In these anxiety-ridden times, where can we turn for comfort? Inspiration? Music! Artists have released cool new material in the last few days. Here are links to some.

Nine Inch Nails was recently heard providing a high energy soundtrack for the drama and mayhem of The Watchmen (HBO). Now the duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have released a new double album titled Ghosts V and VI.

In their words:


Weird times indeed…

As the news seems to turn ever more grim by the hour, we’ve found ourselves vacillating wildly between feeling like there may be hope at times to utter despair – often changing minute to minute. Although each of us define ourselves as antisocial-types who prefer being on our own, this situation has really made us appreciate the power and need for CONNECTION.

Music – whether listening to it, thinking about it or creating it – has always been the thing that helped us get through anything – good or bad. With that in mind, we decided to burn the midnight oil and complete these new Ghosts records as a means of staying somewhat sane.

Ghosts V: Together is for when things seem like it might all be okay, and Ghosts VI: Locusts… well, you’ll figure it out.

It made us feel better to make these and it feels good to share them. Music has always had a way of making us feel a little less alone in the world… and hopefully it does for you, too. Remember, everyone is in this thing together and this too shall pass.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Be smart and safe and take care of each other.”

You can get the music straight from the NIN site (the free music links are there).

Trent Reznor’s approach to music has always held a deep awareness of music’s role and impact on the world around us. Sometimes this world is one entirely of his own invention, often commenting on trends in the political environment he saw around him – and sometimes a blend of both.

Nine Inch Nails’ fifth studio album Year 0, for example, was in Reznor’s words, “the soundtrack for a movie that doesn’t exist”. It was set in a world where America had suffered so many attacks from religious fundamentalist regimes abroad that its government completely collapsed and reformed under a Christian fundamentalist theocracy, with government bureas such as the  Bureau of Morality and the First Evangelical Church of Plano.

An alternate reality game emerged parallel to the Year Zero concept, expanding upon its storyline. Clues hidden on tour merchandise initially led fans to discover a network of fictitious, in-game websites that describe an “Orwellian picture of the United States circa the year 2022”. Before Year Zero‘s release, unreleased songs from the album were found on USB drives hidden at Nine Inch Nails concert venues in Lisbon and Barcelona, as part of the alternate reality game. Fan participation in the alternate reality game caught the attention of media outlets such as USA Today and Billboard, who have cited fan-site The NIN Hotline, forum Echoing the Sound, fan club The Spiral, and NinWiki as sources for new discoveries.

Rita Wilson (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) made up the term Quarantunes
Here’s her playlist:

Billboard has an ever-expanding list of livestream concerts, including complete new album releases from major artists. Some links have changed since the initial stream, but if you search a bit you can still find them.

From Major Lazer – Lay Your Head On Me

One Republic wrote and produced this song and video during quarantine in L.A. in two weeks. Revenue goes to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund.

There’s plenty of scifi imagery from Canadian band Devin Townsend in this new video entitled Quarantine Project, Part 1.

There are many live classical concerts here on the ClassicFM web site, being offered as a response to the societal disruption caused by the onslaught of the coronavirus.

The isolation enforced by the COVID-19 outbreak creates new societal pressures with which we don’t normally contend, but it also gives us a chance to pause, reflect, catch our collective breath, and remember what it is to be human. Music is an inextricable part of the human experience, and for the geeking world it’s even more poignant, since so much of how we identify with our tribe is through its music (and if you think about it, that’s the whole point of in the first place).

We hope you enjoy these discoveries and selections. Be well, be safe, remember to wash your hands, and don’t worry. These dark times will be done at some point, and the sunshine, when it comes, will shine all the brighter for it.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.