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Copy of ‘Machina II’ once owned by Q101 on eBay for second time 9:09 pm // Thursday, May 31, 2012

Posted by jjb in ebay, machina 2, news.
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An Illinois woman who owns one of the precious few original copies of Smashing Pumpkins’ Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music album is apparently trying for the second time to sell the item via the eBay website.

Machina II was self-released by the Pumpkins in September 2000. Twenty-five sets of two LPs and three 10-inch EPs were produced and given to band members, close associates, two Chicago radio stations, and a few fans. The copy now on eBay was initially held by WKQX-FM but was given up by the station for a charitable silent auction during 2002—said silent auction being, to our knowledge, the only instance to date of a Machina II set changing hands in a public sale.

That set’s current owner received it from the winner of the 2002 silent auction, and in 2005 she attempted to resell it on eBay. However, once that 2005 eBay listing attracted much attention and bids exceeded $10,000, the listing was removed and no sale was made. The new eBay auction is supposed to end on Sunday morning, and its top bid is already higher than $4,000.

UPDATE (6/2): “This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.”

UPDATE (6/4): Editor of Smashing Pumpkins friend site Crestfallen.com: “I did inform the seller of Billy’s tweet and mentioned it would be in their best interest to take it down.”

Corgan: “I’ve already talked to Flood” about the ‘Machina’ reissue 12:42 pm // Thursday, April 26, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, G.L.O.W., interview, machina, machina 2, news.
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David Swan of Australian live music site Faster Louder has released a new interview with Smashing Pumpkins head Billy Corgan. Corgan discusses topics including his in-progress memoir, recording music with his love interests, the legacy of Zeitgeist, and the themes of the Pumpkins’ upcoming album Oceania.

Swan queried Corgan about the status of the upcoming Machina reissues:

Machina II is a brilliant album, have you ever thought about releasing it properly, maybe when you re-issue the others?
Yes. Our sell-out move, for Machina, is we’re going to remix the whole record and put it in its official sequence the way I’d hoped for in the beginning. I wrote it as a rock opera double album type of thing, so we’re going to remix the whole thing. I’ve already talked to Flood, and he’s been indicating he wants to be involved with that part of the process, and then we’ll finally finish the album, the way it was meant to be.

On how to describe different eras of Pumpkins music:

Is the sound [of Oceania] a new direction for you or is it harking back to earlier stuff?
I can describe what people are saying, but I don’t really get into the sonic part because every time I say anything like that it turns into like a ‘oh, we made this kind of album’. How I describe my music never seems to be the way people hear it. I was listening today to a couple of old songs because we’re getting ready for the tour, just to see if I wanted to play them live, and a song I listened to was the song we did called G.L.O.W. And G.L.O.W. to me sounds like it could have easily been Mellon Collie, it sounds like it could’ve been on Machina, and yet because a lot of people didn’t like the Zeitgeist period it just sorta automatically got lumped into something that it wasn’t. And I was surprised, going back and listening to G.L.O.W. today, like ‘Wow, this actually kinda sounds like classic Smashing Pumpkins to me.’ But my opinion doesn’t seem to matter in those things because people seem to need to make periods about something other than what it actually is. So if I play heavy guitar music with certain people in the room it sounds like this, but if I make the same type of music with other people in the room, it sounds like this.

Friends of Pumpkins’ “Modern Music” mark its decade in distribution 12:45 pm // Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Posted by jjb in community, history, machina 2.
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Ten years and three days ago, the Smashing Pumpkins shipped to fan Eric Agnew [via FedEx Priority Overnight] the vinyl copy of Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music that would be heard around the world within a week’s time. After sharing the contents of the one LP and three 10-inch EPs with readers of a fan discussion board early on September 7, Agnew wrote and posted a brief news release to SPFC.org on September 8. Matt Drudge was tipped to the story (then, he was something like Twitter is now), and within three days press coverage was appearing in mainstream outlets.  On September 16, the Pumpkins began a European tour during which they played some songs from the free record.

How did you get a copy of Machina II?

AOL’s Spinner.com posts wide-ranging interview with Corgan 11:43 am // Thursday, December 10, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview, machina 2, mike byrne, revival, teargarden by kaleidyscope.
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Last weekend, Billy Corgan spoke to AOL’s Spinner.com about his Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, the free release of Machina II in 2000, the breakup and reformation of the Smashing Pumpkins, and the hiring of new Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne.  Today Spinner has posted a transcript of the talk, including this excerpt where Corgan discusses his career as a recording artist:

[A]rt really is about serving. You want to communicate but there was something about the process of making others happy that somehow was making me feel unhappy. It made me crazy, but I was good at it. It’s like you’re being rewarded for something that hurts you, but yet everybody is telling you it’s a good thing. Then you try to pull that energy back into yourself, you try to make it more about you, and then suddenly you’re not making people happy. You’re making yourself happy but now that’s another form of unhappiness because now you’re making other people unhappy. It’s taken a long time to get to a place of being OK with it all.

I don’t get into the grandiose, “If only one person is touched by it …” I want people to hear what I’m doing but I think I only go so far. It won’t be at the expense of my life, my health, my sanity. If that makes me sort of just an okay artist, well then, I can live with that.

HU Podcast #50: Corgan in the 2000s 5:29 pm // Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Posted by chris in machina, machina 2, mary star of the sea, podcast, thefutureembrace, zeitgeist.
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It’s hard to believe that we’ve made it to 50 episodes of the podcast, but instead of looking back at our own bright spots and misadventures, we’re looking back at the decade of the 2000s and discuss Billy Corgan’s creative and musical output. 

Listen to the whole show (1:18:59)


This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jason, and Jill

-The turn of the century.  We discuss Machina and Machina II, and whether the original Smashing Pumpkins breakup was at a critical high-note. (12:25)

-The Zwan era and the release of Mary Star of the Sea.  We talk about the advent of critics feeling sorry for James and D’Arcy. (4:47)

-Billy’s online confessions, the Blinking with Fists poetry book, and TheFutureEmbrace.  Did Billy’s defensiveness over the issue of former bandmembers backfire?  Plus, Jill draws a comparison to Mariah Carey, and Jason talks about Billy’s relationship with the Chicago music scene. (30:03)

-With the decade coming to a close and the inevitable flood of “best of the decade” lists in sight, does Billy have a place on any of the lists given his musical output?  Plus, Jill comments on the disjointedness of Billy’s body of work in the 2000s. (24:49)

Song of the Week
-TheCameraEye, Sydney, Australia July 28, 2005

HU Podcast #42: The Drummer of the Future 5:16 pm // Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Posted by chris in machina 2, mellon collie, mike byrne, podcast.
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It has been awhile, but we return with the full complement of podcasters to talk about the news that Billy Corgan has chosen a drummer of the future and whether Jill and Andrew care to defend Machina II after our last podcast.

Listen to the whole show (38:36)


This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jason, Jill, and Andrew

-Machina II followup from Jill and Andrew.  Do they agree with our previous statements?  Plus, Jason draws a comparison between Machina II and that other band we talk about occasionally. (7:39)

-Mike Byrne has been confirmed as drummer of the future.  What does this really mean?  Is he the new Jimmy or just another studio collaborator?  And stop me if you’ve heard this, but he’s only 19.  (20:16)

-SmashingPumpkins.com featured an interview with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness art director Frank Olinsky last week.  We talk a little about the MCIS packaging and add “psychedelic music played by a heavy metal band in the 1920’s” to the growing list of music genres that the Pumpkins belong to.  (6:26)

Song of the Week
-Translucent, Asheville, NC June 23, 2007

So I ask you, the reader and listener, which Smashing Pumpkins album could be best described as “psychedelic music played by a heavy metal band in the 1920’s”?

34, interviewed 9:08 am // Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Posted by jjb in community, interview, machina 2, smashingpumpkins.com, websites.
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Our friend and occasional contributor talks old websites and Machina II vinyl with SmashingPumpkins.com.

HU Podcast #41: Machina II 7:06 pm // Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Posted by chris in machina, machina 2, podcast.
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In addition to the lack of news, this month it has been hard to find a time for the whole panel to get together for a podcast.  This week was no exception, but Jason and I managed to squeeze in some time to talk about everyone’s favorite free Smashing Pumpkins album, Machina II.

Listen to the whole show (45:12)


This week’s topics:

-Chris and Jason

-We give our overall impressions of Machina II and talk a lot about sound engineering. (9:54)

-Machina II got some shockingly good reviews from the likes of Pitchfork and The Onion AV Club, both of which said it was better than Machina.  Was the album actually better, or were the reviewers influenced by the price tag or some other factor?  We compare the two albums, and Jason finally reveals his favorite tracks from Machina II.  (20:59)

-Virgin Records famously was offered the chance to sell Machina II in stores, but they turned it down.  Given past sales of Pumpkins b-side collections and the state of the fanbase at the time, how well would Machina II have sold in stores?  (7:09)

Song of the Week
-Dross, Oberhausen, Germany September 23, 2000

I have a feeling that some of you may disagree with our assessment of Machina II, so leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Most Essential Billy Corgan Recordings: #21 11:49 am // Thursday, December 6, 2007

Posted by jjb in b-sides, essential recordings series, machina 2.
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The Smashing Pumpkins
Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music
released September 5, 2000

2LP: Glass’ Theme / Cash Car Star / Dross / Real Love / Go / Let Me Give the World to You / Innosence / Home / Blue Skies Bring Tears / White Spyder / In My Body / If There Is a God / Le Deux Machina / Here’s to the Atom Bomb

3×10″: Slow Dawn / Vanity / Saturnine / Glass’ Theme // Soul Power [James Brown] / Cash Car Star / Lucky 13 / Speed Kills // If There Is a God / Try, Try, Try / Heavy Metal Machine

Listen (smashingpumpkins.com)

Even seven years later, I still rate this as an “album” of outtakes. I’m not a big Metallica fan and I’m not a big Radiohead fan, but natural comparison points for Machina II are the former’s Reload and the latter’s Amnesiac — both of which I feel work better as albums than does this one. So is Machina II an important compendium of songs? I do think it has some notable tracks, but…let’s just say that there are four Pumpkins compilations yet to come as I count down to Billy’s most essential recording.

One sense in which Machina II does feel like an album is in its consistency of tempo: most selections on the 2LP rush past in a compressed blur. The band’s tightness is apparent and impressive, yet they hardly seem human. This of course is a deliberate stylistic choice, and one that is in keeping with the concept of Machina. However, the most central elements and necessary messages were plucked for Machina/The Machines of God; what’s left here amounts to coloring. Place these 25 tracks around the 15 tracks from the original Machina and you have an overwhelming statement; when that core is missing, the periphery alone can seem like a set of character sketches and mood pieces.

The band wisely tapped long-player standouts “Home”, “In My Body”, and “Let Me Give the World to You” for live workouts on the 2007 tour; just as wisely, they slowed the tempo of “Home”. Particularly sweet from the three ten-inches is a garage-rocking remake of “Soul Power” that tops my list of Pumpkins songs that should have gone to radio; anyone else think this one would have gotten a little more airplay than did “Try, Try, Try”? For context- and concept-free relistening value, I say the slower version of “Cash Car Star” and the piano take on “If There Is a God” trump their 2LP incarnations. The EP featuring “Slow Dawn”, “Vanity”, and “Saturnine” throws a bone to fans sonically stuck on 1995.


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