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James Iha did not contribute to new Marilyn Manson album 8:09 pm // Saturday, May 30, 2009

Posted by jjb in analysis, james iha, marilyn manson, wikipedia.
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As was suggested by a peculiarly exhaustive HU investigation, published reports claiming that Smashing Pumpkins co-founder James Iha would appear on Marilyn Manson’s followup to Eat Me, Drink Me have proven inaccurate.  The Wikipedia entry for Manson’s just-released The High End of Low gives the bottom line:

[N]obody outside of the main personnel appear on the album.

Is it a “reunion” if you don’t reunite and never use the word? 11:35 am // Monday, October 20, 2008

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview, revival, wikipedia.
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Talking to Press Association Ltd. at the Spike awards, Billy Corgan reflected on a time when all went wrong:

It was interesting in a sense that we got a lot of things put on us that we didn’t ask for.

Like we never said reunion, we just said we’re gonna put the band back together and see who wants to do it.

Then it became ‘oh, these aren’t the original members’. Well, we never said it was going to be the original members.

Despite my efforts to avoid the word reunion, it has cropped up on HU from time to time. I think it is an inappropriate term not only because Corgan never used the word but primarily because no one reunited…Corgan and Chamberlin were never apart. Obviously, though, the press has used the word liberally — and even the band’s Wikipedia entry claims that “In April 2006, the band officially announced that it was reuniting”, the seeming inaccuracy of that statement and an effort to correct it not withstanding the one-man wikiocracy of user WesleyDodds:

Yes, it’s still a reunion, even if Corgan didn’t use the word

Stick Tossing Incident 2007 [citation needed] 12:09 am // Saturday, July 12, 2008

Posted by apm in amusing, jimmy chamberlin, wikipedia.
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Wikipedia Logo
An anonymous Wikipedia contributor using the IP address spent Friday making a highly relevant and insightful addition to Jimmy “The Joliet Mustard” Chamberlin’s Wikipedia entry.

At a sold out show in Seattle as the headliner of the Endfest festival in 2007, Chamberlain caused an altercation during the performance of “Drown.” Chamberlin awkwardly tossed a drum stick into the crowded general admission area of QWEST Field and set off a chain of events that lead to a small skirmish and eventual destruction of the coveted souvenir. A 20-something woman and a middle aged, overweight hipster struggled over the wooden rod for nearly 60 seconds. When an agreement could not be reached regarding visitation, the stick was crudely snapped in two, thus leaving both parties with a frayed, incomplete token of the memorable evening.

Kerrang! loudly! repeats Iha-Manson collaboration rumor 6:30 am // Sunday, May 25, 2008

Posted by jjb in analysis, james iha, marilyn manson, wikipedia.
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Kerrang! claimed on Friday that Pumpkins co-founder James Iha will make a “guest appearance” on the next album from Brian “The Space Cowboy” “Marilyn Manson” Warner and Jeordie “Ratso Rizzo” “Twiggy Ramirez” White:

[Marilyn Manson], who is clearly reeling after the commercial and critical failure that was 2007’s Eat Me, Drink Me, says tracks for his eponymous band’s seventh studio album are “very ruthless, very heavy, and very violent.”

The Double M has also revealed that Slayer guitar god Kerry King and The Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha will be making guest appearances on the record.

There is essentially no original content in this Kerrang! blurb, as the information — including the “very ruthless, very heavy, and very violent” quotation — has been part of a Wikipedia entry since February.  Just days after that Wikipedia entry was created, an extensive discussion of the entry took place on Manson fan board The Hierophant Council.  One fan taking part in that discussion, Tim “Litso” Hessel, recognized that the Wikipedia entry was a copy of an entry on his MansonWiki site:

It’s nice to see wikipedia takes information from the MansonWiki, it used to be the other way around. Everything in the article is true for as far as I know, we try to stick to the facts (as presented in interviews and other reliable sourdces) as much as possible.

Another participant in the Hierophant Council discussion wrote:

I recognize almost everything in that [Wikipedia] article from posts here [on the Hierophant Council site] of live concert reports and other credible goings-on of information gleaned over the past year, but for Wikipedia that isn’t (and shouldn’t be by principle, even though we know better) good enough for it to remain unsourced and intact there. It is just about all true, though.

So the Kerrang! blurb is (effectively) sourced from Wikipedia, the Wikipedia entry from MansonWiki, and the MansonWiki entry from the Hierophant Council discussion boards.  Based on a Google search of those boards, it appears that the James Iha information can be traced to a September 27, 2007 post by Heather Wiewes, who told of her experience at a Manson concert in São Paulo the night before:

After the show, I met Manson, talked a little bit with him. I asked to him about a new album and new single… he told me that a new album coming soon :D and it will be a participation to Slayer (sorry, I can’t remember the name of guy), James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins and someone else (I also can’t remember)

Also cited on the boards is a November interview conducted with Manson by David Saavedra of Madrid newspaper El Mundo.  The interview is in Spanish, but here is the Google Translate rendering of the section where Saavedra tries to get clarity:

[Saavedra]. – is rumoured that could assist in that CD Slayer and Smashing Pumpkins.

[Manson]. – It’s definitely a possibility. Obviously, I had the opportunity to meet many people during these years. I have made very close friend of Kerry King of Slayer, I have had enough contact with Smashing Pumpkins and recently I also worked with Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who has made a remix for me. All of them can become part of the disc.

Where does that leave us, or the truth?  I’m not really sure, but I almost have to question the rumor purely on plausibility grounds. I don’t have any personal knowledge of the “failure” of the last Manson album, but I daresay that anyone who calls in James Iha to further a plan for heavily ruthless violence is reeling at best and may rather like the drugs.  Uhm, so, maybe it IS true…

Last note: the MansonWiki is now citing Kerrang! (in the mistaken belief that Kerrang! conducted a new interview with Manson) as evidence that “the Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha would still be making an appearance on the album.”  What goes around, stays around?

Interview with Ivy 10:04 am // Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Posted by Jill in interview, ivy, james iha, wikipedia.
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In a recent interview with Andy Chase from the band Ivy, the Dead Flowers blog invigorates some new commentary about James Iha and his longstanding relationship with the NYC trio, members of which may trace their roots to Fountains of Wayne and a Scratchie Records partnership.

DF: You have a strong musical connection with James Iha. I recently heard an interview with Butch Vig and he was talking about with the early Smashing Pumplins records, people didn’t realize how important Iha was in influencing the band’s sound and feel. Any thoughts?

AC: He has such an amazing musical aesthetic and a very unique way of playing the guitar. I think this all flew under the radar for most Pumpkins fans. Knowing him as I do outside of the Pumpkins I’m always marveling at his great sensibility and appreciation for good music – or at least the music I think is good. I’m much more of a fan of HIS stuff that I ever was of the Pumpkins.

Though Iha’s collaboration efforts with Ivy have lasted more than ten years to date, I don’t think his contributions flew under the radar for fan. In fact, didn’t we just talk about this on last week’s podcast?!

As Chase suggests, Ivy will likely be releasing a new album late next year but it’s yet to be known if Iha will be counted among the contributors. In the meantime, check out this stream of “Tess Don’t Tell” – featuring James Iha.

American Graffiti 7:07 pm // Sunday, December 2, 2007

Posted by Jill in jeff schroeder, wikipedia.
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As Hipsters United has pointed out before, errors on Wikipedia are usually corrected in due time. However, the site is prone to graffiti pranksters and LOLphiles alike.

It looks like the latest victim of internet vandalism is the Pumpkins’ own Jeff Schroeder, but I can’t say I don’t approve. If my kid could shred a guitar that well*, I’d probably give him that middle name too.

Click on the thumbnail below for a full screenshot.


*UPDATE: Now with extra “Iron Man” evidence (YouTube)

Web Two Point Oh No. 4:14 pm // Saturday, December 1, 2007

Posted by Jill in urbandictionary, wikipedia.
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Urban Dictionary is not a new discovery of mine, no; it has informed me in the past of great new terms such as cheerism and this past week’s Cyber Monday. And did you know that today’s word-of-the-day, Vajayjay, is of origin unknown?! SHOCKING!

The Smashing Pumpkins are not unaffected by the site, which does not “guarantee the accuracy or validity” of any content on its pages. However, what I will personally guarantee is the hilarity of some of the entries:

Definitions for Smashing Pumpkins [ed: sic for all entries]:

  • One of the some bands who were ahead of their time in music evolution in the laste 80’s and throughout the 90’s. It consists of lead singer-Billy Corgan, bassist-D’arcy Gretzky, guitarist-James Iha and drummer-Jimmy Chamberlain.
  • An alternative rock band lead by Billy Corgan, (who’s voice is very awesome and original, but disliked by many idiots )from the late 80’s until their breakup in 2000. The Jewish teen watched in amazement at the screen, feeling a rush of nostalgia as the Smashing Pumpkins DVD played in front of him.
  • Nice big brests, British Slang. Wow, that babe has smashing pumpkins!
  • People who are caucasian and in the Crips gang. Yeah, those white fools over there are Smashing Pumpkins, they down, don’t front.

    Definitions for Billy Corgan:

  • A rock god that looks disturbingly similair to kirsten dunst. Kirsten Dunst is billy corgan with hair.
  • “Dude, why is Billy Corgan talking to a poptart?” “No, it symbolizes…ugh, nevermind.”

    Compare this to the Wikipedia Discussion Board for submitting changes to the Pumpkins’ entry. Wesley Dodds, did you know D’arcy is related to a Jewish Wayne Gretzky?!! TO THA EDIT PAGE!

  • To err on Wikipedia is to err temporarily and forever 6:23 pm // Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Posted by jjb in butch vig, gish, record labels, sonic youth, vieuphoria, wikipedia.
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    Wikipedia is always being edited, and thus there is a good chance that any given error will eventually be discovered and corrected — that is, to be discovered and corrected on the Wikipedia website, wikipedia.org. However, since Wikipedia content can be copied freely, snapshots of Wikipedia entries are often taken and posted by third-party content providers. Therefore, any given Wikipedia error will likely continue to exist, somewhere on the Internet, indefinitely (and, obviously, long after it has been corrected on the Wikipedia website itself).

    For example, this sentence once was part of the Wikipedia entry for the Smashing Pumpkins:

    To give them indie credibility, Virgin matched the band with Sonic Youth producer Butch Vig and released their 1991 debut album Gish on Virgin subsidiary label Caroline Records.

    The first part of this sentence seems to have been entirely made up, which probably explains why it is no longer part of the entry on Wikipedia’s site.* Vig says on Vieuphoria: “The first thing I worked with [Smashing Pumpkins] on was a Sub Pop single. Jonathan [Poneman] from Sub Pop called me up and said, ‘There’s this band from Chicago that is awesome and you’ve gotta work with them.'” Vig then produced the Pumpkins’ single “Tristessa”, which Sub Pop released in December 1990. Shortly thereafter, the Pumpkins signed with Caroline. Vig first produced Sonic Youth in March 1992.

    However, you can still find the erroneous sentence today on a variety of third-party sites that copied the Wikipedia entry at that time. A lot of these sites are weird and spammy, but they do find their way into search results. My guess is that they still get read, and believed, fairly often.

    *It doesn’t explain, however, how the sentence came to be there in the first place. That is not the subject of this post, but, generally speaking, “where does this stuff come from?” is one of the driving questions behind this blog…

    Not anyone can edit this 10:30 pm // Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Posted by jjb in analysis, news, wikipedia.
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    Wikipedia is featuring its entry for “The Smashing Pumpkins” on its homepage today. To coincide with this occasion, I offer my list of the three weirdest sentences in the article:

    Although not an official member of the band at this point [October 5, 1988], Chamberlin would soon be announced as such, and the complete four-person lineup from this first show at the Metro would be unchanged for the next seven years.

    Where does the idea that bands have “official” members come from? There is not and never was an “official” list of Pumpkins kept somewhere; I doubt any band has an “official” list of members kept somewhere. And what of this supposed announcement with regard to Jimmy’s “official” status? Did that actually happen? Are we to believe that a completely unknown band not only had an “official” list of members but also presumed to “announce” (to whom?) when it had changed? My guess: weird sentence #1 is completely made up.

    At this time [1992-1994], and amid their protests, the Pumpkins were routinely lumped in with the grunge movement.

    The next sentence is “In a Halloween night interview on MTV’s 120 Minutes in 1993, Corgan remarked, ‘We’ve graduated now from [being called] “the next Jane’s Addiction” to “the next Nirvana,” now we’re “the next Pearl Jam.”‘” Is that supposed to be support for the notion that the band made “protests” about their inclusion with “the grunge movement”? Everything I have ever seen on this subject speaks to the band’s pride in being identified as an “alternative” band and that they viewed those bands as rightful peers with which they were engaged in healthy competition. Weird sentence #2 is, I think, drawing too sweeping a conclusion from this context-sensitive piece of we’re-our-own-band sentiment.

    The group also modified its public image [for Adore], shedding its alternative hipster look for a more subdued appearance.

    Weird sentence #3 appears not far below this picture, in which Billy models the popular alternative-hipster look of 1996; I personally remember how alternative hipsters were known far and wide for their stage costumes and shaved heads. But yes, it is true that he ditched that trendy stuff for nice button-down shirts and/or straw hats on the Adore tour.

    Are the Pumpkins indie rock again? 12:15 pm // Sunday, October 7, 2007

    Posted by Jill in analysis, genre, live, rant, wikipedia.
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    Wikipedia defines indie rock as such:

    Indie rock is a music genre denoting rock artists signed to independent (indie) record labels, often equated with alternative rock. Reasons for remaining with indie labels as opposed to major labels varies from artist to artist, whether it be a desire to retain complete editorial control over one’s work, loyalty to the underground DIY culture from which independent labels grow, or an anti-corporate ideology espoused by the artist and a desire not to contribute to the financial interests of corporate-owned major labels.

    This has been on my mind a lot this week, as I caught a very talented singer-songwriter from Nashville named Brooke Waggoner last Wednesday night, waited in line for bagels with Sufjan Stevens on Friday morning at my local deli, and watched Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, and Arcade Fire tear up Randall’s Island last night (along with 30,000 other fans). What exactly defines indie? How do the Pumpkins fit into this equation now and in the past?

    To the best of my ability, I can’t really see how the Pumpkins (ideologically) deviate from the above definition of indie rock, except their affiliation with a big label. I’d argue that their continued affiliation is a holdover from the early ’90s when there really were few alternative ways to achieve success in the independent realm, but I digress.

    I know that big-label affiliation is one of the tenets of being independent (and supporting home-grown ventures of kids who think starting their own record label is a good idea), but I would imagine Billy Corgan would refuse to make more music if he didn’t retain complete editorial control over his work. I also don’t think they’re pro-corporate as Trent Reznor has alleged in the past; They just try to get their music Out There. And I think because of their long history in the music industry, they have a much more sophisticated view of the marketing engine that’s available to them. With this sophistication also comes susceptibility to skepticism over their methods since they have achieved historical success (e.g. multiple releases of Zeitgeist for multiple retailers makes them look… greedy when I really don’t think they are).

    On the other hand, bands like Arcade Fire take the benign, non-confrontational, starry-eyed approach of “Hi, we’re from Canada. We hope you like our music even though it’s evident there are tens of thousands of you out there!” I don’t doubt the naivete is authentic, but … it’s certainly not evidence of twenty years in The Biz. And they’ve also achieved such success that they devote full-time staff to manning the merch booth in the back for thousands of swarming fans who want their latest disc or babydoll t-shirt. Isn’t commercial success in the “Gray’s Anatomy Era” for indie bands more of a sell-out than what Trent Reznor was criticizing?? Should LCD Soundsystem be criticized for being part of a big Nike promotional campaign?

    Now, I think that much like “alternative rock” grew to mean something very different from when it first debuted as a savior to our starving Midwestern suburbanized hearts, “indie” has taken on a much different meaning than in the days of Slint and Chavez. From Wikipedia again:

    In recent years, however, the word “indie” has been appropriated as something of a marketing term used by major labels and music magazines to refer to any artists of the alternative rock genre. However, in the traditional sense of the word, indie rock is not a “genre”, but rather a status, indicating the rock artists of independent music.

    So, how does this clause spin how we look at the Pumpkins? Does the marketing application of “indie” eschew or attribute specific traits to a band? I might argue that being “indie” makes a band more accessible. There seems to be an obsessive indebtedness to fans in the “indie” community that we never saw in the ’90s. Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were never apologetic to their critics. Kurt Cobain wasn’t accessible to his fans — he did a swell job of preventing future accessiblity too. These bands became icons to a generation that craved empathy — their lives were miserable and there was nothing you could do about it except bring the rock. For what and for whom are current indie bands icons??

    Sure, the alt-rock gods achieved great success on the books, much like Arcade Fire is doing at this very instant. I’ve never seen the Pumpkins play a show bigger than 25,000, but that’s precisely what happened at Randall’s Island last night. And if you want to attribute that to its location being NYC, I happen to also know Arcade Fire played to an 8,000-person venue at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. Success in the “Indie Community” is pervasive, but how does it differ to the Pumpkins’ continued success?


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