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James Iha intends next solo album before 2026 10:42 pm // Sunday, September 9, 2012

Posted by susan in a perfect circle, australia, james iha, japan.
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While in Japan in July to play the Fuji Rock festival, James Iha sat for an interview with Yuriko Okamura of Tokyo’s InterFM that was broadcast on Saturday. Iha was in fine form, joking that his dog Buddy serves as his manager and accountant. Despite some pressure from Okamura, Iha didn’t reveal much about his current musical activities, other than the following (thanks to HU contributor Eric with help translating Japanese):

Yuriko Okamura: Going forward, the next plan is to release his album, Look to the Sky, in the US this month. We talked about that a bit.
James Iha: Yeah, you know, just get it out in the rest…in as many countries as we can. And work on another record.
Okamura: A solo record?
Iha: Yeah, yeah.
Okamura: Really?
Iha: Yeah. I think I’m on a roll now. I finished one in fourteen years, and think I can knock another one out sooner than that. I’m working on a couple of b-sides for some promotion stuff in America, but not a new album yet.

Okamura also spun several Iha tracks, including lead Look to the Sky single “To Who Knows Where,” a live version of “Be Strong Now” from Iha’s Fuji Rock set, and “Where Are You Going To?,” a song Iha covered for a Yukihiro Takahashi tribute album that came out last month in Japan. You can check out a clip of that track here; also check out this amusing video in which Iha promotes the album.

Iha’s Look to the Sky hits US retail outlets on September 18. This Thursday, fans can attend a record release party in New York. Iha is to play a short series of dates in Japan and the eastern seaboard of the US starting on September 22; you can check all tour dates out at spfc.org. Iha’s sometime-supergroup A Perfect Circle recently announced their participation in Australia’s traveling Soundwave Festival in February and March; it is unknown if Iha will join the band for the ride. UPDATE (9/10): This morning, A Perfect Circle announced a December gig in Las Vegas. Judging from a tweet Iha made soon after, it seems safe to assume that he plans on joining them.

HU Podcast #92: “Pisces Iscariot” Reissue 8:08 pm // Monday, August 6, 2012

Posted by chris in james iha, pisces iscariot, podcast.
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Somewhat lost amid all the news and media appearances surrounding the Oceania release and tour was the reissue of Pisces Iscariot.  We still don’t quite do justice to the criminally underappreciated b-sides collection, but we do talk a little about the bonus material, the joys of Topspin Media, and even James Iha’s surprising cover.

Listen to the full podcast (31:45)


-Chris and Eric

-We discuss the reissue and its bonus material.  Eric has a few issues with Topspin, and I have some issues with the song selection.  Plus, Eric makes an official SPFC ruling in the great debate of “Bye” vs. “By” June.  (20:31)

-Eric weighs in from close(r) to the source of James’ controversial cover. (8:40)

Song of the Week

Purr Snickety, New Haven, CT (July 21, 1991)

We’re hoping to bring on a special guest for a report from the front lines of the Oceania tour very soon, so stay tuned.

When he could, he did! Iha plays “Mayonaise” live in Korea 10:52 am // Saturday, July 28, 2012

Posted by jjb in james iha, live, south korea, video.
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Above: On Friday, the Smashing Pumpkins cofounder sent this heart to all his dearies. (YouTube)

UPDATE: Here is a more complete video, shot close to the stage but with overdriven sound.

James Iha plays Korean fest, adds October dates in U.S. 12:28 pm // Friday, July 27, 2012

Posted by susan in james iha, japan, news, south korea, tour.
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James Iha performed this afternoon at the Jisan Valley music festival in South Korea. Iha appears to have been backed by the same band that he performed a few US dates with back in April, including, at least, Frank LoCrasto and Steve Schiltz from that lineup. While in Korea, Iha sat for the press. We’ll keep you updated if video or audio of the set surfaces.

On Sunday, Iha will play Japanese festival Fuji Rock and, according to EMI Japan, he is also set to appear on Japanese radio that day.

Yesterday, Iha had posted additional tour dates to his official website (click on “shows,” or if flash is causing problems for you, try SPFC). Tickets went on sale this morning for early October shows in Boston (4th), New York City (5th), Hoboken (6th), and Philadelphia (7th). Iha has also added another Japanese gig for September, this one in Kyoto on the 22nd.

Additionally, EMI Japan has announced that Iha will appear on an upcoming compilation album. Iha will cover the Yukihiro Takahashi song “Where are You Heading To?” for Red Diamond – Tribute to Yukihiro Takahashi. Due out on August 8 in Japan, there is a deluxe version of the album, limited to 2000 pieces, which comes with a Vaporize brand t-shirt designed by Iha and emblazoned with a line-drawing of Takahashi’s face. Earlier this year, Iha got to meet Takahashi in Tokyo.

UPDATE: Iha is said by some Twitter users to have played the Smashing Pumpkins song “Mayonaise” during his set today.

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.

James Iha announces additional concerts in Asia 1:46 pm // Sunday, July 15, 2012

Posted by susan in james iha, japan, look to the sky, news, south korea, tour.
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James Iha has announced a few additional tour dates in support of his second solo album, Look to the Sky. On July 27, Iha will put in an appearance at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in Icheon-si, South Korea. On the 29th, Iha will perform, as previously announced, at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival. Then, in September, Iha will play two club dates in Japan; he will hit Osaka on the 24th of that month and Tokyo on the 26th. According to CD Journal’s announcement of the September shows, Iha may be touring with a 20-piece band from Brooklyn (!?!).

According to a recent announcement, Look to the Sky will finally see a U.S. release on September 18 of this year, having been out in Japan since March. Last week, Iha took to Twitter to tease fans with images of goodies for pre-order bundles and promised an album-related announcement on Monday.

HU Podcast #91: More ‘Oceania’ 6:08 am // Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Posted by chris in james iha, oceania, podcast.
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Oceania PyramidsAfter being left out of the meat of the Oceania discussion last week, I finally was able to hear and digest the album, so I brought Alex on to talk about the album as well as the concert he attended at the Metro last week and Billy Corgan’s newest comments about James Iha.

Listen to the full podcast (1:08:47)


-Chris and Alex

-Our thoughts on Oceania, which sound a bit more negative than I think either of us intended, especially considering my answer to my own question of Best Corgan Album Since _____. (27:06)

-Is Oceania an artistic progression for Billy Corgan?  We talk about what that means to us and some other bands that have not progressed at all.  Plus, Billy’s ambitious goals for the album. (17:48)

-Alex attended the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert at the Metro, so he gives us a full report.  Plus, he’s not so sure about the plan to play Oceania straight through. (5:40)

-Billy once again made some inflammatory comments about a former band member, and once again he has something to promote at the same time.  Are the comments a calculated attempt to get publicity? (11:17)

Song of the Week

Bleed, Chicago, Illinois (June 12th, 2012)

Corgan calls Iha “one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met” 11:55 pm // Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, d'arcy wretzky, interview, james iha, jimmy chamberlin, news.
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The June 16 print edition of the New Musical Express has a writeup by Emily Mackay of an interview with Smashing Pumpkins torchbearer Billy Corgan. The discussion revisits familiar thoughts from Corgan regarding Courtney Love, Resistance Pro, and the Tarot, but he does offer fresh—or at least newly extreme—commentary on his relationships with former bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha, and D’Arcy Wretzky. Following are two excerpts.

Billy Corgan: Success held that band together longer than it should have been held together. It was dysfunctional. There were a lot of years there where I regretted the way it all went down, and now I think it was meant to die when it died how it died. We stole from the Promethean fire to fuel whatever our weird psychic death trip was and then we paid for it. Or got too close to the sun and crashed. It was just meant to be that way. And you can draw parallels from that with Jimmy’s situation [when he left the band in 2009] because maybe that was just a continuance of something that hadn’t been resolved back then.

NME/Emily Mackay: He said in his statement on leaving that he “couldn’t just cash the cheque”…

Corgan: See now, here is a perfect opportunity to bury Jimmy as a fucking liar. But I won’t. That’s a lie. That statement’s just a flat-out lie.

NME: Was it that you wanted to take the band in a commercial direction, and he didn’t?

Corgan: Ha ha! No, it’s the exact opposite. I wish I could explain it, but I don’t trust the world to understand the complexity of it. I think it’s telling that the first thing Jimmy did when he left the band was make a statement about money because that had a lot to do with it. But if you look at what I’ve done since he left, where have I made money?


NME: Do you still feel any rancour towards the other band members about the way it ended?

Corgan: Uhhh… I’m OK with Jimmy. We don’t have a relationship at the moment, but I mean, I have no ill will. I want to see him do well. James Iha I think is just a piece of shit. I think he’s one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met in my life. And D’Arcy, she’s sort of, in her own way, sort of an innocent.

NME: Those photos that were released when she was arrested for missing a court date last year suggested she wasn’t really in a good place.

Corgan: Yeah, it’s terrible. But she’s not a bad person. And I don’t hold any ill will towards her, even though I’ve had to deal with fucking lawsuits and stuff like that. If there’s any culprit in this it’s Iha. But, y’know, he was there at the right time of my life, we did do good things together, I think he is a good musician when he gives a fuck, which most of the time he doesn’t. And that’s about it.

The same issue of NME carries a review of the Pumpkins’ new album Oceania; Mackay’s declaration that it is “the strongest Smashing Pumpkins album in years” notwithstanding, the review gives Oceania six of a possible ten points. UPDATE (6/18): The review is now available online.

James Iha, solo under the lights at New York’s Irving Plaza 10:25 pm // Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Posted by jjb in james iha, live, video.
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Above: He sings “To Who Knows Where,” with who knows whom in the Saturday-night dark (YouTube)

James Iha emphasizes new songs at Nightclub 9:30 in D.C. 9:36 pm // Friday, April 20, 2012

Posted by susan in james iha, news, tour.
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James Iha kicked off a series of three US dates opening for Fountains of Wayne last night at Washington’s Nightclub 9:30. Tonight, Iha and the Fountains hit Philadelphia’s Union Transfer. Iha will play a final date at Irving Plaza in New York tomorrow.

Iha is focusing on material from his new album Look to the Sky; the only track from 1998’s Let It Come Down making an appearance in D.C. was “Be Strong Now,” according to a setlist obtained by HU reader Anth. Iha closed the show with a cover of David Bowie’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me.” He was backed by performers including Steve Schiltz of Hurricane Bells and keyboardist Frank LoCrasto.

Thanks to HU reader Spfreak77 for sending us information used in this report.

Teaser for James Iha’s music video “To Who Knows Where” 10:26 am // Thursday, March 15, 2012

Posted by susan in interview, james iha, look to the sky, video.
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James Iha’s official Japanese YouTube account has posted a video teaser for “To Who Knows Where.” The video is said to be inspired by the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. According to Iha’s EMI Japanese artist website, the  full video should debut next month; it was filmed in Joshua Tree, California earlier this month and directed by Adam Neustadter. His artist website also provides a link to CDJournal’s new interview with Iha; CDJournal also reviewed Iha’s new album Look to the Sky, which was released yesterday in Japan. Also, check out HU contributor 34’s first impressions of the album.

James Iha merch prominently displayed in Tower Records Japan 8:22 am // Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Posted by 34 in james iha, japan, look to the sky.
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James Iha is big in Japan! Or, at least, EMI and Tower Records are doing a good job of promoting him. Not only was there a large display (shown) directly in front of the escalators on the “foreign music” 8th floor of the Shinjuku Tower Records (Tower occupies floors 7-10 of a building right outside Shinjuku Station‘s Southeast exit), his new album was also on display in the “New Releases” on the mainly domestic 7th floor (again, directly in front of the escalators), alongside Whitney Houston, Adele, and Van Halen. The 8th floor display included both Iha albums, which were available for listening (along with folk/rock legend Neil Young’s Harvest). Some copies of Siamese Dream (deluxe reissue), Greatest Hits, and a Teargarden EP were nearby, along with some other unrelated CDs (no APC or Tinted Windows). An attached caption also mentioned James’ upcoming performance at Fuji Rock this summer, with another caption proclaiming it to be the “birth of a superdreadnought-famous recording.”

In addition to the previously mentioned free sticker (with a corner serving as entry stub to win a Vaporize James Iha t-shirt), there was an additional entry form to be filled out and turned in (read: stuffed into a box) in-store, to win a “panel,” which appears to be a foam-backed photo from EMI Rocks. A recessed wall display near the escalators featured a few of these, as well as the aforementioned t-shirt, and an autograph made out to the Shinjuku Tower Records. Since the Sapporo store has also twippled a picture, I imagine most, if not all, Tower locations have these as well, with similar displays.

The CD itself comes in a digipack with a small booklet containing artwork, photos and credits, as well as a large foldout with lyrics (including Japanese translations), and a long essay about the album in Japanese on the other side, with comments from James on each track (also in Japanese).

The album appears to now be available on Amazon US, albeit only from resellers. Alternatively, you can order it in (mostly) English from Amazon Japan.

James Iha single drops; two US club dates announced 10:18 am // Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Posted by susan in fountains of wayne, james iha, news, radio, tour.
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James Iha’s new single “Till Next Tuesday” has apparently hit the radio in Japan. “Till Next Tuesday” originally appeared on Iha’s band Vanessa and the O’s 2005 album La Ballade d’O.

Additionally, Fountains of Wayne, longtime friends and collaborators of Iha’s, have announced that Iha will open for them for two US tourdates in April. On April 19, they’ll perform at DC’s 9:30 Club and on April 20, they’ll play Philadelphia’s Union Transfer. Fountains of Wayne are also playing a April 21 date in New York with no opener listed; however, beginning with their April 23rd date in Pittsburgh, chanteuse Nicole Atkins will be serving as their opener.

Iha’s second solo album, Look to the Sky, hits stores later today in Japan (where it’s now in the wee hours of Wednesday, March 14).

Don’t listen to recordings from James Iha’s festival set in Japan 3:41 pm // Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Posted by jjb in audio, james iha, live.
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Courtesy intrepid HU contributor 34, below are were three selections from James Iha’s brief performance at the EMI Rocks festival outside Tokyo on Sunday.

HU Podcast #87: The Return of James Iha 5:05 pm // Sunday, February 19, 2012

Posted by chris in james iha, look to the sky, podcast.
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Eric joined us mere hours after James’ solo-ish performance at EMI Rocks in Japan to give us the run-down.  The setlist is up at SPFC.org, and we’re hoping get full audio of the show from Eric sometime soon.  I think we were able to answer the question of whether James is varying his sound from Let It Come Down and whether Iha qualifies as big in Japan, but not the question of why the album is being released there first.

Listen to the whole show (43:03)


-Chris, Susan, and Eric

Song of the Week

-Be Strong Now, Saitama, Japan (February 19, 2012)

Fourteen tracks on new Iha solo album ‘Look to the Sky’ 9:40 pm // Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Posted by susan in james iha, look to the sky, news.
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The second solo album from Smashing Pumpkins cofounder James Iha, due March 14, will be titled Look to the Sky. The tracklisting, per EMI Japan, is as follows:

Make Believe
Summer Days
To Who Knows Where
Till the Next Tuesday
Dream Tonight
Dark Star
Speed of Love
4th of July
A String of Words
Diamond Eyes
Stay Lost

UPDATE: The cover art is above. The EMI Japan website now also indicates that “Diamond Eyes” and “Stay Lost” are “bonus tracks.” In addition, there is now a “James Iha Official Japan” Facebook page.

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.

Iha playing Japanese festival in February; new album in March 1:23 pm // Friday, December 16, 2011

Posted by susan in james iha, japan, news, tour.
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James Iha is to start 2012 off with a bang, according to his artist website at EMI Japan. The website indicates that Iha plans to re-release his 1998 debut solo album, Let it Come Down, in Japan on February 15, 2012. The re-release is to feature “digital remastering supervised by James Iha” and two bonus tracks, “Take Care,” and “Falling,” which had previously been available only on the “Be Strong Now” single. Also included will be the track “My Advice,” which had previously been available on the same “Be Strong Now” single, or as a bonus track on Japanese pressings of Let It Come Down.  Just following the re-release, Iha will play the Japanese music festival EMI Rocks in Saitama on February 19. These activities serve as the lead-up to the release of his longawaited second solo album, which is due out in March. Presumably, the re-release and new album will be distributed by EMI Japan.

The twitter account @SPFansJPN has been tweeting about the news as well, so Japanese readers might want to follow them for timely updates. James Iha’s own website and Facebook page show no indication of these developments.

Thanks to reader Ryotaro for the tip.

Internet fans: James Iha less important to TSP than Slash is to GnR 3:48 am // Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Posted by 34 in ac/dc, analysis, beatles, d'arcy wretzky, ginger reyes pooley, guns 'n' roses, james iha, jimmy chamberlin, led zeppelin, satire.
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According to some highly non-scientific research (i.e. paging through google search results of “not $BandName without” queries), James Iha ranks above John Bonham and Bon Scott (not to mention any other former TSP member), but lower than Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne or Slash, when it comes to “it just isn’t Band X without Member Y” fan opinion. Check below to see who “matters” more to a band’s sound/identity (or perhaps merely which bands’ fans are the most vocal about lineup changes).

James Iha performs with A Perfect Circle on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” 8:47 am // Thursday, October 28, 2010

Posted by alex in a perfect circle, james iha, live, tour.
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James Iha performed with A Perfect Circle on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday night.  The supergroup, which Iha joined in 2003, is touring again after a 6-year hiatus.  The band performed “Weak and Powerless,” a single from their 2003 album Thirteenth Step:

The group also played a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” with Iha on keyboards.


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