Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"What their is of it" by Wests Tigers

Names like Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Whodini and The 2 Live Crew must still ring a bell to you. They will be remembered for their legendary singles, their breakdance moves and their streetwear. Wests Tigers though had the same bad luck as The Rocksteady Crew: one big chartbuster, and then end of career. Wests Tigers never even made an album after their megahit "What their is of it" (I bet you still have the "Yo Yo Yo"-yell in the back of your head!).
All there is, is this 12 inch maxi single. And some lucky die hard fans have the limited edition in yellow vinyl.

Do cherish it...

"What their is of it" by Wests Tigers

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Meet a human being" by Target Tug

Take the weirdness of Split Enz, the musical awareness of Gruppo Sportivo and the humour of Wir sind Helden. Mix that with samples from The Doobie Brothers, Mothers Finest and Squeeze. And you'll get close to Target Tug. If you like wild and witty concerts, and short and funky songs, Target Tug is your thing.
Get this CD a quick as you can, keep that smile on your face and that sun in your heart, and tell all your friends what a song of Target Tug can do to you.
Enjoy this hilarious album.

"Meet a human being" by Target Tug

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"The Work Of Becoming Yourself" by Katharine Towney

Katharine Towney just recently released her debut album "The Work Of Becoming Yourself". And she's defenitely working on herself. Although she's just 22 she had a lot of bad luck in her life. But she has the maturity to turn all of her sorrow into good songs. She talks about sex at a young age, dependency of men, being hartbroken too often and the abilty to give love to yourself.
Yes, it's an explicit album but surely it's a debut with a strong opinion and a powerfull musical soundtrack.
So forget acts like Pink or Kate Perry. This is the genuine approach.

"The Work Of Becoming Yourself" by Katharine Towney

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"No line on the horizon" by U2

I agree... U2 is not a fake band (although some people think differently :-) ). But the reason why I wrote this post is because the new U2 album has probably the dullest cover ever.
Is that a crime? I wouldn't say that. But it's clear that we've seen that picture somewhere before...  

The cover for the new U2 album uses the same photo by Hiroshi Sugimoto that was used by electronic/ambient musician Taylor Deupree for his CD "Specification.Fifteen" (based on Sugimoto's work) from 2006.
You can read all about it here.

Without using the words stealing or plagiarism I would say that's not very smart. Who's to blame? I wouldn't know. Sugimoto himself, or his management? U2, or their management? This will probably stay an ongoing discussion...

Fact is, that it is a dull cover.
So I tried to pimp it (fake covers again!) but I kept the black&white picture. I didn't use any bigger-than-life typography and I didn't add any graphical elements.

Did it get any better? Tell me.

And that brings me to a second subject about U2.
The U2 album sleeves look always a bit simular. (Let's make an exception for "Pop") You could call that a house style but I don't think it's intentional. There's never any great design. Never any creativity. Always pale brown, dark red and black&white. Always a bit symmetrical. Always a bit old fashioned. I'ld almost say: always a bit dull.
What would happen if U2 used the same dull photo and the cliche title of their last album, but if they'ld use an old design?

I bet you recognize the albums in an instant...

"No line on the horizon" by U2


Friday, March 27, 2009

"Picture us" by Snicket

Snicket is one of those bands to whom playing live is more important than selling records. That's how they got their huge fanbase. And now there's finally their first album. Will they still sound like their life depended on it? Were they able to capture their live sound? Can they sound as powerfull as they do on stage?
The two singles "Follow the leader" and "Picture us" are featured on this album. The third single will be "Look at yourself"...
Get your teeth into this album!

"Picture us" by Snicket

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Life is a risk" by KissPeptin

It's rather unusual but they do exist: intelligent popsingers.
Kisspeptin is one of those exceptional artists. She brings you a quality you can rely on, like Girls Aloud, and a strong powerfull attitude like the Sugababes. She's self assured like Kylie and overconfident like Kylie's sister Danii. But she cultivates her weirdness like Bjork does and flirts with every camera like Lisa Stansfield used to do.
She can sing and perform, and she knows how to play the game called show biz.
So watch out for one of the biggest talents of the next couple of years: Kisspeptin!

"Life is a risk" by Kisspeptin

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"God's gift to little men" by Witless Protection

The jazz group Witless Protection has always reacted against the prejudice that jazz is dull and serious. They constantly added a dash of humour to their music. And their gigs where always a treat for your eyes. Nobody ever left a concert without a huge smile on their face.
This is their first independent  album, after leaving their record company.

"God's gift to little men" by Witless Protection

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Which distinguishes man from animals" by The Maratha Emperor

Symphonic prog rock bands like The Maratha Emperor where tremendously popular in the eighties, so one could ask himself why this halfgods from Ontario are still selling millions of records. The band did split up a couple of times, some members went through rehab, but they kept coming back.
This is their first album in eight years but "Which distinguishes man from animals" sounds as if they've never been away. The holy fire is still burning.
Sure, there are more bands like this nowadays (like Inca Crowns or MythMoth) but they all keep referring to The Maratha Emperor as their biggest influence.

"Which distinguishes man from animals" by The Maratha Emperor

Monday, March 23, 2009

"One objective" by Peer Jochel

Skandinavia has a lot of singer/songwriters but Peer Jochel from Norway is without any doubt the most succesfull star in his area. We've seen and heard it all before from the likes of Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz, but Jochel has after all released his debut album. This collection of simple songs will most certainly be bought by all of his fans, who voted for him on the Norwegian version of Idols. 
And I have to admit: it's not a typical prefab Idols album. 
"One objective" will please the critics too.

"One objective" by Peer Jochel

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"A Way to Explore it" by James William Elliot

If you like the raw power of Henri Rollins you are gonna be overwhelmed by James William Elliot. His spoken word tracks (you can hardly call it songs) have the same immediacy as The Last Poets but the same brutality as Rammstein. His musical force could be compared with System of A Down.
So if you're easely shocked don't go there. But if you want to be confronted with intelligent and strong arguments, and music that gets you, take a deep breath and dive into "A Way to Explore it"

"A Way to Explore it" by James William Elliot

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Genius itself " by East High

"East High" is a brave attempt of a record company to combine a boysband with  country music. But maybe it's just a bit too much asked to force a fusion  between gayness and down right redneck conservatism. Keeping in mind how half of the States reacted to the words of the Dixie Chicks I wouldn't bet anything for the success of these pretty boys.
Releasing this album is already a giant step forward in the music industry but I wonder how long this hype will last... Is it really genius itself or just a predictable failure?

"Genius itself " by East High

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Rational analysis" by Dong Da

Pure plastic Japanese pop. That's what Dong Da is. Nothing more. Nothing less.
But they're four boys with an average age of 19. They play keyboards and all kinds of computers and machines to produce a typical retro eighties sound. Think Blancmange. Think A Flock of Seagulls. Think The Europeans.
But made now and very hot. And made in Japan. And with probably the worst record sleeve I've seen in years.

Now I think of it, whatever happenend to Sandii & the Sunsets?

"Rational analysis" by Dong Da

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Anything else in the world" by The Tumut Shire Council

They are hot! Every TV show has them. Every important jazz  festival wants them. The Tumut Shire Council have just recently started, but they are unwillingly the subject of a major hype.
I never would have expected that a band that sounds like Roy Hargrove or Tom Browne would become a million seller. We'll see what a second album will bring, and if they still will be the publics new darlings...

"Anything else in the world" by The Tumut Shire Council

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Have a Beginning" by Sacepo

Sacepo is founded by Thierry Tenvas and his best friend Alain d'Autrepart when they studied at a Parisian Academie. After a couple of months they where joined by their beautiful classmate Isabelle Dailleurs, who took over singing. Immediately they got a record deal and their debut CD is out now.
The album sounds ecclectic and minimal, but the genres is difficult to describe. It's not lounge, and not easy listening, but it defenitely got a certain coolness.
Highly recommended.

"Have a Beginning" by Sacepo

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Easier to connect" by Kelvinside Academy

If I'm not mistaken the first album by The Cure had a sleeve with greytones. (Correct me if I'm wrong!) And the singlesleeve of "A forest" was grey too. In that time all indie bands used the colours grey and black.
This band too, Kelvinside Academy, has an attitude. but has a much more sophisticated look than a bunch of scarecrows. They're easier to approach and they think more about their appearance. Which doesn't mean that The Cure didn't think about their styling. They only smeared their make-up. At least Robert Smith did.

"Easier to connect" by Kelvinside Academy

"Get it over with" by Grey brush-finch

Well, what is there to be said about this one. It doesn't need fancy typography, or an elaborate sleeve. It's attractive as it is, isn't it?
And I don't need to know what kind of music they play.
I'll buy the sleeve. You can keep the record.

"Get it over with" by Grey brush-finch

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Never return" by Max Maurenbrecher

Ooo... an album sleeve with a Gibson and a European name...
There were (and still are) many guitarists with a German sounding name: Danny Lademacher, Michael Schenker, Eddie van Halen, Richard Kruspe, Klaus Meine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ad Vandenberg ...and even Toots Thielemans.
This cover has a very stylish, sophisticated and clean cover picture. Must be a very sophisticated guitar player. I guess, like... let's say Robert Cray, George Benson, Larry Carlton or Carlos Santana.

Give it a spin and tell me how wonderfull this guitar music is...

"Never return" by Max Maurenbrecher

"Wind it up again" by Sauce Corrientes

If you pick randomly a band name and an album title, you can't change a lot, if you want to follow the rules. It's not that I want to cheat but once in a while I skip or ad a word or two, but that's it.
Nevertheless sometimes you get the ugliest pictures. In this case a picture of a colourfull but hidious handbag came up. To get a convincing album sleeve I had to give everything a cheerfull feel, so I blew up the picture 'till you couldn't see anymore that it was a handbag.
The band name Sauce Corrientes made me think of South-America (Sauce is actually a town in Argentinian province of Corrientes), and all of a sudden the pattern of the handbag had somewhat of a Inca-esque or Aztec-like design. And "Wind it up again" became lively too.

So that's why this album cover looks like an oldfashioned latin ballroom LP.
Once sold out, but now reissued in a cheap price range.

"Wind it up again" by Sauce Corrientes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Between one person and himself" by W.T. Cosgrove

I guess W.T. Cosgrove is related to G. Love (from "G. Love & Special Sauce") but he could equaly be Lyle Lovett's brother. On the other hand... he could be Jeff Buckley's nephew or Chris Isaak's little cousin...
He defenitely is influenced by a trendy kind of country music and he sure is mad as a hatter. 

But don't take what I say for granted. Try for yourself, if you can.

"Between one person and himself" by W.T. Cosgrove

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Four from Art Rock

I did mention it before here, but Art Rock from the Art for Arts Sake blog (amongst others) inspired me to start this blog about fake covers. It tickles my creativity to make fictitious album sleeves.
But once again Art Rock referred to me on his blog. So I decided to bend the rules of this funny little design game. I took a couple of pictures from Art Rock's flickr page, and used some phrases and random words to make a couple of CD covers.
By the way, Art Rock makes splendid pictures!
I'm sure Art Rock won't mind me using his photos...

So this are covers for:
"Thanks for stopping" by The Commons
"Building" by Almere
"Help you find things" by Schaper
"Up for grabs" by Beijing Belle

And do let me know what you think of these covers, and the other ones on this blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Best use as a human" by Darigold

Sweet. Just sweet. That's what Darigold is. And their fanbase is steadily growing. Young girls love them. Especially young girls in love.
How does Marigold sound? Well, it brings back memories of Tracy Thorn's first band The Marine Girls. But it's smoother. Let's say Silje Nergaard, Katie Melua, Norah Jones... but more fashionable. They even get remixed, says the label on the cover. And yes, I do hear simularities with Morcheeba. But even more downtempo.
Did I say boring? I didn't, did I?

"Best use as a human" by Darigold.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Even less than you settled for" by Dom Remy-la-Canne

Two innocent looking but cynical girls. They kick ass. They're afraid of nothing. And they deny there's a clear line between the sexes. Their English is poor but their songs are convincing.
Their lyrics are not for the faint at heart. If you don't get what they mean you get the middle finger and they will not bend for anything. They will conquer the world.
That is, if they would exist. 

Isn't it wonderfull to make up an entire concept: band, image, attitude, styling, artwork...

"Even less than you settled for" by Dom Remy-la-Canne.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Life is an adventure in forgiveness" by "The Biblical Figures

If I would tell you I found this LP in an old box in the attic, would you believe me? I could try to convince you that the album is certainly 60 years old, and that it's a recording by an old English church choir. They consist of 40 vocalists and sing songs of praise. And they had to stop in the late seventies because of old age. Their albums can still be found on auction sites but the number of albums is limited.

But actually I made everything up and I designed this cover just yesterday. I was lucky though that the name of the performers, and the album title and the picture went so well together. The only thing I cheated was, that I added the word "The" before "Biblical figures". And I blurred the typography to make it look old and damaged.

"Life is an adventure in forgiveness" by The Biblical Figures

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"The circle-valued Morse Theory" By Principle

I would place Principle somewhere between Electric Body Music and Urban Hardrock. The influences are obvious: D.A.F., Front 242, S.P.K., Rammstein, Stone Sour...
So this is very powerful music in a very modern setting. The lyrics are in your face.
Short songs. A short album. But defenitely a statement...

"The circle-valued Morse Theory" by Principle. Take it or leave it.

And I cheated again. I followed the rules but I switched band name and album name. "The circle-valued Morse Theory" was actually my Wikipedia subject, and "Principle" was the last word of the quotation. I think "Principle" is a much better band name...

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Too far backward" by Langues d'oil

Langues d'oil is one of those intellectual French bands with a lovely lolita as an eyecatcher. She can't sing but as long as she talks wiz a funny Frensj akzend every Anglophile will love her.

But is that enough to sell enough copies of their debut album "Too far backward"? Their next move is probably literaly moving to England, like John & Jehn did.

Mesdames et messieurs, this is: "Too far backward" by Langues d'oil

The only "cheating" I did on this cover is to turn the photo 90 degrees to the right, so the  leaning backward of the model would emphasise the title of the album. But is that cheating, or just being creative?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Other people" by Iyo-Ohira Station

Jazzanova. Kraak & Smaak. Kyoto Jazz Massive. And now there is the new sensation Iyo-Ohira Station.
They bring you sophisticated retro lounge music: a bit of old school jazz. some soul and R&B, a dash of classic ambient mixed with acid jazz, but always funky and groovy.

Iyo-Ohira Station takes fahionable adult dance music to a higher level. Le dernier cri!

"Other people" by Iyo-Ohira Station.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"The Point is to discover them" by Roman Iron Age

It's sure something from the eighties. One of those hairy hard rock bands. But because their popularity was decreasing they turned to disco. I guess (maybe the word "DISCOver" in the album title is a play on words. Who knows?). The whole makeover didn't give a boost to the credibility of Rod Stewart or The Stones either, did it?
Roman Iron Age wanted to be fashionable too and started to use the colour pink. I'm afraid it didn't help much. We never heard of them again. Or before...

"The Point is to discover them" by Roman Iron Age. Enjoy. Or not. The album title says it all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"To love more" by Brolo

...One of those new singer/songwriters. No doubt. But I have the impression that Brolo is a bit of an angry one. I think she really suffers. Hartbroken? Abused? Misunderstood? Traumatised?
Or is it just a pose dictated by her record company?Who will tell?

But, looking at the album title, I think she hasn't lost all hope yet.

"To love more" by Brolo.
I can't get around the fact that a CD cover is square, and that most photos on flickr are rectangular, so I have to crop.  Only this black&white picture is cropped a bit more than usual to give it a more dramatic impact.
I don't think that's cheating, is it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators" by Lubania

Is it Mediterranian urban pop, or an East European boys band?
Or is it just a bunch of skater dudes?
The whole concept is maybe a bit to friendly to be an alternative punk band, although the album title seems to suggest a critical point of view.
Would you buy this album just by judging by the cover?
Maybe with a big media hype "Aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators" by Lubania could become a succes, but I doubt it.

What's your opinion?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"What it used to be" by Cherry Grove

If Cherry Grove really would exist, it defenitely would be a disco band. Look at the glitters, look at the name...

So this is the fake album cover for Cherry Grove's "What it used to be". But I keep wondering what it actually DID use to be...
What do you think?