Wow, the title of this blog post is a great fake band name!  Okay, maybe not.  Anyway, due to overwhelming lack of demand the Figment soundtrack contest submission deadline has been extended till April 30th!!!!  (sound of crickets).  As a result, the second award for best selling soundtrack has also been extended until noon ET on May 16th.  If you are unclear on the rules, check them out here

 So let’s get those soundtracks created!!!  After all there’s a combined 1,250 pieces of Lucre at stake people, and as of right now Gary Coleman is going to walk away with it!  What you talkin’ bout Willis?

New & Improved

March 20th, 2008

You may have noticed that our Figment Recent Additions chart looks a bit different.  Well, that’s because it is!  It’s new and improved!  In the past the chart only displayed new bands that had released their first album.  From this point forward the chart will now display bands and albums!  So if you are new band, your band will appear in the site the minute you create it regardless of whether or not you’ve released an album.  Better yet, any new albums from new or existing bands will also show up the minute they are released.  Not only will this allow you to better promote your bands, but it will also give everyone visiting the site a better opportunity to see the freshest creations on Figment.  So try it out by creating a new band or releasing an album by an existing band.  We can’t wait to see your creations!

The Balding Engineers

engineer n 1: a person who uses scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.

Ambient, Drum and Bass, House, Industrial, Trance, techno and Chiptune are all sub-genres of the musical genre known as electronic. While all of these genres have fans, they continue to splinter into sub-sets such as Clownstep, Drone, Doomcore and Microhouse. Every day those sub-sets splinter even further until even the most interested fan becomes dizzy trying to make sense of it all, and therein lies the problem. How do we make sense of it all? Where is that one sound that unifies and blends all of these disparate sub-sets into one record that will trascend time? What electronic band will become a household name and define the genre in the same way that say Nirvana defined grunge or Pastor of Muppets childcore? Who understands the science of the groove that underlies this genre well enough to capture lightning in a bottle, the first real bona fide “electronic” hit record? Well, where’s there’s a problem there is always a solution. That solution is The Balding Engineers .

Diode to Joy Album Cover

It was less than a week ago when the band released their debut album “Diode to Joy” and sprang upon the collective consciousness. So quick was their meteoric rise that even the most jaded music critics (ixnay on the mentionay of the Christgau’ay) were unaware of this groundbreaking band’s existence, let alone the immediate effect they would have on the genre of “electronic” music as we know it.  But unlike some of those other so-called “music journalists” yours truly is so tapped in that within a 2 days of the Engineers record release I was sitting in their private studio chatting away with the band’s leader Jimmy “Clerks” Maxwell.  The problem is I had no idea who they were or what they sounded like – I mean c’mon none of us rock journalists actually listen to the music right? The following is a transcript of this short but historic interview:

Figment:  Who are the members of The Balding Engineers?

Jimmy “Clerks” Maxwell of The Balding Engineers:  Well let’s see we’ve got Johnny “Lisp” Von Neumann on vocals, I [Jimmy “Clerks” Maxwell] play strings, Ike “Figgy” Newton is on Bass Emitter and we’ve got the one and only Niels “Crashing” Bohr on drums.

Figment:  Are The Balding Engineers a band with a message or a manifesto of sorts?

Clerks:  Yes, I would say it’s “The Balding Engineers: Because someone has to design all the crap you kids are buying!”

Figment:  Before you sat down to record your debut album “Diode to Joy” did you whiteboard it out?

Clerks:  Naturally, we did a full P-Spice simulation down to the device level and did recursive optimizations long before we hit the bench to record.

Figment:  This next question is a bit hard to ask, but are we talking male pattern baldness or flat out chrome dome?

Clerks:  Dude, seriously, do you realize how toxic Chromium is?  Your question is basically non-operative.  If I had a “Chrome Dome,” would I be here talking to you?  Get real.

Figment:  How do you engineer a hit?

Clerks:  In school, I played calculator in a band called Ductape, which was a central part of the HVAC movement.  After the whole HVAC scene imploded, I quit music to finish getting my engineering degree.  Then, one day about a year ago, Ike and I were working late trying to debug a circuit board with a serious risetime attitude.  The pulsing rhythm of the arbitrary waveform function generator was really getting hypnotic. Ike started twisting virtual dials and shorting clip leads in time with the sound, and I’m filling in the back beat uing my Tek TDS2012 scope.  It was good science, but it rocked, too. Everything just came together, and by 3am our first single, “Object Oriented Obsession,” was in RAM.

Figment:  You are given 2 identical looking spheres. They have the same mass and have the same diameter. Physically, they look the same, and have the same surface texture. (ie you can’t visually pick them apart) They are both hard, thus they won’t bounce and they won’t have any ‘give’. They both have perfectly smooth surface.

One is made of less dense material and is soild and uniform through out. The other is made of higher density material, but since having the same mass and volume as the other, it is hollow at its centre (assume a spherical cavity with the centre of cavity and centre of the whole sphere at the same point).

With a minimum of instruments, how can you determine which one is hollow and which one is solid?

Clerks:  I’m pretty sure there’s software to do that now.  I’ll get back to you on it.

Figment:  What do you guys do for fun on the tour bus?

Clerks:  We’re all individuals, right?  Personally, I like to measure things accurately.   Johnny and Ike are into prime numbers.  Niels, being a drummer, he mostly plays Space Invaders.

Figment:  Does the pickup line “Let’s convert our potential energy to kinetic energy” really work with groupies?

Clerks:  Whoa, I need to try that!  The thing is though, we don’t call them groupies.  We call them, “sub-seties.”

Figment:  Do you think “Diode to Joy” will sell within allowable limits?

Clerks:  There is only a 0.027% chance of failure.  We did our homework.

So there you go.  The Balding Engineers. Problem solved.

Figment is 1 Month Old!

March 13th, 2008

Today Figment is officially 1-month old.  As you know the site is filling up fast with some great fake bands so if you haven’t checked it out please do so.   Our soundtrack contest is off to a slow start, but here are a few of the early entrants:

Little Feet “Gary Coleman – Inside the Games Original Soundtrack”

Pool of Users “Scared Yet?  Original Soundtrack”

So check out the contest rules and get your soundtrack released!

Now that we’ve reached the 1-month milestone it’s also time to take a look back at some of our staff’s favorite bands thus far.

Figment Staff Picks:

Eric –  

Pastor of Muppets – What can we say?  The top of the heap.

The Four Horseman of the Botox Lips – Great band idea, description and first EP.  Top notch.

The Balding Engineers – Everything about this band is top notch!!

Flatso – Really inventive and one of the best band descriptions I’ve read yet.  Just a few words and you feel like you’ve heard this band, and yet, their fake. 

Cutting Room – Their album “My Parent’s Don’t Get Me” has a some great song titles.

Abba Crosby & Phish – Great band name and some great song titles on their first release – “Exodus on Main Street”.

Flush With Power – skatalogical humor at it’s best or worst…you be the judge.

Fish & Chips – a great tag line!

Larry

The Balding Engineers – Made me laugh out loud!

Can of Wupazz – Their album “Threat Level – Orange” is great.

Catmium – Love this band.

Abusement Park – Great concept for a band.  Love their first album.

Can of Wupazz

So there I was sitting in the corner of the press room at the NX11NJ (Near Exit 11 New Jersey) music conference, surrounded by free danish and dishwater coffee, waiting patiently to interview up and coming emo band Cutting Room.  I had been waiting about  a half hour and was wondering if I’d gotten the time of the interview mixed up when out of the blue I was accosted by Buzz Larkin and Taurus Ogletree of the band Can of Wupazz.  Without giving me a minute to protest they duct taped my mouth, covered my head with a sack, tied my hands behind my back and slung me over one of their shoulders.  Was this really happening?  You bet.  I had been interview shanghaied and there was nothing I could do about it.   What’s amazing is no one at the conference seemed to care.  I mean what was one less music blogger to them right?  Aren’t they handing out blogs at Wal-Mart these days?  Turns out most of the people in the press room thought it was a press stunt by Can of Wupazz and just shook their heads.  When they finally took the sack off my head and ripped the duct tape off my mouth I found myself sitting in the back of a rank Dodge Econoline van, clearly Can’s home away from home.  And so began my interview with the upstarts known as Can of Wupazz.

Figment:  Buzz, you started the band in your parents garage.  Why are you still living there?  In the garage that is…

Can of Wupazz (Buzz):  Sadly, its true.  But for medical reasons.  Doctors say I have lived in the garage for so long, my blood content needs to maintain 11.3% Carbon Monoxide or my lungs will explode from too much fresh air.  I actually have to bottle up garage fumes and bring them with me on tour.   That’s why I am spending a lot of time in L.A. these days, seeking out smog.

Figment:  You first full length album “Threat Level – Orange” wasn’t a big hit with everyone but the current administration.  Any ideas why?

Can of Wupazz (Buzz):  First off, Carl…that is your name right?  It’s our 17th album, but the first to be released digitially and under the Can of Wupazz name.  But to answer your question, The Administration, with a capital “T” and capital “A” had the GAO look into it.  It was due to the color of the album.  Our designer used color aureolineyellow instead of true orange.  So people didn’t get the connection between our album and the Threat Level condition of the U. S. of A.

Figment:  Did Dick Cheney really threaten to open up up a can of wupazz on you guys and in doing so give you your name?

Can of Wupazz (Taurus):  Dicky C. likes to say that after he’s smoked a blunt and left the bathhouse!  NO! NO!  Of course we kid with him.  So we don’t die, simple answer….Yes.

Figment:  What was it like playing for the troops in Iraq?  And how do you answer the critics who said the racket you caused led to the mortar attacks on the U.S. troops who came to see you play?

Can of Wupazz (Taurus):  To play  for the proud men and woman of this country was a true honor.  We’ll never forget that.  We’re actually heading down to play for the Cuban Army this spring as part of a peace outreach program.  Our music inspires our enemies to side with us.  As for the mortar attacks, the media again has some insane issue with us.   While we were playing our #1 hit “Here Comes Sammy”, we launched some surface to air missles…SAMMYs…as part of our pyrotechnics.  A few missed their targets and landed harmlessly…HARMLESSLY, in the mess hall.

Figment:  Are you members of the Coalition of the Willing?

Can of Wupazz (Buzz):  We are COWs.  We can’t offer more than that due to national security reasons.  Sorry bout that Cornelius.  That is your name, right?

Figment:  You have a new EP [“A Can of “What the F*@#?”] that was just released.  Was it really recorded live at CBGB’s before it closed or at Neverland Ranch as has been rumored?

Can of Wupazz (Taurus):  We were at Neverland Ranch over Chanukah 2007 recording some tracks with Michael as background vocals.  Those were used as part of the live performance.

Figment:  You claim to have won 3 Grammy’s for your first album “Threat Level – Orange” and yet the Recording Academy claims to have never even heard of your band let alone awarded you the Grammy they give to every band they’ve never heard of “Best Metal Performance” – any comment?

Can of Wupazz (Buzz):  That’s what happens when you do your research with an intern.  They were technical awards, not broadcast.  I haven’t heard of any other fake band win a Grammy, so fuck off.

Figment:  Who would you most like to open up a Can of Wupazz on?

Can of Wupazz (Buzz):  You, Dick..That is your name, right?

And with that the duct tape was returned to my mouth, the sack placed over my head and I was dumped out of the back of the Econoline onto the pavement.  As I listened to the van start up and drive away with squealing tires I prayed they were’nt turning around to drive over me like a speed bump.  For two hours I lay on the ground waiting for help to arrive.  None did.  I was beginning to lose hope when I felt someone trip over me.  It was Gavin Fanboy, manager of Cutting Room.  He proceeded to yell at me for missing the interview with his band.  Aah, the life of a fake music journalist.

Pastor of Muppets

Pastor of Muppets continues his dominance of the Top Band and Top Selling Albums charts on Figment.  The righteous one has held the top spot for over 3 weeks now.  Will anyone put a stop to his reign?  Cutting Room seems to be gaining some ground, but has yet to supplant the exalted one.