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Smashing Pumpkins may work on new studio material in August 4:56 pm // Sunday, July 1, 2012

Posted by susan in interview, news, zeitgeist, thefutureembrace, teargarden by kaleidyscope, billy corgan, oceania.
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Bill Palmer of Beatweek Magazine has published a wide-ranging new interview with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. In the interview, Corgan discusses the dynamics of the current Smashing Pumpkins lineup, their plans for future recordings, and how the Pumpkins’ reissue project has influenced their live performances, among other topics. Below are three excerpted quotations.

In which Corgan evaluates his albums, specifically Zeitgeist:

I think in that way I’ve never made a bad album. I would say the album that was the least fulfilling of its potential was Zeitgeist…I think every other album was in the range of its potential as an A or a B. I wouldn’t necessarily rate Zeitgeist as a C, it just didn’t hit its potential and it kind of got lost somewhere along the way in the process. Some of the best songs are in the demos that didn’t get recorded and that kind of shit. I think it’s up there, but I also think it has to do with familiarity. There’s a certain ring here that people are comfortable with, and I’m okay with it or obviously I wouldn’t have put it out. But I think TheFutureEmbrace was a great album, and it was completely overlooked, my solo album. Over time now, over the last seven years, now people are starting to really get into it because it’s got a bit of a visionary aspect to it. So again, what was the point of the album? The mainstream always assumes that every album you’re throwing yourself out there with your bust, and I’m not that type of artist. I pick my spot and I go for that spot, and I rate it on whether or not I hit my spot.

Of the first Teargarden by Kaleidyscope songs, Corgan says that “I think there were ten official Teargarden releases. In those ten there was at least two or three really good songs.”

On the future of Teargarden, Corgan had this to say:

I’m kind of mulling that around. There’s a lot of demos that are really fairly quality at least in terms of the songs. They’re just interesting, dusky sketches. The problem with the world we live in now is everything is judged so fast so hard and is given too much power, for lack of a better word. Three months from now I would love to just reach in and toss out a couple of those demos from 2009 so people could hear some different songs, maybe some things that helped lead to Oceania. But then invariably some asshole with a blog is going to write about the new Smashing Pumpkins song and how it sucks. I’m mature enough now that I don’t really care, but at this point we’re in a positive place and maybe we just need to play a positive game. Maybe we just need to be like everybody else and shine it up real nice and bright before we put it out. We definitely want to do another album. We’re already talking about starting to do some demos in August. It’s tough. I do want to put out some of this stuff that I’m sitting on. I do want to finish the project as I sort of originally sketched out. But right now we’re riding a wave and I’m not really sure where that wave takes us.

Go over to Beatweek and read the interview in full, because it’s fascinating stuff.

Back with Alex Jones, Billy Corgan links ‘Oceania’ to ‘Zeitgeist’ 12:15 am // Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Posted by susan in radio, interview, news, politics, zeitgeist, billy corgan, oceania.
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Billy Corgan spoke with info-warrior Alex Jones on the latter’s radio show today, phoning in from South America where the Smashing Pumpkins are, as I write, onstage for their first-ever concert in Venezuela. This is Corgan’s second appearance on the program this year; he sat down at Jones’s Austin studio during SXSW back in March.

Over the course of the new, 40-minute interview, Corgan and Jones discuss systems of social control, in particular as they relate to Corgan’s experience in the music business. Here’s one transcribed excerpt:

Alex Jones: Let’s cut right to the chase with this new album. Beyond political, you’re talking about the nature of reality: You know, [“Quasar,” and “The Celestials,” and “Panopticon,”] and of course, “Oceania,” right out of 1984. Break down the spirit that you were basically channeling when you put together this new album.

Billy Corgan: Well, I think some of the roots start—on this album—start from the last album, in 2007, Zeitgeist, which you know, on some conscious or unconscious level, listening to you, and doing my own research on the Internet, kinda led me to a dark place where I felt, you know, what’s happening to my country? How do I grapple with these feelings that I’m having? When I started in music, you know, it was all cheery, Reagan, flags-a-wavin’, everything is great, and there was a lot of middle-class discourse on stuff that maybe now seems really small in comparison to what we’re really grappling with as we see what’s coming economically down the pike.

So, I think if you can draw a line from sort of a darker place and trying to grapple with the American Dream, which Zeitgeist had something to do with, five years later, now Oceania I think is a way to say, you know, I’m just not gonna live in that spirit, that energy, that dark energy. I’ve heard you talk about it, and certainly I’ve thought about it a lot, which is, you know, we gotta live. You know? Some of the most inspirational stuff I’ve ever heard you talk about is when you just talk about nature, about how God’s kingdom inspires you to fight the good fight and think of families and what life’s really about. And I think my album is really about that, it’s like, we all go through hard times, our country’s going through a hard time. It’s not a political album in that sense, but at the same time, if the politics is part of the backdrop, in the foreground I just wanna embrace my life, and get right with God, get right with my spirit, because I think that’s the way to lead us out of this kind of craziness that again seems to be coming, and God knows where it’s coming from. But everywhere you go, people feel it. And they can’t put their finger on it.

Greg Kot: ‘Oceania’ is “Corgan’s best work since the ’90s” 2:08 pm // Friday, June 15, 2012

Posted by jjb in interview, zeitgeist, billy corgan, oceania.
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Chicago Tribune mainstay Greg Kot has posted today a great interview with Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. The two explore motivating factors behind the new Pumpkins record Oceania, managing also to look back with some perspective on the band’s previous LP Zeitgeist and the controversial tours that followed its release, and they touch on other relevant topics too. Here’s an excerpt:

[Greg Kot]: When things are working, great artists say they reflect their audience. Do you feel you’re still in touch with your audience?

[Billy Corgan]: I feel I’m reflecting the part of the audience we don’t hear from. There are a lot of people out there who love music but don’t have a place in music culture as it exists. I meet these people all the time. Soccer mom, 34, has good taste in music. They are your average rock fan who isn’t part of the Pitchfork culture. They don’t follow the train. They’re the difference between 40,000 sales and 400,000. We’ve disenfranchised that part of the culture by playing to the (snobby, snarky) crowd. The Internet has swelled that (expletive) crowd. The crowd that trashes what you do instantly and writes you off. It’s like the ’90s indie-rock crowd all over again: Don’t look this way, don’t dress this way, don’t play long guitar solos, whatever. But there are people out there in their teens who found Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, they don’t care that those bands don’t exist anymore. They exist in their computer. They’re finding this other value system that isn’t contemporary. It’s a wider scope. The unspoken audience, the stragglers, and this new audience who isn’t snarky or cares much about modern record business, that’s our audience.

UPDATE (6/18): Kot’s full review of Oceania is published.

Yet another contradiction 12:19 pm // Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Posted by jjb in zeitgeist, gish, siamese dream, critic vs. critic.
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Since the mid-’90s, declares AJ Ramirez of PopMatters in his almost 2,000-word review today of the Gish and Siamese Dream reissues, the Smashing Pumpkins’ “stock has plummeted drastically,” and the band has “hastened down the path toward irrelevancy,” this largely because anyone with sense can tell that the band’s newer music sucks:

The extremely devoted among the Pumpkins faithful will argue until they are blue in their faces in favor of the 2007 comeback LP Zeitgeist and the currently-ongoing Teargarden by Kaleidyscope song cycle, but everyone else sees Corgan carrying on without any of his original bandmates as he and his latest roll call run through the songwriter’s dodgy new material. It’s hard not to feel that the Pumpkins are a shadow of their former glory.

Calling Siamese Dream “my favorite album ever,” Ramirez gives its reissue a perfect score of 10 while rating the Gish package a 7.

In 2007, PopMatters critic Mike Schiller bestowed an 8 of 10 rating upon Zeitgeist, describing the album as “one more beautiful, beautiful contradiction” from Pumpkins chief Billy Corgan (Corgan himself being “a walking, living, breathing, contradiction” in Schiller’s judgment).

Billy Corgan believes in all his songs. 9:43 pm // Monday, October 3, 2011

Posted by jjb in criticism, interview, zeitgeist, analysis, billy corgan, oceania.
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Let us get that clear, right from the outset. If and when—it’s when—the Smashing Pumpkins auteur seemingly disparages his own past work, you must read with caution. Take the following statement, made today by Corgan as part of the “#SPRCtakeoverquestion-and-answer session hosted on Twitter by Live Nation:

If four years ago you were among the sizable group of fans and critics who appreciated the gold-certified album Zeitgeist, you may be feeling some resentment. “Hey,” you think. “I told people I liked that record in 2007. Is Billy Corgan trying retroactively to align himself with Pitchfork and the NME against Rolling Stone, PopMatters, and me?!”

No, no. Corgan is saying only that you (and David Fricke, etc.) may have made the same error that he now understands himself to have made, back then: you failed to realize that 2007 was the wrong time for that collection of worthy songs. While you were understandably distracted by the sheer quality of the music on Zeitgeist, those who disliked the album sensed that there was a problem, something in the air that year, ineffable but real.

Thankfully, today the problem is gone. Corgan, who misread something in 2007, now knows 2011 is right for Oceania. The detractors of Zeitgeist, sure to recognize the real, ineffable change that has taken place, will listen to Corgan’s new work with fresh ears and assess it on its merits. What are you gonna do?

Chamberlin regales press as Skysaw plays first headlining shows 11:29 am // Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Posted by jjb in interview, zeitgeist, jimmy chamberlin.
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On the occasion of his new band’s first two few headlining shows, Skysaw drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has given interviews to websites based in Chicago and Washington.

Chamberlin’s chat with Chicagoverseunited is available in audio format (and was broadcast in part on Chicago’s Alternative Lame Duck, Q101), while his interview for the site Songwriters on Process — from which the following excerpt comes — appears in digital print. Dynasty descend.

When I was with the Pumpkins and we did Zeitgeist, it had been almost seven years since we made the album before it. So having to go and play that style of drumming again, I was often I was at loggerheads with myself because I was saying, “I don’t really play like this anymore. I wouldn’t make those choices again.” It became difficult to mine that stuff from 1996 and relearn how to play like that. It would be like writing in the style you did when you were a sophomore in college. That would be difficult since you’ve moved on and your toolbox has grown. You don’t need that big hammer anymore. You can use the smaller hammer that’s more beautiful.

UPDATE: Chamberlin further mulls needle movement with Zeitgeist hater Allison Stewart of the Washington Post.

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

Posted by jjb in interview, genre, marketing, zeitgeist, teargarden by kaleidyscope, billy corgan, rush.
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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.

Waiting on the Kaleidyboard 1:57 am // Friday, April 2, 2010

Posted by apm in studio, zeitgeist, machina, teargarden by kaleidyscope.
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For the past two Smashing Pumpkins studio releases, Billy Corgan teased the fanbase by posting a photograph of a whiteboard scrawled with song titles that were being developed and recorded at the time to the Internet. Sometime in the late spring of 1999 we had the Machina board:

Then, in the lead up to the release of Zeitgeist, what looked like a cell phone picture of a whiteboard with a fresh set of songs appeared on the Smashing Pumpkins website:

In the recently much discussed March 18th Rolling Stone article, writer Brian Hiatt gave us a little tease of the latest incarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins studio whiteboard. Kerry Brown’s studio in Los Angeles indeed has one, covered with 50 songs written out in ALL CAPS, Hiatt claimed, though he provided only four (perhaps not wanting to waste too many of his 4,500 words on unreleased song titles). And, of course, no picture of the whiteboard accompanied the article. The songs: “As Rome Burns,” the only one previously known by title, the three unknowns (as far as we know): “The Dauphine,” “Blurricane,” and “Fate the Lonely Actor.”

As for the other 46 SONGS on the board, we’ll just have to wait and see if Billy feels like doing the whiteboard leak thing again. Nothing like deciphering Billy’s dryerasemarkership to pass the time waiting for the next batch of songs.

HU Podcast #50: Corgan in the 2000s 5:29 pm // Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Posted by chris in podcast, zeitgeist, machina, thefutureembrace, mary star of the sea, machina 2.
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It’s hard to believe that we’ve made it to 50 episodes of the podcast, but instead of looking back at our own bright spots and misadventures, we’re looking back at the decade of the 2000s and discuss Billy Corgan’s creative and musical output. 

Listen to the whole show (1:18:59)


This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jason, and Jill

-The turn of the century.  We discuss Machina and Machina II, and whether the original Smashing Pumpkins breakup was at a critical high-note. (12:25)

-The Zwan era and the release of Mary Star of the Sea.  We talk about the advent of critics feeling sorry for James and D’Arcy. (4:47)

-Billy’s online confessions, the Blinking with Fists poetry book, and TheFutureEmbrace.  Did Billy’s defensiveness over the issue of former bandmembers backfire?  Plus, Jill draws a comparison to Mariah Carey, and Jason talks about Billy’s relationship with the Chicago music scene. (30:03)

-With the decade coming to a close and the inevitable flood of “best of the decade” lists in sight, does Billy have a place on any of the lists given his musical output?  Plus, Jill comments on the disjointedness of Billy’s body of work in the 2000s. (24:49)

Song of the Week
-TheCameraEye, Sydney, Australia July 28, 2005

HU Podcast #45: Freak 7:16 pm // Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Posted by chris in podcast, zeitgeist, james iha, spirits in the sky.
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I apologize both for the week with no podcast last week and the slightly worse sound quality of this show, as the HU Podcast Studios official PC went belly-up, thereby necessitating a reinstall.

Listen to the whole show (48:10)


This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jill, and Andrew

-Billy Corgan and Spirits in the Sky debut a new song, tentatively titled Freak. We give our impressions on it and the debut of the drummer of the future. (10:17)

-Is James Iha really worth five million dollars?  We can’t really verify the number itself, but we do discuss what impact James would have had on the tour.  Plus, I compare music critics to the birthers. (8:39)

-Jason posted last week about the one or two good songs on Zeitgeist, and you all responded.  Is this phenomenon any different for Zeitgeist than for other albums?  We finally identify the root cause of all the problems with music journalism, but sadly do not have a solution. (23:57)

Song of the Week
-Pomp and Circumstances, New Orleans, LA October 27, 2007

Which song is the one good song on Zeitgeist? 3:25 pm // Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Posted by jjb in zeitgeist, analysis, amusing.
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(12:49 AM) jillysp: man
(12:49 AM) jillysp: i swear
(12:49 AM) jillysp: bring the light could like solve world peace
(12:49 AM) jillysp: this song is so. good.

I’ve long been aware that Jill is crazy about “Bring the Light”, but she reminds me from time to time.  And when she does so, I often recall my one-line argument for why Zeitgeist is a perfectly fine album: “Everyone says Zeitgeist has one or two good songs — just, no one agrees on which songs those are.” (My evidence for this claim can be found here.)

After Jill’s most recent reminder, I thought about other friends of mine who have told me that they LOVE one particular song off Zeitgeist (not to say they don’t like other songs as well).  I don’t have amusing IM transcripts for all of these, but…my sister loves “7 Shades of Black”; my brother, “For God and Country”; HU reader Stace, “Bleeding the Orchid”; HU podcast host Chris, “Tarantula.”

Is anyone’s favorite song “Pomp and Circumstances”? (Besides this guy.)

The last “Shades of Black” 10:28 pm // Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Posted by jjb in live, zeitgeist, video.
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Why did Zeitgeist track “7 Shades of Black” only ever make five appearances in a Smashing Pumpkins concert setlist?  I remember Billy Corgan saying somewhere that the song just didn’t work well live (does anyone have the source for this offhand?), and I daresay this video of the band’s last performance of the song bears that out.

Below: July 16, 2007 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (YouTube)

Pumpkins track used by Hyundai had some miles on it 1:04 am // Thursday, February 26, 2009

Posted by jjb in news, zeitgeist, FOL.
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Andy of SmashingPumpkins.com confirms what many fans had suspected:

I was also able to get Billy to confirm that “FOL” is indeed an outtake from the Zeitgeist sessions. The song was written along with the album cuts, bonus tracks, songs from the now infamous whiteboard photo, and some additional songs back in 2006 and 2007. It ultimately did not make the album cut, and was temporarily put on the shelf.

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

Posted by jjb in interview, zeitgeist, art, amusing, shepard fairey, populism.
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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.”

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

Posted by Jill in news, politics, zeitgeist, art, photo, shepard fairey.
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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!

Beware the temptation to write around the press release 1:31 am // Friday, September 19, 2008

Posted by jjb in criticism, if all goes wrong, bullshit, zeitgeist, analysis, rant.
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On one hand, those who work for media outlets don’t think that their job is merely to pass along press releases; they believe it is important to subject PR to critical examination. On the other hand, journalists just want to get by, to do their work and go home early like anyone else. So an editor faces a classic quandary when a newsworthy release is faxed in: rewrite it, or just reformat it?

With regard to the Smashing Pumpkins’ announcement yesterday of the forthcoming DVD If All Goes Wrong, most music news sites I’ve checked (like this one) have saved labor by either pasting in or barely touching up the band’s release. For at least two sites, however, that was not good enough: Crave Online (“your source for everything that males crave on the net”) and Aversion Media (“rock * punk * indie”) went…well, I can’t say they went the extra mile, but they did both add to the press release some stuff they just made up.

Crave Online’s “Johnny Firecloud” wrote:

The second disc of the project is “The Fillmore Residency,” a collection of individual performances that will collaboratively comprise what a typical Pumpkins setlist looks like these days, post-Iha.

Out of the 48 or so full concerts the band has performed in these post-Iha days of 2008, I can’t find one that included more than three of the songs appearing on If All Goes Wrong. I guess males don’t crave research…

But Aversion’s unsigned writeup surpasses even what my dark, cynical heart dreamed was possible (the link is theirs, the emphasis is mine):

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about watching The Smashing Pumpkins play any of those pesky “classic” songs that made you like them in the first place. There’s no “1979,” no “Today,” no “Disarm,” “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” or even “Cherub Rock.” It’ [sic] all Zeitgeist (review) (2007, Reprise) songs you probably don’t even remember.

Apparently the inclusion of Zeitgeist bonus tracks “Death from Above” and “Zeitgeist” among the 19 tracks on The Fillmore Residency doesn’t make the DVD “heavy on material from 2007’s Zeitgeist” so much as it utterly transforms the DVD into Zeitgeist Live by retroactively placing studio versions of the remaining 17 non-Zeitgeist tracks onto Zeitgeist. (That is, unless the joke is on us — did Aversion gank a copy of the exclusive-to-HU 30-track brown edition?!)

This feels a bit overboard too 3:11 pm // Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Posted by jjb in live, criticism, bullshit, zeitgeist, rant.
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In the new edition of Portico Publications’ weekly C-ville, Brendan Fitzgerald riffs on the two media-established themes surrounding the Smashing Pumpkins latest tour: (1) It’s really good and (2) it features songs from Zeitgeist. [Editor’s note: Uh, only two of the 21 songs on the tour setlist come from Zeitgeist.]

It feels a bit overboard to praise the Pumpkins so enthusiastically long after their biggest commercial successes, but the band never stopped making great songs; Corgan simply put out a lot of half-baked grunge that obscured the finer material. During the evening’s two-hour set—heavy on material from 2007’s Zeitgeist and a few recent singles—the Pumpkins called up tunes from at least half of their catalogue of albums…

The last line is sure correct, though — the band played at least one song off every one of their albums, which certainly is “at least half”.

Am I being too hard on these reviewers? Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I just can’t remember ever reading a review or preview of a Wilco show or a Neil Young show or (dare I say) a Radiohead show where the critic felt empowered to reinvent the band’s setlist to his or her own satisfaction, and yet with the Smashing Pumpkins it seems to happen frequently (see: here, here, here, here…). The Pumpkins’ setlist in Charlottesville had as many songs off Siamese Dream as off Zeitgeist and more songs from Mellon Collie than from either of those records. What journalist would go to a Radiohead show and claim the setlist was “heavy on material from In Rainbows” if it wasn’t? This would never happen, right?

Fan interview from November with Billy Corgan 1:42 am // Monday, July 7, 2008

Posted by jjb in interview, zeitgeist, radiohead, video.
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This newly shared video gives good insight into the band’s current mindset of eight months ago regarding the album format. It was recorded after the final show of the 2007 U.S. tour, November 18 in Dallas. Here’s some of what Billy said:

We’re playing songs off an album that’s been out now for six or seven months, but most people don’t know the songs. People don’t listen to records anymore. Yeah, when Siamese Dream was popular, more of the audience would listen to that, but when we played Machina stuff, 50% of the audience knew the album. Now you play, it’s like 10% of the audience knows it, because people don’t listen to albums anymore. It’s all iPod playlists and stuff. [Fan: So what’s the future?] One song at a time. I mean, if you were able to poll the audience, I would say that 90% of those people probably have not heard more than two songs off that record, and wouldn’t be interested in more than two songs, and won’t listen to them even if you gave them to ’em for free. I think that’s what Radiohead’s going to find out really quickly, with, even giving away music… [Fan: Didn’t most people pay nothing for it, the Radiohead, though?] Well, I think 60%, from what I’ve heard, but that doesn’t matter. I would have no problem giving away music for free if people would listen to the music. I don’t think anybody ever envisioned that “free” would also equal “not listen” and also “not go to concerts”. That’s the thing that I think is kind of mystifying. Yeah, when we were kids, we traded tapes, nobody gave a shit because I didn’t pay for the record — it made you a fan of the band and made you listen to records. Now for whatever reason, generationally or just technology-wise, it doesn’t seem to translate into album-listening. So you spend a tremendous amount of time making sure the ninth song on your record is just as good as the first song, and in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “But nobody’s going to fucking listen to this.” So we’re over that.

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

Posted by jjb in zeitgeist, art.
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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.

Zeitgeist: the dark blue box editions? 11:17 am // Sunday, June 8, 2008

Posted by jjb in releases, zeitgeist, photo.
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Flickr user JJ Nolan yesterday uploaded two pictures, one apparently taken inside an HMV store in Britain and another following his her purchase of two items from that store. Nolan labeled his her photos with the words “Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist Ltd edition CD/USB (Concept)”, and it’s not hard to see why.

I hadn’t seen or heard of these before; had any of you, dear readers?


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