Michael Bell
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Well at least you’re not helping spread the word in a way that further undermines an artist. Wait, yes you are.

 +6Posted on Dec 9th | re: Billy Corgan On The Smashing Pumpkins: "The Fanbase Is Gone" (37 comments)

I’ll speak from my experience as a member of their fanbase. I met Billy Corgan after an infamous show on the first US leg of the Siamese Dream tour. BC got mad at the sold-out crowd and ended the show 5 songs in, storming off the stage. 30 mins later he came out for the express purpose of signing autographs but was totally rude about it. That’s the kind of guy he’s always seemed to be; one who wants to engage fans, but also wants them to feel bad about it.

His band made two meticulous, beautiful records, and then they became a band with different, predictable pressures on them. ‘Under the Bridge’ created an alt-rock arms race for mom jams and SP’s were standing by with ‘Disarm’ AND ‘Today.’ The Pumpkins did mellow slow burn better than their peers, but for album 3 instead of making another ‘Rhinoceros’ we got ’1979.’ That’s when I could sense it all slipping away.

Billy Corgan may have written and played every note, but on those first two records they were The Smashing Pumpkins. Everyone knew they didn’t get along very well, and I wouldn’t blame Corgan for failing to keep them all together necessarily. But musically inept and/or disagreeable, D’Arcy, Iha, and Chamberlain oozed cool and made them a band. Corgan tours with a revolving lineup under the banner of his old band and tinkers with his sound in ways that make it very clear to someone like me that he’s helming a mid-sized venue nostalgia act. I’m glad he likes the music he makes now, but I’m no more interested in seeing his band than I am in seeing Alice in Chains or Live.

 +4Posted on Dec 9th | re: Billy Corgan Disses Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters On Howard Stern (55 comments)

My problem with the show was largely how self-serving it was. Dave Grohl is probably the perfect rock celebrity to host a maudlin documentary about semi-recent American music because he’s utterly non-threatening. If it had just been “Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways” it might have been something special. But no, it’s “Dave Grohl Pretends There’s A Concept Behind His Latest Album That Sounds Like All His Other Albums.”

The perfect example of how Dave Grohl works is going to Steve Albini’s studio to let Butch Vig produce his music.

 +16Posted on Dec 9th | re: Billy Corgan Disses Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters On Howard Stern (55 comments)

Corgan added, “Look, if you want to release a record in 2014 that’s steeped in pretentious grandeur, you don’t have to make everybody sit through 8 hours of television to do it. Trust me.”

 +4Posted on Dec 8th | re: Morrissey's About To Record Another Album (6 comments)


Morrissey cancels new album

Paid-tier Rdio is full on access and usability. $10/mo gets you queued albums, playlists, stations, the ability to choose your stream quality, and offline mobile listening – which is a proprietary download that lives on your device. It’s amazing. And it has Taylor Swift.

 +1Posted on Nov 18th | re: Ride Announce Reunion Tour (7 comments)

Going Blank Again > Nowhere > Carnival of Light > Tarantula

 -4Posted on Nov 6th | re: Taylor Swift Discusses Spotify Stance, Swiftamine Sketch (70 comments)

“Swift’s interview with Yahoo is interesting because it’s more centered around business — around the idea of selling her album — than with the artistic decisions she made. And she talks about those financial decisions, if anything, with more verve and authority than she brings to actual music conversations.”

This is incredibly condescending. If Stereogum doesn’t find TS’s artistic verve or authority very compelling, then don’t write about her. Selling a huge record in 2014 is tricky stuff, and she clearly understands her position. It seems the author wants his Taylor Swift to be cute and peppy, not intelligent and savvy. Because she can communicate her business position, it seems necessary to knock her down a few pegs artistically. She can’t be both now can she?

 +16Posted on Oct 28th | re: Owen Pallett, Amanda Palmer Weigh In On Jian Ghomeshi Scandal (54 comments)

Owen Pallett’s comments are perplexing to me. He seems to want to keep the allegations on even keel, but clearly considers this guy a woman-beater outside the context of whatever roles they were allegedly playing “because they said so.” He adds a blanket statement about the rules of BDSM lifestyle (which OP assumes were broken) as if they were universally crystalized. I appreciate OP’s attempt to retain the possibility that his friend has some hidden terrible tendencies, but his statement seems to be a pendulum swing that goes way past objectivity, and unnecessarily so. Was he implicated in this at all? Or just a Canadian musician?

 0Posted on Oct 10th | re: Grizzly Bear Are Not Rich (180 comments)

And let’s face it, it’s not like Grizzly Bear are touring monsters. I live in a US city with a million-plus population, and GB have played here one time in the Yellow House/Vecketimest/Shields cycle. I understand the problem and sympathize with the musicians, but they’re not doing themselves any favors when I see those 12 stop tour itineraries.