Merciful heavens, this Fake Album meme that's spreading all over Facebook's nethers is relentless. Put simply (Dad), the deal is you take your band name, your album title and album artwork from random content generated by a trio of pre-selected websites. Then you spend the next 30 minutes fucking around in Photoshop and minimizing the window every time your boss goes past and voila! Instant music industry.
It's a timesuck that feels productive, an intriguing study of the visual language of albums (albeit imaginary ones) and a jarring reminder of the creepy associative constructions of bandhood-- all at once! Here's a look at the Top 10 Fake Albums of the week (as we'll most likely all be way sick of this whole thing before 7 whole days pass).
10. MAURICE SWAN | Everyone Gives To Their Mistakes (2009)
I actually made this one myself. I figure that while it certainly can't be the best of the thousands of fake albums that have popped up on the 'Books, it's certainly at least the tenth best. Perhaps one of the most compelling non-releases of the year, Maurice Swan (named for an old-tymey professional Irish footballer) is probably like a grown-up emo four-piece comprised of guys who are like one tour away from calling it quits and seeking out internships at like Modernista! or something. Right? Can't you just see these dudes borrowing their girlfriends' Civics to get their shit to T.T.'s?
9. LASHVILI | Nature Does It For You (2009)
More Helvetica? Oh, you don't even want to know how much Helvetica is going on in this meme. You'd think everyone on Facebook was a tax form designer. In any case, Lashvili's Nature Does It For You is clearly the debut of one of those indistinguishable Scandinavian laptop types that can't fit onto Morr Music, are probably Finnish and thus lacking the buddy base to form something like Mum. I can feel my inner two and a half stars bestowing themselves already.
8. THEORIES ABOUT STONEHENGE | Never Get Up In The Morning (2009)
Seriously, because if you get up in the morning even once, you run the risk of having your world ANNIHILATED BY FIRE!!!!! Theories About Stonehenge could as easily be from Leominster as they could be from Gardner, maybe even Pepperell-- it doesn't really matter. What matters is that they're from far enough in the 508 that the two founding members who love Cradle of Filth were unable to find three other members of similar radness. The end result is a long cycle of directionless outvotings at the hands of the drummer, the rhythm guitarist and the singer, who can only practice until MMOPRG o'clock.
7. COCONUT RECORDS | Davy (2009)
I should probably clarify that this one did not come from Facebook at all, but rather, is an actual album of songs made by Jason Schwartzman. Still. I think he might be just kidding.
6. MINUSCULE 254 | Only Of Certain Persons (2009)
There are a few things that make this a strikingly passable industro-techno demo produced by the only gay kid at Quinsigamond: the typo in the band name, the unintended more-administrative-than-militant effect of Courier New, the stilted alienation at play in the title. But more than any of these, the cover concept -- whipped together after a quick trip to Army Surplus and a session with some Wahl clippers -- is what makes this such a chilling vision of some crazy metaphorical sewer-Matrix shit that we're all trapped in unless we listen to this record, do you understand?
5. BELGIAN GENDARMERIE | Which You Yourself Have Altered (2009)
Watch out Vampire Weekend! These frosh are fresh! Whip-smart too: They know a little something about history. Namely, that something called the Belgian Gendarmerie existed, and it's an effortless way to instill within people a sense that your drab indie-pop band is actually from Belgium and not Connecticut. Probably listen to pre-Raw and the Cooked Fine Young Cannibals and push a more hoodie and jean steez than V-neck and wingtip. Close your eyes: See them opening for Oxford Collapse? Crazy!
4. VICARIATE APOSTOLIC | The Reverse Side Also Has A Reverse Side (2009)
I'd totally listen to this if it showed up on my desk. And existed. The album title is either a Wittgensteinian gobstopper of tautological intrigue or just straight-up Engrish; the devil-may-care font choices and layout decisions signal larger creative concerns on the part of the musicians; and most importantly... OH! Who is that?! Who is that fuzzy guy there? What does he have in his mouth? Do you have your toy? I'm gonna take it! I'm gonna take your toy! YEEESSS, YEEESSS you're a good boy!!!! Someone form this band for fuck's sake!
3. PEEPING TOM | Exacts For Granting Peace
Nota bene: Dogs are not always awesome.
2. VOLCA | The Art of Mothering (2009)
Wow. Somehow, a stretched out sweater, some visible wiring, a pale yellow wall covered in assorted antlers, a Daft Punky helmet and a title that has nothing to do with anything-- they all come together in some kind of perfect storm of apparent indie-rock legitimacy. It's all so real! If only it were like 10 years ago, this would move like, what, 3,000 copies? Man. Tell me they cover "Glory Days" with nothing but the black keys on an old Yamaha organ and a tambourine. You just know that for some reason their T-shirts are completely incongruous with the rest of their image, just for indie-shits and giggles: VOLCA in some sort of hyper-viney death metal logo. Mastery.
1.) LOINS OF PUNJAB | Silence Is The Virtue of Fools
Forget about the simmering contradictions between a short/stocking combo like that and any sort of discussion about what's foolish or virtuous and just imagine for moment: What sound could possibly come from the Loins of Punjab? It kills me that I'll never know the answer. You win, Internet.