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CD Cover Meme

Posted by Joshua Glenn  February 25, 2008 07:13 PM

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I've mentioned memes once or twice, here on Brainiac. Ever wonder how they get started? Here's your chance to see the process ab ovo.

A couple of weeks ago, a Los Angeles-based Flickr user who calls herself Karakrio (Occupation: Live Concert Production) started a Flickr group photo pool titled "CD Cover Meme." She challenged other Flickr users to "make your own CD cover" using the following formula:

1. Generate a name for your band by using WikiPedia's random page selector tool, and using the first article title on whichever page pops up. No matter how weird or lame that band name sounds.

2. Generate an album title by cutting and pasting the last four words of the final quote on whichever page appears when you click on the quotationspage's random quote selector tool. No matter what those four words turn out to be.

3. Finally, visit Flickr's Most Interesting page -- a random selection of some of the interesting things discovered on Flickr within the last 7 days -- and download the third picture on that page. (Even better: Click on this link to get a Flickr photo that's licensed under Creative Commons.) Again -- no cheating! You must use the photo, no matter how you feel about it.

4. Using Photoshop (or whatever method you prefer), put all of these elements together and create your very own CD cover, then upload it to the CD Cover Meme photo pool.

As of this writing, over 1,000 CD covers have been generated by 650 Flickr users. Here are a few of my favorites:

Submitted by Flickr user Brett Scarbeau


Submitted by Flickr user wyndom


Submitted by Flickr user tastygoldfish


Submitted by Flickr user mike3k


Thanks, Flickr user and ex-Allstonian shacker for tipping me off! Here is his entry:

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7 comments so far...
  1. Your quotations link is broken.

    Posted by Dan February 26, 08 02:33 PM
  1. Thanks, Dan. Fixed it.

    Posted by Josh Glenn February 26, 08 09:25 PM
  1. This may sound incredibly geeky (because it is) but it might work even better to roll 2d4 for the number of words to quote. (I.e. choose randomly a 2-8 word album title, with 5 words being most likely.)

    Posted by Clifton March 17, 08 05:42 PM
  1. If you want to be more computer geeky, go to:
    and it will roll the dice for you.

    Posted by Mycroft March 19, 08 04:43 PM
  1. saying Kara started this is just wrong, this meme is years old.

    Posted by pixagen February 28, 09 02:06 PM
  1. more here - "your album cover"

    though, i think that a few would have been submitted to the flickr pool, too.


    Posted by chris February 28, 09 04:33 PM
  1. Doesn't the creative commons license include a "no derivatives" clause? Therefore using cc images for this would violate that.

    Posted by dave March 4, 09 10:15 PM
About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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