WTF of the Week: Billy Corgan Hits the Pavement
This week, self-aggrandizing rock god and head pumpkin in charge Billy Corgan slammed fellow '90s alternative band Pavement via Twitter [via Pitchfork Media].
The two seminal groups will be playing a show together in Brazil, and apparently Corgan is none too pleased. He predicts the gig will be one of those "New Orleans type funerals," and goes on to say that Pavement represents the death of the alternative dream and that Smashing Pumpkins will follow them with an affirmation of life.
Corgan ended his rant by calling Pavement a bunch of sellouts and that his band would be getting love because they would be playing new songs. Hooray!
Between 1991's Gish and 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Corgan and company produced some of the best songs of the '90s, many of which mainstream radio continues to play to this day. But it was lesser known songs such as the furious metallic sonic assault of Geek U.S.A. and Silverfucked coupled with the languid dreaminess of such tunes as Soma and Rhinoceros that endeared this band to a hardcore group of fans.
But alas, throughout the years, Corgan habitually alienated fellow musicians including members of his own band. Former Pixie bassist Kim Deal once referred to him as "a self important asshole." And of course, tension between the Pumpkins and Pavement goes way back.
In 1994 Pavement released the song "Range Life" on the album Crooked Rain wherein vocalist Stephen Malkmus utters the phrase "Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins/ Nature kids, they don't have no function/ I don't understand what they mean/ and I could really give a fuck." Sort of a dick move, but I'm sure Malkmus had his reasons. Corgan was obviously enraged and rumors were thrown around that he did everything he could to keep Pavement of the mainstage at 1994's Lollapalooza.
Following the height of the Pumpkin's success in the '90s, Corgan began switching out various players in his own band and producing increasingly dodgy music (Zeitgeist, anyone?). Most recently, he licensed one of the Pumpkin's most enduring songs "Today" for use in a Visa commercial. And the money he raked in didn't help his songwriting any. Witness the recent release "Spangled" off the forthcoming Teargarden by Kaleidescope. With its Beatlesesque harpsichord and shiteous lyrics ("Tangled in your body/Spangled by the nightime skies") to call it uninspired would be the nicest thing a critic could say. Heads up: The album will feature 44 songs.
One would think the musical decline of the band would have a humbling effect on Corgan. Not so. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Corgan was quoted as saying, "Do I belong in the conversation about the best artists in the world? My answer is yes. I do." This man makes me proud to be a fan.
Begging the question:
Who the fuck does Billy Corgan think he is slamming Pavement when he's every bit--if not more--of a rock & roll sinner? While Corgan punishes his fans with craptastic new material nobody wants to hear, Pavement has been enthralling fans with old classics such as "Spit on a Stranger" and the uber poppy "Cut Your Hair."
And sellout? This from a guy who collaborated with Visa at a time when debt and predatory lending was crippling the citizens of this fine nation. Billy, I love you man, but instead of opening your big fat mouth to rant, try putting your energy into a song that sounds good.
When it all goes down:
Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement will play the Planeta Terra Festival at the Playcenter in Sao Paulo, Brazil Nov. 20.