Matt Walker talks about his days as a Pumpkin 5:55 pm // Wednesday, January 21, 2009Posted by jjb in batman and robin, interview, matt walker, smashingpumpkins.com, video.
The drummer and current leader of the Most Dangerous Race gave an interview to SmashingPumpkins.com writer Andy, talking about touring on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, recording for Adore, and exploring Batman’s brain:
Upon arrival in L.A., we were brought straight from the airport for a fitting of the tight black suits, as well as the harnesses for the flying sequences. It is very humbling to be a skinny, pale, white, mid-western kid suddenly on display in front of a panel of seamstresses, costume designers, and random rigging professionals in nothing but your underwear and a multi-belted harness wrapped tightly around your midsection. I felt very…pale. I’m sure Jimmy is glad he missed that bit.
Below: Now old secrets fade (YouTube)
Replays run for fans of NBA’s Golden State Warriors 2:11 pm // Wednesday, October 22, 2008Posted by jjb in amusing, basketball, batman and robin, livejournal, video.
LiveJournalist pollytrance reports from Oakland:
YOU SEE I TOLD YOU.
Yes, I know the quality sucks, but truth be told, I am happy I got it at all. Some stoner buttmunches stole my seat at half-time and right when the little preview thing that I knew I wanted to record came on, their morals got the better of them and they walked right in front of me to return to their shitty seats. I should have been a bitch and made them wait, but I was too excited.
Anyway– YES. SONG FROM 1998 BY THE SMASHING PUMPKINS! USED IN THE PREVIEW MONTAGE FOR OPENING NIGHT BY THE WARRIORS.
“Scream” awards quasi-semi-liveblog: Do I have to watch this? 7:57 pm // Tuesday, October 21, 2008Posted by jjb in awards, batman and robin, G.L.O.W., television.
Time to watch Spike TV and GET SOME ACTION…
7:50pm: …but for now I am watching Olbermann. They can’t make me switch early!
8:00pm: Shockingly, the first image of the “Scream” awards telecast was one of a writhing, seemingly naked woman. Welcome to Spike TV.
8:04pm: We are here tonight to honor the already hyper-honored figures of the cinematic multiplex. Sir Anthony Hopkins is glad to be a part of it, as well he should.
8:07pm: First references (yes, plural) to autoeroticism, courtesy those guys who currently play loser protagonists in every movie.
8:09pm: First “Hancock” joke. I would say “use your imagination”, but I really don’t think the imaginative faculty is necessary to guess the context.
8:10pm: “Hellboy II” finally receives the sort of accolade its like always has been denied by the elitist snobs of the Academy.
8:13pm: Commercial break! The first ad is for TNA wrestling. The second is for Captain Morgan. The third is for Taco Bell. We are now fully culturally positioned kthx
8:16pm: Nooooooo…it’s the “Saved by Zero” ad for Toyota.
8:19pm: The nominees for Best Violent and Sexy Comic Book are…
8:20pm: “From the movie you’re dying to see, it’s” some guy I don’t know, but he says his new comic/movie/merchandising franchise is now an “unstoppable force.”
8:23pm: Tribute to Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. You did NOT see this coming!
8:24pm: HU blogfriend Davin helpfully draws some connections between this event and the Pumpkins’ little world:
(8:14 PM) davin: the list for SP-affiliated comic stuff is large too…..watchmen, batman, incredible hulk, transformers…..
(8:14 PM) davin: this should be a good crowd for them.
(8:14 PM) davin: that and the gothic connection
(8:15 PM) davin: i mean, tim burton is being honored (MCIS font and “pumpkin king” from Nightmare Before Xmas)
(8:17 PM) davin: manson is there….he had those stories about billy gettign fucked up with him in the limo, they were both “acknlowedged” in the nin starfuckers video….
(8:17 PM) davin: the SP connections/references abound…
(8:18 PM) davin: manson and billy should gang up and kick sharon osbourne’s ass
(8:18 PM) davin: and lets not forget kelly, who ragged on zwan
(8:18 PM) davin: and whose boyfriend got kicked in the stomach by billy backstage
8:29pm: First AXE commercial (that I’ve noticed).
8:31pm: Announcer says “All hail rock royalty…[holds breath?!]…The Osbournes.” Ah. Cue “Iron Man.” Sharon talking. It’s kind of like listening to Sarah Palin.
8:33pm: “Dexter” wins an award, to be accepted by “America’s favorite serial killer himself.” Who had that title previously?
8:35pm: Character in a movie clip makes reference to “the gift of reason”. At the moment I’m not entirely enamored of that “gift”.
8:38pm: An “ultra-hot cyborg from the future” introduces the first of two musical performances, this one by the “fabulously freaky” Kerli.
8:42pm: Kerli’s xylophones subside. Someone ate this dude’s Volcano Taco.
8:44pm: ON OCTOBER 26TH… WE ARE ALL GUITAR HEROES. Rated E for everyone.
8:47pm: Announcer’s faux-explicable first words on return from commercial break: “Put up your dukes if you’ve got a Stifler.”
8:49pm: Gary Oldman takes down a…an…I don’t know what the trophies are called.
8:50pm: Winona Ryder drops “Beetlejuice” ref, introduces Tim Burton. My clothes spontaneously cease to reflect light.
8:53pm: After a fantastically fiery delay, Burton appears in a basket borne aloft by a bundle of balloons. I’m not sure what it all meant, but that did look cool.
8:56pm: Dialogue from commercial for “Saw V”:
Male voice: “What the hell is that?!”
Female voice: “Our next nightmare.”
9:01pm (halfway home!): Guy flanked by two women says that he grew up reading a lot of science fiction. Women smile politely.
9:04pm: First use of the term reimagined (that I’ve noticed).
9:11pm: Wes Craven is given “the Mastermind Award”. Gory montage ensues.
9:15pm: Craven says that the F-word is “fans”. Awww. Marilyn Manson promptly emerges on stage and twice uses a different F-word.
9:17pm: Manson enunciates the words, “And the winner is: Penis Bitten Off by Vagina with Teeth.” Society soars over shark.
(9:19 PM) davin: no mention of SP since the very beginning, eh?
9:23pm: Announcer: “Please welcome Dexter’s girlfriend.” I guess there’s something to be said for not even pretending to respect the role.
9:29pm: In the race for Best Horror Actress, Jena Malone and her bloodstains lose out to Liv Tyler and her bloodlines. Better luck in your music career, Ms. Malone.
9:31pm: “Coming up: Smashing Pumpkins are back, and we’ve got them on ‘Scream’.”
9:35pm: “For 20 years, this band has been melting our minds…” “The lords of intergalactic rock” are at last on stage.
9:36pm: Way too much camera time for the dancers relative to the band…even if it probably isn’t that much. I just can’t take it at this point, haha.
9:37pm: The bridge!
(9:38 PM) pins: so can you feel it?
(9:38 PM) jjb: i don’t know. am i the “you”?
(9:38 PM) pins: i don’t know, that’s the only line i know
9:39pm: Gerard Way on stage to introduce the makers of “Watchmen”.
9:41pm: New “Watchmen” footage makes its “world premiere” to the strains of, yes, “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning”. Coming soon to a million YouTube accounts!
9:43pm: I’m out, sorry. That was more than enough.
Jack White: Alicia Keys and I “became” Bond characters 4:08 pm // Thursday, August 21, 2008Posted by jjb in alicia keys, amusing, batman and robin, jack white, movies and film.
The White Stripes and Raconteurs axe ace explains in a press release:
Alicia put some electric energy into her breath that cemented itself into the magnetic tape. Very inspiring to watch. It gave me a new voice, and I wasn’t myself anymore. I drummed for her voice and she mimicked the guitar tones, then we joined our voices and screamed and moaned about these characters in the film and their isolation, having no one to trust, not even themselves. Maybe we became them for a few minutes.
For SP.com, HU’s Jill keeps watch on “Watchmen” success 12:50 pm // Wednesday, July 30, 2008Posted by jjb in b-sides, batman and robin, sales, smashingpumpkins.com.
It’s becoming clear that digital sales for the hyped song reached nearly 100,000% of the prior week. 100,000%? Yes, an amazing 100,000%. More than 11,000 people downloaded the track on iTunes alone, irrespective of the more than 40,000 listens it got on the Pumpkins’ MySpace page since the movie launched. The song ranked as the most-listened Pumpkins tune on the Rhapsody music service and drastically climbed the charts at other Web 2.0 music licensing platforms like Napster and Last.fm.
HU Podcast #14: Courtney, VH1, and a Surprising Hit 4:53 pm // Tuesday, July 22, 2008Posted by chris in b-sides, batman and robin, courtney love, kurt cobain, movies and film, nirvana, podcast, sales, tour.
There was lots to talk about this week despite the short time since the last podcast, so we went a bit long, and for the first time since episode 5 we had all four original members of the podcast on to give their opinions on what was a bizarre half-week of news.
This week’s topics:
-Chris, Jason, Jill, and Andrew
Jill responds to our ticket price comments from last week and discusses her new gig at smashingpumpkins.com. Plus we get a sneak peek at some of her future articles. (10:02)
-We go Access Hollywood and discuss Courtney Love and her alleged blogging skills. (5:32)
-The August tour gets some new dates, and we discuss the slow rate of ticket sales. Plus, Jason hatches a plan to get my grandparents to the Boca Raton show, and Jill is unaware of the musical genius of Lifehouse. (6:09)
-The Beginning is the End is the Beginning shoots to the middle of the iTunes sales charts, was there ever a more unlikely “hit”? Plus, Jason, who runs a Smashing Pumpkins fan blog, calls Watchmen fans ”dorky”, and Andrew humbly recalls predicting the whole thing. (13:55)
In Depth Discussion: Where do the Pumpkins rank amongst their 1990′s peers?
-VH1 considered the Pumpkins worthy as a promotional tool for their top 100 songs of the 1990′s list, but not as musicians to be included. What was the most likely Smashing Pumpkins song to be included on the list and where would we place it? We have a few laughs and ponder the Pumpkins’ place in the 90′s. Plus, we once again groove to Third Eye Blind, Jill warms up her vocal chords, and Andrew reveals himself as the only hair metal fan on the panel. (26:16)
This Week in Pumpkins History
-The band plays an extended stay at the Fillmore. (1:17)
Song of the Week
-The End is the Beginning is the End, June 28th, 1997
Stay tuned after the credits for some outtakes from our discussion of 1990′s music.
“Watchmen” effect gives Smashing Pumpkins an iTunes hit 7:25 pm // Saturday, July 19, 2008Posted by jjb in b-sides, batman and robin, movies and film, sales.
Another chapter has been written in the improbable rise of all-but-forgotten Batman & Robin disc-filler “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” to minor cultural relevance, as Watchmen trailer-viewing iTunes buyers have momentarily propelled the track past offerings from Vanessa Hudgens and Keith Urban to a position in the top
80 50 songs.
“Beginning Is the End” to be heard by 10 million? 2:40 pm // Saturday, July 19, 2008Posted by jjb in analysis, b-sides, batman and robin, business, movies and film.
So, a little back-of-the-envelope arithmetic:
- Expected $150 million gross for what may be the biggest opening in Hollywood history;
- I’ll conservatively estimate the average ticket price at $10;
- And I’ll guess that a third of the tickets are going to people seeing it for the second or third time.
If most everyone is in their seats in time for the Watchmen trailer — and if that trailer is indeed on every Dark Knight reel across the country — that would put the admittedly cut-down Smashing Pumpkins track into the ears of 10 million Americans this weekend.
Could that many different people ever have heard lesser Pumpkins singles “Rocket”, “Thirty-three”, or “Tarantula” on the radio? Or consider that the band’s bestselling 1995 album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness hasn’t quite moved five million copies in the U.S., and that album tracks like “Jellybelly” and “Stumbleine” would be lucky to have been heard even once by each of its buyers (although perhaps siblings, two parents and several roommates could be counted for many of those), so…
Seriously, has “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” just become one of the most-heard Billy Corgan songs of all time?!
Box office tracker Media By Numbers estimates today’s average movie prices at $7.08, which means “The Dark Knight” would have sold 21.94 million tickets.
If I still guess that one-third of the tickets go to repeat viewers, then the Watchmen trailer would need to be shown about 70% of the time to reconstitute the 10 million figure.
HU’s Jill interviews Billy Corgan re: “Watchmen” for SP.com 10:55 am // Saturday, July 19, 2008Posted by jjb in batman and robin, billy corgan, interview, movies and film.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan made himself available yesterday to take a few questions on the song “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” and its use in the trailer for the upcoming movie Watchmen. The questioner? Why, it was our own Jill, in her other role as a writer for the band’s official website. Here are her questions and Billy’s answers:
SP.COM: “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” is one of the most synthetic-sounding Pumpkins tracks, yet the Batman songs were concurrently recorded with very raw-sounding Adore demos. How did you put the song together and what technology did you use to achieve the effects?
Billy Corgan: Honestly, I don’t remember, other than trying to merge the ‘band’ sound with a synthetic approach.
SP.COM: The sessions that TEITBITE and TBITEITB came from also inspired remixes from Rabbit in the Moon, Fluke, and Nellee Hooper. Who else worked on these songs with you in the studio? Do you recall any particular reference points for or influences on the song, either sonically or conceptually?
Billy Corgan: My main focus was to write a track that would capture what I thought was the original feeling of Batman from the comics in the 40′s where he was a darker character. The lyrics to the two versions reflect that idea.
SP.COM: Back in 1997, you spoke about the “Batman and Robin” songs as being fairly specifically inspired by the character of Batman. What are your thoughts about those songs now, over a decade later, and particularly given that this song has been repurposed for “Watchmen”?
Billy Corgan: Fans never seemed to care much for those songs, so I am pleasantly surprised that they have been found to have some value somewhere, and that maybe this will give those tracks a second chance. I always thought it was a good song and that the slower version was really well done.
Pumpkins chosen for “Watchmen” to reach “unwashed masses” 5:06 pm // Friday, July 18, 2008Posted by jjb in b-sides, batman and robin, interview, movies and film.
MTV.com has an interview today with Watchmen director Zack Snyder, asking him to explain how that movie’s trailer came to be soundtracked by the last song on the less-than-legendary 1997 disc Music from and Inspired by the “Batman & Robin” Motion Picture. Snyder says:
Smashing Pumpkins we picked for a couple reasons. For one, I felt like in mood, it was correct for what we were trying to do. We were trying to sort of get at the unwashed masses who don’t know anything about ‘Watchmen’ and find something provocative that makes you go, ‘What is that?’ … And then, also, I felt like the song itself spoke a little to the ‘Watchmen’ world. And then on the third hand … it will create controversy a little bit in the fanbase because they’re going to be like, ‘Wait, is that going to be in the movie? That ain’t 1985!’
Below: Watch the director speak. He so crazy! (MTV.com)
The beginning is the end for illegal “Watchmen” trailer uploads 5:30 pm // Thursday, July 17, 2008Posted by jjb in b-sides, batman and robin, movies and film, video.
Because of “a copyright claim by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.”, YouTube is taking them down as they appear in their multitudes — “them” being copies of the trailer to the much-anticipated flick Watchmen, which absolutely is scored in its entirety by the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1997 outtake “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning”.
“Watchmen” trailer set to “Batman and Robin” b-side 10:29 am // Thursday, July 17, 2008Posted by jjb in b-sides, batman and robin, movies and film, news.
Apparently the music from and inspired by the motion picture Batman and Robin has been given a fresh new lease on cinematic life. Here’s blogger Chuck Kerr on his first look at the trailer for Watchmen (links are Kerr’s):
The trailer is cut to the Smashing Pumpkins’ “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning.” I hate the Smashing Pumpkins, and I hope they’re nowhere in the final film — they didn’t help the last superhero movie they were in (although it’s sort of deliciously meta for [director Zack] Snyder to use another version of the same song)…
Please no Billy Corgan in the final movie. I’m serious.
Most Essential Billy Corgan Recordings: #24 6:03 pm // Thursday, November 29, 2007Posted by jjb in adore, batman and robin, essential recordings series.
The Smashing Pumpkins
demos for Adore, and, uh, Batman and Robin: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
For Martha (inst.) / Chewing Gum / The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete / Annie-Dog / Once in a While / Do You Close Your Eyes / My Mistake / Blissed and Gone / The End Is the Beginning Is the End / The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning
Adore ended up being a big production, not the collection of casual, downcast piano pop pointed to by these demos. Throughout this recording, Billy’s vocals are…the best word I can come up with is meek, but that’s not to be negative. “For Martha” had yet to acquire its over-the-top electric guitar solo, let alone vocals; this instrumental is graceful and understated relative to the album track. “The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete” and “Annie-Dog” are the only other songs here that survived the cut for Adore. These songs are overtly fashioned as stories of other people’s lives, while the five songs that missed the cut all feel more personal; I tend to believe that is no coincidence:
Rolling Stone: If you had Adore to do all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
Billy Corgan: I would have gone further with the vision of the record. I would have made it more opaque, more dense, more hard to reach.
“Chewing Gum” and “Do You Close Your Eyes” are the only songs that have never seen commercial release, possibly owing to their definite (though somewhat charming) lyrical awkwardness. “Blissed and Gone” is fragile, but more confidently executed. These simple and organic tracks seem to represent a momentary reaction against the often complex art-rock of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness; in the end, though, Adore too would be a complex art-rock album.
The two “Batman” demos show Billy getting his feet further under electronic water; the tracks sound cheap but the songs themselves are not incompetent. (As The End Is the Beginning Is the End is not among my 25 Most Essential Recordings, I will mention here that I revisited the single recently and, considering I never liked it much, was shocked that it hadn’t aged terribly.)