Friday, June 06, 2008

How to Chose an Album Cover, Part 3 of 2

In case you missed them: parts one and two

On February 14th, 1876, Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell, working independently from one another, filed a notice with United States Patent Office. Bell's patent, famously, was for the telephone, a device which allowed instantaneous verbal communication, thereby supplanting Morse code, spawning the cellphone, and allowing you to be sideswiped by confused geriatrics and LA moms scheduling their next rat-poison lip inflation. Meanwhile, Elisha Gray's patent was for, well, the telephone.

This phenomenon is known as "multiples," the unfancy term science types apply to concurrent discoveries and simultaneous breakthroughs. Malcolm Gladwell, the afroed smartypants responsible for "Blink" and "Tipping Point," just wrote a big ol' New Yorker article chronicling this strange phenomenon; beyond the phone, calculus, fractions, oxygen, evolution, and color photography were discovered by at least two people at nearly, if not the exact same, time.

Of course, what do you call an invention that, for whatever reasons, happens many years after the original discovery? Well, in English class, they called it "plagiarism," a term which now largely applies to that essay you just download from I' It's a cardinal sin in the art world, whether accidental or contrived. Just because everyone who has ever lifted a guitar or bass has accidentally played "Blister in the Sun" doesn't mean they wrote it; it just means it's really that easy.

Which brings us---tragically---to "Gettin' Physical." See, I was sure we'd hit on something brilliant, something that, if you've been reading along was patently and absolutely "Fucking Awesome." Turns out we suck:

Yes, Tony Tee, that Stephen-Jackson-looking peddler of Spandexed hoes and disinterested spotters beat us to it.

Now, you may not know Tony Tee. You are forgiven. Google barely knows who Tony Tee is, the moniker now apparently hijacked by a New Jersey-based disc jockey who looks far less like the greatest and best basketball player ever. Tony Tee albums, furthermore, are few and far between, the province of eBay grab bags, Amazon used cassette clearances, and garage sales at the house of that old man with the green Impala.

What I'm saying is we could get away with it. Tony Tee is unlikely to emerge from whatever gym in which he's currently getting physical and sue us. He's no doubt quit the old school rap game and now works as a regional sales manager for a salted meat concern. But just because no one would know we sort of accidentally kind of ripped him off doesn't mean we wouldn't know that. The knowledge would eat us up inside like some sort of parasitic worm or Burger King entree.

I simply couldn't live with that.

So we went back to the drawing board. Or rather, we disallowed Peter the access to his trusty green pen and went to a professional. What we ended up with was something classy, arresting, and about as far from an extreme-sports loving fishman as possible.

We hope you enjoy:


ncbutters said...

Im completely jocking your new album cover. Way to be done good.

Anonymous said...

Man, I totally did that shit like 2 days ago.

Anonymous said...

It's awesome! Great job guys!

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