So many missives about what something was not. Depressing, not because of the negativity, but just because there were so damn many of them.
As a concept, this one is so well-trodden that there’s a whole page devoted to the subject on TV Tropes.
1. Ceci n’est pas un band (This is not a band)
The cover for The B-Sexuals’ album, entitled “Ceci n’est pas un band” is one of the better examples. I like (what appears to be) its metallic gold ink background, its rubber-band pun, etc.
There is at least one other band—The Flunks— who may have also put out an album with the same basic title…
Their 2008 album Ceci N’est Pas Une Band is due out in August. The idea of the album title and imagery came from a famous painting of a pipe by René Magritte.
Not clear whether the Flunks’ “Ceci N’est Pas Une Band” album was ever actually released. I could not find any pictures of its cover online, but you can still hear one of its songs on The Flunks’ MySpace page.
Many of these Treachery-of-Images inspired record covers were created by non-French speaking artists. As a result, there is sometimes confusion about which nouns are feminine and which nouns are masculine. The B-Sexuals went with “un” while The Flunks went with “une.” I have no idea which band is grammatically correct here. Maybe rubber-bands are masculine and bands (of the musical type) are feminine?
There’s one band (or “synth wave project”) whose name is simply, “Ceci n’est pas.”
As an actual band name, “Ceci n’est pas” is certainly a more open-ended invitation. What is it exactly that this band (or synth wave project) is not? We’re left to complete the sentence on our own.
As a non-French-speaking former-art-student, I should also keep in mind that, however much I may associate the words “ceci n’est pas” with Magritte’s painting, the phrase “this is not” is one that plenty of people use all the time with no artistic intentions, whatsoever. N’est-
6 more examples of this musical-Magritte-meme thing, after the fold…
2. Ceci n’est pas une compilation. (This is not a compilation.)
On the left: the cover for “Ceci n’est pas une compilation,” put out last year by La Maison La Rue. On the right, “Ceci n’est pas une compilation,” one of several compilation albums put out by Sun Sun in 1997 and 1998.
3. Ceci n’est pas une guitare (This is not a guitar)
4. Ceci n’est pas un disque (This is not a record)
5. Ceci n’est pas recover (This is not Recover)
This was the title of a 2002 EP by the band, Recover.
6. Ceci n’est pas pop (This is not pop)
The Tigerlillies released their album entitled, “Ceci n’est pas pop” in 2003.
7. Ceci n’est pas une banane. (This is not a banana.)
Westside Chemical’s “Ceci N’Est Pas Une Banane” was released in 2000.
(See also: The Velvet Underground: Book & Banana)
In addition to these examples, there are also records entitled:
Ceci n’est pas encore un album
Ceci N’est Pas Un Reissue
Ceci N’est Pas Un EP
Ceci n’est pas une chanson
Ceci N’est Pas Un Piano
Ceci n’est pas un mix …
You get the picture.