(1) 1979 v. (8) Appels & Oranjes
(1) Today v. (8) 7 Shades of Black
(1) Tonight, Tonight v. (9) Stand Inside Your Love
(1) Bullet With Butterfly Wings v. (9) Heavy Metal Machine
(2) Disarm v. (10) Crestfallen
(2) Cherub Rock v. (10) Pug
(2) Perfect v. (10) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
(2) Zero v. (7) X.Y.U.
(3) I Am One v. (11) Hello Kitty Kat
(3) Siva v. (6) Geek U.S.A.(6) Soma v. (14) For Martha
(3) Thirty-Three v. (6) Starla
(12) In The Arms of Sleep v. (13) To Sheila
(4) Tarantula v. (5) The End Is The Beginning Is The End
(4) Rhinoceros v. (12) Raindrops & Sunshowers
(4) Rocket v. (5) Eye
I'm going to skip the first "region" for now, and you'll see why in a sec. Let's start with the middle groups:
(2) Disarm def. (10) Crestfallen
(2) Cherub Rock def. (10) Pug
(10) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans def. (2) Perfect
(2) Zero def. (7) X.Y.U.
Perfect struggled in the first round, then gets picked off by Porcelina in the second. And it's a really good song. This only gets harder from here.
(11) Hello Kitty Kat def. (3) I Am One
(3) Siva def. (6) Geek U.S.A.
(6) Soma def. (14) For Martha
(6) Starla def. (3) Thirty-Three
Kitty Kat's run kontinues. In hindsight, I should have ranked For Martha much higher. The loss to Soma was a double-overtime thriller that made me tear out (what's left of) my hair. Most of these match-ups were incredibly difficult. I don't know why I'm doing this.
(13) To Sheila def. (12) In The Arms of Sleep
(4) Tarantula def. (5) The End Is The Beginning Is The End
(4) Rhinoceros def. (12) Raindrops & Sunshowers
(4) Rocket def. (5) Eye
These battles were relatively easy. Eye is one of the Pumpkins' most unique tracks (and that's saying something) but Rocket is just kicking ass and taking names.
And finally, the bracket-buster:
(8) Appels & Oranjes def. (1) 1979
(1) Today def. (8) 7 Shades of Black
(1) Tonight, Tonight def. (9) Stand Inside Your Love
(1) Bullet With Butterfly Wings def. (9) Heavy Metal Machine
I feel like I should explain this one: Appels & Oranjes (yes, that's how it's spelled) is one of my absolute favorite Pumpkins songs.. primarily because it sounds like a New Order song.
It feels wrong to knock out what is arguably the band's most well-known song in the second round; I can only assume that anyone who only knows a little bit about them knows 1979.. but I don't know what it's like to not be a Smashing Pumpkins super fan. Appels advances. Sorry, seventy nine.
Your Smashing Pumpkins Sweet 16:
(4) Rhinoceros v. (8) Appels & Oranjes
(1) Today v. (4) Rocket
(1) Tonight, Tonight v. (13) To Sheila
(1) Bullet With Butterfly Wings v. (4) Tarantula
(2) Disarm v. (6) Soma
(2) Cherub Rock v. (3) Siva
(6) Starla v. (10) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
(2) Zero v. (11) Hello Kitty Kat
At this point in the tournament I'm still trying to be fair and match-up similar sounding songs.. but I'm also becoming aware of the growing divide between songs I really love and songs I like a lot but aren't my absolute fave. It might lead to more low-seeds advancing than you'd see in the college basketball tournament, but I've got to be honest. Here we go:
(8) Appels & Oranjes def. (4) Rhinoceros
(4) Rocket def. (1) Today
(1) Tonight, Tonight def. (13) To Sheila
(1) Bullet With Butterfly Wings def. (4) Tarantula
Case in point: top-seeded Today goes down. This was agonizingly close, both are personal faves. I'm not happy about losing another one of SP's biggest hits, but it just didn't have the stamina to take down Rocket. To Sheila was a Cinderella story, but it gets clobbered by Tonight, Tonight.
(2) Disarm def. (6) Soma
(2) Cherub Rock def. (3) Siva
(6) Starla def. (10) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
(11) Hello Kitty Kat def. (2) Zero
Cherub Rock and Starla move on without much difficulty. Hello Kitty Kat is folowing the old Jim Valvano motto: survive and advance. Zero isn't nearly as strong of a two seed as Disarm; the shirt was far more iconic than the song.
As for Disarm...umph. It was agonizing trying to choose a winner between two of my very favorite songs off Siamese Dream. Soma is amazing - if you haven't heard it, you have to trust me. (Or just give it a listen.) Why am I doing this? This isn't fun anymore.
Anyway, here's the Elite Eight:
(1) Bullet With Butterfly Wings v. (8) Appels & Oranjes
(1) Tonight, Tonight v. (4) Rocket
(2) Disarm v. (11) Hello Kitty Kat
(2) Cherub Rock v. (6) Starla
So, here's the deal: I can tell you that the top four Smashing Pumpkins based on chart/sales success, airplay, recognition, etc. are most likely 1979; Tonight, Tonight; Today and Bullet. That's why they were #1 seeds. If I could have a fifth #1 seed it would be Disarm.
If I were to continue with this NCAA basketball-style tournament, the Final Four would be:
Appels & Oranjes; Rocket; Disarm; and Starla
But I'm not even sure those are my four favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs. Maybe I'd choose Bullet instead of Disarm. Or Tonight, Tonight. Or Soma. Gah...this is impossible!
Either way, the championship match would be between these two songs:
And I am not choosing a winner. I've made enough gut-wrenching decisions today.