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Smashing Pumpkins announce new album, extensive reissues

Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune (MCT)

CHICAGO — The Smashing Pumpkins delivered a double dose of news Tuesday about past and future recordings.

In a video posted on the band's Facebook page, singer Billy Corgan announced that the current band — which includes no original members besides himself — will record a new album, "Oceania," that will be released later this year. "Even though I pronounced the album dead" a few years ago, Corgan said, he says the band has a number of songs written and will begin recording them next month, with the aim of releasing an album Sept. 1. "Oceania" will be part of the massive 44-song "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" project, in which the band has been releasing songs as free downloads soon after recording them. Details of exactly how "Oceania" will be released were not divulged.

Corgan also said that after about a decade of negotiation the band and its former label, EMI, had reached an agreement to reissue remastered versions of all the Pumpkins' albums from the band's first era (1991-2000) over the next three years on CD and vinyl with bonus tracks. In addition, what Corgan calls a "digital box set" will be created that will enable the band to release material from its archives "any way we want," including free downloads. He said the archival material includes everything from the band's early rehearsals in Chicago during the 1980s through what was to be its final show at Metro in 2000.

The first reissues will be out by Christmas this year: "Gish" (1991), "Siamese Dream" (1993) and "Pisces Iscariot" (1994). Next year, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" (1995), "The Aeroplane Flies High" box set (1996) and "Adore" (1998) will be reissued. In 2013, the 2000 albums "Machina/The Machines of God" and "Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music" will be packaged together "in the right order," Corgan says, to be followed by a greatest hits compilation.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

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This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

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Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

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10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

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7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

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