Anyone read the new Rolling Stone with the Billy Corgan interview? No? Not reading magazines anymore? Print in general? I realize I’m probably the only one left in the country with a RS subscription, but occasionally it pays off with dividends such as this:

“Do I belong in the conversation about the best artists in the world? My answer is yes, I do,” he says. “I’ve been too productive for too long, and despite what anybody wants to strip away from me, I am influential. I am. So all the Pitchforks in the world can try to strip me of every ounce of dignity, but I belong.”

Ah yes, that’s the Billy I remember. Although it proves it’s been a dog’s age since we’ve heard him, what with the reference. I’d long given up on a real Smashing Pumpkins reunion, especially since he’s basically cursed every fan who has stuck around to listen to relatively mediocre work such as Zeitgeist, but I can’t help checking in now and then. Especially when sites like Pitchfork tear him apart for said curses, followed by 200 reader comments that put him through the meat grinder over his every word. That’s why I was thrilled to crack open RS #1100: my teenage idol, the guy who wrote songs to which I learned to play air guitar, the one true person who completely understood me and seemed to have written Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness with me in mind. Billy Corgan was without a doubt my hero in every sense of the word, and finally, in 2010, he was going to set the record straight! And after fifteen years, he would prove he wasn’t the laughingstock to a generation he’d never been exposed to in the first place!

Corgan subscribes to the fashionable idea that we’re building to a cataclysm, or at least a major vibrational shift, in 2012; he wonders what was really in the H1N1 vaccine; he fears that the United States is headed toward a Soviet Union-style economic collapse… But when pressed on details, he backs off: “I don’t want to be a dead hero,” he says.

Hmm. Well, for starters, the Bush years were disillusioning for everyone. The first year of Obama hasn’t created the change we all hoped would be instantaneous. And to top it all off, the paranoia created by Homeland Security could’ve been too much for anyone. Let’s back off and give Billy a break.

Corgan doesn’t go into much more detail about his spiritual adventures – he’s saving that for his book, where he hopes he can put them into proper context. Pushed to elaborate on his claim of psychic abilities, he snaps, “I can levitate to Jessica Simpson’s house, isn’t that enough?”

Yep. Alright. The piece is full of quacktard bullshit such as this. Thankfully, much of it is dedicated to the breakup of the Pumpkins in 2000 and then the quasi-reformation in 2006 (and then that incarnation’s subsequent implosion a year ago with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin’s final exit). Halfway through, I wasn’t sure I could take much more of Billy’s sarcastic insight on New Age spirituality. The actual interview is quite amazing and worth its weight in gold by going into detail on the conflicts surrounding the ex-Pumpkins: while they couldn’t get a hold of D’Arcy, James Iha and Chamberlin were both asked for comment, presumably as fact-checkers and to give their sides of the story, none of which make Billy look any better:

After Corgan told Chamberlin he was out, the drummer “unloaded” on Corgan, unleashing 20 years worth of pent-up insults. “So I was like, ‘Fuck you,”’ Corgan recalls. “‘Go ride around in a white van for the
rest of your life.'” Chamberlin becomes apoplectic when he hears Corgan’s account. “In the middle of the
last tour, Billy said it was the agent’s fault, then it was the band’s fault, then it was the fans’ fault,” the drummer says.

Totally fucking juicy shit. Sad, but juicy. With that, Corgan has but maybe six or seven inches of print left in the article to redeem himself. Does he? Of course not.

Chamberlin is sober now, but Corgan is convinced that his character hasn’t changed, that he is fundamentally “unhealthy.” “Jimmy is a destructive human being, and people who are destructive break things,” Corgan says. “I don’t see me reaching the highest levels of my creativity if I’m unhealthy and if I have unhealthy people around me.”

You don’t need to read the rest of the article to realize that Corgan is the unhealthy one. In many ways, you can’t blame him. He was abandoned by a psychologically unhealthy mother and raised an addict’s son. He cannot take criticism, no matter what. Even before the Pumpkins’ career zenith, he was shouting down local Chicago critics onstage and inserting their names into songs. But after unwilling to bring back the Pumpkins’ signature jet-plane-in-an-underwater-tunnel sound, isn’t it about time to just give it up? I’m not talking about trying to salvage what’s left of his fanbase, either. There isn’t much left. But what’s saddest, after all these years, all his accomplishments and the memorable lyrics and landmark albums and innovative sound and melodies, Corgan doesn’t want any of it back. I wanted it, at least I wanted it a few years ago, but my voice has been buried under message board cries for Corgan’s head for so many years now that, I’m sorry, I have to say that I’ve given up. I’m sure the internet these days isn’t a very pleasant place for any celebrity, but search Corgan’s name on Google and watch out, because you get just under as many hits as John Mayer. Speaking of which, that dude has been poised to keep that rank for a few years now, but like everyone knows, before John Mayer shat up the music world with douchebaggery, there was Billy Corgan.

Even Jessica Simpson knows that.


I’m Not Dead

March 6, 2010

The only reason I’m back doing this blog is to prove to myself that I can be disciplined enough to write. In order to become a writer, I realize that And that includes hearing other established writers talk about how they wrote for 4 hours a day NO MATTER WHAT. I am definitely not doing that.

Actually, there’s another reason I’ve decided to continue with this: turns out I have stuff to say about politics. Yeah, I know, hey guess what, I think I’m the only blogger about political stuffs! But I was thinking about something the other day. I’ve always found it weird that people who care about the arts or are into music or paint or obsess about The Godfather are usually left of the Nolan chart. I can’t paint or play an instrument, but I’ve always loved music and I’ve been writing even longer than that. so that kind of takes care of that, I guess. And I realize maybe I’ve been reading Rolling Stone since I was 16, so that’s also probably influenced my liberal agenda, but since I was young enough to understand what a hanging chad was, I’ve always found it important to support my beliefs, no matter how biased they might be. I’m not talking about “Hollywood” or “the independent music scene” or anything I’ve followed with an unhealthy interest. I hope I can nail this right, but my parents were both believers of civil liberties, diversity, and especially religious toleration, and I pretty much had this figured out by the first time I got drunk when I was 18.

Hopefully, by combining my interest in music with my passing interest in liberal politics, I can get this going. Like I said, I’m gonna have to make this a priority in order for it to succeed, even though I know it will not succeed. Otherwise, it’s a second failure. Half-drunk and awake at 12:48 in the morning doesn’t help either. Here’s song of the day anyways:

To foreshadow things, Obama rules and the tea party is ridiculous.

9. There were many long drives across the state in 2008 listening to The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit. A few life-changing events occured, and without going into much detail, I can think of no other voice accurately representing that nearing-thirty uncertainty than that of Scott Hutchison. Dude sings completely unsure of what he wants to convey in the first place – his wavering Scottish accent is a stiff example of why it’s not important to know “how to sing” via markers such as Chris Cornell, American Idol, etc. I’m not sure what I’m talking about, but the various vocal inflections in the song “Poke” are probably the best case in point:

To make a long story short, I obtained The Midnight Organ Fight under no legal terms and listened to it on my iPod for approximately 16 months, and I ashamedly have just now gotten around to buying it. Along with that, I pre-ordered Frightened Rabbit’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks, and it’ll hopefully be here Wednesday. And voila, the 9th best song of the year, from their yet-to-be-released album March 9th: