Billy Corgan Is Using This Year's SXSW Conference To Announce The Smashing Pumpkins' Most Ambitious Work To Date
The concept of music albums is changing for good. Offering fans a multimedia experience makes the job of pirates a lot harder, and that’s obviously appealing from a commercial point of view. Yet, there’s no denying that artists are naturally inclined to try new technologies out, and see in which ways new software and hardware can give fans a more vivid representation of these emotions and ideas that lie at the heart of the most transcendental artistic works. The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album might as well do.
Named “Oceania”, it’s already been defined as a “full online experience” by Billy Corgan, the band’s charismatic leader. He’s not giving away a lot of details at this time, but he will break the silence soon enough – he’s going to make a big announcement at this year’s South By Southwest conference. From what he’s already said, it can be gathered that the album will take social interactions and fan engagement to the limit, and that it’s tracks might not be sold separately on iTunes. Corgan’s publicist has hinted at that when she said that “The key is that when we release the record, we’re not going to release a single viral video. You’re going to take the record and have a full online experience with it.”
Corgan is no stranger to experimentation. In 2009, he embarked on a project called “Teagarden by Kaledoiscope”, a 44-track album that was going to be made freely available on the Internet for everybody to download.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest project brings to mind Bjork’s “Biophilia”, which has gone down in history as the first “app album” ever. We’ll see how Corgan’s brainchild compares to that when he speaks at SXSW. His session is scheduled for the 12th of March.
Incubus Has Released Incubattle To Promote Its Newest Album, "If Not Now, When?"
You might like Incubus or not, but there’s no denying that the social media campaign that they have put together to promote their latest album (“If Not Now, When?”) has been nothing short of admirable.
First, they had an interactive live stream going. Then, they announced a partnership with video-sharing app Viddy. And then, they began interacting with fans on Formspring.
What was left to do after all that action?
The answer was entirely obvious… a beat’em-up a la Double Dragon or Renegade!
These are two names that will surely ring a bell if you’re over 30. They were two of the most popular arcade games of the ‘80s, and I recall endless summer vacations playing them with my older brother.
Well, Incubus has come with their very own variation on such titles to promote their latest album. It’s named Incubattle, and they have done a terrific job as far as I’m concerned.
The game lets you pick your favorite band member and fight your way over five different stages, fighting pirates that have stolen copies of the album (he!). You can play the game on your own, or with a friend. And in addition to the usual punch/jump/dash controls, each character can perform a special move when he has collected enough leaked copies of the album. Continue reading →
It Took The Strokes 5 Full Years To Release A New Album, But “Angles” Is Coming To Stores At The End Of March
After a five-year hiatus, The Strokes are back in town with a new album (“Angles”), and a sparkling video to go with it.
The first song on the album (“Under Cover Of Darkness”) has been chosen as its first promotional side. The clip has already been watched more than 900,000 times. Here you have it:
Not bad. Not at all. Yet, whether “Angles” will make people forget “Is This It” (the band’s spotless debut from 2001) or just bring it to mind time and again is the question that the press has been asking incessantly.
“Angles” is slated to be released on March 22 in the US, and March 21 in the UK…
Sony and Epic Records have declined to make comments of any kind. I guess they are too busy grinding their axes… This has been one leak too many. The consequences this can have on file sharing could be radical.
But it wasn’t until September of this year that the rapper took to Twitter in order to redeem himself. He sent over 70 tweets the same day, all within a couple of hours. As well as apologizing for his actions, he also enumerated the direct consequences of that fateful interruption.
– “Had to let employees go… for the first time I felt the impact of my brash actions … I felt the recession from an ownership side”
– “How deep is the scar… I bled hard.. cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world … closed the doors of my clothing office”
– “That’s when you realize perception is reality. I’ve been straying from this subject on twitter but I have to give it to you guys raw now.”
– “If you google Asshole my face may very well pop up”
In hindsight, these apologetic tweets might as well be remembered as one of the cleverest ploys in Kanye’s career. He projected himself as a fallen star with a sympathetic heart, and as a person fully aware of his failings. And it is no wonder that his next album (“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”) is already being spoken of in very favorable terms. Continue reading →