WTF of the Week: Billy Corgan Hits the Pavement

This week, self-aggrandizing rock god and head pumpkin in charge Billy Corgan slammed fellow '90s alternative band Pavement via Twitter  [via Pitchfork Media].
The two seminal groups will be playing a show together in Brazil, and apparently
Corgan is none too pleased. He predicts the gig will be one of those
“New Orleans type funerals,” and goes on to say that Pavement
represents the death of the alternative dream and that Smashing
Pumpkins will follow them with an affirmation of life.

Corgan ended his
rant by calling Pavement a bunch of sellouts and that his band would be
getting love because they would be playing new songs. Hooray!
Between 1991's Gish and 1995's  Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,
Corgan and company produced some of the best songs of the '90s, many of
which mainstream radio continues to play to this day. But it was lesser
known songs such as the furious metallic sonic assault of Geek U.S.A.
and Silverfucked coupled with the languid dreaminess of such tunes as
Soma and Rhinoceros that endeared this band to a hardcore group of

But alas, throughout the years, Corgan habitually
alienated fellow musicians including members of his own band. Former
Pixie bassist Kim Deal once referred to him as “a self important
asshole.” And of course, tension between the Pumpkins and Pavement goes
way back.

In 1994 Pavement released the song “Range Life” on the album Crooked Rain
wherein  vocalist Stephen Malkmus utters the phrase “Out on tour with
the Smashing Pumpkins/ Nature kids, they don't have no function/ I
don't understand what they mean/ and I could really give a fuck.” Sort
of a dick move, but I'm sure Malkmus had his reasons. Corgan was
obviously enraged and rumors were thrown around that he did everything
he could to keep Pavement of the mainstage at 1994's Lollapalooza.

the height of the  Pumpkin's success in the '90s, Corgan began switching
out various players in his own band  and producing increasingly dodgy
music (Zeitgeist, anyone?). Most recently, he licensed one of
the Pumpkin's most enduring songs “Today” for use in a Visa commercial.
And the money he raked in didn't help his songwriting any. Witness the
recent release “Spangled” off the forthcoming Teargarden by Kaleidescope.
With its Beatlesesque harpsichord and shiteous lyrics (“Tangled in your
body/Spangled by the nightime skies”) to call it uninspired would be
the nicest thing a critic could say.  Heads up: The album will feature
44 songs.

One would think the musical decline of the band would have a humbling effect on Corgan. Not so. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone,
Corgan was quoted as saying, “Do I belong in the conversation about the
best artists in the world? My answer is yes. I do.” This man makes me
proud to be a fan.

Begging the question:
Who the fuck does
Billy Corgan think he is slamming Pavement when he's every bit–if not
more–of a rock N roll sinner? While Corgan punishes his fans with
craptastic new material nobody wants to hear, Pavement has been
enthralling fans with old classics such as “Spit on a Stranger” and the
uber poppy “Cut Your Hair.”

And sellout? This from a guy who
collaborated with Visa at a time when debt and predatory lending was
crippling the citizens of this fine nation. Billy, I love you man, but
instead of opening your big fat mouth to rant, try putting your energy
into a song that sounds good.

When it all goes down:
Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement will play the Planeta Terra Festival at the Playcenter in Sao Paulo, Brazil Nov. 20.

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