The video to Ava Adore


Maybe they’ll do a 30-minute version of “Stairway to Heaven” instead (in drop-B tuning)


I would not be into that, I saw them 3 times first time round, each time was a crushing disappointment because they were so self indulgent, playing unreleased songs or weird/bad drawn out reinterpretations of old ones


That screaming after the solo is so, so good. No one else does it quite like that.


Yeah, it can be hit and miss I guess, but I love it when he does it and when it hits, it really hits for me. Seeing him do stuff like that live (and the sheer brutality of the performances of the heavier stuff when he’s screaming and soloing like he’s possessed) has ruined seeing other bands for me.


I know I’m obsessive, but I’d take that set over a show by any other band. It blows my mind how many people view them as a standard 90s mid-tempo novelty singles band - I wish everyone knew about their insanely deep and high quality song collection. I still say that the Mellon Collie era was the single most prolific explosion of amazing music by a single person in the entirety of rock history - a legendary double album, an equally long and great collection of B-Sides, the sheer volume of fantastic unreleased songs that have surfaced over the past 23 years, the various demo collections, etc. He really doesn’t get his due, I get why he’s pissed all the time.


Apologies if this seems like a c***ish thing to post but how do we expect ticket sales for this to go? Picked a random US date (San Diego 1/9) and tickets seem very much still available after a day.

Sub-question: If they announce UK arenas how quickly would you expect it to sell?


Yeah I had a cursory look ar MSG tickets over an hour after they went on sale and there were plenty left. Have a feeling the prices put a lot of people offf - pretty sure I saw some upwards of $300 and I’m talking actual Ticketmaster here, not whatever scummy resale subsidiary they operate. For comparison, MSG is the kind of venue Pearl Jam, to this day, sell out in minutes


That’s crazy isn’t it? I’ve no idea how much impact PJ’s more recent records have had in the US but it makes you wonder what’s going on there, unless it’s just down to pricing like you say. Pumpkins were at one point about as big as bands get - on a level at least with Pearl Jam. Maybe it just didn’t last long enough to leave a lasting impression on some people.


I don’t know what it was like in america but here they seemed surprisingly unpopular for such a big band at the time, they were kind of sneered at by NME types, but too arty for Kerrang types, they were just seen as quite an uncool band all round. Wonder if their peak success was down to the big singles and music videos having crossover success with a temporary mainstream audience, but their core audience being considerable smaller


Yeah, Pumpkins and Pearl Jam were both equally huge (I’d say the Pumpkins were even bigger around the Mellon Collie era), but Pearl Jam has the absolute best fanbase on the planet. Both have a nostalgia-driven segment - I know plenty of people who would go to see Pearl Jam and be pissed off that it’s not just “Jeremy” and “Alive” being played for three hours - but with Pearl Jam they’re vastly outnumbered and out-vocalized (this is important) by people who know and love everything they’ve done and who are excited for new material.

Billy certainly has those amazing fans too, but they’re drowned out by people shouting at him to play rat in a cage and greatest day, and exactly like they’re played on the album (30 years in and people still haven’t figured out that Billy screams and plays songs fast). I think people would be shocked by how much of the general public thinks the following things:

  • Billy Corgan is just some whiney guy singing James Iha’s songs and doesn’t play guitar
  • Billy Corgan’s name is Billy Corrigan
  • James Iha is an Asian woman named D’arcy
  • Jimmy Chamberlin is dead
  • Billy hasn’t written music since 1995

Part of the difference too is that Pearl Jam has settled into a comfortable routine where you know what you’re going to get from them and everyone is ok with that. Billy is still changing things up pretty considerably from album to album, and while I love that and think it’s great, portions of the fanbase are inevitably going to be chipped away when he moves in a direction they don’t like. And Billy, as much as people yell at him to just shut up and play his 90s hits, has a different set of expectations placed on him due to his sheer creativity, the magical nature of the original run, and his post-Zeitgeist tendency to make grand proclamations and not exactly follow through. Even if he’s writing great material, it’s going to be reported on as falling short and over time fewer people are going to be coming out to see him.


Yeah, it’s really amazing how he hit that sweet spot of being despised by everyone (and even more-so that he simultaneously managed to have the biggest band in the world). I know Kim Gordon was trashing him in her book for not being “indie” enough - the idea of Sonic Youth thinking they’re above or even remotely in the same league as Billy Corgan is one of the most laughable concepts I can imagine.


Fucking Hell.


i’d find it hard to pick a side between pumpkins and sonic youth, sonic youth are probably a lot more important in terms of musical influence (like pumpkins seem to have hardly influenced anyone, its weird), but I much prefer pumpkins songs, like very few sonic youth songs mean anything to me. ultimately it is pointless trying to compare bands, the only thing that matters is what they mean to the people who like them, go on a random youtube video of a pumpkins more often than not you’ll find someone saying how that band saved their life, probably a bit melodramatic but they are that kind of band that people feel an intense identification with, probably because so many of their songs deal with alienation, can’t imagine many feeling that way about sonic youth or pavement or the other bands that mock them



Prefacing this with that this is just my opinion - I’ve recently come to terms with accepting that Sonic Youth isn’t very good. They do have a few very good songs (Teenage Riot, Silver Rocket, Orange Rolls Angel’s Spit, The Empty Page, and maybe a couple others) and one special one, but for the most part it doesn’t feel like they’re trying. It’s like he’s throwing as much dissonant stuff at the wall as possible and hoping that a) something sticks or b) people think due to the sheer volume of music and lack of good hooks that there must be something more. Whereas Billy’s songs are so well-crafted, melodic, tense, ugly, beautiful, intense, furious, calm, etc. (and often in the same song). And he can write an album - to me SY has never really done anything cohesive. He’s orders of magnitudes above them and a singular talent. (God forbid he had the audacity to want to be successful.)

I really wanted to like them too because on paper, they’re a band I should love. I think the bands often listed as being heavily influenced by them (Trail of the Dead and Ought, for instance) run circles around them.


Fucking Hell.


Yeah, it is strange (and frustrating) how a direct influence manifested in so few bands. In the 90s I know Feeder, Our Lady Peace, and Hum were always being mentioned, but none of those are the same obviously. Post-2000 Silversun Pickups are the best and only obvious example I can think of, and I know M83 was influenced by Mellon Collie. Deftones probably too by Adore.

I strongly, strongly believe though that Adore was a major influence on the indie rock of the past 15 or so years in general. I’ll probably wait awhile to write that dissertation though.

I think the reason Sonic Youth were so influential is because they had a sound / idea that was great and had huge potential, but they left so much room for it to be improved upon and delivered in a more focused and intense manner.


I think they might have influences the more gothy side of emo (MCR, panic at the disco) but very few alternative/indie rock bands seem to cite them, reckon they secretly influenced some post-rock types but they are too cool to admit it, remember once being annoyed with sigur ros for saying they started off being influenced by them before moving on to more serious music (like sigur ros’ falsetto nonsense is better). I’ve always thought sonic youth get way to much credit, for a band that get called experimental so often they didn’t really have many ideas, the alternate tuning thing wasn’t even their thing the whole scene they emerged from were doing it, all they did was make accessible songs with it, texturally they don’t even do that much, there is a hand full of sonic youth sounds that they mined endlessly. I love sister and a thousand leaves, that will do me.


That’s really disappointing to hear about Sigur Ros. I hate when people view the Pumpkins’ music as being a stepping stone to the “real” stuff or not serious or for kids. The worst person I knew in high school said “they’re too distortion based” (he prefers Phish and jazz, obviously).
One, distortion is fantastic. Two, I think his lyrics are much more complicated and applicable to all stages of life than “more serious, more adult” artists who go on and on about “sins” and drinking and religious imagery.

And yeah, you’re right on the money with everything you said there. Good call on some post-rock being heavily influenced by him - the new Mogwai for instance has Corgan traces all over it, especially “Battered at a Scramble”. This is giving me the idea to put together a non-Corgan Corgan playlist, I’ll have to work on that.


used to love those live clips i’d see on mtv2 back in the day, around 2002 or so. got into shitloads of bands that way. there’s an amazing jamc one where they do “reverence” and they look so cool and bored and pissed off and the feedback is just insane.