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Thread: The Smashing Pumpkins

  1. #1981
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    I'll take anything from Gish to Machina. Anything from after should be few and far between. This is about the original line up. What they have done and what they will do together. Billy can honestly just keep that other stuff to his solo tours. I can take Superchrist and Tiberius and leave the rest. Perhaps the original band could rework the later stuff. I would love to hear Tiberius drums all JC-ified.

    When I saw them during their co-Manson Elegy tour, Billy picked the worse of Elegy tracks to include.

    Without JC in the studio, that drive is just not there that gives SP songs their edge. With out Iha, the atmosphere that wraps around Billy's riffs is gone. This gives me hope for a proper Machina reissue, probably wait til 2020 for its anniversary.

    Billy and co. have tons of unreleased material including live concerts. They should just create their own Pumpkins streaming service and give paying fans access to everything.
    Last edited by neorev; 11-12-2017 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #1982
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volk View Post
    That isn't a controversial opinion...that is a FACT.
    I saw him on tour for TFE, and it was a fantastic show.
    I'm conditioned by 12 years of it being dismissed as forgettable. And the person most directly responsible for that is Billy, for announcing he wanted SP to reunite the same fucking day it came out. :P Only in the last few years have I really come around to putting it in rotation, and for my money, if I listened to it without knowledge of branding, it might have more legitimacy as a "Pumpkins album" than a lot of what followed, though I in no way categorize it as such.

    It's also probably a better Depeche Mode album than Depeche Mode put out these days >_>

    I wouldn't object to seeing a number of post-2000 SP tracks trotted out if the band can agree on ones they like. There's some good stuff scattered down the path.

  3. #1983
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    This news got me on a Pumpkins kick for the first time in a long time.

  4. #1984
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    I just hope that if they go in the studio to record like Billy hopes, they do not hire Rick Rubin as producer. They need someone closer to the band. Butch Vig could work, but I'd prefer Flood. It needs to feel like a family reunion in that studio. No outsiders or strangers.

  5. #1985
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    Quote Originally Posted by neorev View Post
    I just hope that if they go in the studio to record like Billy hopes, they do not hire Rick Rubin as producer. They need someone closer to the band. Butch Vig could work, but I'd prefer Flood. It needs to feel like a family reunion in that studio. No outsiders or strangers.
    I had not given any consideration to what producer(s) might be involved prior to reading your post, but I could not agree more. Here's hoping for Butch Vig or Flood, but preferably Flood! Rick Rubin is a good producer and everything (and as a recent review of Ogilala pointed out, he's known for encouraging bands to get back to their roots and make return-to-form albums), but I think the family reunion environment you described would be more appropriate and more likely to produce favorable results.

  6. #1986
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    I have a feeling it's gonna be Rick Rubin but Flood would be fucking cool

  7. #1987
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    I'd lay odds on Flood if he's available. I'm worried Billy might have burned his bridges with Butch Vig, who'd be my first choice.

  8. #1988
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    Part of me hopes a reunion show will kick off with I Am One like the 1999 Arising shows - sort of like a "fuck yeah we're back" thing

  9. #1989
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    Quote Originally Posted by neorev View Post
    I'll take anything from Gish to Machina. Anything from after should be few and far between. This is about the original line up. What they have done and what they will do together. Billy can honestly just keep that other stuff to his solo tours. I can take Superchrist and Tiberius and leave the rest. Perhaps the original band could rework the later stuff. I would love to hear Tiberius drums all JC-ified.

    When I saw them during their co-Manson Elegy tour, Billy picked the worse of Elegy tracks to include.

    Without JC in the studio, that drive is just not there that gives SP songs their edge. With out Iha, the atmosphere that wraps around Billy's riffs is gone. This gives me hope for a proper Machina reissue, probably wait til 2020 for its anniversary.

    Billy and co. have tons of unreleased material including live concerts. They should just create their own Pumpkins streaming service and give paying fans access to everything.
    I thought One and All was pretty fucking good with Jimmy drumming.

  10. #1990
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    I thought One and All was pretty fucking good with Jimmy drumming.
    Jimmy's drumming definitely did help improve One And All, but the song itself is just too repetitive. Same for Being Beige, just too repetitive. I'd prefer Tiberius and Monuments, which I felt were stronger album tracks. People mock Run To Me, but I honestly think it's one of the stronger tracks that has a nice build up and thought it translated well live, especially with JC. I never liked Drum + Fife, so even with JC on drums couldn't save it for me.

  11. #1991
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    While getting a new album from the original lineup sounds like a wet dream come true, if I have to listen to Billy tell me how strange his love is one more time I swear to Christ...

  12. #1992
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    I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it once again, life’s a bummer when you’re a hummer.

  13. #1993
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    Quote Originally Posted by imail724 View Post
    While getting a new album from the original lineup sounds like a wet dream come true, if I have to listen to Billy tell me how strange his love is one more time I swear to Christ...
    Motherfucker needs to put his copy of Music For The Masses the fuck down. You could make a drinking game out of SP works and have that as a drinkable occurrence at this point. "Take a shot every time he talks about "His love". Three shots if it's strange."

    Quote Originally Posted by Bachy View Post
    I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it once again, life’s a bummer when you’re a hummer.
    It really is. Life's a drag.

    That honestly is one of my favorite Pumpkins quotes.

  14. #1994
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    I wish they would reissue a standard edition of Mellon Collie on vinyl without all the bonus stuff for a normal price. Also, anyone know why Siamese Dream is so expensive? Amazon, Best Buy, BN all have it in the $40-$50 range, while Gish, Adore, and Pisces seem to be more normally priced around $20ish.
    Last edited by imail724; 12-08-2017 at 10:10 AM.

  15. #1995
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    Quote Originally Posted by imail724 View Post
    I wish they would reissue a standard edition of Mellon Collie on vinyl without all the bonus stuff for a normal price. Also, anyone know why Siamese Dream is so expensive? Amazon, Best Buy, BN all have it in the $40-$50 range, while Gish, Adore, and Pisces seem to be more normally priced around $20ish.
    It's like that everywhere. This is an instance where I point the finger at the label or BC himself.

    Recent BC updates (not SP):

    -He's working on another solo album, tentatively called '666'. Recording in Nashville with Howard Willing apparently producing, which fills me with no confidence.

    -Also apparently releasing a studio performance of an Ogilala set to video called 'Neath The Darkest Eaves.

  16. #1996
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    With how stacked A perfect circle's touring schedule is for 2018, do people actually see the pumpkins getting back together for 2018? James Iha seems like he has a lot on his plate.

    If there is any type of reunion tour, it probably won't be until the fall of 2018 I'd imagine. APC is appearing at basically every music festival around the world this spring/summer.

  17. #1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by imail724 View Post
    I wish they would reissue a standard edition of Mellon Collie on vinyl without all the bonus stuff for a normal price. Also, anyone know why Siamese Dream is so expensive? Amazon, Best Buy, BN all have it in the $40-$50 range, while Gish, Adore, and Pisces seem to be more normally priced around $20ish.
    the vinyl version of mellon collie doesn't have all the bonus stuff (does it?) that was in the CD box set. the vinyl is just a 4xLP with two books.

    i just wish they had done the original vinyl tracklisting instead of the CD tracklisting. oh well.

    i pulled this out and listened to it last week for the first time in years. i had completely forgotten i have an original pressing (somehow).


  18. #1998
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    @eversonpoe
    Personally I preferred the CD tracklisting. A much better flow in my opinion. I find the vinyl tracklist kinda unfocused in a way, more like a collection of tracks, where the CD has a flow to it... though I do miss the inclusion of "Infinite Sadness." The discs come in these sparkly, colorful digisleeves.

    I own all the reissue boxsets on CD and they're great! So much amazing material. Mellon Collie is beautiful with the velvet lined CD holder. The Aeroplane Flies High set is amazing as well, especially for the Live Inside The Dark Globe disc, Double Door recordings, and the 35 minute Silverfuck jam.

    It's crazy to think Mellon Collie and Aeroplane Flies High could have made an amazing quadruple album.
    Last edited by neorev; 12-09-2017 at 03:20 PM.

  19. #1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    the vinyl version of mellon collie doesn't have all the bonus stuff (does it?) that was in the CD box set. the vinyl is just a 4xLP with two books.

    i just wish they had done the original vinyl tracklisting instead of the CD tracklisting. oh well.

    i pulled this out and listened to it last week for the first time in years. i had completely forgotten i have an original pressing (somehow).
    I cannot fathom a reality where I forget I have an original orange SD LP. What the hell, man. What the hell.

    That's okay. I've got something special coming my way soon. Yes, precious....

    And yeah, the LP MCIS reissue only has the album, in CD order. The original LP tracklisting is an interesting curio, but the album was written to loosely reflect moods felt during the day/night etc. so there's an intent to the normal flow. Wouldn't change it for the world.

  20. #2000
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    Well, that didn't take long

  21. #2001
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    Allright, since I brought up fan-created tracklists for a completed 2CD Machina album in the vinyl collectors thread and @high def ultra-realism mentioned an interest in seeing mine, here I go.

    Let me start this off just by by saying I kind of owe a debt to Netphoria's soniclovenoise for compiling his rather great 2CD Glass And The Machines Of God compilation. Can't link to it directly since it contains commercially released material, but it's not hard to find. Listening to this thing put a lot of the pieces in place for me, and made me realize it was still possible to get it closer to how Billy probably envisioned it.

    To get the best possible overview of how Machina's running order should look like, one needs only to take a look at this summary Billy wrote of the plot mid-2000 and this chart of his describing the cycle that shows where a few songs should go:



    Now my current tracklist is by no means definitive. It's a work in progress, a bloated director's cut. It includes every single potential track From MI and MII that could be part of the story, and still needs editing; there are a few tracks that could arguably serve similar functions plot-wise, wherein one or the other could be considered superfluous. A couple I'm not entirely sure should even be on the album. With a bit more work, I intend to pare it down to something saner, but for now my tracklist is 3CDs, and I'm, say...80% sure most things are roughly where they should be, give or take a little bit of space, assuming it belongs. This doesn't take into account specific versions of songs - it pinpoints lyrical allusions, but I've tried to make it flow well as much as possible with the versions I used, which I'll get to when I elaborate further.

    Without further ado:

    Disc 1:

    01. Glass' Theme
    02. The Imploding Voice
    03. Cash Car Star
    04. Stand Inside Your Love
    05. The Sacred And Profane
    06. Real Love
    07. Glass + The Ghost Children
    08. Innosence
    09. Raindrops + Sunshowers
    10. Let Me Give The World To You
    11. Vanity

    Disc 2:

    01. White Spyder
    02. Lucky 13
    03. Dross
    04. Go
    05. Speed Kills
    06. Blue Skies Bring Tears
    07. Heavy Metal Machine
    08. The Crying Tree Of Mercury
    09. Wound
    10. Try, Try, Try
    11. This Time

    Disc 3:

    01. The Everlasting Gaze
    02. Saturnine
    03. In My Body
    04. I Of The Mourning
    05. If There Is A God
    06. Slow Dawn
    07. Home
    08. Here's To The Atom Bomb
    09. With Every Light
    10. Age Of Innocence

    Seeing as how I'll probably need to devote a paragraph or two per song for justifying why everything is where it is, I'll get started on that later and do it in chunks as I have free time available to me. Lord knows I'll probably wind up shuffling stuff around as I go through the tracks one by one.
    Last edited by Shadaloo; 12-22-2017 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Edited tracklist

  22. #2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadaloo View Post
    Allright, since I brought up fan-created tracklists for a completed 2CD Machina album in the vinyl collectors thread and @high def ultra-realism mentioned an interest in seeing mine, here I go.

    Let me start this off just by by saying I kind of owe a debt to Netphoria's soniclovenoise for compiling his rather great 2CD Glass And The Machines Of God compilation. Can't link to it directly since it contains commercially released material, but it's not hard to find. Listening to this thing put a lot of the pieces in place for me, and made me realize it was still possible to get it closer to how Billy probably envisioned it.

    To get the best possible overview of how Machina's running order should look like, one needs only to take a look at this summary Billy wrote of the plot mid-2000 and this chart of his describing the cycle that shows where a few songs should go:



    Now my current tracklist is by no means definitive. It's a work in progress, a bloated director's cut. It includes every single potential track From MI and MII that could be part of the story, and still needs editing; there are a few tracks that could arguably serve similar functions plot-wise, wherein one or the other could be considered superfluous. A couple I'm not entirely sure should even be on the album. With a bit more work, I intend to pare it down to something saner, but for now my tracklist is 3CDs, and I'm, say...80% sure most things are roughly where they should be, give or take a little bit of space, assuming it belongs. This doesn't take into account specific versions of songs - it pinpoints lyrical allusions, but I've tried to make it flow well as much as possible with the versions I used, which I'll get to when I elaborate further.

    Without further ado:

    Disc 1:

    01. Glass' Theme
    02. The Imploding Voice
    03. Cash Car Star
    04. Stand Inside Your Love
    05. The Sacred And Profane
    06. Glass + The Ghost Children
    07. Innosence
    08. Let Me Give The World To You
    09. Real Love
    10. Raindrops + Sunshowers
    11. Vanity

    Disc 2:

    01. White Spyder
    02. Lucky 13
    03. Dross
    04. Go
    05. Speed Kills
    06. Blue Skies Bring Tears
    07. Heavy Metal Machine
    08. The Crying Tree Of Mercury
    09. Wound
    10. Try, Try, Try
    11. This Time

    Disc 3:

    01. The Everlasting Gaze
    02. Saturnine
    03. In My Body
    04. I Of The Mourning
    05. If There Is A God
    06. Slow Dawn
    07. Home
    08. Here's To The Atom Bomb
    09. With Every Light
    10. Age Of Innocence

    Seeing as how I'll probably need to devote a paragraph or two per song for justifying why everything is where it is, I'll get started on that later and do it in chunks as I have free time available to me. Lord knows I'll probably wind up shuffling stuff around as I go through the tracks one by one.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    I can't wait to listen to the songs in this order

  23. #2003
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    No Le Deux Machina? I could see it working as a closer on that third disc.

  24. #2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadaloo View Post


    Well, that didn't take long
    Hearing a beautiful track like Soma acoustic really exposes the weaknesses in his solo material that came before it. Billy's outfit and the videos associated with this solo album I find quite embarassing. I can't wait until someone crops him in his train conductor outfit onto the Disneyland train picture. That Pillbox college film art project and the video with Billy and Window screensaver images are just terrible. I tried multiple times to listen to this album and cannot get into it. Billy with just an acoustic guitar or piano only works good in small doses. The production on this album doesn't help either. Makes me think of albums your find at Starbucks. Stumbleine has more soul than this entire solo al-lala-bum and it sounded like a bedroom demo. Let's hope Linda Strawberry and Rick Rubin are nowhere near the SP reunion.
    Last edited by neorev; 12-18-2017 at 06:26 PM.

  25. #2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by neorev View Post
    Hearing a beautiful track like Soma acoustic really exposes the weaknesses in his solo material that came before it. Billy's outfit and the videos associated with this solo album I find quite embarassing. I can't wait until someone crops him in his train conductor outfit onto the Disneyland train picture. That Pillbox college film art project and the video with Billy and Window screensaver images are just terrible. I tried multiple times to listen to this album and cannot get into it. Billy with just an acoustic guitar or piano only works good in small doses. The production on this album doesn't help either. Makes me think of albums your find at Starbucks. Stumbleine has more soul than this entire solo al-lala-bum and it sounded like a bedroom demo. Let's hope Linda Strawberry and Rick Rubin are nowhere near the SP reunion.
    I thought ogilala was not a bad deal, i mean stumbleine is 25 years old, possibly more, i am not expecting that from him anymore. It was a nice little unpretentious record, unlike most of the recent pumpkins stuff. The live show was really nice too, switching between piano and guitar worked well, that was some interesting takes on old songs too and to me it was way more interesting than a standard solo guitar dylan wanabee performance.

  26. #2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by valiantsteed View Post
    No Le Deux Machina? I could see it working as a closer on that third disc.
    It comprises the background of the middle section of Glass And The Ghost Children, so i consider it already present, FWIW.

  27. #2007
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    Okay, time to get this thing started:

    Act I:

    1. Glass' Theme:

    It's all kind of right there on the front of the package, really. Billy's chart shows this as blatantly being part of the 'Opening' section: This is where we're introduced to the protagonist and learn about the life of the biggest rockstar in the world, Zero, "playing with his guns and hanging out by the pool". He's "betrayed rock and roll", long past the point where he used music to convey anything meaningful - he got famous, and became swept up in a life of megastardom and excess. And while he's used to it, he feels hollow - he's "alone in his soul", and he's shattering - under the weight of a lack of purpose and a sham of an indulgent lifestyle. Bill's chart also here points to the "Alignment with god" which leads us to...

    2. The Imploding Voice:


    Formerly called Virex on the chart and in early live performances. Glass finds a renewed lease on his being - all throughout his life, he's been hearing a voice in his head, but he now hears it one day coming from his radio. It identifies itself as "The I of the Radio" - contrast that with "I Am That I Am" - the voice does not directly call itself God, but the intent and identity are clear. The lyrics to this song are directly from the voice's perspective. These are its words - it knows where Glass is at, what he feels - "phase unwound, by yourself, atom bomb on the shelf, unsung (the Atom Bomb line will be important later - it's Glass' innermost view of himself as a being with incredible potential)" and what he can do to put himself back together. It provides him with comfort, confidence in himself, advice, a mission, and perhaps a warning:

    "Your love must always be true, your love must always be you." This statement will be the root of Glass' mission but it doubles as foreshadowing for a woman who will come into his life.

    Omniscience of the voice is implied and the future is also foreshadowed: "but ever should you put it down, you can never lose me" - "I'm with you no matter what, even if you turn your back on me."

    Thus charged, Glass accepts his higher calling - the mission of spreading love that the I Of the Radio has given him - and he takes it on in the only way he knows how - spreading it through rock and roll:

    3. Cash Car Star

    The lyrics here are reflective of Glass' newfound mission as he reorients his band, formally renamed from "The Smashing Pumpkins to "The Machines Of God" and himself from Zero to Glass. They don't hew to the narrative as directly as some others as Cash Car Star was initially written for Adore, but they were partially rewritten to better set the tone for the zeal with which Glass tackles his new calling, from "we're speaking out of tune, we'll bleed the afternoon, kill the jacks too soon for you" (See the Adore reissue version) to "We hope you'll understand, we've got a master plan, we're an American band for you", to paraphrase Grand Funk Railroad.

    Privately, Glass does wonder about the validity of his mission, though, and if he's being used by God - " 'cause when you're hypnotized, they'll spin you gold and paint you black with the blood of your surprise". He's a messenger with baggage, unable to see the world save through the lens of a jaded rockstar.

    The band releases its new album, "Machina" - yes, Machina plays a part in its own narrative - and sets out on tour spreading a simple message of love (which will be focused on and sketched out a bit later - "We're coming to your town - "everybody's business is everybody's business", and through the view of Glass, that business is love.

    4. Stand Inside Your Love

    "for years our hero has searched for his true love, the woman of his dreams, JUNE…he called her by many names hoping that there somewhere out there she waited for him too…so one night after a concert, he saw her, and right then and there he knew he had finally found her…JUNE was his perfect reflection, everything that he was not…she brings to him the universal truths of life and living, and a life he has never had…"

    Put bluntly, Glass is a fictionalized version of Billy Corgan. And what's the popular perception of Billy Corgan? A narcissist in love with himself. Whether BC based this viewpoint on a truth he feels cuts to the bone or a fictionalized media viewpoint, who can say - but to actually sketch it out in character form to me demonstrates a wry sense of humor and a capacity for good-natured self-deprecation.

    The lyrics are self-evident - After meeting one night after a concert, glass has found the person of his dreams and he couldn't be happier. But another instance of foreshadowing takes place "I will breathe for the both of us". She's already his responsibility, because it's not enough for Glass to preach salvation, he has to actually be the one doing the saving. And even if he could, could he be content with only saving one person? Oh my, no...

    5. The Sacred And Profane

    The chorus perspective is unquestionably Glass' peal to his audience. He begins exhibiting his first signs of a literal god complex: "You're all a part of me now, in the sun". He feels ready to bring salvation to the unwashed masses - "send the bored, your restless, the feedback-scarred, devotionless". And how does a rock star cope with pressure? What gives clarity and makes one feel alive? Sex and drugs:

    ...what he does not realize then is that he has fallen in love with a reflection of himself…she embodies the darkness he can only write about…she lives the life of flesh and bone, one he can only think about…

    "Give me sight, and barren breast, pure snow, and happiness". And you can basically thank June for that - the side of himself he won't admit is a problem until the evidence stares him in the face.

    As a caveat: This song on the chart seems be involved with both Billy's "Crossroads" position for the character but also points to the section which he titles "Alone, Positive." Loneliness is a major factor in Glass' life. It's possible that this song belongs in the much later concert segment, but that would seem to conflict with the drug-fueled story elements. I place it here eith that consideration, but I could always be mistaken. For all I know, Billy could consider Glass to be truly alone until the end of the story...

    6. Real Love

    As I type this, I begin to think that my placing Real Love below LMGTWTY was a mistake, because this song is about a kind of rapture that could only happen when a relationship is not on the rocks:

    GLASS finds himself increasingly torn between his new love and his true calling as a messenger…he doesn't realize that he really doesn't have to make a choice between the light and her darkness…he tries to find balance between his humanity and his spiritual pursuits…

    And that's what Real Love is about: the conflict of messiah figure enamored of the pleasures of the flesh. In the chart, along with Sacred + Profane, it's labelled "Crossroads". Does he have to choose between his mission, and sex and drugs? Is it time to make that choice? Can you reconcile the ecstasy of sex with the ecstasy of religion? These thoughts of his kickstart a divide that will only worsen with time.

    "real love / a real touch we speak in / is it ours / or is it what we're seekin' / real love"

    "fall into the century on a supersonic cross / blessed she in aching silence, eternal loss / calling out i won't surrender a locket of her hair / sympathize her pious pleasures, go down the stairs into the dark again / to feel alive again, and wait for..."

    Now if that's not a reference to intercourse...anyhow, we can see here that Glass also looks at June with favor as her emptiness calls out to him - another way in which she's perfect as she's someone for him to save. But again, in his heart, he has doubts, and wonders about the nature of their relationship:

    "real love / or is it me you're after" - "is it love /or just yours to treasure"

    June gets background in the terms of a broken past, "her mother's first kisses buried in the backyard in a rusty coffee tin." I can't interpret absolutely every single one of Billy's lyrics, but I feel reasonably safe in assuming that last bit about collecting solar questions and demon scorn reflect the guilt he feels over enjoying sex when he has a holy mission to accomplish. But no joy lasts forever:

    7. Glass And The Ghost Children

    For a short time, the band and fans around the Machina period addressed the fanbase with the "Ghost Children" moniker, and there are still the few odd birds out there who might identify with that.

    These lyrics move between the perspective of those answering Glass' call, deifying him (or is it Glass' own pespective of the way he thinks he should be seen?):

    "to the center of the earth / or anywhere god decides / full of fever pulling forth / we hear our call as all ... i want to live / and don't want to die / i want to live / i want to try"

    ...as well as describing June's ever-worsening drug problems:

    " the glass migrates under / her translucent skin / and all the spiders wonder / what we've got us in" - Glass as a person to her stands as an ideal for pleasure, but he could never be enough for her. She also gets what she needs from the needle - the spiders (the main demon in this story is cocaine - it's white - but June seems to be a person of many habits - this song outlines a dependency on the horse). To her the man and the drugs may as well be one in the same - it's fuel for her bliss. It's worth noting that Billy wore a shirt with a white spider on it from time to time, notable on the 2008 tour. More on that later.

    GLASS comes home one night to find JUNE in a drugged haze, a vinyl record hissing endlessly on the out groove…JUNE is so out of it that she doesn't recognize GLASS at all, as he calls to her to come back to him…the truth revealed, GLASS sits next to her and, in a rare moment of candor, reveals that god has been speaking to him thru the radio, knowing full well that JUNE probably won't remember the conversation…despite that, GLASS reveals that he has doubts about the validity of the messages and wonders if he is going insane…

    That's the entirety of what people call the"armchair/psychoanalysis" segment in the middle of the song: not a shrink session, but Glass coming clean about his mission to June and the truth behind it. You can hear June's vaguely present "Mhm".



    8. Innosence

    And here's how Glass approaches June's drug problem - with messianic condescension and pity.

    "innocence - innocence finds you there/ doesn't care / any way you choose / the sun, and the sun/ i choose"

    His perspective is 'You poor thing, you barely have a choice because you're flawed, human and naive'. "Hold Me Now / I won't let go" - 'I'll make it allright. I'm aligned with god and I'll save you, my sweet summer child.'

    "And you will be there / with the sun / and you say you don't care" - Reference "she says it doesn't matter / she never liked her looks" in GATGC. 'How can you not care when you're in the presence of the holy? That makes you sacred and divine. To not care about yourself is foolish.'

    Poor dumb bastard. He tries, but he's just too wrapped up in his own myth.
    Last edited by Shadaloo; 12-23-2017 at 03:26 AM.

  28. #2008
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    9. Raindrops + Sunshowers

    And something happens here that Glass does not foresee: June draws away from him as his God-complex turns her off, and she begins to question her need for him. And Glass is mystified as to why, though one of the answers is in his own attitude:

    "I'll save a prayer for you, so lost and longing too"

    This is in the chart as part of the "crossroads, but also as part of the "Loss of balance" Glass suffers. He's just trying to understand her and talk and walk with her between the raindrops, but can't stop himself from reminding her that everyone has problems: she's not alone in her suffering, "Rain falls on everyone" - this will be called back to with "White Spyder's "We're all victims" line. She'll throw that back into his face later.

    One of my favorite lines in the song is "be dragged through dirty streets / wrapped up in clean white sheets / and if you think they'll watch you now / you should know they won't". It's Glass' warning to June - the path she's on will leave her dead in a body bag. But the line about watching could be as much a realization of his own as a warning to himself:

    "If you leave, nobody will be there to catch you when you fall - and without you, I'm nothing, and nobody will want me."

    And so he gives her an ultimatum:


    10. Let Me Give The World To You

    IMHO, masterfully re-written from the original Adore outtake to fit into the narrative. When I began typing this, I caught onto the fact that "umbrella" was a reference back to "Raindrops and Sunshowers". Can't believe I didn't see it earlier. I think Billy here envisioned a scene of two lovers separated by distance in the rain as their relationship disintegrates along with the illusions about each other that held it fast.

    Being the divine, holy creature he is, Glass graciously presents June with a a stark reality - she's got a drug problem, and it has no place in his world of love and freedom and all that jazz, and she's a mess: "Train wrecks hide underneath your umbrella." "Last chance to make believe in always and all it seems". But at the same time, he's trying to reassure her she has a place in his world even if she's flawed: "No, I wouldn't change a thing about the way you are" (why would he when she's a reflection of himself?). There might even be a contrast to him having given up the lines of blow in "My lonesome lines just have no use around here". "Don't change, just do what I say and kick the junk."

    She can't. So he makes the decision to cut her out of his life.


    11. Vanity

    …GLASS sees himself as some sort of cosmic preacher, and if he just shouts loud enough the message will somehow get thru the din…JUNE, finding the solace and power in GLASS that she couldn't muster on her own, begins to believe that she does not need him anymore…she has taken her fill from his light, and like so many others that have taken from GLASS, question whether they ever needed him at all…

    "you can hear the baby bones / crack beneath her wheels
    tears of avalon / streak silent down her shield
    high crimes and misdemeanors / unfortunate attacks
    will leave you standing nameless / while she's turning black"

    Put simply: Glass has come to understand that June is a destructive force. All one can do is watch her horrible, horrible behavior, standing witness as she destroys herself.

    "eleanor, you've lost me / in a haze of wine and cocaine
    gone out and cost me / everything i blame
    broadcast in tv detail / to call their own stories
    as i try to recapture / our best in former glories"

    And he won't let her take him down with her. "I have a mission. I'm a righteous man, trying to change the world, and the last thing I need is some drugged-up psychopath getting on camera, talking about me and hurting our image." (Wish I got the Eleanor reference, as I feel it's very specific, but can't say that I do)

    "ease on that dirt road / you've still a ways to go
    soak in sights and city lights / while you still can borrow
    cursed fall will find you / and bring a memory
    the ghost of her surrender / with the kiss of anarchy"

    "Have fun out there living off others and falling apart. When people look back on you, they'll think what a shame it was, the way you killed yourself."

    "Vanity stands naked at my door / vanity cries 'why?"

    Maybe we throw some clothes after her as the door slams. End act 1.

    Was June Courtney Love? I think maybe June was Courtney Love.
    Last edited by Shadaloo; 12-22-2017 at 08:46 PM.

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    Act II:

    1. White Spyder


    I originally had a frustrating time placing this one - the MII songs are mostly unrepresented on the chart. But I've come to understand it as follows:: Glass convinces himself - or tries to - that he's better off without June, fighting the urge to ask for her back and losing, while trying to cope with a bad album reception as his paranoia sets in. His mind goes every which way as his grasp on reality begins slipping.

    GLASS begins to lose his balance on both ends when he becomes over righteous and indignant in his beliefs, alienating those who already believe in him and turning off potential new converts…

    The groundwork for the above line of Billy's from the summary was laid when we began to see in Innosence etc. just how loopy Glass was becoming. But now we see the results it's borne: Any damage done to GATMOG's reputation might just as well have been done by Glass himself.

    GLASS begins to bitter at the prospect that he is being toyed with and used by god and JUNE… slowly, GLASS begins to lose faith in his seemingly unshakeable beliefs…he becomes paranoid, believing that everyone is out to get him...the new album is released and is not well received by the fans or the general public…for the first time since the band began, GLASS is publicly humiliated…he begins to question the validity of the messages, thinking perhaps they are from a false god or that his filters of perception are misaligned…

    "and every little spider that crawled up inside her is waiting for my phone call" = "She only wants me in her life because I'm a guaranteed hook-up for drugs"

    "...you've gotta walk through hell (...) you've gotta strip your skin / to let them tear at it
    i'm gonna take a piece / for my own needs
    i'm gonna shift to speak / fuck the enemy"

    Like I mentioned earlier: On the 2008 20th Anniversary tour, Billy wore a white spider shirt (and a black skirt very similar to the one from the Everlasting Gaze video). This was right in the aftermath of Zeitgeist tanking, when he began to start slagging off his fanbase, and so I tend to think that Glass' reaction may have been on his mind once more: "you've gotta play the part/before you fall apart" - "Who cares what people think. I must carry on."



    It should be mentioned that I don't think any single source has completely correct lyrics for this song because it's so goddamn blown out and muffled (People used to think "shift to speak" was "swim to Sweden") But the intent comes across well enough - people may be going to the shows, but Glass' Machina album has tanked. Nobody's buying it.

    "Wander slow / white spyder
    how did you know, yes / if only which way to go"

    "Maybe she was right to distance herself from me. I'm a failure. She knew I was nothing and saw this coming so she left."

    "i made this up / to make the scene / beyond belief"

    "Am I crazy? Was god really talking to me? Or could I be that messed up that I orchestrated all this and convinced myself I'm divine?"

    "cause now i'm reminded of every single fighter / that's waiting for just what she brings
    and every little spider that crawled up inside her / who's waiting for the phone to ring
    my white spider / which way'd you walk
    my white spider / isn't all"

    "I'm failing without her. I'm a sham. I need her back in my life. No, she's a drug addict. She's got other men. She could have anyone she wants. But I need her. Where'd she go? ...no. I don't need her. I don't. She's not everything. I can do this. Without her. I can."

    Rockstar gone mad, anyone?



    2. Lucky 13

    We start with what might be an apology. If so, it's a shitty one:

    "it's in blood / i suppose
    breaking jars / i'm no good
    as the prodigal son"

    Second mention of 'jars' by the way, which refers to 'a lot of tears in a bloodstained jar, back in Glass' Theme. IMO the jars of tears are Glass' emotional baggage. And he's apologizing for failing at his mission, in his view, not for his behavior. And June lets him have it in the only song so far that to my knowledge, contains lines directly from June's P.O.V:

    "And i know that you're mesmerized
    You had a vision, made these laws
    and sanitized, are we above desires
    i miss him so"

    "I miss the person I fell in love with, who knew how to have a good time, who didn't preach the evils of hedonism after indulging himself, who wasn't a born-again hypocrite. Everybody suffers, but everybody has needs, too. People need to escape. Do you think you're better than everyone else? The truth is, you're in love with your 'god', yourself and your mission more than you ever loved me."

    you are so fucked
    it has begun
    revolution comes
    all over you
    i was listening

    he begins to descend into madness, accusing JUNE of disloyalty…in one final argument, she admits she never loved him at all, and that she did hear him tell her about being spoken to by god, and that she believes he is insane…

    Can his ego and already-present insecurities and doubts take the reinforcement that he may be losing it? Of course not. This is The Argument - capitalize that - the one that ends it:

    3. Dross

    drs,drs
    noun
    something regarded as worthless; rubbish

    Glass rages at June, pushed past the breaking point. It's all in the lyrics.

    Sarcasm: Sure, "we all know I'm full of shit" And "flat out, deadly truth: does anyone wanna be you?"

    "You're a worthless out-of-control drug addict. I'm important and famous and people want to BE me. Get out, you're growing old/cold/ you've lost control".

    4. Go

    ...there is a part of me that remains unsure this belongs on the album as it's a James composition and not Billy. But the lyrics do feel like James tried to contribute to Billy's narrative. It's a breakup song, and James' finest moment - a song that remains incredibly sad to my ears even this many years later - and this is to my eyes and ears the only place in the whole narrative it fits. For certainly they could be the thoughts or words of either or both of the characters as they turn away from each other and their hearts break to remember the love that fell apart. There's a reference to kissing a St. Christopher medallion, which could be a reference to Glass' devotion to God/his mission - "too moved to speak, no words could reach me". Either of them might be admitting to a hidden truth as they release each other:

    "Now i know you were told to Go"

    And what hurts the most:
    "You're the only reason why I'm terrified to go."

    So simple, but that line and its delivery really sticks the knife in.

    5. Speed Kills

    …she tells him goodbye for the last time and storms off into the rainy night…she loses control of her car, and is killed when it skids off the road…

    I've been typing for hours and am tired. More later.
    Last edited by Shadaloo; 12-23-2017 at 01:53 AM. Reason: Pics

  30. #2010
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    From this point on, it starts to become slightly trickier for a little while to place things in a precise order as much of what comes is from MII - again, barely represented in the chart. There's a dream the night before the final show of the Machines' tour, then a period where Glass disconnects from the world. I'm reasonably certain that most of these songs through the concert and following period are in the correct order but I'll put in notes where I feel there's a lot of room for argument.

    …GLASS blames god for the loss of JUNE, idealizing his time with her because he can not let go of what her vision means to his faith…he blames the fans for their betrayal at not supporting and following the bands new direction…inconsolable, and without informing the MACHINES, GLASS impulsively tells an audience one night that the band is going to break up and will only play one more final, and sadly tragic show…


    6. Blue Skies Bring Tears

    the night before the final concert, GLASS has a prophetic dream that he is a soldier in a war…he wears a uniform, but does not know who the enemy is or even what side he is fighting for…he wanders the empty streets, gun in hand, looking for anyone at all…in a dark stairwell he meets a faceless soldier who takes him by the hand into a dusky basement…the soldier does not speak, and together they sit underneath a single hanging bulb…he is just an animal, seeking shelter, warmth, food, and love…

    So many versions out there. Take your pick. One on MI, one on MII, one on a bootleg tape, two demos on the Machina Acoustic Demos compilation...the track's crazy important to the narrative. Billy put a lot of work into this one. It's sheer apocalyptic nightmare imagery.

    Some historical background: when MI came out, the version of this song that appeared on it was thoroughly shat on by a goodly portion of the fanbase because it was far more sluggish and drugged-out than the one which had been played on tour - now known as the Arising! version, and present in studio form on the FAEOMM 60m bootleg that Billy passed out to the fans (if you don't have it, just ask). This was probably one of the earliest instances of people claiming Bill ruined things in the studio.

    It's hard to break down exactly what it is from so many versions of this song, but it's apparent that what Glass sees in his dream is the end of the world through war - perhaps because he falters in his mission. Whether that's true or in his own head or not is up to the listener, but there's payoff for this notion down the road either way.

    To pull from every version: he sees the soldier in the dark "descend the darkened stairways" - there references to war "let fly your model armies" - and the death of millions struggling to escape - "blood fills the exit tunnels streaking out of town" - families torn apart - "wring dry the salty tears of sailors and their lovers" - dead children "gone to heaven".

    And on the M1 version of the track, as the song draws to a close, is a voice seemingly trying to communicate with Glass. It's the Voice that the mourning Glass has now grown resentful of - or, more accurately, the Voice as Glass hears it in his nightmare: mocking him with truths he's denying, the price of his own failure, the fact that it has consumed him and spit him out, giving him a futile quest and rewarding him with nothing.

    "i am a stranger to you
    as you are to yourself
    (...)
    don't you want me (don't want you)
    as i awake the city sight
    we'll watch the seasons die"

    When Glass awakes, he's shaken to the core by this dream and all that it implies. It sends him careening over the edge just in time for him to put on the final performance of his life.

    7. Heavy Metal Machine

    "Of all the shows on the tour this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour, it's the last show we'll ever do.” - David Bowie, 1973, and you can practically hear Billy lifting that famous quote in the above paragraph.

    Billy mentioned in a Detroit New interview back in 2012 that part of the restored concept album would be "a suite simulating a live Machines of God concert, possibly with crowd noise added, with a mix inspired by Kiss' Alive!"

    And this is, in my view, where that 'concert suite' begins. The performance is a tragic one, in part because it is the last one ever, but because Glass lays bare all of his anger, exhaustion, despondency and lunacy at his fans, his mission, his God, the deceased June, and, on some level, himself.

    HMM comes out with guns blazing. For a while I thought to place this one immediately at the start of the first disc before WS, as Glass learns his album has failed to sell, but the self-victimizing and misery inherent in the song seem to fit here better. Still, could be wrong. The performance on the IAGW DVD has Billy cry "Welcome back my friends, to the show that NEVERRR EEEENDS!!!!" - so to me it's a song that begs for a raw live performance. I think opening the concert with it's a no-brainer.

    Glass' first target is the fans who he feels let him down. "If I were alive, if I were real, would you survive? What would you feel?" - Do you even need me anymore? I apparently don't exist. "If I were dead, would my records sell? Could you even tell? is it just as well?" - Who the fuck even buys records anymore? Who cares anyway? (And oh, the heaps of shit Billy caught for this lyric, considering who he considered his musical rival and foil back in the 90s...)

    And glass' god complex reaches its apex as he fully announces his desire to sacrifice himself in the name of the only religion he still believes in, the only thing he has left - "Let me die for rock and roll". Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached full-on megalomania. And let's get it over with, because it's all futile: "It's elemental, to all the rust it brings"

    8. The Crying Tree Of Mercury

    Of all the songs, I think this one stands a significant chance of my having perhaps misplaced it. On Billy's chart it appears under the early working title of "Slow Song", and points to the "Crossroads" circle. The position there and the line "I've been waiting for this night to bleed my soul to you" could very well signify a reference to the night that Glass finds June zonked out of her mind on drugs and comes clean about his mission and the Voice. The problem to me is that it seems so superfluous by virtue of the entire interlude segment being present in GATMOG.

    Assuming I'm right however, the night in question is this night of the final concert, where Glass' tirade continues. He's been a just and loving rock god to his subjects, hasn't he? He's hurt and bled so much - "the tears I've been crying my whole life". He did all of this for every one of his fans - "you and you and you" - and he wants to set the record straight. And there's "really no excuse" for them having failed to support him. - "This love will stand as long as you" - and now that's coming to a close.

    Billy trotted this one out on the End Times tour, out of nowhere, and I think that was one of the things that got me to start seeing it as an address to the audience.

    9. Wound

    Oh, this was a bastard of a song to find a home for. But doing so was what finally convinced me I could make sense of the whole goddamned thing. Soniclovenoize's compilation had this one as track 4, but I think I caught something no one else did, and for that I'm proud - it directly references the nightmare dream of Blue Skies Bring Tears and so has to take place during the night of the final concert:

    "Last night I turned around and thought i saw myself turning / inside the strangest dream of life unloved and cities burning / inside the crushing I felt a pang, the tide was turning"

    Wound is, you see, Glass' tirade against the Voice/Eye/I/God, the expression of the utter abandonment of faith predicted by the Voice at the outset.

    "There you are / as you always were
    In bathing light / and naked blur
    You're a part of me / eternal one
    My grand design / and setting sun"

    The sun is setting because Glass no longer believes in it. At best it was all a delusion, a part of Glass' mind, and at worst, a sinister plot by an uncaring god, one that made him dance like a puppet to whatever it wanted until it's nearly killed him:

    "If you wait, i will wait
    taste, i will taste
    if you love, i will love
    run, i will run
    to my last breath."

    And June's death looms large, both an accusation of God's responsibility, and potentially an admission of personal guilt for driving her away. He hates the Voice for making him feel this way:

    "wound opens / reveal this broken man
    and soon there's notions / of blood on his hands"

    Glass might very well fail at his job, and if he does, he doesn't care. He'll let it happen:

    "Destroyed in the wake / the jealous ingrates
    will tear this world down / to spite god above
    with his own love"

    It's actually kind of unsettling how pretty this song is, considering it's all vitriol. It's one of the things BC does best. But bitterness gives way to the mission, for one last time.

    10. Try, Try, Try

    What killed The Smashing Pumpkins? If you asked BC in 2000, he'd say he couldn't compete with the 'Britneys" of the world - the Pop Tarts. But why did they hold on so long? Well...maybe they needed to 'keep it real'. Maybe Billy believed they had a mission to keep what he saw as earnest music on the radio. The answers as he envisions them are in the poetry of this song, which also can only take place on this final concert night: "For too long they held me under, but i hear it's almost over." The night draws to a close and it's a personal affirmation - Glass is here likely not deluding himself, meaning every word he says.

    And this song is the mission and the message: "Try to hold on to this heart...a little bit longer. Try to hold on to this love, aloud. Try to hold on, for this heart's a little bit colder. Try to hold on to this love."

    11. This Time

    Almost all there in the lyrics. The final song of the final night of the final concert of the tour, the end of Glass And The Machines Of God. Their message delivered one last time, what remains is in the hands of anyone still listening, and he acknowledges the pain felt by those who do still care: "It's up to you, you know. The things you really want to hold are in pieces."

    This is it, they're done. They've got to wrap this up because Glass is no longer capable of even keeping himself together - in pieces himself. Shattered: "I've got to move it on, I've got to sing my song while I still can."

    One last reminder, faltering, weak, fading: "Only love, yeah, only love can win". Whatever. "Crashing down again, crashing down, my friends."

    Glass laments the predestined path of loneliness he feels he's been placed upon. There's never been any love in his life that he feels has been real, he's never been allowed to find a place to really call home (a possible act of foreshadowing here, as 'Home' becomes a point later): "I've lived my life alone, my every step foretold, to never linger."

    And past caring about the mission much anymore, Glass is more troubled by the fact that the only life he's ever known is ending: "And yet it haunts me so, what are we letting go? Our spell is broken."

    A bitter reflection on the lover who was not what he believed her to be: "For every chemical you trade a piece of your soul with no return. And who you think you know doesn't know you at all...their drain is needless."

    "Someday we'll wave hello and wish we'd never waved goodbye to this romance. We'll drink up every line and shoot up every word till it's no more". <- I don't think anyone knew how badly the world would want SP back more than Billy did. Gotta give him that.

    So cry these tears
    We'll cry as all
    We've held so long
    To fall apart
    As the curtain falls
    We bid you all goodnight

    ^When I first heard those words in 2000, I knew the band was ending before it was ever announced, and I wouldn't let myself believe it.



    End act 2.
    Last edited by Shadaloo; 12-23-2017 at 03:43 AM.

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