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SANTA CRUZ, CA - Last night Billy Corgan and "Friends" (as one local reporter called it) rocked the historic Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium (1769).

As expected, the show was sold out with rockers ranging in age from teens to guys in their 50s. Remember, The Smashing Pumpkins will be two decades old next year. Rock on older rockers!
The younger rockers are likely to be fans of Corgan's newer music, such as the popular YouTube music video "Tarantula." (watch video)

Many fans, including myself, were somewhat let down by the show. For $35 (scalped tickets went as high as $120), you'd expect to see The Smashing Pumpkins. But we only got half a pumpkin, singer/songwriter Billy Corgan (who I happened to pass on the street two hours before the show) and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.

Original Pumpkin guitarist James Iha and bassist D'Arcy Wretzky left The Smashing Pumpkins in 2001 to launch Scratchie Records, a division of Mercury Records, which is thankfully not one of the major labels. Nevertheless, since that day, and until there is an actual "reunion", The Smashing Pumpkins cease to exist in my opinion.

Nevertheless, the filler, or substitute, members performing with Corgan were good, but it was definitely was missing that magic of the days when The Smashing Pumpkins were on top.

The show was almost painful at times to watch because the band didn't really seem to gel together on stage; it felt like they were just going through the motions. It was like that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach that says "hey, these people really don't want to be here."

In fact, I could have not bought a ticket and sat outside on the auditorium lawn and listened to it just fine. Arggg. I had already seen Corgan on the street. But people like me will pay extra in order to not miss a chance to see "The Smashing Pumpkins," or even a half of Pumpkin.

Anyways, the show was alright. Corgan, dressed in all white, was not at his best vocally, but he definitely sounds better in a smaller hall than say an outdoor arena (as he himself has bitched about in the past).

There was no real highlight of the show, at some points the light show was better than the music. Absent was the 'wow' factor of days of old when The Smashing Pumpkins captivated masses of thousands of fans at big concert venues with their electrifying, epic-like music, light shows and stage presence.

As for the Santa Cruz gig, Corgan interacted with the audience a few times and bragged that "their" new album is No. 2 in US and No.1 in Canada. He then raised his hands and pointed towards the crowd as a beam of light reflected off his shiny head and said "it's because of you guys. We love you."

Awesome Billy, but who exactly are "we"?

My disappointment may come off strong, but I'm much more interested to see the original three Pumpkins reunite and go on tour.

For that tour, you bet I'm setting the mail alerts on TicketMaster. Since next year is the 20th anniversary of the bands beginning, I think it would be ultimate if Dary and Ian jumped back in to the fray with Billy and announced a real reunion tour.

The band is book to co-headline the Virgin Festival in Baltimore next week.


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   July 29, 2007    2 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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For the sixth year now, the Village Voice in New York has sponsored the Siren Music Festival, attracting headliners such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie in years past and making a name for itself - well, sort of - in the indie rock underground.

But this year's festival, held this past weekend in New York, was about as lame as an indie rock festival in New York City can be.

With the exception of Voxtrot, a fairly popular indie outfit from Austin, the line-up and performers were a bust to indie fans, and especially to New York Times' snippy music critic Kelefa Sanneh:

Among other things, Sanneh wrote, the festival was missing "a hint of Brooklyn’s ethnic and musical diversity; a reminder that nonpopular [sic] music can be noisy or chaotic or dangerous; thrills. With a few exceptions the lineup felt full of second and third indie-rock fans outside the city this nit-picking probably seems crazy," Sanneh wrote. (Editors at the NYT: The correct word is unpopular, not nonpopular. Come on folks!)

"But this is New York, and this summer especially, fans of indie and indie-friendly music have been embarrassed by riches."

So, I guess I won't plan to go to the Siren Music Festival 2008; there are so many others that are worth going to, usually that cost money which can be a downside for indie rock fans who cannot afford to go to festivals or concerts.

Then again, thanks to the Internet, anyone with a computer and a connection can pretty much see any band they like perform. But it still doesn't compare at all to actually being there.

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   July 24, 2007    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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While it is by no means a reunion of the iconic alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan and his band are pitching themselves as the real thing, even though two of the original band members - bassist Darby Wretsky and guitarist James Iha - are not touring with Corgan.

Therefore, fans have actually gone to the shows not knowing Wretsky and Iha were not on the tour, and that's wrong; it would be like The Rolling Stones touring without Keith Richards (yeah I know...) and Ron Wood. Read more about reaction to this controversy.

Nevertheless, Billy Corgan and Friends, as a local reporter called the band, sold out 10 shows at San Francisco's historic Fillmore Theatre. Corgan apparently cannot lego his ego and decides to deceive fans.

Rumored to be 'The Smashing Pumpkins' last tour, tickets for all of the shows (the capacity of the venue is 1,500) were gone in one day and are now being scalped and sold on eBay and Craig's List (which eBay owns 25% of) for four to ten times the original sale price.

So, if you are a real pumpkin head and you can't get tickets for the San Francisco shows (listed below), make sure to stay tuned for announcements and check out concert dates here.

After missing out on getting tickets for the Fillmore shows in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to score a ticket for The Smashing Pumpkins playing in downtown Santa Cruz tomorrow, July 20. That's so cool that the Pumpkins are playing Santa Cruz!

The venue, the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, is small and intimate and knowing Santa Cruz (which is only 14 miles away from my residence).

You can easily sign up for the IndieFeed to get email and feed reader updates on all your favorite indie and alternative rock bands.

The Smashing Pumpkins of Billy Corgan and friends are scheduled to headline, along with The Police (and an awesome line-up of indie and alternative artists) play at the 2007 Virgin Festival in Baltimore on August 5th.

Why are so many indie rock concerts held in the sweltering days of summer across the country and in Europe? Ahhh of course to sell more drinks!

Check out the Smashing Pumpkins also at and YouTube's special series "Ask a Pumpkin".

Smashing Pumpkins' Links

Smashing Pumpkins Official Website
Smashing Pumpkins MySpace page
Smashing Pumpkins YouTube videos
Smashing Pumpkins Wikipedia entry
Smashing Pumpkins TicketMaster


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   July 19, 2007    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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Educadorian born and American raised animator Mike Judge, best known as the creator of MTV's wildly popular 90's show "Beavis and Butthead," is easily one of the most talented and successful animators in American popular culture history.

Judge, also a writer, actor, voice actor, animator and producer, among other things, created an animated short of "Office Space" in 2000 that looks and feels alot like a spin-off of "Beavis and Butthead"; if nothing else, Judge's signature style is clearly evident in this short film.

Ultimately, the short inspired Judge to write and direct the cult classic, full-featured film "Office Space" - a movie that unearths the daily drudgery's of the office - paper work and forms, prick bosses who eog-trip off others' vulnerabilities, malfunctioning printers and copy machines, stale coffee and disgruntled employees who are literally driven to crime.

Update: Some how, someone just took the animated short off of YouTube a few minutes ago. Was it because of this post? I am looking for another version of the original short, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out Judge's animated short for "Inbred Jed" - awesome!

Milton gets his ultimate revenge in the end, not just for himself, but for millions of other office workers who can relate.

The animated short here, clearly similar to Bevis and Butthead, shows Milton talking about his treasured stapler and what will happen if it is taken away from him again.

Nowadays, office jokes around the country about "Milton" usually always refer to the movie "Office Space". Judge is currently working on his indie film "Higher Than Hell."

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   July 12, 2007    1 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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The Fratellis, still riding high off their amazing Coachella Festival performance and their Brit Award for Best New Breakthrough Band of 2006, have hit the road for a three-month jaunt around the globe to play for adoring fans.

The band has already made changes to their tour schedule, so check out the confirmed dates below.

In addition to their own concerts, the boys will also be playing at a number of rock festivals on the indie rock circuit, giving fans more than one chance to see them play. (I wish I could be at every rock festival!)

Links for The Fratellis

- View The Fratellis new tour dates with venue, city and ticket information.
- Listen to, view and download for free or purchase Fratellis' songs
Fratellis Performance Live at the SXSW Festival
Fratellis' official website
- Fratellis' official MySpace page
Fratellis' official YouTube page


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   July 11, 2007    0 Comments     Vote Songs on Hypem   MP3 Policy 
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