So the big news of the day, announced on Billy's photography blog People + Their Cars, is that in addition to the recent major announcements of Jimmy semi-officially rejoining the band for touring and recording, Billy and a friend by the name of Jason (apparently a military vet?) are going to be wandering to and fro through "ruinous America" with the purpose of making a documentary and simultaneously, quite possibly writing a new album for The Smashing Pumpkins. Whether or not that new album is new material for the previously-named Day For Night or something after it remains to be seen. (Basically, nobody knows what's going on with Day For Night, except that apparently all parts were recorded but drums and it is no longer going to be named Day For Night. For all we know, they could have totally scrapped the songs by now and could be starting from scratch.) Confusing? Sure. But that's the creative process.
But honestly, this is inspiring. In his post, Billy seems to acknowledge his own lack of inspiration and the need to find it, hence the trip. Says Billy in his prose-like way of talking:
"So feel free to align where I place myself in that story; that is, if you can accept that I was once innocent. But innocence in these sinews reigns no more, and with it's abandonment went those star-zapping powers that sang so readily about my descents into the glass darkly. And the trinkets traded freely for faith. Indeed, words are usually powerless without heart. And by that standard I stand accused. For often I've said far too much, and too often, without some clear intent by which to measure myself other than a wish to be proven right by time. So if there is a judge listening, it is here I wish to resign my long-beleaguered suit against so many. The grounds upon which it labored, meritless. So what does that leave untouched? A simple impression found, and the music comes of it. For newer sights I look towards ruinous America, and her open road. Or something approximating the mightiest byway of the 1800's, the grand Mississippi, and that closest urbane chimera, Route 66. Add one ruddy military vet and a stack of maps, and we'll hit out on those same veins and tributaries, heading from Chicago first towards more temperate climes. Hopeful that I might write a new album by using the milk of Delta mud, amongst other things. Too obscure thus far? How's this to be straight...?My mate Justin and I are set to head out and chart the beginnings of a new documentary I'm aching to make about America. And as we meet strangers and friends in living rooms and backyards and porches, and near campfires and rusting trolleys, we'll need your help of where to go and what we must see. If that intrigues you, and you or yours have family along our route, we'd like you to contact us with good heart. For we'll need help and support to make this work as I imagine it in my mind. To sketch at least the beginnings of a project that may be so vast it'll take much more than a 3 week roustabout to understand."
Roustabout. Get it?
Also, Soot and Stars, anyone? "I love the open road and all that it suggests. Wheelwagon dust, weeds and infidelities.." The inspirational heart of Americana still beats in William's soul, it would seem. Indeed, there is something about the music of The Smashing Pumpkins that has always seemed to capture that distinct blend of flavors, from Gish to the present. It wasn't just Zeitgeist, it wasn't just American Gothic. Maybe it's just how rock and roll was an American invention, an outlet for the freedom-loving rebel. Or maybe it's somethign about how The Smashing Pumpkins are a Chicago band, from that great mid-western city that captures something special, in its own way, about the sprit of the country. Maybe it's the upbringings of the individul members of the band as it's changed through time. But the tragic greatness of The Smashing Pumpkins, in a way, reflects an American story of young upstarts seeking the American Dream through all the grit and grime, all the ups and downs, the booms and busts, the melancholy and infinite sadness - from Lillian Gish (an American silent film actress) to Monuments to an Elegy, which may hint at more than just the elegy to monuments of the band, but to the world in which we live.
If history is any indication (and it is), another documentary done by or with Corgan and possibly The Smashing Pumpkins somehow involved in it bodes well. The band has a history of well-done documentaries, such as the Adore documentary, The Graceful Swans of Never, and If All Goes Wrong. It will likely take awhile to put together, but this is one project worth anticipating.
For your enjoyment, Soot and Stars below. Discuss more at Shadowland Forums.