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This One Is On Us - The Gift
December 25, 2009 12:06 PM   Subscribe

12 months, a core team of dozens (with a network of thousands) spanning 3 continents, 4 languages, 5 specialist teams, countless sleepless nights... It's finally here. Filmed in Sacramento, Portland, and Victoria by the Nine Inch Nails team, edited and produced by their fans, The Gift is a stunning work in 1080p High Definition video with 5.1 Surround Sound, multi-language subtitles, and artistically-driven ethics.

Just in time for Christmas! The first of the 3 disc blu-ray / DVD document of Nine Inch Nail's "Lights In The Sky" tour has finally been completed and released for torrent download. Some formats available now, others coming soon. The remaining two discs will be released in early 2010.

Not sure what the fuss is about? Check out the trailer!
posted by hippybear (25 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Part Water World, part Ishtar...ALL EXTREME!
posted by silkyd at 12:22 PM on December 25, 2009


artistically-driven ethics

whaaa?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:25 PM on December 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Previous NIN fan-compiled DVD.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:31 PM on December 25, 2009


Cool!
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:32 PM on December 25, 2009


This is fantastic stuff and definitely has made my Christmas. Might have to wait until I'm not using my parents' computer to download 25 gigs of blu-ray quality NIN, however.

I've posted a few NIN related things to metafilter before, but I just want to say how happy I've been with the last 5 years or so of their (or, well, Reznor's) efforts to provide alternative delivery methods of the music to the fans. I would like to think this is pushing alternative music channels/delivery methods forward but as there are very few bands I've cared about as much as Nine Inch Nails if no one else ever picks up on this I'll still be happy.

I'm glad I got to see NIN live and am very sad to see them go. I am genuinely looking forward to whatever Reznor produces next.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:43 PM on December 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Other excellent fan-created NIN content: the Surround Sound DVD set:

Year Zero 5.1
Ghosts 5.1 (I & II, III & IV)
The Slip

Discrete surround versions, all mixed from the official multi-tracks released by Trent. Excellent companions for your purchased surround versions of The Downward Spiral and With Teeth.
posted by hippybear at 1:05 PM on December 25, 2009


Seriously, what are "artistically-driven ethics" and how did they influence the creation of film vs how it would have been created otherwise?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:28 PM on December 25, 2009


Seriously, what are "artistically-driven ethics" and how did they influence the creation of film vs how it would have been created otherwise?

I couldn't possibly tell you. You'd have to ask the person who actually wrote that phrase. My own assumption is that it is opposed to "money-driven ethics", but just my saying that will likely derail this thread into a huge argument about whether artists should expect to make money off their creations or not.

Please don't let that happen. Just download the project and enjoy the delicious NIN concert-ness.
posted by hippybear at 1:34 PM on December 25, 2009


Seriously, what are "artistically-driven ethics" and how did they influence the creation of film vs how it would have been created otherwise?

I can guess it would mean that, if the artist owns the rights to his work --which very rarely happens in the traditional model-- and is generous with it, for instance releasing multitracks, allowing taping or video recording of concerts, or encouraging creative input from a large (large enough, doesn't even need to be as large as NIN's as long as it is committed) fan base, good things often happen.

Someone says that as little as 1000 true fans might be enough.
posted by _dario at 2:12 PM on December 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Please don't let that happen. Just download the project and enjoy the delicious NIN concert-ness.

No problem, carry on!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:19 PM on December 25, 2009


Was a great tour, and this is a great gift. Consider me downloading.
posted by dopamine at 3:28 PM on December 25, 2009


I won't be all "your favorite band sucks," though NIN's music isn't at the top of my favorites. But I am totally a fan of how Reznor has been experimenting with different methods for making money and distributing music. New economic models for the music industry are desperately needed, and it'll take openness to experimenting -- and yes, ethics -- like his to get it there.
posted by Forktine at 3:39 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by FormlessOne at 4:36 PM on December 25, 2009


Wow. That's a lotta love. The people doing this have taken a lot of time into thinking about how to do this, and how to release it. Personally, I'm thrilled at the variety of file types, since there's no way I can do a 25GB download without removing a lot of things from my computer, but there's the dual layer DVD torrent, and they say they'll have a PS3 torrent up soon. It's like a Christmas all over again!
posted by Ghidorah at 5:53 PM on December 25, 2009


Another perspective...

"Bands such as NIN and Radiohead had years of record company money spent on building their reputation. When they took themselves online they were successful because of the mainstream record companies not because of their opposition to the mainstream. A band that does not have ‘goodwill’ cannot survive on free downloads and the mythology promoted by those that offer pirate downloads is misleading the poorer bands that try to emulate their idols. [...] A band such as NIN is able to provide free downloads as a ‘loss leader’ exactly the same way as a department store uses a sale to get customers in, hoping for ancillary sales. Excessive discounting and free give-aways can also be used to cripple competition – something exploited notably by Roche, Microsoft and Walmart. It is not a noble act and shouldn’t be painted that way." - Tom Ellard, The Queen’s Christmas Message.
posted by eccnineten at 5:57 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


OMG I'M AN ADULT
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:21 PM on December 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


A band such as NIN is able to provide free downloads as a ‘loss leader’ exactly the same way as a department store uses a sale to get customers in, hoping for ancillary sales.

Except that NIN hasn't been on a label for years, and this project has only ancillary involvement from NIN. It's a fan-produced project, and as such exists mostly because Trent isn't suing them for rights infringement like so many record labels and content distributers do. In fact, based on the difficulty Trent had in selling-out venues on both the Lights In The Sky and Wave Goodbye tours, I don't think that his giving away product did more than placate his already rabid fan base. Most of the younger music fans regarded NIN as passé and didn't bother to show up, and therefore was not feeding money into Trent's pocket. That was primarily long-time fans which were doing that, and they were doing that consciously.

Besides, music consumption isn't something like buying milk. You buy milk, and you have it in your house, and then you don't need to buy any more. Music, if you get some for free and you pay for some, you're not going to eventually have enough music on hand. Not if you consume music on any real level. I doubt there were many who said "well, I just downloaded the new NIN album for free, I guess I won't go spend money at the record store." That just not how music consumption works for most people. I would welcome actual citations of bands who went broke or record labels who lost sales of product because The Slip was released for free.
posted by hippybear at 6:28 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I haven't really listened to NIN or even taken them seriously since I was like 16. I don't own any of their albums. But I cannot resist this, it's just too good. The level of fan-appreciation here makes me want to be a fan.
posted by anazgnos at 7:15 PM on December 25, 2009


A band such as NIN is able to provide free downloads as a ‘loss leader’

I think this misses the point. NIN has free downloads in the same way the Grateful Dead allowed free taping. In record company logic, those are "losses" and those people should have been buying legal records. But in band logic, those are loyal fans who are spending big $$$ on concert tickets, t-shirts, and legal records -- the taping and free downloads are in addition to the album sales, not instead of.

But for whatever reason, the record companies (and from the Le Guin FPP yesterday, it looks like publishers are now going down this path) see the pie as really limited, and want to be paid for things (like second hand books, or fan-produced movies like this) that are actually huge boosts to the author/band in question. Honestly, I find it kind of mystifying -- the golden ages of publishers and record companies didn't come from that kind of model; they are trying to overlay a hyper-controlling business model on a much more fluid modern situation and it's backfiring on them in a really embarrassing way.
posted by Forktine at 7:35 PM on December 25, 2009


AAAH MY EYES! (But I mean it in a good way. Hella strobe lights! I hope the tickets came printed with a seizure warning.)

For fan content that was well-done.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:46 PM on December 25, 2009


I hope the tickets came printed with a seizure warning.

I would hope anyone attending a NIN concert, or any modern light show concert actually, would already know that there would be lights flashing on and off.

Although yes, NIN does it a bit, um... more... enthusiastically than many other acts.
posted by hippybear at 9:24 PM on December 25, 2009


What fascinates me about music is how the industrial beat can become more or less a country beat. Boom-Pah Boom-Pah Boom-Pah Boom-Pah.

There's only so many ways we beings can express ourselves, and eventually we start to step on each other's toes. In a good way, of course.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:20 PM on December 25, 2009


Good for Trent, good for NIN, thank you. Nice to see that there is also a SD version for us that are still living in the pre-HD age. (I've got a fairly decent 480p 16:9 projector that serves me well.)

But some of the commenters miss a very important point: what is good for NIN/Reznor might not be good for all other musicians/bands.

If giving your main product (music) for free is the best business model eva, then the inevitable evolution of market economy will take us there in a few decades. Just please please please let the artists/labels make these economic decisions themselves.

This article on the state of music business in China was imho quite enlightening.
posted by hoskala at 4:05 AM on December 26, 2009


Well, hoskala, NIN released a few of their albums in such a way that just the pure music in digital form could be purchased, in various DRM free formats, for around 5 American dollars. Physical copies and ever expanding and exclusive special editions could be purchased at a higher price point. This One Is On Us is a present from the fans to the fans heartily endorsed by the band, not a future economic strategy.

5 bucks directly to the artist pays them a lot more than 15 dollars off a record sale in a department store. Promotion is a pain and of course it's going to be less viable for smaller, less established bands, but even for them there are alternatives to giving your music away for free or signing your music away to a recording company. I think this middleground is where the future is.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:08 AM on December 26, 2009


That Tom Ellard quote above is definitely the stupidest thing I've read in months.

"Bands such as NIN and Radiohead had years of record company money spent on building their reputation."

That was the only business model available when both of these bands started. duh.

"When they took themselves online they were successful because of the mainstream record companies not because of their opposition to the mainstream."


Um, no. They were successful because they created interesting music that people wanted to own and the only option in the early 90s was to distribute that music by cd, tape, or LP. And they succeeded because their live performances were amazing and people were willing to pay to see them, not their label reps. Mainstream record companies were successful because of their artists' creative works, not because of their marketing "genius." Record companies have tried to eek out an existence, and a justification for their existence, from the early days the web and have done it in a remarkably stupid fashion. They attempted to sell the same product that was available in a store with a healthy mark up in price even though it cost them less to distribute. Then when digital music became a viable option they created proprietary file formats which were poor quality and shackled by DRM. Then they attempted to stop paying the artists all together since the new digital formats weren't covered in older contracts. derr.

"A band that does not have ‘goodwill’ cannot survive on free downloads and the mythology promoted by those that offer pirate downloads is misleading the poorer bands that try to emulate their idols."

Beyond retarded. Why the f**k should a band without goodwill survive? How are these in any way "pirate downloads" if they're offered with the artists' consent? Virtually every "poorer" band offers their music digitally for free through their website or myspace page. It is how bands market themselves and attract fans and sell concert tickets. duuuuuhhhhh.

"[...] A band such as NIN is able to provide free downloads as a ‘loss leader’ exactly the same way as a department store uses a sale to get customers in, hoping for ancillary sales. Excessive discounting and free give-aways can also be used to cripple competition – something exploited notably by Roche, Microsoft and Walmart. It is not a noble act and shouldn’t be painted that way."

The loss leader thing has already been addressed above. Think about what Ellard is actually arguing for here, an anti-capitalist pro-monopoly world where consumers can be ass-raped by whatever company for whatever they want to charge. Radiohead and NIN succeeded in spite of their major labels doing a shitty job promoting them after their first albums had mixed success. Promotion for "the Bends" and "Broken" was non-existent yet these are widely considered two of the best albums of the 90s and show remarkable evolution from their first albums. These albums were ignored and the artists had to fight to get them released. He's right in that "noble" probably isn't the right word for what these bands are doing (not that I've actually heard anyone use that word), better adjectives are probably innovative, intelligent, wise, forward-thinking, appreciative, aware, independent, etc. Seriously this Ellard guy needs to lay off the lobotomies.
posted by Locobot at 10:35 AM on December 26, 2009


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