Smashing Pumpkins: Fresh Fruit or Rotten Veg?

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A unique and versatile group or a bunch of pretentious goths? You decide.

Philip Alderman, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i liked a couple of tracks per album - not my thing really - not unique or versatile - when billy became fester they got even worse

Geordie Racer, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I am, truly, a pathetic fan. And I DON'T CARE I DON'T CARE I DON'T CARE.

Classic, full up, full stop. I'm glad I've never had even the slightest opportunity to interact with Billy Corgan in real life, he'd drive me crazy, I figure. But oh man, all that good music. I love it all down to every last strangled squeal in his voice. Refer to these entries in the FT 136 list for more slavering if you really care:

Adore

Siamese Dream

Mellon Collie

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That's pathetic, Ned.

I think I liked the Smashing Pumpkins okay with Gish and Siamese Dream because, although they were really just classic rock slightly warmed over, it was updated slightly and had some good associations in my life. I remember listening to Gish fairly often with someone who...well, never mind the details. When Mellon Collie came out, though, it became very clear to me that they were really a band who worshipped at the altar of classic rawk, esp. the bad overwrought and overblown kind, and that's really where I lost interest. When they scaled back on subsequent albums, there really wasn't much good material there, and I couldn't really be bothered to find the good stuff anymore.

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I said I was pathetic. Did I lie? ;-) Check the AMG entries on some of the bootlegs.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'll use this rare opportunity of not entirely disagreeing with Ned, to say that Siamese Dream is indeed pretty great, and "1979" is one of my favorite songs. The other stuff I can take or leave.

Patrick, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

at least actual rotten vegetables are useful as compost. smashing pumpkins aren't even that.

ethan, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I had a little skirmish on Bitchpork (message board) a few weeks ago in which I defended Billy Corgan and SP from a self-righteous Frank Black fan (yes, of his new album, too--blechhhhh). It's hard for me to separate SP from being a 9th grader and listening to "Siamese Dream" EVERY DAY FOR MONTHS and worshipping it, but nonetheless I put it on a few months ago and it hit hard, real hard. I gave "Mellon Collie" another listen, too, and there's surprisingly little filler. I remember not having the attention span to take it all in at once when it first came out, though. Still, I feel like it's only when you become an anal analyst of music-- worried about being pretentious or uncool, worried about whether Corgan and Co. are "too goth" or something-- that stuff like SP starts to become suspect. I'm sick as hell of worrying about that, so I'm going to say classic. I haven't heard "Adore" or anything after, but based solely on "Siamese Dream" and "Mellon Collie"--absolutely classic. Hmm, I think I'll go listen to them now...

Clarke B., Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Monumental dud. Rotten to the core. What stunned me was how such a slight band got so far. With Gish they all had some kind of individual imput, (more democratic), before Billy, or the record company, got the idea into his head that he was an artist, and turned them from a distinctive sound into a vehicle for his ego. The focus of the music turned to his performance, supporting his every indulgence, which would have been fine if he carried the same gravitas as the sound, or promotional campaign behind him. A case of Emperor's New Clothes, I couldn't understand why so many people didn't notice the disparity between his shallow introspection and their collossal sound. It might have worked with humour or irony but he was deadly serious, and so were his fans (at the time he was compared to Kobain???, and he sounds like he believed it). An embarrassment, I can't even bring myself to admit that 1979 was modest enough to survive. They can't be unique cause they did the same thing over and over, varing the scale. Versatility - the musicians were, but I never heard anything they did outside of the band.

K-reg, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Monstrous dud. 'Gish' I must admit was quite dreamy in a post-Jane's Addiction way. But after that! By Thor, the pretentions, the bald head, the whiny bastard voice, the smug attitude, the lack of tunes. Utterly insignificant.

Omar, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Classic singles band ca. SAD MELLON, and up to "Ava Adore." Never bothered with the albums (uh, so not TOO classic on the singles then). Early stuff dud - Hendrix-styled guitar solos/tones a welcome surprise for an indie-aligned band, but still dullsville.

AP, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Oh they are great! Mellon Collie is one of the best albums of all time (almost)...Billy has a big ego, but I admire his sense of melodrama...and for a modern rock band they were quite innovative, and quit just before they became a parody of themselves. Though, I do think they will reform, they are like the modern Grateful Dead, they will still be playing in 2025.

james e l, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The question is surely irrelevant. Smashing Pumpkins have been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVED to be the WORST BAND IN THE WORLD.

Tom, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm not quite sure I'd say they were classic, but _Adore_ is certainly an underrated album. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say it's thebest thing they ever released.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Their version of "Dancing In The Moonlight" is at least better than Toploader's.

But not by much.

Would be classic for Siamese Dream, but dud for Adore, Machina and the fact that they could have edited Mellon Collie down to a single disc brilliancy - and didn't. Also, dud for bad song titles.

EdwardO, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Idiots who believed their own hype. Glad they're gone. Dud.

alex in nyc, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Despite all my rage, my solo album will be "new age".

Billy Corgan, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Another pure classic. Siamese Dream is still up in my top 10 favourite albums of all time, and Cherub Rock is surely one of the greatest full on rock songs ever written, I saw them on the Siamese Dream tour in Liverpool and it was only my second ever gig, but one of my favourites. I think their output went downhill slightly after Mellon Collie...(which has to be one of the only double albums, along with Physical Graffiti, to have virtually no filler material) but Adore and Machina are still 100% better than any other so-called hard rock band have put out. I just hope they get back together soon.

achilles_last_stand, Saturday, 12 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Bwah hah hah! No filler material! Please stop, I can't breathe.

I read a great thing in Gina Arnold's book "Kiss This" about how the Bullet With Butterfly Wings video was based around this painting of children trying to get out of being trapped in a coal mine or something, and how incredibly obnoxious it was that Billy Corgan would equate his angst with such horrendous suffering. I liked parts of "Siamese Dream", but I think one album of semi- romantic angst and mediocre prog-Sabbath guitar work is enough. So Dud, for sticking around too long, and for inexplicably blaming their failure on Britney.

Dave M., Saturday, 12 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
I would have to say "a unique and versatile group" in reference to earlier material. Up to and including Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness I enjoyed Smashing Pumpkins. It's a non-intrusive kind of music that can't exactly fit into a genre. I saw a decline happening prior to the release of Adore. Then after hearing the odd attempt at fitting into a genre, I went back to MC&IS. With Machina I saw no comeback, only a further descent into doomed stardom. Machina II, however, was a very unique statement, very fitting for Smashing Pumpkins. All in all I couldn't say Billy Corgan and crew are pretentious goths. They're just genre-less artists being pushed around by the music industry.

James Hunyar, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Great big fat bloated DUD. 'Gish' did posess a mildly pleasing hazy neo-psychedelic sheen, unlike the flatulent rock histrionics that followed. I walked out of a 'Siamese Dream' gig feeling slightly nauseous at being exposed to so much smug mastubatory guitar- soloing.

stevo, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

They weren't even the best band whose name was of the form Smashing [fruit] in 1991.

'1979' is ok, but not as good as its title. Everything else is excrement.

Michael Jones, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

a bit of both. I'm another for whom the Pumpkins were a favorite band in high school .. 'Siamese Dream' is still an excellent rock album, Billy Corgan's one successful opus .. still sounds great today. thick, ridiculously beefy guitars, perfect mix of rawking out and sensitive effeminacy .. still very much intending to be rock, but still with a glance at the less formulaic dimensions, 'Loveless' in particular .. classic as one of those 'diary' albums for yr typical emotional high school kid. sounds cheesy, but "saved my life!"

.. then they started putting out shitty albums. I lost interest after Melon Collie. bloated wank. and his voice became ever-more- hideous. such sludge.. they'll be most useful in that regard for documenting very clearly a band just completely losing their artistic vision and soul. I've only heard 'Machina' once, but it was so lifeless...

that said, I'll list a few of their best rare tracks so that brave souls can attempt to get another perspective on the band. they did have a few obscure b-sides and such that won't likely turn up on any best hits collection. search for these on your favorite music- trading platform ..

* daughter - a rare demo from 1989 or so, just two minutes of ethereal guitar & singing

* siamese dream - the song, not the album. very lo-fi, scratchy acid folk piece

* pulseczar - feedback-drenched psychedelia. slightly twee, too.

* their cover of Depeche Mode's 'Never Let Me Down Again' - better than the original. very light touch, just guitar, bass, drums and for once not the 'soundwall' approach ... brings you up to an imagined peak, then lets you down ..

* their cover of 'Dancing in the Moonlight' - soft, acoustic. if you don't mind his voice, this is a great song.

* obscured - a slow, drifting rock song. spacey, but subdued. nice.

* smiley - slow, simple pop. his voice on the deep end for once.

* Eye - darkwave/synthpop song from the Lost Highway soundtrack, great if you like that sort of thing

* the Moby remix of '1979' - doesn't contain anything of the original song except for that skipping vocal 'tweee-ee' effect super- slowed down. the actual music itself isn't much like Moby's usual fare, especially not like 'Play' -- imagine if the Boards of Canada had a VERY bad trip. I love this song.

* Drown -- not the most rare Pumpkins song, it was on the Reality Bites soundtrack. 3 or so minutes of rock, then 4 of the best kind of guitar feedback drone, yumm..

* Starla - only if you're into guitar wankery. Corgan goes off for about 5 minutes, and most of it is actually pretty entertaining, if not exactly Fennesz..

Dare, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

classic or dud" isnt about how much you like a particular group. its about how they enudre, how much they produce, etc. so classic all the way. (yea billys an egomaniac, but so are most rock stars."

chameleon, Wednesday, 17 October 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
(late, late, late)

gish, '89 demos, set the ray to jerry, cherry, obscured: classic i believe i speak for god album(s): dud everything else: i listened to it too much when i was 15

Johan, Sunday, 25 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"Gish" was amazing. The drumming, the guitars, the voices. A psychedelic milestone. Should be listened to on headphones.
Next and last album I liked was "Mellon Collie". One of the best double albums. More mainstream than Gish and more song-orientated with some ballads but still very good.
All the rest they did is quite mediocre. Corgan's voice alone really turns me down nowadays. Though the song with New Order on the new album is great.

alex in mainhattan, Monday, 26 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
As is predictable by the whole "love it, hate it" option of "classic/dud", this seems to be a love it or hate it band. I think they were actually quite good, for an alternative rock band, all the way through The Aeroplane Flies High (collection of mellon collie b-sides that were actually pretty swell and stripped down) and that song on the lost highway collection. But the Batman song was cruddy. Adore I didn't buy or listen to at the time, but now that I hear it, I think some of the songwriting is fine, but hurt a bit by the production, which sort of robbed them of their strength, i.e. RAWK POWER. Still, if someone were to cover any of the songs, they'd be classics on par with the earlier material, maybe even better since they cut most of the "wanky guitar solos" that so many people on this board have problems with (honestly, what is this? 1977? I think Corgan's up there with Prince and Hendrix (and maybe that guy in Dinosaur Jr.) in that he can actually make a solo SAY something.)

So, continuuing with my theory, if one were to just sort of cut and re-record, you'd probably have about two good albums out of all the b-sides, machina 1 & 2, and adore stuff out there, post-melon collie. Which is what, eight albums (including a double album) total? In less than 8 years? Sounds classic to me.

Or I could just say I like 1979 and a few of their other songs to sound hip.

sean patrick, Sunday, 2 February 2003 00:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Siamese Dream is my favorite album evah. Actually, I probably wouldn't have even bought it if it hadn't been for Ned's song reviews on AMG (of course, this was before I had ever heard of ILx, so I didn't know who he was).. so kudos to you Ned.

Gish and Pisces Iscariot are also grate, and MCIS and Adore have a few nice songs (might as well join in on the "1979" praise here). Haven't heard anything off of Machina but I have a feeling I don't want to ;)

Curtis Stephens, Sunday, 2 February 2003 01:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Completely had forgotten I had done those reviews! :-) Thanks!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 2 February 2003 01:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

* the Moby remix of '1979' - doesn't contain anything of the original song except for that skipping vocal 'tweee-ee' effect super- slowed down. the actual music itself isn't much like Moby's usual fare, especially not like 'Play' -- imagine if the Boards of Canada had a VERY bad trip. I love this song.

I'm afraid I must object--Moby's remix is horribly dull. It's essentially just Billy's vocals over a repetitive electro beat (and he doesn't even go to any lengths to actually change the order of the verses). I'm a big fan of Moby's early work, but I can't stand to listen to this.

Curtis Stephens, Sunday, 2 February 2003 01:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Then again, your description sounds VERY different from the version I've heard; perhaps I mis-downloaded.

Curtis Stephens, Sunday, 2 February 2003 01:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I thought these guys would be a classic with me but when I reviewed Greatest Hits for the college radio station here I was shocked by how crappobloaty I found all their singles before "1979" (oh, and "Zero" sucks too). From that one through "The Everlasting Gaze" (I always wished it was called "The Everlasting Gays", like Billy was trying to scare homophobes or something) I dig all their singles. Only album I've got is Adore, which even that I have a hard time getting through all the way (damn songs just loop for eternity, don't they?).

Half-Classic/Half-Dud. And why wasn't "The End Is The Beginning Is The End" or whatever that Last-Pumpkins-Video-In-Pants Batman song was called on Greatest Hits?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 2 February 2003 23:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Putrid, impotent whinging... pretensiously overproduced post-glam. I believe they were Virgin's answer to the equally talentless Mother Love Bone.

gygax!, Monday, 3 February 2003 00:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

damn songs just loop for eternity, don't they?

And this is a bad thing? Excuse me, I have to listen to some Muslimgauze now.

And why wasn't "The End Is The Beginning Is The End" or whatever that Last-Pumpkins-Video-In-Pants Batman song was called on Greatest Hits?

I think everyone involved with that film removed it from their resume.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 3 February 2003 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Gish and Siamese Dream are pretty good. Mellon Colie has some moments. Adore gets no respect. The rest...not so good.

Juan (Juan), Monday, 3 February 2003 01:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Adore is saved by "Appels + Oranjes," which is the most perfect synth-pop song EVAH

Curtis Stephens, Monday, 3 February 2003 02:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
TEITBITE omission is b/c of licensing out to Warner Bros. for the film - hence not owned by Virgin.

But the real reason I post here is merely to drop this bomb you can find posted at http://www.billycorgan.com/

You know that beatles song 'I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink....'? I'm having one of those weeks...I just got 2 new kittens, brothers and sisters, named miss sami and mister thom cat...they are the best of friends, which is wonderful, but being young, they are into everything, including some things I didn't know you could get into...mister thom also seems to want to wake me up at 5am to say hello...well, the music for the rock and roll record is going really swell, just starting to get into a groove writing some songs...predominately focusing on melodies right now, leaving the words for a bit further down the road, which is unusual, but necessary...in the months to come, I am going to share some things with you that you have never heard me say...that doesn't mean I'm rewriting history, that means that I'm going to tell you the truth about who I am and what I believe in my heart...a lot of things that I have said thru the years seemed confusing, like I was hiding somethin!g, and often times I was...'why', you might ask? Many times I hid things to protect my band mates...for example, its been almost 4 years since I went on my friend tami's radio show and announced that the pumpkins were breaking up...that day, when she asked why we were breaking up, I said something silly like 'I'm tired of fighting britney blah blah'...and it went on to be widely quoted, as if I was breaking up my love, my band, because of some pop star...13 years of my life, and you know, let's pack it in cause their teeth are whiter...by saying that, I was seen as someone who was crying foul, taking his ball, and going home...which was sad cause it wans't true at all...The truth of the matter is is that james iha broke up the smashing pumpkins...not me, not jimmy, but james...did it help that d'arcy was fired for being a mean spirited drug addict, who refused to get help? No, that didn't help keep the band together, not at all...it made it very hard to go on, but we soldier! ed thru it even though our hearts were broken...But d'arcy didn't break up the band, we didn't let her...and jimmy didn't want to break up the band, not at that time...and I would have gone on forever...the smashing pumpkins were essentially my entire life...a dream I still believe in...many friends at that time suggested letting james leave, so jimmy and I could continue on under the name...but I was too loyal to the man I had started the whole thing with, and I protected him until the very end...right up until the last show on dec 2, 2000, when he thanked d'arcy on stage, but not the 2 men standing next to him...and I was loyal until he left the metro without even saying goodbye, or an 'its been great boys!', or a simple 'I love you' to us...no, james iha left the metro that night without saying goodbye to the 2 people he had won and lost and traveled the world with...so I won't be protecting him anymore...and I won't be protecting a whole lot of other people anymore...not because I don't love them (I do!!) but because ! I love myself too...I want to say one more thing, and that is I appreciate you reading this...+I want to remind you that I love you...God has given me the strength to say that to you, and I hope that you don't hide who you are...does it make me sad that I have hid myself all these years? No, it was what I had to do to survive, or at least what I 'thought' I needed to do...but surviving is not enough...we all deserve to flourish, and to know happiness and joy...that is my new dream...the smashing pumpkins gave me that, and I am eternally grateful...especially to those that shared in the dream with me...even if you bought just one cd, or came to a show, you gave us that chance...we thank you for that...even if we don't always know how to show it...be well!! William

Wow.

Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 19 February 2004 00:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know, man -- I am a huge SP fan, but Corgan sounds like a raving lunatic in that post, and James Iha always seemed pretty normal when I would see him around NYC a few years ago (he was playing with Nathan Larson (ex-Shudder to Think) at places like Brownies).
I mean, fine, maybe the band broke up because Iha left, but maybe Iha had a perfectly legit reason to run for it!
That said, I vote classic on the Pumpkins.

Ben Boyer (Ben Boyer), Thursday, 19 February 2004 00:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I likes 'em! They got some good stuff. Of course back in the mid-90s when music radio completely SUCKED ASS, it was either the Pumpkins or Candlebox, Offspring, or Bush.

So, best of a bad lot, then. Neither classic nor dud. Good.

Say! Anybody heard that one album they did where they leaked it onto the Internet for free simply to piss off their record company?

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Thursday, 19 February 2004 00:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Did Iha also break up Zwan?

morris pavilion (samjeff), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Considering he wasn't in Zwan, that might have been hard.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, but I'm interested to see if Billy will throw the blame his way all the same.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, reading that over, maybe they were the Bob Mould and Grant Hart of the nineties altrockcracy.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Okay Pumpkin Experts, James Iha is in A Perfect Circle's touring line up and support when I saw them was the boring Auf Der Meyer.
Are they an item or what?

mei (mei), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Corgan in a non-stop bandmate blagging mission from God:

i did not feel that a cd release on a major label that i was out there trying to hawk with a bunch of immoral band mates (that does not include jimmy, by the way...he is one of best men i know) was a place to talk about the deepest of issues...no, the internet is!!!

In other news, he's now gone public with an email address. Guess who's gonna have 1000+ emails by Sunday?

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 27 March 2004 02:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That's referring to Zwan, btw.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 27 March 2004 02:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Slow motion apocalypse.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 27 March 2004 04:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I love the Pumpkins but I cannot stand to read Billy's blog. It just makes me upset.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 27 March 2004 04:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

For our mutual entertainment, here's my version of a perfect,
1-disc _Melon Collie And The Infinite Sadness_. You may find
it rather bizarre, since I include a lot of "filler" that I
prefer to the full blown centerpieces:

01. Melon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
02. Tonight, Tonight
03. Jellybelly
04. Here Is No Why
05. Bullet With Butterfly Wings
06. Where Boys Fear To Tread
07. Thirty-Three
08. 1979
09. Thru The Eyes Of Ruby
10. We Only Come Out At Night
11. Beautiful
12. Lily
13. By Starlight
14. Farewell And Goodnight

Truth be told, I could live without "Tonight" and "Thirty-Three" -
I guess I included them out of some obligation to remain in the
realm of the remotely possible. Billy is rather proud of these
songs, I highly doubt he would have dispensed them.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Monday, 5 April 2004 00:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Wow thirty-three is one of my favorite pumpkins songs!

ipsofacto (ipsofacto), Monday, 5 April 2004 00:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Silvery is great. he was never a great lyricist but when he's on he's on, he can sell a line like "It's a long way / it's a long way to get back home" and save the song.

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 17:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink

and more than most I think intent and context is crucial to everything Billy does. Ogilala is remarkably relaxed & clear-headed, Oceania has an emotional arc, Monuments is an interesting conceptual exercise (songs meant to mimic a perfect version of a band that never existed), Zeitgeist has the late Bush era paranoia / political angle. here, he is singing about nothing. he may not be a great lyricist but it doesn't matter as much when he means it. the Shiny songs were all written with a broad commercial conceit in mind, and I'm struggling to find anything to connect to. if I can't get down with the production, most of the songwriting, or what he's singing about, what's left?

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 18:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i don't understand how monuments is an interesting conceptual exercise but it seems what this record lacks for you is a conceptual framework

songwriting is p easily the strongest thing going here

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:24 (four weeks ago) Permalink

also i prefer billy obtuse to direct 100000000000 percent of the time

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:24 (four weeks ago) Permalink

it's been almost 20 years since he dragged a relatively meaningful and resonant album out of his personal life (machina, which isn't exactly great lyrically in itself) and everything since then has been whatever (zeitgeist's bush-era paranoia appears on, what, 2-3 songs total? i'd prefer that he sang about nothing on that record). all i care about is good songs at this point; this record has several good songs

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:34 (four weeks ago) Permalink

(i guess ogilala is a pretty solid "personal" record for billy but there are multiple reasons that album feels unprecedented in his catalog)

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:36 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Oceania is a breakup record + more stuff about his mom. That was only 6 years ago. and it's not the lack of conceptual framework, Ogilala didn't have that either, I'm not into the songwriting here. that's the most important thing to me too, and Silvery is the only one that's stuck with me.

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 19:03 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Oceania is a breakup record + more stuff about his mom

i know! i didn't say machina was the last time he tried to drag a meaningful and resonant album out of his personal life

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i don't understand how monuments is an interesting conceptual exercise

it's a better meta idea than Machina imo: Billy goes OK, you think SP was like this, I'll make a record that acts as an homage to that fictional band or idea of a band that you think we were. which results in the emptiest lyrics of his career, recycled MCIS riffs, a purposely bland and faceless persona, shiny shiny pop rock production, and exaggeration everywhere. it's a taunting record - "Run2Me" sounds like a parody of their electronic songs. this isn't post-flop excuses, it's baked into the record. and besides all that, I do like the songs more: better riffs, tighter songwriting, simpler everything.

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 19:11 (four weeks ago) Permalink

impossible for me to read "run2me" as anything but earnest, it's also not a very good song

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:13 (four weeks ago) Permalink

xp ha fair enough... "Pale Horse" gets to me now, I think for all its faults Oceania was emotionally resonant and meaningful

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 19:13 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Monuments is anything but earnest - compare Run2Me to The Spaniards (similar lyrical conceit) - the latter is so much more heartfelt and invested. on Monuments he continually just repeats these pop ciphers.

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 19:15 (four weeks ago) Permalink

xp ha fair enough... "Pale Horse" gets to me now, I think for all its faults Oceania was emotionally resonant and meaningful

― flappy bird, Monday, November 19, 2018 12:13 PM (three seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i guess i don't think oceania is entirely successful at communicating that feeling, and it's mostly bc the lyrics are really bland and i spend the whole record trying to ignore them (which is why i can't see monuments as a deliberately blank exercise, it just continues the trend)

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:15 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i guess that sounds kinda contradictory but i think it's possible for something to be invasively bland

does billy even sing the word "lover" once on the new one? what a relief

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:19 (four weeks ago) Permalink

there's no way he doesn't. I'll check. that would honestly blow my mind. yeah, that replaced the "dropped consonants" as his most annoying vocal/lyrical tic lately. ruins the chorus of Aeronaut tbh

flappy bird, Monday, 19 November 2018 19:22 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Billy's lyrics have never been particularly strong, there was the occasional decent moment throughout the classic albums but he's always been much better at conveying feelings through the music than words.

so I'm really not noticing that Oh So Shiny has worse lyrics than anything post-breakup - maybe it does, but that's never been why I love this band, and when the music is pretty close to a return to form it's pretty easy to ignore for me

ufo, Monday, 19 November 2018 23:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

No "lover", but "Seek and You Shall Destroy" has "brigantine" (which I only ever remember from a Stone Roses song) rhymed with "libertine" and "Elohim", which is very Billy but would be more interesting if the song were better.

Sam Weller, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 09:11 (four weeks ago) Permalink

https://i.imgur.com/JAftJqf.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/zXPxfFO.jpg

:O

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 02:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

oh yeah I noticed that right away. heavy Triumph of the Will vibes with the huge banner over the arena here for a month before they played

flappy bird, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 05:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

https://i.imgur.com/fj7YniC.jpg

my guitar friend wants his money (morrisp), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 05:55 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I can't believe I didn't vote for To Forgive in the poll

flappy bird, Sunday, 25 November 2018 06:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I've had a couple of listens to the new one and as much as I enjoy it, it feels like kinda a missed opportunity. It feels much more low key than the work of a "reformed" Pumpkins should. It's telling that even though Jimmy and Iha are on this, it mostly feels less like a throwback to 1991-2000 Pumpkins and more like a continuation of what's been put out under the Pumpkins name since Billy decided to resurrect it. I think Oceania was a far better collection of songs, and I'd even rank Monuments to an Elegy higher.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 26 November 2018 22:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

they played Dross tonight

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-smashing-pumpkins/2018/the-sylvee-madison-wi-7397229d.html

plus a lot of Shiny songs

oh and Heavy Metal Machine

Cool

flappy bird, Thursday, 29 November 2018 06:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink

'Heavy Metal Machine' was always one of my least favourite Pumpkins songs 1991-2000. Bit of a bitter swipe at Cobain in the lyrics, too ... ("If I were dead/would my records sell?")

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 29 November 2018 21:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I have to admit the Captain Marvel trailer perfectly captures 1995 pic.twitter.com/nfM92vLHa8

— pixelated no longer too early for a christmas name (@pixelatedboat) December 4, 2018

orifex, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 06:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

more like perfectly captures an ilx post from last week

Sufjan Grafton, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 07:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

xpost

By that logic he should paint his scalp different colors between songs.

Sam Weller, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 10:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

holy shit nick fury is flappy bird, it all makes sense now

We're in 2009—it's time to take risks, (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 10:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Close but no

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 16:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

holy shit samuel l jackson is flappy bird

We're in 2009—it's time to take risks, (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 16:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Warmer

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 16:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Seriously it's obvious, Billy Corgan is the real Nick Fury.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 17:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

holy shit billy corgan is samuel l jackson

We're in 2009—it's time to take risks, (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 17:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

check out the big brain on bizarro.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 18:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

erasing eXcLaMaTiOn pOiNtS ilx

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 December 2018 18:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

panda show
trees and balloons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFLD0tFwNSk

flappy bird, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 05:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Excruciating performance on Kimmel yesterday.

Sam Weller, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 14:28 (six days ago) Permalink

I heard, what song?

flappy bird, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:52 (six days ago) Permalink

They did "Silvery Sometimes" and "Knights of Malta." Billy without a guitar, shuffling around the stage like an early 2000s Ozzy Osbourne and looking like Marlon Brando in the Island of Dr Moreau. James took a solo and had some weird malfunction. I don't know. I like "Silvery" fine but it's not a show-stopper. Billy -- what can I say. I don't mind him dressing like a circus ringmaster in drag but I just...don't get it.

Sam Weller, Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:04 (five days ago) Permalink

billy regularly going without a guitar is pretty easily the worst thing about the current incarnation of the band, his stage presence without it is so weird

ufo, Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:38 (five days ago) Permalink

otm x2

flappy bird, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:42 (five days ago) Permalink

"we're gonna make this ha-pun!"

what, Billy?

flappy bird, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:42 (five days ago) Permalink

disappointment

Sufjan Grafton, Thursday, 13 December 2018 18:28 (five days ago) Permalink

he's disenchanted the romantics

flappy bird, Thursday, 13 December 2018 19:18 (five days ago) Permalink

After hearing the new album a couple more times, this is increasingly becoming a "So long Billy and thanks for the memories" type of situation for me.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:57 (five days ago) Permalink

only 18 years late!

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Friday, 14 December 2018 06:37 (four days ago) Permalink

Well, not really - the band were inactive for 7 of those years and Billy put out the actually really great Zwan album in that period.

There's been Oceania and to a lesser degree his solo record, but otherwise it's been a very frustrating decade to be a Pumpkins fan. He's put out a lot of music in the last 11 years that just doesn't cut it.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 14 December 2018 07:39 (four days ago) Permalink

billy regularly going without a guitar is pretty easily the worst thing about the current incarnation of the band, his stage presence without it is so weird

Maybe he's trying to compete with the overwhelming charisma of Jeff Schroeder.

Sam Weller, Friday, 14 December 2018 11:33 (four days ago) Permalink

Haaaaaaaaaaah!!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 14 December 2018 12:19 (four days ago) Permalink


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