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Zwan breaks up, Corgan reads poetry

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:02 pm
by Barabajagal
From today's Chicago Trib:

Billy Corgan's second act — Zwan — is over. The band has broken up, the
former Smashing Pumpkins singer-guitarist announced this morning.

"A couple of people asked me, 'Why didn't you tell anybody?' I'm sort of
out of the period of my life when I run around trying to generate news,"
Corgan said during an interview on WGN-Ch. 9's Morning News.

"Our attitude in the Pumpkins was, it was a do or die proposition, and
that got us through all the hard times we went through, particularly
with the Pumpkins where we had two members with serious drug problems,"
he said.

"Without that sense of family, rock 'n' roll isn't worth the trouble."

Corgan begins the third act in his career 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with his
first public reading of poetry at the Poetry Center in the Rubloff
Auditorium of the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.


Because, you know, the very bestest part of the Pumpkins and Zwan was listening to Billy's voice and lyrics.

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:27 pm
by Herb Tarlek
Why does this guy get so much credit? The Pumpkins were a decent bar band at best, not worthy of the "greatest since sliced bread" press they received for much of their career. Lull and Gish were great, Siamese Dream was pretty good, and then it all went to shit from their. Billy started believing his press clippings and his ego took over, turning them from a "band" into "Billy and The 3 Interchangeable Shmucks".

One of my friends touted him as a genius, the next Mozart, blah, blah, blah.......what a bunch of b.s. He's a decently talented guy I'll give him that, but nothing more. Hardly worth all the fuss he has received over the years.

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:16 pm
by dieblucasdie
Yeah, thank God, he's doing poetry now so there'll be no more guitars to draw attention away from him.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:42 am
by DJMurphy
Herb Tarlek wrote:Why does this guy get so much credit? The Pumpkins were a decent bar band at best, not worthy of the "greatest since sliced bread" press they received for much of their career. Lull and Gish were great, Siamese Dream was pretty good, and then it all went to shit from their. Billy started believing his press clippings and his ego took over, turning them from a "band" into "Billy and The 3 Interchangeable Shmucks".

Yeah, see, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think the proof lies in two very relevant points:
-- I personally still really think that Mellon Collie and most of its attendant B-sides is very strong material. The fact that Billy made no bones about it being a VERY LARGE PRETENTIOUS rock statement, the fact that it was a sprawling album and made no attempt to hide its sprawl, I think the material within its tracks still stands up, even outside the context of mid-'90s alternative rock. Proof positive that a musician can be full of shit and yet create good music. Conversely...
-- I think that Zwan's sole CD was a load of horseshit, third-rate Pumpkins tunes without a soul. And the fact that he recruited respectable sidemen a la Blind Faith and Golden Smog and STILL couldn't come up with any good material speaks volumes about bandmates who are on the same page as you, not to mention a drought of songwriting talent from the dictator-in-chief.

Did the Pumpkins deserve every single kudo that the salivating press heaped upon them? Of course not. But once in a while Billy and the Boys (and Girl) pulled some decent tuneage out their collective ass, and for the good stuff they deserve props. But as far as Zwan goes, don't cry for me Porcelina.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:48 am
by Guest
Will I be executed if I say that I like Mellon Collie? Or that, on any given sunny day, you can find me with my windows down listening to Mary, Star of the Sea? Let's face it, for all of Zwan's brainlessness, that was a great rockin summer album.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:09 am
by Tom4
That was me. Damned computer at work!

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:29 am
by Proptronics
Yep, I suppose I haven't ever really had anyone tell me that Billy's a genius but I think that would be cause for laughter. On the other hand, as far as mid-90's alt.rock goes, the Smashing Pumkins are aging like fine wine.

Most of that stuff is really unlistenable anymore. Still, I can listen to nearly any of the first three or four and dig it.

Now with Zwan, I saw them perform as the Djali Zwan which was apparently their Urban Aldult Contemporary format. It was a lot of acoustic, jazzier material; fun songs, mellow tunes. When the album came out, I was so bummed to hear that it was just a redo of the Pumpkins. It was like he was going back to the point that he canned Jimmy Chamberlin in lieu of a drum machine and started over.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:15 am
by Jake
I love that one song with the line, "The world is a vampire..." or whatever. That's a great song. I also like the one that sounds like a New Order song that has the kids in the video shoplifiting from 7-11. They had some great songs, for sure. I think we have one album, the one with the Fleetwood Mac song on it.

I got their first one, Gish, when it first came out because I went to college with Darcy's sister, but after listening to it on acid one night I decided they were nothing more than a very lame Jane's Addiction rip-off (including cover art) and went and sold the cd the next evening when I woke up, ha ha. Ahhh, college.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:47 am
by D. Phillips
The Pumpkins were a decent bar band at best


You don't hang out in enough bars. You have no idea how bad a good bar band can be.

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:18 pm
by Jake
This whole thing reminds of the infamous letter to the editor that Steve Albini wrote to the Chicago Reader back in January 1994 about an article on the new alternative: Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Urge Overkill:

Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music Press Stooge: The Great Steve Albini Letters-to-the-Editor Debate

It's awesome. Was Albini right after all? It's been almost ten years now.