Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Billy Corgan offers a free look into new Smashing Pumpkins project

December 7, 2009 |  3:45 pm


The band currently fronted by Billy Corgan, and the one still operating under the Smashing Pumpkins brand, despite featuring no other original member but Corgan, will release its first of 44 free singles tonight at midnight. "I am one of many more to come," Corgan sings throughout the slow-build rocker "A Song for a Son," the initial glimpse of his Web-focused "Teargaden by Kaleidyscope" project.

The roll-out of "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" will be done in stages. Each song will be released for free on the act's website, and they will also be issued on EP. There will be four 11-song CDs, which a press release specifies will be "highly limited," although specific details as to how they will be made available have not yet been unveiled.

"Each song will be made available absolutely for free, to anyone anywhere," Corgan is quoted as saying in a statement. "There will be no strings attached. Free will mean free, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything, give an e-mail 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.”  

As far as the sound of a "A Song for Son," which is currently streaming on Spinner, it's an old-fashioned, lighter-in-the-air hard-rock ballad, complete with multiple guitar solos and vague, fantastical classic rock lyrics. "This is a song for a sailor," Corgan wails over a prog rock-style finish with ornate, vintage-sounding keyboard. "A son I never had, he sailed without a map."

The Pumpkin describes the project as being "based on ‘The Fool’s Journey.’ As signified in the progress of the tarot, the intention is to approach the work by breaking down the journey of life into four phases as made by different characters depicted in major arcana cards: the Child, the Fool, the Skeptic and the Mystic.”

Corgan sounded as if he were still tinkering with the ways to get the magic in the hands of fans. The release hints at alternate takes being released online. "The EPs will be more like mini box sets rather than your normal CD single. We may also offer other variations for sale -- say, for example, a digital single with a demo version of a song.”

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times


Jimmy Chamberlin, Billy Corgan talk Pumpkins with Chris Isaak