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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“I have a friend and he’s a dragonfly….”

My daughter and I have been singing this song for days when we are doing stuff together.   Its like a science lesson and a happy Weezer song all wrapped up in a sweet little cocoon.

(If you are reading this on Facebook then come to the original post so you can listen to the song).

This isn’t the only good song on  the newest album “Hurley,” most notable (to me anyway) is “Unspoken”

Both Tac and I enjoy the progression of the song, and the lyrics.

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I think my emotions can best be described by Buddy the Elf right now:                                                                                                                                “I’m in love, i’m in love and I don’t care who knows it”

Tac and I saw The Smashing Pumpkins on Friday night, and they (Billy) were so good.   I wasn’t sure what to expect that night, so I tried to hold off my anticipations with a good ol’ fashioned tabula rasa.  But oh, they came on stage and just started playing and Billy was singing and he sounded just as marvelous as he ever did.   His voice has lost none of its beautiful razor.

They pretty much rocked all night, things were not folksy nor too mello (I really like his mellow stuff, thats why I added the italics on the too).  They even did a harder version of Stand Inside Your Love, which I would have thought unlikely to please so much, but it totally did.   They played lots of old favorites like Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Today, Cherubrock, Drown, Eye (that is a really hot song), Ava Adore,and Zero. They really got the crowd going with those.

We also got to hear some of the new songs, and I was so happy to like them.   At one point Billy introduced the concept of “new music” to us, I get the feeling he gets tired of people only wanting to hear about the old stuff when he is excited about creating new music also.

But, I want to get back to Buddy the Elf:  Spangled; one of the aforementioned new songs was lovely.   I have watched the clip of it on youtube  so many times since then.  I feel the joy of a confused guy who thinks he’s an elf and he’s madly in love!   Mostly it just feels so good to be enjoying Billy Corgan’s music again so much, especially a new song.  I’m pretty jazzed right now.

Well if you listened to the song just now, then know that I was one of the woo hoo-ers.   Also, this gives me the chance to complain about jerks who yell dumb things when nice songs are playing, and chatty girls who will not stop talking even though they are right next to me and I  nicely ask them to be quieter.  Seriously, if you want to go out with your friends and talk it up all night, there are more comfortable ways to do it than standing on your feet for four hours in a crowded sold out room trying to talk over the person that is singing up on stage.

So to recap:  I had a great time, I will be listening to The Pumpkins a lot more again, and *THANKS* to Tac for taking me to an awesome concert.

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Matt and Kim have a new song.  Its called Cameras.  I obviously like it.   Maybe you will too.

Cameras by mattandkim

Their new album comes out Nov. 2nd, I know what I will be doing that day.

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Living in the Seattle area of WA has been wonderful.  In general we just feel at peace here, and the music scene has been good to us as well.   We have been looking forward to seeing the local band Say Hi for quite some time, the first time was a couple years ago when we ended up Tac sick, and me hurt on the day of the show.   Then Tac was rear ended on the freeway the day of the next Say Hi show we wanted to see.

So when Say Hi was announced as one of the bands playing for Seattle’s “concerts on the green” free concerts in the park nights, I was so happy!  The kids were thrilled to be attending with us, the boys clarified with me at least 10 times that they were actually coming with us.  What a great opportunity for them.   Emma even brought a friend, we had a fantastic time.

The weather was perfect, like it usually is here in the summer.   Warmish, sunny, cool ocean breeze, and then as the sun went down it was time for jackets.   Right behind the stage was the Space Needle, and my sons had a good time watching that as well.

Say Hi  mildly yet unreservedly delivered some excellent music.   I was so taken in with the way Eric Elbogen sang his songs in the park.   He played and sang like he was on a stage, in an empty theatre, just singing because he likes it and because the words in his songs actually mean something.   I think I would have been nervous to sing like that; so open and exposed in such a big spacious, somewhat loud place, yet he appeared to be assured and confident.

My kids thought he was witty when he would say “this is a song” and then start playing it with out any further introduction.  They thought they were witty when they would cheer after the songs and yell “hi” (since the name of the band is “Say Hi”)

Say Hi was fun to watch, played a little something from their next album, told some jokes, reassured us that their awesome vampire songs were written before Twilight, and in general were such a pleasure to spend a Friday night with.

Plus, they list Joss Whedon as one of their influences; you know, the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  so you know they are cool.  Also they are funny and when you visit their myspace page and listen to the tunes, read the “bio” section too.

Also, I almost forgot to mention the super cool opening band “The Tea Cozies.”  They were seriously fun to see, and I am hopeful that I will see them again some time.

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