If you remember, Figment Challenge #4 was to create a self-titled album for either a new or existing fake band of your creation.  The self-titled albums would be judged on their cover design, album description and song titles, with the real test being whether the album you created best represented the band you created.  We were thrilled with the quality of the entries we received, and believe me it wasn’t an easy vote, but vote we did and here are the results!

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Winning Self-Titled EP!

“Pragmatica”

Design by humanblooper

Pragmatica’s self-titled EP is the epitome of duplicity. By employing a three part song structure, told in a continuing narrative, “Pragmatica” delves into mythical territory with their boldest release to date.

Recorded under the title, “Pragmatica: Ardens Apotheca”, the name was shortened during the mixing process at the behest of lead singer, Jed Lincoln. The first two tracks (chapters) are Latin in origin. “Omnia”, meaning, “Everything Is…”, opens with a lean & mean bass line from Xander Cook. “Ardens Apotheca”(“The Burning Store”), is a piano ballad that gives way to blistering guitar work from the mystifying, Scott Abbott.

The third and final segment of this musical saga carries the band’s name, “Pragmatica”. Spanning over seven minutes, the title track is worthy of its name. A chameleon of bounding rhythms and melodious lyrics, “Pragmatica” surges from one chorus to the next, combining what sounds like several songs into one. It’s the ultimate mash-up for any Pragmatica fan, and a track that won’t soon be forgotten.

When the EP is played from beginning to end, a sonic kaleidoscope is unfolded, and by the final note, the world becomes a more magical place, if only for a little while.

Tracks:

1. Omnia (3:48)

2. Ardens Apotheca (5:31)

3. Pragmatica (7:20)

Editor’s Note:  We selected Pragmatica’s self-titled EP, because it really was a complete statement about the band.  From the cover art to the concept behind the EP and even the songs, you really get a feel for the band, and better yet it’s an album we’d all buy in a heartbeat.  So well done humanblooper, you met the challenge and now you get to reap the rewards.  We’ll be depositing 5,000 pieces of Lucre in your account post haste!

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1st Runner Up


“Summer’s Passing”

Design by Tyman

Summer’s Passing has done a lot in their career so far. They became the first melodic deathcore band, and they became one of the most popular modern Norwegian bands (though they’re not black metal). But this time around, it was time to experiment. They’ve already done a metalcore album, so… why not a straight up, brutal deathcore album? They went back to their heavier roots, and decided to go from there. The result: a self-titled album like no other. Featuring new songs such as “Human to Lamb (Daily Sacrifice),” “Ritual,” and “Run While You Still Can.” This album is especially for death metal fans, and is a treat for deathcore fans.

1. Scared Yet?

2. Ritual

3. The Flames Burn On

4. So I Hear You Like Horror Movies…

5. Sleep Forever, Die Temporarily

6. Human to Lamb (Daily Sacrifice)

7. Houston, We Have an Apocalypse

8. Run While You Still Can

9. Laser Dogs (WTF Is This I Don’t Even)

10. The Terror Never Ends

11. Deadly Thoughts

Producer: Haakon Johansen, Greg Hert
Engineer: DADARKLORD!!, P.F. Gunther

Editor’s Note:  We selected Summer’s Passing’s self-titled album because the band chose this album to experiment, a risky proposition to say the least, but one that they passed with flying colors in our opinion.  From the brutal cover art to the equally brutal song titles, this is a band that’s not afraid to show it’s audience a new dimension of it’s sound and we believe it would not only sell well, but would likely expand this band’s fan base.  So congrats Tyman, for taking Summer’s Passing to the next level you’ll be rewarded with 3,000 pieces of Lucre!

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2nd Runner Up

“Chad Phantom and the Nobody Panic”

Design by Raybo

Some people might wonder why a piping-hot band from across the pond, on the eve of launching their sophomore album, would decide to take acid during a live television broadcast. But that’s exactly what they did.

A Late Night legend was literally left speechless by the band’s destructive hijinx, and by the time they had finished their set (and thrashed a pop culture cathedral), the fire department and police were called.

Things went from bad to worse. Fast. Chad Phantom and his cohorts were arrested, but the charges were dropped by the network the following day.

Strangely, at an afternoon press release, Phantom acted as if the whole thing never happened. He continued pushing the new album, never missing a beat.

“We wanted to call the first album, CHAD PHANTOM AND THE NOBODY PANIC,” Chad recalls. “When it came time to press the covers, we took a band vote, spurned on by some label bullshit, and ultimately made the change. It was the right call, but for the second one, we always knew what we were gonna call it.”

When asked about his drug-fueled debacle the previous evening (and the world wide internet explosion that followed), Mr. Phantom shook his head and, without a hint of irony, replied:

“Some things are without rhyme or reason. This was one of those things.”

TRACK LISTING —

The Drop

Gypsy Flicker

Torch and a Pitchfork

Punk Redundancy

Mourning Star

Can of Hash

Tottenham

War Horn

The Cringe

Darlinghurst

An Inch of His Life

The Mark Street Prison Quartet

Black Eyelash

Unbred

The Drift

 

Editor’s Note:  We selected this self-titled album as the second runner up for obvious reasons, as befits their name nobody panicked.  Not many bands can release a self-titled record and then promote it by destroying a TV studio on live TV, but Chad Phantom and the Nobody Panic did.  In fact, their album description was so damn rock n’ roll we’ve decided to up their second runner up prize from 1,500 pieces of Lucre to 2,000.  After all, they’ll need the extra 500 Lucre to pay for all the damages.  Rock ‘N Roll!

So thanks to everyone who took the challenge!  And stay tuned for more!

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To see more releases from Pragmatica click here.

To see more releases from Summer’s Passing click here.

To see more releasese from Chad Phantom and the Nobody Panic click here.

 

 

Self-titled or eponymous albums abound in the rock and pop worlds.  Whether it’s a debut artist trying to establish their name or an established artist making a statement, releasing a self-titled record is an attention grabber because it’s a defining record and is usually only done once in an artist’s career, unless you’re Peter Gabriel.  As a result, it comes with a corresponding risk – if the album is good it burnishes your band’s name and cred, but if it’s bad it can become the record that signifies your downfall.  Monkey Goggles did a great post on the subject a few years back.

Pressure?  You bet.  That’s why it’s the perfect Figment Challenge.  So for Challenge #4 we’d like you to create a self-titled album for one of your Figments.  It can be the debut release from a new band or one by an existing band you’ve created.  We’ll be judging the albums on cover design, album description and song titles.  Please do not release the album on Figment. Simply submit the album cover design, description and song titles to customerservice at figment.cc or use the “Feedback” link at the bottom of any page on Figment. All entries must be received by Friday, August 30th, 2013 at 12 pm ET to qualify.

Please note that NO self-titled albums previously released on Figment will be eligible, and any self-titled albums released on Figment between August 15, 2013 and September 6, 2013 WILL NOT be considered eligible entries in this challenge.

The top 3 designs will be posted on the Figment News blog on Friday, September 6th, 2013.  The winner of the challenge will receive 5,000 pieces of Lucre, while the runners up will receive 3,000 for second place and 1,500 for third place.

So good luck, and remember if you’re going to put your name on it, it better be good!

When we issued Figment Challenge #3 we had no idea who would accept the challenge or what kind band bio entries we would receive.  If you remember, we asked you to create a band bio for the fake band called Other Industrial Minerals.  We supplied the name, we were looking for you to supply everything else about them.  The challenge was to write a bio that really gave us an essence of the band and made us want to become a fan.  In the end, we didn’t get that many entries, but maybe that was a blessing, because it was a hard challenge, not only to accept but to judge as well!  The Top 3 picks were all different, but we decided in the end that the winner had that little something special that made us want to see where this player could take Other Industrial Minerals, and that was a clear indication that we were fans.  But enough about our thought process for now, we’ll provide you with more detail on our decision at the end, in the meantime please enjoy reading the winning bio and the 2 runners up because they’re all good:

Winning Bio:

It was a dark and stormy night.  And by dark and stormy, I mean sunny and two in the afternoon, but I digress.

The band’s story begins on September 7th, 1987, with the birth of brothers Michael and Aaron Koltz, but no one cares about this. Fast forward to 2006, and the brothers are living in a studio apartment on the outskirts of London. It’s a simple means of existence, ‘cause neither of the boys are really good at anything, even dropping out of university, but they do know a thing or two about music…and cheeto’s. Anyway, about the music; Michael got a job as a waiter to pay for some mics and other equipment to teach himself to sing like his heroes, Greg Lake and Geoff Tate. Aaron took a simpler path, stealing a bass, because, well the guitars were too well guarded. Making the best out of the situation, he taught himself how to play it. One day they were jamming in their apartment, doing nothing in particular but making noise, (“No officer, I can’t think of why anyone would file a noise complaint against us.”), when out of nowhere came a loud, metallic bang. Thinking nothing of it, the boys continued to smash away, however, the banging intensified. Michael said to Aaron, “That’s kind of catchy.” Aaron’s reply was, “I don’t care, it’s a nuisance, I’m not causing it, I’m shutting this guy up.” So, Aaron kicks down the door, (Did I mention Aaron has anger management issues?), and storms toward the source of the banging, which is coming from a neighboring apartment. Aaron is about to Chuck Norris the door off its hinges, when he notices, by means of kicking it, that it’s a 3 inch thick steel door, that appears to be stolen from a military cache, and that it’s the source of the banging. The door suddenly opens, gull wing style, nearly knocking Aaron over the balcony, (They’re on the second floor), and there stands a short guy, twirling drumsticks in his hands. Aaron, regaining his composure, and Michael, once he’s finished laughing his ass off, both ask the same question, “And you would be?” The short man replies, “I am Dane Wiley, drummer of the Dave Wiley Extravaganza and Milkshake Emporium Experience, and you guys are the Industrial Dicks who were interrupting my daytime tele.” To which Aaron angrily responds, “Well, you’re a Mineral!” Both Michael and Dave shout, “What does that even mean?” Being unable to explain himself, Aaron gives up and starts sulking. Michael meanwhile was intrigued by the 5 foot 2 inch man infront of him, who has just managed to shut his brother up, something he has failed at for the last 19 years. “So you’re a drummer, eh?” “Yeah.” “And that’s why you were banging out that sweet stuff on your door?” “You thought it sounded good?” “Yeah, tell you what, come over and jam with us, let’s see if we can make something happen.” That was the beginning. Dave and the brothers jammed together over the next two years, until in 2008, they decided to expand. So, they posted a video of one of their jam sessions, (aptly titled, jam to find some person to jam with us), and added a disclaimer which asked for interested responders to add their music over the video to see if it fit. They got a grand total of 3 responses: Austin Alexson, a Boston-based keyboard teacher and self described Pink Floyd Historian; Devin Zając, a blind Polish Canadian guitar whiz (how he found the youtube video has still never been fully explained); and Darryl Styx, a singer from London. They managed to all fly to London (except Darryl, who just walked), and the band was formed. As for the name, Aaron and Dave thought back to that faithful first encounter, and decided on Industrial Minerals. Devin, however, thought that Other Industrial Minerals had a better ring to it, and the name stuck. So with two singers, a keyboardist, a perpetually angry bassist, a very short drummer, and a blind guitarist, the band took off for the sure fire success that they had been told would be granted to them by a Magic 8-Ball, and two horoscopes.

Bio by:  algoreyou

1st Runner Up:

Other Industrial Minerals
Genre – Rock…(obviously)
Tag Line – Girls love Diamonds, Artists love Marble, we are…

The origins of Other Industrial Minerals can be traced back to the summer of 2007 when frontman Pete Moss formed Slag Aggregate, a noise-pop band in Grand Forks, North Dakota. By December they had become a favorite at college bars and frat parties on the UND campus, but as May approached, egos and musical differences caused a fissure in the band. They split up and Moss, along with drummer Al Unite, headed south east to the musical Valhalla of the Twin Cities where they played, both together and separately, in numerous bands over the next few years.

In the summer of 2010, Unite was drumming in a bizarre ethereal blues collective Fuller’s Earth when he met up with Moss again at the Jundland Club. At the time the various members of Fuller’s Earth were becoming more and more tied to other bands and Unite wanted out. They started jamming and writing and as Fuller’s Earth was disintegrating, Moss and Unite’s goals solidified.

Initially, they worked as a combo  – guitar and drums, but eventually they wanted to flesh out their sound a bit and recruited bassist Kay Olin from Gypsum, a funk jazz project that was wowing crowds every Thursday night at the Cabooz. Newly christened Other Industrial Minerals, the three recorded an EP/demo “Diatomite!” with Olin’s boyfriend Mica Feldspar on keyboards and assorted percussion.

By this time they had caught the attention of a certain nameless Twin Cities music icon and their fate was sealed. They started playing small clubs like the Entry and the 400 Bar, but as the crowds grew, the need for larger venues grew with it. After placing 4th in the 2011 City Pages Picked to Click list of best new bands in the Twin Cities, their show at the Turf Club had reveler’s crowding the sidewalk outside the club trying to catch a glimpse through the front window, if just to say “I was there when…”.

Their sound, (at it’s core 70’s guitar rock, but with decidedly spacy, jazzy undertones) was just what the Twin Cities music scene was looking for. They continued to play to packed houses and eventually graduated to the Main Room (First Ave.) and ultimately the Jundland Club. In January they will enter the Bassment to record their debut full length with plans for an extensive road trip to bring their show to the rest of the country.

Line up:
Pete Moss = Guitar, Vox
Kay Olin = Bass, Vox
Al Unite = Drums
Mica Feldspar = Keys, Congas, Shakers and other noise makers

Bio by:  theHoseman

2nd Runner Up:

Some people are born to be stars. Other people study stars and hope to see one be born. Such is the case with Mark Lovedale, PHD.

Before becoming the lead guitarist and driving force behind Austin’s own, OTHER INDUSTRIAL MINERALS, Lovedale was the youngest person ever accepted into NASA’s space program at just 19 years old. Then again, Lovedale graduated with a PHD in Astrophysics from the University of Arizona by the time he was 18 years old.

Think Doogie Howser in space. But with a hard-on for Jimmy Page and Randy Rhodes.

That’s right, not only is Lovedale a gifted scientist, but a cracker-jack guitarist with balls the size of Uranus.

After dropping out of the space program (what?!!) at the age of 21, Lovedale formed OTHER INDUSTRIAL MINERALS with college buddy and bassist, Ryan Winthrop. It was only a matter of time before they found their band’s voice in auto-mechanic turned lead vocalist, Trevor Prout. Drummer, “Grand” Stan Babbitt lived upstairs from Prout and went from keeping him up at nights to keeping him up at nights with a crowd of screaming fans.

OTHER INDUSTRIAL MINERALS quickly skyrocketed to fame on the Austin music scene and all but reinvented the hard rock genre with their use of double-kick-drum ferocity and harmonizing guitar sounds.

This band is shooting straight for the stars. The only question that remains is: can their audience hold on tight enough to follow them through the Heavens?

OTHER INDUSTRIAL MINERALS are:

Trevor Prout – Vocalist

Ryan Winthrop – Bassist

Stan Babbitt – Drummer

Mark Lovedale – Guitarist

Bio by:  Raybo

So now that you’ve read all three, let us explain our decision.  We chose algoreyou’s bio because it grabbed our interest, and ultimately because it was, for lack of a better word, cheeky.  While theHoseman and Raybo provided us with more conventional bio’s, algoreyou went for a back story approach that was more story than background and in doing so made the band more personal and yet elusive at the same time.  While it may have been a little more scattershot in format than the other two finalists’ entries, it made us want to find out more, to wonder what the band’s first album would be called or imagine what their cover art would look like.  That’s what a good bio should do, it should make you want to seek out a band, and algoreyou’s did.  Plus you gotta love the line “So with two singers, a keyboardist, a perpetually angry bassist, a very short drummer, and a blind guitarist, the band took off for the sure fire success that they had been told would be granted to them by a Magic 8-Ball, and two horoscopes.”

Now that’s not to say that theHoseman or Raybo didn’t create good bio’s too, because they did.  We chose thehoseman as our second runner up because his bio had such great detail on how the band came together and because we all had to admit that we’d love to see Slag Aggregate get back together!  Great name.  But I digress…

Raybo’s bio was also good and quite funny, but we felt it read a bit too much like a press release and less like a bio per se.  I know splitting hairs, but hey that’s what you have to do when you’re judging these things…it’s not as easy as it looks you know.  We also LOVED the line  “Think Doogie Howser in space. But with a hard-on for Jimmy Page and Randy Rhodes.” Now that’s a tag line!  Raybo, stay tuned because a tag line Challenge is on it’s way!

So congratulations to algoreyou for accepting and winning Figment Challenge #3.  We will be crediting his account with 5,000 pieces of lucre and he has the right to create “Other Industrial Minerals” on Figment.  theHoseman will be receiving 3,000 pieces of Lucre for finishing 2nd, and Raybo will receive 1,500 pieces of Lucre for finishing 3rd.  Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for the next Figment Challenge!

Being able to write a band bio is a real skill – fake or real.   A good one grabs your attention and creates for the reader an image of the band, from it’s origins to it’s inspirations.  To create a true figment of a band, a player has to create a strong band bio since there is no music to clue a fan in to the band’s aesthetic.  Without a bio a fake band seems empty and well, fake.

We know we have a lot of great writers here on Figment.  so with our latest Figment Challenge we’re asking you to write the ultimate band bio!  We’ll provide the band name and you fill in the blanks!  So here we go…

The band’s name is Other Industrial Minerals.  You decide what kind of band they are, who their members are, what their back story is, and anything else you think will make them come alive.  The key is to make us a fan.  The only restrictions are that you may not use any real musicians, producers or record company names in your bio for Other Industrial Minerals.  You must also keep your bio’s length to no more than 10000 characters, just like on the site.

Submit your band bio for Other Industrial Minerals to customerservice at figment.cc by no later then Friday, December 17,2011 and we’ll judge them.  The Top 3 bios will be posted on the site on Dec. 21, 2011, and the winner will be allowed to actually create the band on Figment if they so choose.  The Top 3 will also receive lucre rewards of 5,000 pieces of lucre for first place, 3000 for second place and 1,500 for third.  Again, bio entries must be received by no later than Friday, December 17, 2011 to be eligible, so get writing!

Figment Challenge #2 Met!

October 18th, 2011

So thanks to the players who accepted Figment Challenge #2.  We had four submissions and they were all good.  I love seeing what you guys can do w/ an image, especially when you’re all working from with the same one!  It was tough to pick a winner, but we thought this design not only showed it’s creator’s sense of humor, but also had some great design touches.

So the winner of Figment Challenge #2 is:

So congratulations to poppinfresh for not only accepting and meeting our Figment Challenge #2, but exceeding it as well with his great design for Let’s Not and Say We Did’s “That Dog Won’t Hunt” cover!  We’ll be depositing 2,000 pieces of Lucre in his account and he’ll be allowed to release his album on Figment, so congrats poppinfresh!  We loved those chalk drawings!

The next best design in our opinion was from FuriousGrace for her cover of Malaika’s “Me and My Shadow”.  She’ll be receiving 1,500 pieces of Lucre for her design.  We loved the use of color and the font choice – and flipping the image gave it some more impact.

3rd place went to thehoseman for his design for The Beggars “Cheddar Blast”.  Again, nice flip and use of only the shadow as the main image.  We liked the font choice also.

The fourth submission was from Tyman for his band Decrease Magnum’s album “Messed Up World”, and we’ve decided that for accepting the challenge we’re going to award him 250 pieces of Lucre.

Thanks to everyone who accepted our latest challenge, and be on the lookout for the next one because we’ll be issuing it real soon!

 

Everyone creates their fake album covers at a different pace, but with our latest Figment Challenge we want to see if you can create one in record time (pun intended).  Here’s how it’s going to work, we provide you with an image – the one above – and you have until midnight ET Monday, October 17, 2011 to create an album cover for it.  You can create  the cover for an existing or new band of your creation.   You can manipulate the image in any way you see fit, but we have to be able to discern that the primary elements of the image are still present in your design.  We’d also like to point out that many a fake album on Figment has climbed the charts because of a clever album title, so design isn’t the only way you can grab our attention in this challenge.

When you are done creating your album cover send it to customerservice at figment.cc or simply use the feedback link at the bottom of any page on Figment.  We’ll take a look at the designs and give out lucre awards to the Top 3 designs.  1st place will receive 2,000 pieces of Lucre, 2nd place will receive 1,500 pieces of Lucre and 3rd place will receive 1,000 pieces of Lucre.  The player whose design is selected as the #1 design may also release the album on Figment.  Again, your design must be received by no later than midnight ET on Monday, October 17, 2011.

We recently issued our first Figment Challenge, and Figment player formerwageslave not only accepted the challenge he met it!  His post about his vintage 1971 Gibson SG 200/250 appeared today on VintageandRare.com’s blog.  So give it a read and check out VintageandRare.com when you get a chance, it’s a great site.  In the meantime, we’ll be depositing 25,000 pieces of lucre in formerwageslave’s account!  Stay tuned, because more challenges will be issued soon.

We’re starting a new feature here on the Figment News blog called Figment Challenges!  What is a Figment Challenge?  It’s a way for one or more Figment players to earn a special Lucre reward for taking on an assigned challenge that tests the abilities they use to create fake bands.

We’ve noticed that many of our players are musicians in real life.  We’ve also noticed that many of you are great writers, who can easily and concisely write about your love of music, real and fake.  So for our first Figment Challenge we’re looking for one player who owns a vintage instrument and is willing to write about why they love that instrument, and how playing it has inspired the bands they create on Figment.  That article will appear on VintageandRare.com, a website that provides professional musical instrument dealers and builders with a place to have a virtual store and web presence.  With over 400 dealers in 27 countries, VintageandRare.com is a great place to look for vintage, rare and hand/custom built musical equipment.

To select the player who will accept the challenge, we’ll need all entrants to leave a brief synopsis of their article below as a comment.  Keep in mind we’re looking for a player who not only owns a vintage, rare or hand/custom built instrument, but one who can also speak to how playing it has inspired their work on Figment.  Leave your comment below and we’ll pick the best one at the end of this week.  The player who is selected will have 1 week to deliver their article to us for the VintageandRare.com blog.  When that article is posted they’ll be rewarded with 25,000 pieces of lucre.  That will certainly buy you some virtual instruments in the Figment Gear Store!

We’ll be announcing other challenges from time to time here on Figment, so if you have any ideas please feel free to share them.  Now who is ready to accept Figment Challenge #1?