It’s been a weird year for the Smashing Pumpkins — or, in other words, Billy Corgan. Between losing Jimmy Chamberlin, appearing in wrestling promos, adding 19-yr-old drummer Mike Byrne, doing that short Spirits stint, and asking fans for prayers, it makes sense that the forthcoming LP would be a little left of the dial. Say what you will about the guy — and, oh, we’ve had our share of words — but the ol’ Chicago control freak stays true to his word. Just as he stated in his blog earlier this year, the band’s moving forward with the experimental LP, which will be released sequentially. In other words, this studio LP will be released over the next year or two… and eventually as EPs (11 in all). Hmm, cool.
Titled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, the new record will eventually contain 44 songs, released one at a time online. The catch? It’s free. “There will be no strings attached,” Corgan insists. “Free will mean free, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop. You will be able to go and take the song or songs as you wish, as many times as you wish.” Well, nobody complained about signing up for Radiohead, but okay, we’ll buy it. Hey, at least he’s still embracing the idea, unlike Mr. Reznor. Not to mention, how else is Corgan gonna loop people in? Well, other than the fanatics.
So far, they’re off to a good start. Apparently the band’s recording four tunes as of now — Corgan says he has 53 songs on paper — with the first release due as early as this Halloween. (Hey, that makes sense! Just look at their name!) So, what can we expect? More stuff like G.L.OW.? No complaints there. Or, will it take the psychedelic route a la fellow friends Spirits in the Sky? Ba-zing! Corgan says the new material, “harkens back to the original psychedelic roots of The Smashing Pumpkins: atmospheric, melodic, heavy, and pretty.” The lone frontman even digresses on the title: “The story of the album is based on ‘The Fool’s Journey’, as signified in the progress of the Tarot. It is my intention to approach this by breaking down the journey of our life here into four phases as made by these different characters; the Child, the Fool, the Skeptic, and the Mystic.”
The question is: Does anyone care?
The answer: Well, it’s free. Can’t really argue otherwise.
The bottom line: Something wicked this way comes October — just remember, wicked can be either good or bad.