaborators, Atticus Ross and Rob Sherdian are also involved in HTDA). However, the lyrical content is classically Nine Inch Nails in style (“The beginning is the end, keeps coming around again”…) as is some of the gently atonal instrumentation and minor key vocal harmonies, so modern teenagers and goths-for-life can rest easy. There is even word of a new NIN album in the works, hurrah!

Here comes the part where I tell you about the time that teenage Amber and buds camped out all day on a sidewalk in Montreal to be the first ones running into the stadium to see NIN up close and personal (think it was for The Fragile tour). We succeeded in our goal and were pressed up against the metal barriers, hundreds of black-lipsticked folks breaking like goth waves against our backs. I woke up the next day with bruises from the metal barriers all up and down the front my body. But I touched Trent three times, so there. Then there’s the time, earlier in my teens, when I was in a band playing in a suburban basement and someone requested Hurt and I, not knowing the lyrics, improvised them shittily to the disappointment of the crown and my own eternal shame. Thank Brandon Lee social media didn’t exist back then.

Teenaged Trent

Now, lest we forget, here’s some The Fragile-era NIN:

PS: Trent and Mariqueen’s son’s name is Lazarus Echo…how perfect is that??!