Vegan Black Metal Chef

June 30th, 2011

Figment player shaveblog sent me this video.  It rocks…pun intended.  Enjoy!

Figment Playlist is a new feature here on Figment News where we ask a Figment musician to share the 15 favorite songs he/she enjoys listening to the most.

Jacob Wolfman’s band Werewolf Concerto may be breaking up, but the singer/guitarist is anything but out of work at the moment.  As Werewolf Concerto wind down their remaining live dates on the Sparks of Summer Tour 2011, and inch closer to their final live show at the Thrash Bash Festival in Springfield, MA on July 3rd,  Jacob is already looking forward to working on a new album with his supergroup Coffin Lords.  In the meantime, we caught up with him at recent tour date in Atlanta, GA to see just what he’s listening to these days.

Here is Jacob Wolfman’s Figment Playlist:

“Agents of Subversion” by Old Republic – From one of the many classic OR records. Plus the riff to this song is crushing!

“A Great Vision Unfolding” by Estevanico – Some really good psychedelia here.

“Cyberscream” by Zeroth – Immensely complex, this is everything we love about Zeroth, turned up to 11.

“Bodies Floating to Tokyo Bay” by Minagoroshi – Probably the best Japanese death metal band that I’ve ever heard.  Definitely wish these guys would come back.

“Ghosts of the Blackest Mass” by Living Dead God – Little known British black metal group.  Some of the best black metal out there.

“Red Sky” by A Therapy for Pain – Killer British metal group, reminiscent of the NWOBHM days.

“Is It In Yet?” by x69 – Not my normal cup of tea, but this band is damn fun.

“The Month of Blood” by Vengeance Burns Eternal – This band started off playing Viking Metal, which was awesome, thn they experimented, and it was still cool, but now they’re doing black metal stuff and it’s fucking awesome.

“You’re Growing Cold” by The Night Walkers – WC toured with The Night Walkers early on.  Awesome people, awesome band.

“Ophelya” by The Forgotten Falling – From what is probably my favorite TFF record (“Neo-Gothic Metropolis”) this melodeath-trance metal power ballad (as Hayden Frasco once described it to me) has this one riff, once the heavy part of the song kicks in, that just destroys everything.

“Undeniable Shipwreck” by Squidbitchez – Damn dude.  Antoinette can play violin like no one else.

“Machine Corps” by Body.Rhythm.Machine – I really don’t know what to say about this band, except they rule.  And I think that serves them justice.

“Baked (Like An Apple Pie)” by Stoned Ambition – Ah, weed.

“A Legend Born” by Wakizashi – I don’t care who you are, you know damn well that Wakizashi is epic.

“Supernova Sex Blast (The Big Bang)” by Vorpal Queen – Love hanging out with these dudes.  And their music?  In my Top 5 of Figment bands, most definitely!

So give these songs/albums a listen and if you haven’t bought them yet, add them to your Figment album collection!

(A special thanks to Crypt_Keeper for working with us to develop this new Figment News feature.)

 

 

This may have been the toughest Album Cover Design Contest we’ve ever had to judge.  Not only did it take our Figment Editorial staff several meetings to decide on the eleven designs that made our Top 10 (after much deliberation we decided to allow a tie for the 10th slot), but our guest judge Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady also had a hell of a time deciding on this year’s winner and 2 runners up.  In fact, so much trouble that he decided to award a tie for 3rd place!  So not only did our Top 10 have 11 finalists, but our Top 3 has 4!

And now, here are Tad’s picks for the winner and 3 runners up in our 2011 Figment Album Cover Design Contest.

(drum roll….)

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1st Place:

Van Q.

“Shattered Circuits”

Tad:  I like the look of this album – color palette and it’s not overly designed. It reminds me a lot of Hazelmeyer’s designs from the AmRep records of the 90’s. I also like that the type on this is slightly discernible. It’s subtle and makes me want to find out more about the band. And I mean by listening to it. Not by checking out their facebook page.

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2nd Place:

Let’s Not and Say We Did

“Out of the Picture”

Tad:  This one made me laugh. It’s hilarious. I love the literal interpretation. The rubenesque woman (so much more of a gentlemanly term than “cankles”) is a great touch. Sense of humor is one of the most important things for me. Bands and artists take themselves so fucking seriously these days.

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And Tied For 3rd Place:

Vorpal Queen

“Psychedelicatessen”

Tad:  The pun is so over the top that it makes it kind of clever. And the design work on this is pretty cool.

 

Eccentric Arcade

“Epic”

 

Tad:  This feels like some sort of No Wave band. Anybody using Ninjas and giraffes on their album cover gets my $12 (or whatever they sell records for today).

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So congratulations to thehoseman for his winning design.  We’ll be sending him a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, a new Figment t-shirt and crediting his Figment account with 1,000 pieces of lucre to spend in our new Figment Gear Store!  He’ll also be receiving a shiny new Album Cover Design Contest award icon on his Van Q band page and “Shattered Circuits” album page.  Poppinfresh will receive a copy of Eddie Trunk’s new book “Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal” courtesy of Abrams Publishing and 750 pieces of lucre while both formerwageslave and frizbee will see their respective lucre accounts swell by 500 pieces of lucre.

We’d like to say thanks to Adobe and Abrams Publishing for supplying our prizes and of course one more big thank you to Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady for being our guest judge this year.  Do yourself a favor and check out the The Hold Steady, you’ll be glad you did!

Gearing Up!

June 13th, 2011

It’s been a while since we’ve announced a new feature here on the site, but as we await Tad Kubler’s final decision on who will win this year’s Figment Album Cover Design Contest, we thought it was high time we announced not only a few new features, but also a whole new concept.  What’s that you say?  Well, remember our discussions about moving to virtual goods?  The time has come…gone is the Figment Lucre Store and rising from it’s ashes…behold the Figment Gear Store!

 

The Figment Gear Store will feature everything your fake band needs to gear up for the studio and the road.  Whether it’s a ZT Lunchbox Amp, a V-Shaped Guitar or some wheels-of-steel, the Gear Store has it all.

You’ll notice that we’re teaming with GBase.com on the store.  GBase.com is the definitive online source for used, vintage, and new musical instruments and equipment for musicians, collectors, enthusiasts and gear junkies!  If you want to stock up on real instruments to match your virtual ones, GBase.com has you covered.

So, how does it all work?  Well it’s simple, let’s start on your dashboard page where you’ll notice that every band now has another link underneath that says “Buy Gear”.  Just above that link is a list of any gear your band owns.  Of course, right now it says “This band doesn’t own any gear!”  So let’s buy some.  Click on the “Buy Gear” link and it will take you to the Figment Gear Store.  You should see a whole selection of musical equipment ready for purchase, that is unless you don’t have enough lucre to buy any.  If you don’t, there won’t be anything in the store, and depending on how much you do have, you’ll only be shown those pieces of equipment you can afford.  To buy a piece of equipment simply click on the button to the right of the piece of equipment you desire.  That button will have the price in Lucre listed on it.  When you click the button the lucre will automatically be deducted from your account and you’ll see this message at the top of the page.

You can also check the bottom of the page to remind yourself what gear your band already owns.  Any new purchases will immediately be displayed in this area as well.

Once you’ve loaded up on equipment you can either click on your band’s name under the Gear Store header to visit your band page or the dashboard link at the top of the page to return to your dashboard.   On your dashboard page you’ll be able to see the equipment that you bought listed to the right of your band, and on your band page you’ll see the equipment appear under the section titled “Band Gear”.

 

You’ll notice that we made a few changes to the layout of the band pages as well based on the feedback you’ve provided.  We’ve concentrated the primary info on your band – your Fans, Bio, Gear and Albums/EPs  – down the main right-hand column of the page with sections clearly marked with identifying headers.  From now on your band’s fans will be listed at the top of the page.  In the header you can see the total number of fans your band has and 13 randomly selected fan icons.

If you click on the link below the fan icons you will be able to see all of your band’s fans in the order in which they became fans of your band.

Under the fans section, you’ll see corresponding sections for the Band’s Bio, Gear and Albums/EPs in that order.

For those of you who asked for Band News archive, your requests have been answered.  The left hand column of the page now features, in addition to your band image and shout box, a new “Official Band News” section.

Click on one of the news stories or on the “View all news items” link and you’ll be taken to your band’s news archive that contains every news story you’ve ever published about them.

 

Another improvement that you requested was to have album descriptions allow more text.  Well, we’re happy to announce that we’ve increased the character limit on album descriptions from 500 characters to 2000 characters.  That should give you plenty of room to say thanks to all of us here at Figment!

We’re very excited about the launch of the Figment Gear Store, the new band page layout and the addition of the Official Band News archive, so we hope you are too!  The Gear Store is just the first step in our plans to improve the Figment virtual economy and better enhance the overall Figment game experience.   We are looking forward to rolling out more features related to it in the future, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please refrain from creating any equipment, equipment companies, etc. using Figment band pages.  If you do we will ban them and ask you to delete them.  We are looking into the best way to handle the creation and sales of custom and “endorsed” equipment by Figment players going forward, but until we announce those features please do not create any equipment related figments.

Thanks for all of your feedback over the past year, as you can see it does factor into our plans for the site.  We hope you enjoy the Gear Store and new band page features.  Now go gear up!

 

Every year picking the Top 10 finalists in our Figment Album Cover Design Contest seems to get harder.  Not that we’re complaining, in fact quite the opposite.  The fact that it’s getting harder is testament to the level of design skill we’re now seeing on the site and the overall quality of all the album covers you submitted.

We’re also happy to say that participation in this contest is on the rise.  In fact, we almost doubled the number of submissions we received last year.  So thanks to everyone who participated.

We don’t envy Tad Kubler’s job over the next week, because we had one hell of a time winnowing this year’s submissions down to these 10 finalists.   In fact, that tenth spot came down to two different cover designs and after much deliberation we decided to call it a tie for the 10th slot.  That’s right, just like Nigel Tufnel’s infamous amp, this year’s Top 10 goes to 11!  So without further adieu, here are the Top 11 finalists (in no particular order) that Tad Kubler will judge over the next week.


Sludge Cartwright

“Twang Your Head (strummin’ health)”


Coxswain Insignia

“Hemingway’s Lemonade”


Vorpal Queen

“Psychedelicatessen”


Let’s Not and Say We Did

“Out of the Picture”


The Dark Immortal

“Return…”


Van Q

“Shattered Circuits”


Steel Beneath Flesh

“False Fiber Optic Idols”


Sinthetic

“Neurostasis”


Eccentric Arcade

“Epic”


Voynix

“Metamorphexistence”


Calavera Electrica

“Pedal”


Congratulations to our Top 11 and thanks to everyone else who participated.  We’ll announce the winner and 2 runners up next Friday, June 17th, so be on the lookout.  In the meantime, let us know what you think of the Top 11, who you’d vote for, and who you think Tad will pick.