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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)

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.”

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.

Smashing Pumpkins to play Madrid this Thursday 8:35 am // Monday, May 21, 2012

Posted by susan in facebook, news, tour.
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Yesterday evening, the Smashing Pumpkins’ official Facebook page added an event page for a “not so secret show” in Spain on May 24, this coming Thursday. Livenation.es now has a listing for a Pumpkins gig at Madrid’s Sala Arena that night; tickets go on sale tomorrow, May 22.

The Pumpkins were originally scheduled to play a Spanish music festival on May 24, but that festival was postponed last week.

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 sits for fan interview via Twitter 8:52 pm // Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Posted by susan in billy corgan, interview, twitter.
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Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan answered some fan questions today, fed to him by Twitter Inc.’s @TwitterMusic account. Corgan filled us in on what time in history he’d take a time machine ride to, and even suggested baby names for one fan.

As far as his band’s plans for 2012, Corgan didn’t reveal much, but regarding the upcoming album Oceania did say that “a release date is imminent,” and he doesn’t currently anticipate any tracklist changes. He also said he was “open to returning to South America” after the band’s successful 2010 tour there.

Changes to HipstersUnited.com 12:13 am // Monday, November 28, 2011

Posted by jjb in blogging, twitter.
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Going forward, we of Hipsters United will spend less of our time rewriting content produced by other parties. For example, when Billy Corgan gives his 1,047th interview of the year, we will likely cover it by making a tweet or retweet at Twitter.com/HipstersUnited and then copying the tweet here on HipstersUnited.com.

The changes may mean that the HipstersUnited.com homepage will become less aesthetically appealing and that the HipstersUnited.com archive will not translate as narrative quite so easily as it has during the last three years.

Please bear with us in the next days and weeks while we play around with the new approach.

Psst… ‘Oceania’ is not “set to release” this year 9:30 am // Thursday, November 3, 2011

Posted by jjb in news, oceania, twitter.
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So unless you follow @ChinaShopMag on Twitter, you probably missed this li’l tidbit:

Hard to know how or if this relates to the Pumpkins’ plans to stream the album…

UPDATE: On Chicago’s WSCR-AM this morning, Billy Corgan said Oceania “should be out early next year.” (Listen to audio beginning at the 6:45 mark.)

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.

When will we hear ‘Oceania’? 11:51 pm // Thursday, August 18, 2011

Posted by jjb in gish, oceania, radio, siamese dream, websites.
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Last Friday morning’s press release announcing the Smashing Pumpkins’ fall tour of America said their next album Oceania is “now due out in early 2012.” That afternoon, however, this exchange between frontman Billy Corgan and Chicago broadcaster Roe Conn aired on WLS-AM:

Conn: Billy, first of all, let’s talk about the new album. When is that actually going to hit?

Corgan: [clears throat] Sorry, I’ve been singing like a mad dog. Um, I think we’ll probably put it out where people can hear it towards the end of the year, and then it’ll be for sale at the beginning of the year.

His interlocutors offered the hopeful interpretation that, by “where people can hear it,” Corgan meant terrestial radio, but I daresay he meant the damned Internet.

So when exactly will Oceania’s 13 tracks drop in amidst the tide of Smashing Pumpkins-related events? If you want to guess at a date, keep the following information in mind:

  • The Pumpkins intend to debut some songs from Oceania on their October tour of the United States, tickets for which are going on sale this week. Corgan has said the band expects Oceania to be available prior to a subsequent European tour. The dates for that tour have yet to be announced.
  • EMI’s reissues of the Pumpkins’ early 1990s albums Gish and Siamese Dream are expected in stores on November 15.
  • The first event of Resistance Pro, the wrestling organization that Corgan helps direct, takes place November 25.
  • The press release touts 2012 as “a big year of touring” for the Pumpkins. Via Twitter, Corgan has suggested several potential locales he’d like to visit.

Corgan on Facebook 11:12 pm // Monday, March 14, 2011

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, facebook, news.
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Rather than reinstate the (OFFICIAL) Facebook page he operated during December, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan started from scratch yesterday with an ordinary personal profile.

Corgan already has 30 ‘friends’ and too many friend requests.

Jimmy Chamberlin’s Skysaw descends into public view 9:52 pm // Saturday, February 26, 2011

Posted by jjb in facebook, great civilizations, news, rumor, skysaw, twitter.
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The short ‘bio’ for the new Twitter account @SkysawMusic says this:

Skysaw is Jimmy Chamberlin, Mike Reina, Anthony Pirog. Exclusive Record Store Day 7-inch coming April 16 on @dangerbird

The above promotional photo can be found on the band’s new Facebook page. Also on Facebook, a band called Spirit Vine is claiming that Skysaw will be added to a March 28 bill at Los Angeles venue the Echo for what might be its first concert. Finally, a source tells HU that Skysaw is targeting June for a lasting album release. UPDATE (3/1): Skysaw tweets that “Great Civilizations” is set for a May release.

Pumpkins’ former employee: We found “Siamese Dream” girls in ’07 1:34 pm // Thursday, February 24, 2011

Posted by jjb in amusing, billy corgan, news, siamese dream, smashingpumpkins.com.
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Paul Friemel, who operated SmashingPumpkins.com between 2007 and 2009, has given HU this statement and amusing image:

A week or so ago a bunch of friends were informing me that Billy Corgan had tweeted that the new SP bassist was on the cover of ‘Siamese Dream’ and I thought that’s odd because I didn’t remember either girl’s name being Nicole and shouldn’t Billy already know that?  I decided to dig through some very old files and found the identity of each girl whom I had spoken with a few years ago while working on a story for smashingpumpkins.com.  In fact, I had to work out free tickets & passes for Ali, the girl on the right, to meet Billy during a show in 2008 and confirmed with him and the tour manager at the time.  So apparently it was just a publicity stunt or joke that the press ran away with.

A July 13, 2007 posting to SmashingPumpkins.com (no longer publicly available) read:

NEED HELP!  Looking for girls from Siamese Dream album cover
There’s no one better to ask than the super fans themselves!  We are trying to locate the girls that adorn the cover of Siamese Dream.  As you all know, they were quite young when the photo was taken.  They are not conjoined anymore, as far as we know. Any one with info on this, please spread the word and send me a private message to PumpkinsMediaMilitia [Friemel’s pseudonym].

Friemel provided HU with the names of both Siamese Dream cover models on Tuesday.  One of the names was Ali Laenger — the same name given by TMZ.com in a Wednesday report that featured a recent photograph of Laenger with Corgan.

A week or so ago a bunch of friends were informing me that Billy Corgan had tweeted that the new SP bassist was on the cover of ‘Siamese Dream’ and I thought that’s odd because I didn’t remember either girl’s name being Nicole and shouldn’t Billy already know that?  I decided to dig through some very old files and found the identity of each girl whom I had spoken with a few years ago while working on a story for smashingpumpkins.com.  In fact, I had to work out free tickets & passes for Ali, the girl on the right, to meet Billy during a show in 2008 and confirmed with him and the tour manager at the time.  So apparently it was just a publicity stunt or joke that the press ran away with.

HU Podcast #74: Corgan off Facebook 8:50 pm // Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Posted by chris in facebook, jimmy chamberlin, podcast.
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We made some bold predictions on the last podcast about the coming golden age of fan/band communication on Facebook…and we were dead wrong.  This week we dissected what went wrong and also found some time to discuss Jimmy Chamberlin’s new project.

Listen to the whole show (36:25)

-Chris, Jason, and Alex

-A few weeks on interesting Facebook dialogue were submarined when Billy took offense to some inane fan comments.  Is there any hope for Billy with social media? (22:23)

-Jimmy Chamberlin’s work with This Skysaw remains unreleased, but for $20 you can enjoy some intense drumming beneath the relaxation therapy of self-titled “Shaman” Durek Verrett.  Do Jimmy’s recent statements change our perception of his split from the Pumpkins at all?  (7:55)

Song of the Week
-Lucky 13, Berlin, Germany; June 6th, 2007

For now, Corgan flounces on Facebook followers 10:26 am // Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, facebook, news.
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Try as one might, it’s presently impossible to “like” Billy Corgan (OFFICIAL), the Facebook page Billy Corgan initiated a month ago.

Corgan theoretically could reinstate the account at any time, and his parting words did hint that he may just be taking a holiday, but who knows.

HU Podcast #73: The Past (Shows), Present (Facebook), and Future (Teargarden) 6:31 pm // Thursday, December 16, 2010

Posted by chris in facebook, podcast, teargarden by kaleidyscope.
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With the end of touring for 2010 and the foreseeable future, we took this opportunity to bring on two special guests to talk about some of the final tour dates.  We also devoted a bit of time to Billy’s use of Facebook as a way to converse directly with fans and speculated on where Teargarden is headed in 2011.

Listen to the whole show (1:04:36)(download)(iTunes)

-Chris, Jason, Alex, and special guests Susan and Lel

-Susan and Jason give us a full report on the shows in Dallas and Houston and how they compared to the shows earlier this year in Austin. (12:46)

-Billy has tried a variety of social media outlets to interact with fans, but he really seems to be hitting his stride with Facebook.  We discuss how he’s using it to effectively keep fans engaged.  (15:51)

-Billy has hinted over the past couple of weeks about changes to Teargarden in 2011.  We speculate about what those changes might be. (14:15)

-Lel comes on the show for a short interview in which he talks primarily about the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles and WREX the Halls in San Diego. (13:56)

Song of the Week
-Eye, Los Angeles, CA; December 11, 2010

Corgan (OFFICIAL) wants South American return within two years 12:53 pm // Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, facebook, news, tour.
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Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan has made a first few “longer posts than twitter” on his new Facebook page, using the space to assess his band’s just-concluded five-date visit to South America.  Corgan says this tour was only the second time he could see “what a motivated hot-blooded crowd can do when mixed positively with the dynamics of the up and down, loud and soft and spacey” and that he wants more:

It took us a few days to find our groove, with all the flying and off days in between every show. The tour ended stronger than it began. I’d like to come back down no later than 2 years from now.

HU Podcast #70: Down Under 9:39 pm // Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Posted by chris in ozphoria, podcast, tour.
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As promised it was all Australian tour this week as Simon from Ozphoria.com joined us to give us the full report.  For extra fun, take part in our drinking game by taking a drink every time Simon uses an Australian slang term.  The show is pretty long, but give it a burl and I think you’ll like it, fair dinkum!

Listen to the whole show (1:39:55)


-Chris, Jason, Alex, and special guest Simon

-Q&A with Simon.  How did Ozphoria come to be, where did it get its name, and are there any plans to annex other regional fan sites? (6:35)

-The first tour stop, Perth.  Find out what a reserved seating show is like…where everyone is actually sitting down.  Plus, details from a band meet and greet.  (21:02)

-The next stop was Adelaide, and Jason reminds us of the last time the band was there. (17:12)

-In Melbourne, Billy ranted…kind of.  Plus, Simon offends the rest of his continent with comments about The Vines. (27:45)

-The last show Simon attended was in Sydney, but he also gives us some secondhand details from Brisbane.  And about an hour and fifteen minutes in, we finally bring up kangaroos. (21:24)

Song of the Week
-Lonely Is the Name, Sydney, October 16th

Check out this Flickr pool of photos from the Australian shows and soundchecks (h/t: Simon).

HU Podcast #69: The Fellowship 8:10 pm // Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Posted by chris in podcast, smashingpumpkins.com, spiritualism.
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Lots of details about The Solstice Bare EP emerged in the past couple of weeks, so we brought back Susan to talk about The Fellowship and debate whether or not to continue releasing physical EPs.  Next week we plan on having another guest on the show to talk about the Australian leg of the tour.

Listen to the whole show (58:09)


-Chris, Andrew, Alex, and special guest Susan

-The Fellowship was released for sale without much press from Pumpkins camp.  Will it ever be offered for free? (10:49)

-Our thoughts on The Fellowship, now that we’ve heard the real thing.  (6:04)

-With details emerging on The Solstice Bare EP, we discuss whether the band should continue to release physical EPs every four songs. (13:52)

-Billy pens an essay on John Lennon which reveals a lot about his view of himself.  Plus, we revisit the Teargarden white board. (22:40)

Song of the Week
-Jesus Needs a Hit, Paris, France September 30, 2010


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