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Smashing Pumpkins tour media madness 11:53 pm // Saturday, July 17, 2010

Posted by Jill in audio, photography, tour, video.

While the band takes a breather en route to Florida for their show in Orlando tomorrow night, I thought I might take a moment to direct your attention to some of the great Smashing Pumpkins media that’s been cropping up around the internet.

First and foremost, point your browsers to the Live Music Archive for several new 2010 recordings of the Pumpkins on this tour, including new tapes from Columbus, Baltimore, and Richmond. Of course I’m still partial to this one, but let us know of your favorite highlights in the comments!

The photographers at Getty Images have also been busy uploading shots from the tour, including a set of photos by photographer Stephen Cohen from the Forecastle Festival and a set from photographer John Shearer of the Viper Room show (the venue has also shared its own photos from the gig here).

Josh from the Grand Rapids site GRNow.com has a set of photos up from the Orbit Room on his Flickr, Rachael Barbash shot a great set at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus for DoneWaiting.com, and of course you can head on over to YouTube for plenty of videos. Make sure to check out this channel for some great clips from the Baltimore show, including the new version of “Eye” below!


1. Chemtrails - 1:25 am // Sunday, July 18, 2010

The new live recordings sound fantastic. Many thanks to the various tapers for taking the time to capture the shows, and share them.

Dunno if it’s due to the small clubs or what, but the recent recordings have a very live feel that is as close as you can get to being there. A few of them rival soundboard recordings. Awesome!

2. gyang333 - 9:20 am // Sunday, July 18, 2010

yeah, take a handbook from these recording please Monte the next time you are recording :)

3. Dystopic - 11:28 am // Sunday, July 18, 2010

Holy cow, the drums are a mess in this clip (esp. at the end).

4. KingChris - 4:44 pm // Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hope the pumpkins come to Dallas area.

5. Zero13 - 4:04 am // Monday, July 19, 2010

agreed about the drums, i could hardly recognise the songs, and its ones of my favs…. hope its just the recording.

6. Zero13 - 4:05 am // Monday, July 19, 2010

sorry…. “song” meaning “bleeding the orchid”

7. naldo sixx - 11:31 am // Monday, July 19, 2010

why you cancelled to come to jakarta indonesia,,,,,????

smashing pumpkins is my number 1 band…… :)

8. Adam - 11:56 am // Monday, July 19, 2010

drevpile on mike byrne, and it deserves a posting here, as it’s how i feel listening to these boots. it’s great everyone is excited about these shows.. but i guess i’m just not the automatic easy to please fan i used to be, that so many here seem to be. and yes, it relates to this new drummer. i can’t listen to tonight tonight. he makes it sound disco. he can play the parts to as rome burns, but he did not write them, and he still can not play with the power that jimmy played that song with. it’s amazing how easily impressed some of you are by what is an SP cover band fronted by BC. i’m just not feeling the energy you all are.. it’s good billy is happy with it though, and i truly am happy for him, being a fan of his music for so many years. hopefully it lasts this time around… because it seems to me this just might be his last shot at making things happen somewhat for this band.

anyway, drevpiles post relating to byrne over at sp.com

Pretty much exactly that. But because he’s so heavily influenced by JC, there’s the other layer of [disappointment]; What guitarist would want to hear a guy trying and failing to play exactly like Hendrix? Cool when Mike plays something like Tristessa [and I mean something like Tristessa] – everyone jumps up and down > “Mike is amazing”. But he doesn’t play it like for like – it’s an approximation – it’s just like. And it doesn’t appear to me that it’s a stylistic choice; when your style is clearly largely based on JC, and you follow large parts of the song note for note, what possible reason is there to chose to miss, say, what – the rim shot. The only real logical explanation is that he can’t play it the same or at best, yes, he’s still learning. It’s close, but no cigar. I completely get that that’s good enough for some people – because it sounds good to them. FINE. But it doesn’t sound great to me. It’s like looking at an almost perfect reproduction of the Mona Lisa, but she’s missing her smile.

It all goes back to the old argument about the inherent value of an [object] of Art. On the one hand you have the “I like it/don’t like because – that’s just what my [gut] reaction is” view point. On the other hand, you have the more critical approach – “why do I like it / not like it ? > because x,y,y,z”. I just happen to sit on the critical side of the fence. I get that the parts are cool because JC wrote them and understand that for some, it’s nice to hear something like that again. Because, lets be clear – He is not nailing the parts. The parts are set in stone. Any deviation from them is not nailing them. You can ‘nail’ the vibe of song or ‘nail an emotional connection to the audience’. But the parts. That is different.

Anyway, to some, having a semblance of ‘SP’ is better than nothing. To others there are quantifiable problems. But this dichotomy is somewhat unassailable and is exactly why I am ducking out of arguing against some people; you just can’t critically argue a point with someone who refuses to acknowledge it against their emotional one.

It’s like what Roseanne is saying said and i’m all for it. Be critical or throw praise towards something – if you can quantify it. Why should a band’s ‘quality control’ work any differently to that of the fans?

9. Adam - 11:59 am // Monday, July 19, 2010

more. fucking out of sequence but that’s why i don’t have a blog:

“Sorry to disappoint, ha, but I’m done with this for now.

There’s no point in attempting to explain anything technical about drumming and why that aspect of the Art from is enjoyable, to people who just say any argument [against] Mike’s style is ripping on him or fucks sake ‘hating’. It’s childish and pointless bullshit. People are only reading in to discussions what they want to see. Half of the people have missed the whole point of this thread and if they have come across something that they can’t argue against, they ignore it or reverts to name calling and other crap.

If you can’t hear that Mike drops beats left right and centre, doesn’t play the parts perfectly, lacks a distinctive style [+ any other misgivings] or understand why that can be irksome to a fan of ‘Smashing Pumpkins’, then, there is absolutely no point in me holding a conversation with you. Further, if you don’t give a monkeys if when an artist you are interested in can’t name more than one artist who inspired him – I’ll more than happily leave you to it. And as i have said and which I mean; good for you. I am happy you are enjoying what they are doing.

But, just to answer the Peart thing for you lucci before I skedaddle. It’s like asking a respected painter – so what do you think of Picasso? Even if they didn’t necessarily empathise aesthetically – they would still have some little knowledge of his work and at the very least understand his importance as a founder of modern art [which in one way or another be it in a wider context (or more localised: ie MB’s one influence he mentioned was JC, who was hugely influenced by Peart)] informs their own work.


10. Adam - 12:03 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

the lack of appreciation for jimmy’s work with the band, and how much he brought to that bands sound, and how it’s being cheaply imitated, ripped to shreds in favor of fans getting their jollies off to bullet with butterfly wings and eye one more time is completely insulting to the old school sp fans.

but i’ll get over it. i should be over it. why i clicked on those recordings and bothered to listen is beyond me… knowing that i’d be searching for the same kind of feeling i used to get when i’d hear that seemingly perfect combination of BC and JC playing together, gone for good.

11. Floppy Nono - 12:36 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

so let me get this straight, you are upset that he can’t play the parts the way jimmy played them beat for beat but also that he isn’t trying to have a style of his own?

12. Ginger Shackleton - 12:41 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Right, well, I don’t recall anyone on here showing a lack of appreciation for Jimmy’s work; quite the opposite in fact. And as you put it yourself, “BC and JC playing together, gone for good…” That is precisley why there’s less than no point in constantly harping on about Jimmy’s absence. He’s gone, he’s not coming back ever, and if you find Mike’s playing so offensive, then kindly do us all a favour and lock yourself in a darkened room with a vieuphoria video and a box of kleenex and keep your pointless opinions to yourself. Constructive criticsm= good, whiny dickless whinging= very bad indeed. Don’t make me break out the haddock.
Jimmy didn’t play on eye.

13. Dystopic - 1:05 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be Jimmy vs. Mikey. There are two different arguments and they often get confused (even by people on both sides of the fences).

I accept the fact that Jimmy is gone. That’s fine. Jimmy was gone once before and I saw Matt Walker play with the band several times and it was fine. It wasn’t “the same” but it was a good choice given the circumstances. Fast forward to 1998 and Kenny Aronoff is in the Pumpkins, and Kenny is a quality drummer by any measure, but he always sounded completely off and wrong to me. He was not a good drummer for “The Smashing Pumpkins”.

Now we have Mike in “The Smashing Pumpkins”. Mike is a good drummer. He can play fast rolls and double-paradiddles and what have you. But he also has never toured before. He completely loses the beat in the Orchid clip above. Seriously, non-drummers. Play that clip and tap your finger on the desk along with the beat. At the very end of the clip, notice your finger doesn’t stay in sync with the drum fill. That’s some really amateur stuff that does not belong in “The Smashing Pumpkins,” a band that has been around for 20-some years. It has nothing to do with Jimmy (well, it does and it doesn’t, but that’s another argument).

A lot of hand wringing would have been avoided if Billy had hired a pro from the outset. He hires a young amateur off Youtube and obviously peoples’ eyebrows are going to be raised. And every time the guy fucks up, people are going to jump on him. But why *should* we give him the benefit of the doubt and give him time to grow? “The Smashing Pumpkins” is a brand, and after a long time on the market, you expect certain things about a brand.

When Jimmy left/was fired/rode off in the white van (however you want to spin it) Billy was obviously in a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation. With one album released under the reformed SP banner, if he abandoned it, he’d look like a failure. On the other hand, being the sole survivor, he’d have to assemble a mighty team to carry on the SP banner. So why half-ass it? Or at least keep the group under wraps a little longer and let them cook a bit longer. I listened to several bits of different shows at random, and heard Nicole really badly blow the verse of Cherub Rock. This really sounds to a lot of people like a Pumpkins cover band feature a guest appearance by Billy Corgan. Why not just drop the Pumpkins name, make Teargarden a solo project, and do away with all the expectations, criticisms, etc, etc?

14. Ginger Shackleton - 1:49 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

well, that’s another pointless argument- he didn’t drop the pumpkins name, he’s not going to, he hired mike, end of story. listen to live bootlegs of any band and you’ll hear mistakes, disasters, clangers, it happens to everyone; it may have happened less with jimmy but still. this current incarnation of the pumpkins has been together for what, 3, 4 months? i reckon they sound just fine. i haven’t really been listening to any of the old stuff, but it has to be said, owata, as rome burns and gossamer are brilliant in the boots i’ve downloaded.

15. Dystopic - 2:04 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Sorry, I should have posted my opinions *before* Billy made his decisions so they could have had some merit. Guess I missed the boat on that one.

16. Ginger Shackleton - 2:18 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

quite right. apology accepted.

17. pc - 2:34 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

I’ve heard recordings where Jimmy has messed up… and we all know Billy messes up all the time. They all do… But Mike’s the new guy–he better play everything exactly perfect every time or some tr00 fan perfectionist is gonna throw a fit and post a bunch of rants on the internet.

18. Adam's Biggest Fan - 2:34 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Yay! Thanks for delivering today, Adam!

19. FloppyNono - 4:16 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Fuck you adam doesn’t want any of you hardcore fans stuck in 2007

20. Pablo - 4:19 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

So…when does THIS drop??? Apparently they were recording with RTB in ’10 (according to Wikipedia). Can’t wait for it. Life Begins Again indeed!!!

21. wemustneverbeapart - 4:22 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

i don’t understand one thing. you all sound like jimmy was some sort of uberhuman who never, ever lost a beat. than again, about nicole; let’s go as far back as 1988. you think that d’arcy played on the 3rd or 4th SP show PERFECTLY without messing up anything? because I don’t.
you say that Teargarden should have been a solo project. that the new line-up sounds like SP cover band with guest appearances of Billy Corgan. now tell me, what does it mean to sound like the smashing pumpkins? adore is not smashing pumpkins’ album? machina tour didn’t sound like the smashing pumpkins?
I think if you can honestly that you hated EVERYTHING pumpkins did since 95, I give you whole credit to criticize new line up, new album. but if you like even ONE song off any other album than mellon collie, dream and gish that you have NO RIGHT to say a bad word about this incarnation of the band.
since 95 Billy is proving that Smashing Pumpkins are not him, d’arcy, jimmy and james. the smashing pumpkins is the emotional place you are taken to every time you listen to those timeless songs that he written.

22. jjb - 4:28 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

@Dystopic: Do you really, truly believe that we are better off as fans with Billy dropping the SP name and thus having nothing to live up to, as opposed to him keeping the name and all the attendant pressure to be awesome?

23. Pablo - 4:29 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick Poll:

How many times did y’all see:

Original 3 pre-Jimmy
Original 4
Post-overdose sans Jimmy
Post Machina sans D’arcy


24. Dystopic - 4:38 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

All I know is that I clicked around for about 5 minutes and heard two examples of the new members screwing up. The Orchid clip was the second thing I clicked on. Notice Jeff rarely gets picked on. I haven’t heard him really blow it at all and I’ve heard him play plenty.

This isn’t about old Pumpkins vs. new Pumpkins. It’s about thinking Billy picked the wrong drummer. It’s not a moot point because it’s something that can easily be fixed. But, of course, Billy’s too stubborn and too concerned about saving face to change it.

And really, where are the examples of Jimmy messing up? I can’t really think of any (aside from maybe starting the wrong song on the setlist, but that’s not really the same thing).

25. Pablo - 4:42 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Original 3 pre-Jimmy – 0
Original 4 – 2
Post-overdose sans Jimmy – 1
Post Machina sans D’arcy – 1
SP2 – 2
SP3 – 0

I’m at the point where I can’t be bothered to defend Billy. I know in my heart he’ll record/release a few tracks that I LOVE (TheCameraEye, TTW, Neverlost) and the rest will be a varying degree of guilty pleasures.

There’s nothing wrong with it…you may be the ‘same person’ you were in high school, college, work, beyond, but the people with whom you surround yourself factor into who and what you are.

Smashing Pumpkins was a finite organism.

Billy Corgan will go on forever, regardless if anyone’s listening.

26. Dystopic - 4:50 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

@jjb – Yes, I really do think the fans would be better off. Then Billy could, artistically, do whatever he wanted and not have to live up to the myriad fragmented expectations that his fanbase has constructed. It’s in his nature to set high expectations for himself, regardless of what he calls it, so why bring all of the baggage along with it? Cynically, probably because he knows the masses wouldn’t pay attention otherwise, and ultimately what he’s after is recognition.

But really, I have a lot of music loving and musician friends, and a lot of them would have considered themselves fans “back in the day”. They’ve listened to Teargarden songs (because hey, they’re free) and completely deride them. Because the songs are released as “The Smashing Pumpkins” they’re put against some impossibly high standard, and I think releasing them as “solo” material would set them into a different, more reasonable context.

27. Dystopic - 4:56 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Okay, I’ll play:

Original 3 pre-Jimmy – 0 (I’d be impressed if anyone scores this one!)
Original 4 – 5
Post-overdose sans Jimmy – 4
Post Machina sans D’arcy – 6
SP2 – over a dozen
SP3 – 0

plus Billy solo 4 times (I’m really not a Billy hater!) and JCC 4 times (okay, I am a Jimmy fanboy), and countless other stuff

28. Adam - 5:29 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

“if you find Mike’s playing so offensive, then kindly do us all a favour and lock yourself in a darkened room with a vieuphoria video and a box of kleenex and keep your pointless opinions to yourself. Constructive criticsm= good, whiny dickless whinging= very bad indeed. Don’t make me break out the haddock.”

to repeat:

“to people who just say any argument [against] Mike’s style is ripping on him or fucks sake ‘hating’. It’s childish and pointless bullshit. People are only reading in to discussions what they want to see. Half of the people have missed the whole point of this thread and if they have come across something that they can’t argue against, they ignore it or reverts to name calling and other crap.”

And I know Jimmy didn’t play on Eye. My point was some people will take anything, even if that means having to pay to see amateur musicians play their favorite songs. Eye was an example of a favorite song amongst fans, had nothing to do with Jimmy playing on it. You obviously saw through that. BUT, if I were to feed this argument.. Jimmy playing EYE > Mike going BAM BAM BAM over EYE.

Floppy: I was hoping that when he’d hire a new drummer, it would bring a totally new sound to the band and the sound jimmy helped create would be put into the past, and appreciated for the great work it was. BUT, he found someone who is instead strongly influenced by that style, so he could somehow try to manipulate Mike into playing exactly like Jimmy.. and it doesn’t work. Why? Because he’s not Jimmy. He’s Mike Byrne. He needs to find his own voice instead of trying to mimic a voice that was not his, because honestly, he can’t cut it when it comes to playing the parts Jimmy crafted. I have a feeling when he’s left to his own devices, he can come up with something that works quit well. But unfortunately, he’s got Billy over his shoulders telling him ‘play that fast hands style!’

maybe i’m just not articulating it correctly. sorry about that. But I wonder how Jimmy feels about all this… to dedicate a large portion of your life working on your own craft, working with another musician to craft a totally unique sound unlike any other combination in alt rock, only to have it bastardized in live performance years later.. and that the majority of the fans of your work could really give a shit about the difference. We all know there was bitterness with the 1996 firing, but this time around he’s cleaned his act up, has grown up and has been playing the best he ever has his entire life. You think Mike’s great on As Rome burns? well remember, Jimmy wrote that part. How great would Mike sound if he was the first drummer handed that riff? Who knows really, but if I were to go by his drum parts and performances on WWMM, Astral, etc., it’s not up to the level of quality musicianship that I expect from the Smashing Pumpkins ‘name.’ The only thing on that boot he seems to really click well on is Owata, but he’s got less busy ‘fast hands (i love that)’ drumming to deal with, and it’s a groove any of us posting on this site could learn if we locked ourselves behind a drum kit for a few hours. Clicking with the band is another level, and yes I still sense a distance. But if he’s given the time, if he’s still in the band, and and BC can figure out their energies together in a couple years time.

29. Adam - 5:34 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

Original 3 pre-Jimmy – 0 (yeah right)
Original 4 – 2
Post-overdose sans Jimmy – 2 (once w/ matt walker, one Adore show)
Post Machina sans D’arcy – 1
SP2 – 2
SP3 – 0 (and I honestly have no desire)

have also seen Zwan once, Billy solo once, and JCC twice. All great shows. The only time I witnessed audience discontent was the 20th anniv. show, and I felt musically the band did a fantastic job during that show.

30. FloppyNono - 5:57 pm // Monday, July 19, 2010

lol @ jjb thinking the sp name will force big bill to quality control his output.

31. Adam - 1:32 am // Tuesday, July 20, 2010

can’t honestly say mike sounds good on united states when there is this to compare it to:

32. hmmwow - 12:37 pm // Tuesday, July 20, 2010

one only needs to listen to the Forecastle Festival to realize that yes, this really is the Smashing Pumpkins.

33. Dystopic - 1:56 pm // Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I fully acknowledge that you’ll hear what you want to hear and I’ll hear what I want to hear, but I’ve listened to about 5 songs from the show now and it sounds like exactly what I said, Billy Corgan fronting a SP cover band.

It sounds to me like when you listen to a random band cover the Pumpkins. And you can tell the guitarist is REALLY into Billy Corgan, and nails every guitar riff because they grew up inspired by him and learning every guitar part on every album. Then you listen to the other instruments (especially the drums) and you can tell the musicians aren’t really into it and they only learn the gist of it and wing the rest.

Reminds me of this, except with Billy actually singing:

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