Podcast #3 Clap for the Thank You

November 29th, 2009

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Larry’s Media Picks

  • The Heavy – The House That Dirt Built – Rocked out songs with an R&B back beat and just pissed off enough to be loud and fun. I think I keep calling them The Heavies and I do that on the podcast too. It’s not plural.
  • Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Review – Shout! Live – If you like the Heavy you’ll like this. More funky than Rock and roll though. Reminds me alot of the great Maceo Parker album – Life on Planet Groove.
  • Girls in Trouble – I bought this becuase of the sticker on the cover alone: “What if the girls from the bible started an indie rock band?”, had to buy it, I have no idea if it’s any good as I’ve only listened to it once.

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Music/Media Picks

Larry’s

  • WOXY The Future of Rock and Roll
  • When In AZ compilation
  • Some band from Liverpool England has an album that got re-released, they are broken up now, so I couldn’t find a link for it.

Eric’s

Why Phallic Acid Disappeared

November 20th, 2009

If you’ve been a Figment user for the last few months you know the band Phallic Acid.  You’ve seen them release a series of successful albums, launch a North American tour, and maintain a virtual lock on the Hot Albums chart for the past few months.  In return, you, the Figment community, rewarded them with sales, positive reviews and support for whatever new venture they were involved with at the moment.  In short, you trusted them as fellow players.  Unfortunately, that trust was broken.

Earlier this week, we confirmed that TheOldCougs was using multiple accounts to buy/listen to his own albums and in doing so artificially driving Phallic Acid and their albums up the charts.  In short, he was cheating.

For any of you who have taken the time to read Figment’s Terms & Conditions, and I recommend you do, the creation of multiple accounts and/or the use of someone else’s account is NOT allowed.  Of course, we understand that most people don’t take the time to read the fine print. Even so, no one we’ve caught doing this has been surprised it’s against the rules, or claimed they thought it was okay to create as many accounts as they want.  As a result, we always issue a warning on the first offense.  The second time it occurs however,  our policy is to delete their primary account and ban them from the site.  In the almost 3 years that Figment has been online we’ve only had to delete users on a handful of occasions.

In the case of  TheOldCougs he was warned not once but twice.  While he contends that the accounts he used were originally set up by his friends in good faith, he doesn’t dispute the fact that when his friends refused to maintain their support of Phallic Acid he took matters into his own hands and began using their accounts for his own purposes.

When approached we must say he was very honest and owned up to his deception immediately, which is usually how this kind of thing goes.  After hearing his side of things, we considered following through with our usual protocol, but given his confession and willingness to bear the repercussions of his actions, we decided to offer him a reprieve in the form of “probation”.

After considering the specific probationary terms we offered, he told us he didn’t deserve the probation and the more we thought about it, the more we agreed.

So what’s the end result?  Well, TheOldCougs is no longer a Figment user and Phallic Acid no longer exists.  We wish him well and according to him it’s reciprocal.  If anything this situation emphasizes how important trust and integrity are to a game and community like Figment.

If anyone would like to voice an opinion on what happened or our policies in general we welcome your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment on this post or send us an email via the feedback link at the bottom of every page on Figment.

All the news that’s fit to spit!  Give it a listen!!!!

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DarkImmortal Logo

Rock n’ Roll has always been a haven for the individualist, the loner, the outsider.  It’s connections to the “dark side” are also well documented, what with all the stories about meetings at the crossroads and connections to voodoo, ghosts and ghouls.  Many artists have plumbed the depths of evil for inspiration, because, well, they’re attracted to it.

So it’s no surprise that artists like The Dark Immortal exist.  Rather, what is surprising is how an artist like The Dark Immortal can continue to build his “dark” personality and yet continue to crossover to a larger and more mainstream audience.  Although some have compared his rise to that of fellow “dark” provocateur Marilyn Manson, The Dark Immortal has no interest cultivating celebrity ala Mr. Manson, and has instead resisted any attempt to “package” or “manage” his career or music.  Rather, he has stuck to a monastic approach of recording in private, and emerging only to play occasional one-off live shows that due to their highly theatrical nature are often more events than just concerts.  Furthermore, he is his own manager and has no entourage or retinue of high-priced handlers.

And yet…he continues to build a career that not only appeals to goth fans, but techno, metal, emo, punk, industrial and pop as well.  His newest single “Scarlet” has spent over a month at the top of the Active Rock charts and his recent appearance at the Merchants of Metal Festivall II – Devil’s Night in New Orleans was one of the highlights of the Festival.

So what does The Immortal have to say about all this success?  We decided to find out, so we engineered a rare interview following his show at the MoM Festival II.  As we entered the rented Victorian mansion he was staying at in New Orleans’ Garden District we felt a cool chill settle over us, but it didn’t seem to affect the Immortal who sat down and talked at length to us about his career and music.

MoM II Logo

Figment News:  Your fresh off a triumphant show at the Merchants of Metal Festival II – Devil’s Night in New Orleans.  What was it like to play that show and why do you think that show in particular drew so much attention?

Dark Immortal:  I felt honored to be the first band to be accepted to play at the second Merchants of Metal Festival, and as soon as I stepped off the plane I knew it was going to be one of the best times in my career.

The performance itself went without a flaw; the lightning bolt entrance didn’t physically shock anyone in the front 3 rows which was a refreshing change. It was awesome to see many members of The Black Rose Legion in force that night also.

I can see why Devil’s Night drew in the masses..when you have heavy hitting main stage acts such as Phallic Acid, Amish Militia, and Minagoroshi, Devil’s Night was an experience my fans and I surely won’t forget.

FN:  Your recorded music is often dark, moody and seems to be full of sorrow, yet your live show is an extravagant wild show – how do you make that transition?

DI:  The live shows are meant to be a feast for the eyes, along with the music it’s a celebration of insanity and misery. Seriously the fans paid for a show I give them that and more.

On the next tour I’ll probably have burlesque dancers in cages or something.  Also I’d avoid the mosh pit if you have any health issues too…

Deadman Walking

FN:  Your stage wear and overall color theme for the band seems to be black.  Any plans to brighten things up with some fun colors or maybe some plaid?

DI:  I thought about wearing a bright red uniform at “Deadman Walking” in Phoenix but black with silver buttons and piping was easier on my eyes plus it matched the hat.

DarkImmortal

FN:  The Immortal is the leader of the band, how did you come up with this character and is it an alter ego you created specifically for the purposes of the band?

DI:  Alter Ego? [Laughs] The roots lay a long time ago when I was starting High School, I was the guy that never fit in with anyone, with a bad case of anti-social behavior. All in all I was a good kid for the most part. But people change throughout the latter years of school, my “niceness” disappeared, started to become more outspoken and didn’t care what anyone thought of me and my style of clothing improved mostly military replicas in black.  Basically that’s how it began and my attitude of “Do as you want and live with no shame.”

FN:  You’ve consistently described your music as goth rock, but you seem to skirt the edges of black, doom and drone metal.  Is metal a big influence on your work?

DI:  Defiantly, when you’re singing about bloodletting and vendettas you have to get loud.

FN:  Your first 5 releases (3 LPs and 2 EPs) were part of a larger work you called “The Epic”.  Can you explain the genesis of that project and what inspired it?

DI:  Being a bit of a writer I had all this little morbid stories and the more I thought on it, I believed that if I turned the stories into songs they would be a hit. So I spend alot of restless nights composing the lyrics.

Druids of Sacrifice

FN:  Was it hard to kick off your career with such an ambitious set of conceptual albums?

DI:  After being signed with “PowerLordsblessings” which gave me a chance, I released “Druids of Sacrifice” at the time I thought it was going to take off, something different. After being released it had some success, which I turned into a disappointment and actually thought about giving up music all together. Ended up giving it another shot and recorded “Rivers of Blood” which is my saving grace and after that I finished the Epic, gained a small fan base, then the rest is history.

Welcome to Asylum

FN:  Paranoia and psychosis seem to be central themes in your music.  Do you have personal experience with these mental/personality disorders or are they merely themes you use in your music?

DI:  Of course I have, along with everyone on this planet has at one point.

FN:  What’s in that cup?  Are you drinking blood?

DI:  …it’s mixed with Black Vodka. [Takes a drink]

Ashes to Ashes

FN:  Tell us about “Ashes to Ashes”.  What inspired your new album and its hit single “Scarlet”?

Scarlet

DI:  “Ashes to Ashes” is basically a “rebirth” of The Dark Immortal; if you listen to “Druids of Sacrifice” and “Ashes to Ashes” you can see how much I have developed since those early days.

I have gotten the comment after the release of “Scarlet” that it is about Elizabeth Bathory the 15th century female mass murder who though blood of virgins made her skin appear younger…Well the song is a combination of that bloodlust, coupled with my ideal of a woman I would take on a date.

Damnus Sanitas

FN:  Speaking of your “rebirth”, at one point earlier this year you disappeared from the public eye.  In fact, many members of your inner circle claimed to have no idea of your whereabouts.  What happened during this lost holiday and were the rumors of depression and insanity that popped up during this time period the inspiration for the album, “Damnum Sanitas”, that was released shortly before your reappearance?

DI:  It’s one of those things where it’s best to let the audience wonder….

FN:   Is Halloween your favorite day of the year?

DI:  Yes, the one night of the year people can dress up as whatever creation you can come up with!

Risen Blood

FN:  You formed a side project, “Risen Blood”, with ex-Reign of Sin lead singer Victoria.  How did that collaboration come about?

DI:  It was 5 am in the morning when Victoria called and asked if I could help her out until she could get members to restart the band. Well “Reign of Sin” would never be the same without the original members and I think she realized this when I told her. After awhile we decided on doing a side project, the sun was coming up and Victoria accidentally got a paper cut…So “Risen Blood” was formed.

Little Miss Suicide

FN:  You’ve release 2 EPs as Risen Blood, “Cut of the Decayed” and “Little Miss Suicide”.  Any plans to release more work as Risen Blood?

DI:  Right now Miss Victoria is on vacation visiting family and is expected to be back at the studio in 2 months.

FN:  What’s next for The Dark Immortal?

DI:  Might as well break the news right now…. I’m planning a new album “Conspiracy” which isn’t going to be for the faint of heart and those easily offended.

FN:  Any plans to take a “Power of Positive Thinking” course and maybe change your stage name to “The Cheery Immortal”?

DI:  [Laughs] Oh my, that will be the day when there will be a picture of me laying in a field of daisies next to Taylor Swift on the cover of a disco album.

Cleaning Out the Bookmark List

November 6th, 2009

cleaning

I’m an internet pack rat, scouring the interwebs for stuff I think will interest, inspire, and entertain all of my Figment brethren.  The only problem is that I often fail to bring this great stuff to your attention!  So today I’m cleaning up my list of bookmarked internet flotsam and jetsam, and posting links to some stuff I think you’ll really find interesting.  So check them all out when you get a chance.

Pitchfork has a great new featured called “Take Cover” that looks at album cover design by talking with the designers themselves.  In the first installment, they interviewed William O’Brien about his design for Grizzly Bear’s newest album “Veckatimest.”  Check it out.

In the “Do Not Try This At Home” file I found this beauty of a story!

I’ve always gotten a kick out of parodies, especially song parodies and this one by Cody Johnston of Cracked.com is a terrific send-up of The Decemberists.  So give “Hampshirefields” a listen.

And in the “We Are Not Alone” file I found this great Guardian.co.uk column by Michael Hann on…you guessed it “Imaginary Bands.”

I first read about Arik Roper’s new exhibit at Fuse Gallery in NYC on Arthur.com, but I found even cooler stuff on his blog.  Looking forward to seeing the gallery show.

Love feedback infused rock n’ roll?  Well then pray at the altar of Blue Cheer!

Well that’s it for now, but if you’ve got something you stumbled across that you think would be a good fit – let us know and we’ll work with you to get it up on the blog.

A Heavyweight Frizbee

November 3rd, 2009

frizbee

So who is this month’s user Heavyweight?  Well it’s none other than frizbee!  You may know him better as the mastermind behind RA Records, and such bands as Eccentric Arcade, Coxswain Insignia, Neutron Emission, The Rubbers and Solomon X. Lambert.

His design work is top-notch, as evidenced by his 3rd place finish in our 2009 Figment Album Cover Design contest.   His label RA Records has signed Fait Accompli, Dark Brotherhood and Lady Annabel, and Eccentric Arcade’s Xenophilia Tour with Fait Accompli was one of the first full-scale joint tours on Figment.

When it comes to promoting his bands he’s no slouch either.  He was the first Figment user to create a Twitter account for one of his bands, and the first to begin recording vlog posts on YouTube.

Needless to say he’s industry heavyweight material!  So congrats frizbee!  Visit his profile page and check out all of his incredible work and be on the lookout for his reviews, etc.!

We’d also like to thank javdoc for his work as an Industry Heavyweight last month.