There are few things that really take me back to the days when I was a younger adult. That time before I had children when I was completely void of all responsibilities. When I could go to the beach when and how I wanted, just sitting there, marinating for hours. I use to read a book in a single day and move right on to the next, allowing my mind no freedom to wander through the possibility of boredom. It’s a strange middle place. I miss those moments, but I truly love the life I have now. Every once in a while, something will take me back there and I just sit and savor for a moment. Thinking of how careless I use to be. Most of the music that I listen to now is different, in the sense that it makes me think in the present, smiling at what I have now,. It’s outward, not as compelling, not as deep, but I still love it. The artistic me used to favor Radiohead, Eddie Vedder, Tool, things of that nature rather than my current Washed Out, Neon Indian, M83, etc.
But yesterday I had one of those reflective moments and it was courtesy of the Smashing Pumpkins, who have, as a unit been quiet for a little while now.
My father introduced me to them when I was maybe fourteen years old, he had “Siamese Dream” in his tape deck (yes, tape deck) for a good portion of the 90’s and I grew to love it, I mean really really love it and have been an avid fan ever since. My father had a way of selecting bands that could be both raw and beautiful all at the same time. For him, the criteria for a band to meet his needs was more than just a sound, the music had to have a little depth. Billy Corgan was fantastic and is still fantastic at providing that. The allure of this band for me, has always been the poetry like way the lyrics are written. They are poignant, deep in their roots and elegant. It’s an outstanding combination of soft and bountiful. “Siamese Dream” was followed by a series of albums, all that were complex and different in their own ways. All of which I bought and loved, even their box set which took you to a place of Smashing Pumpkins overload. One of my most favorite memories is still getting to see them play at Lupos in Providence, courtesy of my friend Joe S. who always gave amazing birthday presents.
Anyways, it’s been a little while since they have put out an album and I had forgotten, truly, that I loved them so much. (Well, shall I say, loved Billy, as the rest of the members are brand new)
Yesterday, I bought Oceania, and it was everything that I could ask for in their music and then some. Sometimes bands try to “grow” but really what they do is disappoint. Billy Corgan kept everything about him that I enjoy and added just a little dash of something new. The album is uplifting, slightly haunting, gorgeous in this unfiltered kind of way and just, great to listen to. I wish I had a better adjective than great but I do not. That is the best way right now, that I can sum it up. I sat in my car yesterday just listening and enjoying and it made me feel creative and young again. (well, I’m only 28 but you know what I mean) It made me feel like I did when I used to blast music and make art or write short stories or paint my room bright pink and then throw glitter on the wall, something which honestly, almost killed my mother. It made me want to drive with the windows down, bummer, that it was raining. Really, what it did was stir my insides. Something that has not happened in a while. And it felt really wonderful.
If you are a fan, pick it up, download it, whatever you need to do. Don’t forget about this band, they are still, brilliant.