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Second Lisbon date on sale; Pumpkins remix Ringo Deathstarr 12:41 pm // Thursday, October 27, 2011

Posted by susan in bjorn thorsrud, jeff schroeder, mike byrne, news, portugal, remix, tour.
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According to an article on a Portuguese music website, the Smashing Pumpkins are to play an additional tour date in Lisbon, Portugal. Already scheduled to play there on December 8, the band will have a repeat performance at Campo Pequeno on the 9th. Though the band has not yet added the show to their official tour page, tickets do appear to be on sale via Ticketline.pt. Thanks to HU reader Filipe for the tip.

The Pumpkins’ European tour kicks off next Wednesday in Stockholm, Sweden with supporting act Ringo Deathstarr, whose track “Shadow” was recently remixed by Mike Byrne, Jeff Schroeder, and Pumpkins producer Bjorn Thorsrud. You can get a free download of that track at RCRDLBL.com. The new December 9th date in Lisbon would currently stand as the band’s last show of 2011.

Corgan gives interview on Rush, punk, marketing, and next EP (!?) 4:57 pm // Saturday, July 3, 2010

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, genre, interview, marketing, rush, teargarden by kaleidyscope, zeitgeist.
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Billy Corgan’s pre-tour media blitz continues as Jeff Niesel of snarky urban weekly Cleveland Scene has posted a new interview with the Smashing Pumpkins frontman. Niesel explores genre, labeling the band “post-punk/goth/metal” and asking Corgan if the band had “punk rock roots.” Corgan’s response:

None of us were really into punk rock. I loved punk music, but I wasn’t a fan in the sense that it influenced my writing. I grew up [with] a musician dad who was very critical of bands that couldn’t play their instruments. And part of what punk was about was that you don’t have to play well; you just have to feel right. I saw Bad Brains, 7 Seconds, and DOA. I loved them and thought they were great. But they never influenced me. There was a moment in time with Nirvana and Green Day when punk came into the mainstream. Everyone pretended to be into punk. But I didn’t want to pretend I was into the Clash because I wasn’t.

Corgan also talks more about the band Rush — specifically crediting Neil Peart’s lyrics as an influence — and he revisits the Zeitgeist marketing controversy.  Perhaps most intriguingly, Corgan may have suggested that the second batch of songs from Teargarden by Kaleidyscope will not be released in the same manner as was the first:

[Cleveland Scene:] Do you really intend to release some 44 songs?

[Billy Corgan:] Yeah. I have more songs written, which is just absurd. The nice thing is that as I get some distance from them, I then realize which ones aren’t that great. The next EP comes out the day of the Cleveland show. I have four more songs ready to go and we’ll try to record some more in September and try to keep outrunning the train.

Monday Mash-Up! 10:36 am // Monday, December 21, 2009

Posted by Jill in audio, mash-up, remix.
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This morning, I was psyched to hear from NYC-based DJ Lobsterdust that he’s dropped a new track featuring The Smashing Pumpkins and The Prodigy, featuring songs from two records that virtually defined my high school years.  Check out the streaming audio below for “Smash My Bitch Up” or go to Lobsterdust’s site to download the mp3.

For more Monday mash-ups, check out a previous Lobsterdust track on HU here or on his website.

A couple hours of Pandora’s “Smashing Pumpkins Radio” 4:30 pm // Sunday, September 20, 2009

Posted by jjb in analysis, genre, radio, websites.
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I was hanging out at a friend’s house yesterday; he uses the Pandora music service sometimes, so we tried entering “Smashing Pumpkins” to see what came up. Here’s what Pandora kicked out, in order:

  1. Smashing Pumpkins, “Today”
  2. Weezer, “Say It Ain’t So”
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Otherside”
  4. Smashing Pumpkins, “Rhinoceros”
  5. Foo Fighters, “Times Like These” (I clicked ‘thumbs down’)
  6. Nirvana, “Lithium”
  7. Smashing Pumpkins, “Soothe” (!)
  8. Pearl Jam, “Yellow Ledbetter”
  9. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Can’t Stop”
  10. Stone Temple Pilots, “Plush”
  11. Smashing Pumpkins, “Thirty-three”
  12. Nirvana, “On a Plain”
  13. Foo Fighters, “Big Me”
  14. Radiohead, “High and Dry”
  15. Green Day, “When I Come Around”
  16. Bush, “Machinehead” (I clicked ‘thumbs down’)
  17. advertisement for new Matt Damon movie “The Informant!”
  18. Nirvana, “Heart-Shaped Box”
  19. Radiohead, “Creep” acoustic version
  20. Foo Fighters, “Learn to Fly”
  21. The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
  22. Bush, “Everything Zen” (turned off in disgust)

Pandora is, supposedly, “powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a crazy project started back in early 2000 to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.”  But just about anyone’s inductive reasoning will suggest this list was ‘socially’ determined, i.e., that it comprises a list of songs that achieved a similar level of commercial success through similar cultural channels at about the same time.  Seriously, what Smashing Pumpkins fan would not have already heard of every single artist on this list? And it’s remarkable not only how few artists came up — eleven different bands behind the 21 songs — but also how Pandora tried to cram Foo Fighters and Bush songs down my throat after I had given the ‘thumbs down’ the first time each of those artists came up.

While this may have been somehow influenced by my friend’s personal Pandora usage history, from what little I know about that history I don’t see how it could have driven the basic result (I know of three other ‘stations’ he’s tried and none of them are connected to the 1990s or to ‘alternative rock’). If you’ve tried “Smashing Pumpkins Radio” on Pandora yourself, I hope you’ll comment on this post. Is it consistently just a period station, tightly focused on the ‘biggest’ or most enduring bands of ’90s alt-rock?

HU’s Jill at SP.com: Lisa Harriton Residency Review 4:02 pm // Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Posted by jjb in lisa harriton, live, serious jazz music, smashingpumpkins.com.
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This past weekend, our NYC-located blogger checked out the keyboardist’s venture into Afro-Peruvian jazz.  Check out her writeup and pictures on SmashingPumpkins.com.

Harriton’s album still due; her NYC residency begins tonight 11:52 am // Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Posted by jjb in lisa harriton, news, serious jazz music.
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In April, Lisa Harriton MySpace-blogged that her solo album would come out this month; this weekend a post appeared on that blog saying that the album will “be released at the end of the summer.”

But tonight at 8pm, as scheduled, Harriton will begin her six-night residency at Manhattan’s Tutuma Social Club.  And this is Serious Jazz Music, People, as evidenced by the omission of all Smashing Pumpkins work from her biography posted on the venue’s website.

(Thanks to HU Twitter follower Ramires for the heads-up.)

Bowie vs Billy: “Moonage Todaydream” 4:08 pm // Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Posted by Jill in audio, david bowie, mash-up.
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DJ-and-blogger ToToM posted two new mashups today (introducing the new-to-me concept of a “negative mix”), pitting David Bowie against the Smashing Pumpkins in “Moonage Todaydream.”  Stream both below and check out ToToM here!

Moonage Todaydream:

Moonage Todaydream [Negative Mix]:

They said it best: 1979 meets 1981 meets 1996 meets 2009 5:01 pm // Friday, April 10, 2009

Posted by Jill in audio, mash-up, video.
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A new mash-up from DJ Lobsterdust matches up Rick Springfield with the Smashing Pumpkins in a surprisingly well-matched battle.  Check out the audio here, and the oh-so-nostalgic original vid below.

Oh, wait… you were expecting 1979?  Here you go, for good measure.

Lisa Harriton: Solo Album, Residency Plans 4:47 pm // Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Posted by Jill in lisa harriton, news, serious jazz music.
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Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist Lisa Harriton has been busy as a bee in her time away from touring.  According to her MySpace blog updates from this week, she has a solo album to be released in June, upcoming NYC residency plans for July (I’m so there!), and recently performed for a charity show in LA.

In her own words:

After a long run of touring with the Pumpkins, it is nice to have some time to rest. It’s amazing the little things you notice about your house when you get home from a long tour. For example, the way those dust bunnies magically reappear every morning despite how much you cleaned the day before! Moi? A neat freak? Seriously, It has been a wonderful time of reflection for me. In the last three months, I have gathered all of the tunes that I wrote on the road with the Pumpkins plus a few new ones and have started recording my solo album. It will be released this June.

Also, I am finalizing details for recording an Afro-Peruvian jazz album in NYC to be released on Saponegro Records by the end of the year. Many of you know that jazz is such a big part of my life. In 2003 and 2005, I performed at Festival de Jazz in Lima, Peru. I simply fell in love with the culture and the Afro-Peruvian rhythms. This July, I am scheduled to do a residency at Tutuma Club de Jazz in NYC. I am so excited about all of the new music to come. Stay Tuned.

Zero Machine (Remix) 6:14 pm // Thursday, February 19, 2009

Posted by Jill in remix.
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Back in September, I discovered this post from MissingToof.com referencing electro artists Le Castle Vania and their remix of Smashing Pumpkins’ hit song “Zero.”  Though my correspondence with the site did not yield a copy of the elusive track, (good?) things come to those who wait.

Today, BlackBookMag.com published an article about the LA electro music scene explosion which features massive Tuesday night parties.  Apparently, this remix has become “the current nu-electro scenester anthem” at these sweaty “bleeding-edge sound and fashion” hipster dancefests.

So pull your Chuck Taylors out and get down, HU.  The track has arrived:

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.”

Quote from CBC interview: “We’re populists” 3:38 pm // Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, canada, fame, interview, populism, television.
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Here is a transcribed segment of George Stroumboulopoulos’s early November interview of the Smashing Pumpkins, which aired for the first time last night on CBC.  You can watch the interview at CBC.ca to gain a fuller understanding (with tone of voice, hand gestures, etc.) of what was said; this segment begins at the 7:37 mark.

GS:  When you have a moment of success, of fame, when you have a moment where you connect to an audience, and then the audience moves away from you or you move away from that, to try to jump back on that train is very difficult, and that —

Billy Corgan:  But it’s also very profitable and it’s also culturally supported.  Let’s face it, I mean, everybody is used to the sellout now.  It’s not a big deal.  Nobody even blinks.  Nobody even blinks about the sellout.  I mean, the list is endless of people who are on reality TV and just grabbing for any shred left of their, of their dignity, to maintain their public image.

GS:  Did you guys have a sellout moment?  Did you feel like you had that?

BC:  Well, we were always populists, and I think that’s what made us really difficult to deal with in the ’90s.  Where everybody else was playing this game of “integrity”, which we all knew was false, we basically said: “We’re populists.”  We want to engage people right at the core of what they’re doing.  People don’t understand our intention.  Our intention is not to be popular; our intention is to work within popular medium to bring counterculture, radical…ideas into the mainstream.

GS:  To bring Chicago to the mainstream, really, if you think about it.  Those are values right from the center of the country, where you have to let that build.

BC:  But it’s not culturally supported to be anti-career.  You know what I mean?  There are people who pretend to be anti-career as a career move.  We’ve shot ourselves in the foot every time, and that’s the way we do it.  Because, there’s nothing that…  When you make, when you make an image more precious than your love, that’s death.  That’s death.  That’s why a bunch of people walking around the world looking like this [uses hands to push his face in two directions], like fuckin’ lizards, because they’re stuck on what they looked like when they were 22, they can’t let it go.  We’re not stuck.  We’re not stuck at all.  We’re free, that’s what’s so crazy, it’s like we’ve found our freedom through complete nihilism.  But it’s counterintuitive to a career.  It’s counterintuitive to the guy who says, “Oh, you know, you were big in the ’90s” or whatever; who the fuck cares?

Corgan guest appearance calmly reported by blogger 9:21 pm // Saturday, December 20, 2008

Posted by jjb in amusing, billy corgan, criticism, live, shitshow, ya ho wha 13.
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Generous, open-hearted music blogger Evan LeVine writes that Billy Corgan played last night with psychedelic rockers Ya Ho Wha 13 in Los Angeles:

The Great Pumpkin himself made a surprise guest appearance at last night’s Ya Ho Wa 13 concert in Silverlake. It was the most nauseating spectacle I’ve seen since that time he had a speaking part in an SNL sketch with Cameron Diaz. Oh god, Billy Corgan, you totally ruined what should have been a really cool time.

Notably, LeVine uses the word for “Smashing Pumpkins concert” recently popularized by Pitchfork, though he innovates by using it in a non-compound variant:

Ya Ho Wa 13 played for about an hour, spoke about fire water and air, and generally sounded like they were making things up on the spot. I’ve seen tons of shows like that, but this one appeared to be the most realistic. Why? Because parts of it sounded really bad, like they had no idea what they were doing, and then a few minutes later they clicked and it sounded really cool. This of course, stands in contrast to other bands who claim to be improvising but can be seen talking things over with each other before they take the stage.

So, yeah. Then the shit show started. Sunflower approached the microphone and stated that the band was going to be joined on stage by a good friend. “Oh fuck, no, no no!” I screamed inside.

Smashing Pumpkins, purveyors of fine ‘Winner Rock’ 4:13 pm // Thursday, December 11, 2008

Posted by Jill in blogging, criticism, news, photo, winner rock.
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Making a fashionably late appearance to the tizzy around the Smashing Pumpkins’ recent interview is Rock Town Hall; their byline: “governing the discourse of rock since 2007.”  Their mission statement is equally hilarious: “Rock Town Hall is a place to discuss – and debate – self-important topics in the world of rock ‘n roll…”  Not to put the cart before the strategic marketing horse, but if it’s one thing to which we can claim expertise, it’s self-indulgence — so these guys must be right up our alley.

RTH Blogger “Oats” presents an article today titled “Billy Corgan: The Limits of Winner Rock” and asks two fine questions about the Kot interview:

Is this what happens when you treat every single musical endeavor like you’re entering the ring? Is Corgan emulating post-game press conference-speak to an almost ridiculous level here?

This article on “Winner Rock” is a must-read for context.  Also, blogger “Mr. Moderator”‘s comments couldn’t resonate more strongly:

By “winning,” in these terms, I mean things like “being all that one can be”; trying to live up to some ideal rock model; believing that what you are doing is approaching par with rock’s highest achievements, even if it’s wholly delusional. And yes, it’s also about winning over an audience, but not in commercial terms.

Chicago-based group lazily rants at its diminishing audience 10:10 pm // Thursday, November 20, 2008

Posted by jjb in amusing, bullshit, criticism, pitchfork, shitshow.
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Poor setlist choices, awful-sounding music, and confounding sartorial decisions mixed with heavy doses of audience mockery: These are the reports we’ve been getting about the Smashing Pumpkins“20th Anniversary Tour”, and guesses at Billy Corgan’s motivations can only confuse and infuriate.

That would be Pitchfork’s Dave Maher, hyperlinking his way into an hilariously intense fury at Billy Corgan instead of walking down the street to cover the Chicago Theatre shows. After (maybe) watching a YouTube clip and (probably) reading the Rolling Stone and Fluxblog concert reviews, Maher denounced the tour as a “shitshow” (what?), claimed that Corgan had “lashed out at his band’s fans” with an “outburst”, called Zeitgeist “mediocre”, said the band was “meandering into formless noise jams”, accused Corgan of “ruining people’s nostalgic fondness” for the Pumpkins, said Corgan was “cashing in”, and called Corgan “crazy”.

Can you explain this, Dave? Why all the anger?

Personally, I don’t buy that this intentional audience befuddling is some kind of pure pursuit of an artistic muse. It seems like the flailing around of an artist who has declined and is unwilling to face that truth even when his own fans proclaim it so by their reactions to his art.

You may be on to something there… (more…)

HU Podcast #20: Parsing Billy’s Statements 5:09 pm // Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Posted by chris in billy corgan, G.L.O.W., genre, podcast, zwan.
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This week we took a look at some of Billy’s recent statements about the band and tried to make some sense of them, and we got some breaking news hours before record time that we were able to squeeze into the show.

Listen to the whole show (46:30)


This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jason, and Andrew

-Amazon.com posts a listing and release date for the Fillmore DVD.  Will it really be 271 minutes long, and if so what kind of content will fill all of that time? (3:43)

-Billy proffers a reclassification of Smashing Pumpkins music: American Gothic.  Is this the musical equivalent of choosing ones own nickname?  Is this an accurate genre for the totality of the Pumpkins’ catalog? (6:44)

-G.L.O.W. is announced as a Guitar Hero: World Tour exclusive (at least at first).  Fans are not outraged, but a certain online music blog is… (5:47)

In-Depth Discussion
-Billy made some comments about the difficulties of straddling the line between the mainstream and the hardcore in terms of songwriting.  Would a song like Mayonaise be appreciated today the same way it was in 1993?  Does Billy intentionally write songs for different audiences? (20:36)

This Week in Pumpkins History
-Zwan “officially” dissolves.  Where were we the day the music died? (1:41)

Song of the Week
-Thru the Eyes of Ruby, May 3rd, 1996

Next week we’ll be tackling a topic that is near and dear to all of our hearts: The Machina Mystery!

Taking Technology Too Far? 11:50 am // Monday, September 8, 2008

Posted by Jill in amusing, blogging, gear, genre.
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Last week, fellow SP.com writer Hack published a piece about Elemental Labs’ light wall which Billy Corgan featured on his solo tour prior to the reformation of the Smashing Pumpkins.  It seems his inspiration for the piece was a heads-up at Netphoria about this short documentary on Pitchfork.tv regarding Chiptunes, a genre which previously escaped my attention.

Oh.  My.

I know I’ve recently been on the record about how I admire the Pumpkins for taking new distribution routes and using gaming technology for the greater good.  But hacking your Gameboy?  Using it as a synthesizer and a sequencer?

Oh, I am so torn.  I want to love, but I want to mock.  Mock or love?

HU’s Jill at SP.com: “Mashing Pumpkins” 3:41 pm // Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Posted by jjb in mash-up, smashingpumpkins.com.
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That’s neither a typo nor a dumb reference to Mashed Potatoes; she has written a discussion of the use of Smashing Pumpkins songs by mashup artists.

A few items related to Billy Corgan’s latest blog posting 4:52 pm // Saturday, August 30, 2008

Posted by jjb in analysis, billy corgan, blogging, genre.
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1. As shown above, the Smashing Pumpkins have moved to apply retroactively their new self-assigned genre. (Also, apparently the fall tour is now set to mark the band’s 21st anniversary…)

2. An interesting remark in the blog that I did not highlight previously: “For me, that was the most exciting tour I’ve been on since before Jimmy left in 1996.” That would classify, in terms of excitement for Billy, the August tour as having exceeded notable tours such as the Adore charity tour with multiple percussionists, the “Arising!” tour of April 1999, last year’s comeback tour in Europe, and…is he including Zwan?!

3. “Alternative Music has been hijacked by poseurs. No mystery there as to why.” Perhaps no mystery as to why, Billy, but we could use a good by whom…it’s no fun when you toss off that line without dropping a name (Hinder? Bloc Party?) around which we may coordinate our derision-slash-amusement.

Play the farmer, er, taxonomist 9:17 pm // Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Posted by jjb in american gothic, billy corgan, blogging, genre.
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Who gives the names to musical genres? I am not an expert on this question, but I imagine that generally it has not been the bands themselves. Regardless, Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan gives self-classification a go today in a new blog posting:

…I’ve found a label for our music that fits. And that is that we play ‘American Gothic’ music. Yes, I know that’s the name of our e.p. that came out, but its not meant as a self serving self reference. I was attracted to the idea of an American Gothic movement musically because it embodies both the English ideal of gothic music and the decay of Americana. So that’s us for now on. We play American Gothic music. Please use that label, its one I hope sticks :)

There’s a lot to parse in Billy’s four paragraphs; I imagine that we will have more thoughts about it later in the week.


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