The internet is a treasure trove of arcane stuff that’s not always easy to uncover, but fear not, because I, and at least one other Figment player, have scoured the interwebs to bring you this very special “Spinal Tap” Vol. 11 Edition of Cleaning Out The Bookmarks…

Let’s get it started with this great Buzzfeed article sent to us by Figment player frizbee.  It details “17 Ways to Make Graphic Designers Cringe”.   I know I’ve made a few cringe in my time, how about you?

And speaking of design, ever wonder what happens to the people whose pictures adorn famous album covers?  Well, NME tracked a few down.

Don’t call it a comeback, because to many vinyl never went away.  Eilon Paz, a Brooklyn based photographer, started “Dust and Grooves”, his interview-based photography project, to document various vinyl collectors around the world.  It’s a pretty cool collection of interviews and photos with fellow music junkies that he’s compiling into a Kickstarter funded book (yours truly was a backer) so check it out!

To many, Metal is more than just a music genre, it’s their life.  So why not live that life in one of “The 5 Most Metal Places On Earth”.

A lot of musicians think they have that something special.  Jennifer Yeko, President of True Talent Management, wants them to ask themselves, Do You Want a Music Career?  Or a Handout?

And while we’re on the subject of what you need to do to have a career in music, Thor Harris has some rules regarding “How To Tour In A Band” he’d like to share.

God knows Jay-Z and Beyonce know the first rule when it comes to a music career.  Protect your intellectual AND personal property people!

And frizbee provided us with this great comic from The Oatmeal detailing the current state of the music industry.

Inspiration takes many forms, but Jazz record covers inspired by the HBO Show “Homeland”?  Now that’s cool daddy-o.

According to this “D News” report, Figment isn’t the only place fake bands are on the rise.

And to end this very special “Spinal Tap” edition of “Cleaning Out the Bookmarks”, we’d like to leave you with this classic design snafu courtesy of “the Tap”.

Until next time, surf’s up, but don’t get caught in the tubes!

“Bands I Wish I’d Made Up” is a Figment News feature 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’!

Cloud Nothings are an indie-rock band from Cleveland, OH.  HELLO CLEVELAND!!! But I digress.  The band is a great mish-mash of indie, noise and post-hardcore music.  Their latest album, “Attack On Memory”, was released in January 2012, and easily made my Top 10 for the year.  They spent last fall opening for Silversun Pickups and are currently touring Down Under, so if they hit your town make sure to check them out.  Now without further ado I present Cloud Nothings…

Industry Insiders is a series of interviews with music professionals who work on both the creative and business sides of the industry.  We’ll talk to the people who help musicians create, market and distribute their music to give you an idea of what it’s really like to work in the music industry.

Tom Whalley, the former CEO of Warner Bros. Records & Head of A&R at Interscope Records, once said, “The hardest thing to do in the world in this business is start a band no one’s heard of.”

That statement may never ring more true then in this digital age where music is ubiquitous both in terms of its scope and accessibility. So how does a band stand out amidst the musical clutter, and what role do record labels still play in this process?  We decided to find out by talking to Eric Morse, Director of Content + Commerce at Warner Music Group.  Eric has a diverse background, having worked as a musician, designer, music journalist, gallery owner, website founder and marketing executive.  He talked to us about his role at Warner Music Group, how he helps bands market their music on the web, and the importance creativity plays in his job.

The Job: Eric talks to us about his position as Director, Content + Commerce at WMG and what he does on a daily basis.

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The Role of Marketing At A Major Label: Eric explains how the digital marketing team he runs interacts with the other departments at each WMG label.

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Digital Marketing & How To Build A Fan Base Online: Eric takes us through some of the strategies that his team at WMG employs to develop, build and engage an online fan base for their artists.

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Buzz: We talk about the importance of buzz in breaking a band, and what role his team plays in trying to build it for WMG artists.

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Working In The Music Industry: Eric talks about his career track, how it led to his current job, and what Figment players can do to start their own career in the music biz.

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The Importance of Creativity: We talk about Trampoline House, the award winning online art & culture website that Eric founded, it’s role as his creative sandbox, and tips for Figment players looking to improve how they market their bands.

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We’d like to thank Eric for taking the time to do this interview.  You can find out more about Eric by –

Following him on Twitter.

Following him on Tumblr.

Checking out Trampoline House.

formerwageslave recently emailed me to share this great piece of news for anyone on Figment who might playing with a tight budget and an older computer.  Adobe is now offering their Creative Suite 2 Premium Plus for free to anyone who has or sets up an Adobe account (accounts are free).  While CS2 may have issues with newer computers it’s perfect for those of us soldiering on with older PCs or Macs.  You can read more about it here or go straight to Adobe to download CS2.  So thanks formerwageslave for bringing this great free download to our attention!

While we’re at it, we’d like to draw attention to something formerwageslave just did.  As you might have read in his recent player profile he’s a musician, and he just released his first solo record in almost a decade under the moniker iSv.  It’s all 8-bit/chiptune/video game sounding stuff, and it’s available for free or a “name your own price” download via Bandcamp.  So check it out and support a fellow player!

ChildofAlma In Charge!

January 4th, 2013

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned that we’d be turning the reins of Victor Rossi & His Big Fat Posse over to one of the players who helped create the band, and last night we did just that!  From this point forward Victor and his Posse will be in the capable hands of ChildofAlma.  We’ve equipped the band with the basic music equipment they’ll need, so now it’s up to ChildofAlma to chart their course forward.  In a few months we’ll then switch it to the next player in line, and so on and so forth.  So, for now, there all yours ChildofAlma!