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New artwork from upcoming Spirits in the Sky shows 7:17 pm // Friday, August 21, 2009

Posted by Jill in art, audio, linda strawberry, live, spirits in the sky, tour.
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sandiegoticket.jpgWhile most of you have probably seen the Linda Strawberry-designed poster for the upcoming Spirits in the Sky tour (and cracked jokes about the ‘sperm ghosts,’ like Linda herself did), HU reader Evelyn sent us a report from the San Diego ticket onsale, along with a picture (right) of the tickets they handed out to those who diligently waited in line.

She reports:

They actually took down the names of the attendees so scalping will be nonexistent. As always, I’ll try for vid.

Funny she should mention recording the show…  SP.com posted an open invitation tonight to anyone with tickets who plans to “properly” record the shows, promising that if they step forward they will offered “special treatment.”  Has anyone inquired about the details of this arrangement yet?

MCIS: Concept to Execution 12:40 pm // Saturday, June 13, 2009

Posted by apm in adore, art, b-sides, mellon collie, smashingpumpkins.com.
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A fascinating new article was posted to SP.com on Friday featuring an interview by Media Militia writer Simon with Frank Olinsky, art director for all the Smashing Pumpkins’ releases from 1995 through 1999. We all know the iconic artwork of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness very well, but the article includes never-before-seen concept sketches by Billy Corgan which were faxed to Olinsky and used as the starting point for the final artwork by illustrator John Craig.

MCIS Front Cover Concept Sketch

After executing the Siamese Dream album’s artwork in a single day together with his then wife Chris, Billy passed along the job of fully capturing his ideas for the visual side of Mellon Collie to Olinsky, who was already well-known in the industry at the time, having worked previously with R.E.M., Talking Heads, and many other bands, as well as co-creating MTV’s original logo.

The article touches on more than just Mellon Collie as Olinsky worked on the artwork for the Mellon Collie singles as well as the Adore album and its singles. Billy’s inspiration for the 1979 single’s roller rink? Linda Ronstadt’s 1978 album Living in the USA:

Linda Ronstadt Album1979 Cover

Olinksy has a blog and posted this entry about the article. He was very touched by Billy’s thoughts about their collaboration, which read:

Looking back now over 10 years, what sticks out most in my mind about Frank is he is total class. I am really fortunate to have been able to work with someone so talented, kind-hearted, and really someone who puts everything he has into his work. He really is a true artist thru and thru!

LiveJournalist is gonna be a graphic designer, barring screwup 12:10 pm // Friday, March 6, 2009

Posted by jjb in amusing, art, jimmy chamberlin, livejournal.
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LJ user oh_sectumsempra maps out her connections:

David is good friends with Frank Quinto.
Frank Quinto is the new archivist for the Smashing Pumpkins.
Frank is also really good friends with Jimmy Chamberlin.
Jimmy Chamberlin (drummer for SP) is one of the greatest drummers in the world.
Jimmy Chamberlin also has a solo project that will be having a new album out in the future.
Frank saw my SP poster, sent it to the SP webmaster, who in turn said it was awesome and wanted to show Billy Corgan.
(No idea if Billy saw it yet or not)
Frank decided that since that poster was so awesome, that I should help design for Jimmy’s next album.
I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a while and think I’ve finally got a good idea.
I can’t screw this up.

UPDATE: Oh noes! The entry has been taken down. (Did she screw it up already?)

HU asks: Who ‘is’ Carles of the popular weblog Hipster Runoff? 7:13 pm // Monday, February 23, 2009

Posted by jjb in analysis, art, blogging, hipster runoff, tao lin.
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Extremely attentive HU readers may have noticed that in recent weeks Jill and I have become avid consumers of Hipster Runoff, a blog worth blogging about.  HRO is operated by a sole blggr who goes by the name of Carles.  Carles recently consented to an instant-messenger interview with Rob Harvilla of the Village Voice, whose first question to “the Internet’s latest mystery man” was simply…

[Harvilla:] Who are you?

[Carles:] That’s probably the most difficult question you could ask. I have been pretty anonymous up to this point in terms of “who I am” and “my relationship with what I blog about,” but I think that is part of the conceptual execution of HRO.

Without presuming to ‘answer’ Harvilla’s question, we at HU — after indulging our curiosity [via the Googles] — have found the relationship between Carles and Brooklyn-based writer Tao Lin to be meaningfully close.  We’ll leave the exhaustive cataloguing of their nexus as an exercise for our readers, but here are three takeoff points to get yall started:

  1. Stylistically, Tao Lin blogs like Carles talks/blogs.  Compare the writing in this December 2006 (pre-HRO) post on Tao Lin’s blog with the script for Carles’s first HRO podcast, or compare this Tao Lin-made graph with these graphs on HRO.
  2. Tao Lin and Carles share similar interests.  One offbeat example is the clothing manufacturer American Apparel: Carles can’t stop making references to “Am Appy” on HRO, and Tao Lin’s forthcoming book bears the title Shoplifting from American Apparel. And while Tao Lin is an author and HRO is ostensibly a music blog, Lin told Largehearted Boy in 2006, “I almost always listen to music when I write. I’m listening to music right now.”  Asked to share a mixed CD with Largehearted Boy readers, he wrote:

    I will create a mixed CD that gives me the same kind of feeling I just described. I like creating mixed CDs. This will be a real mixed CD that will really work if you create it. I mean it will start at one song and go to the next song and sound natural and good, and then end with a good “ending” song, like a real CD. If you email me I will create this mixed CD for you, maybe, if I have a computer that can create CDs that I am allowed to use. I spent a lot of time on this mixed CD and feel good that I can share it.

  3. Tao Lin and Carles have an intensifying online friendship.  Tao Lin has, very recently, contributed poetry readings to HRO.  Several of Tao Lin’s most recent blog posts are in deep stylistic debt to Carles.  This past weekend, Carles staged a fake ‘hacking’ of HRO complete with an email conversation between himself and ‘the hacker’.  And in the last three days, Carles has several times tweeted @tao_lin and Tao Lin has several times tweeted amusingly @hipsterrunoff:

Regardless of all the preceding: I have never really accepted Carles’s claim that he is a ‘pretty standard bro’.  I personally think Hipster Runoff to be a work of genius, and I never use that term lightly.  It makes perfect sense to me that HRO would be the brainchild of an intensely creative and hardworking person, just as it has always made sense to me that the Smashing Pumpkins — and their success — are largely a product of Billy Corgan’s special talent and drive.  That Carles has been received by thousands of readers as a “quite possibly messianic figure” (Harvilla’s words) I think is no accident but is rather a testament to great work.  It’s, uhm, also no accident that I am about to order Tao Lin’s latest book.

UPDATE (2/25): Matthew Perpetua nicely summarizes what we’ve learned for New York magazine, which is that this post is mostly all wrong.

Animalania! 10:45 am // Thursday, February 19, 2009

Posted by Jill in art, james iha.
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Taking LOLCATS to the next level, the Fuse Gallery in New York City opened a show last night entitled “Animalania.”  The show features the multi-disciplinary work of roughly two dozen artists, each sculpting or photographing or painting their love of animals.  Proceeds from the show will benefit the ASPCA.

Former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha has contributed three photographs to the event; other notable (and unexpected) contributors include filmmaker Spike Jonze and Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer and guitarist Karen O and Nick Zinner.  There’s a whole slew of other well-regarded photographers and sculptors joining the full line-up.

The show, curated by Aliya Naumoff runs through March 14, 2009 and is open to the public.  Check out Iha’s original 11″x14″ contributions below.  You can find all three of them on sale for $300 apiece according to HU reader Glen, who alerted us to this news!

“Found Bear”

“Untitled Sheep”

 “Classy Dog”

Shepard Fairey: “I’m a populist.” 3:23 pm // Sunday, January 25, 2009

Posted by jjb in amusing, art, interview, populism, shepard fairey, zeitgeist.
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The artist speaks regarding the hanging of his Zeitgeist cover his Obama collage in Washington’s National Portrait Gallery:

“I’m a populist,” Mr. Fairey said in an interview with a portrait gallery curator. “I’m trying to reach as many people as possible.”

“I love the concept in fine art of making a masterpiece, something that will endure,” he said, adding that he understood, too, how unlikely that is for anyone. “But I also understand how short the attention span of most consumers is and that you really need to work with the metabolism of consumer culture a lot of the time to make something relevant within the zeitgeist.”

Former Pumpkin debuts film at Sundance 2:49 pm // Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Posted by Jill in art, melissa auf der maur, movies and film, news.
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Melissa auf der Maur, former bassist for the Smashing Pumpkins and semi-frequent blog-subject has made good on her promise from August 2007 to deliver a short film and accompanying comic book entitled “Out of Our Minds.”  According to several sources (Brooklyn Vegan, Spinner), the film debuted last Friday at the 2009 Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah.

From the film’s press release:

Three time periods, one connection: Blood. The central characters are a woman (Melissa Auf der Maur) and her car. The 28-minute film follows her in a strange ritual that climaxes in a collision between past and future, crashing through the gateway to parallel worlds in the same forest. A fantasy world where a Viking heart, a car crash and a bleeding forest connect. Using music rather than dialogue, the film tells a universal tale in striking optics. Borrowed from mythology, the Hunt for the Heart is the eternal quest envisioned in Out Of Our Minds. Conceived by musician Melissa Auf der Maur and birthed by Filmmaker Tony Stone (Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America) this mini epic is proudly self-produced and shot in HD fuelled by solar power.

Find the trailer here, complete with Gandalf-esque cloakage. The imagery clearly borrows from the same palette as the photography show I visited in October.  According to Spinner, who recently interviewed Auf der Maur, the film is entirely without dialogue:

…[T]he film is told entirely through an original score that Auf Der Maur collaborated on with Los Angeles’ the Entrance Band. “The music shares the lyrical and emotional intent of my album’s title track but it was written specifically for the film,” Auf Der Maur says. The accompanying comic book is also a standalone part of the story. “It has different, hidden messages for those who want to continue to dig into the symbolism of the story.”

Did anyone get a chance to catch the film?  If not, there’s one remaining screening according to Sundance’s official schedule.  [Friday January, 23 at 3:15 p.m.]

Zeitgeist artist Shepard Fairey honored 5:53 pm // Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Posted by Jill in art, news, photo, politics, shepard fairey, zeitgeist.
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Certainly, this has been a momentous day in US history, or at least CNN keeps telling me that via their integrated Facebook-sponsored video feed (take that, Trent Reznor!).  I’m not one to argue, as there was nary a dry eye at my desk this afternoon as I watched President Obama take the oath of office and proclaim his first official act via the new whitehouse.gov blog.

While millions of Americans gathered at the Mall today to witness this grand ceremony, the many pre-inaugural events have also received great coverage.  I mean, besides the scandalous under-installation of porta-potties.  (Thanks, local news stations, for Keeping It Real!)

One of those events honored Smashing Pumpkins friend and resident Zeitgeist artist Shepard Fairey, as his iconic Obama HOPE portrait was inducted into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.  Fairey is no stranger to HU and we heartily congratulate him on his accomplishment!  Check out more about the event at Arrested Motion.

Oh, and … sorry I just can’t help myself.  OBAMA!

MADM: Art Show Recap 2:12 pm // Friday, October 24, 2008

Posted by Jill in art, melissa auf der maur.
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Yesterday, I discovered that Melissa Auf Der maur was opening a photo exhibit with Conrad Keely in the East Village.  I swung by last night after work, just before meeting a friend for dinner.  The gallery wasn’t hard to find, nestled on 1st Street just east of 2nd Avenue.  Strangely, I still don’t know its name though it was right next to a brightly-lit gas station (a sure rarity in Greenwich Village).

When I arrived, there was a small group gathered outside, including Melissa herself.  Sipping white wine and talking candidly with her friends, she looked fantastic in riding boots and a blazer.  Wild, curly hair and no makeup, but that woman needs none at all.

The scene inside was lively with a couple dozen or so folks gathered.  The gallery was tiny, no more than ten feet wide.  Conrad Keely’s works were captivating: small blue ballpoint pen works, predominantly of historical noblewomen (real and imagined).

Across the room were Melissa’s photos, organized more like an editorial photo essay than a gallery.  Her works depicted logging scenes, the trees tinted a bloody red.  Yet those shots were intermixed with surreal photographs of men and women in the forest.  The show was touching, both sad and a bit magical.  I most loved the character photographs — she makes her subjects’ skin turn to porcelain.

And of course, on the way out, I smiled and told MADM it was lovely.  Anyone else make it to the opening?

Wider shots reveal other guy, who actually is with the band 5:22 am // Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Posted by jjb in amusing, art, live, photo.
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That’s my best attempt at an Onion headline, but truly the picture (again from the Spike “Scream” awards) says it all: the fluorescent tubez have survived the “G.L.O.W.” video shoot intact to comprise a more enduring rock aesthetic!

Also, there was an extra-keyboard dude. He may or may not be Mr. Pooley.

More pictures (from Buzznet user kindofadraag) here.

HU’s Jill at SP.com: “Midweek Eye Candy” 6:31 pm // Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Posted by jjb in art, smashingpumpkins.com, tour.
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She casts her eyes upon “the concert poster art scene” and invites us to do likewise.

James Iha’s pictures for college arts journal 1:51 pm // Sunday, July 27, 2008

Posted by jjb in art, ebay, james iha, photo.
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eBay seller michaels544 can’t seem to decide if his item is significant or not:

[James Iha] had a couple of photographs published in the 1988-89 annual issue of the Loyola undergraduate literary and arts journal Cadence. Like other college lit journals, this one was not really intended for distribution outside the student population, and of course most of the student population couldn’t care less about it anyway…

In the face of such indifference, Cadence continues in operation to this day. Its Geocities website leads with the confusing announcement that “Cadence LVIII is now available!” even though the 1988-89 edition available on eBay says VOLUME LXIII on its cover. I know Geocities is old, but I don’t think it dates to 1983-84.

The Internet: Awash in replicas, art projects, disappointment 3:27 pm // Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Posted by jjb in art, zeitgeist.
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Via email, British artist JJ Nolan has explained her Zeitgeist “purchase” to HU:

This is a conceptual piece I designed for my BA (Hons) Design course work. I wanted to set myself a realistic brief and heard early last year that the Smashing Pumpkins (a favourite of mine) had announced the title for their forthcoming studio release. I decided to design the cover and a limited edition USB stick for the album and use this as a live brief for my coursework.

I was a little disappointed a few months later when I saw their artwork. It is clear that they wanted to distance themselves from the old Pumpkins image, but I wish they had gone with something more traditional. I think this is why my designs work well with the band.

Die Hasenjagd 2:59 pm // Friday, April 11, 2008

Posted by Jill in art, billy corgan, germany, mike garson, video.
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Alex Boyd is no stranger to our blog archives; the photographer’s beautiful work has been linked here before. However, today his photostream caught my eye with this scan of an article written about “Die Hasenjagd,” a film he created while in school at the University of Glasgow.

“Die Hasenjagd,” released in September 2007, features a soundtrack from former Pumpkin Mike Garson, as well as a contribution of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Le Deux Machina.” The article states that Boyd has contributed artwork for Garson’s solo releases, so the connection is clear.

The film’s content also intrigues me: it is based on a World War II event in northwestern Germany in which Allied forces bombed Celle in Lower Saxony. This resulted in the destruction of a train packed with concentration camp prisoners and their ensuing escape. As the article asserts, there are documented reports of local citizens’ arrests of these prisoners, oft ending in brutality.

According to the article, Boyd seeks to explore the persona and stereotype of the German soldier; to understand the conception of Germany at the time and its self-perpetuation throughout the 20th Century. He states that the film draws artistic inspiration from German art as well as the Smashing Pumpkins — his attempt at reconstructing his own personal perspective of the events in question. Boyd says:

Growing up in Britain, the only Germans I ever encountered were those in War films. They were the only German culture available to me, and I assimilated it without really understanding terrifying concepts like the Holocaust – I built up a false image of Germany… the film is shot in a similar fashion to that of The Smashing Pumpkins’ music video “Thirty-Three,” where the film is made up of thousands of still photographs. “That type of stop-start imagery appealed to me. It is dream-like and was almost surreal.”

Presumably, that surrealism always applies in retrospect, especially in historical events as caustic as this. Notwithstanding, this film has really piqued my interest. See gorgeous stills from the film here and please contribute a comment if you’ve seen this film or know where I can view it myself!

Here is a video of Boyd discussing his film on 07/07/07, coincidentally the original release date of Zeitgeist:

Raconteurs refine palette on “Consolers” disc 5:30 pm // Friday, March 28, 2008

Posted by jjb in amusing, art, jack white, raconteurs.
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Jack White III (???) and Brendan Benson are back as the Raconteurs, sneaking Consolers of the Lonely onto retail shelves this week.

The “standout” or “only…straight-up bad track” on the new album is “Many Shades of Black”, which would seem to see the Pumpkins’ seven and raise it. Less impressively, the album from White & Co. comes in but one color, a cheery gray. Maybe there truly are many shades of black, but there are totally like seven shades of Zeitgeist.

Here’s a sample of “Many Shades of Black” (courtesy the Detroit News):

Headline of the day 10:17 pm // Monday, March 10, 2008

Posted by jpiniak in amusing, art, blogging.
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Some Chicago bloggers apparently still have a bit of a softspot for the Bollster.

Frank Olinsky’s singles-box designs 10:15 pm // Thursday, March 6, 2008

Posted by jjb in art, b-sides, releases.
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The man who designed the container for The Aeroplane Flies High has posted on his blog some of the “preliminary sketches and snapshots” done for the project.

BONUS: If you are registered at the BlamoNet discussion board, you can also check out these photos – (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) – of a prototype box that made it off the sketchpad, if not into mass production.

Thanks to Bram for the links.

Siamese Dream Font: 1893 3:25 pm // Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Posted by apm in fonts, football, siamese dream.
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The eye-catching font used on the cover and liner notes of Siamese Dream was a frequent topic of conversation back in the day and rightfully earned a place in the FAQ. The font in those days was best known as “Lansbury” because it was used in the credits of the 1980s CBS TV show Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury. The font’s official name is Art Gothic and is actually surprisingly old, dating back to 1887 according to this website. To wit, take a gander at this University of Wisconsin “foot ball” ticket from the 1893 season, 100 years before I would purchase my copy of Siamese Dream a few blocks from where this game took place. The Badger 11 won an offense-filled battle 36-30. Woohoo! Football wasn’t for the faint of heart in the 19th century.
Purdue vs. Wisconsin, 1893
(Source: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections)

Smashing Pumpkins Silkscreens 9:03 pm // Sunday, March 2, 2008

Posted by Jill in art, ebay.
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Thanks to the new sidebar link JJB created to recent eBay auctions for the Smashing Pumpkins, I ran across a handful of interesting signed/numbered silkscreens and lithographs from past tour dates. Hipsters United featured Todd Slater’s Philadelphia print last year – I personally bought once since I went to the shows and it was quite lovely. I thought I’d share a few of my findings. Dibs on the Atlanta poster!


L-R, top to bottom:

Atlanta, GA – Oct. 30-31, 2007 (rescheduled to Nov. 15-16) – buy here or here
Austin, TX – Nov. 2, 2007 (rescheduled to Nov. 13) – buy
Columbus, OH – Oct. 11, 2007 – buy
Columbus, OH – Oct. 11, 2007 – buy
Greensboro, NC – Nov. 8, 2007 – buy
[Billy Corgan] Dallas, TX – Jul. 8, 2005 – buy
[Zwan] New York, NY – Mar. 28, 2003 – buy
Morrison, CO – Sept. 30, 2007 – buy

TheVinelikeEmbrace 3:51 pm // Friday, February 29, 2008

Posted by jjb in art, gear, thefutureembrace, tour.
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I remember noticing TheFuturistic stands upon which rested the microphones, keyboards, and electronic drums of Billy Corgan’s 2005 tour. Semi-mysterious blogger Cwan (!) yesterday posted an old article of unknown origin that explains:

Along with himself and his solo band, [Corgan] will be incorporating local metal sculptor Dessa Kirk’s work on stage with him during the performance [at the Vic Theatre]. Kirk specially made 16 vine like pieces for the show, which will grow from the floor to harness the keyboards, and wrap around Corgan’s microphone and mic stand… Corgan and Kirk have actually been fans of each other for quite a while. In the late ’90s, Kirk collected Cadillac scraps and welded them into enormous metallic lilies. Corgan saw them at a gallery show. They eventually met years later at Whole Foods and he told her, “Don’t ever quit making your work.” Kirk believes this happenstance to be kind of profound. “It sounds kind of hokey, but when someone you admire likes your work, you feel like you’re doing the right thing.”

By clicking on “The Stage” at Kirk’s website, you can see some more photos of their collaboration.


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