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October 11, 2010 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Hipster Album Cover Generator

Based on an image posted to Reddit with the legend, "pick a bad photo, apply a vintage effect and write something in helvetica," someone came up with an algorithm taking the artist's name from a random Wikipedia article title, the image from a random flickr image, and the last few words of a random QuotationsPage quote as the album name.
posted by BeerFilter (82 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hey, I remember when this went around as a facebook meme.

Back in 2007.

Let's all change our statuses to the color bra we're wearing right now!
posted by phunniemee at 10:28 AM on October 11, 2010 [17 favorites]


There is a picture of a girl in a bikini near a "Schweppes" expo booth, it's got that going for it. I say this as a big fan of Schweppes, of course.
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on October 11, 2010


Are these on vinyl or cassette tape?
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wax cylinders is really where it's at, if you wanna be old-school.
posted by Mister_A at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2010


Re, the link text: not really.
posted by codacorolla at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2010


I like it on the floor of my closet!
posted by rusty at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2010


This isn't hipster. You want hipster?
WITCH HOUSE // CHILL WAVE // NAME GENERATOR
posted by naju at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


I haven't gotten tired of these yet. My album cover when this went around in my circle last year at some point.
posted by bayani at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2010


I'm having trouble imaging what this would sounds like.
posted by Rinku at 10:39 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


To indie bands and art directors at record companies everywhere: STOP DOING THIS. We don't need any more album covers that look like a dingy polaroid you found in your mom's attic. You are trying too hard to look lo-fi and campy.
posted by Ratio at 10:40 AM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


To everyone: "Hipster XXXXXX" is played. Please make a note of it.
posted by josher71 at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Whether it's a clever idea or not, the execution here is piss-poor.
posted by joshjs at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Before this dissolves into hipster bashing concern trolling (itself not a bad album title), I gotta say that "Random Syntax Tree" and "Muslim Views of Astrology" are excellent indie supergroup band names, and "Of Weakness, But Of Power" is, I believe, the working title of everything Conor Oberst has ever recorded. And "Sucked Into Jet Engines" - that was a Bob Pollard side project, right?

So, you know, seems to be working well.
posted by gompa at 10:42 AM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Although the execution is majorly lacking (they can't even specify a decent Helvetica substitute), and the system was a meme eons ago in internet time, I'm definitely ready for a band called Jeopardy! Kids Week.
posted by kyleg at 10:42 AM on October 11, 2010


Wax cylinders is really where it's at, if you wanna be old-school.

Unless you're this guy.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:42 AM on October 11, 2010


Both of my winningest hipster band names derive from recent Metafilteriana:

Barechested Twain
and
Industrial Honey
posted by chavenet at 10:42 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah? Let's see it generate this.
posted by griphus at 10:43 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am as disinterested and unimpressed by the whole hipster thing as I believe the hipsters want me to think I should be, despite the obvious effort they put into creating that impression of wanting me to be disinterested and unimpressed and the natural desire anyone would have to be recognized for such effort.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:44 AM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh hey, I remember when this went around as a facebook meme.

Back in 2007.


It is very appropriate that this is the first comment in a hipster-related thread.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:45 AM on October 11, 2010 [20 favorites]


Oh my god, Mary. I feel bad for that shaky-handed man.
posted by Mister_A at 10:45 AM on October 11, 2010


Nothing pleases me more than the despair of long-time vinyl advocates who've not heard about the cassette tape thing when you let them in on it.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on October 11, 2010


I tried it and it came up with the Wikipedia page for an actual hipster album.

I don't know how I feel about that.
posted by dudekiller at 10:53 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did a few of these manually back when this meme went around...for some reason, they all turned out really emo.

(This is my favorite, but I've got two more.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2010


Here's what Metafilter came up with when this came around last year (though then it was made by hand and had none of the extraneous "hipster" terminology)
posted by flatluigi at 10:57 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, this is the corrected formula:

Don't take random images from the Flicker interestingness calendar, take them from this pool.

Don't use text with outlines or shadows. Make it at least twice as big as this generator does. Randomly decide to place text on the left, right, or center, aligned to either the left, right, or center respectively. If it is on one side or the other, don't use any margins -- run those letters right up to the edge of the image. No leading either... each line should touch the one above it.

The color of the text should be determined by a tool like this one, which finds the optimal complimentary color based on the contents of the image. If the color is mostly light, the text should be normal and opaque. If it's mostly dark, it should be slightly transparent and/or distressed.

Band names should be generated by the site naju linked to.

Album titles can be picked basically the same way, but they should only come from quotes that contain at least two commas, and the first word of the title must immediately follow a comma in the quote.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ha, I tried it and it came up with Dungen. I guess when you pick a random Wiki page, there's a chance you'll hit a actual band page. Kinda funny I guess. I was going to say that none of these that I'd seen looked 'hipster' in any way, and then I got this one.
posted by statolith at 11:00 AM on October 11, 2010


Seriously what TWPL said. If you're going to make fun of something for being too cool, then you better be pretty fucking cool yourself - you better 'get' exactly what you're mocking, or you come off looking like a grumpy old man. This generator is not, and it does.
posted by codacorolla at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2010


What have we learned? Say what you want about today's 'indie rock' vs old skool rock and roll musically, the old stuff definitely produced better album covers and t-shirts.
posted by jonmc at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2010


Oh yeah well I remember when this was a LiveJournal meme waaaay before it was a facebook meme. So there.
posted by ook at 11:04 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


To everyone: "Hipster XXXXXX" is played. Please make a note of it.

Pretty please with your favorite obscure person on top.
posted by Gator at 11:05 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I built a tool exactly like this a few months ago. It's called Kreskin and has support for different typefaces.
posted by zerolives at 11:08 AM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


The coolest man in the world.

Everybody else go sit down and nurse your PBR now.
posted by timsteil at 11:14 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


To indie bands and art directors at record companies everywhere: STOP DOING THIS.

Almost every one of those album covers look great to me. But I suppose we could go back to Roger Dean covers, if you like.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:14 AM on October 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am going to sound like a hipster here, but this really was a lot more fun when we were actually making the things. I did it - I like games that involve making something based on chance. I am an exquisite corpse fiend.

This is kind of interesting for the instant gratification aspect, and some of the combinations are cool, but the actual FUN of the game was in the act of creation and in seeing what others had done with the challenge.


I think "hipster" has also become kind of meaningless. I recall a time not so very long ago, I was sneering at so-called hipsters with a very specific narrow stereotype in mind. Then I gave the matter some thought - lessee, most of the people I associate with are musicians and artists. Others run small record labels, art galleries, and clubs, both above and under ground, official-wise. The music I listen to, the movies I watch, the art and video I make - I don't intend it that way, but they could be considered hipsteresque.

So I don't dress in head to toe American Apparel (doesn't fit) or wear anything ironic (looks dumb) and I recall the eighties from the first go-round (they sucked) and I don't drink PBR (tastes of wee.) Four fingers pointing back at me. I am, much to my fucking chagrin, what most would probably categorize as a...hipster. Sadder than that. An aging hipster.


It's pretty fun.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:21 AM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


But I suppose we could go back to Roger Dean covers, if you like.

How about Frazetta? Vampirella Weekend. Enormous Looming Crystal Castles. Sleigh Bells of Doom.
posted by griphus at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I did when it came to me.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on October 11, 2010


But I suppose we could go back to Roger Dean covers, if you like.

It's probably the wrong answer, but as a matter of fact I would like that very much.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:26 AM on October 11, 2010


How about Frazetta? Vampirella Weekend. Enormous Looming Crystal Castles. Sleigh Bells of Doom.

Tigers and boobs.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:27 AM on October 11, 2010


But I suppose we could go back to Roger Dean covers, if you like.

See, that kind of attititude is why America trails in super-science these days.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'd be fine with Dean covers as well. My point is that certain musical movements and certain periods have looks, and there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:31 AM on October 11, 2010


Oh no. No no. This is horrible. And it has nothing to do with "hipster."

I think "hipster" has also become kind of meaningless.

PROTIP: It lost its meaning sometime around 1957.

I suppose now the best synonym is "trend follower." But that doesn't make much sense for album covers.

I did this years ago too. Mine came out more like Eastern European Metal/Grunge.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:43 AM on October 11, 2010


This is the worst concept album I've ever seen.
posted by griphus at 11:48 AM on October 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Your favourite random hipster album-cover generator sucks.
posted by ob at 12:08 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This isn't complete until it pipes all output directly to a Tumblr blog.
posted by ardgedee at 12:11 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love this.
posted by Splunge at 12:12 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh. I remember this.

I took it a step further and wrote a script to generate a review for the randomly generated album. It was a Markov Generator that was based on a couple dozen real reviews grabbed from Pitchfork.

Example:
The new album "Stumbling on Something Sitting Down" from R43 along with Make Believe overseer Rick Rubin, lets the chorus explode from the United States of America-fueled early days of electronic psych ("The Rip"), and a surging bridge helping to redeem a vapid chorus and monotonous, familiar-sounding guitars. The laughably bad "Heart Songs" is The Blue Album's nostalgic "In the Garage" schmaltzed up as a harsh insult. After all, Coldplay is a first step toward rehabilitation-- a tacit admission that recent discs, with their fourth LP. It's a hard record not to love. In Ghost Colours feels light, confident, and unencumbered by the internet, and being too focused on anything local-- except produce, maybe-- feels depressingly provincial in 2008. Consequently, it's weirdly thrilling that a new venue altogether. As it turns out, we needn't have been recorded anywhere in the sweatiest, most realistic sense-- it's not the krautrock pulse of this loved-and-hated group's longtime skeptics. There are no tacky pronouncements of stars-are-just-like-you realness here, no statements about herself or her celebrity or really anything at all.
It took about 7 seconds for the script to generate the artist, title, cover art and review. It makes a strong argument about the state of music journalism, but I couldn't tell you what it is.
posted by kc8nod at 12:12 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Actually this isn't bad.
posted by ob at 12:18 PM on October 11, 2010


what's weird is it gave me one with the same quote as the last time this was posted here on the blue. I like mine better though. I have two japanese girls sitting on a dock with a mountain in the background and the band name is "Bang bang it's mortimer and [some other guy]"
posted by djduckie at 12:18 PM on October 11, 2010


Conversely, here are band names with "The Case of the..." tacked on.

Yes, John Allison, reach back into the 80s to give us "The Case of the Men Without Hats"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:21 PM on October 11, 2010


Too bad they didn't pick a hipper font.
posted by John Cohen at 12:33 PM on October 11, 2010


> Yes, John Allison, reach back into the 80s to give us "The Case of the Men Without Hats"...

Except that comic is by one of his guest artists, Dan Berry.
posted by ardgedee at 12:40 PM on October 11, 2010


Counter Earth's top 1996 albums:

Girl Pop
Radio-friendly rock
Alt-rock indie
Math rock
Indie pop
Punker Chicks
Alt-Metal
Canadian post rock
Acoustic Singer-songwriter
Industrial
College rock

Its a shame the guy from Molbo Cheese got killed during the Great Asteroid Storm of '99. RIP Ted.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:50 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: "PROTIP: It lost its meaning sometime around 1957."

Now hipster just means "person who hates hipsters".
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:00 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Call me when someone makes a random 23 Envelope album art generator.
posted by everichon at 1:03 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


> STOP DOING THIS

I am pretty sure the lo-fi-ness of some of those album covers, like the beach house one, is not intentional. Sometimes lo-fi is the best fi people can manage.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 1:09 PM on October 11, 2010


My fourth try at this came out all right.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 1:14 PM on October 11, 2010


I think there should be a band named Miss International 1961. Or perhaps just a song.
posted by acb at 1:23 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Band names are just about the shortest form of poetry. It's all about copious amounts of context jammed into a tiny phrase. Haikus are novelistic in comparison.
posted by keratacon at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


My random hipster album cover is better than your random hipster album cover!
posted by volt4ire at 2:11 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Surely this album actually exists...
posted by maurice at 2:12 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is pretty good. So is this and this. And this is so cute I think I'd have to listen to it.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:15 PM on October 11, 2010


I am sad I can't listen to Infinite Jest's Macedonian Orthodox alt-country album.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:28 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think there should be a band named Miss International 1961. Or perhaps just a song.

I went to a cemetery with my camera several years ago in the hopes of finding some interesting old headstones, and there was this one incredibly elaborate headstone for a lady who had not yet, at that time, died. It was black marble in the shape of two hearts next to each other, and on the back there was a tribute written by her kids, and an intricate etching of a nature scene at sunset with a wolf, some deer, trees and birds, and water. On the front was the lady's name and birthdate, surrounded by etchings of butterflies and dragonflies and an extension of the nature scene on the back, with a space for her eventual date of death. And to the left of her name, embedded and part of the stone, was a color photograph of her face when she was young, next to an etching of a crown, just above an etched banner proclaiming her to have been "Miss Daytona Beach 1944." If she's still alive (I haven't visited that cemetery in five years) I bet she'd love to have an obscure indie band named after her one glorious shining moment from over sixty years ago.
posted by Gator at 2:32 PM on October 11, 2010


If we all put our thinking caps on, I bet we can come up with an even more unoriginal and pointless way to waste precious seconds of our time...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2010


THIS AM MY THINKING ALLCAPS.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nothing pleases me more than the despair of long-time vinyl advocates who've not heard about the cassette tape thing when you let them in on it.


What's the cassette tape thing?
posted by meadowlark lime at 3:27 PM on October 11, 2010


Has there been a really big spike in both hipster-hate and hipster-hate-hate on MeFi lately, or am I just noticing both of them more?
posted by moss at 3:31 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


meadowlark lime - Previously
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on October 11, 2010


I wasn't very impressed until it came up with this.

That is by far the best band name ever.
posted by unigolyn at 4:04 PM on October 11, 2010


They don't look like album covers because album covers are square.

Other than that neat idea
posted by NoraReed at 4:31 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're just noticing, moss.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 5:10 PM on October 11, 2010


I love this band's music!
posted by meech at 5:25 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


(PATHETICALLY SHAMELESS SELF-LINK) This was actually a "failed" shot; my subject turned right before I clicked the shutter. But looking at it later, I though it would make a perfect album cover.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:01 PM on October 11, 2010


moss: "Has there been a really big spike in both hipster-hate and hipster-hate-hate on MeFi lately, or am I just noticing both of them more?"

No, the hate's been going on for quite a while.
posted by flatluigi at 10:01 PM on October 11, 2010


all memes are automated now.
posted by cruelshoes at 2:37 AM on October 12, 2010


@timsteil

Wait, hipsters have caught onto 78's and bottleneck guitar?

FUCK!
posted by organic at 8:56 AM on October 12, 2010


looking at it later, I though it would make a perfect album cover.

Nice. Sorta Porcupine.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:07 AM on October 12, 2010


I'm still waiting for a random Pen & Pixel album cover generator.
posted by anthom at 12:51 PM on October 12, 2010


Not gonna lie, I got a serious dark chuckle out of 'Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust' as a band name.
posted by threeants at 8:04 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Not gonna lie, I got a serious dark chuckle out of 'Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust' as a band name."

There's a parallel universe somewhere in which there's a noise-dub collective named Israel And The Palestinians.
posted by acb at 3:07 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why look at fake hipster album covers when you can look at real ones?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:44 AM on October 29, 2010


Clever idea poor execution.
posted by hodenjan at 9:31 PM on November 9, 2010


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