Albini wasn't too keen on Corgan's alt-rock principles, either: he wrote that watching the Pumpkins "prostrate themselves before the altar of publicity these last 12 months has been a source of unrivaled hilarity . . . and seeing them sink into the obscurity they have earned by blowing their promo wads will be equally satisfying." For Corgan, I suppose it was the smart move to pick on Pavement; if he'd started a feud with Albini, there wouldn't have been any retractions or clarifications. Just bloodshed. Albini can write prose that'll singe your eyebrows off, and God knows Corgan couldn't afford to lose those.

I'll give Billy credit for one thing: even if the quality of his music isn't up to 1994 standards, his colicky little crybaby grudges are rocking as hard as ever. It takes real guts — the courage to be totally unafraid of making a tremendous tit of yourself — to carry on a one-way slapfight for 15 years.

DAVID THORPE | dthorpe@phx.com

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