We can all accept the fact that as recorded music becomes an increasingly digital medium, its physical packaging becomes less and less relevant. But that's no excuse for album covers like these. San Francisco rock trio Pillow Pusher's second record, Room 5, may be "unprententious, uncontrived, original, clever, and catchy" (according to the press release), but its cover art is damn near embarrassing. The flipside of the digital coin means it's easy to create, capture, and edit digital images. So is this the best you could do? Four grinning pillows being sucked into a pixelated galaxy? It looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint.
Our runner-up for the day's worst album art is Charles Xavier's The XMan Cometh - Expect the Unexpected. Beyond having the same name as the wheelchair-bound XMen villain, drummer and vibraphonist Xavier is a Bay Area music vet. That's why he should know better than to give the nod to an album cover like this. The colors are hokey and his pose even hokier. Worst of all, it has two album names! The Xman Cometh or Expect the Unexpected -- which is it? Both are unclever plays on the musician's name, and together they amount to a big tub of cheese.
Local music wouldn't be local music without bad album art, but remember: the less your cover looks like the work of a farsighted fifth grader, the more likely your music is to be taken seriously.