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Old 11-10-2021, 06:08 PM   #1
Squish Squash
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Default In your opinion, did SP reach a level few (if any) bands ever reached?

I can’t really explain it but no music has meant as much to me as SP has. I think part of why I hate Billy so much is because I love his music back in the day more than life itself and he refuses to go back to whatever it was that created such gorgeous music.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:22 PM   #2
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no

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:25 PM   #3
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I guess they just emotionally resonate with me in a way no other music does. It’s the only music I’ve ever heard that sounds how I feel.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:29 PM   #4
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I mean, I absolutely get what you're saying, but to answer the thread title, fuck, every musician has saved someone's life, you know?

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:38 PM   #5
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People who don't feel, about some artist or even just some piece of art, the way you, SS, feel about the Pumpkins, make me very nervous and I try to avoid interacting with them.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:42 PM   #6
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They certainly accomplished a lot. That is for sure. Making great music, selling millions of records, and playing sold out arenas is pretty impressive. It was just purely from the quality of the music too, they didn't look like rockstars and weren't icons. Of course, I think this is what sticks in Billy's craw the most and something he just can't seem to get past, and is the reason for a lot of the tension that's been present since pretty much the Adore era. He's not Kurt, Axel, Bono, Bowie, etc. He's not a symbol or an icon, he's just this suburban kid who is great at music , and the fact that he's not considered a symbol of his generation seems to be at the core of animosity that's been present. As much as Billy talks about playing characters and taking on the culture, it's all bluster and something he can just not pull off.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 07:46 PM   #7
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I do think the flavor of both the music and the fans is very notable, and generally favorable to me . But I'm sure the deepest part of other fandoms share an overlap in traits with us, I just wouldn't know.

I wonder if there are any Oasis or Misfits message boards, for example.

I will say I also participate in a fandom community for both an old author and an old TV show, and it's not the same.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:20 PM   #8
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All I know is that I like(d) the band a lot.

Whether they are objectively a significant band in the history of rock or exceptional in any way? Who cares? Power-ranking bands is boring and wankish.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:21 PM   #9
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Power-wanking

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:32 PM   #10
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I used to think so as a teenager, I guess? But now it strikes me as a meaningless question to ask. Culturally, no, the pumpkins didn't turn out to be that important. Musically, I think they were very creative, but some of their peers were more inventive and acclaimed - Radiohead, Björk, etc? They certainly weren't leagues ahead of everyone else.

But I think they made music that was very good at speaking to people with a certain type of upbringing - basically kids who went through some form of abuse and were trying to figure out how to navigate their lives in the aftermath. Maybe it's just my age showing, but I feel that bands like My Chemical Romance tap into some sort of generic feeling of out-of-placeness, some teenage desire to be different. Again, maybe I'm biased, but I don't think the Pumpkins are like that at all. All these years later, I still feel Billy truly grappled with the meaning of being shaped by abuse. He didn't find any resolution; apparently he never did find a way to transform and move beyond his past. But you can't listen to his old music and tell me he wasn't burning with the desire to do just that, even if he didn't know how or why. He was very good at conveying just how alone and different his experiences made him feel, and he was reaching out for something, anything, in all his dysfunctional glory.

They are still up there with my personal favorites. But they aren't alone there either. I feel very similarly about Sufjan's music. In the past few years, I fell in love with Adrianne Lenker's music. They speak to me just as much as the Pumpkins ever did.

So I guess the answer is no, they aren't special, not in a universal sense. They're special to me, though.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:33 PM   #11
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The high point for me was The Aeroplane box set. After that I lost my way.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:58 PM   #12
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I think in hindsight the Pumpkins' original run looks better than ever. The reissues pretty much showed there was twice the amount of good music than you would have thought had you only listened to the albums like I did, and the diversity of it does keep the overall catalogue fresh. Billy deserves tons of credit for that foresight. He may not have had a major financial or critical success in his experimentation, but he did manage to make lots of cool music while not diluting the SD or MCIS sound. To answer your question, Squish Squash, I believe SP has achieved incredibly high levels of accomplishment in regards to their music, taking a backseat to no one in my opinion. The problem is whether enough people are there to listen in order for it to get traction and recognition, and unfortunately the answer seems to be no. While they were popular in their day, Billy's cantankerous nature has pretty much robbed the band of their rightful legacy. On any best of lists for albums or songs, they are always ranked far too low and below material nowhere near as good. In 90s retrospectives they are barely mentioned if at all. No HBO or Netflix documentaries, no Rock n Roll HOF. But who knows, maybe tons of high school kids today are discovering the albums, we can only hope.

 
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Old 11-10-2021, 11:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rairun View Post
I used to think so as a teenager, I guess? But now it strikes me as a meaningless question to ask. Culturally, no, the pumpkins didn't turn out to be that important. Musically, I think they were very creative, but some of their peers were more inventive and acclaimed - Radiohead, Björk, etc? They certainly weren't leagues ahead of everyone else.

But I think they made music that was very good at speaking to people with a certain type of upbringing - basically kids who went through some form of abuse and were trying to figure out how to navigate their lives in the aftermath. Maybe it's just my age showing, but I feel that bands like My Chemical Romance tap into some sort of generic feeling of out-of-placeness, some teenage desire to be different. Again, maybe I'm biased, but I don't think the Pumpkins are like that at all. All these years later, I still feel Billy truly grappled with the meaning of being shaped by abuse. He didn't find any resolution; apparently he never did find a way to transform and move beyond his past. But you can't listen to his old music and tell me he wasn't burning with the desire to do just that, even if he didn't know how or why. He was very good at conveying just how alone and different his experiences made him feel, and he was reaching out for something, anything, in all his dysfunctional glory.

They are still up there with my personal favorites. But they aren't alone there either. I feel very similarly about Sufjan's music. In the past few years, I fell in love with Adrianne Lenker's music. They speak to me just as much as the Pumpkins ever did.

So I guess the answer is no, they aren't special, not in a universal sense. They're special to me, though.
this 100%

in fact, I think any kids (say, under 15) who were obsessed with SP in the 90s should have been red-flagged for CPS investigation

only kidding a little. but I do think it was a huge red flag that I loved them so much when I was like 11 years old.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rairun View Post
But I think they made music that was very good at speaking to people with a certain type of upbringing - basically kids who went through some form of abuse and were trying to figure out how to navigate their lives in the aftermath. Maybe it's just my age showing, but I feel that bands like My Chemical Romance tap into some sort of generic feeling of out-of-placeness, some teenage desire to be different. Again, maybe I'm biased, but I don't think the Pumpkins are like that at all.
I think a large part of their audience is/was searching for meaning, seeking strength, and using the scale of the music as escapism. There is obviously an overlap there with abuse victims, but I think that's a bit narrow. The rest of the audience includes the mentally ill, addicts, and regular ol' smart but weird! I definitely agree that this contrasts with the alternative music that came a decade after it, which was much more connected thanks to the internet, and fashion-focused. The emo-type bands secured an audience of partiers, self-proclaimed rebels, and arty kids. Just a different vibe, and generally people of that scene seemed to have a better social life than a typical Pumpkinhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenDogGlynis View Post
The problem is whether enough people are there to listen in order for it to get traction and recognition, and unfortunately the answer seems to be no. On any best of lists for albums or songs, they are always ranked far too low and below material nowhere near as good. In 90s retrospectives they are barely mentioned if at all. No HBO or Netflix documentaries, no Rock n Roll HOF.
This kind of speaks to my point, the Pumpkins and their fans aren't popular enough to rank high on any pop culture lists, because both the band members and the audience tend to go unnoticed. A band won't get acclaim like that without a fight from their fans, and we just haven't been heard/no one cares because there's more easily digestible bands with flashier fans.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:02 AM   #15
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I made this thread rather emotionally because I was in a dark place and no other band speaks to me when I’m in pain like SP does. I have to remember that my feelings aren’t facts lol. Still I think they are definitely one of the most emotional bands you will find and very good at speaking to people who are damaged.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:49 AM   #16
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I'm not really on board with the sentiment that SP music is only for weird or damaged people, whatever that is supposed to mean. The music is great and anyone can be a fan of it, and many people were. They packed arenas and sold millions of records. They ruled the radio and mtv, they weren't some niche thing to quote en quote 'outsiders.' Billy's behavior and decisions are the sole reasons why the band has lost so much popularity. He should have kept the band together back in 2000 or semi-competently handled the reunion in 2007 and he did neither. Look, it's not necessarily a bad thing. He doesn't have to hold out as much as he does but it's a gift that there's not a bunch of SP albums that are just watered down SD. He could certainly improve some aspects of his social skills but I don't think anyone wants him to be acting like Dave Grohl either. I kinda think the stage costumes are solely responsible for 95% of SP's troubles

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 11:01 AM   #17
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I bet Kylie Jenner really loves The Smashing Pumpkins

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 11:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I think a large part of their audience is/was searching for meaning, seeking strength, and using the scale of the music as escapism. There is obviously an overlap there with abuse victims, but I think that's a bit narrow. The rest of the audience includes the mentally ill, addicts, and regular ol' smart but weird! I definitely agree that this contrasts with the alternative music that came a decade after it, which was much more connected thanks to the internet, and fashion-focused. The emo-type bands secured an audience of partiers, self-proclaimed rebels, and arty kids. Just a different vibe, and generally people of that scene seemed to have a better social life than a typical Pumpkinhead.
I think you're right. I do think their music can appeal to a broader audience. I was just trying to explain what I think makes their music unique, and why they appeal to me specifically above bands that are sometimes considered better.

You don't need to have been abused as a child to appreciate their music, but I think it might be harder for a general audience to appreciate the depth of their output when exploring those issues. I'm sure individuals can and do appreciate it, but I think it's very easy for a lot of people to dismiss it as teenage angst. And then there are also people who are fans and don't get that aspect of their music either. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's always mystified me that Monte is a fan. I'm not sure I understand what he sees in those songs.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 11:24 AM   #19
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A song like "Today" is the perfect example of how they were so popular and niche at the same time - your average listener for sure just think it's a song about having a nice day. Anyone privy to actually going "whole hog" into SP fandom knows it's about lil bill wanting to jump out a window

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 11:29 AM   #20
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I wasn't thinking of casuals when I said what I said. Yes, they filled arenas, and even Bill himself says many of those attendees just came to see the Rat In A Cage band.

I'm not gatekeeping, just saying what I've seen within the fandom and what I haven't seen in their broader recognition.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 12:50 PM   #21
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Yes but it's this

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Originally Posted by Squish Squash View Post
...he refuses to go back to whatever it was that created such gorgeous music...
that got them there and what makes SP a special band.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 12:55 PM   #22
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It's probably very true that most people who went to big Pumpkins concerts back in the day only knew a few songs, but I think that's probably true about every band. I'd be surprised if most fans who show up at a Rolling Stones concert could have an in depth discussion or even a surface level one on the differences between Some Girls and Tattoo You or anything like that. It's probably the same thing for every band. I'm not saying SP fans don't share some things in common. Billy actually said in an interview with Monte that he thought SP fans were generally pretty smart. While that could obviously be read as false-flattery or a little too general it did seem there was something he was trying to get at with saying that. He even said something about SP fans being college educated or if they weren't they smart regardless. I guess that comment can be taken any which way but he did seem sincere, and it was interesting to hear Billy complementing people on their college education when he never went given he can be pretty insecure about things sometimes.

Anyway, I see what people are saying, but I think the SP fans deserve a better description than damaged and abused. That sounds like a following of a self-pitying metal band and that's just not what SP or their fans are.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:39 PM   #23
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At Rolling Stones - £100s per ticket - level they genuinely are filling stadiums with Hardcore fans (+ a friend/long suffering spouse who agreed to go with them) or beneficiaries of corporate hospitality.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:45 PM   #24
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Well more power to them then. Love The Rolling Stones.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 06:01 PM   #25
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It's probably very true that most people who went to big Pumpkins concerts back in the day only knew a few songs
i don't see how people enjoy gigs like that tbh. outside of those few you're just bored or ambiently grooving

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:05 PM   #26
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yeah i get going see Smash Mouth at your local state fair or whatever but to go through all the fees & "hustle and bustle" of a Pumpkins gig just for, what... Today, Disarm & Tonight Tonight?


mmmmmmm.... nah!

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:10 PM   #27
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i don't see how people enjoy gigs like that tbh. outside of those few you're just bored or ambiently grooving
Yeah, and to be fair I have no idea if this is true at all, I wasn't there in the 90s and personally have no idea if this was the case or not. Billy has said its true a lot and it's not necessarily flattering to the band so I've just taken his and people here's word on it, but yeah I don't know.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:40 PM   #28
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Anecdotal and speculative, but at the MCIS show I attended (generally considered one of the worst of the entire tour!), I definitely felt like the energy level of the crowd completely changed when the band played one of their big singles. Like night and day. Lots of people left the first time they went offstage; lots more people left when the first encore was XYU. I think you had to be kind of hardcore into them to not throw a couple bottles and drift out the door when they finally came on for the second encore to play 1979, but not before Billy gave like a ten-minute spiel about how they were going to pick a few dancers for this next one, and here's a list of 67 things you must not do when you're up here, and here's my buddy Jimmy Flemion, let me tell you about this time Jimmy and me had had a few and...

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
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i don't see how people enjoy gigs like that tbh. outside of those few you're just bored or ambiently grooving
Quote:
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yeah i get going see Smash Mouth at your local state fair or whatever but to go through all the fees & "hustle and bustle" of a Pumpkins gig just for, what... Today, Disarm & Tonight Tonight?


mmmmmmm.... nah!
I'll see a band whose songs I don't know very well if I'm reasonably certain I'll enjoy listening even to the songs I'm not yet familiar with.

Only if the price is right, though. Fewer than twenty bucks to see some band that I really like two or three songs by, but never had the chance to actually delve into? Sure, if I've got nothing else to do that night. $50? No, I'll probably stay home and play video games.

 
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Old 11-11-2021, 09:30 PM   #30
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