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Marketing push for U.S. release of Iha’s ‘Look to the Sky’ begins 12:58 pm // Monday, July 16, 2012

Posted by susan in james iha, look to the sky, merchandise, record labels, releases.
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After premiering in Japan back in May, James Iha’s video for “To Who Knows Where” is now available for your streaming pleasure here in the United States (and possibly worldwide? Let us know if you have problems.)

Iha has also posted information to his Facebook account about the preorder for the U.S. release of Look to the Sky. The label for the release is listed as Brooklyn-based indie The End Records. You can preorder the album in CD or LP format along with other Look to the Sky branded merchandise; the first 100 orders will also receive a polaroid photo and button hand-made by Iha himself.

UPDATE: The U.S. Look the Sky CD and LP feature an additional track, “New Years Day,” that was not available on the Japanese release. As expected, the Japanese bonus tracks “Diamond Eyes” and “Stay Lost” are not included on either the U.S. CD or LP. However, “4th of July” and “Dark Star,” two album cuts from the Japanese release, are listed as bonus tracks for the U.S. CD and will not appear on the LP.

Justin Bieber tops U.S. album chart; Pumpkins’ ‘Oceania’ at #4 10:50 am // Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Posted by jjb in news, oceania, sales.
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On U.S. sales totaling one-seventh those of Justin Bieber’s just-​released Believe—Bieber’s fourth number-one album in under three years—the Smashing Pumpkins’ new record Oceania occupies the fourth position on this week’s Billboard chart.

Oceania reportedly moved 54,000 copies in becoming the sixth Smashing Pumpkins album to reach Billboard‘s top four. It is the seventh album of songs principally written by Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan to chart that high.

Clear Channel (via HU) might help you see tiny Pumpkins gig in NYC 8:49 pm // Monday, June 18, 2012

Posted by jjb in scary, tickets.
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The audience for Tuesday night (tonight!)’s Smashing Pumpkins concert at cozy iHeartRadio Theatre in Lower Manhattan is going to be filled with contest winners, through ticket giveaways carried out by P. C. Richard & Son, Brooklyn Vegan, and, uhm, The Audio Perv, among others. Now, apparently, at the very last minute, it is our turn, and maybe yours: A representative of Clear Channel has contacted HU informing us that we “may absolutely give 3 pairs of tickets away courtesy of iHeartRadio.” (more…)

Big-box retailer, Clear Channel promoting tiny Pumpkins gig in NYC 11:45 pm // Monday, June 11, 2012

Posted by susan in amusing, marketing, news, radio, tour.
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Appliance and electronics retailer P. C. Richard & Son piped up today to reveal, via Twitter and Facebook, that Smashing Pumpkins will be giving a small private performance in New York City on June 19, the day their album Oceania hits stores.

P. C. Richard & Son is the sponsor of the “iHeartRadio Theatre,” a tiny venue that puts on intimate concerts seemingly just so iHeartRadio (read: Clear Channel) network stations can run ticket giveaways. Pumpkins fans can enter for a chance to win tickets via an app on P. C. Richard’s Facebook page; one might presume that some New York area Clear Channel station(s) may have a few tickets to give away, as well. For those not among the chosen 200 spectators, judging from the recent appearances by Carrie Underwood and B.o.B., the performance may be streamed live online.

Clips of ‘Oceania’ songs appear on Amazon 12:46 pm // Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Posted by susan in merchandise, news, oceania, sales, smashingpumpkins.com.
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The Amazon.com page for the Smashing Pumpkins’ upcoming album Oceania now features clips from each of the album’s 13 tracks. Feel free to dissect in our comments.

In other Oceania news, SmashingPumpkins.com now has the album and related merchandise available for pre-order, including a high-fidelity digital download that is exclusive to the official site. Orders from the official site will be serviced by TopSpin Media.

UPDATE: Amazon has now removed the song clips.

Smashing Pumpkins unveil redesigned official website 11:11 pm // Friday, May 25, 2012

Posted by susan in business, news, oceania, pisces iscariot, record club, smashingpumpkins.com.
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This morning saw the unveiling of a redesigned official website for the Smashing Pumpkins.

SmashingPumpkins.com now has the feel of a conventional or professional (pick your preferred connotation) band website, one that is dissimilar both from the user-driven design that was deleted at the end of 2009 and from the more barebones site that existed between 2009 and now.

The site features pages detailing upcoming tourdates, the Pumpkins’ discography, and the band’s upcoming album Oceania. There is also a hub page for the band’s archive project, the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club. As of now, the Record Club page appears to be a holding area, but the page promises more Record Club content in late June and also tips that the Pisces Iscariot reissue is now due out at the end of July.

SmashingPumpkins.com will, starting on May 29, be taking pre-orders for the Oceania album in CD, LP, and digital formats. The site also contains the announcement of an “Imagine Oceania” contest. Fans can create art inspired by the album’s song titles, which the band may then feature on its social media outlets. The band is also working with the website JPGMAG.com to host a photo challenge, in which users can submit photography inspired by the song titles; ultimately, the band will choose 13 photo challenge winners (one for each Oceania song) to receive a canvas poster signed by the band.

Other features of the site include a store (featuring discounted 2011 tour merchandise) and “community” links to a few band-oriented sites. The official messageboard is down for the time being but apparently still has a pulse since it’s also linked under the “community” heading.

Late last summer, the band had engaged a company called Uprising Creative to redesign the website, but only parts of that redesign, including a page for the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club, ever reached the public. Earlier this week, HU discovered a fuller site under construction, credited to Uprising Creative and located at development.smashingpumpkins.com, which had been altered as recently as early April. But that’s not it: the development site has been taken down, and neither is Uprising Creative credited anywhere on the new SmashingPumpkins.com nor has the firm mentioned today’s rollout on its active blog.

UPDATE (5/27): The official Smashing Pumpkins messageboard has been relocated.

Once-disappointed Pumpkins fans “Blissed” with one-track flexidisc 10:32 pm // Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Posted by susan in customer service, news, releases.
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For some Smashing Pumpkins fans disappointed by the handling of their orders for the Gish and Siamese Dream reissues last year, a measure of recompense is arriving in the form of a limited-edition flexidisc created by the band.

Fans who ordered physical formats of either reissue through SmashingPumpkins.com did not receive their orders, in many cases, until three or four weeks after the November 29 release date. At the time, a representative for Pumpkins vendor Topspin Media claimed that his company “had absolutely no control over these delays” and that “not enough were manufactured,” passing the buck to BandMerch, a company that was contracted to do the order fulfillment.

Complaints were numerous, and on December 8 an administrator of the official Smashing Pumpkins messageboard posted a note from the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club promising a special gift to those fans who had preordered before November 29. A little over a week ago, an email was sent out with instructions on how to request the free flexidisc. Shipments of the disc began this week, and a few fans have already received theirs.

The record contains one track: “Blissed”, a previously unreleased song that missed the cut for the reissues but does come across like a Gish-era composition. The flexidisc itself is a translucent orange in color and is embellished with a hand-drawn Billy Corgan design in silver foil. Though hard to read, the design contains the song title printed at bottom left beside an abstract flowery design. The disc was produced by Pirates Press, a boutique music media company based in San Francisco. Matt Jones of Pirates Press told Crestfallen.com that 5,000 copies were pressed.

‘Oceania’ out June 19; Pumpkins working with EMI, Prospect Park 2:28 pm // Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Posted by jjb in news, oceania, record labels.
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From a press release:

EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution has announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Martha’s Music to release the highly anticipated album from THE SMASHING PUMPKINS entitled OCEANIA on June 19th, 2012. The agreement covers the world excluding Canada, Brazil and Australia.

The EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution online catalog lists a CD digipak ($18.98 suggested price) and a double vinyl LP ($24.98) for Oceania, with Martha’s Music shown as the label. Martha’s Music is the Billy Corgan-owned imprint borne by the previous Smashing Pumpkins records Teargarden by Kaleidyscope volumes 1 and 2 (issued in conjunction with the label services company Rocket Science) and Zeitgeist (with Warner Music Group’s Reprise Records), as well as Corgan’s TheFutureEmbrace album and Zwan’s Mary Star of the Sea (both also with Reprise).

The EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution homepage reads in part:

Caroline Distribution has a 30 year history as the premiere independent distribution company breaking many acts and nurturing many labels over the years. Many of today’s most significant independent labels and artists have been nurtured through this system. With EMI Label Services, artists and labels have the ability to secure turn-key global distribution deals, while having the potential to secure marketing support for the right artist at the right time through EMI’s “A-team” of promotion, publicity, online marketing, synch & licensing, brand sponsorship, new channel development and more.

The press release also states:

Peter Katsis, manager of SMASHING PUMPKINS for Prospect Park, added: “The Smashing Pumpkins created Oceania as an album experience, and it is intended for the process of the release to follow a path of inclusion, so that best efforts are made for all the fans hear it at the same time as press or radio. We were excited to find partners in EMI Label Services that were equally passionate about the plan for the album release as well as being huge fans of the Pumpkins.”

Prospect Park, led since 2008 by Hollywood hotshot Jeff Kwatinetz, has its feet in both TV production and music management. Artists on the Prospect Park roster include Jane’s Addiction, Korn, and Backstreet Boys. The Pumpkins were previously under Live Nation’s AGP Management.

UPDATE: Universal Music Canada has made a separate deal for Oceania.

Corgan’s SXSW co-presenter declares “End of Business as Usual” 12:12 pm // Friday, March 2, 2012

Posted by jjb in books, business.
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Altimeter Group buzzmeister Brian Solis outlines what he and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan have to say at their SXSW Interactive presentation on March 12:

We’ll discuss key themes from [Solis's book The End of Business as Usual] as it relates to the music industry. The focus will be on changing the methods that artists use to deliver music by re-inventing new systems that can work hand in hand with the art they created. The goal will be to put the art of music back to the forefront by ignoring the continual need of the music industry to standardized systems to promote and sell music in an era of constant change.

Billy will also discuss how social media and technology will play a part in the release of their new album Oceania and share his vision for reinventing the album experience overall.

Corgan to tout Oceania “album experience” at SXSW conference 1:27 am // Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Posted by jjb in marketing, oceania.
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Todd Wasserman of tech-news site Mashable reports tonight that Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan will appear at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin to discuss plans for the rollout of his band’s upcoming album Oceania.

“Our aim is to turn the ‘social’ into a new way to experience an album,” Corgan told Mashable. “By taking the medium one step further we will create an experience with Oceania online and off-line that transcends the single and the single mentality in all ways.”

Corgan will speak on March 12 at a session led by Brian Solis, who works at tech consultancy Altimeter Group but is not a social media expert—which is just as well, as the Pumpkins already have a strategy to garner publicity online:

[Corgan] added that the band is, “Working closely with Superfans as gatekeepers to help interaction on a fan-to fan level by promoting their Smashing Pumpkins related blogs and enlisting their help in maintaining a few official Smashing Pumpkins social media sites.”

UPDATE: Kerry Brown: “LOL”.

UPDATE: HU asked a contact with the band to clarify the typo-marred quotation attributed by Mashable to a publicist. We received the following statement in response, attributed to the “Smashing Pumpkins Digital Team”:

We will not be marketing this record in the traditional way such as releasing a single or a video, the key is that we are going to use technology to bring back the album experience.

Corgan inking record deal for ‘Oceania'; finalizing ‘Pisces’ reissue 2:07 pm // Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Posted by susan in news, oceania, pisces iscariot, record labels.
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Over a series of several tweets this afternoon, Smashing Pumpkins head Billy Corgan has tipped fans to some much-awaited news. Corgan reports that he is signing a record deal for the Pumpkins’ new album Oceania. Sessions for the album finished back in September; the band has been shopping the album to record labels since that time. Corgan promises a release date announcement “in the next few weeks.”

Regarding the Pumpkins’ impending reissue of 1994’s Pisces Iscariot, Corgan reports that the reissue will include a “recreation” of the band’s original 1988 demo tape and a new remix of “Glynis” made from the original master tapes. For DVD component of the Pisces reissue, Corgan promises “a full UN-EDITED performance (1988) on local cable access w/ false starts, dialogue (shot at Roselle Music!).” That would be the November 19, 1988 show, recorded live for the Pulse cable access program in Chicago. Last we heard, the Pisces reissue is set to drop on April 21 in conjunction with Record Store Day.

Vaporize James Iha. 12:25 am // Saturday, February 4, 2012

Posted by susan in clothing, confusing, fashion, james iha, japan, marketing.
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According to a post on EMI Japan’s website, Japanese fans who buy James Iha’s new solo album at Tower Records will receive a free sticker and a chance to win one of thirty “Vaporize James Iha Archive T” t-shirts. (Iha founded the clothing brand “Vapor” in 2001, and changed the name to “Vaporize” in 2003. You can check out some of the current designs here.) Fans who pick up the album and free sticker at Tower will be able to detach part of the sticker, which then serves as an entry ticket for the t-shirt drawing. A few of the shirts will be autographed by Iha.

Also according to the EMI Japan site, it appears that Iha may also be featured in the March issue of Rockin’ On magazine.

The reissue of Iha’s first solo album, Let It Come Down, is due out on February 15 and is available for pre-order now. Iha plays the EMI Rocks music festival on February 19, and HU contributor Eric will be in attendance. The new solo album, with a yet-to-be announced title, hits stores on March 14.

Thanks to Eric for translation help.

“Billy has the content, they want it, everyone is happy.” 12:34 am // Monday, January 30, 2012

Posted by susan in business, marketing, news, record club.
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Earlier today, Smashing Pumpkins “digital manager” Rynda Laurel tweeted a link to an article about her efforts with the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (SPRC). The two-page feature appears in the January 26 issue (PDF download) of Sandbox, a newsletter produced by music:)ally, a website about digital music marketing.

The article recaps the Record Club’s activities so far and provides some information about plans for 2012. Laurel reports that the Pumpkins will utilize a “pre-sale” model for any non-digital releases from the Record Club. As tipped by Billy Corgan in his video introduction to the SPRC, the band will solicit fans to subscribe to various musical offerings before putting them into production. Laurel says, “We will offer the product at a specific price that guarantees a specific amount of product to be manufactured. So, for example let’s say that for $50 one can purchase a limited series of live concerts from 1992 in a specifically packaged piece. Let’s say we need 75 fans to purchase it in order to pay for the physical manufacturing, shipping, and our time. We put it online and if 75 fans want it we will make it.” According to Sandbox, such purchasers would receive an immediate download of the music to tide them over until the product is manufactured and shipped, but there is no guarantee that a download-only option would be available for others to buy later.

The article also suggests that for the Pumpkins’ 2012 reissues (these being, as previously reported: Pisces Iscariot, Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessThe Aeroplane Flies High, and Adore) some “configurations” may be available only through the band’s website.

Laurel, a (former?) business associate of Kerry Brown, has worked with the Pumpkins for at least several months now, accompanying the band on its recent European tour and operating its Twitter account.

Plans for Corgan’s Chicagoland tea house brewing 11:22 pm // Sunday, January 1, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, business, chicago, food, interview, news.
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The tea house Billy Corgan alluded to in a mid-December tweet appears to be becoming a reality. In an interview with Eater Chicago, Corgan describes his intents for his latest business venture, stating that he is aiming for a retro 1930s French-Chinese vibe and hopes the tea house will become a hub for a diverse group of locals. Corgan reports being dissatisfied with the cultural offerings of his Highland Park ‘hood and hopes his shop will stand apart from the “cookie-cutter culture” of Starbucks. Corgan intends for the cafe to host events as well, saying, “It has a whimsical feel to it… it’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time in terms of space, but what we put into the space will change. My dream number is changing it 15 to 20 times a month where you’re inviting people to talk about film or have an open mic night.”

The tea house is to be located in the former US Post Office at 582 Roger Williams Avenue in Highland Park, an affluent Chicago suburb. The location is within Highland Park’s Ravinia neighborhood, perhaps best known for the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sharon Mackin-Norberg and her husband Tobias, proprietors of the Ravinia Wine Shop across the street from the tea house, will manage the tea house’s day-to-day operations. Mackin-Norberg sat for an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, praising Corgan’s eye for restaurant design and taste in tea, while further touting the tea house as a hangout for young people who want exposure to culture. The Sun-Times also spoke with Nancy Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park, who said of Corgan: “He has some unique ideas to bring more of a fun, cultural vibe to Highland Park. It’s neat that he wants to bring his creativity and his energy to our community.”

According to Eater Chicago, Corgan projects an opening date of around March or April for the tea house, which does not yet have a name. The Sun-Times article further suggests Corgan may perform the first live show in the space.

Will Corgan break entirely from “the biggest manager in the world”? 3:06 pm // Monday, November 14, 2011

Posted by jjb in business, news.
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Who’s above us? Who’s lighting the culture on fire? Nobody. We don’t have to live in that world. We have the biggest manager in the world. He tells us we can get there, we will get there. We will crack the egg like we did in ’92, without doing something embarrassing like working with Timbaland. We will find how to do our thing and make it work. I can write songs. We’re big boys. We’ll do it.

—Billy Corgan, December 2008

Today, Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins are searching for new directions to the top: The band is ending its five-year relationship with Azoff, Geary, Paul (AGP) Management, which is a division of Front Line Management Group, a company under the umbrella of Live Nation Entertainment.

Irving Azoff, the “biggest manager” to which Corgan referred in 2008, is currently executive chairman of Live Nation—and Front Line is a broader entity than just AGP. We’ll have to see whether Corgan is considering other options within Front Line or if he wants a fresh start elsewhere.

Topspin Media preps for your questions on Pumpkins’ reissues 10:01 pm // Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Posted by jjb in amusing, customer service, gish, news, siamese dream.
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The most powerful direct-to-fan platform on the planet is working on its “Smashing Pumpkins FAQs” document in anticipation of the re-releases of that band’s Gish and Siamese Dream albums. Here are their answers to some questions they believe you will be asking frequently:

Will I get a digital version of the DVD if I purchase the deluxe edition digital package?
No, the DVD is only included the physical 2 CD/DVD deluxe edition.

When will I receive the my digital purchase?
All digital downloads will be delivered to you on midnight on 11/28.

When is my order shipping out?
All physical products will ship out and arrive on or around 11/29. If you have any specific questions regarding the shipping details of your order, please reference your live receipt for the most up to date tracking information.

When will I receive my autographed deluxe package?
All autographed deluxe packages will arrive on or around 12/22.

‘Oceania’ will stream first; downloads to follow commercial release 11:47 am // Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Posted by jjb in business, news, oceania.
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The Smashing Pumpkins have a deal in place to stream their new album Oceania online and still hope fans will be able to hear it before the end of November, but a free downloadable version of the record will only appear subsequent to an expected commercial release in early 2012.

Those attending a meeting with producer Kerry Brown prior to the Pumpkins’ concert last night in Denver learned that the band wants to settle on a distributor for the album before making a final commitment to the streaming arrangement.

Details on Pumpkins’ sales of soundboard recordings for U.S. shows 8:23 pm // Friday, October 7, 2011

Posted by susan in business, news, releases, tour.
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The Smashing Pumpkins, with the help of Aderra Media Technologies, are selling recordings of their U.S. concerts this month. Knowing only that, however, isn’t quite enough to get your hands on the music. Here’s what we’ve managed to learn about the process.

Fans in attendance at the shows can purchase a card anytime during the evening that can be redeemed for a USB flash drive after the show. The flash drive contains a recording from the soundboard in MP3 format and a link to a website that has posters and a video. This website, which can only be accessed by using the flash drive, apparently is not live yet. Fans at the SPRC meetup prior to the tour kickoff in Los Angeles were told that concerts will also be downloadable online for $15 each, but this option would not provide access to the website.

The USB flash drive from the Los Angeles gig is currently on sale for $25 at the band’s re-vamped online store. Users who purchase the USB drive online must pay $10 shipping and handling for the device, which is supposed to ship within 72 hours of the concert’s end. However, no $15 MP3 download is yet available online, and we’ve seen no reference to anyone buying the $15 download at the Los Angeles show. Perhaps the download will be offered via iTunes at a later date, as suggested by Aderra’s website.

Record Club launches with free demos of “Drown,” “Geek U.S.A.”; L.A. design firm hired to build “the new SmashingPumpkins.com” 10:38 pm // Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Posted by jjb in business, news, record club, releases, smashingpumpkins.com.
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The Smashing Pumpkins Record Club emerged from its cocoon today, busting out with a new SmashingPumpkins.com splash page by Los Angeles design firm Uprising Creative—and that firm says it is on the hook to the band for more than one fancy graphic:

We’re stoked to be working with Topspin and Smashing Pumpkins on both the new smashingpumpkins.com and the new Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (SPRC). SPRC is going to be amazing, with Billy releasing previously unreleased demos, videos, photos, and other content periodically for members-only.

Our first step is today’s launch of the initial SPRC splash page and the release of the “Drown” 8-track demo. In the coming months, we’ll be doing a ton of behind the scenes work getting SPRC and the new site built out.

In a new video embedded on the splash page, Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan discusses the demo recording of “Drown” that is given as a free download to anyone who proffers their email address. Regarding the future of the Record Club, Corgan says, “There’ll be so much free stuff; I’m not even joking.” Also on the splash page, free, and not even a joke is a “secret” download of a nearly instrumental 2-track demo of “Geek U.S.A.”

Topspin Media, the other SPRC partner referenced by Uprising, bills itself as “the most powerful direct-to-fan platform on the planet.” (And before you say “Topspin is just a shopping cart”, ask, does your shopping cart have this?) Topspin’s clients include George Strait, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and David Lynch.

Corgan: “We’re trying to [market ourselves] with a wink and a nod.” 11:46 am // Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Posted by jjb in interview, marketing, movies and film, teargarden by kaleidyscope, wrestling.
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Brandon Kim of the Independent Film Channel has posted the first half of a new interview with Smashing Pumpkins bandleader Billy Corgan. They discuss movies (coming in part two), the music business, and reasons to promote the work of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. UPDATE (7/20): Part two of the interview is online now.

Here are two excerpts that center on the playing of roles in rock music and in wrestling and in a wrestling-themed short film featuring rock music:

[Kim:] You’ve said Teargarden By Kaleidyscope is about “The Fool’s Journey.” Are you willing to play the fool?

[Corgan:] Well, all rock and roll is based in artifice. The Ramones were not really the Ramones 24-hours a day. Nor were the Stooges, or even the Beatles. What most people do is try to find a comfortable persona that they’re in alignment with and the public likes and appreciates them for. In my case I don’t mind playing a character that irritates people or makes people question my sanity.

On the “Owata” film:

[Kim:] Why now and why female wrestlers?

[Corgan:] I’d wanted to do something to do with wrestling for a while. Wrestling has a very fascinating subculture. Most people don’t know that wrestling came out of the circus. I got very disappointed with rock and roll as a subculture in the ’90s when I, sort of felt like I wasn’t having a good time with it. It ceased to be something of fascination for me. I found, somewhere along the way, that I could find the same enjoyment out of this subculture in wrestling, that used to find rock and roll. The same kind of mythic aspects to it without it having to be personally related to me.

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