(swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Activist, poet, and musician Saul Williams has laid out the unique circumstances surrounding the release of his latest LP, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!.
The Trent Reznor-produced album will be issued digitally through Williams' website under the aegis of the Fader Label, with an In Rainbows-esque payment mechanism: listeners can opt to fork over a $5 "contribution" via Williams' website and get NiggyTardust! in their choice of DRM-free 192kbps or 320kbps mp3s, or the giant, uncompressed FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format. If you're a bit light at the moment, Saul's got you, though you cheapskates will have to settle for 192kbps mp3s.
Preregistration for the album is open now, and what's more, you'll only have to wait until Halloween (October 31, duh) to get it. As Reznor tells it on the Nine Inch Nails website, "There are obvious similarities in how Radiohead just released their new record and the way we've chosen to. After thinking about this way too much, I feel we've improved upon their idea in a few profound ways that benefit the consumer." Particularly the nerdy customer up in arms about a couple of kilobits per second.
Enough business; let's talk music. NiggyTardust! features guest turns by Reznor, CX Kidtronik, Thavius Beck, and others, and was mixed by Alan Moulder. As Williams tells it in the press release, though, it's really a joint effort between himself and Reznor. "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! is the lovechild of Trent and me," Williams said, and Reznor agreed, adding that this is the "most involved [he's] been with any project outside NIN since [Marilyn Manson's 1996 LP] Antichrist Superstar." Williams believes the album's overarching theme gives him more room to expand on the album's content onstage. "The NiggyTardust! concept sets me free to do more on stage with costume, etc. than one might expect from a regular Saul Williams show. It allows me to put my theater training to use. I've also thought long and hard about all the discussion surrounding racial epithets etc. and chose this title as a means of furthering the dialogue while also showing how creativity will outlive and outshine hatred of any kind." Plus, you can, like, dance to it!
Williams has a number of live appearances on the way. Those dates-- and the NiggyTardust! tracklist-- after the jump.
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!:
01 Black History Month
02 Convict Colony
04 Sunday Bloody Sunday
09 Scared Money
11 Skin of a Drum
12 No One Ever Does
13 Banged and Blown Through
14 Raised to be Lowered
15 The Ritual
11-02 Pullman, WA - Washington State University
11-07 London, England - Bardens Boudoir
11-09 Zurich, Switzerland - Tonhalle
11-12 New York, NY - The Box
11-13 Storrs, CT - University of Connecticut
11-14 Bridgeport, CT - Housatonic Community College
11-17 Chicago, IL - Studio E
01-23 Laramie, WY - University of Wyoming
02-01 Fairfax, VA - George Mason University
02-15 Tacoma, WA - Pacific Lutheran University
Video: Saul Williams: List of Demands (Reparations) [from the Saul Williams LP]