48 Hours

September 25th, 2013

We have a lot of talented players on Figment who are just as talented outside of it.  formerwageslave is one such player.  He runs his own label, plays in several bands, is a club DJ, and hosts his own radio show on WMPG.

Clearly formerwageslave’s plate is full right?  Not quite.  Last winter he participated in Portland, MEs “48 Hour Music Festival” where 30 local musicians were randomly grouped together into “bands.”   These “bands” were given 48 hours to write a 25-minute set of material and then asked to perform the original songs they’d written live at a local venue.

formerwageslave’s band “The Body In The Kelp” recorded the four songs they wrote for the Festival and have just made them available via Bandcamp as a “Name Your Price” download or via CD for $7. As formerwageslave pointed out, “the songs have a stoner/doom/blues vibe… not heavy or psych enough to be Vorpal Queen, but there’s a little bit of that group hiding inside these songs…”

So support a fellow Figment player by downloading this incredible album – you can give it a listen here:

 

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!

As you know, Chris Mars just helped us out with our 2012 Figment Album Cover Design Contest.  Now it’s time for us to return the favor and help him out.  Chris just released his first single since 1996, “When I Fall Down”, to benefit his old band mate Slim Dunlap from The Replacements.  Slim suffered a stroke on February 20th, and Chris is trying to help raise money for his hospital bills.  You can listen to the single on Chris’ Facebook page and buy it for 99 cents on his website.  All proceeds from the single will go to help Slim and his family with his in-patient rehabilitation and treatment.  Let’s do our part to help a friend of Figment help a friend in need.

Let’s Help William Schaff!

December 12th, 2011

For those of you who participated in the 2nd annual Figment Album Cover Design Contest back in 2010, you’ll remember that we were privileged to have artist and designer William Schaff as our guest judge.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with William he has created album cover designs for artists like Okkervil River, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, etc. and I highly suggest you check out the interview we conducted with him.

William was great to work with as a judge and really helped us all out by providing some great feedback to our players.  Now we’d like to return the favor by helping him out with a project he has just posted on Kickstarter. For those of you who are not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events, and dreams to life by asking the public to help them fund it.  William is working with Ryan Graveface of Graveface Records to raise $15,000 to put out a high quality, fine art book that collects the artwork William Schaff has done for bands and musicians over the years.   60 to 80 pages, this 11″ x 11″ book collects artwork done by William over the years for such bands as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Okkervil River, Kid Dakota, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more. It also contains introductions written by folks such as John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Darren Jackson of Kid Dakota, and Will Sheff of Okkervil River. The book will also come with a 10″ of songs recorded by Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.) specifically for this book. Lastly, 10% of all proceeds if they make their goal (or exceed it) will go to helping Jason with his current medical bills.

The project is 57% funded already, but every dollar will help with manufacturing the book and you’ll get some great reward gifts in return. So give what you can and help William meet his goal!

Record Store Day 2011

April 15th, 2011

Record Store Day is tomorrow, April 16, 2011, and all of us at Figment would like to urge you to take the time to search out a local record store, pay them a visit, and buy an album.  Why?  So they don’t suffer the same fate as these record stores!

With independently own record stores closing left and right, Record Store Day is a chance for these stores to team up with artists to celebrate music.  Many of these stores will be selling special Record Store Day releases from your favorite artists as well as holding special events, like in-store performances, record signings, etc.  So check out your local store’s website or visit RecordStoreDay.com to find your local store and check out what’s happening.

If you don’t have a local store or can’t make it there tomorrow, please take the time to visit an independent record store website, like the one run by our good friends at Stinkweeds!  They’ll be happy to sell you a record without you having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Regardless of how you do it, let’s get out tomorrow and support indy record stores and artists.  Not only will it keep music alive in our communities, but we’ll all go home with some fresh new sounds to enjoy!

LBR’s March Metal Madness!

March 16th, 2011

With all due respect to the NCAA, calling their annual college basketball tournament “March Madness” has always seemed a tad overstated…Madness?  Really?  If you want real madness you’ve got to check out Long Bong Records’ (LBR) March Metal Madness.  That is TRUE MADNESS!

LBR, purveyors of the finest stoner metal since March 2009, are celebrating their 2nd anniversary by releasing a new album every week in the month of March by some of their top artists as well as “met*al*lur*gy II:  Z to A”, a compilation of all of the artists on the label.

Better yet, Mr. Styx, the label’s VP of Public Relations and chief Spokesperson, contacted Figment News to let us know that any Figment player who purchases a copy of “met*al*lur*gy II” between the dates of March 19 – 26, 2011 may also pick up a copy of any album by an LBR artist without LBR receiving any lucre for the sale.  What does this mean?  Buy “met*al*lur*gy II” that week and you’ll get one album from any LBR artist for free!  According to Mr. Styx, it’s the label’s way of saying thanks, “We are grateful to the fans for their support of the bands, and the label, and this is our way of showing our thanks. This will be an ideal time to dig through the back catalogs of Zeroth or Crimson Eye, or finally pick up something from one of our lesser-known bands.”

Already March Metal Madness has featured the release on March 1st of Blackened Skull Ensemble’s latest self-titled LP, Kemia’s “The Ecstasy of Eternal Night” on March 8th, and this week’s release of Prog Metal giant Zeroth’s latest “Concentric Horizons”.  Upcoming weeks will see the release of the long awaited new album from doom/thrash titans Crimson Eye, and a live recording from the recent “Cacophony Tour” that featured Zeroth, Serpentinuum, Kemia, and The Great God Conspiracy.

With LBR home to such a diverse roster of metal acts, you’re sure to find a great release that will induce your own form of METAL MADNESS!  So go get your crazy on!

Happy Birthday LBR!

Another Reason To Be Cheerful!

September 9th, 2010

For those of you who competed in our 2009 Figment Album Cover Design Contest, you’ll remember that as one of the prizes we gave away a copy of the book Reasons To Be Cheerful:  The life and works of Barney Bubbles by Paul Gorman.  At the time, we spoke to Paul about his book and why Barney’s work was so influential, so if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you do.

Fast forward to September 2010 and “Reasons To Be Cheerful” has been named as Mojo magazine’s Book of the Year 2010, and a new revised version of the book will be released in October in the UK, and by DAP in the spring of 2011 in the U.S.

I spoke via email to Paul recently as he was preparing a new exhibition of Barney Bubbles’ work called “Process:  The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles” at London’s Chelsea space gallery.  Curated by Gorman, Process will contain many never-before-seen items drawn from private collections, including student notebooks, working sketches, original artwork, paintings, books and photography.  Bubbles used them as the raw materials for the videos, record sleeves, t-shirts and posters he created for such performers as Ian Dury, Hawkwind, Elvis Costello, The Damned and Billy Bragg.  You can check out Paul’s progress putting the show together on his blog.

Paul had this to say about the newly revised version of Reasons To Be Cheerful,

It is enhanced by around 50 new images, from his student days (including watercolours of Brain jones and George Harrison for a Mods & Rockers project) to his final years (including a sketch for Elvis Costello’s “Pills & Soap” – released without a sleeve in the guise of The Impostor).

There is a lot of fresh info derived from interviews with such people as his first girlfriend and quotes from such people as Simon Cowell’s brother “Record John” who roomed with Barney in 1969.

I have also discovered the identity of his first full-time employer and have quotes from a colleague about the rigorousness nature of employment there, which no doubt helped shape him.

He was also kind enough to share some of the new images from the book with us –

So if you’re in London, definitely pay “Process:  The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles” a visit at Chelsea space, and if you want to find out more about Barney Bubbles check out Paul Gorman’s incredible book “Reasons To Be Cheerful” or read his blog.

Indie Craft

July 22nd, 2010

We’re excited to announce that William Schaff, the judge of our recent Album Cover Design Contest, is featured in the new book “Indie Craft” by Jo Waterhouse due out in October.  The book focuses on the new wave of D.I.Y. crafting that while still anchored in the disciplines your grandma used – embroidery, cross-stitch, crochet, knitting, etc. – is more cutting-edge and quirky.  Some of Will’s embroidery and other craft work is featured, so check it out.  Still waiting for some of our Figment bands to pick up the knitting needles and get to work, but in the meantime, congrats Will!

Record Store Day!

April 16th, 2010

All of us Figment wanted to remind you that tomorrow, April 17, 2010 is Record Store Day!  So take some time out to visit your local record store and support it by buying an album!  You’ll be helping to ensure it’s survival at a time when record stores are closing at a rapid rate.  A lot of local stores will be holding special events, like in-store performances, record signings, etc. so check out your local store’s website or visit RecordStoreDay.com to find out what’s happening!

If you can’t visit your local record store visit their website and purchase something.  Independent record stores like Stinkweeds and Vintage Vinyl have their own online stores, so you can support them without even having to visit their brick and mortar store.

We also recommend you check out the book Record Store Days from Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo.  We interviewed Phil last week and we definitely recommend you buy his book!

So get out there and shop till you drop!  Your local record store depends on it!

stinkweeds

Hey we just got word that when The Excess Express Tour ’09 – ’10 pulls into Phoenix, AZ today that both Pusher and Agua Netz will be doing a joint in-store appearance at Phoenix’s top independent record store Stinkweeds!   So drop by and meet both bands!  It sure to be a rollicking good time.  Oh, and buy a lot of records from Stinkweeds – they’re good folks.