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HU Podcast #93: “Oceania” Tour 1:37 pm // Saturday, August 11, 2012

Posted by chris in oceania, ozphoria, podcast, tour.
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This week I was joined by Simon from Ozphoria, who attended all but one of the Australia and New Zealand portion of the current tour supporting Oceania.  We talked about the early results of playing the new album straight through, the logistics of traveling and performing with a gargantuan guest star, and even got a hint of some songs that haven’t been performed yet but may show up on setlists in the near future.

Listen to the full podcast (42:39)


-Chris and Simon

Song of the Week

Violet Rays, Melbourne, Australia (August 2, 2012)

Smashing Pumpkins may work on new studio material in August 4:56 pm // Sunday, July 1, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, news, oceania, teargarden by kaleidyscope, thefutureembrace, zeitgeist.
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Bill Palmer of Beatweek Magazine has published a wide-ranging new interview with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. In the interview, Corgan discusses the dynamics of the current Smashing Pumpkins lineup, their plans for future recordings, and how the Pumpkins’ reissue project has influenced their live performances, among other topics. Below are three excerpted quotations.

In which Corgan evaluates his albums, specifically Zeitgeist:

I think in that way I’ve never made a bad album. I would say the album that was the least fulfilling of its potential was Zeitgeist…I think every other album was in the range of its potential as an A or a B. I wouldn’t necessarily rate Zeitgeist as a C, it just didn’t hit its potential and it kind of got lost somewhere along the way in the process. Some of the best songs are in the demos that didn’t get recorded and that kind of shit. I think it’s up there, but I also think it has to do with familiarity. There’s a certain ring here that people are comfortable with, and I’m okay with it or obviously I wouldn’t have put it out. But I think TheFutureEmbrace was a great album, and it was completely overlooked, my solo album. Over time now, over the last seven years, now people are starting to really get into it because it’s got a bit of a visionary aspect to it. So again, what was the point of the album? The mainstream always assumes that every album you’re throwing yourself out there with your bust, and I’m not that type of artist. I pick my spot and I go for that spot, and I rate it on whether or not I hit my spot.

Of the first Teargarden by Kaleidyscope songs, Corgan says that “I think there were ten official Teargarden releases. In those ten there was at least two or three really good songs.”

On the future of Teargarden, Corgan had this to say:

I’m kind of mulling that around. There’s a lot of demos that are really fairly quality at least in terms of the songs. They’re just interesting, dusky sketches. The problem with the world we live in now is everything is judged so fast so hard and is given too much power, for lack of a better word. Three months from now I would love to just reach in and toss out a couple of those demos from 2009 so people could hear some different songs, maybe some things that helped lead to Oceania. But then invariably some asshole with a blog is going to write about the new Smashing Pumpkins song and how it sucks. I’m mature enough now that I don’t really care, but at this point we’re in a positive place and maybe we just need to play a positive game. Maybe we just need to be like everybody else and shine it up real nice and bright before we put it out. We definitely want to do another album. We’re already talking about starting to do some demos in August. It’s tough. I do want to put out some of this stuff that I’m sitting on. I do want to finish the project as I sort of originally sketched out. But right now we’re riding a wave and I’m not really sure where that wave takes us.

Go over to Beatweek and read the interview in full, because it’s fascinating stuff.

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.

Back with Alex Jones, Billy Corgan links ‘Oceania’ to ‘Zeitgeist’ 12:15 am // Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, news, oceania, politics, radio, zeitgeist.
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Billy Corgan spoke with info-warrior Alex Jones on the latter’s radio show today, phoning in from South America where the Smashing Pumpkins are, as I write, onstage for their first-ever concert in Venezuela. This is Corgan’s second appearance on the program this year; he sat down at Jones’s Austin studio during SXSW back in March.

Over the course of the new, 40-minute interview, Corgan and Jones discuss systems of social control, in particular as they relate to Corgan’s experience in the music business. Here’s one transcribed excerpt:

Alex Jones: Let’s cut right to the chase with this new album. Beyond political, you’re talking about the nature of reality: You know, [“Quasar,” and “The Celestials,” and “Panopticon,”] and of course, “Oceania,” right out of 1984. Break down the spirit that you were basically channeling when you put together this new album.

Billy Corgan: Well, I think some of the roots start—on this album—start from the last album, in 2007, Zeitgeist, which you know, on some conscious or unconscious level, listening to you, and doing my own research on the Internet, kinda led me to a dark place where I felt, you know, what’s happening to my country? How do I grapple with these feelings that I’m having? When I started in music, you know, it was all cheery, Reagan, flags-a-wavin’, everything is great, and there was a lot of middle-class discourse on stuff that maybe now seems really small in comparison to what we’re really grappling with as we see what’s coming economically down the pike.

So, I think if you can draw a line from sort of a darker place and trying to grapple with the American Dream, which Zeitgeist had something to do with, five years later, now Oceania I think is a way to say, you know, I’m just not gonna live in that spirit, that energy, that dark energy. I’ve heard you talk about it, and certainly I’ve thought about it a lot, which is, you know, we gotta live. You know? Some of the most inspirational stuff I’ve ever heard you talk about is when you just talk about nature, about how God’s kingdom inspires you to fight the good fight and think of families and what life’s really about. And I think my album is really about that, it’s like, we all go through hard times, our country’s going through a hard time. It’s not a political album in that sense, but at the same time, if the politics is part of the backdrop, in the foreground I just wanna embrace my life, and get right with God, get right with my spirit, because I think that’s the way to lead us out of this kind of craziness that again seems to be coming, and God knows where it’s coming from. But everywhere you go, people feel it. And they can’t put their finger on it.

Corgan’s bandmates contribute by keeping up, not by reining him in 10:23 pm // Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Posted by jjb in analysis, band, criticism, mellon collie, oceania, thefutureembrace.
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Among the most tired canards found in criticism of the Smashing Pumpkins is that Billy Corgan’s work has been much better at those times when his vision was actively constrained by his collaborators.

A metaphor often used to illustrate Corgan’s supposed position has been that of a horse beneath a rider, and (as predicted) that metaphor has been trotted out in reviews of the Pumpkins’ new album Oceania. Spin Magazine’s Rob Harvilla used it today:

And so when it’s time for the nine-minute, multi-suite title track that gets way out of hand, these young bucks at the very least keep up, rein Corgan in, keep him honest.

Yes, it can plausibly be argued that Corgan’s music has been better when other hands are very involved; if you don’t love his solo record TheFutureEmbrace but hold dear the Pumpkins canon, that’s a ready conclusion to reach. But this is probably the case because Corgan is, or at least feels, freer to explore and go crazy when he’s in a band setting: His bandmates improve the music not by burying him in noes but by, to borrow Harvilla’s other phrase there, keeping up—not in the saddle but alongside Corgan, enabling him to divide labor and achieve wilder visions. What, after all, are the attributes we ascribe to the band’s reputed best work? Harvilla lists a few himself:

Prime Smashing Pumpkins reveled in the alleged worst aspects of the ’70s (the excess, the prog, the squeedly-deedly-doo guitar solos) and has nonetheless aged splendidly: Siamese Dream is a shitload less dated than, say, Ten; and Mellon Collie, for all its blatant absurdity, is an astoundingly deep, committed, multifaceted, entrancing clusterfuck that is way closer to being the best record of the grunge era than any of us should be comfortable with.

The next time someone says that TheFutureEmbrace reveled in excess will be the first; as was fairly apparent, Corgan imposed some tight constraints upon its recording, such as a limitation to only one guitar track per song. That record aside, the other major output from Corgan’s interstitial solo period was…a batch of exclusively acoustic music. And we are supposed to believe that James Iha, D’Arcy Wretzky, and Jimmy Chamberlin’s contributions to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Siamese Dream are best characterized in terms of placed restraints? When Corgan talks about Butch Vig’s influence on Gish, he doesn’t speak of boundaries—he says that Vig was the only one who could stay up with him, while everyone else had gone home.

Harvilla is smart, and his review of Oceania is mostly on point. But it does suffer, pardon that expression, from pomposity a lack of self-awareness. Harvilla goes on for 1,200 words, the writing is showy as a public fuck…and it’s fine; the piece is entertainingly expressive, and a hardass editor cutting out modifiers would probably kill the major joys therein to be had. This here is to urge the guy forward, not to choke him back into an amble: Rob, write on.

“The Celestials” promo goes out to U.S. radio stations 10:29 pm // Thursday, June 21, 2012

Posted by jjb in news, oceania, photo, radio, releases.
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(Well, really we can only swear up and down that one station has gotten it, but, come on.)

Thanks to HU reader Kevin for the tip and to HU reader Kevin’s DJ friend for the image.

UPDATE (6/22): Billy Corgan performs “The Celestials” and “One Diamond, One Heart” after being interviewed on KROQ-FM’s ‘Kevin and Bean Show.’

Highland Park landmark featured on ‘Oceania’ cover 9:50 pm // Thursday, June 21, 2012

Posted by susan in chicago, news, oceania, photography.
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The structure on the cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Oceania has been identified as the North Shore Sanitary District Tower. The tower is located in tony Chicago suburb Highland Park, which also happens to be Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan’s current home base.

Built in 1931, the tower features Art Deco motifs. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 (you can search for it on their site by entering the reference number 83000322). It is located on a knoll just off the shores of Lake Michigan, near Rosewood Beach.

The tower was photographed for the Oceania cover by Richard Shay, son of Art Shay, the famed Chicago photographer who has been working with Billy Corgan over the last two years.

UPDATE (6/23): The tower is featured in an animated promotional video for the Australian release of Oceania.

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)

‘Oceania’ is here 11:35 am // Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Posted by jjb in oceania, releases.
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Have you acquired the new Smashing Pumpkins album? Don’t make us wonder how you did so or what you notice or think about it—comments are open.

Greg Kot: ‘Oceania’ is “Corgan’s best work since the ’90s” 2:08 pm // Friday, June 15, 2012

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, interview, oceania, zeitgeist.
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Chicago Tribune mainstay Greg Kot has posted today a great interview with Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. The two explore motivating factors behind the new Pumpkins record Oceania, managing also to look back with some perspective on the band’s previous LP Zeitgeist and the controversial tours that followed its release, and they touch on other relevant topics too. Here’s an excerpt:

[Greg Kot]: When things are working, great artists say they reflect their audience. Do you feel you’re still in touch with your audience?

[Billy Corgan]: I feel I’m reflecting the part of the audience we don’t hear from. There are a lot of people out there who love music but don’t have a place in music culture as it exists. I meet these people all the time. Soccer mom, 34, has good taste in music. They are your average rock fan who isn’t part of the Pitchfork culture. They don’t follow the train. They’re the difference between 40,000 sales and 400,000. We’ve disenfranchised that part of the culture by playing to the (snobby, snarky) crowd. The Internet has swelled that (expletive) crowd. The crowd that trashes what you do instantly and writes you off. It’s like the ’90s indie-rock crowd all over again: Don’t look this way, don’t dress this way, don’t play long guitar solos, whatever. But there are people out there in their teens who found Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, they don’t care that those bands don’t exist anymore. They exist in their computer. They’re finding this other value system that isn’t contemporary. It’s a wider scope. The unspoken audience, the stragglers, and this new audience who isn’t snarky or cares much about modern record business, that’s our audience.

UPDATE (6/18): Kot’s full review of Oceania is published.

Corgan to sing for “Cruise” audience tonight on the lake by his city 1:14 pm // Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Posted by susan in chicago, live, news, oceania.
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The Smashing Pumpkins are playing host to an Oceania listening party on a boat off Chicago this evening. As announced last week, the Odyssey Chicago will be launched upon the waters of Lake Michigan, transporting band members, fifteen winners of an essay contest, an unknown number of radio contest winners, and members of the Resistance Pro wrestling family.

Passengers on this “Oceania Cruise” not only will check out the new Pumpkins album (now streaming in full on iTunes, if by some chance you managed to miss that) but also will likely be treated to a brief live set by singer Billy Corgan; this morning, Corgan asked his Twitter followers to suggest songs for him to perform.

HU has created a list of Twitter users who will be aboard; if you’re going, send a tweet our way and we’ll add you to the list!

UPDATE (6/13): Corgan did indeed perform several songs, joined by Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder for a rendition of the pre-Gish song “Bleed.” Dan Hyman has written a report for Rolling Stone. HU reader BitterT was there and has uploaded a few videos of the show to his YouTube account; I’d expect more videos are coming as the day wears on. The apparent setlist was:

Jesus Is the Sun
The Rite of Spring (first live performance; song was written and demoed around 2008-2009)
Bleed (video)
Tonite Reprise/Tonight, Tonight (video)

‘Oceania’ is right on iTunes (as is HU Podcast #90) 7:54 pm // Monday, June 11, 2012

Posted by chris in news, oceania, podcast, releases.
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The Smashing Pumpkins’ second post-revival long-playing record is available for the public to hear, or at least those of us with a certain retail application installed: Listen to Oceania now via the iTunes US platform or iTunes UK.

The comments section on this post is open for your reactions.

After you’ve heard and processed Oceania for yourself, if you are interested in some of our early thoughts on the album, you can check out HU Podcast #90: 

Listen to the full podcast (1:03:27—longer than Oceania!!)


-Chris, Jason, Susan, and special guest Stacy

-Our panelists and guest give their overall impressions of the album as well as the impact of having the full band in the studio. (11:23)

-An in-depth rundown of the songs of Oceania. Which classic Pumpkins tune does “Quasar” remind Jason of? (12:44)

-No single has been released to radio, at least not yet, but which song would be the most likely candidate? Can we identify a hot summer jam for 2012? (7:22)

-I force everyone to compare Oceania with Billy Corgan’s other recent albums. Plus, how does the album fit in with the rest of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope? (12:25)

-Finally, how will the music press receive the album? (13:18)

‘Oceania’ release party and iTunes stream set for June 12th 8:23 pm // Thursday, June 7, 2012

Posted by susan in chicago, contest, interview, news, oceania, radio.
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Billy Corgan visited Chicago radio station WXRT this afternoon, where he spoke with drive time DJ Terri Hemmert. Video and audio of the interview are available at WXRT’s website. Corgan and Hemmert discussed the evolution of the Smashing Pumpkins’ ongoing Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, and their upcoming album Oceania. Of that album, he said “coming up here [on the] 12th it will be available to be heard on iTunes, and on the 19th it will be up for sale.” He also announced an “Oceania Cruise,” to take place on the waters of Lake Michigan on June 12th. The lucky fans chosen for the cruise will be treated to a private Oceania listening party with the Smashing Pumpkins, and perhaps a brief live performance by Corgan as well. Fans can win tickets in at least two ways: by texting “PUMPKINS” to 59393, or by posting an essay to Facebook and asking their friends to comment and “like” it.

UPDATE (6/11): The essay contest winners have been announced.

Corgan on ‘Oceania’: “Pretty weird, but it sounds really good” 11:41 pm // Thursday, May 31, 2012

Posted by apm in billy corgan, interview, oceania, resistance pro, teargarden by kaleidyscope, wrestling.
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Billy Corgan was interviewed by Major League Wrestling’s Mister Saint Laurent in a podcast that was published Thursday. The 40-some minute interview (prepended with perhaps the longest intro music in the podcasting history) mostly touched on Corgan’s work in organizing his Resistance Pro wrestling organization, his childhood love of pro wrestling, and his rediscovery of his love for the sport late at night channel surfing in a Florida hotel room. (more…)

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.

HU Podcast #89: Oceania and the Lucky 13 7:24 pm // Thursday, May 17, 2012

Posted by chris in oceania, podcast, record club, smashingpumpkins.com.
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Oceania coverAs we edge closer to the release of Oceania, and only seven nine days from the band’s first live appearance in 2012, we assembled to talk about the impending album and tour as well as the re-re-revival of the archive project.  Let us know if you plan on attending the show in Lisbon and would be willing to be interviewed for a future podcast.

Listen to the whole show (1:00:41)


-Chris, Jason, and Susan

-We are almost a month away from Oceania hitting stores.  Is it the right decision to not release it early to reviewers?  While Billy seems to be planning on streaming the album, it’s unclear whether there will be a free, no-strings-attached download like the earlier Teargarden tracks.  Is this a big deal?  Plus, no podcast is complete without a discussion of fonts! (14:39)

-Billy has some ambitious plans for the Oceania tour, so we give our take on starting every show by playing Oceania straight through in order.  Note: this podcast was recorded before the Rock Coast show was postponed. (12:46)

-The latest incarnation of the archive project is revealed to be a group of fan intermediaries known as the Lucky 13.  Will the 3rd time be the charm?  Plus, I rant at length about the unprofessional state of the Pumpkins’ official website. (26:47)

Song of the Week

-Beautiful, San Francisco, California (February 6th, 1996)

Corgan hoping fan involvement will lift Pumpkins’ Record Club 1:52 pm // Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, community, interview, news, oceania, record club.
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UPDATE (4/18): In this hour-plus phone interview (listen here), Billy Corgan elaborates greatly on last week’s vague announcement from Smashing Pumpkins friend site Crestfallen.com of “The Lucky 13.” Corgan says the “13” will be a group of fans selected by his interviewer, Crestfallen webmaster Jonathan Monte, to serve as liaisons between the Pumpkins fan community and the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club as it sifts through music from the band’s massive archive. The group is supposed to identify items and formats for release that will garner enough interest to sustain the Record Club’s efforts from project to project.

As stated by Corgan employee Rynda Laurel back in January, the Pumpkins intend to employ a Kickstarter-like model which will enable the band to put out material that its fanbase might be interested in, but might not be commercially viable with a mainstream audience. In the new interview, Corgan runs through several potential scenarios for how such a model might work. (more…)

‘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.

Media react to Corgan’s talking tour of SXSW 12:14 pm // Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Posted by susan in analysis, billy corgan, news, oceania.
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Billy Corgan has made several public appearances at South by Southwest in Austin this week. You can check out full videos of his Sunday night appearance at Android House and his early Monday afternoon appearance at Samsung Blogger Lounge. Video is not available of the panel featuring Corgan and social media consultant Brian Solis that occurred late yesterday afternoon; my understanding is that video from all panels generally makes its way to the SXSW YouTube account about two weeks after the conference ends (if you scroll down, you’ll see a playlist featuring archived 2011 coverage). That panel is making headlines in the media today; Billboard and Rolling Stone have both posted their takes on Corgan’s comments. However, longtime Smashing Pumpkins fans may find Nadia Neophytou’s account for Memeburn a bit more interesting; it’s packed with quotes and presents a more holistic view of Corgan’s remarks, including his plans to develop a Kickstarter-like subscription service with the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club.

Judging from the Twitter list of panel attendees I created yesterday (although at this point you’ll have to scroll back quite a ways to find relevant content), many in the room found Corgan’s remarks refreshingly candid and honest. This seems right to me: in a room full of social media experts and techies, hearing someone speak who’s willing to cut through marketing morass is probably a breath of fresh air. Remember that this panel was part of South by Southwest Interactive–the music side of SXSW is just getting started today.  It also doesn’t surprise me that the music media elite (e.g., Billboard and Rolling Stone) don’t seem to be too enthused for what Corgan had to say.

Nothing I’m reading indicates that Corgan gave many specifics about the Pumpkins’ plans for their upcoming album Oceania. I tend to wonder if he ran out of time to make his announcements at the panel, given that many in the audience reported that the session seemed to be evolving as it was happening and not following a defined script. Corgan seems to be toying with the idea of creating a “visual experience” to surround the album; as HU readers may remember, the idea of “conceptual videos” is something Corgan has been toying around with for a while.

As I type, Corgan is attending a screening of The Source, a documentary I watched and reviewed on Sunday. Corgan makes a brief appearance as a interviewee in the film and he’ll be taking questions on a panel after the film.


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