December 07, 2008

He Thinks He Can Crap Diamonds

Billy Corgan reformed The Smashing Pumpkins (minus some members), recorded a new album, and are currently touring. Normally this would be a good thing.

But apparently Billy Corgan has lost his fucking mind. He's taken to not playing his hits, and closing his shows with weird instrumental numbers (in one instance, a chaotic bad rendition of Pink Floyd's Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun that lasted for over 10 minutes), or by ranting and berating his own audience. This clip, which starts out as a sing-along Everything Is Beautiful, just dissolves into a rant at his own fans. Another show has him insulting the very town he's performing in, to the overwhelming jeers of local fans.

Apparently he thinks this is cool, what's expected, or the true meaning of alternative rock.

Every concert I've been to follows a similar pattern: there's a strong opening, featuring solid hits. This is followed by what I've come to think of as The Long Dry Spell, which, depending on the artist and what they choose to play, can be very dry indeed. Basically somewhere in the middle of the show, things slow down, get more experimental, or the artist focuses on their most current or least popular music. Then there's the end, where the performer typically kicks it all the way up to 11, pulls out all the stops. Most shows feature one or more encores, though a few just finish the show and that's it. Either way, it's a strong finish with the best material.

Billy Corgan apparently believes he can crap diamonds and that his fans will eat it up. But the news, the interwebs, and the blogosphere are exploding with furious accounts of his antics. Let's face it, the current Pumpkins album is mediocre at best; Tarantula is an okay song, I'm So Alone quite frankly I can't stand. Now I'm just a fan of a few songs, but after seeing this, there's no way in hell I'll ever spend money on The Smashing Pumpkins live.

Billy Corgan's not the only one who thinks he can crap diamonds, there's a list that goes on and on, but here are a few of my favorite highlights:

  • Rick Berman, who ran Star Trek into the ground after ruining DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Insurrection, and Nemesis.
  • George Lucas, first for the Ewoks, then for Jar-Jar Binks and the adventure of kid Anakin, now for the animated TV series that's Sunday morning animation quality.
  • Bill Gates who, to borrow an old joke, doesn't think he can crap diamonds, he thinks he can crap features.
  • Stephen King, who went from a modern day Poe or Lovecraft, to retelling his original stories or writing stuff no one cares about, like The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.


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