Illegal downloading has hobbled the music industry over the last decade, and try as they might, labels and musicians have been unable to quell online leaks and file sharing. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Late last night, the publicists for Smashing Pumpkins issued a press release announcing that Billy Corgan, the band's sole remaining founding member, would be releasing a new album called 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.' But rather than release the disc through a label, the Pumpkins are releasing the new effort (which they started recording this week) in bits and pieces over time -- and entirely for free. The first song, says the release, will drop around Halloween, with 43 others being released as they're ready over a period of several months. Of course, the songs will also be released physically, as EPs and, eventually, a box set. Our first thought when seeing this press release was, "Really?" Has it gotten to the point where no one will buy new Smashing Pumpkins music, or is this just the direction the music business is heading in? Free music? It seems crazy, but it's true. Share your thoughts on this subject with us, in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.

+ Next week, Alice in Chains return with their much-anticipated new LP, 'Black Gives Way to Blue.' Of course, there are bound to be some skeptics out there, unwilling to accept the band in its current, Layne Staley-less form, but do yourself a favor. Check out this video and listen to samples of some of the songs from the disc. Its a nice preview of what will no doubt go down as one of the year's best rock releases.

+ We love Municipal Waste, and we're psyched they're going out on tour. The band's Waste the World Tour 2009 kicks off in November with Goatwhore, the Accused, Brutal Truth, Phobia and Cauldron as direct support. The tour kicks off on Nov. 6 in Raleigh, N.C., and runs through Dec. 10 in Philadelphia.

+ The killer of a Seattle-based sound engineer who had worked with the likes of Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Nirvana, Great White and Queensrÿche has fled, inciting a national manhunt. In a letter he left for his family, 51-year-old Kino Michael Gomez says he'd rather die than give up his freedoms and his right to bear arms. On July 17, Gomez allegedly shot and killed 49-year-old Tom Pfaeffle outside a hotel.

+ Poison the Well, who gave us a tour of their van earlier this summer, had their ride and trailer (containing all of the band's gear) stolen in Detroit recently, during the first stop on their tour with Billy Talent. PTW will return to the tour, after settling the matter with their insurance company. The band suspects "a talented scumbag" is responsible, and he basically took "everything we own."

+ Lambgoat is streaming a new track from Horse the Band's forthcoming LP, 'Desperate Living,' which drops Oct. 6. The new track, called 'Rape Escape,' features a guest piano performance from "classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who is increasingly regarded as the world's best," the band says.

+ Metalsucks unearthed Attack Attack!'s cover of Katy Perry's 'I Kissed a Girl' and point out that the band failed to adjust the lyrics of the song. We also hope their boyfriends don't mind it.

+ The best parties are the ones you crash. On Sept. 23 at Fontana's in New York, Metal Insider will be hosting a listening of Dethklok's 'The Dethalbum II.' The fun starts at 7 PM ET. We'll see you there.

+ Hypocrisy's 'A Taste of Extreme Divinity' will be issued on Nov. 3. Fortunately for us, that means the band will be touring with Ensiferum, Ex Deo, Blackguard and Swashbuckle in support of the effort. The first date is booked for Nov. 6 in Springfield, Va. and runs through Dec. 9 in New York City.

+ Sea of Treachery, Suffokate and Blindwitness will be teaming up for the 'Be Shred or Be Dead Tour,' which kicks off Oct. 18 in Morris, Ill., and ends Nov. 29 in Springfield, Il.

+ You can now download the title track from Converge's new album 'Axe to Fall,' which hits stores Oct. 20.

+ According to sources, Underoath will be touring this winter with August Burns Red and Emery. We'll bring you those dates once they're available.

+ Finally, some good news for Zakk Wylde, who has been sidelined with blood clots as of late. Doctors have given the green light to Wylde's scheduled performance with Black Label Society on Halloween in New York's Times Square.

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