Perhaps most surprisingly, though, Reznor reactivated Nine Inch Nails after becoming a husband and father. For obvious reasons, familial harmony would seem at odds with the gnashing volatility at the core of his work. Dumbed-down accounts of music history dictate that Reznor turned angst into anthems for the '90s generation. More precisely, he and his contemporaries tore through the veil of our collective social mores with a force that startles in retrospect. Looking back on NIN's meteoric rise to mass visibility in 1994, as the epically woeful sophomore album The Downward Spiral took the world by storm, it's hard to fathom how the culture was ready to embrace Mark Romanek's provocative video for "Closer," which became a runaway MTV hit. At the same time, even amid the inane madness captured in the Self Destruct video, Reznor back then resembled the same thoughtful, soft-spoken, downright polite guy he appears to be now. That makes his personal evolution harder to pin down: The Oscar-nominated guy who addressed PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley as "sir" also tried to reintroduce his audience to the gratuitous sadism of the Broken film.
Saby's story is a good read, so read it. At press time, there appear to be a fair amount of tickets left — with a handful of them going for as cheap as $25. Tonight's show starts at 7:30 p.m., and Godspeed You! Black Emperor will open.
Now, let's keep rollin'.
Former Sonic Youthster Lee Ranaldo will play tonight at Exit/In, and Adam Gold has a little something to say in regard to that:
Last time Lee Ranaldo played Nashville, a lot of people fucked up and didn’t go. Now they get a do-over. As guitarist for Sonic Youth, often in the shadows behind dominant ex-couple Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo was a great in the tradition of unsung indie-rock secret-weapon songwriters along the lines of Husker Du’s Grant Hart, Guided by Voices’ Tobin Sprout, Pavement’s Spiral Stairs ... the list goes on. Yet his contributions to Sonic Youth’s classic three-decade-spanning canon in “Eric’s Trip,” “Skip Tracer,” “Hey Joni,” “Wish Fulfillment” and “Pipeline/Kill Time” are essential to the band’s identity, as are the indelible noise-jangle guitar stylings he littered across the rest of the band’s mammoth catalog. Perhaps the sweetest silver lining in the sudden, unexpected Sonic Youth breakup was how it gave rise to Ranaldo’s full-fledged stab at a solo career. Although 2012’s stunning Between the Times and the Tides — Ranaldo’s first solo song-based effort of shimmering, old-school-R.E.M.-sounding rockers that featured contributions from Steve Shelly, Jim O’Rourke and Nels Cline — was actually written and recorded before Moore and Gordon divorced and the band went on hiatus, a commitment to the road means Ranaldo and his band, The Dust, have had plenty of gigs to hone these songs and their sonic nuances. Chris Scruggs opens. —Adam Gold
That one starts at 8 p.m. and costs $15.
And now for something a little sweeter: Lo-fi pop Canuck Allie Hanlon (aka Peach Kelli Pop) will play The Stone Fox with Churchyard and Weekend Babes. Culture editor Steve Haruch did the pick thing on that one:
Not unlike Burger Records labelmates Shannon and the Clams, Allie Hanlon’s indie-pop outfit Peach Kelli Pop revels in the super sounds of the ’60s — think sunshine-draped melodies, post-Ronettes choruses and reverb-y major chords. But this is anything but one-dimensional retro-fetishism, mixing in twinkling Slumberland-ish indie-pop, punchy-punky power-chord tunes and the occasional off-kilter jam like “Society of Enoch,” which whizzes by on a swiftly tilting organ riff punctuated by shout-out-loud vocals and weird found-sound dialog. After a stint opening a string of dates for Kate Nash, PKP returns to Nashville (where local label Infinity Cat reissued the band’s self-titled debut not long ago) to headline a strong show that also includes locals Churchyard and Weekend Babes. —Steve Haruch
That one starts at 9 p.m. and costs $5.
For those who are down with the 'grass, songstress Donna Ulisse will celebrate the release of her new Showin' My Roots tonight at The Station Inn. Here's contributor Jon Weisberger's two cents on that one:
After a half-dozen albums devoted almost exclusively to her original songs, bluegrass singer Donna Ulisse decided to take a different tack with her new one, titled Showin’ My Roots (Hadley Music Group). As it turns out, Ulisse’s roots are largely in country music, so in addition to the inevitable Stanley Brothers numbers — she did, after all, marry into the family — the set dishes up songs from Hank Locklin, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and a pair from the Loretta Lynn songbook, among others, bookended by a couple of thematic originals, one of which is the title track. It also turns out that Ulisse delivers the standards with the same conviction and nuance she invests in her own songs, making the album a strong change-up from her usual focus. And though Roots features her usual studio crew, the material’s pure catnip to her more-than-capable road band, the Poor Mountain Boys. —Jon Weisberger
That one starts at 9 p.m. and costs $12.
If none of those tickles your particular fancy, you've also got Clear Plastic Masks with Las Rosas at FooBar and psych rockers Crystal Antlers at The End. There's also a screening of Terminator the Second at The Belcourt. See the rest of our music listings here.