Ever wonder where that other sock is?  How about the umbrella you got to replace the other one you lost?  And what about that great idea you had for a movie starring The Rock and Phillip Seymour Hoffman?  What happened to those things?  I know, you lost them.  They were there one minute and then gone the next.  Most of the time that doesn’t change, once lost they don’t return, but sometimes you find them and what a glorious feeling that is.  The same thing happens with fake bands.  Many a fake band is created on Figment only to go fallow because the creator lost the idea behind the band or couldn’t remember those great song titles they thought up in the car on the way home.  It happens, fake bands come and they go.  The question is can they be found?  I for one believe they can.  Right now there are 47 bands on Figment that were formed but have never put out an album or EP.  These bands are lost…metaphorically speaking.  The question is, how do we get them back to their rightful owners?  Well, I’d like to issue a challenge here on Figment called “Lost and Found.”  How does it work?  Here’s how –

1.  Find a band from the list of LOST bands below.  Only bands from this list will be eligible.

2.  Come up with an album or EP title for the band.

3.  Post the band and the album/EP title as a comment here on the blog.

4.  We will contact the LOST band’s creator and submit the album/EP title to them for their approval.  If they agree to use the album/EP title we will send a corresponding email to the FINDER as proof of their LOST band’s agreement to use the title.

5.  For FINDERS to qualify their album/EP titles must be posted on the Figment News blog by no later than midnight ET on June 30, 2008. Any FINDER posts after that date will not be considered. For LOST bands to qualify they must release an album or EP with the title they selected by no later than midnight ET on July 31, 2008.  Neither the FINDER or the LOST band will receive their rewards until the album or EP is released.  If it is not released before midnight ET on July 31, 2008 neither the FINDER or the LOST band will receive their reward.

6.  If the LOST band ends up using the album/EP title you submitted within the given time period we will give them 350 pieces of lucre for agreeing to your collaboration and you will receive 500 pieces of lucre as a FINDER’S REWARD.

So here’s what you can’t do –

1.  You can’t FIND one of your own LOST bands.

2.  A LOST band can only select one album or EP title to use and cannot choose and release an album and an EP.  The reward will also only be handed out once and this contest offer is not on-going.  Once a LOST band selects an album or EP title they cannot select another and try to put out another release.  However, if one user has more than one LOST band on the list below, he/she is eligible to receive a reward for each of those bands as long as he/she follows all of the rules.  Correspondingly, a FINDER is eligible to post as many album/EP title ideas as they would like for as many bands as they would like, but can only receive one reward per LOST band if their album/EP title is accepted and released.

3.  FINDERS must post their album or EP title and any song titles they want to submit to the Figment News blog or it will not be considered eligible for the Lucre FINDER’S REWARD.  If the same album/EP title is submitted by more than one user only the first user to post will be considered eligible for the REWARD.

4.  LOST bands that create an album or EP that uses a title from a FINDERS post here on Figment News but cannot supply a corresponding email from Figment (if asked) presenting the title/songs and confirming their agreement to use that title/songs will not receive the Lucre reward for collaborating with the FINDER. Correspondingly, FINDER’s must present a Figment email (if asked for it) confirming the LOST band’s agreement to use your album/EP title in order to receive their lucre reward.

5.  Neither the FINDER nor the LOST band will receive their Lucre REWARDS until the album or EP has been released.  Again, the LOST band may only select one album or EP title to qualify for their Lucre reward.  LOST bands must release their album by no later than July 31, 2008 in order for both the FINDER and the LOST band to receive their lucre rewards.

6.  Any FINDER posts after midnight ET on June 30, 2008 will not be considered.

So now that we’ve covered all of the rules let’s take a look at what band’s are in our Figment Lost and Found!

Al’s Fruit Fly

Asylem

Band Pire

Bear Vs. Woman

BeJesus

Bloody Fingers

Brando

Bruised Fruit

Confirmed Adult Virgins

Description 5000

Dirty MOJO

Emergency Homeless Smelter

Fetalmania

Finally Monk Shorts

Fluffy Bright Smiles

Flux Capacitor

Four Cheese Tops

Fredulous McUncleton

Free Beer

Godslap

Green Fingers

GTK’s

Knurd Maisey

Lecture Fist

Manthraxxx S.S.

Morning Roast

Mother Mary and the Wise Men Trio

Phekal Fallus

Pinky Lawn Stompers

Riddum of da’ Plains

Sabers

Skatological

Sky Blue Pink

Snake Water

Stealing Dreams

Lars Polka

The Swingin Knees

The Wegwe

Three Dicks Between Us

Throat Yogurt

Thumby and The Fingerprints

Tim and The Takers

Toast

WHY have YOU forsaken ME

xZYWEICx

Yellow Vampire Nazi Cows From Mars

Z.O.D.S

We look forward to seeing your posts and, with your help, returning these bands to their rightful owners!

Late as usual…I can only blame it on the UEFA Cup Final.  Congrats Manchester United.  Can’t lie, I wanted Chelsea to win.  But regardless here’s our picks for last week:

 Bear Vs. Woman – Great band name.  Great artwork.  Where’s the debut album?  We eagerly await it….

Pincher Nipple – Released a bonus EP, “Twisted Nipple”, containing songs that didn’t make the cut of their debut release “Between a Thumb and a Forefinger”.  A must for all Pincher Nipple fans.  C’mon people…get past the name and love this band!!

The BiPolar Express – if only for their band name!

 Support your favorite bands by becoming a fan, buying their album(s) and giving them a listen every week!!!  Until next week!

It pains me to say this, but I had to kick someone off Figment today.  There’s no sense printing that user’s name, but suffice to say he was cheating by creating alternate accounts and then becoming a fan and buying/listening to the albums he created under his main account.  The first time he did this I deleted his alternate account and explained to him that he couldn’t do it.  He was issued a warning that if he did it again his main account would be suspended, but I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t delete the lucre he had created for himself.  I figured that a warning was enough and that maybe he hadn’t understood our terms and conditions, but for some reason he chose not to heed the warning.  Instead he created more bands on his main account and then proceeded to create a series of alternate accounts.  With these alternate accounts he became a fan of each of his real account’s bands, bought their albums, and listened to them, all in an attempt to create lucre for himself.  At this point, I had no other choice but to suspend his main account and delete the alternate accounts.  I’m not sorry I did it. 

We are committed to keeping Figment as level a playing field as possible, because we want the people who play the game to feel as though their creativity and the rewards it produces are honestly gained.  It’s not fair to you as a Figment user if someone else is cheating the system, because they’re not just cheating our site, they’re cheating you too.  Whether it’s cheating you out of a chart position or contest prizes doesn’t matter, the bottom line is they are cheating.  We won’t stand for it and neither should you.  So rest assured we’re on the lookout for this type of illegal activity on our site.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure I can tell you that I have an alternate account on Figment, but it’s not for any personal gain.  No, I created another account so that I could play the game myself merely for the fun of it.  In fact, at the end of the year I plan to hold a Figment contest where I give the lucre I earned to the winner.  You’ll also notice that my main account (eric) has no bands and earns no lucre.  I’m not in it to reward myself like the user I kicked off Figment today.  I’m in it because I genuinely enjoy seeing what all of you create.  So I hope you will continue to trust Figment with your creations and rest assured that no one else is rigging the system.

Over the past year we’ve seen pro sports humbled by a series of scandals.  One of them, in the NFL, hit close to home for me because I’m a long time fan of the New England Patriots.  It’s been hard reading about how the team I have rooted for since I was a kid has been cheating, but that is what they’ve been doing.  I hope they have realized the errors of their ways, but I don’t expect anyone else to forgive them anytime soon.  Rather we the Patriot’s fans will have to deal with the stigma caused by their cheating as a form of penance.  But my personal discomfort aside, what is most bothersome about the whole scandal is the pall it casts over the integrity of the game itself.  Although I think this goes a bit far at times and may very well be a media creation, I think it is important to consider that one team’s transgressions can cast doubt on the whole game.  That is something that I don’t want to have happen to Figment.

So let’s all play fair and try to create an environment we can trust our imaginations to – cuz if that becomes corrupted what’s the point?

Eric

i.am.bic pent.am.eter’s soundtrack to the mini-series docu-drama, “The Professors Hip and Hop”, took home yet another award last night when it won the Figment Top Selling Soundtrack ’08 award.  Although sales were less than brisk, the soundtrack caught the attention of enough fans and heavyweights alike to win the award.  Looks like they’ll have another piece of bling to put next to their Figment Best Soundtrack ’08 award that they won a few weeks ago!  So congratulations mokeyboo!  Your account just grew by 750 pieces of lucre!

Hey, just wanted to let you know that we just released a new feature on Figment.  From now on you’ll know who is a fan of your band and who bought their albums because you’ll be able to see them!  That’s right, we’ve added profile picture thumbnails for every fan you have to your band’s page.

Band Page - Profile Picture Thumbnails

We’ve done the same on the album page where you can see what fans added your band’s album to their collection.  You can check them both out in the left hand column underneath your band/album picture. 

Album Page - Profile Picture Thumbnails

No more anonymous admirers, from now on you’ll be able to get acquainted with your users with a simple glance at your band or album pages, and if you want to get to know them better you can click on their picture to view their profile.

This is the first step in our plan to create more interaction between our users and the fans of their fake bands.  Keep a look out for more features as they will be coming on-line within a few weeks.

In the meantime, go spruce up your profile page and let us see your pearly whites!

Here’s what we picked to click for the week of May 5th:

Dried Fruitopia – This band’s debut album, “I Dig Your Fig”, is anything but dry, unless of course your referring to their sense of humor.  Great album from a great fake band!  BUY IT!

The Academy of St. Roch of the Bulboes – This band’s debut album “Table Scraps” is an instant classic.  The first classical group to appear on Figment, we highly recommend The Academy!  Their band description is reason enough to become a fan.  BUY IT!!!

Dirty Sanchez and the Chili Dogs – This band has yet to put out an album, but we’re intrigued nonetheless.

Pincher Nipple – From the ridiculous name to the great band photo, this band has double entendre glory written all over it!  Check out their debut album “Between a Thumb and a Forefinger.”   These guys might just play the main stage at Rocklahoma this year!

Shadows of the Sea – They just released their second album “Alive No More” and it’s a winner.

Well, that’s it for last week.  Check em’ out!

Darkling

Every now and then a band bursts upon the scene with such ferocity and conviction that their success seems almost pre-destined.  GothZilla is such a band.  Within 24 hours of the release of their debut album, 50 Stories of Sadness, the band was sitting atop the Figment charts swatting away competing bands with almost the same mythical power of the monster to which their band name so cleverly pays homage.  The band’s co-founders, Tim and The Animal, were mega-stars.

But overnight success is a concept created and nurtured by music publicists and is almost never based in reality.  Most bands struggle for years in obscurity while building a following and either eventually break through to a larger audience or fade away.  GothZilla is no different.  They weren’t hatched from a radiated egg to wreak havoc on the music industry.  No, before Tim and The Animal had a hit with GothZilla, they were in a band that just might have been even bigger had the usual demons of the music business, money and addiction, not broken them up.  That band was Darkling.

Formed in Lincoln, NE in 1998, Darkling began as a power trio.  With Tim on lead vocals and guitar, The Animal on bass, and Johnny Royal on drums, the band’s progressive black metal was just what a nascent metal scene needed at the time.  Spotted by enterprising Lincoln empresario and indie record label owner, Tim Mamba, the band was quickly signed to his label Insecta Records, and their first single “Raze Them to the Ground” was a hit.  Mamba became the band’s manager and predicted mega-stardom for the group, and the success of their debut album “Traumatic Insemination” seemed to only confirm his predictions.

Traumatic Insemination Cover Art

The problem with predictions is that they are often wrong and unfortunately for Darkling big things never really materialized.  Despite a rabid fan base in Eastern Scandanavia, the band’s subsequent 2 albums received lackluster reviews and steadily declining sales.

The band struggled on for 9 years until December 2007, when they didn’t so much disband as implode.  Amid payola investigations, lawsuits, and acrimony, the band members went their separate ways leaving Tim Mamba holding the bag.  Unfortunately for Mamba, the bag was full of payola and unpaid bills.  While Mamba doesn’t try to hide his involvement in Darkling’s dark underside and ultimate decline, he does shed light on how his involvment with the band may have laid the foundation for what would later lead to GothZilla.

Figment:  Darkling has been broken up for a few months.  Why do you think the band didn’t make it?

Tim Mamba:  You know, I?ve been wondering that myself.  Our former label name, Insecta Records, ran into that whole payola thing about that time, so I guess that
couldn?t have helped any.  I mean, Hex-Apoda Industries is an industry juggernaut, but the merger that followed the scandal sure hurt some of our artists.  While the label was reforming, some of the members of Darkling decided to pursue other musical styles.  But I call that selling out.  Just because black metal doesn?t share the same popularity in this country as death metal or grindcore, doesn?t mean you should change who you are.

Figment:  Former Darkling members Tim and The Animal have since formed the hugely popular emo metal band GothZilla.  How did Darkling differ from the music of GothZilla?

Tim Mamba:  What? Yeah, I?m not talking about GothZilla.  Next question please.

Figment:  According to Darkling’s bio the band was big in Scandanavia.  Is that the same as being big in Japan?

Tim Mamba:  Um, not really. How exactly would Norse warriors in furs and chain mail be the same as petite girls in school uniforms? As I?m sure you know, Scandinavia is the Mecca for black metal, folk metal, Viking metal, and all of that stuff. Did you know that people over there are still fighting each other with axes and stuff? Anyways, making it big there is the goal of all black metal bands. Hearing 20,000 Danes chanting the words to ?In the Halls of UNL? is enough to make my sphincter tingle.

Figment:  Potato Chip addiction treatment is an issue near and dear to your heart.  How did you get involved in this cause?

Tim Mamba:  That all started back when Tim was in trouble.  You know, I?m not just an awesome manager of several successful bands, but I?m also a caring human being.  I?d catch him in the back of band?s Winnebago trying to stash a snack-size bag of chips in his duffle bag, I?d see him run into the convenience store pretending to pick up a hooker while checking out the rack of Ruffles, you know, all of the usual signs. Pretty soon his fingers were too greasy to hold onto his guitar picks, and the performances suffered for it. That?s when I decided to step in and get him into a rehab program.

Figment:  Is it true that Tortilla Chips are not as bad for you or as habit forming as Potato Chips?

Tim Mamba:  Yeah, a lot of people will push the Tortilla Chips as being completely safe and non-addictive.  They?ll say stuff like ?come on man, they?re made from natural plants!  They?re from the Earth!?  Don?t buy into that crap.  I?m here to tell you that they?re a gateway snack. A lot of recreational tortilla chip eaters have wound up in the gutter hopped up on Doritos only a few years later.  I?m not saying that all tortilla chip eaters wind up on skid row- hell, I?ve been known to sit down with a bowl of tortilla chips and get salsa-faced from time to time- but don?t delude yourself into thinking it can?t lead to problems down the road.  Don?t even get me started on the so-called ?medicinal? tortilla chips.

Figment:  Let’s go back to the band’s first album “Traumatic Insemination” – what was the inspiration for that album?

Tim Mamba:  You know what ?Cimex lectularius? means?  That?s Latin for ?good f-in? metal?.  The band was just getting going, and after releasing their single of ?Raze Them to the Ground?, those of us with Insecta Records at the time couldn?t get these guys signed fast enough.  That LP pretty much put wrote itself.  Sure, it?s a little more death metal than black metal, what with songs like ?Hate is Life? and ?Bloody Kisses?, but the band was going through some rough times emotionally.

Figment:  The band’s self-titled second album got mixed reviews and didn’t sell that well.  Was that hard for the group to shoulder after the initial success you had in Scandinavia with “Traumatic Insemination”?

Darkling?s 2nd LP ?Darkling?

Tim Mamba:  Well, with Tim in rehab and the band on hiatus for a while, I think the guys just lost their focus.  I call it the sophomore slump.  I mean, with Johnny Royal?s promising acting career and everything getting in the way, it was hard to come back to the studio and rock as hard as they did before.  But maybe those initial reviews were wrong, because the self-titled album is selling better than the first after its re-release.  Go figure.

Figment:  What is Darkling’s drummer, Johnny Royal, up to these days?

Tim Mamba:  You know, its funny you should ask that.  He showed up at my house at 5:30 in the morning pounding on the door a few days ago.  He said he wanted to make amends or something to that effect.  He said that in this war or contest or whatever it is between us, that I?ve proven myself as the stronger.  I don?t know what any of that means, but I did get the chance to turn on the lawn sprinklers and watch him run for it.

Figment:  Is the rumor true that Animal was behind the camera for the Jimi Hendrix porn video that is about to be released by Vivid Video?

Tim Mamba:  Well, I?m not the guy?s manager any more, so I don?t want to spread rumors or anything.  But I am willing to hand you this signed and notarized affidavit stating that the person in question was indeed filming the event in question, and that the
video?s release indicates that the person in question violated section 14, paragraph 3, of the California state penal code, which carries a minimum sentence of 5 years. I?m also handing you a business card of the lead investigator of that case, and a pre-paid phone
card so you won?t have to pay for the long-distance phone call. Incidentally, there?s a phone on the table next to you, you know, in case you hadn?t noticed it.

Figment:  Is it true that you turned down a chance to reform the band for a one-off reunion performance at this year’s Rocklahoma Festival?

Tim Mamba:  Well, its certainly true that the band is reforming and putting together new music.  But I?m reforming it with all new members.  When we were on tour in Mongolia I managed to negotiate sole ownership of the band?s name, so its mine to use.  I?m actively working with the new and improved band to put out a new album by the end of this year.  The new album, ?The Norway Democracy?, will have 24 songs on it, and 18 of those are nearly done.  I?m working with the band on some new arrangements, but you?ll definitely hear it by the end of the year.

Figment:  Why do you think Tim and The Animal weren’t willing to talk to us about Darkling or their new band GothZilla?

Tim Mamba:  Look man, the guys in GothZilla are all but dead to me.  Once they turned their back on us here at Hex-Apoda and started putting out that emo crap, I took control of Darkling?s past, present, and future.  I mean, how do you go from putting out pagan black metal and switch to emo?  As you know, the music business is a cutthroat industry.  I know there are lots of great bands out there, but if they don?t sign with Hex-Apoda I won?t give them the time of day.  They should all be begging us to let them make money for our musical empire.  You?ve got to weigh in before you can wrestle, you know what I mean?

While Darkling Mach II may or may not meet the same fate as the original band, one thing is for sure, the band’s original members have lived up to their namesake (the Darkling beetle) by undergoing a metamorphosis from band on the brink to full fledged superstars.  Too bad they had to start another band to do it.

As for Tim Mamba’s newest incarnation of Darkling, only time will tell.  One hopes they will go through a similar metamorphosis and live up to their vast potential.  If they don’t, they may have to rename themselves The Mealworms.

Late as always, but still full of great stuff!  Here’s the bands/albums we Picked to Click from last week on Figment:

i.am.bic pent.am.eter – Winners of the Figment Best Soundtrack ’08 Award, this band is poised for big things if their debut is any indication.  Their soundtrack to the docu-drama mini-series “The Professors of Hip and Hop” is the explosive device!  Buy it, listen to it, live it.

The Bi Accidents – This band picked up some extra lucre the other day by quickly recording a great EP, inspired by one of their favorite bands Pink Floyd, as an entry in our latest inspiration contest.  Check out their EP “Fly on You Crazy Piggy”. 

The Rude Awakening – What can I say, their debut album “All Hands on Deck” was indeed a rude awakening.  I’m awake to their presence now.  Are you?

My Wrists Spell LOVE – Great debut album from these emo optomists!  Check out “Album Titles Are For Mainstream Rockers”.

That’s it for last week!

The Award Winning Pig

May 5th, 2008

Just wanted to let you know that the winner of the mini-contest I announced last Thursday is jwolfenlinc for his EP “Fly on You Crazy Piggy” by The Bi Accidents.  He will find 200 pieces of Lucre in his account as of now.

 It was a close call I must admit.  Chelicerae and Flying Pigs both put out some strong albums, but in the end I could help lauging at how well The Bi Accidents worked the theme behind the theme shall we say!  Good work jwolfenlinc.

 Keep checking the blog because we’ll be doing more of these quick contests.

And the Winner Is…

May 2nd, 2008

And the winner of the Figment Best Soundtrack ’08 award is i.am.bic pent.am.eter for their soundtrack to the mini-series “The Professors Hip and Hop“.  If you haven’t checked them out do it now! 

Congratulations mokeyboo!  In addition to your lucre prize we’re designing a shiny piece of special Industry Bling that will be added to your band page as soon as it’s ready to commemorate your award.

The award for best selling soundtrack will be announced once the contest ends on May 16th.  Unfortunately it’s too late to submit an entry, but if you already did then you have until the 16th to get all your friends, fans and general passersby to buy and listen to the album.  The album that has the most sales/listens will win!