Tag Archives: Smashing Pumpkins


Two Nights of Silversun Pickups in New York City This Week

November 14th, 2017

Brian Aubert (vocals and guitar), Chris Guanlao (drums), Joe Lester (keys and samples) and Nikki Monninger (bass and vocals) knew one another from playing in various bands before forming Silversun Pickups 15 years ago in Los Angeles. Their atmospheric sound, layered melodies and spellbinding dreamy pop immediately drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins with the release of their 2005 debut EP, Pikul (stream it below), and 2006 debut LP, Carnavas (stream it below), “the sort of record that brings something new to discover with each listen,” according to AllMusic. “Thus, listen one is as enjoyable as listen five or 10, but probably for entirely different reasons, since unique bits continuously appear from the band’s dream haze of accessibly textured indie rock.” Their fourth studio album, the synths-filled Better Nature (stream it below), came out in 2015. Despite referring to it as a “transitional record,” Sputnik Music called the long-player “a gorgeous if slightly safe album that proves this band hasn’t lost their edge when it comes to making captivating music.” And live, Silversun Pickups (above, performing “Panic Switch”) are just as exceptional as ever. Catch them on Wednesday at Terminal 5 and on Friday at Brooklyn Steel. Seattle’s Minus the Bear open both shows.


London’s Fiction Plane Bring New Music to Mercury Lounge Saturday

August 12th, 2015

Before taking the name Fiction Plane, Joe Sumner (vocals and bass), Seton Daunt (guitar) and Pete Wilhoit (drums) formed the post-grunge rock group Santa’s Boyfriend nearly 15 years ago in London. Their debut full-length, Everything Will Never Be OK (stream it below), which AllMusic called “an impressively consistent and promising effort,” arrived in 2003. Lefts Side of the Brain (stream it below) and Sparks (stream it below) followed in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Along the way, Fiction Plane (above, doing “No One but You” for ZUBB Sessions) earned comparisons to some big names in music, not Sumner’s dad’s group, the Police, but U2 and the Smashing Pumpkins. The trio returned this year with their fourth LP, Mondo Lumina, which finds them pursuing a different sound—airy soundscapes set against a a three-piece setup. But, of course, the best way to experience Fiction Plane is live. So see them on Saturday night at Mercury Lounge. New York City five-piece Jeremy and the Harlequins open the show.


Don’t Miss Silversun Pickups on Monday at the Capitol Theatre

August 2nd, 2013

Brian Aubert (vocals and guitar), Chris Guanlao (drums), Joe Lester (keys and samples) and Nikki Monninger (bass and vocals) knew one another from playing in various L.A. bands before forming Silversun Pickups there in 2002. Their layered melodies and spellbinding dreamy pop immediately drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins with the release of their debut EP, Pikul, in 2005. They’ve remained busy touring and recording music ever since. Their third studio album, the well-received Neck of the Woods (stream it below), came out last year, and Silversun Pickups (above, performing “Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)” for Minnesota Public Radio) are back out on the road. See them on Monday night at the Capitol Theatre.


The Smashing Pumpkins – Barclays Center – December 10, 2012

December 11th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Mina K


Get Ready to Rock with the Smashing Pumpkins on Monday

December 7th, 2012

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Billy Corgan founded the Smashing Pumpkins in the late ’80s. The Chicago-based band began to achieve mainstream success following the release of Gish, in 1991, and Siamese Dream, in 1993, before becoming one of the biggest bands in the world with 1995’s smash double LP Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Since those heady days, the group has gone through several metamorphoses, settling into the current lineup—Corgan, drummer Mike Byrne, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder—which released Oceania earlier this year. But make no mistake, the Smashing Pumpkins (above, playing “Cherub Rock” for iheart.com) still deliver a layered, guitar-heavy dose of Goth, metal and dreamy psychedelic rock. And you can see them do it in person on Monday at Barclays Center. (This show has been rescheduled from 10/31, and all tickets for that show will be honored.)


Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha Plays Late Show at Mercury Lounge

October 4th, 2012

James Iha is best known as the guitarist and cofounder of the Smashing Pumpkins. But even back in the ’90s, he’d begun working on other projects, making guest appearances on albums and releasing his solo debut, Let It Come Down. And when the Pumpkins broke up in 2000, Iha remained busy, writing, remixing, producing and recording music. He even found time to join a couple other bands—A Perfect Circle and Tinted Windows—co-own a record label, Scratchie Records, and a recording studio, Stratosphere Sound. But eventually you just knew Iha would put out another solo effort. And that’s exactly what he did. Look to the Sky (stream it below) came out a few weeks ago, and Iha plays a hometown show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.


A Smashing Return

October 19th, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins – Terminal 5 – October 18, 2011

An early set time of 8:45 p.m. seemed odd for the Smashing Pumpkins, that is, until they began what turned into a muscular two-hour show last night at Terminal 5. The band sounded phenomenal, picking up where they left off at this same venue just over a year ago, the polish possibly a product of them finally hitting their stride with the newer touring lineup behind frontman Billy Corgan. You could hear and even feel each drum hit, heavy bassline and wah-wah-pedaled note that came from Corgan’s guitar, all without it being incoherently loud.

The set was missing many of the band’s big hits, but those are all more than a decade old, so the inclusion of only a few makes sense at this point (especially since newer material has been released in the last few years). And the omission of songs like “1979” didn’t seem to bother much the fans in attendance; most heads didn’t break their gaze focused on the shimmering stage before them, which was decked out in all sorts of flashy and reflective surfaces ranging from a giant, glass-covered fan to a circular LED screen behind drummer Mike Byrne that featured kaleidoscopic imagery throughout most of each song.

There was always something to look at or listen to (even while the band switched instruments between songs there were audio interludes and big-top lights that flashed). Not only has the storied alt-rock band returned to form with their live show, the fans last night showed they were no longer just here for the hits. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | notch.org


SPIN Turns 25

July 23rd, 2010


Next week SPIN magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary with five great shows: the Smashing Pumpkins at Terminal 5 on Monday, the Flaming Lips at Terminal 5 on Tuesday, the Black Keys at Terminal 5 on Wednesday, the National at Terminal 5 on Thursday and Spiritualized at Radio City Music Hall on Friday. And the even better news is that if you don’t have tickets to these shows, you’ll still be able to see them because Spin.com will be streaming them live. So let the SPIN25 celebration begin.