Soundtrack Contest

February 26th, 2008

Dreck Soundtrack

 I watched the Oscar’s on Sunday night and was dumbstruck by how bad this year’s crop of “Original Song” nominees were.  I mean the song by Glen Hansard (of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova from the movie “Once” was okay, but overall they all seemed like the theme song from some musical put on by your local high school theater department.  Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz should be drawn and quartered for subjecting us to the dreck they composed for Disney’s latest princess fest, “Enchanted”, and although “Raise It Up” from “August Rush” was a bit better it still felt like some kind of outtake from an Up with People production number.

But rather than wallow in the dreck, I’ve decided to create some dreck of my own, so I’m issuing a challenge to all Figment users in the form of a soundtrack contest.  The rules are simple:

1.  Come up with an imaginary soundtrack EP or album for one of your existing bands or a new band. 

2.  Make sure to include the words “Soundtrack” or “Music Inspired by the Film” in your album title.

3.  Each soundtrack must be an original creation and cannot be for a “real” movie.  Fake music for a fake movie please!

4.  Each soundtrack must contain at least 4 songs to be considered.

5.  The contest will run from February 26, 2008 through April 30, 2008.  All soundtracks must be created and released within that time period to be considered. 

The contest will award two “filthy lucre” prizes.

1.  An “Industry Heavyweight’s Best Soundtrack ’08” award (500 pieces of filthy lucre) will be awarded to one soundtrack and will be chosen from all of the submissions by Figment Industry Heavyweights.

2.  The top selling soundtrack album or “Users Choice” award.  The winner of this award will be the soundtrack that maintains the highest charting soundtrack on the Top Selling Albums chart (includes album sales and listens) at 12:00 ET on May 16, 2008.  To qualify for this second award you will need to have released your album within the contest time frame detailed above (2/26/08 – 4/30/08).  The soundtrack with the greatest number of sales/listens will be awarded 750 pieces of Lucre.

Now don’t just put an album out there and hope some one stumbles across it.  PROMOTE IT!  Do you think Harvey Weinstein just sits on his duff and hopes Academy members will consider his films?  Hell no!  Well why should you be any different.  Here’s a few ideas to consider:

1.  Create a strong soundtrack album description and good song titles that will grab the attention of the industry heavyweights that will be voting on the Industry Heavyweight award.

2.  Send emails to friends asking them to create an account on Figment so they can buy your soundtrack and give it a listen.

3.  Join our Figment fan page on Facebook and post a message about your soundtrack.  Not only with this alert other Figment fans, but it will also draw the attention of Industry Heavyweights!

4.  Create a soundtrack by one of your existing bands so that everyone who has favorited that band will receive an email letting them know you just released a soundtrack.

So let your imagination run wild – we look forward to seeing your submissions.

Having trouble coming up with a name for your band?  Don’t fret.  They’re everywhere, you just have to pay attention.  I find newspaper sites are great sources for finding band names, album and/or song titles.  For instance, my brother-in-law Mark sent me a great band name after just a few minutes of scanning headlines on – “Paging Dr. Gupta” anyone?  Hell, one page view and I had “Signs of Recession”!  But it doesn’t stop just there – scour textbooks (Other Industrial Minerals), cookbooks (Zucchini Disguise) and how-to manuals (Make Glue out of Milk) for the best in indie-rock, rap or techno band names.  After all, one of my favorite real bands is called “Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin”.  Now if that isn’t a newspaper headline I don’t know what is.

#1 With a Bullet!

February 22nd, 2008

Pastor of Muppets

Well after one full week of Figment being up and running it’s Pastor of Muppets topping the charts! Not only is the good Pastor the Top Band, but his first EP “Havin’ Fun with Pastor of Muppets” has been safely ensconsed as the Top Selling Album since it’s release on February 13, 2008. Congratulations Pastor!

Support Your Favorite Band Part 2

February 18th, 2008

Ernie is God

Wondering how you can keep in touch with your favorite Figment band? Want to keep rewarding them with lucre? Well, post a comment on their band page or write a review of their latest album. Every time you do (up to 10 times per week) you reward the band/album’s creator with 1 piece of lucre. You can leave as many comments as you’d like, but only the first 10 you leave per week will earn them lucre.How do you encourage people to write a comment on your band or post a review? Simple, do what blues fans did back in the day when they wanted to promote Eric Clapton. They tagged walls with his name. Now I’m not suggesting you break the law by spray painting your band’s name on public property, but I am suggesting that you leave a message on another’s bands page. You can ask them for their opinion on your band or simply start a band war! Nothing like a little East Coast/West Coast band dispute to raise album sales!

Well we’re off to a good start here on Figment and everyone who is a registered user seems to be getting the hang of it.  Just in case though, I thought I’d give you a quick 3 step tutorial on how to support those bands on Figment that you think are great.

Step #1 – You can become a fan of a band by clicking on the band and going to their band page.  Once there make sure you click on the “Add to Favorites” link in the top right hand corner of the band page (see picture below).  By doing that you add them to your favorites list and become a fan.  From that point forward any time they release an EP or album you’ll receive an email alerting you to the new release.  Plus you’ll reward the creator of that band a one-time only award of 10 pieces of lucre and raise their profile on the Top Bands Chart by increasing their fan base by 1.  So get started…every band needs an obsessed fan!

Add to Favorites

Step #2:  Want to help your favorite band rise up the Top Albums Chart and earn 20 pieces of lucre to boot?  Go to the album page and click on the “Add to Your Collection” link.  It’s located right under the album cover picture and the Get It! heading.  When you buy their album it doesn’t cost you any of your own lucre and it helps them move up the Top Albums Chart with another album sale.

Add to Your Collection  

Step #3:  Want to keep showing your favorite band how much you like them week after week after week?  Well, then listen to their album once a week for as long as you like.  Simply go to the band’s album page and click on the “Listen to the Album” link located under the Get It! heading (just under the album cover picture.)  Remember you have to own the album in order to listen to it – no illegal downloading or file trading on this site!  Every time you listen you’ll help move that album up the Top Selling Albums chart and reward the creator of that band with 5 pieces of Lucre.  So give those imaginary discs a spin!

Listen to an Album 

Pastor of Muppets

Every now and then we here at Figment will take the time to interview a band that we think more people should know about.  This interview with Pastor of Muppets is the first in this series.  We met over some croissaint and coffee in his luxury suite at the Le Parker Meridien in midtown Manhattan and over a wide ranging conversation asked him these 7 questions.

Figment:  Let me start by saying thanks for being the subject of our first artist profile on Figment.

Pastor of Muppets:  Yep, next question.

Figment:  Your previous band Godrape never reached the level of fame that you had hoped for.  What made you decide to disband that group and start a group that made children’s music?

Pastor of Muppets:  I was really depressed after GWAR stole our act and got a record deal while we were stuck playing Dingbatz [metal club in Clifton, NJ]. Then I read a Dan Zanes interview in Ex-Roots Rock Sellout Magazine where he talks about his McMansion in the burbs, his co-op in Chelsea, and the private jet he time-shares with Lisa Loeb and I just thought fuuuuuuck, you know?

Figment:  What sets Pastor of Muppets apart from the Yanni’s and The Wiggles of the world?

Pastor of Muppets:  The demon mask. Nobody else in kid’s music wears a disturbing full-coverage head mask, although IF YOU’RE READING THIS GWAR, FUCK YOU. I got here first.

Figment:  Do you think music can save the world?

Pastor of Muppets:  Sure, whatever.

Figment:  If you could give Britney Spears some advice what would it be?

Pastor of Muppets:  If you decide to do the mask thing, put some talc on that bald head — if you don’t have a full head of hair this thing gets real sweaty.

Figment:  Dan Zanes recently called you out and accused you of perverting Children’s music – any response?

Pastor of Muppets:  Look, there’s room at this trough for both of us. The way I see it, kids are born every minute, and if they want to listen to that “Look at me, I’m a skinny old fuck hoppin’ around in my candy colored hipster suit playing watered-down Roger Whittaker because the Del Fuegos sold eighteen CDs their whole career” crap when they’re toddlers, be my guest. When they get tired of that and want some serious childcore, that’s when they come looking for me.

Figment:  You call yourself the Pastor…what denomination do you belong to?

Pastor of Muppets:  I swear allegiance to Satan our Dark Lord, and I am a reform Jew.

Figment:  Now that you’ve released your debut EP what else can we look forward to from Pastor of Muppets?

Pastor of Muppets:  Our tape is at Jack’s Big Music Show as we speak, so fingers crossed, you know?  And Levon Helm is my great-uncle, and he knows Laurie Berkner, so I begged him to put in a good word for me next time he sees her. Just a few shows as her opening act would really open some doors for us. It’s Berkner’s world, we just live in it.

And with that our interview was cut short by Pastor of Muppets publicist who explained that the artist was late for a sheep’s blood transfusion therapy session.  We at Figment want to thank Pastor of Muppets again for so graciously granting us this interview and wish him luck in the trench warfare that is the Children’s music genre.

Figment Launches!

February 13th, 2008

Just wanted to let everyone know that we officially launched the beta version of Figment today.  So check us out!

I’d also like to take a minute to thank Larry, Patrick and Troy for all the hard work they put in to make Figment a reality.  Their patience and expertise was invaluable and I literally couldn’t have done it without them.  Patrick especially showed great calm under fire – so thanks!

 And with that, let the games begin…


What is an Industry Heavyweight?

February 12th, 2008

You may have seen this symbol Industry Heavyweight Icon next to a comment on a band page or a review on an album page and wondered what the hell is that?  Well, it’s the mark of the Industry Heavyweight (don don daaaaah)!  So what is an Industry Heavyweight?  Industry Heavyweights are Figment site administrators, professionals from the real music industry (record label employees, musicians, publicity agents, music journalists, etc.) and distinguished Figment players who can favorite bands, buy albums and listen to them just like any other registered Figment user.  The difference is that they carry more clout because when they favorite a band, buy/listen to an album or review a band/album they award the creator of that band more lucre than a normal registered Figment user.  What they can’t do is earn any lucre themselves!  So just like in the real music industry you’re hoping to get the attention of an industry heavyweight.  To get a feel for the additional lucre you can earn check out our blog entry on how the Figment Charts and Lucre System works.

I was flipping through the NY Times today when I ran across this blurb in their arts section regarding the Rolling Stones take on rock stars with drug problems.  Seems Sir Mick and Keith are now concerned parents and want the newest crop of drug addled musicians to lay off the hard stuff.  According to Jagger, ?When we were experimenting with drugs, little was known about the effects. In our time there were no rehab centers like today. Anyway, I did not know about them.?  Hmmm…little was known about the effects huh?  And I guess Brian Jones drowning in his backyard swimming pool wasn’t a clue? 

Now I love the Stones and they certainly have had their share of drug-related experiences to draw from, but should they really be handing out advice to the addicted?  To me it just seems a bit late for the Glimmer Twins to be chastising “the kids” about their drug use.  If they really want to illustrate the devastating effects of drugs on the human body it seems to me that they don’t have to look any further than their own images staring back in the mirror.  Not that they are using mirrors for anything but vanity these days anyway.  Right?