The mid-to-late ’90s were a pretty weird time for music. Hip-hop, alternative rock, and dance music all found themselves suddenly, unexpectedly elevated from underground styles to the top of the pop charts, and it inspired a lot of musicians working in one of those styles to reach out to artists in the others. While today we take this sort of cross-genre collaboration for granted, at the time it was a fairly new concept. And as with most new concepts, there was a period where everyone was trying to figure out exactly what to do with it, resulting in a lot of awkward moments captured on tape.
Tag: Smashing Pumpkins (1-10 of 11)
When I was in the eighth grade, I spent the entirety of my holiday break working on an assignment for my English class. The assignment was open-ended, so I decided to tackle the one thing I had always wanted to do: Write up my top ten albums of the year list, along with my picks for the five worst. (It’s a format that has become pretty familiar.) It was my first — half-hearted, completely blind — attempt to elevate the thing I loved into something that really meant something.
The list itself has been lost to history (it was put together on a Smith-Corona word processor that only possessed enough memory to keep track of the document you were currently working on), but there are a handful of aspects about it I do remember very clearly. It definitely had an introduction that attempted to sum up the musical zeitgeist of 1995, which was mostly a rant against Hootie & the Blowfish, whose music I hated (still do, really).
I know I included Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy on the list even though it came out at the end of 1994, and the write-up for it was mostly an argument for its inclusion, as though anybody cared about the fake rules I had set upon myself and then immediately broke (I think I had to make the same argument for Bush’s Sixteen Stone, though I can’t remember if I included it on the list or just spent time obsessively defending it in other reviews). Collective Soul’s self-titled second album was in the top five, and I also know that Garbage’s self-titled debut was way up there. My really “edgy” pick was Flaming Lips’ Clouds Taste Metallic, which I discovered via the one-two punch of the BMG Music Service and Batman Forever.
The number one spot was controversial. My friend Zack got wind of what I was doing, and he started lobbying hard for me to name Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves the top long-player of the year, as though it would have actually had any kind of impact on anybody. Remember, this wasn’t even for a school paper or anything—this was going to be seen by me, my English teacher, and maybe my mom if she was curious enough. READ FULL STORY
Street artist Shepard Fairey has revamped the Rolling Stones’ iconic tongue-and-lips logo in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary.
The emblem — designed by John Pasche — was first used on the band’s 1971 Sticky Fingers album sleeve. Pasche was hand-picked for the task in 1969 by Mick Jagger himself after the rocker grew disappointed with the artwork produced by their label, Decca Records.
Album Sales: Justin Bieber's 'Believe' scores the best debut of the year; Kenny Chesney, Fiona Apple open strong
He’s probably not your boyfriend, but according to this week’s Billboard 200, you’ll still never let him go.
Justin Bieber’s latest album Believe debuted atop the chart today, selling 374,000 copies in its first week, making it the strongest bow of 2012 ahead of Madonna’s MDNA, which shifted 359,000 copies in March. READ FULL STORY
As his trip to Bonnaroo this year proved, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar loves him some alternative music. In fact, he’s so excited about the forthcoming Smashing Pumpkins album Oceania that he grabbed enough air to dunk a pumpkin.
In what must be one of the most unusual album promos of all time, Abdul-Jabbar palms a gourd before slamming it through a basketball hoop and letting it smash on the ground. (Get it?)
He then reminds the world that Billy Corgan’s band has a new album coming out soon. Check out the clip here: READ FULL STORY
he is still just a rat in a 140-character-limit cage.Despite all his rage,
Smashing Pumpkins frontman and general unstoppable quote machine Billy Corgan took to his official twitter.com/billy# page over the weekend, unleashing a series of persnickety butterfly-winged tweet bullets after receiving the news that he would be sharing a festival bill with the recently reunited Pavement at Brazil’s Planeta Terra Festival next week.
Below, his thoughts, presented in unexpurgated real-time form:
1:50 PM Just found out SP is playing with Pavement in Brazil. It’s gonna be 1 of those New Orleans type funerals
1:51 PM I say that because they represent the death of the alternative dream, and we follow with the affirmation of life part.
1:53 PM funny how those who pointed the big finger of ‘sell out’ are the biggest offenders now…yawn. they have no love
2:00 PM by the way, we’ll be the band up there playing NEW songs because we have the love xx
It’s so Mothra vs. Godzilla, if Mothra’s band had no other original members, and Godzilla kind of never cared about Mothra in the first place! Or as my colleague Simon says, “It’s like Billy just finally got around to hearing the third verse of ‘Range Life” … again.
But what do you think, readers—should this (generally one-sided) feud continue, or should they meet up backstage in Sao Paulo, have a pitcher of caipirinhas, do some capoeira, and finally call it a truce?
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
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Billy Corgan ‘blacks out’ on stage
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Following well-received alt-centric accompaniments for True Blood and the Twilight franchise, the CW’s Vampire Diaries jumps into the musical fray on October 12 with Original Television Soundtrack: The Vampire Diaries.
The first VD release will feature past-season featured songs “Sleep Alone” by Bat for Lashes (also a Twilight: Eclipse alumni) and Kate Bush cover “Running Up That Hill” by arch Brit-rock outfit Placebo, as well as exclusive tracks from the Smashing Pumpkins, Gorillaz, Goldfrapp, Silversun Pickups, A Fine Frenzy, Sky Ferreira, and more.
Find the full tracklisting after the jump: READ FULL STORY
Back in March we pondered the question of whether it was right for Billy Corgan to carry on playing under the name of the Smashing Pumpkins given that he is the sole surviving member from their classic line-up. Now Mr Corgan himself has defended his decision on the Pumpkins website. The singer-guitairist admits that, "the idea of identity is a strange one to tackle. For many years, I treated the idea of the band named The Smashing Pumpkins as an existential concept that existed away from my being and body." Corgan goes on to explain, "The music I am making sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins. It doesn't sound like solo work, I can assure you of that." He also notes, "I've never been happier about being in SP, or a part of SP, than I am now." The comparative nature of the latter statement may provoke a wry smile from longtime Corgan-watchers, given that even on his happiest days the man still seems to be as miserable-as-sin.
So, are you convinced by Corgan's reasoning? Or do you think this is just another case of someone realizing that there is more money to be made from a familiar band/brand name than from playing solo? Is it ever right for just one person to carry on under the group banner (see also: Guns N' Roses) or following the departure/demise of a crucial member (see the Jerry Garcia-less "The Dead")?
More from EW's Music Mix:
Lady GaGa makes history
Live Aid 1985 photo gallery: What's your favorite?
Michael Jackson and the history of the Moonwalk: YouTube explains it all!
So You Think You Can Dance top-12 stomp to the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army"; What's next?
Which city has inspired the best songs?
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Today marks the 41st birthday of D’arcy Elizabeth Wretzky: erstwhile Smashing Pumpkins bassist, Michigan native, exalted ’90s alt-chick. (Also, a very happy glad-you-were-born to Tim McGraw, Mary Lou Lord, and Ghostbusters theme-king Ray Parker Jr.; but this post is not about you guys, sorry).
So, D’arcy, have you joined some sort of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Witness Protection Program?? Lord knows Billy Corgan stays busy; Jimmy Chamberlain sounds happy about his side project, and James Iha has moved on with mini-supergroup Tinted Windows. But wherefore la Wretzky?
More than five years ago, Corgan, who once called her “the moral conscious of the band,” posted on his LiveJournal that she was fired back in 1999 “for being a mean-spirited drug addict who refused to get help”; she was replaced by Hole’s Mellisa Auf der Maur, whose stint was short-lived, as the band broke up soon after.
In the interim, however, we’ve heard n’ary a peep from D’arcy, and news-Google searches over the past half-decade reveal naught but the birthday date, a lawsuit she filed against Virgin Records for unlawfully selling Pumpkins ringtones, and this godawful photo from a plastic surgery site.
What other once-revered rockers have fallen clear off the planet, Music Mixers? I know you’ve got a list…
Following the surprise news that longtime drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was leaving the "band," Billy Corgan yesterday announced he’ll be auditioning new drummers starting April 10. Good luck with that. But in order to save him a lot of time and effort, may we humbly suggest a few other options?
Former Modest Mouse drummer Benjamin Weikel
Quirky, musical drummer who’d bring something totally different to the band.
Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy
Admit it: the Pumpkins have always been pretty proggy. Maybe it’s time Billy gave in to those impulses and joined forces with this neo-prog thumper.
Secret Machines’ Josh Garza
Sounds like John Bonham.
Silversun Pickups’ Christopher Guanlao
It worked for Journey and Judas Priest. Why not hire the drummer from this Pumpkins tribute act? (Okay, technically they write their own songs. But still.)
Ruins’ Yoshida Tatsuya
This Japanese avant-drumming monster would certainly shake up Corgan’s sound. Added bonus: may not speak English, boding well for intra-band relations.
SNL‘s Fred Armisen
Former drummer for heavy Chicago band Trenchmouth. Might be able to work connections to score a plum Saturday-night TV booking. Would also bring some much-needed laughs to the proceedings.
A drum machine
Steady time keeper. Easy to get along with. Doesn’t take up much room on the bus. Won’t blab to the media.
But those are just our picks. Who would you like to see as the next Pumpkins drummer? Weigh in below.
More from EW’s Music Mix:
Morrissey approves Manchester’s own the Courteeners
Grizzly Bear’s ‘Cheerleader': Exclusive new track
The Hold Steady’s concert DVD: An exclusive full-song preview
Flaming Lips, Tool confirmed for summer fests
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