Earlier this week Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan paid a visit to old friend Howard Stern for an interview on the King of All Media’s SiriusXM radio program. Billy and Howard have a fantastic rapport as they both are all about honesty and eschewing the bullshit. The pair’s wide ranging discussion covered Corgan’s relationship with his old Smashing Pumpkins band mates, his love of wrestling, his past relationship with Jessica Simpson and Billy’s friendship with Neil Young and much more. Corgan also played an acoustic version of Tonight, Tonight for Stern.
If you missed this riveting interview, we’ve got you covered…
Next Thursday, we’ll publish the indie rock edition of Wade “Wyllys” Wilby’s favorite fall albums list. This week, we wanted to share his original list of classic autumn LPs that was first published on August 24, 2008…
The fall beckons the romantic in all of us. Most any music fan you talk to will have a list of albums that remind them of the fall. There is an emotional attachment to the scenery around you, the climate change, and the music you were listening to that time of year. I’m not going to wax poetic about the autumn, as we all know the myriad of emotions the fall conjures. Rather, I would love to have your list of fall albums speak for those emotions. Sound off in the comments if you are feeling inspired and if your team is hunting for the Wild Card spot as well, god bless ‘em.
10. John Mayer – Heavier Things
On his second major label outing, Mayer sounds composed, more mature, and well produced. With Jack Joseph Puig at the helm and Matt Chamberlain and Steve Jordan sharing time behind the kit, you can hardly go wrong. This sonic milkshake pours from loop to horn line without spoiling the stomach and is just sweet enough to please the ladies, while maintaining an aura of professional gloss the guys can get behind. Kudos, John. Unfortunately, his next best accomplishment would be Jennifer Aniston. Fall Mix Disc Track: Something’s Missing
READ ON for the rest of Wade’s list of favorite albums for the fall…
We don’t do a lot of Cover Wars features of songs originally sung by female lead singers, we’ll have to change that starting this week with Landslide, a track from the 1975 self-titled Fleetwood Mac album. I’d tell you more about the song, but you should just hear it straight from Stevie Nicks, you’ll get a guest appearance from her in the second video featured in the “Glee” entry.
The ownership of band names is a tricky subject, which has filled the wallets of many lawyers thanks to the dozens of lawsuits filed over the years. As the groups of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s start to age, many acts have had to figure out who has the right to tour under the original name. This week’s B List looks at 11 groups with only one original member left in the band as of 2011.
There’s a variety of reasons why there’s only one member left in these bands. Some of the groups are a band in name only and are really a solo vehicle, some have lost members due to death and illness, while others splintered due to lawsuits and bad business decisions. Here’s our list…
11. Iron Maiden
Steve Harris – Bass
The leader of Iron Maiden started the band in 1975 as a 19-year-old in London. Over the past 35+ years, Maiden has gone through a number of lineup changes with Harris left as the only person who has been a member of Iron Maiden since the group’s inception. Guitarist Dave Murray, who remains with the band, joined Maiden just just two months after they formed.
READ ON for 10 more bands with only one original member left…
Among all the fleeting genres that show up briefly as a blip on the popular culture radar screen only to quickly fade away, there are a few that really manage to stick, and ultimately define a sub-culture or even a generation. We’ve seen it to varying degrees with genres like punk, heavy metal, or rock n’ roll itself; all essentially made up terms that went on to mean everything.
For better or worse, another one that stuck was “alternative.” Initially, an outcrop of the grunge scene, alternative went on become an all-consuming pop culture multi-beast; taking hold of not just music, but cinema, fashion, and art as well. Alternative was everywhere, which begged the question: to what exactly is this an alternative? It was a brand, a marketing gimmick that was consumed – no, devoured – by the mainstream.
Yet beyond the irony of it all, it also represented a relatively heroic period in popular music whereby genuinely awesome bands ruled the radio. Pop culture, the mass media, and most of all, kids, were actually listening to good music. It was one of those rare times in modern music history where to some extent, the best bands were also among the biggest, most famous, and widely listened. READ ON for more from Ryan…
3. Blue Öyster Cult: The BÖC song everyone pays attention to is the suicide anthem “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” However, that song is stupid and doesn’t use enough cowbell. The BÖC song almost no one pays attention to is the pro-monster plod-athon “Godzilla,” and that song is spine- crushingly great. So, in the final analysis, Blue Öyster Cult is accurately rated—by accident. This happens on occasion; look at Scottie Pippen.
Granted, that was written before the days of Guitar Hero and I do believe the song has been made much more popular, at least among the youth, due to that video game sensation. Checking in on last week’s Dupree’s Diamond Blues edition of Cover Wars, The Waybacks have emerged victorious.
Give Us The Money Lebowski: Leading off this week we’ve got out our friends GUTML who will be hosting the second annual Awesometown next month on May 8th and 9th (turns out these guys do roll on Shabbas). The stage schedule was released yesterday, so start planning your course of attack now. Appropriately, this clip is from last year’s Awesometown. Be on the lookout for some Karate Kid quotes. Source: 5-10-2008
READ ON for three more entries in this week’s Cover Wars…
According to a post on SmashingPumpkins.com, longtime drummer – Jimmy Chamberlin – has left the band. No explanation for Chamberlin’s departure was given and only Billy Corgan remains from the original lineup. The note also mentions that Corgan “will continue to write and record as Smashing Pumpkins with plans to head into the studio this spring.”
As always, we’ve got a fresh batch of links to kick off the week…
Finally, Neil Young shared the track list for his long-awaited Archives Volume 1 project and we’re shocked with the amount of previously released material in the set. We do like that you don’t have to buy the complete box set if there are certain discs you don’t want or have already purchased. Head over to Thrasher’s Wheat for more details on discussion.
Now that Guitar Hero and Rock Band have become big hits, video game companies are expanding their rock-game offerings. Electronic Arts has just announced the release of rock-adventure Brutal Legend. Brutal Legend “stars” Jack Black in the role of roadie Eddie Riggs, who sets on an epic quest to build an army of rockers with only a broad axe, a big block V8 and his faithful guitar in hand. Sounds fairly interesting.
Finally, for those who will be stuck at home on New Year’s Eve, you can check out YMSB and Widespread Panic live from Denver’s Pepsi Center at iClips. Unlike most iClips broadcasts, this one will be a paid event. For $16.50 you get to stream the show at DVD quality live and for most of 2009.
Having waited about 14 years since last seeing the Smashing Pumpkins live, my anticipation soared last Thursday night at the United Palace. See, Billy Corgan and crew played an integral role in my formative years. The Lollapalooza show a million years ago was my first concert and I effectively took guitar lessons from Billy Corgan, learning power chords from Today, neck chords from Disarm, and octaves from Cherub Rock. While most of my friends were deep into Pearl Jam or dipping their toes into the Dead and Phish, I roamed around record stores and sketchy bootleg swap meets at the local Howard Johnson digging up recordings of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Not long after, I realized that while the Pumpkins were a truly fantastic band with a sound all their own, they were not a very reliable live act for a deep dive. While they always maintained a deep repertoire, shifted the sets around and cranked out quality fuzz, the sound often sucked and Billy Corgan’s voice was roughly as reliable as Sex Panther Cologne.
Some things haven’t changed. The show Thursday night left me with horribly polarized feelings. As per the yoosh, Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlain and the other “Smashing Pumpkins” sans original bassist D’arcy and guitarist James Iha cranked up the sound and put on a freaking rock show. Yet, the basis for the unsettling and unsatisfying sentiments was that Corgan was hell bent on raging on his guitar with a result that sounded more like a bad Guns N’ Roses set.
READ ON for the rest of Rupert’s Smashing Pumpkins review…
While we were quite bummed (and annoyed) that Neil Young’s Archives project got delayed again, it’s nice to know we’re gonna have a new vault release to tide us over. On November 25, Reprise Records releases Sugar Mountain Live At Canterbury House 1968 culled from 2 track recordings of shows performed 40 years ago on November 9 and 10. Head to Jambase for a full tracklist and more details on this incredibly heady release.
Former Nirvana member and current Foo Fighter Dave Grohl grew up in Warren, Ohio, a town that will be honoring him by renaming a local alleyway Dave Grohl Alley. No word yet on when we can expect a ceremony to celebrate the new name.
When the Smashing Pumpkins came back on the scene last summer with an eleven-night residency at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco they brought cameras with them to document the run. The resulting DVD, It All Goes Wrong, hits stores on November 11, but for a sneak peek head to Entertainment Weekly’s website for a video of Starla from the release. The Pumpkins kick off their 20th Anniversary Tour on Halloween at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus.
826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. This is clearly an organization that we can get behind. The nonprofit will once again be holding their Revenge Of The Book Eaters benefit concert, this year at Town Hall on October 7th. The event will be headlined by Paul Simon, who will be joined by musical acts the Department Of Eagles (featuring members of Grizzly Bear) and Thao Nguyen & Zach Rogue, along with authors Ira Glass, Jonathan Franzen and Dave Eggers and comedian John Oliver. Tickets for this event are on-sale now.
If you can’t make it to New York for this great benefit, maybe you’ll be able to catch one of these recently announced tours…
Cactus puts together a four date December run (begins: 12/27)
Finally, The Dead and The Allmans aren’t the only rock acts out there that have been throwing their support towards Barack Obama. In what’s sure to be a reoccurring trend in the weeks leading up to the election, a couple more rallies have been announced in support of the Junior Senator from Illinois. First up, Andrew Bird, Eugene Mirman, The Fiery Furnances and more will join forces for a night of music and comedy at the Music Hall Of Williamsburgh on October 7. Tickets go on-sale tomorrow for $40 a piece with all proceeds going directly to the Obama campaign.
Then, on October 16, the Brooklyn via Ohio brooding indie-rockers The National will team up with The Breeders for the free Vote Early, Rock Late rally that is set to take place at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square starting at 5 PM.
The surviving members of the Grateful Dead are teaming up to headline a benefit concert for the Presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama, at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA on October 13. The Allman Brothers Band and one band to be named later will open this politically-charged affair.
Billy, Mickey, Phil and Bobby will be joined by RatDog’s Jeff Chimenti on keys and Warren “Mother Fucking” Haynes on lead guitar. According to Jambands/Relix, The Dead plan to tour with this lineup early next year.
Amidst Billy Corgan’s planned 20th anniversary celebration shows and deluxe box-set reissuing of his band’s debut album Gish, comes some bad news for the bald-headed front man of alt-rockers the Smashing Pumpkins. Two of his former estranged band mates – James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky-Brown – have filed a lawsuit against Virgin Records claiming the label shut them out of profits after signing a deal with Corgan. The duo are accusing the record label of not paying them for music downloads and other digitally delivered Smashing Pumpkins music.
Finally, our other favorite vampire band around these parts – Vampire Hands – needs your help for their upcoming East Coast tour. The Minneapolis-based act is asking folks to help them find some places for them to play from September 22 – 29. If you have any ideas, email the band directly at vampirehands@gmail or through their MySpace page. Just please don’t pick Terminal 5.
What was it about the Summer of 1993 that led a number of alternative bands to deliver the best single of their careers? Perhaps it was the musical climate of the times when you had MTV broadcasting both 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation, or the fact that nearly every major market had a rock radio station that propelled alt acts into the mainstream. Whatever the reason, that summer rocked.
R.E.M., The Replacements and The Cure opened the doors for crossover hits, but the Grunge movement led every major label A&R rep to try to find the next Pearl Jam. Fifteen years later alternative has turned into indie, and many of the bands that were big in ’93 are still drawing fans by playing the songs that broke them big that summer. This week’s B List takes a look at my favorite songs from the Summer of ’93. READ ON for 10 fantastic tunes from the likes of Primus, Cracker, the Juliana Hatfield 3, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and many more…