June 21, 2005

"Cutting like the smoke through your teeth as you are telling me forget it." - Okkervil River.

We received our copy of the Judge discography over the weekend. Liner notes written by New York hardcore mainstay guitarist Porcell point out something interesting. Judge was conceived wholesale as a backlash to the death of first- or second-wave straightedge as a lifestyle. Many, likely most, adherents to the scene grew older and broke with the straightedge's strict anti-drinking and anti-drug stance. This left Mike Judge disillusioned and hurt and, most of all, PISSED. Hence his band's music was extra heavy and angry. Since we just became aware the scene still existed as a going enterprise at the time of Bringin' It Down's release (we had thought it had died with bands like Uniform Choice in the mid-'80s), we didn't really get that Bringin' It Down was a reactionary, almost conservative statement of values, albeit expressed with the force of repeated kidney punches.

Billy Corgan has opened up in recent interviews and discussed how he did a lot of soul searching over the last several years and came to the realization he needed to re-learn what made him happy as a younger man. A similar sentiment is expressed in the most revealing moment from the Judge catalog, in a lyric snippet from our favorite Judge jam, "Like You." Have a listen and keep an ear out for Mike's reflection: "Now I'm trying to find the things I fought to hide when I was young."

Judge - "Like You" (Bringin' It Down version)

Of course, today's big news: Corgan can't be very confident in his just released solo effort. According to this article he took out ads in Chicago papers announcing he would reform Smashing Pumpkins, a somewhat puzzling move. No word on which members will be on board, but it seems likely only Jimmy Chamberlain will make the cut, as we think Corgan doesn't have the best of relationships with D'Arcy and Iha any longer. It is interesting that Mellon Collie is the band's biggest seller, even with it being a double album. We'd think that Siamese Dream would lap it easily. Stereogum has some of the text of the ad Corgan took out to impart his little secret. ILM, of course, has the whole text and saucy discussion to boot.

That is all.

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