C.A.T: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

In honor of this week’s Rock Band DLC (“Zero”) I present you with The Smashing Pumpkin’s ambitious double-album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Released in the depressing October of 1995, Mellon Collie is the follow-up to the band’s hit Siamese Dream. It quickly became a success, despite its $20+ price, and the best-selling double album of the decade at that point in time.

The scope of this release is rather daunting, Billy Corgan and company give us quite the audio assault. We have the explosive power of tracks like “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “Tales of a Scorched Earth,” juxtaposed with the elegance and beauty of tracks like “Tonight, Tonight” and “1979” (both of which became renowned for their music videos). They utilize everything from pianos to string orchestration to video games sound effects to “grunge-tuned” guitars and synthesizers.

The end result is 28 tracks that are all tired together around the concept of the cycle of life and death. While some criticize the lyrics, which I think work pretty well for Corgan, no one can deny the greatness of the music accompanying the words. The three-star Rolling Stone review said the album, “may even match The Wall in it sonic accomplishments.”

Mellon Collie is essential Nineties listening, and is among the best albums to come out of that wonderful decade.

Favorite Tracks: “Tonight, Tonight,” “1979”

Viva La Violet Hill

Hey all you Coldplay fans! Well it sure is exciting that come round June 16th, Coldplay will be releasing their fourth album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” Produced by Brian Eno, “Viva” will supposedly carry more “Hispanic influences” (though how much that will be played up is unknown so far) and will hopefully be breaking some new ground with a more oblique style. So until than, I thought it was worth mentioning that this Tuesday “April 29th” Coldplay will have their new single “Violet Hill” available for download for free on their website… But remember to act fast because it’ll only be up for a week.

P.S. Up above I posted the cover for the new album, pretty wild huh? Looks like an album cover for some German Metal band.



I know most people hate Barry Bonds, and I know this will never happen, but nothing would make me happier than to have Mr. Bonds in a Seattle Mariner uniform. He is one of the greatest hitters of all time and he was definitely not alone in this whole steroids era. The reason I think was so good with enhancement was because he was already such a great hitter. He won 3 MVP’s as a skinny guy playing for the Pirates back in the early nineties. Sure hes a jerk, but he can help this sorry sack of crap we call a baseball team a lot.

This team needs to confront some big problems. We went out and solved our pitching situation (hopefully Carlos Silva will make his next start) besides the fact that Bedard has been sidelined for most of the season so far. But our offense is dismal. And by dismal I mean it sucks. Wilkerson, Johjima, Vidro, and even my new favorite player Big Sexy has cooled off as of late. Vidro’s career is over. With Jose Lopez dominating the 2 hole, Vidro’s lack of power and average needs to be shown the door. He is a black hole sucking up everything a good offense should have and needs to be taken to the back yard and put down.

Wilkerson was a mistake, lets move on. Bring up Balentin or Reed and get something out of right field rather than nothing.

And last but least, Johjima has absolutely stunk. I don’t however think his career is over. I think he’ll get out of this slump with a little more time. However, I do not agree with extending his contract for another 3 years/27 million. It’s time to build for the future, and especially with Jeff Clement down in Tacoma batting .375/.500/.688 (Batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage). The M’s front office obviously has a hard time understanding that with age comes decline in performance. And this is especially true with catchers.

Well I know that this organization will not do take note to any of my suggestions, but I beg them please do something.

T3: Celebrity Families

John’s way more knowledgeable about this crap, but I’ll give it a shot. These are both families that became famous as a group, and families that became famous individually.

10. The Osmonds
I mean yeah, why not? They were pretty popular and seem to have lingering celebrity. There are a lot of them, actually, but the only ones that really matter are Donny and Marie. And Marie just barely hanging on.

9. The Garlands
Judy and Liza. They’ve both won Academy Awards and have left a lasting mark on American pop culture. So, there you go.

8. The Voights
Kind of creepy picture, isn’t it? Well it’s a kind of creepy family. I was like “what?” Jon Voight, legendary film icon, is the father of Angelina Jolie and her crazy brother. That’s crazy. And Angelina is married to Brad Pitt, right? So Jon Voight is the patriarch of one of the most powerful Hollywood families. And they’re slowly building up an army of African children.

7. The Sutherlands
One is famous for a prophetic film career, the other for one of the most successful TV shows in recent memory. Apparently when Kiefer spoiled some of the plot of a season of 24 to Donald, he became very upset. Now that’s what I call fathering.

6. The Douglases
Big Mike and Papa Kirk both have a number of immortal films under their belts. But the real question is: could Spartacus take Gordon Gekko? Speaking of Wall Street

5. The Sheens
Martin and his sons Charlie and Emilio. I don’t know why Emilio wouldn’t want the power of the Sheen name, but maybe that’s why we don’t see much of him anymore. Martin and Charlie starred in two of the best Vietnam War movies ever made. Joe Estevez, Martin’s brother, even got in on Apocalypse Now, he did the narration.

4. The Bridges
Another father with two famous sons. Lloyd, Jeff and Beau are all great, and should work with each other whenever possible. Well, Lloyd Bridges passed away, but come on you sons! Jeff, get your ass on My Name is Earl like John suggested, that would be sweet.

3. The Jacksons
The Jackson 5 were pretty famous, then Michael stole the spotlight. Then he made some great music. Then he turned into a white woman and started creeping everyone out. Why bother, you all know the story. This is a different Randy Jackson, by the way.

2. The Osbournes
What could be healthier that surrounding an aged bat-eater’s family with cameras? A lot of stuff. But if we learned anything from this dysfunctional pack, it’s that at the end of the day, you’ve always got the love and support of the ones you love.

1. The Baldwins
The most powerful family in the world. Bush who? Kennedy what? The Baldwin brothers reign supreme in the world of celebrity. Alec, their representative and leader, reigns supreme over the world of acting. Daniel, William and Stephen surely have things to be proud of as well. If you do not respect the Baldwins, you must fear their wrath.

C.A.T: After The Gold Rush

CAT: After The Gold Rush – Neil Young (1970)

“The Godfather of Grunge” Neil Young has been cracking out the tunes for 40 something years. From hard rock, to country, to rockabilly, to experimental synth music, Neil’s always played by his own rules and though he hasn’t always been consistent with great albums, he’s still racked up some great stuff. After the Gold Rush is the album I’m referring to today, so let’s take a look

Recorded mostly at Young’s home in California, Young took on a more subdued almost country sound for his third album. Inspired by a screenplay co-written by actor friend Dean Stockwell (Known for his roles in Quantum Leap and Blue Velvet) Neil originally had planned to do this album as the soundtrack to the film. Unfortunately the film never quite took off, but that didn’t stop Neil from finishing this album. So with some help from friends such as composer Jack Nitzsche, Nils Lofgren and Stephen Stills, Neil put together what is often considered one of his best albums.

With his distinct high pitched voice and competent guitar work, Neil presents us with a beautiful collection of bittersweet ballads with country themes. Songs like “Tell Me Why”, “Oh Lonesome Me” and “After the Gold Rush” have a genuine timeless beauty to them. Other songs like “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” show off the roots of grunge, while numbers like “Till the Morning Comes” and “Birds” are just light hearted and simplistic pop songs. Neil paints stories about everything from the environment to prejudice through these rootsy rock numbers, and keeps you thoroughly engaged for the whole ride. Though Let’s not ignore the heavier side to this album, most notably shown in the controversial rocker “Southern Man” that presents that other “Pissed Off” side of Neil we all know.

All in all I think one of the main reasons that After the Gold Rush is such a standout work for Neil is that this album feels like his most personal, at least that I can recall. One thing is for sure, it still leaves quite an impact.

Favorite Tracks: “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, “Tell Me Why”