On the surface, the songs on the first EP in the Smashing Pumpkins' ambitious 44-song Teargarden by Kaleidyscope seem to reflect the time main man Billy Corgan spent communing with Spirits in the Sky.
Spirits, the side project that emerged after the death last year of psych-rock legend Sky Saxon of the Seeds, found Corgan channeling Saxon's influence alongside '60s veterans Mark Tulin of the Electric Prunes and Mark Weitz of Strawberry Alarm Clock. Three of the four new Pumpkins were debuted at Spirits in the Sky shows.
Tonight at a cozy Viper Room show, those songs will get the full Pumpkins treatment — or, at least, a workout from the seminal band as it is configured in 2010. Nicole Fiorentino (whose résumé includes Veruca Salt, Spinnerette, Radio Vago, Light FM and Twilight Sleep) recently signed on as the new bassist, joining young phenom Mike Byrne (drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's replacement) and guitarist Jeff Schroeder, a holdover from 2008's 20th anniversary tour.
Fans aren't likely to hear any new songs beyond the four on the EP, titled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor. Those tracks have all been released free online, but the Pumpkins eventually will be hawking limited-edition physical copies that include a CD, 7-inch vinyl and — if the songs aren't mystical enough for you (trust us, they are) — a “hand-carved obelisk from the shadows of the Incan ruins in Machu Picchu.”
Can't wrangle your way into the Viper Room? No worries, after a 16-date U.S. tour and a jaunt overseas, the Pumpkins will be back Aug. 28 to headline the second annual Sunset Strip Music Festival.
Elsewhere: Damien Jurado's show at Spaceland supporting his new album “Saint Bartlett” figures to be a bit more epic than the veteran singer-songwriter's previous visits to L.A. He's playing backed by the eight members of Seattle's Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground — expect orchestral treatments, including violin, cello, tuba, french horn and keys. … Hot Hot Heat winds up its residency at the Bootleg Theater, supporting by up-and-coming rockers Voxhaul Broadcast and the Union Line. … And Dr. Dog plays an intimate gig at the Hotel Cafe.
Also: Vapor Mache at Low End Theory at the Airliner; Oona, Bullet and Snowfox and Big Moves at the Silverlake Lounge; and Skeetox at the Roxy.