Looks like the bassist from Pincher Nipple is promoting more than just a new solo album!

 

Bear With Us

June 18th, 2008

You may have experience some glitches with Figment of late – sorry to all those bands that didn’t show up in the Recent Additions chart and to those new users who have had trouble creating accounts.  Just wanted you to know that we are working on it and should have things squared away soon.  We’re in the process of moving Figment over to another server and unfortunately it’s taken us a lot longer than originally expected.  I apologize for the delay and the problems it has caused.  I hope you’ll be patient and continue to visit Figment.

Another quiet week on Figment, but a few new bands and few golden oldies we wanted to give a shout out to!  So here’s what we Picked to Click!

Shadows of the Sea – The third album from this emo band, “Crying Stars”, is as strong as their first two.  Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, you likely missed it if you aren’t already a fan because it didn’t show up on our home page.  Our apologies to the band’s creator KukiSuki, who clearly understands this band’s esthetic and always supports it with great song/album titles and top notch album artwork.  The only advice we can pass on is to make the artwork look a little more like an album – text anyone?

Inchworm – Looks as if Pincher Nipple’s got more than just a sibling rivalry going!  Check out their band page to get the skinny!  And watch your back Pincher Nipple!

Crotch Rocket – Released their first album, “Pistol Grip” and it’s a blast!  Rod Johnson definitely knows how to rock out with his cock out!

Now some golden oldies that you may have missed the first time around:

Fredulous McUncleton – the band description will tell you everything you need to know.

A B.S. in B.S. – We all feel remiss that this band was never featured in our Picked to Click! posts, but hey sometimes good things need time to pass before they are fully appreciated.  This band’s first album “Alternative Splicing” is post-graduate ska for the masses!  A belated A+ with a heavy recommendation to buy it!!

Dip Cup – Great band description and a strong debut album “Girls With Back Tattoos” for this alt-country juggernaut.

Abba, Crosby & Phish – We overlooked this band a bit in the early days of Figment, but the band name and song titles on their debut “Exodus on Main Street” are among the best.

Wet Stetson – They put the blue in bluegrass with their two albums “Puddle of Love” and “A Drop in the Gene Pool”.

Well that’s it for last week’s picks.  Show em’ some love by becoming a fan, buying their albums and giving them a listen.

 

It was a relatively quiet week on Figment for new bands, but we did get a couple.  Here’s what we Picked to Click!

Disgruntled Exercism – Okay, so this band can’t spell, hey there’s lots of bands that can’t.  Staind anyone? Maybe it’s an inside joke?  Guess we won’t know until they get around to releasing their debut.  We can’t wayt!

Crotch Rocket – We love how Chilidog continues to build his roster of bands.  Not only has he been the first Figment user to create a solo project from one of his bands (Chad Masters), but he has now launched the first sibling band on Figment in Crotch Rocket.  Rod Johnson, the kid brother of Pincher Nipple lead singer Johnson (yes, he’s one of the one name gang), has just formed this new band.  They’ve yet to release a debut album, but have thrown down the gauntlet to Pincher Nipple claiming they can’t compete with Crotch Rocket.  Do I sense a sibling battle to rival the Robinson, Gallagher or Davies clans?  Since their in separate bands we probably won’t see any on stage fistfights like we seen with the latter names, but something tells me that with names like Rod Johnson and Crotch Rocket involved were going to see someone get their dick knocked in the dirt!

Pincher Nipple – Speaking of Pincher Nipple (isn’t that the beginning to a bad joke?), they just released their latest aptly named album, “Poker in the Front, Liquor in the Rear”.   Aah, subtlety is their middle name.

The Bi Accidents – Just released a new EP called “We Lost”.  We recommend it if only for the cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”.

So what are you waiting for, your check from President Bush?  Forget that the economy is slowing, buying an album on Figment is free!  So shop till you drop!!!  Until next time auf wiedersehen.

i.am.bic pent.am.eter

When the Soprano’s ended on HBO this past winter I will admit to being both bummed and a little relieved.  After all, hadn’t TV’s best show gone on just a little too long?  Didn’t you just want to slap that whiney little shit A.J. and tell him to grow up and become a mobster like his dad?  Well, regardless HBO was left with a major hole in their programming and no amount of new crap like John from Cincinnati was going to fill the void.  So I thought.  Lo and behold HBO came through with one of the most interesting, thought provoking and entirely entertaining docu-drama’s I’d ever seen, “The Professors of Hip and Hop.” No, this wasn’t some muddled history lesson mini-series like John Adams.  It was the story of two Harvard Institute English Language professors who became rap stars in order to save the English language from certain doom.  Even better than the mini-series was the soundtrack that accompanied it and was recorded by the Professors rap group i.am.bic pent.am.eter.  In fact, it swept our Figment Soundtrack Awards for 2008.  So who are these so called Professors of Hip and Hop?  Well we caught up with Professor Gary “Epic” Smithson and Professor Clark “Epitaph” Hogan last week at a linguistics conference in Boise, ID.

Figment:  How did 2 Harvard Institute for the English Language professors get together to form a hip hop group?

Gary:  I’ve been teaching with Clark for years and I remember sitting in on one of his technical writing survey lectures and feeling inspired by the rhythm of his intonation. After a couple of decaf skinny caramel macchiatos and an envigorating game of chess we decided it was time to bring that sort of rhythm to the youth of our country. We do enjoy the new hip hop beats that are out these days but it’s ghastly the way they murder the English language! I dare say, we’re two Henry Higgins in a world of Eliza Doolittles.

Figment:  How did you get your rap handles of Epic and Epitaph?

Clark: I gave Gary the nickname of Epic because I’ve always felt him to be prolific and that this endeavor is monumental. I most certainly did not mean it in a Greek tragedy sense. Do I believe one day he will eventually kill his father and marry his mother and probably gouge out his eyes? I mean, I suppose it could happen, but the probability suggest no. If you knew his mother, you would know why. If he were to gouge out his own eyes he would have done it when she showed up to the Harvard faculty potluck and scotch tasting with eyebrows that were drawn on with some sort of make-up pencil.

Gary: Epitaph was coined because Clark always insists on having the last word when we argue about dead writers. Although often, I believe his opinion to be misguided.

The Professors of Hip and Hop Soundtrack

Figment:  When HBO approached you about recording the soundtrack to ‘The Professors of Hip and Hop’ were you down wit’ it?

Gary: One of the conditions of the project was that i.am.bic pent.am.eter would record the soundtrack. We discussed it and decided there would probably be no other way people would be exposed to our music.

Clark: I believe we have a large following in Japan though.

Figment:  How did it feel to be the subject of a mini-series docu-drama?

Clark: I will be the first to admit that it was incredibly nerve-racking to have the cameras following my every move. I was afraid to take a shower, it was awkward to drive my car, then, you know, that whole scene in the third episode where I was evicted from that wine bar in Connecticut when I urinated on a man selling long-stem roses because I though he was a flowering bush.

Gary: I contest that anyone would have been confused by his short stature. The camera doesn’t properly portray his diminutive height.

Clark: He was rather short.

Gary: I liked having the cameras around simply because attendence in my classes improved dramatically. Only the opening sequence and the closing sequence were shot on campus but students took enough of an interest in what was happening to show up to my classes at their scheduled time.

Figment:  Are there really ‘real’ words underlying most rap lyrics?  And if so how did you crack the rap lexicon?

Gary: The way we view rap slang is in many ways like how skilled linguists view English and see a lot of Latin. Well, unless it’s the really odd slang that I honestly believe has no real origin except alcohol consumption and the smoking of the ‘hashish’. Is that what it’s called?

Clark: I think the politically correct term is ‘dopers’. Or is that for opium? Regardless, most words that rappers use these days are rather easy to uncover as long as they do not stray too far from the path of classic english. Say for instance ‘crunk’, I cannot begin to fully portray my annoyance with the lack of imagination behind THAT word. Just because you haven’t the vocabulary to use a wide array of words, does not give the right to make up your own. I swear these people think a thesaurus is some kind of dinosaur.

Figment:  Could you please translate the following rap lyrics for me:

The year’s ’94 and my trunk is raw
In my rear view mirror is the mother fuckin’ law
I got two choices y’all pull over the car or (hmmm)
Bounce on the double put the pedal to the floor
(Jay-Z ’99 Problems’)

Clark: It sounds like he’s packing some sort of illegal drugs or weapons in his vehicle and he is being pursued by law enforcement officials.

Gary: I think he’s deciding whether to pull over or begin a high-speed chase. How exciting! You know, I was involved in a high-speed chase once during an English Department used book sale when a surly elderly man tried pilfering a copy of ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. I impeded his thievery after I tackled him in the courtyard and bloodied his nose. Sylvia would’ve been proud.

Clark: She would have been indifferent. She wrote that book while she was suicidal- and that’s technically not a high-speed chase.

Figment: Hood n***a from Bankhead
I stay by Grandma Nana
I lay by my banana
dumpin’ and punkin’ monkeys.’
(Young Dro ‘Shoulder Lean’)

Clark: Hmmm… I… Am not sure that’s real English.

Gary: Does he live by a zoo perhaps?

Figment:  ‘Verse number 2 do the damn thang keeps on my neck pocket’s full of Ben Franks.’
(Yung Joc ‘It’s Goin’ Down’)

Gary: I’m not familiar with the context but I believe he’s talking about accumulating wealth in the form of hundred dollar bills.

Figment:  There has been some controversy regarding your song ‘Riding Expeditiously in My Profligate Vehicle’ in that environmental groups have called the song irresponsible given the threat of global warming and rising fuel costs.  Any comment?

Clark: I think the whole thing has been blown wildly out of proportion. We’ve been singing the song for years and it’s only now people are taking notice to the issue of global warming. It’s even more ridiculous since the third verse describes the vehicle as being a hybrid, which has low gas milage anyway.

Gary: Clark even asked me to leave that part out because he feared it would give us a less ferocious image but I’m a big environmentalist. I couldn’t help but try to make fuel economy look cool.

Figment:  Did Edgar Allen Poe really have a Po-Po?

Gary: Well, he didn’t have a po-po, he was always running from the po-po’s. In that, he was always running from the police because he was an alcoholic and an opium addict. Admittedly not a good role-model but a fantastic writer. I wrote the song because he’s kind of an idol of mine. Not the drug abuse part, just the brilliant mind part.

Clark: He was also unlucky in love, like both of us!

Figment:  How do you reconcile the fact that you both have advanced degrees and tenure at a prestigious university and yet you earn mad benjamin’s rockin’ da mic?  I mean, you make more money being MCs.

Clark: I will admit, we do make much more money using our unsurpassed talents as entertainers but we keep our university jobs to maintain the prestige.

Gary: In case the world rejects us and our amazing rapping skills and finds us to be pretentious and overbearing.

Figment:  If you could select any rap song for your doctoral thesis what would it be?

Gary: Gold Digger by Kayne West, featuring Jamie Foxx. I think the subject matter is worth looking into.

Clark: Honestly, I would choose the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A young, poorly dressed, Will Smith was a huge inspiration of mine. I even donned his signature flat-top for a while.

Figment:  Speaking of Kanye West wasn’t he first a College Dropout, then he admitted to Late Registration and now he claims to be a Graduate.  Any comment?

Gary: See, and this is why we do this! There’s this uncomfortable stigma that goes along with a college education that we need to rid ourselves of. Listen youth, being smart is cool too! It’s ok to be educated- you can still pack a 9mm, you can be a street business owner, if nothing else, you have a competitive advantage! You’ve worked a budget before!

Figment:  Does having a hit soundtrack LP qualify as being published?

Clark: In the academic world, no. On the streets, yes.

Figment:  What is the definition of perambulate?

Gary: (Laughs) It means to walk or traverse. It’s another way of saying stroll.

I give these guys an A+ for effort.  Forget about going to see HBO’s “Sex and the City” movie and go catch “The Professors of Hip and Hop” on HBO On-Demand, and while you’re at it buy their soundtrack album!

As you probably noticed we didn’t have a Picked to Click! post last week.  What with the holiday and our “Lost and Found” Challenge we thought it best to store up some great stuff and give it to you all at once.  So here are the bands/albums from Figment that we Picked to Click from May 19th – June 1, 2008!

Crispy Yama Gucci – This band finally got around to releasing their long out of print debut “Big Bird in Bed”.   Always loved the name of this band and their LP is no slouch either.  Check it out.

Happy Bunny Farm – Their classic LP “Statutory Rhymer” was just re-released and it’s a revelation!  Buy it!

Chad Masters “Vasoline Alley” is not only Chad’s first solo album, but also the first solo project from a Figment band!  Chad took a brief sojourn from his job as bassist for metal band Pincher Nipple to do some time in the big house and this stripped down (no pun intended) accoustic disk is the result.  It’s an instant classic and continues in the double entendre tradition of his main gig with Pincher Nipple.  We loved how chilidog continued to build a back story for Pincher Nipple, while at the same time creating a great new solo artist in Chad Masters.  Great stuff – buy it!

Darkling – What can I say, the grand masters are back!  “Anal Trophallaxis” is the last album the band recorded with their original lineup and it’s a doozy!  Buy it!

The Daneweegians – Their debut album “Elsinore” begs but one question.  To buy or not to buy?  That should not be in question.  Buy it!

Well, that’s it for now!  See ya next week!