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HU Podcast #48: Everything From Here to There 5:19 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Posted by chris in criticism, efhtt.com, pitchfork, podcast, stereogum.
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We have an unprecedented two podcasts for you this week.  In the first, we discussed Billy’s new website and how it was received.

Later in the week, we talk all about the announcement of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope and what it means for Smashing Pumpkins fans over the coming months and years.

Listen to the whole show (50:13)

(download)(iTunes)

This week’s topics:

Panelists
-Chris, Jason, Jill, and Andrew

-Billy Corgan debuts EverythingFromHereToThere.com, and we wade through its posts, be they insightful or psueudoscientific, to try to get to the bottom of what he hopes to accomplish with the site. (23:34)

-Billy’s recent collaboration with Dave Navarro did not merit a mention by the music blogosphere, but the new website garnered its fair share of ridicule.  We discuss the disparity in coverage and talk about why we care how the band and Billy Corgan are covered. (20:20)

Song of the Week
-If All Goes Wrong, Asheville, NC July 2, 2007

Keep a lookout during the next day or two for our second podcast of the week.

Comments

1. drbenway - 5:49 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good observations about bias re: Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc.. Sharp stuff.

2. Matt Sevrens - 5:51 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The second part about pitchfork and everything is brilliant. This needs to be on the smashingpumpkins homepage. You hit it right on the head. Is there a way I can send this there?

3. drbenway - 5:54 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I think it should be sent to Pitchfork.

4. Smiling Politely - 6:02 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whenever they don’t cover something everyone here should just mass email them info all about it haha.

5. drbenway - 6:16 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

“Whenever they don’t cover something everyone here should just mass email them info all about it haha.”

That’s not a terrible idea. I’ve never been a proponent of mass-email-bitching, but just sending them news stories sounds pretty pro-active.

NOTE: I am not a pro-active person, so I’ll just wait here and sporadically shout encouraging remarks to those HUers who are.

Ooooh my god… ReCAPTCHA: is everyone ready for this one?

excluded taint.

6. Smiling Politely - 6:34 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lets do it next time then, I’m down.

I can just imagine the headline: “Hugely Over-Obsessive Smashing Pumpkins Fans Unite to Inform Us of Their God Billy’s Embarrasing New Tour”

7. Scott - 7:40 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You know, I have been in a friendly war of words with a reader on the Chicago Sun Times blog for Jim DeRogatis, who has been shamelessly bashing Corgan continuously for any and everything he can think of. I have often written thart Billy Corgan is simply not treated fairly in the press and this reader just thinks all is well and Billy is getting what he deserves, quit possibly. I appreciate this podcast bringing to light what I have felt for a long time.

Here’s what I wrote…(please forgive the length)

“During the overwhelming e-mails that came through on this blog during last fall’s controversial Pumpkins concerts, I weighed in by claiming my disatisfaction with the fact that Billy Corgan will always be viewed differently than his musical peers in a disheartening fashion.

1. He is never to be taken seriously yet he is held to an impossible standard. He is a musician who has contnued to move forwards on his musical journey, a trait we should be celebrating but he is dismissed as someone who hasn’t written a good piece of music since “Siamese Dream.” But if he had repeated the “Siamese Dream” formula, he would have easily and long-ago have been dismissed as a hack. It’s a trap from which he will never escape.

2. He is constantly being referred to as an egomaniacal tyrant who alienated all of the original band members thus negating any validity with the band’s reunion. While the band’s inner turmoil is legendary, no one but those four people know the complete picture and to continue to weigh in on that is futile. To suggest that the non-participation of James Iha and D’Arcy contributed to the supposed “lack of quality” with recent material is laughable as well. Honestly, and with no intended disrespect, what did D’Arcy contribute to the earlier material? I love James Iha but I feel that his musical heart is with the work he created for his solo album and the like-minded musicians with whom he has collaborated since. Why should he go back to a situation that may have been unhealthy for him? For the fans?! Besides, James and D’Arcy were asked, they refused, end of story. They didn’t want to be a part of the reunion. It’s their right. Who could blame them? “Big Bad Billy” isn’t keeping them from anything. They refused. The past is the past and it is never coming back. Should the original band have reformed and heartlessly toured like The Pixies, who are obviously cashing in and not wanting to be there?

3. Again, Corgan’s feet continue to be held to the fire on the reunion and even continuing to use the name even though he is the only original member remaining. This is commonplace in rock music yet when Corgan does it, it’s just wrong. If changing band members, breaking up and reforming were out of bounds, then there would be no Wilco and Pink Floyd should have ceased to exist once Syd Barret walked out of the door. Just let Corgan work with like-minded people in a productive environment, letteh music speak for itself and let him use the name. It is obviously his badge of honor and identity.

4. And now, this ridiculous post concerning the recent news of the upcoming new album. If critical darlings Radiohead or good Lord, Jack White made this exact same announcement, people would be falling all over themselves to see who could praise them the loudest and the quickest. To find fault with spending several years to create an album, and releasing it in pieces FOR FREE no less shows that there will never be any objectivity and fairness for Billy Corgan as far as DeRogatis is concerned. Even the odious Pitchfork is keeping an open mind about the new album and that’s saying something. If DeRogatis isn’t even going to try, then don’t bother. His spitefulness is embarrassing.”

Here’s what the reader wrote back to me…

“@ Scott –

I admire your passion, but I don’t think Billy’s being treated unfairly. He is a negative-attention seeker and often creates his own conflicts in order to pull himself out of them.

Have you ever watched How I Met Your Mother? There’s a great ratio scale that one of the characters uses to determine how hot a girl has to be in proportion to how crazy she is. There’s a similar scale I like to use for musicians: how crazy s/he is must be proportional to how brilliant his/her art is.

Billy’s career is all over this chart. When the music was good, his over-the-top, confrontational behavior was redeemable by his amazing skill to bring together a great rock album. But with the reunion of the band handled clunkily, and with Zeitgeist being such a steamer, his negative eccentricities have come front-and-center. That’s not a good place for them, and yes, he will be judged for them.

That is, of course, unless Teargarden by Kalideyscope blows everything out of the water. Then he can do whatever the heck he wants. Look at Kanye West. We all thought he’d jumped the shark at Live 8, or with his many different outbursts; but every time, he’s hit us right back with a Graduation or 808s. Now, his little hissy fit earlier this week will cost him, but if his next record is of the caliber of his previous ones, it will be forgotten. And if Teargarden can stand up with Mellon Collie and Adore, I’ll gladly overlook some of Billy’s more obnoxious traits.”

Thanks for reading.

8. purple pumpkin - 9:59 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(I am pretty sure they still cannot build the Great Pyramid with today’s technology)

http://www.plim.org/greatpyramid.html
I don’t know how to incorporate links into text..sorry

9. chris - 10:09 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here’s the site I was referring to on the podcast. In it you can read more about how the pyramids were most likely built:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080328104302.htm

10. StuckInVain - 10:28 pm // Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Your arguments in the last part were especially provocative. I do get tired of the constant back-and-forth about Pitchfork, but I felt like your analysis of media coverage was very on-point, especially concerning the sheen of objectiveness obscuring the musical bias of many sites.

I look forward to your discussion about Teargarden.

One issue: I think the general excitement about Teargarden is based more on the hope that it will be an improvement upon Zeitgeist, and the fact that it evokes MCIS-era Pumpkins, rather than the free-bie announcement being the cause of its well-receivedness. Not that it wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with it.

11. purple pumpkin - 12:09 am // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I read science daily often but I guess I missed this one. Thanks for the link though and for yet another excellent podcast. I’m a little surprised that his recent post “Jeshua, My Lord” wasn’t discussed because this really took me by surprise. Does Jesus really need to be his “VIP” to send his message across? It’s a touchy subject and maybe you guys are right in not discussing his posts in detail since it doesn’t really pertain to SP but I find it kind of odd he speaks with psychics..kinda absurd, but what do I know.
We watched Ram Dass: Fierce Grace in my religion class today, hmm..

12. jjb - 2:41 am // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is totally pretentious, but I’m going to do it anyway…I was reading tonight from Richard Lanham’s The Economics of Attention, and this relevant quote leapt out at me:

Much of what we think of as postmodern thought amounted to a revival of rhetoric, but the world of literary theory and cultural studies adopted only half of the rhetorical paideia, the search for the special interests that lie behind any argument. As often as not, these debunking inquiries have not extended to the writers themselves. “At” vision has been restricted to opponents. They use rhetoric; we only speak the unvarnished truth.

13. chris - 6:25 am // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@purple pumpkins: We record on Sunday nights (usually), so our discussion took place before the “Jeshua” post was made.

14. ifeelsopretty - 10:39 am // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good podcast, but I’m bringing your demo age up at 41! Anyway, I think Andrew had it right – he was a man of few but succinct words. It is all in the name of the url, it is gonna cover everything from here to there… And thank god – or yahwey or whoever floats yr boat – that it is separate from SP.com.

I dip into Rainn Wilson’s site about god, spirituality and life’s big questions too: http://www.soulpancake.com/

15. tampaSPfan - 12:17 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

very good podcast. It’s nice to know that SP fans are as thoughtful as the band. And I share your disregard for Pitchfork, and many other young music journalists, bad reporting habits. I had the experience of being a music director at a college radio station, and got to know many of the ‘types’ (at events like CMJ, Winter Music Conference, etc) that are most likely the same types that populate the ‘halls’ of Pitchfork. One thing I can assure you of–there are certain bands, SP definitely included, which can ‘scarlet letter’ you among the indie kids that form the fulcrum of that crowd. For whatever reason, and I don’t think it has as much to do with quality of work as it does with visibility and the viciousness of negative momentum, certain artists and bands can easily become lightning rods and therefore themselves reference points for whether a fellow music reviewer/college radio DJ/taste maker ‘gets it’ or not. Just as you can throw a stone at a group of indie music promoters and hit half a dozen Pavement fans, you can do the same and hit half a dozen Pumpkin haters. It’s been this way for years. I remember when Machina was on the verge of coming out, and trying to create some excitement for it at the radio station, and getting nothing but poorly educated forecasts of negativity, that as you very accurately reported on, very rarely have to do with any first hand knowledge past a limited familiarity of the SP singles played on the radio while said music aficianados were growing up. It’s something I’m not sure SP will ever shake, but it is a shame, because Pitchfork has an anti-SP agenda probably ingrained in them for YEARS and they will take every opportunity to snidely spread that agenda whenever they get their chance. SP is now one in their gallery of villains, and in the narrative that Pitchfork has chosen (hell, had bred into them over their college and pre-college years) that is a more valuable role and one that won’t easily be dissolved.

16. pins - 2:49 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Without getting too involved in the argument, I’d like to posit that your entire Pitchfork discussion can be relatable outside of the music world into the greater media/blogosphere/journalism discussions already being wagered.

More importantly, I think you’re bestowing mainstream media philopshies onto pitchfork when in fact they don’t exist as a traditional media source.
In a similar argument, you can look at all the political debates. Does a site like DailyKos operate on the same principles as cnn.com?

Pitchfork is extremely influential at what they do, but at their heart they’re a biased, individualized blog. Have they gotten more professional as they’ve grown? Certainly.

And while your arguments do have valid points, until Pitchfork stops having one foot in each world, there’s no way they can be truly right or wrong.

17. WeRideatDusk - 3:33 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Great podcast! Jason, your pitchfork discussion was great. Really enjoyed the banter back and forth in this one. The negativity directed towards the ‘pseudoscience’ seemed a bit small. Looking forward to the next one!

18. jjb - 4:23 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@pins: Don’t worry, I won’t try to involve you in the argument — just honored that you would listen. ;)

19. pins - 4:55 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heh, you’re right though. This one may be one I might have had something to say, as rare as that may be.
At this point, I just don’t have much time to say it. And my comment probably left out a lot of what I was trying to say.

Essentially though, pitchfork is blog-based, but due to its size and influence, does also have some mainstream media cache…however, they don’t often operate that way, in terms of being a news organization. I actually went to look for a mission statement on the site, which I couldn’t find…that in and of itself says a lot.
They’re just another brand of infotainment with the loosely-regulated integrities that the Internet has come to represent.

20. sunkissed - 5:55 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@jbb: In reference to your quote, the dominant reason why critical and literary theory has not inquired into authorial intent is because of the gross misunderstanding of the work produced by the structuralist and post-structuralist thinking that came out of European academia in the 60’s and 70’s. In my opinion it is unfortunate that the majority of the interesting work by those scholars has been misunderstood, as the responsibility of authors (the position of the speaking voice in language; “I”) has remained vastly unrecognized or at the very least interrogated by recent academics. The hyperbole and rhetoric surrounding structuralism and post-structuralism which provided the grounds for postmodernism obscured the real work being done; the real work being the responsibility inherent in the idea of authorship, and language, and the production of the episteme which allows one to speak with authority. Somewhere along the line it was assumed that because the position which one can speak from is wholly separate from the actual person speaking, that is in order to speak one must speak through discourses, then this affords some kind of freedom to the author. This was also a reaction to the implication that anything we write, think of, and so on, is not “your own” but actually a position within discourse that orders “how” one can speak, and what one can say. It is interesting looking back at the excitement of possible “anonymity” on the internet in the early 90’s, in light of all of this, because as we now see it hasn’t changed the fact that for a myriad of complex reasons we still feel compelled to hold people responsible for what they say, this of course is an interesting phenomenon, the shift from “anon.” to authorial responsibility that has been at work for a long time. When you mentioned in the podcast that the reviewers of music in the blogosphere may not have credentials, or the fact that we don’t know “who” they are, is an interesting one, but not one which the the casual music fan seems to be interested in. These ideas of bias, subjectivity, objectivity and all that aren’t really helpful because it is already assumed that writers operate within these boundaries, for one of the sites you’ve mentioned to come out and declare their interests like HU have, would be redundant as the sites themselves already have by the manner in which they report; the selection process they go through in order to publish what they do. On the other hand, if we feel compelled to hold internet music journalists, or bloggers, up to this “standard of responsibility” what would it take to achieve it?

21. Matt Sevrens - 8:24 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a transscript of this SHOULD be sent to pitchfork

22. 34 - 9:45 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@jill – I hope you were making air quotes in that phrase about the New Age “Sciences”. :P”

Speaking of, I heartily recommend watching thru Penn & Teller’s Bullshit. ^_^ Maybe someone should buy Billy a box set…

rC: hecla Cleveland

23. chris - 10:09 pm // Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@34: I actually just started watching Bullshit via Netflix, and it’s highly amusing even though it’s a bit too confrontational to seriously change anyone’s mind who doesn’t agree with them.

@WeRideAtDusk: I’m not sure what you mean by “small”. Are we supposed to ignore when Billy makes statements of fact for which there is either no evidence or contradictory evidence? I take the scientific process very seriously and have a lot of respect for scientists in all fields, so while all of us on the podcast pointed out that psuedoscience made up just one part of efhtt.com, I still felt obligated to mention it. Even in today’s post about astrology, Billy also made reference to the current leading scientific theory on the origin of the moon. It’s not all pseudoscience, but I can’t just point out the insightful and ignore the uninformed.

24. Tyler Stoering - 1:43 am // Sunday, September 27, 2009

hey
what was the blog that new mothers like to visit that jill mentioned?
dews.com? dues.com?

25. jjb - 2:45 pm // Sunday, September 27, 2009

It’s dooce.com

26. Adam - 12:07 am // Friday, October 2, 2009

see, you guys fail to give music fans enough credit for their own intelligence.

I agree the anniversary tour coverage was complete bullshit, and it was bad ‘journalism’ or blogging on their part. However, I feel your average music fan/reader would be smart enough to see through it and ultimately not be influenced by the opinions of others.

you really think music fans are dumb enough to decide on what they like based on what a website told them to think? I certainly don’t think so. Most often the music speaks for itself. P4k is all up deerhunters ass, for example, and I happen to think they suck, hard.

give readers of these sites some credit. p4k is not as influential as you’d like to think. that obama analogy is laughably ridiculous. and dumb. that particular tour went over well and the fans that did attend, for the most part, did not complain. And I have a handful of ‘indie elitist’ friends whom actually speak quite highly of SP. And a handful of them felt zeitgeist sucked, and they were able to come to that conclusion based on their own perceptions, not what they read on some indie music blog.

so there. i listened to your podcast. i honestly am intrigued by your opinions. and seriously, you do care a little too much on the perceptions of other people in relation to this band. this is not a end of world affair where the peoples lives depend on the leadership of a smart man (again, that obama quote man, yikes). but billy’s music and how it is perceived by others is obviously important to you.. so good for you.

and doesn’t it kinda say something about his music if the general blogsphere finds his crazy antics more entertaining than the music he is creating now? consider that in your next panel discussion. thom yorke can do some fucking nutty things too, but ultimately they’re taking about his music.

but i don’t know. i’ve always viewed it as somewhere along the line BC did something to piss these people off and they’re just giving him a hard time. his mouth gets him in trouble, a lot, and he’s been admitting to that since 2000. p4k not reporting on spirits? not a big deal. the show really were not that significant. Hell, thurston moore and kim gordon (they are from sonic youth in case you didn’t know) did a handful of shows as mirror/dash not too long ago, and not a damn thing was mentioned about those shows.. and they are p4k darlings. some things get overlooked. the website getting attention in favor? well if you don’t want things like that to happen, go straight to the source and tell him to stop putting this narcissistic crap out there, because it’s making him look bad.

27. Adam - 12:27 am // Friday, October 2, 2009

and pitchfork, when they said i should go see pavement, my favorite band.. i said to myself.. ‘well no, they’re ok. but not my favorite band.’

and i’m sure a lot of other readers said the same damn thing. people don’t literally take words like that, from some douche poser sitting behind another laptop in some other city and let the words decide for them who their favorite band is. people are really not that dumb, sorry to break the news to you.

again, takin’ it too seriously.

28. John - 6:17 pm // Friday, October 16, 2009

I’m interested in Billy’s new website ‘Everything from here to there’

But I was not impressed that there was no place I could find to make a post or leave a comment :(.

The site is full of great abstract thoughts, and I’ve always been an overthinker that loves absurd possibilities, so his site fits some of my own ‘crazy’ thinking, ;).

Here is a sample of my thoughts without getting into details about how I found my path (my road was a very long since I never could trust anything without evidence until I tapped into something unexpectedly!).

The meaning of life is One.

To my mind, One is what is important to me in this physical life. Some can make life long goals outta their One most important thing, but I have always lacked confidence in myself, so for me, it’s One step at a time.

To my body, One is being at peace with myself.

To my soul, One is being at One with everything. We are all a part of One.

Furthermore, I see good in everything. There is always 2 sides, if you can see the bad, if you look for it, good will also be present. Heaven and Hell aren’t places, but rather they are perceptions. I use to live in Hell on earth, I now see the Heaven’s all around me.

I use to be against all forms of religion because I only saw the literal messages that caused conflict in others, but I now see the spirtual side of all religion that can co-exist without conflict.

I still would like to see a better world for everyone, but I no longer dwell on it. We will change when we are ready. Eventually unity is inevitable, but I now realize that unity is much bigger then the world I wanted to see unite


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