Given that Billy Corgan is one of the most iconic figures is modern rock, it took the humbling experience of the Smashing Pumpkins‘ ill-fated Mark II reveal at Live Earth in July 2007—and the subsequent critical rejection of the album Zeitgeist—to make him realize that only he could restore the shine to the crown he wore as the writer of one of alt-rock’s most beloved songbooks. And slowly, but surely, he started to do it.
After many a misstep, Corgan began work on a 44-song cycle titled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. He began posting tunes on the web… and they were good! While the public may not have been paying attention, hardcore fans were, and when Corgan announced last year he would be releasing Oceania—a group of songs from the project—expectations were kept in check, but ears were perked. This time he nailed it: Oceania stands up musically alongside anything he’s done. While time, tastes, and trends have changed, the songs once again, remain the same: The album is full of the intricate sound-sculptures and emotionally resonant tunes that could only be made by the hands of a maestro.
Now, after touring Oceania around the world—with, by his words, the best group of musicians he’s ever worked with—he’s ready to bring it to North America. On Oct. 2, Smashing Pumpkins kick off a cross-continent tour in Winnipeg that will see the band play Oceania in its entirety, plus all the hits and some fan-fave album cuts. The show will also feature a cutting-edge visual component prepared by Sean Evans, whose résumé includes Roger Waters’ current presentation of The Wall.
Smashing Pumpkins will play the ACC on Thursday, Oct. 25. There’s an Inside Edge pre-sale this Thursday (Aug. 23) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The public on-sale via Ticketmaster is Friday (Aug. 24) at 10 a.m.
YOU CAN DANCE IF YOU WANT TO
The duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry formed Dead Can Dance in Austrailia in the early 1980s and moved to England shortly thereafter, perfecting their take on worldly ambient/ethereal pop in the process. Over the course of the 1990s, they released a series of ever-evolving albums, with 1993′s Into the Labyrinth becoming a worldwide smash. The pair disbanded in 1996 and now have reunited with a new album, Anastasis, and a world tour that brings them to the Sony Centre this Thursday (Aug. 23). This is a rare chance to experience a truly influential band.
LET’S GO TO EX
The Ex is up and running, and while there are new rides and attractions to check out,the music program is heavy on tribute bands and nostalgic musical revue–type shows. As for rock, the best in show is happening Aug. 29,when the Bandshell will host Arkells and The Darcy’s. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.