In response to last week's Rhymes With Seltzer, Koichi Koyama of Federal Way writes:
"It was disturbing to see Smashing Pumpkins listed as a participle phrase band when 'smashing,' thus used, is adjectival, not participial—didn't you graduate high school? You then assert that Dreaming of Wet Panties (U.S.) are the equal (or better!) of Counting Crows. Wrong! The American DOWP are the shits, daddy. I was further dismayed by your omission of a truly excellent participle band, Painting Daisies. I've caught them on numerous occasions, and they are the finest unit I know featuring tuba, tambourine, and electro-acoustic wah-wah stick. Please plug 'em next time they make the scene."
No, Koichi, I didn't finish high school (why should anyone?), but I know my participles. While the word cluster "smashing pumpkins" may not be quite up to snuff, phrasewise—it is kinda static, sure—"smashing" easily meets the criterion "a verb form used with an auxiliary to indicate certain tenses, or which functions independently as an adjective" (emphasis mine).
But "right" and "wrong" in the professional crit biz? C'mon! (I suggest you take a long, stiff peek at Kant's Critique of Judgment before barking up that tree.)
As to Painting Daisies, thanks for the tip, muhfuh.
Painting Daises play Wazobia at 9 p.m. Thurs., July 11. $5