July 31, 2012

My first Rappler article is up, on the forthcoming play date with Messr Corgan, et al. Yer gonna need yer vegetables for this one.

Kalabasa Calling: The Smashing Pumpkins, soon to be live in Manila

 Posted on 07/30/2012 1:55 PM  | Updated 07/31/2012 1:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines – I used to have fights about The Smashing Pumpkins back in the day.

“Back in the day” pertains to the time when bassist D’Arcy was still a svelte ice queen, Billy Corgan still had hair and the double disc tour de force that would later become Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was still a twinkle in the eyes of the Pumpkins.

You see, many were turned off by the crass, callous way Corgan treated his band mates; how the words “megalomania” and “dictator” were often uttered in the same breath as the head Pumpkin’s name.

Which was, to say, often.

Critics hated his “mosquito whine of a voice” as much as his unattainable and almost gauche punk dreams, even as their albums ranked high in any definitive Best of the 90s list. On many a guitar mag’s same list, these albums were hailed as template and psalm of how to use the axe as litmus paper and saturating element.

What I argued was that Corgan’s creative dictatorship was well worth it — even justified — if the kind of music that would result was this good… this awesome (gosh darn it — this meaningful).

Because the Pumpkins’ sound was still the mating call of the alternative nation’s melody-loving, guitar geek-driven and post-punk quiet to loud to smithereens dynamic, I had an army of fans who agreed with me.

We beat the Pumpkins naysayers down with our copies of Pisces Iscariot (an LP of B-sides that held more quality than any Pearl Jam album post-Vitalogy), the singles off the Batman and Robin soundtrack, or, for the truly stubborn, the boxed set of The Aeroplane Flies High (a collector’s item heavy enough to be a door stop).

Hey, I was a teen of the 90s and all that emotion and confusion found a haven in grunge and Corgan’s anthemic ambition. The first thing I ever learned on guitar was the deceptively simple “Disarm,” whose psychokiller meets Hallmark card lyrics cut me to my isaw-devouring, pimply core.

Read the rest of it HERE.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s