This week I heard on Detroit's new rock radio station, 93.9 The River, that the Smashing Pumpkins were releasing a new record called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The album is to be released one track at a time on their website, www.smashingpumpkins.com, where you can listen to and download each song.
Today I visited their site and downloaded "A Song for a Son" which I think is the first song they have released. The song sounds like a mix of Wilco type music and Pumpkins type lyrics and or course the unmistakable voice of Billy Corgan. It may be that the music sounds different because Corgan is the only original member of the iconic alternative rock band that formed in 1988. Guitarist James Iha, bassist D'arcy Wretzky, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain have all, at some point in time and for various reasons, left the band. I think D'arcy may have even committed suicide?
"Astral Planes" will be the second track released on their website but you can catch a live version of it at the Smashing Pimpkins myspace page. It's a heavier track that "A Song for a Son" and sounds more like their old garagey/punk stuff. I think the woman's voice backing Corgan up belong to Reyes (bass). It's interesting that all their bass players have been female. I wonder if Corgan does this on purpose.
The new line up, as presented on the bands myspace page, is Billy Corgan on lead vocals and guitar, Ginger Reyes on bass, Mike Byrne on drums and Jeff Schroeder on guitar. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the Smashing Pimpkins back in the day, I did love "Today" and the whole Meloncholy and the Infinite Sadness double disc. I am eagerly awaiting the rest of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope as it is released and would definitely go see this new line up in concert. I think Corgan, although he is a notorious control freak in the studio, is a musical master of creativity.