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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Jen's new Mew shirt.
Image by Tac Anderson via Flickr

Dear Billy,

I think we need to take some time apart for a little while.    Some time apart would do us good, you know, I just need to see some other bands, listen to other music.

So lets just take a little break, you do your thing and I’ll do mine, and we’ll see what happens.  It will be kind of hard, but I’m not even going to play you on my iPod for a couple weeks.  I look forward to hearing your new material when its released, and I’m not taking your pictures down.  When this is over, I really hope that we are both moving in the same direction and that the spark and connection is there like it always has been.

from, Jen.

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Basically at this point it has been so long since last I posted that I am doing a big blogging faux pau, and writing about all kinds of stuff at one time. Tac, my social media expert and husband will not totally love it, but what are you gonna do? Besides, he’s too nice to say anything.

So much has been happening in the land of music! I haven’t been writing about it, but I’ve sure been thinking about it a lot. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to play catchup and making separate posts for all this, hence the all at once.

At the Barfly in Brighton, 21/02/08.

Image via Wikipedia

First of all, I love White Lies and their new album To Lose My Life. Of course Scary Larry told me about them. Tac and I both have listened to then a ton. They are best loud, but quieter works too.

Cover of

Cover of Tale to Tell

The Mummers have turned their EP “Tale to Tell, part 1″ into a full length album. Seriously, if you haven’t, please listen to them and feel the love, and if you didn’t like them the first time TRY AGAIN! They added 4 wonderful songs, of which I am so impressed with all four. When I am in the mood for pure beauty and magic I turn to them.

My daughter got an iTunes gift card and I was so proud when she bought some more Relient K (her favorite band) and an EP from HelloGoodbye (the one with the avocado on the front). She is adorable.

Jimmy Chamberlain left The Smashing Pumpkins! And, I’m totally excited about it too. Why not be happy about it, since its that or be upset. I am entirely hopeful that Billy Corgan will just crank out some wonderful things with a new creative juice or something like that. I also wish the best for Jimmy, he is amazing, I love his work with The Pumpkins, but like I said earlier: I choose optimism over sadness and despair right now. Plus, I really love Adore, and that was done without Jimmy for all you non-pumpkin nerds.

Swoon album cover

Image via Wikipedia

The Silversun Pickups have a new album, Swoon, and it has made me very happy. One of my favorite songs is called “Growing old is getting old.” My brother Adam is turning 30 today, so I am dedicating this to him. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM!!!! I am saying this is going to one of the albums on many people’s “best of 2009″ lists. I just keep listening, and it gets cooler every time.

If you are still reading: “hey thanks.”

And Happy Late Birthday to you, Larry!

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Image by MelanieAnneMarie via Flickr

This is kind of a short post, mostly I just wanted to see what you think about it.  James Iha formerly of  The Smashing Pumpkins is finally in another band: Tinted Windows.   I just listened to their new song, Kind of a Girl, here.

Over all I would say they are musically talented for sure, but the lyrics? (to this song anyway)  Not so much.  It was too bubble gum for me, but that is what they were going for I guess, so they did a good job.  I was hoping that it would be better, so James could feel cool too.  He’s kind of like the ex-girlfriend that wants to look super hot and be all that, next time she sees her ex-boyfriend (Billy Corgan) at a party.

Prediction: Kind of A Girl, will surely end up on the soundtrack of a Disney-type tween movie.

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How many of you saw the Super Bowl commercial featuring The Smashing Pumpkins new song “FOL,” (Feel Our Love)? I didn’t see it during the actual game, but still I watched it several times.

You can download the whole song for free here, if you’d like. I love it, there is some real energy in this song, you do kinda “feel it.” And you end up singing it repetitively, maybe that’s what happened (Billy got his own song stuck in his head when he wrote it). Seriously though, I was a little nervous when I heard the new song would be released through a car commercial, I can’t really even think of a logical reason why.

After hearing it, and it is straight up Pumpkin goodness, I realized how silly that was. Because its actually really cool; I just got a great song from Billy for free. Take that Corgan nay-sayers, he was creative and managed to get paid for his work, but his fans didn’t have to be the ones to do it.

After listening to that one song many times, today I listened to a shuffled mix of everything Smashing Pumpkins (yes, Billy, I do listen to entire albums) and at once my super fandom was totally validated when “Bye June” came twinkling out of the speakers. That was followed by “Rose March” and I was as happy as I was the first time I listened to Siamese Dream.

(Below) enjoy some “Bye June” accompanied by some wonderful pictures taken in Scotland.

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