Song of the Day – “Slow Dawn” by Smashing Pumpkins

The Smershing Pampkins are one of those bands that you either like or don’t like.  I quite like them… most of the time.  I worked with a guy who was a Smoshing Pimpkuns fanatic, and he extolled their virtues up and down and all around.  But I had known them from before, with their neato radio hits and their knack for writing stuff I really happened to dig at the time (1994).

Back in 2000, after those greedy fuckheads in Metallica got me kicked off of Napster, my old buddies* the Smacking Porcupines released an album on the internet for free.

This was a giant “Fuck you” to their record company, who didn’t want the songs released as they were and wanted the band to re-record a more “radio friendly” album.  For more on this theme, see Wilco.

Anyway, Billy Corgan decided to release 25 vinyl pressings of a double album called “MACHINA II – The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music” and distribute each copy to a friend of his or someone he knew had the means to get the songs from vinyl to mp3 and hence, to the interwebs.

The link here (here…. right here… this one) is to the Internet Archive’s download page for the files created by a radio station called Q101.  They sound damn fine.

And here is a link to “Slow Dawn”.  It’s the first song in the collection, on one of three EPs that accompanied the album proper.  See this here Wikipedia page for details and for the story behind it.

And “Slow Dawn” is a hell of a tune.  If you like the Smeshing Pamplionis.  If you don’t, then you probably won’t be digging it.  But this song is special to me because James Iha’s solo gives me goosebumps and a shiver down my spine when I hear it.  Good fucking lord, how did he come up with that?  It’s so sloppy, so all over the place, and yet it fits in perfectly and raises the song like a stone cathedral to the sky in heights which soar ever higher.

Wow.  Some other guitar-work that comes to mind when I hear that is Johnny Greenwood’s playing in “Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong” by Radiohead.

But that sounds damn near filed-away-with-the-Dewey-Decimal-System compared to what’s going on in “Slow Dawn”

And that’s about all I have to say about this song.  You should download the album.  You might as well, it’s totally free, and from what I heard, the reformed Shmeggling Pomposities aren’t so good as they used to be.  It’s only Billy Corgan and the drummer now anyway.  And Billy Corgan’s ego.

*not really my buddies