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By Andy Argyrakis
A promising Pumpkins prospect, Brandi meets Blitzen, plus most of New Order
Monday, October 15, 2012


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A promising Pumpkins prospect: After a fair amount of line-up shifts that finds Billy Corgan as the sole original member accompanied by a series of less than stellar albums, the Smashing Pumpkins brand appears to be back on track thanks to the surprisingly superb new "Oceania" album. Not only does the collection boast the most pop sensibility since its hit-making heyday, but it also finds the front man trading in cerebral for relatable songwriting, which will all hopefully shine through on stage. Friday, October 19 at Allstate Arena: www.ticketmaster.com.

Brandi Carlile Brandi Carlile Brandi Carlile Brandi Carlile

Brandi meets Blitzen: When it comes to girls with guitars, few from today are able to embody a blend of alternative country, folk and rock to such a palatable extent of Brandi Carlile. Though she's certainly worthy of the headlining slot, openers Blitzen Trapper are just as much as an incentive considering its eclectic indie rock outpouring and status as one of Sub Pop's most prized signees. Saturday, October 20 at Chicago Theatre: www.thechicagotheatre.com.

Brandi Carlile Brandi Carlile Brandi Carlile

Most of New Order: It's no secret one time Joy Division partners turned New Order members Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook aren't exactly the best of friends these days. And while Hooky's no longer in the band, long time fans are sure to savor the return of Gillian Gilbert, who alongside Sumner, Stephen Morris, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman are certainly better than no New Order at all! Besides being one of the most influential electronic acts of all time, top tunes like "Blue Monday," "True Faith" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" sound like they could've been written yesterday. Sunday, October 21 at Aragon Ballroom: www.jamusa.com

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