In the Studio with Smashing Pumpkins, a Billy Corgan Puppet, Dr. Psychedelic and Studiodog
Recently we started getting Twitter direct messages from someone named @studiodog, and at first we couldn't figure out if the person was an oddball Smashing Pumpkins fan sending news updates on Billy Corgan's progress in the studio or an insider. But as we parsed them further, it started to appear that @studiodog was actually in the studio, and sending us tidbits of information.
So we started sleuthing, and uncovered a treasure trove of oddities from the recording of the new Pumpkins album in Chicago. Like this:
Wow, they're getting a lot done, and Corgan's voice has never sounded more chimplike. (Sorry, Billy, we couldn't resist.)
Our detective work soon revealed that @studiodog is one Kerry Brown, longtime Corgan associate and musician who's holed up in Chicago with a man named Dr. Psychedelic (
who, we think, has a Sky Saxon Band connection, yes? aka Mark Tullin from the Electric Prunes) and new drummer Mike Byrne. That led to this video, which features a Billy Corgan puppet playing a synthesizer.
Which led to this, featuring Brown and Dr. Psychedelic answering questions. The Corgan doll arrives to respond to one particular query. (Be patient; it's at the 4:06 mark, after a long conversation between Dr. Psyche and Brown.)
Q: What's the difference between recording in Chicago and Los Angeles?
Billy Doll: "Well, I love Los Angeles, but Chicago is my home. Los Angeles is the city of angels, so I don't know what that makes Chicago full of. Hmm. Good people. Lots of good people here. Good food. So we come here to eat good food and work hard. Next question."
The Corgan doll then goes on to talk about the difference between recording Pumpkins songs now and back in the day. The doll responds: "I think the difference now is, I'm in control of my own destiny. I'm not reliant on other forces," apparently unaware of the hand shoved up its torso that is controlling all of its actions.
Speaking of God, Corgan posted this on his spirituality blog, Everything from Here to There yesterday: "We all want to control what we see and feel because, to our sensitive hearts, life can seem too painful. Creating a delusional sub-reality makes the light a little less bright, allowing us to distance ourselves from how we really feel. Unwittingly, when we distance ourselves from our true feelings, we also distance ourselves from God and His Light."
We become, he seems to suggest, puppets.