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Smashing Pumpkins tickets onsale Oct. 13 (except to rich people)

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Tickets for the four reconstituted Pumpkins shows in November go on sale to the masses at 10 a.m. on Oct. 13 -- prices $47 to $62, with nearly $15 in tacked-on fees -- through the egregious Ticketmaster. (Remember when Billy Corgan tried to control his own ticket sales? Those days are gone.)

There is, however, some sort of privileged American Express credit-card holder presale already underway on Ticketmaster, which means you can buy your tickets now if you happen to have that piece of plastic in your pocket. (There were no details about that from the band or the promoters; I just stumbled upon it.)

The roster of the band's long-awaited "homecoming shows" is:

Tuesday, November 18 at The Chicago Theatre ("Black Sunshine")
Wednesday, November 19 at The Chicago Theatre ("White Crosses")
Friday, November 21 at The Auditorium Theatre ("Black Sunshine")
Saturday, November 22 at The Auditorium Theatre ("White Crosses")

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11 Comments

Since when are AmEx customers "rich"?

Jim, by this definition of "rich", virtually everyone who reads your snobby musings on leisure-time diversions is rolling in it. What percentage of the Pumpkins' concertgoing fanbase in America do you imagine have credit cards? 90%? 99%? How difficult or costly is it for those people to get a basic AmEx card? Not very.

Here's a better argument against the AmEx deal: Ticket brokers such as stub hub can take advantage of these deals and fleece fans. THAT is a better argument against specials like this. Possessing a particular credit card has the same advantages as, for example, Q101's "Unfair internet advantage" or a fan club mailing list. All of these can be subject to abuse by people who aren't your average die hard fan. But to say possession of an AmEx card indicates that you're rich? Ask the millions of people in credit card debt who probably have these cards. They're far from "rich."

That's a better argument to get behind. It wouldn't be a bad thing to do tickets that are exclusively will-call.....they've done it before. I'd be curious if the deal with AmEx or ticketmaster has anything to do (and a lot of bands are associated with this) with iloveallaccess.com. From what I can see, this site organizes deal for fans so you can order special ticket deals and get band meet and greets, deals for fans at the merch store, sound board recordings of the show you were just at etc. Given the you can either get a password for these deals from the iloveallaccess website or use your Amex password, that makes this deal pretty clear. Given that the industry is more tour-based these days and more bands like the Pumpkins do not have labels, it would not surprise me. Case in point, Radiohead playing a lot of festivals this year when Yorke has been obviously anti-corporate in the past. To which you can argue that becoming allied with corporate entities (not sponsored, allied) is the cost of the major label system going down. You can say all you want that bands like SP, Radiohead, etc. should just tour as they did before they had labels...but they didn't have a legacy behind them back then or a large fan base that demands larger spaces. But to make that final arc and form that full circle, there should be a will-call option.

JMG --

You make a fair point about the AmEx thing (which is still a steaming heap of crap, but whatever, it's a minor quibble), but I think your argument becomes a little unhinged when comparing Billy & the Pumpkins with Radiohead. Despite Corgan's delusional dreams of grandeur, the Pumpkins don't have nearly the following of Radiohead; nor do they have the artistic or commercial success (anymore) to back it up. The reconstituted Pumpkins are essentially the equivalent of Zwan with the old name. And nobody cares. Radiohead, meanwhile, is still one of the biggest bands in the world.

Brendan Diamond---

I'm talking about business, try to keep up. Both bands are doing well playing theatres,headlining festivals (both in Europe and the US), have been in the business for about 20 years, and are basically independent from record labels (though Radiohead did technically sign with Dave Matthews label, it's not a major by any means). Business wise, they are on the same plain. I'm not talking about subjective opinions about bands. What you feel about the music of either band is doesn't matter.

But if you really want my opinion on Radiohead, they're basically just a band you reference if you want to sound like you have taste. Saying you're a Radiohead fan is like saying you know about Shakespeare just because you saw 'Shakespeare in Love' when it won the Oscar. That being said, there was a lot wrong with 'Shakespeare in Love' winning the Oscar and there's a lot wrong with Radiohead getting the blind, critical, fan boy fellatio for some of their mediocre works just because they're Radiohead. It's like the same trap that critics like Jim, Greg Kot, and many others fell into with reviewing R.E.M. In many ways, I fall into the same trap when I listen to recent Pumpkins albums but I have no qualms about telling you exactly what's wrong with each of their recent releases with no problem (ask and ye shall receive) and to boot I could tell you what I think they did wrong with the past albums. Can you do the same with Radiohead? Would you? Come on, if you love them that much, what's wrong with them? What would you do better? What b-sides should have made the albums? When do Yorke's vocals sound best/worst? What songs translate well live? Which songs could translate better live? What songs go on too long and leave you looking at your watch, crossing your arms, and staring out into space when you're at their concerts or make you skip the track when you listen to their albums at home?

I say bullshit to any fan who thinks their band is perfect.

JMG,

First of all, I'm no fanboy for Radiohead. I do like them a lot; I love OK Computer and In Rainbows, and I really liked a lot of the Kid A/Amnesiac tunes. Am I just referencing then because it makes me sound like I have taste? No. Yes, I could tell you problems I have with just about any band, including my own favorites (seriously, Tim DeLaughter really needs to hire a lyricist). But I wasn't trying to geek out about Radiohead. I'm simply saying that they are on a different level, both artistically and commercially, than the Pumpkins. As to the artistry: Sure, they've broached genius a few times (namely on Gish and Mellon Collie), but Billy wanted to be some ridiculous combination of Rick Ocasek and Roger Waters while still enthralling the critics (has there ever been somebody more sensitive to his own press than Billy Corgan?).

But to your original point, I completely disagree with this notion that Radiohead and the Pumpkins are on the same plain. Maybe they are in the same ballpark now, since Radiohead has acquiesced to a certain extent and is playing with some corporate sponsorship, but they're not nearly as lost in the corporate quagmire as are Billy & Co. The last Radiohead disc came out first online, directly available to the fans. How did the Pumpkins release their last disc? By releasing different versions of their album for regular record stores, Best Buy, Target, and iTunes. Now you can argue all you want about living in an age of mp3s, "illegal" downloading, etc., etc., but that, to me, is all background noise; the point was to get exclusive contracts with "big-box" stores in order to cash in. Put it another way: In Rainbows had a second "deluxe" release as well, but at least any record shop that wanted to stock it could. The Pumpkins are therefore far more corporatized than Radiohead, and are nearing prefabrication boy band status.

"How did the Pumpkins release their last disc? By releasing different versions of their album for regular record stores, Best Buy, Target, and iTunes. Now you can argue all you want about living in an age of mp3s, "illegal" downloading, etc., etc., but that, to me, is all background noise; the point was to get exclusive contracts with "big-box" stores in order to cash in. Put it another way: In Rainbows had a second "deluxe" release as well, but at least any record shop that wanted to stock it could. The Pumpkins are therefore far more corporatized than Radiohead, and are nearing prefabrication boy band status."

And why do you think Radiohead did that? They were off from a deal with their label, they really didn't have anything to lose. The Pumpkins did the same thing with Machina II when they were out of their deal with Virgin in 2000 except it wasn't even "pay what you want", you didn't have to pay at all. With Zeitgeist Pumpkins still had to fulfill a deal with Warner Bros. and if you notice, many of the major labels do big box deals. It's really not a decision made by the bands. Decemberists have done it. Bowie has done it. I could go on. It's not a new practice at all, this has been going on for over ten years. The labels do the big box deals to compete in the market. Those are the stores that sell the most CDs to the schmucks who don't know how to illegally download the exclusive tracks. You need to do a better job at analyzing why each band did what they did, I wouldn't say so much that it has anything to do with the goodness of their hearts or how coldly calculating they are with business. But with that said, both bands have been in the business for over 20 years and have had success in it......that doesn't come from random ideas. Radiohead has done their share of calculated business decisions.....not as overt as the Pumpkins, but they have done their share.

the pumpkins haven't been relevant for years, and they're even less so now.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on October 6, 2008 11:11 AM.

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