Unplugging: The Siamese Dreams of the Smashing Pumpkins

This week is all about old material, legends and events making righteous and vicarious comebacks to feed our musical passion and revive nostalgia.

Influential alternative rockers Smashing Pumpkins are hurtling their first two albums from ’91 and ’93 back into the limelight in celebration of their 20-year span together. Gish (1991) and Siamese Dream (1993) will be re-released November 29th in the U.S, and December 5th internationally.

The tracks will be fully remastered, and cool liner notes will be added, featuring an interview with Billy Corgan as he reflects on the albums’ origins, influences and attempts to disassociate with the “hip” and “indie” scene in New York. The Smashing Pumpkins are currently on tour in support of their upcoming album Oceania, which is set to be released in early 2012.

October 11th marked the forty-year anniversary of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention’s milestone marathon gig at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. While their series of performances were recorded, they have never been released into the wild until last week, when the Zappa Family Trust announced the upcoming release of the four-disc Carnegie Hall performance.

Zappa imprint Vaulternative Records is leading this endeavor. The release is to be in mono, featuring the two rarely heard Carnegie Hall performances. Showcasing the zaniness of Zappa & The Mothers of Invention in their prime, the live audio is sure to stir up nostalgia. Pre-orders for the four-disc set commenced last week, and shipping will begin October 31st.

Set to make a hopefully redeeming comeback after the tragedy that transpired at this year’s event, The Pukkelpop Festival is not throwing in the towel just yet. Festival organizers have announced that the festival will continue on to 2012, planning to run from August 16th to 18th.

This year’s Pukkelpop Fest garnered much attention when a storm hit Hasselt, Belgium, causing a stage collapse that killed two concertgoers and injured 40 more. As the storm hit on day one of the fest, the remaining two days were cancelled.

A Support Fund was made by festival organizers for the victims of the stage collapse, shortly after the festival’s early demise. Despite major financial damages due to the cancellation and ticket refunding, Pukkelpop organizers are determined to bring the fest back next year.

Reviving the memory of a great musician, Aaron Eckhart has been casted as the late Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson, in a biopic tentatively titled The Drummer. Directed by Randall Miller and Jody Savin, The Drummer follows Wilson in his last six years before his tragic death in 1983, shortly after his successful 1977 solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue.

Eckhart will test his musical ability in the film, playing piano and singing, and he will also serve as a producer. Wilson’s 2 children, Carl and Jennifer, are involved as co-producers, adding a bit of legitimacy to the project. Shooting for The Drummer will start this summer in both California and Georgia’s Meddin Studios.

Perhaps best known for writing hit singles “Halleluiah” and “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” Leonard Cohen’s music has been covered again and again by younger musicians, serving as a sort of paradigm of musical greatness.

That is why there is major buzz about Cohen’s recent announcement of a new album to be released sometime in 2012, titled Old Ideas. This is his latest activity since his 2004 album, Dear Heather, which dominated Canadian billboards upon its release. Not much information has been released regarding a potential tour in support of Old Ideas.

Unplugging in Brief:

Zappa Family Trust Issues Four-CD Set of Legendary 1971 Carnegie Hall Performance – A 40 year-old performance of the legendary Zappa & The Mothers of Invention at Carnegie Hall set to be released in a 4-disc set through Zappa imprint and Vaulternative Records.

EMI to Release First Two Smashing Pumpkins Albums on November 29 – In celebration of their 20-year legacy, the alternative rockers will release remasters of their first two albums.

Pukkelpop Festival to Return Next Year – Despite the financial problems and the tragic reputation the fest garnered from this year’s event, Pukkelpop is not giving up.

Aaron Eckhart Cast as Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson – In a biopic detailing Dennis Wilson’s final years before his tragic death, Eckhart is on board to portray Wilson in the film, which begins shooting this summer.

Leonard Cohen to Release New Album “Old Ideas” in 2012 – After a 7 year hiatus, fans are pleased to hear that Leonard Cohen is releasing a new album sometime in 2012.

Lily Angelle, MXDWN