Department of Mad Libs

Fun with press releases.

In the music industry, you’re nobody till somebody lies about you.

Hours of diligent rehearsal can give you chops. Scores of tryouts and auditions and disastrous jam sessions can net you the proper band chemistry. Decades of tireless promotion and awful Tuesday night club gigs wherein the bandmembers outnumber the audience can earn you a following. Maybe you’ll even find time to write some songs.

But until you delve into the nefarious, soul-destroying world of band public relations, you’re nobody. Aloof, catatonic journalists nationwide will never acknowledge you until a PR flack describes you as “seminal,” “transcendent,” “incendiary,” “strangely melodic,” and “retro yet distinctly contemporary.”

Band press bios provide the crucial pieces of scrap paper upon which music journalists can scrawl grocery lists, breakup letters, and tearful suicide notes. In bulk, they represent 45 percent of all recycled paper nationwide. Absurd? Irrelevant? Ignored? Wholly unnecessary? Yes, yes, yes, yes. But a necessary evil all the same.

Think of it as a clean slate — a tabula rasa, if you will. (Foreign expressions indicate worldly wisdom and, you know, really deep intellectual shit.) However mundane and pathetic your actual history, the band press bio affords you a new beginning, a new identity. Fabricate places of birth, childhood interests, religious upbringings. Invent musical genres. Elaborate. Embellish. Exaggerate. Just make shit up.

Be sure to include a comprehensive list of bands you’ve played with, venues you’ve played, property you’ve destroyed, chicks/dudes you’ve made out with, physical injuries you’ve incurred, and grudges you’ve senselessly harbored. Throw in a few effusive, incoherent press quotes from zines and school newspapers.

Finally, compare yourself to the Velvet Underground.

And why? Just so the virginal, barely literate arts editor for the Daily Bugle in Hoochiemamabamadanna Falls, Mich. will run a fifty-word blurb on your appearance at the Sullen Hipster Bar and Grill next Tuesday night.

But in the event you’ve pissed away your communal band fund on designer drugs or distortion pedals and thus lack the cheese to score your own PR flunky, here’s a handy fill-in-the-blanks bio engineered to serve all your shamelessly self-promoting needs. It’s presented in handy Mad Libs form, because the more childlike you become, the closer you get to the big time. Enjoy.

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