If you still haven’t bought a copy of “Oceania,” the latest album by The Smashing Pumpkins distributed by PolyEast Records, then it’s still not too late to get one and brush up on its 13 tracks.
Because that’s exactly what you’ll hear when they take to the stage of the Smart Araneta Coliseum Tuesday night. Yes, the entire album described by British music magazine NME as the band’s best since 2000’s “Machina/The Machines of God” will be performed in its entirety and in the order of its track listing.
Known for their trippy and progressive brand of alternative rock, the Pumpkins’ new release is actually part of “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope,” the ambitious 44-song project that was intended to capture the band’s psychedelic roots and initially released as free mp3 downloads.
“Oceania” was created by the band as a true album experience for listeners to fully immerse themselves in the songs and musical performances. Which is why Corgan wants fans to enjoy it as a whole, not in parts.
“From a production standpoint I was dead set on making an album where every song was just as valuable as any other, ignoring the typical claptrap you hear about needing a single,” he pointed out.
“The only way to make the case that every song on ‘Oceania’ is worth hearing is to put your heart into the sequence as a cohesive whole. Once we felt we’d achieved that balance, only then did we let anyone outside our world hear the record we’d made.”
In addition to the music, the Pumpkins have always been hailed for what allmusic.com describes as “some of the ’90s’ most striking and memorable video clips.” The band’s unique audio-visual experience extends to its live performances as well.
So despite the lack of familiarity on the songs of “Oceania,” what should make its live interpretation unforgettable are the visuals prepared by Sean Evans, whose most recent work was assisting Roger Waters on the newest staging of “The Wall.”
For the “Oceania” tour, the band will be using new technology in video mapping to create something new and previously unseen.
But even with all that eye candy, fans who long for the band’s classic hits like “Today,” “Drown,” “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Perfect” and more need not fret as the second half of their show will be devoted to performing these favorites.
And as the band is also known for their covers of classic rock hits that have been also compiled in several bootleg releases, expect the Pumpkins to close their show with one of these readings for their encore.
In the past, they’ve covered such classics as The Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” U2’s “Stay (Faraway So Close)” and The Cars’ “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight.” Corgan’s thoughtful interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is already included in their greatest hits compilations.
And in a recent show in Melbourne, the band performed its own version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” a tune that actually fits the atmospheric tone of “Oceania.”
But while the group’s many hits defined the alternative music era and influence a whole new generation as they continue to resonate on modern rock radio, Corgan insists that the band in its current incarnation — with guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bass player Nicole Fiorentino and drummer Mike Byrne — is more than just an “alluring, virtual jukebox.”
“If we’ve learned anything from playing as an intact unit now for over two years, it’s that unless we create our own sound and our own legacy, it’s a given that people will default to what they know; whether it’s my past or someone else’s,” Corgan stressed.
“The Smashing Pumpkins will always be defined by what we can create from our hands and hearts right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The Smashing Pumpkins will be “live tweeting” their August 7 Manila show at the Smart Araneta coliseum. For two hours before the show each band member will be tweeting with their photos and experiences from the local area and show and will be retweeted by @smashingpumpkin and supported by @twittermusic.
Fans are encouraged to tweet their photos of the show using the #SPPH hashtag.