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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)

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.

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 #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

“A Note from Billy” on original band, recent band, latest band 10:28 pm // Thursday, June 24, 2010

Posted by jjb in news, revival, smashingpumpkins.com, teargarden by kaleidyscope, tour.
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Billy Corgan has posted a letter to fans in advance of the Smashing Pumpkins’ upcoming tour.  Corgan speaks both about the long-ago and recent history of his band, and he praises tour-supporting acts Kill Hannah and Bad City.

The letter is light on news, though Corgan does announce that the next Teargarden by Kaleidyscope song will be released on July 6, coinciding with the first scheduled date of the tour.

New bassist to join Smashing Pumpkins ‘world tour’ this year 3:08 pm // Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Posted by Jill in news, nicole fiorentino, smashingpumpkins.com.
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The Smashing Pumpkins official website was updated today to include a press release confirming Nicole Fiorentino as the band’s new bassist and featuring a lovely photo of her with Billy Corgan, courtesy Kristin Burns. It seems Fiorentino has been busy with her own social networking sites, updating her Twitter account for the first time in many months and there’s plenty of activity over at her Facebook page too.

Also of note: the press release mentions that Nicole will be joining the “world tour later this year” which includes the previously-known Japanese dates in August. Wonder when the other dates will begin to surface… we’re less than three months away!

HU Podcast #54: A Song for a Son 10:09 pm // Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Posted by chris in podcast, smashingpumpkins.com, teargarden by kaleidyscope.
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Well we didn’t end up doing a quick review podcast last week, but we did sit down for a full-length affair to talk about the release of the first song from Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. 

Listen to the whole show (51:37)


Update: I inadvertently included last week’s episode as Episode 54 in the iTunes feed when originally posting this podcast, but it has been fixed.  If you subscribe to the feed in iTunes, delete Episode 54, right click on Hipsters United, and click “Show Available Episodes”.  This should allow you to re-download the correct Episode 54.  Sorry for the confusion.

This week’s topics:

-Chris, Jason, and Andrew

-Our impressions of A Song for a Son, how it compares to its earlier live iterations, Mike Byrne’s impact, and the production on the song. (16:25)

-The song was available on Spinner.com for almost a full day before appearing on SmashingPumpkins.com.  Will the pattern of exclusive streaming somewhere else before becoming available for download continue? (1:35)

-All about the changes to SmashingPumpkins.com and what they mean for casual and longtime fans of the band. (13:47)

-Reaction to the song was positive, but fleeting.  What does this say about the future of how Teargarden by Kaleidyscope will be both received and reviewed? (7:05)

-What song is next, and when can we expect it?  Plus, we discuss how many songs will and should be released before the next tour. (7:25)

Song of the Week
-Astral Planes, La Jolla, CA August 30, 2009

Midnight surprise: Smashing Pumpkins’ website is overhauled; news archive, feature articles, user blogs and more vanish 2:00 am // Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Posted by jjb in news, scary, smashingpumpkins.com.
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As midnight struck two hours ago on the East Coast, a free download of a 192kbps MP3 of new Smashing Pumpkins track “A Song for a Son” was made available via band website SmashingPumpkins.com.  That, fans expected.

Surprisingly, however, the website itself had been revamped and, it would appear, been mightily trimmed down.  While the messageboard or forum remains, a raft of news and features that SmashingPumpkins.com had produced or hosted during the past few years is now nowhere to be found — and, rather intimidatingly for us here at Hipsters United, a “Newsfeed” consisting of a set of links to recent posts on this blog now graces the very top of the homepage.

I must confess that I have not been an intensive user of SmashingPumpkins.com in the past, so I am not prepared to attempt a full list of the items that are no longer accessible.  At the very least I can say that a great number of links in HU’s archives just went dead, and as that is not pleasing to me, so can I imagine that many fans have reasons to be distressed with this disappearance of band- and user-generated content.  Comments are open…

UPDATE: “Newsfeed,” we hardly knew ye.

A statement regarding the changes to SmashingPumpkins.com 1:10 am // Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Posted by jjb in blogging, scary, smashingpumpkins.com.
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Regarding tonight’s changes to SmashingPumpkins.com, we at Hipsters United are almost as surprised as anyone.

We received an email last week from the Smashing Pumpkins’ management, asking our permission that the band might link to HU from SmashingPumpkins.com.  We replied saying that it was unnecessary to ask permission: on the Internet, if you want to link to something, that’s your business.

That brief exchange comprises the entirety of communication between us and the band’s management with regard to this matter.  No deal of any kind has been struck; no sort of understanding has been reached or hinted at.

So, unavoidably thrust upon us now is the knowledge that a link to every new post we make is, it would seem, going to appear on the homepage of SmashingPumpkins.com.  (UPDATE: Poof! Not anymore.) Is having that knowledge going to change what we do?  We cannot guarantee that it won’t, but as of now we have no conscious intention to do anything differently.

HU’s Jill at SP.com: “Red Book Dialogue with Billy Corgan” 5:58 pm // Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, smashingpumpkins.com.
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She shares more of her photographs and recollections from the Rubin Museum event on SmashingPumpkins.com.

Corgan: Tour with Iha would have netted extra $5 million 9:58 pm // Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, d'arcy wretzky, interview, james iha, smashingpumpkins.com.
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A SmashingPumpkins.com writer has paraphrased several bits from a brief sort-of interview with Billy Corgan conducted on the night of the recent Sky Saxon tribute concert in Los Angeles.  Here is an excerpt from the writer’s story:

Addressing D’Arcy’s phone call to Q101, [Corgan] used it as evidence as to why rebuilding the original lineup wouldn’t work. D’Arcy admitted she isn’t in a state to tour extensively right now and furthermore (I’m paraphrasing): If Corgan had toured with James Iha for six months last year, they’d be $5 million richer, but it would’ve been disastrous internally for the band members.

Corgan “unaware” charity lunch would be on the winner, declares that SmashingPumpkins.com “is going to change” 5:22 pm // Thursday, June 25, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, news, smashingpumpkins.com.
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Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has declared in an email to fans (UPDATE: now posted in full on SP.com) that he will act, at least with regard to his own website, against the drip of “constant poison” from Internet chatter. Alluding to Trent Reznor’s recent Twitter-spurred remarks, Corgan opened his email:

Recently I read a post by another famed alt-rocker from my generation lamenting the negative cultures of the internet…how its inherent narcissism ruins a lot of good fun for everyone because those that shout the loudest and are the most obsessive are able to control a dialogue over things that in the normal discourse of real life wouldn’t be that big a deal.

The latest of those things is that the winner of an auction to have lunch with Corgan will have to pay not only the bid amount (which will be at least $3,000) but also the relatively tiny meal tab. Corgan says in the email that in offering his services for the benefit auction he was not aware of its fine print:

Today’s laughter was me being criticized for a post that had info about a charity that was offering (to the highest bidder) a lunch with me. Unfortunately, unknown to me, the info stated that lunch was on the person who won the auction. Having never offered myself for a charity lunch date before, I was curious to see what fans might say about it. I was surprised to see a minor detail I was unaware of that said the winner must pay the bill at lunch turn into an attack on me and my supposed fortune.

Corgan left unclear what changes he has in mind for SmashingPumpkins.com:

This website is going to change. It is going to transform into something that is consistent with the concepts of love, grace, and community. We are not looking backwards anymore, only forward. I for one am willing to stand for something good here, in this little corner of the blogosphere, and say it’s time.

HU’s Jill at SP.com: Lisa Harriton Residency Review 4:02 pm // Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Posted by jjb in lisa harriton, live, serious jazz music, smashingpumpkins.com.
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This past weekend, our NYC-located blogger checked out the keyboardist’s venture into Afro-Peruvian jazz.  Check out her writeup and pictures on SmashingPumpkins.com.

MCIS: Concept to Execution 12:40 pm // Saturday, June 13, 2009

Posted by apm in adore, art, b-sides, mellon collie, smashingpumpkins.com.
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A fascinating new article was posted to SP.com on Friday featuring an interview by Media Militia writer Simon with Frank Olinsky, art director for all the Smashing Pumpkins’ releases from 1995 through 1999. We all know the iconic artwork of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness very well, but the article includes never-before-seen concept sketches by Billy Corgan which were faxed to Olinsky and used as the starting point for the final artwork by illustrator John Craig.

MCIS Front Cover Concept Sketch

After executing the Siamese Dream album’s artwork in a single day together with his then wife Chris, Billy passed along the job of fully capturing his ideas for the visual side of Mellon Collie to Olinsky, who was already well-known in the industry at the time, having worked previously with R.E.M., Talking Heads, and many other bands, as well as co-creating MTV’s original logo.

The article touches on more than just Mellon Collie as Olinsky worked on the artwork for the Mellon Collie singles as well as the Adore album and its singles. Billy’s inspiration for the 1979 single’s roller rink? Linda Ronstadt’s 1978 album Living in the USA:

Linda Ronstadt Album1979 Cover

Olinksy has a blog and posted this entry about the article. He was very touched by Billy’s thoughts about their collaboration, which read:

Looking back now over 10 years, what sticks out most in my mind about Frank is he is total class. I am really fortunate to have been able to work with someone so talented, kind-hearted, and really someone who puts everything he has into his work. He really is a true artist thru and thru!

Corgan working with Byrne on demos for new songs 6:23 pm // Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Posted by jjb in billy corgan, mike byrne, news, smashingpumpkins.com, studio.
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After refusing comment earlier today on Gil Kaufman’s report for MTV News, the Smashing Pumpkins organization now has all but confirmed that Mike Byrne is the person to which Billy Corgan referred as his likely “drummer of the future” in a Friday blog post:

SP.com can finally announce that Billy has been working with young (19) Mike Byrne on demos. Word from the studio is that Mike is an exceptionally talented and gifted drummer and things are going very well.

Interviews revisited 12:40 pm // Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Posted by jjb in gish, history, interview, siamese dream, smashingpumpkins.com.
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Jaime Black has paged through some Gish– and Siamese Dream-era print interviews with the Smashing Pumpkins, drawing out highlights for a lengthy article at SmashingPumpkins.com.  Here’s a sample Billy Corgan quotation, taken from a 1993 interview with a Tower Records publication:

I’m forever the stupid idealist. I really want the record to end up in somebody’s hands, where they can put it on and say, “Wow, this really means something to me. This represents the way I feel, it’s part of my life circa 1993.” I was like that when I was 12 — I thought Cheap Trick was cool, and I listened to Judas Priest as well. I didn’t know that the media was pointing out that one of those bands was cool and the other wasn’t — I listened to them both and didn’t give a fuck.

“Sweeping concept record” in the works 1:31 pm // Thursday, May 28, 2009

Posted by Jill in billy corgan, business, news, smashingpumpkins.com, studio.
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This afternoon, Billy Corgan sent another email to fans with news about the ongoing studio sessions, the still-changing scope of the subscription service / studio updates, and a few thoughts about the archive project.

Projecting that the recording sessions will occur at the end of the summer, it seems Corgan is still up to his elbows in big studio ideas.  I can’t help but get excited:

Part of the challenge of doing such a sweeping concept record is to find some core consistency in the work, feed the bigger story line with some tangential narratives, and have some sense of where it all goes in the end. Having done Machina and Mellon Collie, 2 albums that were in the 50+ song range, I at least have the experience of when that material goes right and how it easily gets lost in the shuffle. I think the current approach of only recording a song at a time will at least address some of those past pitfalls. I personally am quite happy with the work and I feel I’ve found some of what I was looking for when I came back to SP. There is a real vitality to the new work that feels futuristic, and that always excites me.

Regarding the studio updates, Corgan states that the logistics of the project are interfering and it’s currently on hold.  True to form, his priority is writing new music:

What was supposed to be ‘fun’ and ‘groundbreaking’ quickly turned into the SOS (translation: same old stuff!). I’ve learned not to let concepts come at the expense of the quality of the writing and so far this has been the case. Currently shooting for a short term window of work (4-6 weeks), which is obviously far down from the 12 weeks initially proposed. I’m crossing my fingers, because I still think that it can inform the work and add a layer to it that it doesn’t currently have. But honestly it also exposes heartfelt work to a vibration that I’m not sure belongs along side it.

The whole email is well worth the read; be sure to sign up at SmashingPumpkins.com to receive updates.

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.


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