NEWS ROUNDUP: RIP Mac Miller, Fashion Week, Pussy Riot Member Hospitalized & More

RIP Mac Miller

Last week on September 7th, Mac Miller died at the age of 26 from a drug overdose in his LA home. Since his passing many celebrities such as Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, Ariana Grande and many more paid tribute to the rapper. Earlier this week thousands of Mac Miller fans held a vigil at Pittsburgh’s Blue Slide Park – the namesake of his debut album. The blue slide had a fresh coat of paint and Miller’s grandmother made an appearance that evening thanking fans.

Fashion Week

Rihanna closed out New York’s fashion week with her Savage x Fenty Lingerie Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard celebrating women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities. Her runway show included plus sized models and two visibly pregnant models, one of whom went into labor backstage. The line mixes organic and futuristic concepts, and according to Rihanna is “what we hope to see in the future: women being celebrated in all forms and all body types and all races and cultures.” 

Cardi B and Nicki Minaj had an altercation at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons Party. Cardi threw a red high heel at Minaj while yelling that Minaj talked trash about her child. Cardi B was escorted out of the party with a bump on her head. Cardi issued a statement on Instagram, and Minaj responded on her Beats 1 Queen radio show denying she ever said anything about Cardi’s child and claimed Cardi B built her career off of “sympathy and payola.” Cardi responded on Instagram with videos of fans screaming her lyrics at her concerts early in her career prior to radio play as well as the list of 2018’s top Hip Hop Albums (Cardi’s Invasion of Privacy in the top three), with the caption “NUMBERS DONT FUCKIN LIE.”

Listen to a playlist of fashion week’s best music below…

Pussy Riot’s Peter Verzilov Hospitalized

Peter Verzilov, a member of Russia’s political punk band Pussy Riot and publisher of independent news website Mediazona, was hospitalized on September 11th and is currently in critical condition. He began showing symptoms of losing his sight, speech, and mobility shortly after a court hearing, leading his friends and partner to believe he had been poisoned. Verzilov is currently being treated at the toxicology wing of Moscow’s Bakrushin City Clinical Hospital, though the details of his diagnosis or treatment have not been released.

The New New

Lana Del Rey released the first new song “Mariners Apartment Complex” she recorded with Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff. She will be releasing another track, “Venice Bitch,” on Tuesday, although the album won’t be out until 2019.

Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker  released the second single off her album abysskiss, called “symbol.” The album will be released October 5th on Saddle Creek.

The Smashing Pumpkins are releasing their first album in almost 20 years featuring founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, along with guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Their first single “Silvery Sometimes” was released this week; the full album will drop November 16th on Corgan’s label Martha’s Music. 

End Notes

  • Apple will no longer provide the dongle adaptors for headphones free of charge with the iphone.
  • Spotify is lifting the 3,333 song download limit for offline listening and increased it to 10,000 songs.

LIVE REVIEW: The Smashing Pumpkins @The Beacon Theatre


To say The Smashing Pumpkins performed at the Beacon Theatre Wednesday night would be a misnomer. As the band has reshuffled and frontman Billy Corgan has become a celebrity in his own right, accruing social media followers for his menagerie of rescue pets and making the tabloids for his son’s birth last year, Millennials and Gen-Xers have tucked the adored Smashing Pumpkins of the 90s away in the past with their CD collections. And that’s where they belong.

On Wednesday night, there were traces of the sounds that musically illustrated our high school romances, but the only threads connecting the influential alt-rock band that brought us “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “1979” and the one currently on its In Plainsong tour are Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, and even their collaborations have become barely recognizable as The Smashing Pumpkins. Their most recent album, 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy, is also their poppiest and least distinctive.
This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the band could top or even match its previous work. But viewing performances of Corgan’s solo songs and tracks The Smashing Pumpkins recorded during the latter portion of their 28-year run felt a bit like watching a band at a wedding. The members, which also included guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist/singer/guitarist Katie Cole, and keyboardist/singer/bassist Sierra Swan, appeared to be entertaining the crowd out of obligation, perhaps because it was their third night in a row at the venue.
The evening’s gems were the classics that almost let the audience pretend they were blasting them, windows rolled down, in the first cars they drove. Corgan played gorgeous acoustic versions of “Tonight, Tonight” and “Greatest Day” that ended too soon and updated “Disarm” with organ sounds produced on a keyboard. Corgan and Schroeder also performed a haunting cover of “Jesus, I/Mary Star of the Sea” by Zwan, which Corgan and Chamberlain formed while The Smashing Pumpkins disbanded from 2000-2006.
Liz Phair’s opening performance was another highlight. The singer-songwriter known for sassy rock hits and catchy pop ballads that capture modern single womanhood stood alone with her guitar, setting the stage (pun intended) for an evening of acoustic throwbacks.
Classics like “Fuck and Run” and “Extraordinary” that hit 20- and 30-something women a little too close to home became raw and emotive with no accompanying instrumentals making them radio-ready. With the audience belting along, the performance seemed to take place around a campfire rather than at a large concert hall. She introduced her set by saying “welcome to my TED Talk” and closed with, “I guess the TED Talk is about love and loss in the modern age, or what happens when you’re an independent-minded woman with gumption who can’t find a man.” Yup, too close to home.
It would have been naive to expect Corgan or Phair to singlehandedly bring the 90s back. But they did give the audience a chance to relive those years for a few precious moments.