In honor of William Patrick Corgan’s birthday, aka “St. Patrick’s Day” I had everything Smashing Pumpkins set to shuffle on my i pod for pretty much the whole day, and the day after as well. No worries, I also wore green.

My sweet 9 year old son was helping me lay out fabric for a denim quilt I plan to start sewing any day now, when “X.Y.U.” from the iconic album “Melloncollie and the Infinite Sadness” started playing. I was deep in concentration and not really paying close attention to the song (otherwise I would have skipped it, because its not terribly appropriate for kids).

He made the simplest observation a few minutes into the song: ” this is an angry song.”

Good thing he got my attention when he did, because there was soon to be a need for precision coughing. From what I can tell that is the most effective way to edit a song when you can’t reach the skip button in time.

Mostly I just thought it was profound and adorable that he was able to so matter of factly pinpoint the emotion in that song. Kids notice so much of what is going on around them.

I thought about it a lot the rest of St. Patrick’s Day, especially when the song “Soma” was playing.

-and really as a side note if you are reading this from facebook you should click over to the real post so you can listen to this amazing song and as a bonus see Billy with hair-

The level of emotion needed to have written songs like that is a double edged sword. It fuels artists like Van Gough to cut off their own ear. In another way it inspired Billy Corgan to create Soma. So much beauty and depth seems to some how spring from deep (sometimes painful or hurting or angry) emotions. I think about this a lot, actually. On the one hand, I love what is created so much, and I am really happy to have it in my life as it enriches and inspires me. On the other hand, this work of beauty and art was paid so often with a high price on the artist’s behalf.

These days Billy is happy. His music has been greatly affected by it, and not all in positive ways. Except for (and I have to remind myself of this often): he is happy. He said something not too long ago about making the fans happy or him happy, but it was difficult to do both. It should be his turn, I’m glad he chose him. Now I enjoy some of the new stuff more than others, but its mostly lacking that core emotion. Its still really good, just….

Really, I’m just so glad I got/get to LOVE and BREATHE and LIVE to his beautiful music.

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When I don’t even know what I want to listen to, its a good clue that I’m feeling a little blah, or even more serious: just plain numb.  This was pretty much the case this morning as I stared blankly at my ipod knowing that it would give me what I needed, I just had to pick something.   That is what I love about “shuffle,” it helps you out when you can’t seem to help yourself.

After a few good songs started making my blood unfreeze in my veins, THIS song came on and totally reminded me that I am alive….. you know on adventure movies: “I’m Alive!!!”    Bye June by The Smashing Pumpkins (before James took the The in the divorce) has helped me out of this situation more than once, I should just know by now.

Then, after I felt so happy, Over It by Koufax started playing. I couldn’t find that song anywhere for you to listen to it, but I did find this one by the same band which you might enjoy also. This is a great band to chill out and listen to.

To finish this 3 part resuscitation, Accuracy by The Cure came on.

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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 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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First of all, how could I not post this?  I hope you enjoy it, and I will give you a few reasons why you should:

* Billy looks and sounds fantastic!

*They are playing electric guitars and they actually kind of sound like The Smashing Pumpkins, I grinned the whole way through the video for that reason alone.

*Its not every day you see a big family of Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) as the back  up singers for a major rock band on the Leno show.  I’m not going to go as far as saying that they sounded very good, but still I think its awesome that Billy had them there.

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What a gorgeous relaxed day we had.  When we got home from church I went up stairs to get into something comfy while Tac got the customary chips and salsa ready.  That is what we do every Sunday.   I had a total craving for grunge and when I came down in my baggy Levi’s, old Smashing Pumpkins concert T and a flannel, Tac had The Smiths playing.  It was a nice.

So today I am posting some Smiths, cuz it just felt right.

And since I am feeling the grunge love today, I only feel right including “Drown” by The Smashing Pumpkins which really carries the very essence of the early 90′s in it.

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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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Cover of "American Gothic"
Cover of American Gothic

The Smashing Pumpkins have been doing concerts for (mostly) happy people all over the country this month, but so far from what live performances I have heard, this one from the Bridge School Benefit on 10-26-08 has been my favorite. Especially because there are some songs that I had not heard before; namely “99 Floors,” and “Owata.”

I realize that my admitting to not having heard them yet possibly exposes me for the incredibly busy mom fan that I am, as I am not the intense reading everything I can and listening carefully to every show put in the live music archive fan that I wish I could be sometimes.

I’m not complaining though, I love every second with the kids. However, I have not had new Pumpkins in the playlist since American Gothic, so downloading the Bridge School Benefit was pretty wonderful to me. I thought for sure a couple of my favorite readers would like it as well. The song list isnt in the player box, so just listen and/or skip through as you like.

1. 99 Floors
2. Owata
3. Sunkissed
4. The Rose March
5. A Song For A Son
6. Disarm (with Josh Groban)

Also, and I should do separate posts for each of these but if I waited to do that it might not happen…., there is some more new music to speak of.

Tac got I Empire by Angels and Airwaves a couple weeks ago, and we have been quite enjoying it.

Neater even, we finally bought Impeccable Blahs by Say Hi. If you follow the link, the song “These Fangs” is the one from this album on the player. We have spent whole days listening to just this album.

I saw that Shiny Toy Guns came out with a new album, but havn’t given it any time yet to see if I want it. Have any of you listened to it yet? What do you think?

And lastly, sorry to Larry about the Bloc Party review :) , I like them so much too, except that album. Although I would like to admit one or two more songs have since grown on me, so I guess I really like at least half the album now. But the other half, still not doing anything good for me.

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