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Sound & the Fury

Imagine 'Oceania'

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Oceania, the seventh studio album by the Smashing Pumpkins, will be out June 19, and the band wants you to come up with images for each one of the 13 songs, based only on the song's title.

This is how it works: you can use words, paintings, photos, designs, anything that represents your own vision of any of the songs, you tag them with #SPoceania and share them with Instagram, Pinterest, Deviantart, Facebook, and Twitter. The band will, in turn, share them through its social networks and some of those images may end up in their official website. What do you get? Nothing, besides the honor of being a part of Billy Corgan's latest work of art, I guess. (More info on smashingpumpkins.com/oceania/imagine-oceania.)

But there's more: the band teamed up with JPGMAG.com to create their first ever photography challenge series. You submit photos for each of the 13 songs and the best ones will be included in a print-on-demand canvas signed by the group. I assume the winners will get a free canvas, but no word on that yet.

This is all very nice, if you like to create art for others for free. But the big story here is the album itself. Dubbed "an album within an album," Oceania is part of the Pumpkins' 2009 Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, a 44-song work-in-progress originally released for free as separate mp3s as they were recorded. "I don't think albums are particularly relevant at this time," Corgan told musicradar.com in April 2011, echoing the feeling of countless bands releasing their songs whenever they feel like it. He added: "That may change." It did, and pretty darn fast.

"I reached a point where I saw that the one-song-at-a-time idea had maxed itself out," Corgan told Billboard in September 2011. "I just saw we weren't getting the penetration in to everybody that I would have hoped."

So there you have it: never ever underestimate the good old magic of freaking albums.

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