This is a new feature here on Figment News where I’ll highlight a real band that I wish I’d made up.  You know, as a fake band.  Make sense?  No?  That’s half the point.  Stop thinking and start rockin’!

Okay, so Bernard Purdie is not a band per se, but he’s one hell of a musician, and when you hear him play it certainly sounds like there is more than one person playing – that’s how good he is.  Here’s “the most recorded drummer in the world” playing the 16th Note Shuffle. Take it away Bernard!

And as an added bonus here’s Bernard talking about his long career in the music business.

Cover-sation is a new feature here on Figment News where we’ll post an album cover from Figment and ask you what you think of it.  Good, bad, indifferent?  What do you like about the cover’s design?  What don’t you like?  How might you have approached the same cover?  In short, we’ll have a conversation about an album cover design…a Cover-sation if you will…

As some of you may know Riki Milligan, Eccentric Arcade’s lead singer, lost his father this week.  All of us at Figment would like to extend our condolences to Riki and his family for their loss.  In Riki’s father’s honor, we thought it only fitting to have a Cover-sation about Eccentric Arcade’s “Machines Again” album cover.  So let us know what you think.

Who’s In The Band?

April 13th, 2012

Well, you can’t have Victor Rossi & His Big Fat Posse without…well, His Big Fat Posse.  So as part of our Let’s Build A Band project we assigned Tyman the enviable task of creating “The Posse”, what instruments they play, and even what equipment they use, and create he did…in record time we might add!  Take it away Tyman!

Members:

Victor Rossi (singer/rhythm guitar)

Dmitri Carlton (lead guitar/backup vocalist)

Ryan Drako (bassist)

Tina Neilson (drummer)

 

Equipment:

Victor Rossi – Shure Microphones, Dean 7 String Guitars, Randall Guitar Amps.

Dmitri Carlton – BC Rich 7 String Guitars, Engl Guitar Amps, Shure Microphones.

Ryan Drako – Schecter 6 String Basses, Behringer Bass Amps.

Tina Neilson – Yamaha 7 Piece Double Bass Drumsets, Pro-Mark Japanese White Oak Drumsticks, Paiste Cymbals (some cymbals are shaped like saw blades).

What do you think of the band?  I know I dig any band with a female drummer.

So now we’re down to the final assignment!  algoreyou is charged with the responsibility of writing VRBFP’s bio/back story, and we’re hoping he comes up with a doozy!  Get to work algoreyou, you have until the end of the month to tell us all about our band!

We launched Figment back in 2008 on the premise that anyone who loves music is looking for a creative way to express that love whether they can play an instrument or not.  In the four years since we launched, you our players, have proven that premise to be true, and Figment is now a place where you can express that love through original art/design, writing, and even marketing.So as we launch our fourth annual  Figment Album Cover Design Contest, we do so with a lot of pride!

For those of you who are visiting Figment for the first time or just recently became a player, our Album Cover Design Contest is arguably the biggest contest we hold all year here on Figment.  It’s a competition to see who can design the best album cover for their fake band.  Whether you have mad design chops or just a great imagination and a clear concept, you’ve got a chance to win, and winning has it’s perks.  We’d love to have as many participants as possible this year, because we believe all of our players have a creative voice that should be heard, and we hope you’ll take this opportunity to have your voice heard.

So who will be listening?  Well, we’re thrilled to announce that this year’s judge will be none other than Chris Mars, the former drummer for Minneapolis alternative rock/punk band The Replacements.  Beyond being a part of one of rock n’ roll’s most legendary bands, Chris also helped design some of The Replacements album covers including “Pleased To Meet Me” as well as all of the covers for all of his solo albums.   His love of painting led him to largely abandon music in 2006 to concentrate on his visual art.  His artwork has since been featured in exhibitions around North America and Europe.  It was Chris’ gradual evolution from fan to musician to visual artist that we found fascinating and ultimately what makes him the perfect judge for this year’s Figment Album Cover Design Contest.

We’re also proud to have Adobe, the leader in digital media creation and editing products, on-board for the 4th straight year to supply our winner with Adobe Photoshop.  Adobe supports and enables creativity at the highest levels.

So how does the contest work?  Quite simply, we’re looking for the best original album cover design.  Sure, technical design skill is a plus, but we’re ultimately looking for an album cover that grabs our attention.  Last year the winner was theHoseman, whose design for Van Q’s “Shattered Circuits” album caught the eye of last year’s judge  Tad Kubler, despite the fact that theHoseman didn’t even own a copy of Photoshop.  Tad had this to say about theHoseman’s design:

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.

So how will the judging work?  Well, we’re going to add a new wrinkle to this year’s judging by including a fellow Figment player to our initial round of judging.  Last year’s winner, theHoseman, will serve as a member of the initial panel along with members of our editorial staff.  This panel will select the Top 10 finalists from all of the entries.  Since he’ll be part of our finalist judging panel, theHoseman will not be allowed to enter the contest.   Once the Top 10 covers have been decided on they’ll be submitted to Chris Mars for consideration.  Chris, as the ultimate judge, will then pick a winner and 2 runners up from that Top 10.

As we mentioned above, the winner will receive a copy of the premier 3D graphic design software on the market, Adobe Photoshop, a prize worth over $1,000 alone!  But it doesn’t end there, because we’ll match it with an autographed copy of Chris Mars’ book “Tolerance”, 10,000 pieces of Lucre, and a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt.

The runners up will each receive 7,500 and 5,000 pieces of lucre respectively, and we may have a few other prizes to throw into the mix soon enough, so we’ll keep you posted!

So now that you know what’s at stake, what do you need to do to enter?  Here are the basic rules of the contest:

1. You must be a registered Figment user to participate.  If you don’t currently have a Figment account please click here to create one.  This contest is open to Figment users worldwide.

2.  Create a fake band on Figment and release an album (EP or singles are also eligible) with cover art.  The band and album must be fake, and not artwork for a real band. You may also release an album by an existing fake band that you created on Figment.  To be considered, any album entry must contain song titles. Even though they won’t be the focus of our judging, any album that is released without any song titles will be disqualified. Once you have released an album you want to submit as an entry please post the band, album name, and the URL to the album as a comment to this post, so that we and other users can check it out.  If you don’t post that information as a comment to this post your entry will not be considered eligible.

3.  Any artwork used in the creation of your album cover should either be original or at least one you have the permission of the copyright owner to use. If you do use someone else’s work you need to make it your own by adding text, altering it through manipulation or doing something else that makes it your own.  Any album designs that are judged as being a copy of an existing work will be disqualified.  We will also disqualify any album cover that is offensive in nature – sexist, racist or hate-based.

4.  You may enter as many album covers as you like.  If you would like to enter an album cover you have already released on Figment, please note that you may only enter album covers created since January 1, 2012. Any album covers entered that were released before Jan. 1, 2012 will not eligible.

5.  The contest will run from Wednesday, April 4, 2012 until Friday, June 1, 2012.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, June 1, 2012 to qualify.

6.  By no later than, Friday, June 8, 2012 the Top 10 finalists will be announced, and sent to Chris Mars for his review.  Chris will judge the Top 10 finalists and select a winner and two runners up.  The winner and runners up will be announced on Friday, June 15, 2012.

As we stated earlier, this is one of the biggest contests we run on Figment and we’re thrilled to have Chris Mars on-board as our judge.  So really try to pull out all the stops and create an album cover design that you think captures your creativity and love of music.  We look forward to your submissions.

If you’d like to read the full contest rules you can access them at:

http://figment.cc/content/pdf/2012_Album_Cover_Design_Contest_Rules.pdf