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Old 06-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
wounded
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Default I just went where I had not been in years.

http://www.netphoria.org

seriously the main fucking site. been a long time since i checked that out. Even read the history section

Netphoria is the web’s largest, most popular and longest running fan-based website devoted to the alternative music band the Smashing Pumpkins. Over the years Netphoria and its users have developed a unique reputation in the Smashing Pumpkins Community largely a result of our infamous Netphoria Message Board.

The Beginning
Netphoria started as a personal web project in late 1997, I was 16 years old and I had already started a smaller Pumpkins website called “Andrew’s Smashing Pumpkins Site” but wanted to create something larger and more involved. At the time owning a domain name and providing hosting for it was more complicated and expensive to do which made it more of a challenge to get the site going but by February 1998 Netphoria was born.

The Name
The name “Netphoria” comes from Vieuphoria (the Smashing Pumpkins video), replacing the “vieu” with “net” to reflect the Internet. Using this name was a bit of a gamble as it did not have the Smashing Pumpkins in its name at all but the name was unique and in time was adopted well by the community.

Netphoria’s Rise
In early promotion of Netphoria I used some questionable tactics to try to build traffic and awareness of the website, those who have been around long enough will remember Netphoria being spammed on the Pumpkins newsgroup alt.music.smash-pumpkins. Granted this tactic pissed a lot of people off it did succeed in establishing traffic to the site and ultimately got things rolling.

Netphoria gained popularity for having the most up to date and latest Smashing Pumpkins news available hence the site slogan “Your Daily Pumpkins Fix”. News was updated by myself as well as Michael Day and then later Hoser who were my co-webmasters at the time. Although the site was now getting good traffic and had established itself it wasn’t until the Message Board was added that really made Netphoria what it is today.

Threat of a Lawsuit
It wasn’t until one day in the days leading up to the release of Adore that I realized how big Netphoria had gotten when suddenly I was served with papers from the RIAA threatening a lawsuit and demanding that I cease and desist posting several low quality versions of the album songs before the album was released. It was then that I realized Netphoria had become important enough that the RIAA and others were taking notice. In the end the songs were removed and nothing ever became of it.

The Message Board
In the early days of the internet message board forums were primitive, the first message board Netphoria used was an old line based board. It had no usernames, no individual forums, it wasn’t easy to follow the threads or search it either. Nonetheless for the Pumpkins community there was nothing else like it similar on the internet so it gained popularity.

Eventually it was replaced by the UBB board which has a similar format to the current VBulletin board however it still wasn’t database driven and relied solely on generated html files. Although this format worked much better the downside was that it took up too much disk space and as a result old posts had to be purged on a regular basis. Looking back on it now I wish there was some sort of way I could have saved all those posts as the current message board would be double the size it is now if those posts still existed.

Over the next few years Netphoria staked its place as the most popular and largest Smashing Pumpkins message board on the internet. Netphoria was able to achieve this by taking a hands off approach to the way the board was run and moderated. We have never believed in large scale censorship or over moderation and have always allowed free and open speech on the board. Due to this openness Netphoria has often been described as being too dark, negative or mean spirited and later even described famously as “Hatephoria” by Linda Strawberry.

Decline of the Main Site
While the message board continued to gain more and more popularity over the years the main part of the original site started a steady decline 2000 onward. Once Machina was released I found myself less interested in the direction the music was heading and the updating of the site became less and less frequent. By the time the band announced they were breaking up other then the news almost nothing was being updated on the site any more. In the years the followed I left the website up but everything had become dated and the state of the site became mostly a joke. In this time I had also graduated and started working leaving me very little free time to devote to the site.

Billy Corgan’s Reaction to Netphoria
In the early days of Netphoria I do not believe Billy Corgan or the band were aware of the site. Once the internet became more mainstream however and the fact that the Smashing Pumpkins did not have a decent official website for the longest time I believe Billy became more aware of Netphoria and other fan sites. It was often rumored and speculated over the years that Billy from time to time has read the boards on Netphoria and even possibly posted under an alias, various sources have confirmed this and Billy himself in several interviews has indirectly mentioned Netphoria without naming it. When I met Billy Corgan in 2007 he was well aware of what goes on at Netphoria.

The official Smashing Pumpkins site at one time had its own message board known as the “o-board” which was direct response to the popularity of the Netphoria Message Board, the o-board however was heavily moderated and censored and ultimately did not last that long. When I met Billy in person he commented that he does not like the negativity that message boards attracted and was unlikely to ever have a message board again on the official site.

One of the only direct public comments about Netphoria came in June 2007 when Billy Corgan called Netphoria “bullshit” when asked about it after a show (click here to read the thread about it). Despite Billy’s comment “I don’t read that bullshit”, the impression I got from meeting Billy a few months later was that he does not hold any ill will against Netphoria. He may not personally like the site 100% due to its perceived negativity but he does respect it and acknowledges it is an important fan website for his band.

Music Garage Incident (stolen photos)
In May 2007 a group of individuals stole pictures from the Smashing Pumpkins while they were rehearsing at the Music Garage. They proceed to post these stolen photos on Netphoria and caused quite a disruption for the site. The bands management contacted us and asked us to remove the stolen works, they did not blame the site and were thankful that we took care of the situation quickly. News of the incident spread quickly and Netphoria and myself were quoted in many online articles including MTV and Spin Magazine. Some good did come out of the event, it opened a line of communication between Netphoria and the bands management and later led me to meet Billy Corgan.

Rebirth of a new Site
Over the years I had always planned to relaunch the main site of Netphoria with a new site but nothing firm ever came together and time simply marched on. It wasn’t until Billy Corgan announced he was restarting the Pumpkins that I decided I wanted to make a new site. Originally I had planned to launch something to coincide with the release of the new album Zeitgeist however things never came together and it wasn’t until early 2008, now 10 years after the original date the site started that I started developing the new website.

 
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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man, the stolen photos really makes me nostalgic. that shit was epic.

 
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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Who updates the main page?

 
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:59 PM   #4
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monte

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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he made one update in 2 years

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
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Although I previously had claimed this album was most likely going to be shitty, the truth is I had no real idea. This was because although Corgan is clearly at the lowest point of his career, there were also some glimmers of hope. I actually thought Astral Planes and Freak were alright songs, and pretty much every one of the Oceania songs debuted on the last tour piqued my interest. “It could go either way” is what I really thought, and I wasn’t excited about this album per se—merely interested which way the direction will fall.

In hearing it all, I’d say it teeters back in forth between the lowest of the low and the highest of the, well, low. Surely, this is nothing close to anything achieved by “SP1”, Gish through Machina. The dynamics that Corgan and Chamberlin created together is absent, as well as the creativity, dynamics and consistently-solid songwriting. But certainly, Oceania is better than Shitgeist, The Snoozer Embrace and Smelly Farts of the Sea. Clearly this batch of songs is the cream of the crop harvested in the Teargden By Crappyscope.

The impression I have is what I felt for all of Teargarden: this is a continuation of the musical themes and songwriting established at the very tail end of Machina and into Zwan. To put it bluntly, this is simply what Billy Corgan’s songs sound like now. I would not say they are more contrived or formulaic, but refined. You can tell he has reached a point where the act of songwriting has become so easy and thoughtless, the songs themselves have become a shadow of what they were a decade ago. He knows he has to work hard to produce something of real value, and it shows. In effect, we can have some real stinkers, mingling with real gems--just like the whole of Mary Star of The Sea and Shitgeist. Luckily, he has filtered the stinkers for the most part on Oceania, and it is 2/3rds pretty impressive. The stinkers must have been reserved for Teargarden. But don’t get me wrong: when Oceania smells, it smells BAD.

The sonic landscape and vocalization also goes with the refined-Corgan approach, and this album, in essence, could very well be the second Zwan album that never existed. If Chamberlin had drummed on this album, it very well could have been Zwan. That must say a lot about his former Zwan bandmates, of how much they actually contributed to the sonic landscape of the band…

Speaking of, one thing that must be touched upon is this new line-up: What exactly is Smashing Pumpkins Mark 3? We are essentially left with a more apt guitar player to emulate Corgan’s own playing; a more creative and flowery bass player; and a less interesting drummer. While the first two aspects are simply improved James and D’Arcy clones, the third point hits the band hard—but not hard enough to totally knock them out. To say that it does is just ignorance. Without a doubt, The Kid is no Jimmy Chamberlin. But then again, NO ONE is Jimmy Chamberlin. So then we come to the crux, should this be a moot point then? I believe it is. I will give the young man credit: no one can fill Chamberlin’s shoes, so, hey! don’t even bother trying. At least he has balls to step up. But I will say the biggest drawback is the drumsound itself. Who the hell engineered this album? The drums sound soulless and lack character. In comparison to soundboard tapes, it doesn’t seem to be the little tike’s drumming, but poor mixing and/or recording of his drums.

Let us look at the individual songs…

Quasar – Compositionally pretty average and obviously written as an introduction to the album. At least other openers such as Cherub Rock or To Sheila had some substance; Quasar does not. Decent enough performance and production though. B-

Panopticon – A solid song, probably one of the best he’s written in ten years. It would sit alongside the best tracks of Mary Star of The Sea easily, and that is fine by me. A-

The Celestials – not bad, but not convincingly good either. Nice contrast to the previous two songs, but the formula of ‘Hit single as the third track’ has completely worn thin for this band and Corgan’s intent is completely transparent here. It seems to try to be that hit single he drastically needs, but falls completely short. But it’s an enjoyably song, still above anything grown in a Teargarden. B

Violet Rays – The album starts to turn sour as we soon realize that Corgan has already turned to the filler tracks so early in the album’s running order to sandwich the good tracks. Violet Rays is of little value in the SP discography, barely a Machina b-side. It is completely forgettable. C-

My Love Is Winter – Probably one of the best songs on the album, a stand-out track as Stand Inside Your Love was on Machina or Honestly on Mary Star of The Sea. Unfortunately, it lacks the awe-inspiring lyrics and fantastic hooks of the previous decade’s hit singles. Although excellent when in the context of this album, it becomes a decent Mellon Collie b-side when compared to the rest of Corgan’s discography. A-

One Diamond, One Heart –Well, at least Owata was interesting in the slightest, something that cannot be said of this song. I don’t know what’s sadder here: this song, or the fact that there must not have been a better song to take its place on the album. D+

Pinwheels – What begins as a pretty obvious rip of “Baba O’Riley” turns into a cleverly-arranged song that somehow manages to not build into the expected rocker. As much as I would have liked the drums to come in and rock-out, I applause Corgan for holding back. Stand-out track. B+

Oceania – I think most people should think that the fact that there is an epic, nearly-10-minute track on every single Smashing Pumpkins song is completely contrived. But we all ignore this because the songs are generally quite fantastic and fit perfectly in the context of its album; we seem to overlook its contrivance. Upon hearing the live versions of this song, I was not able to forget it this time: it was obviously a number of fragments, crammed together to make The Stereotype Epic Smashing Pumpkins Song For Side B. But upon hearing this studio version, I was pleasantly surprised how cohesive the title track and I reversed my opinion. Apparently, the live interpretation was lacking the crystal clear vision Corgan had intended all along for these perfectly fitted fragments. My only complaint is the lack of resolution in the song’s inappropriate fade. Imagine the final phrases of Iha’s closing solo of Glass + The Ghost Children fading out… Or the power being pulled on Starla halfway through the closing solo. This is the impression I received, Corgan effectively ruining what could have been his crown achievement over the last decade. B

Pale Horse – This is inarguably Corgan’s finest moment on the album, and possibly the finest moment he’s ever had since Machina. This is one of the few songs on this album that could stand proudly alongside his entire discography. Pale Horse could have been the Machina outtake that everyone lamented was not included on the album, or the Double Door song that no one understood why it wasn’t recorded for Mellon Collie. Excellent use of percussion and restraint, gathering atmosphere for the mysterious and vividly interesting lyrics. A

The Chimera – Unfortunately by this point in Oceania, it seems Corgan has run through all his great ideas after the fantastic triad of Pinwheels-Oceania-Pale Horse. The remainder of the album is forgettable, not only by comparison, but on its own right. The Chimera is a completely throw-away rocker, nothing short of a Zwan outtake you could leave or take. C

Glissandra – Flashy, characteristic Corgan song titles won’t save this album at this point, as the barrage of throw-away Zwan ditties continue. This song should have been left roadside with Paz, Pajo and Sweeny. C

Inkless – A surprise hopeful amongst the duds, Inkless is mistakenly tagged near the end of the album and nearly forgotten. Sounding like a riff salvaged from the Pasticio Medley, it references an era long gone and shall never return. But it’s too easy for our judgment to be clouded in nostalgia; this classic Pumpkins sound is grounded in the lack of Chamberlin, and it becomes painfully obvious way Oceania sounds the way it is in the first place: there is no other Chamberlin, don’t even bother trying. You can try to relive the past, but what’s gone is always gone. B-

Wildflower - Throughout Oceania, we feel that Corgan is grasping for his former power, and we can feel the electricity just barely scraping his fingertips as he reaches harder and harder. Mid album, we think he might actually grab a hold of it! But after a closing run of forgettable songs and frankly a completely amateur and embarrassing closing tune, we see that it is realistically far, far out of reach. Maybe he is over the hill, out of ideas. Maybe it’s the lack of a prodigal drummer. Or maybe this is all intentional, a part of some sick masterplan. Either way, this album full of hopefulness is closed with a complete lack thereof, a dreadful snoozer. Wildflower is, without a doubt the worst album-closer of the entire Smashing Pumpkins catalog, and we are reminded of where and WHEN we are. This is not 1994, this is 2012. There is no Chamberlin and The Smashing Pumpkins are forgettable adult alternative of varying degrees of brilliance and failure. D+

Overall rating: C+/B-

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:33 AM   #7
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so when is Pakula giving us answers about January 2013?

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
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i'd be really shocked if he didn't just let it lapse

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:42 AM   #9
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i mean seriously a new album is on the shelves and this place has gotten no burst of activity at all

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:43 AM   #10
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But... I don't want netphoria to go away

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:58 AM   #11
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well maybe if we get some kind of answer by fall we could start a kickstarter or something

i mean the silence is annoying but

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:05 AM   #12
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I wonder what the server fees are like. I mean, is it feasible to keep that this place running w/out regular donations/ad revenue?

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:14 AM   #13
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pakula's numbers are in the black because of all the SEO bullshit. he'll get the little reminder email from godaddy in december and re-register the domain.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:17 AM   #14
Sonic Johnny
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See i'm not convinced he will. This place must be a financial drain by now. If he lets the domain lapse does all our user data just get deleted? Any kind of communication would be good.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:24 AM   #15
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i'm not the one to ask about that i got a liberal arts degree

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:31 AM   #16
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slunken, these articulate opinions are matching up to mine so well that I'll let your descriptions take the place of me finishing the last half of the album. it's so bland i don't even hate it enough to continue.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Johnny View Post
See i'm not convinced he will. This place must be a financial drain by now. If he lets the domain lapse does all our user data just get deleted? Any kind of communication would be good.
If the server bills still get paid, then there's no data loss. If the domain name registration lapses, someone can still back up the entire database (user profiles and content) and nothing will be lost.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wounded View Post
http://www.netphoria.org

Netphoria is the web’s largest, most popular and...


....10 years after the original date the site started that I started developing the new website.
Pakula's SP Life

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:00 AM   #19
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I will buy the site.

Name your price, Pakula!

 
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