The Smashing Pumpkins TCOB in NYC with a Pop-Up Shop and Businesslike Gig

All photos by Sachyn Mital for the Village Voice
Billy Corgan at Webster Hall
Better Than: Dave Grohl

The Smashing Pumpkins need no introduction. When they hit the stage, it's because it's time to hit the stage. There's no banter, no countdown, no pyrotechnics. Billy Corgan and his band of merry men, sans James Iha and any female presence, D'arcy Wretzky or otherwise, launched into "One and All (We Are)" from their new album, Monuments to an Elegy, with little warning on Monday night at Webster Hall. The show felt like a transaction, and Corgan wanted to make sure we got our money's worth. Along with Jeff Schroeder, Corgan brought on Killers bassist Mark Stoermer and Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk for the gig.

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The Smashing Pumpkins -- Barclays Center -- 12/10/12

Santiago Felipe
Better than: No Smashing Pumpkins.

Billy Corgan just kind of does whatever he wants. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman--and now sole remaining member of the band's original lineup--has been making music for about two decades now. He's written love songs, hate songs, double LPs, masterpieces, and then some other stuff that he's called "masterpieces." He used to do it with people that fans approved of--you know, James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, and Jimmy Chamberlin--but now he does it with some kids he hired from Berklee to replace those people after he pissed them off and they decided it was better to not work with him anymore. But he still calls what he's doing the Smashing Pumpkins. And yet, weirdly enough, despite all the hatred he's gotten for "breaking up the band" and "being an asshole," he's remained at the forefront of music culture. Sure, he's made some pretty "out there" records that aren't very good during this time period, but his erratic and eccentric personality has proven to be his lasting legacy. Last night at the Barclays Center, he put it all on display for Brooklyn.

See Also:

- Billy Corgan Is the e.e. cummings of Modern Music
- The Smashing Pumpkins' New Song "Owata" Is A Springtime Sparkler

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Billy Corgan Is the e.e. cummings of Modern Music

SP by Paul Elledge.jpg
Paul Elledge
By Neph Basedow

Poet e.e. cummings said, "To destroy is always the first step in any creation." For Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, destruction and creation are a way of life. "A good artist is willing to die many times over," Corgan says. "What's funny is, I've died so many times."

The lead Pumpkin speaks to us from his home in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park. He's wordy and well-spoken. Most notably, however, he's open -- there's no topic we can't broach, he insists. The conversation's only pauses are when he tosses toys to his cats.

See Also:
- The Smashing Pumpkins' New Song "Owata" Is A Springtime Sparkler
-Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist

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Butch Vig On Nevermind, Siamese Dream, Garbage, And His History Of Shaping Alternative Rock As We Know It

If you don't think Butch Vig's almost singlehandedly invented two decades of alternative rock as we know it, just look at his resumé: Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, AFI. That's without mentioning his membership in the still-cool Garbage or the fact he produced a little generational totem called Nevermind. From grunge to "electronica" to emo, he's probably building someone's entire adolescence from scratch as we speak. He free-associated for Village Voice about some of his biggest hits, underrated discoveries and Garbage's own new album Not Your Kind of People, which drops this week.

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The 10 Best Things From 2011 To Listen To While Writing, According To Actual Authors

Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins: Reissued in 2011, so it counts!
Reports from the holiday-party front indicate that 2011 was another long and lonely year for the fiction writers and memoirists of New York, who were kept company at home all day long mainly by various "internet friends" and related applications, as well as their favorite songs/albums/radio shows. Below is a totally non-scientific list of 2011's Top 10 pieces of music for writing, as supplied by the authors of recent books.

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Please Enjoy This Brief Clip Of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A Pumpkin, And A Basketball Hoop

In the above video, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slam-dunks a pumpkin in honor of the Smashing Pumpkins, because the Internet demands absurdist content to feed its perpetual-motion machine. I would have preferred a recreation of the Airplane! scene where some smartass kid starts smack-talking Kareem-in-disguise's basketball skills while the former Laker is pursuing his side career as a pilot, if only because it would allow lead Pumpkin Billy Corgan to play up his "biggest heel of the '90s" side that is quite enjoyable to watch from afar, but we all have to take what we can get these days.

The Smashing Pumpkins' New Song "Owata" Is A Springtime Sparkler

Our corporate siblings on the other side of the country have the line on "Owata," the newest--10th, if you're counting--song to surface from the Smashing Pumpkins' 44-track Teargarden By Kaleidyscope. "Owata" finds alt-rock superheel Billy Corgan and his mates (Mike Byrne on drums, Nicole Fiorentino on bass, Jeff Schroeder on guitar) in sweet-as-pie pop mode, lining up synths and a singalong-ready chorus then placing a guitar solo that's pretty much straight out of the heartstring-plucking playbook smack in the middle of the whole thing. After tomorrow morning, the song'll be available for free download at the band's official site along with the other Teargarden tracks.

Top Ten Songs Named "Fuck You" Or The Immediate Equivalent

cee-lo FU.jpg
On Friday Cee-Lo debuted a delightful new song with the simplest, most uncouth title possible: "Fuck You." It immediately joined the upper echelons of a surprisingly crowded genre -- from 50 Cent to Pharoahe Monch, the Avengers to Pussy Galore, Lil Kim to Atmosphere, there are lots of songs named "Fuck You" or immediate permutations thereof ("Fuck You Lucy," "I Love You, But Fuck You," and so on). Here are 10 of the best.

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Photos: M.I.A., Wilco, Common at Voodoo Music Festival


Ellen DeGeneres Sinead O'Connor

Jeff Tweedy

Smashing Pumpkins

Voodoo Music Festival
New Orleans
October 26 through 28
All photos by Mark C. Austin

More photos from Voodoo below.

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