Jimmy Chamberlain

Cover Song: The Smashing Pumpkins (Neil Young)- Cinnamon Girl

Cinnamon Girl (Ignoffo Sessions / 2012 Mix) - YouTube

One of the best things about going back through a band’s catalog is finding all the things you forgot about. Over the last couple years, I’ve rediscovered my love for The Smashing Pumpkins, and through my journey, I keep finding so many wonderful gems. For example, in the deluxe edition of Pisces Iscariot, there are so many great songs on the bonus disc. This cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” was one I forgot about. It’s really a very cool cover with a different vibe, a la 90’s. The Type O Negative cover of this song is still the best but, the pumpkins sure do a damn good job with it.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- Cinnamon Girl:

 

 

Collaborations: The Smashing Pumpkins with Chino Moreno

 

Smashing Pumpkins Joined By Chino Moreno, Davey Havok, Courtney ...

This isn’t necessarily a “collaboration” but, it did happen and it was pretty magical. A couple years ago, The Smashing Pumpkins did a few shows to celebrate them being a band for 30 years. They invited a few people to come join them on stage, Chino Moreno of Deftones fame being one of them. They performed two classic Pumpkins songs that evening, “Bodies” from Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness and “Snail” from “Gish.” It’s almost like Chino was meant to sing “Bodies” and “Snail”when you listen to him sing them. I’d love to hear the soundboard audio of these songs but, these versions are pretty good.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins with Chino Moreno:

Bodies:

 

Snail:

Memorable TV Performances: The Smashing Pumpkins on The Tonight Show

Smashing Pumpkins

Way back in the year 2000, The Smashing Pumpkins, released the second part of their (then) swan song, Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music. This album never fully got the proper release and instead released for free on the internet on September 5, 2000. Plans for a standard physical release, bundled with the first part Machina I: The Machines of God,  was supposed to happen in 2013 but was postponed due to legal setbacks. In a recent Q&A on Instagram, Billy Corgan revealed that all legal issues had been resolved. The two albums are said to be remastered and released as one in 2020. That being said, The Smashing Pumpkins did do some promotion for the album back in 2000 with a very memorable performance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which also ended up being the band’s final television appearance until their 2007 revival.

The Smashing Pumpkins- Cash Car Star (on Tonight Show with Jay Leno):

 

Great Music Videos: The Smashing Pumpkins- Stand Inside Your Love

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Yesterday while I was at work, I had a song pop into my head and it sent me on a dive back to an album I hadn’t listened to in a minute. The song was “Stand Inside Your Love” by The Smashing Pumpkins from their highly underrated album Machina. It’s always been one of those songs in the bands catalog that has given me chills. I was sort of daydreaming while listening to the song and letting it take me away. It’s truly a beautiful song and one of Billy Corgan’s best too. It’s been said that the song was written about a then girlfriend. Billy once said in an interview about the track “‘Stand Inside Your Love’ is one of those rare songs that seems to write itself really quickly… As far as the song goes, it’s sort of a love song that rocks, which is pretty rare, even for me. And I even got my girlfriend dancing in the video, so it’s all a tribute to my girlfriend, I guess.”

The video itself is pretty stunning. It’s a tribute to the play Salome by Oscar Wilde. The look of the video is heavily influenced by the original Salome illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. You might recognize Ken Davitian (from Borat) in the video. Billy’s then girlfriend also appears in the video. 

Something else that I find interesting is that “Stand Inside Your Love” was originally supposed to be the first single from Machina but, at the last minute it was changed to “The Everlasting Gaze.” Either way, “Stand Inside Your Love” is one hell of a great song and the video is interesting, intriguing and artful.

 
The Smashing Pumpkins- Stand Inside Your Love:

 

Album Review: The Smashing Pumpkins- Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. I

SmashingPumpkinsAlbThe Smashing Pumpkins came back in 2018 with a vengeance. Their “reunion” tour was outstanding. The 3 hour set of nothing but songs from the beginning of their career till Machina was something special. Everything about it was spectacular. William Patrick Corgan sounded marvelous and having Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha back with him along with long time cohort, Jeff Schroeder and new comers Jack Bates and Katie Cole added to the truly great experience. When it was announced that the Pumpkins were coming back, WPC, mentioned that there would be new music, and that day is upon us. Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I is here and it’s a delight. It’s everything you’ve ever loved about The Smashing Pumpkins and more.

Starting the album off with “Knights Of Malta” was a superb choice. The song not only sets a tone but it features a groove and melody that will have you swaying and singing along in no time. I have a feeling that this song will fast become a fan favorite and a live staple for years to come. “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)” is a pure classic Pumpkins song. Parts of it hark back to the Siamese Dream era but, it’s modern and current without relying so much on nostalgia. WPC sounds dreamy on this song, and Jimmy Chamberlain’s playing is subtle yet commanding. The riff and melody to this song is something that will stay in your head for years to come. “Travels” is a sweet mid tempo song with introspective lyrics. The guitar melodies on this song have a warming and calm tone which gives this song more depth. “Solara” is another classic Pumpkins song. This track is a beast and live it kicks even more ass.  “Alienation” is one of those “deep cut” songs that will have audiences wanting for it live. It’s a beautiful song through and through. “Marchin’ On” kicks the moment it comes in. It’s got an anger and urgency to it just as “Zero” did when that song was first released. This is another that is sure to be a fan favorite. “With Sympathy” has a delicate nature to it. The guitars glisten along with WPC’s vibrant vocals and words. Closing out this volume is “Seek and You Shall Destroy.” This track has a very cool mid 90’s Pumpkins vibe to it but, again isn’t retreating to the nostalgia of it all. Seek sounds like the band in today’s world without losing the roots of what the band is about.

 
All in all Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I is a terrific collection of songs. I wouldn’t say it’s an “album” per say but, it was sequenced in a way that does flow in a way as an album. Having Jimmy and James back in the band is a welcome return. The songs sound like Pumpkins songs because of how they play and treat the songs. Over the years Jeff Schroeder has been able to tap into that “style” and on this album, he’s right there along with James and WPC to make the songs even bigger. This is a welcome return to form for WPC and company. Shiny and Oh So Bright is full of songs that as I mentioned will become fan favorites and live staples for years to come. The Smashing Pumpkins have never been a band that has needed to resort to rehashing the past and this album solidifies that. I can’t wait for the next tour they do so I can hear these songs live. If you ever gave up on The Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I, will bring you back into the fold and you’ll fall in love with the band all over again.

 
Overall Rating: 9/10

 
Knights of Malta:

 

 
Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts):

 

 
Travels:

 

 
Solara:

 

 

 

Alienation:

 

 
Marchin’ On:

 

 
With Sympathy:

 

 
Seek and You Shall Destroy:

 

Anticipated Albums: The Smashing Pumpkins- Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol I

 

 

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The Smashing Pumpkins are a few weeks away from releasing their new album, Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I (out November 16). This first collection of songs is the first in over 19 years with William Patrick Corgan (he has stopped going by Billy), Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha. The first two songs released so far, “Solara” and “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)” are fantastic songs that sound modern but still hark back to the bands heyday. There is a planned Volume II that is supposed to be released later on next year along with a full length tour.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Solara:

 

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts):

 

Live Review: The Smashing Pumpkins at The Forum

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Over the years I’ve developed an interesting relationship with The Smashing Pumpkins. One one hand I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their albums and on the other, I’ve been less than impressed with their live shows, until now. The previous three times I’ve seen The Smashing Pumpkins, were not that great at all but, on this evening that I saw them, they put all those old thoughts and feelings to rest. The Shiny and Oh So Bright tour is more than a spectacle, it’s a right of passage and a sense of realization of a band that has always been at the forefront of alternative music.

 
As the lights dimmed and the curtain opened just a tad, out walks William Patrick Corgan (he no longer goes by Billy), armed with an acoustic guitar, he starts strumming the chords of “Disarm.” What a way to start the show. Then a quick pause to allow the other members of the band join on stage as they blast off with “Rocket.” Already after two songs, my mind is blown. I’ve been waiting years to hear these songs. As the show went on, more and more favorites of mine were played like “Siva,” “Rhinoceros.” “Drown,” “Thirty-Three,” “Soma,” “Eye,” “Hummer,” “Cherub Rock,” and “Muzzle.” Of course there were the quintessential staples that were played like “Zero,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Today,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and “1979.” One thing that made this night even more special was the inclusion of so many deep cuts like “Try, Try, Try,” “Mayonaise,” “Drown,” “For Martha,” and “Blew Away.” Even their new song “Solara” sounded superb. The production for this show was top notch as well. The videos playing behind the band were pretty trippy and drenched with different emotions to accompany the songs played. Even their cover of the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway To Heaven” was outstanding.

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This night not only proved that The Smashing Pumpkins are back and better than ever but, it showed that real artistry is still alive. 30 years into their career, the Pumpkins, have shown that their songs stand the test of time and for the most part, their fan base is still intact, just waiting for the next great album from William and company. I will say that having Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha back in the band really does make a difference. They have a distinct feel for how they play these songs and they really come to life with them on stage. Jeff Schroeder on guitar is a perfect addition to this group. Having been in the band since the Zeitgeist album, he too has a really great take on how to play these songs. Lastly, the addition of Jack Bates on bass was stellar. He brought a subtle yet dark eerie vibe to the low end that really complimented these songs well. Plus he’s the son of the legendary Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order so, it’s without a doubt that he understands the proper tone.

I came in not knowing what to expect, and left the show completely blown away. The 3 and a half hour set didn’t feel like it was that long. Every aspect of this show was spot on. William sounded great and better than ever. Personally I can’t wait to see them again. What a night and setlist to remember forever. Thank you to The Smashing Pumpkins for delivering one hell of a show and playing so many of my favorite songs.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins Set List:
01) Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
02) Disarm
03) Rocket
04) Siva
05) Rhinocerous
06) Space Oddity (David Bowie Cover)
07) Drown
08) Zero
09) The Everlasting Gaze
10) Stand Inside Your Love
11) Thirty-Three
12) Eye
13) Soma
14) Blew Away
15) For Martha
16) To Shelia
17) Mayonaise
18) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
19) Landslide (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
20) Tonight, Tonight
21) Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin Cover)
22) Cherub Rock
23) 1979
24) Ava Adore
25) Try, Try, Try
26) The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning
27) Hummer
28) Today
29) Bullet With Butterfly Wings
30) Muzzle

Encore:

31) Solara
32) Baby Mine (Betty Noyes Cover)

Great Music Videos: The Smashing Pumpkins- 1979

 

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It’s a shame music videos aren’t made like they used to be. Gone are the days of proper budgets to make a great video and the narratives that came along with the video have disappeared as well. Granted there are still a few directors out there that have been able to capture the essence of yesteryears. One video I will always remember fondly was for The Smashing Pumpkins song “1979.” Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers), really honed in on what Billy Corgan wrote the song about and the end result was something beautiful. It’s also crazy to think that this video is now 22 years old. My head is spinning just thinking about that. Here’s a piece of cool trivia that you’d find interesting. The video for the song “Perfect” from their Unsung Masterpiece, Adore, is a sequel to the 1979 video, and involves the same characters who are now older.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- 1979:

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- Perfect:

New Release- Smashing Pumpkins- Solara

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I’m sure most of you know about the 3/4 reunion of The Smashing Pumpkins. They have announced a full scale US Tour and will be releasing a new album (their first with Billy, James, and Jimmy in over 18 years) to coincide with the tour. The first song released by this newly reunited Pumpkins along with longtime Corgan collaborator Jeff Shroeder is called “Solara.” It’s a very Pumpkins sounding track. The real highlight of the song is Jimmy Chamberlain’s drumming on it. Jimmy is seriously one of the most underrated drummers of the last 25-30 years. That guy is a beast behind the kit. Anyways check out the song below. I’m interested to know what you all think of it.

Smashing Pumpkins- Solara:

Album Debate: Smashing Pumpkins Disc 1 vs Disc 2 of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

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Since it’s been 20 years since Smashing Pumpkins double album Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness came out, I thought this would be a great topic for an album debate. Since it’s a double album the debate is between what disc you prefer. Disc 1 is entitled Dawn to Dusk and features classic like “Zero,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and “Tonight, Tonight” along with some great deep cuts like “An Ode To No One,” “Jellybelly,” and “Muzzle.”  This part of the album is heavier and filled with more rage. Disc 2 entitled Twilight To Starlight is loaded with songs that show a more mellow side of things. Songs like classics “1979,”  and “Thirty-Three,” really set the tone of this side of the album. Other deep cuts like “XYU,” “Bodies,” “Where Boys Fear To Tread,” also give this side a kick in the teeth to break up the solemn mellowness.

I for one am a big fan of the album and depending on my mood it differs on which one I pick. I will say though that if I ha to pick one side, I would absolutely pick Disc 1: Dawn To Dusk. I just love the way the songs all flow into each other and the way that you can get so wrapped up in the angst but all the while there is a calming sense nestled in each song.  Not to take anything away from Disc 2: Twilight To Starlight, which is an entirely different beast all on it’s own.
What side do you pick?

Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: