I follow Billy Corgan on Twitter, its pretty cool. I get the chance to see some of the things that he is thinking and saying about his music and life in general, but its not invasive of his privacy because its all stuff that he is making public himself. I’ve always tried to stay away from paparazzi kind of things because it just seems so wrong, I feel as bad as the person who is snooping and taking bothersome pictures when I read it.
The point is actually this: some of his tweets awhile ago have gotten me thinking about the relationships that we have with music. He was understandably irritated with alot of the criticism his band has gotten as of late (or always as the case seems to be with SP) and it made me feel kind of guilty because I have worked through my feelings on this blog having to do with the new Smashing Pumpkins music, and not all of it was kind. But it wasn’t mean either.
So why (I wondered) do people tend to have such strong reactions to music, and even more so why do the Pumpkins get bombarded regularly with heavy criticism? Why would I, a devoted fan whose life has been blessed with such a love for the music that Billy Corgan has made, have such a negative reaction to some new music that I had to “take a break” from all of his music for several months?
My conclusion is that for starters (and you can take my bias for all that its worth here) Billy Corgan creates music that is so much more than average music. More captivating and feeling, it is real and beautiful; but not too real. His razor voice really does cut into you and if you let it in, it makes a mark. Personally I think its impossible to listen casually to him, his voice is so unconventionally lovely. Because of this, fans of the band have formed intense relationships with his music. Some of those relationships are not positive, but the reactions seems to be stronger than what is usual for disliking certain music. Others have formed good relationships that are most likely more important to many of them than actual relationships they have with other people. So, when he does something different than what they are used to, its almost like a best friend morphing into someone other than who they used to be. Emotional waves usually start rolling and it can cause big reactions.
For me personally, I just had to stop listening and make a clean slate. I didn’t listen to the Pumpkins for many months because it was painful to me. I wasnt totally sure about some of the new songs and for me not to LOVE a song coming from those lungs was too arduous. That sounds silly, unless you too have that kind of a relationship with music. But my time apart followed by an amazing concert was just what I needed. It allowed all of the Pumpkins music (old and new) to find one nice box in my head and live together in peace and happiness. I really needed that.
And all day I have specifically needed this: enjoy
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