Monday, Nov. 12, 2007

Billy Corgan Still Alive

By Evan Rytlewski
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While driving yesterday morning I heard FM 102.1, Milwaukee's alternative rock station, play three Smashing Pumpkins songs in a row. Several hours later, in the early afternoon, I turned on the station again and caught another three Pumpkins songs, including a couple of fairly rare ones. I began to panic a bit. As best I could tell, the DJs had been playing nothing but the Pumpkins all day, and when they finally played a song that wasn't by the Pumpkins, it was Hole's "Celebrity Skin," a single which, of course, was co-written by Billy Corgan.

I could only come to one conclusion: Billy Corgan had died, and the station was eulogizing him.

I was wrong, thankfully. Corgan is very much alive. The station had simply been playing blocks of songs all day, and I'd just caught two Pumpkins blocks out of order (followed by a Hole block that coincidentally began with a Corgan song). I might have realized that if I didn't flip the stations so much while driving.

Anyway, Corgan didn't die, but here's some news that actually did happen:

Kanye West's mother passed away, which is almost so depressing I don't want to think of it. Worst of all, she reportedly died of plastic surgery complications. (It's a good think Kanye doesn't have much beef, otherwise this fact would lend itself to some of the meanest mixtape verses of all time. In the meantime, though, all we need to worry about it celebrity tabloid shows—let's hope they're tasteful and respectful of West's family when they do their inevitable exposes on the dangers of plastic surgery.)

• On the lighter side, Sufjan Stevens is sponsoring an adorable Christmas song contest. Submit an original song; if that song is picked, you win the complete rights to an unreleased Sufjan composition. (The caveat? Stevens owns the rights to the winning song, so if it's any good he could make a killing licensing it—although it's hard to imagine him exploiting this innocuous contest for profit, since that could result in tons of negative pub. More likely, the contest could be a big break for some talented fan.)

The My Bloody Valentine reunion is finally official.

• In what might be the most VH1-friendly concert ever that wasn't actually sponsored by VH1, Matchbox Twenty and Alanis Morissette will share a bill at the Bradley Center on Feb. 5.
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