by (@BHSmithNYC)

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Returns To The Mainstream (With A Little Help From Tommy Lee)


Since entering the limelight in 1991, the apocryphal year zero of “the grunge revolution” as he calls it, Billy Corgan has led The Smashing Pumpkins with unsentimental musical ambition. Never one to be lulled into complacency by past achievements, he has driven his band from one artistic challenge to another, from alternative guitar rock to electronica and back again, from concept records to concept album cycles. His latest full-length with the band, Monuments to an Elegy, comes out today and is part of a series of releases he calls Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Inspired by Tarot cards and begun in 2008, the series also includes 2012′s Oceania album and will conclude next year with a planned experimental album, Day for Night, and an eventual box set issue of all related recordings. Read more…

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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Wayne’s “Jeggings” Dominate VMA Fashion Talk
Lady Gaga may have dressed in drag (including a fake penis!) but the underdog fashion statement of the Video Music Awards has turned out to be Lil Wayne‘s attire?specifically, the Tripp women’s leopard-print skinny jeans he sported during his show-closing performance of “How To Love” and “John.” As eagle-eyed critics noted, the style is available from East Village boutique Trash and Vaudeville (but also, unsurprisingly, from Hot Topic). Technically, they’re not jeggings, but that hasn’t stopped “Wayne’s Jeggings” from catching on, even as Twitter account @Waynes_Jeggings (naturally, @DrakesSweater also exists). [Us Weekly/Complex]

Altruism Alert: Linkin Park’s Benefit-Show Tsunami-Relief Fundraiser Nets $350K; 50 Cent Does His Part After Festival Set
The Linkin Park tsunami-relief show we reported on last month happened last night, after fans raised over $350,000 for Japan for Relief. [MTV]
50 Cent also played a benefit show (today, in fact) in Norway following his performance at the RxR Festival. He scheduled an aftershow to take place in the ballroom of the Clarion Hotel in Stavanger to raise money for the Utøya Fund, and invited survivors of the Utøya massacre to both shows and a meet-and-greet. (Bet you thought the 50 Cent altruism story was going to be about his appearance on Pauly D‘s album.) [NY Post]
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The Top Five Musical Feuds Of The Last 20 Years (Not Involving Moby)

Moby‘s comments last week about what types of pop are and aren’t music isn’t the first time he’s taken shots at other artists. At the 2001 Grammy Awards he called Eminem ”a racist, a homophobe, and a misogynist.” But he’s not the only artist who’s feuded over art (and, implicitly, integrity). Here are the five most notable feuds of the last 20 years.

FEUD: Nirvana vs. Guns N’ Roses
HOW IT STARTED: Nirvana never liked the lyrical misogyny and homophobia of Guns N’ Roses, but the feud officially got underway when Nirvana turned down an offer to open for the band on tour.
KEY NIRVANA PULLQUOTE: Kurt Cobain, interviewed by Kevin Allman in the February 1992 issue of The Advocate:

I can’t even waste my time on that band, because they’re so obviously pathetic and untalented. I used to think that everything in the mainstream pop world was crap, but now that some underground bands have been signed with majors, I take Guns N’ Roses as more of an offense. I have to look into it more: They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.

KEY GUNS ‘N’ ROSES PULLQUOTE: Axl Rose, on stage in Seattle: “Nirvana would rather stay home and shoot drugs with their bitch wives than tour with us.”
WINNER: At the time, Nirvana by a mile, but as time has gone on and Cobain-as-icon has lost some of its political edge, it’s now closer to a draw.
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You Oughta Know Live: The Civil Wars “Disarm” the VH1 Audience With An Unexpected Smashing Pumpkins Cover

You Oughta Know artists The Civil Wars wowed the VH1 offices with a heartfelt and observant You Oughta Know Live performance a few weeks back. The duo quickly won the initially skeptical crowd over, but when they closed their set with a haunting (and surprising) cover of The Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Disarm,” the audience was awestruck. Re-imagined as a tragic duet, the song’s angst is all the more touching. Who knew that The Civil Wars were as skilled at arrangement as they are at songwriting?

Check out the whole set, including their single “Barton Hollow,” exclusively at VH1.com. And, don’t forget, one of the best ways to stay abreast of the latest bands that are emerging from the shadows and beginning to claim the spotlight is by frequently checking out the MTV Music Meter, where the Civil Wars currently occupy the #10 spot on the chart.

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You Oughta Know Live Sneak Peek: The Civil Wars

We’re always excited when a You Oughta Know artist comes to our offices and performs an exclusive You Oughta Know Live set, but The Civil Wars particularly enthralled the room (even if the “room” was our lobby). Before they took the impromptu stage, the audience was more hesitant than usual, largely hanging by the elevators or against the back wall.

But the instant they launched their their four-song set with their single “Barton Hollow,” the band’s presence drew in the crowd; Joy Williams and John Paul White are almost instinctual performers. Williams in particular accentuated her vocals by gesturing and dancing, and when, on “Poison & Wine” (“the loud version,” as White called it), she was behind the keyboard, the two locked eyes, not only to “perform” the doomed love of the song but also as a substitute for any rhythmic accompaniment besides White’s strumming (which also allowed them to end on a rather long shared note). These two belong on a stage. No wonder they scored opening gigs for Adele next month.

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