Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CHARGE!! Review!!!

Quick news first:
1.Sadly, my posting will be limited until the 3rd of January, because of the holidays and going away for vacation. Hopefully me wrist (and ankle) will recouperate.

2. I will try to finish the third tier before I have to go back the 26th of January, as well as a couple songs from Tier 4. They're getting harder now, so now's the time to buckle down. In an effort to post more frequent updates, I'll post song sections as opposed to whole songs.

3. My choice for Tier 4 DLC is one of my little brother's favorite songs, "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)" by Coheed and Cambria. Reader's Choice DLC picks to come soon.

4. Finished putting up the Rock Band 2: The Stars recap. So, check that out.

5. The song I was working on for the Rock Revolution contest is still being worked on.

Now, onto the review:
Picked this one up for $8 at FYE.

I actually found out about The Aquabats (I refuse to use the exclamation points), via a Something Awful webcomic thread. Their TV show pilot surfaced on BoingBoing, and I don't remember what they thought of it, but I shook it off in favor of hilarity. On a wild hair one day, decided to check them out, and liked what I heard. But oddest of all was their superhero "background".

The Goon in me thought "What? Bunch of loving manchildren, trying zany monkeycheese poo poo. That's as gay as gently caress." (Without the filter: "Bunch of fucking manchildren, trying zany monkeycheese shit. That's as gay as fuck")
It's more or less pop-punk, and pop anything is TOTALLY GAY.

But I'm sure they don't care, and keep plucking along.

Gun to my head, if I were to describe it, I'd say it's like a very upbeat bastard child of the Dead Kennedys and the B52's. Which is apporpriate, given the fact that the lead singer kinda sounds like Bifara and the male vocals on "Love Shack". It's a little punky, little (bit more) poppy, little surf, little synth.

It gets a bit repetitive, most of the songs stick to the same few chords (it is punk after all), but unlike AC/DC there aren't the trademark solos. But after reading a review in my school's paper of their B.B. King's show, it's geared a bit toward "kids", so such a thing is to be expected. And by "kids" I mean it's accessible to kids (more than an AC/DC or Boston, or metal), but just crazy enough to get you listening too.

It's upbeat, catchy, and puts you in a good mood. But I was actually embarrassed to buy this album, for the reasons my Goon side mentioned. The songs are pretty off the beaten path, with stuff about parodying the music scene ("Fashion Zombies!"), nerds rising up ("Nerd Alert"), and random crap ("Mechanical Ape", which I didn't like too much, "Tiger Rider").

BOTTOM LINE: If you've ever said "What The Fuck?" and laughed, at the very least give one of their Myspace songs a listen. The whole Saturday-morning cartoon superhero thing might shake off some people looking for something deeper and more mature but what do you expect from a band that has a song called "Demolition Rickshaw"? If you want something ridiculous, but still has actual entertainment value, give it a try.

P.S. The lead singer is the probably-drug-addled mind behind a children's show called Yo Gabba Gabba! The star of the show is a DJ that sometimes opens for their performances, and has been dubbed "Gay Russian Army Urkel" by Joel McHale of The Soup.

And I mentioned The Soup last post didn't I? IT ALL COMES TOGETHER.

God I gotta get back on the guitar.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Now scram, South Park's "Woodland Critter Chirstmas" episode is on.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rock Band 2: The Stars

Given my "slow" run-throughs of Creep, it's not hard, just a lot of memorization and finger placement (explaining the last post about the wrist strain), more on that for the update.

Anyway, what I WANTED to post about today was Rock Band 2: The Stars. Remember that?

I ate humble pie (but only a sliver) when I saw the Rock Band Stage Kit in action. Am I wrong again? Thanks to the magic of Cable On Demand, you can read my play-by-play and find out for yourself! (Times are BY NO MEANS ACCURATE)

Episode 1
0:00- All right, 5 minute run-time, this might not be so bad.
0:50- "Rock Band is the pop culture phenomenon that changed the face of music gaming for decades". Yeah, something tells me this is nothing more than shilling.
1:00- Rules given: Sebastian Bach and Alice Cooper will front two bands comprised of the best players in A ROCK BAND 2 SHOWOFF THAT WILL CHANGE THE FACE OF HISTORY FOREVER. LIKE ROCK BAND 2.
6:66- I say "Screw on Demand!" and look up the episodes on Youtube for time codes that are somewhat accurate.

0:00- Hmm... Intro's kind of interesting, going down a black road, like the notes. All right.
0:09- "ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAAAAAAARS!!!" Wait what was that? They got Phil from accounting to do his best Rock Star voice. At least we now know that it's said like "Rock Band to the stars", as opposed to "Rock Band 2: The Stars"
0:11- Stryker from... stuff... will be the host.
0:16 to 0:28- Some guys talk. I see they actually went with people who look like they play Rock Band insteasd of the beautiful people.
0:34- Sebastian Bach looks excited... Would now be a bad time to mention I haveno idea who Sebastian Bach is?
0:45- Alice Cooper doesn't look excited.
1:05- First shill: "With 84 BRAND NEW songs added to the setlist, you're going to play songs you've never played before!"
1:11- AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock!"
1:37- Bach- "You're face looks cool!" Trust me, look this shit up for yourself. I'm not gonna link it, for exclusivity sake, but imagine a heavy, nerdy, asian guy try to put on his best rage face.
2:30- Bach shouts encouragement.
2:36- Some ICP wannabe does a wicked backflip off the stage.
2:56- 5 people get booted off.
3:18- Three people off, just like that. Wow.
3:37- Sebastian Bach is concerned about accuracy turns out, and boots off that guy from Balls Of Fury.

FINAL VERDICT: Eh. It's not painful to watch, but it's like, why bother? A. YOu only get to see a few individual performances, and B. Wow, open Dashboard Confessional and Panic at the Disco with fake instruments. There are a couple good things that I wish more reality shows would do:
1. Cut the bullshit. They took out a lot of potential drama (how they interact), which is why there aren't a lot of The Soup worthy moments, and why everything is infinitely more tolerable. Since it's a commercial, there are no commercials to dramatically cut away to, and that's all right.
2. Mix the nerds and the beautiful people. You have a diverse group with obsessive players, sexy people and rock star wannabes who try their hand at the real thing and chronicle all their exploits in a blog. Heh. Losers.

Episode 2
Sebastian Bach was the frontman of Skid Row. I don't listen to 80s hair metal, so that excuses my ignorance.
0:00-0:30- Same BS as before, recap of last episode
0:45- ICP man does another sweet flip and reinstates what I said earlier.
1:04- "Wow, WE GET TO PLAY FOR SEBASTIAN BACH AND ALICE COOPER. You play guitar and your mom's walkin' in and she's like, you want some lasagna?" Man I wish The Soup got on this.
1:10-1:20- 2nd challenge: Two teams of five. One can see, the rest blindfolded, the rest have to make their way to each platform representing a city and play "Go Your Own Way".
1:30- One of the chicks is wearing a bra as a top like that lady in Seinfeld.
3:46- One team rocked, the other sucked.
4:18- Asian girl kicked off (she didn't really get the challenge in the first place) and Sebastian Bach smashes her "guitar"

FINAL VERDICT: More shilling. Bach seems more into it than Cooper. Again, more, "Bitch, you out". The premise can't even fill half-hour slots, so the five minute

Episode 3
0:38- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS!!! Thank you, Phil from Accounting. By the way, those licensing budgets need to be on my desk by 4.
0:44- I love how everyone just "happens" to be playing when Stryker walks in.
1:16- 3rd challenge- 3 teams. They team up with OLD PEOPLE!!!
2:36- Old person #1 does pretty well, actually
2:59- Old person #2 inaudibly mumbles the song
3:29- Old person #3 doesn't even sing, just kind of bounces. In other words, it took a reality show to tell us that really old people suck at video games.
4:20- Bach: "Cab Calloway, today it's Cab GoAway" Aw, did he come up with that all by himself.
4:29- And Cab smashes his own guitar.

FINAL VERDICT: HA HA OLD PEOPLE!!! I'm surprised part of the challenge was to listen to their Depression Era stories. But they're keepin' it quick and painless.

Episode 4
0:58- Two teams of 4, playing Ace Of Spades.
1:05- ICP Man has an Ace Of Spades on his face. Clever
1:11- Stryker: "There's a catch, with ROCK BAND 2's BATTLE OF THE BANDS MODE YOU CAN PLAY ANY BAND IN THE WORLD!!!" Seriously, The Soup, get on this.
1:27- HOLY CRAP, HAL SPARKS! Speak of the devil! (Hal Sparks used to host The Soup's predecesseor, Talk Soup)
1:58- Douche.
2:48- Nerdy, Heavy and Asian sings and actually does well.
2:59- "Is it pleasing to listen to him? No"
3:23-Both bands blow away Hal.
4:25- Hot girl goes home, face paint guy stays


Episode 5
0:35- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS!!! Thanks Phil. Say, did you sign up for the company basketball league? Accounting could really use you as a point guard.
0:41- I can't tell the difference between Stryker's voice when talking normally, and when it's being dubbed over.
1:01- They don't have the Rock N' Roll Look? They do have a point, as I see a distinct lack of skinny jeans and messenger hats.
1:29- They play dress up.
1:30- "They do have fishnets!" THANK GOD!!
1:43- Facepaint Guy is the first to go after the skinny jeans, and I quote "Almost castrated [himself] on them."
1:45- "I'm not going to be able to have kids after this" Darwin? Is that you?
2:17- Cooper and Bach pick the bands. Jewphin doesn't need a band. His solo carrer as a physicist thank God this is almost over.
2:24- Facepaint guy on bass for Coop- WOW that wig is ridiculous.
2:33- Hot chicks on drums and guitar
2:50- Down to the two nerds. How will they decide?
3:04- Judas Priest's "Painkiller", the only hard song all competition.
4:02- Nerd that used to have glasses wins.
4:13- "Even though I got eliminated, I'm still gonna play Rock Band. I'm gonna go home and keep on doing Rock Band 2, and HAVE FUN WITH IT." BECAUSE ROCK BAND 2 IS A FUN GAME.

FINAL VERDICT: Eh, kinda pointless. Again, if they wanted the focus to be on the game, then show more footage of them playing the game, but then again, reality show.

0:33- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS! Phil, you've been stealing office supplies? No, I don't care if you're wife left you, YOU'RE FIRRRRED!
1:21- The judges: Some DJ I've never heard of, some writer I've never heard of, and DIO!!! How'd they rope him into this?
1:49- Sebastian Bach With A Vengence is up first with "Hello There".
3:03- DJ I've never heard of: "Your singer could really make a living out of this!" Reality TV or singing?
3:15- Alice Cooper's First Blood with "Pinball Wizard"
3:47- Alice Cooper cannot look anymore bored
4:25- Judges deliberate. Looks scripted. Dio says nothing.
5:00- Sebastian Bach wins.
5:13- "I'm opening for Dashboard, I'm opening for Panic! I'm so stoked"

FINAL VERDICT: I feel sorry for Alice Cooper. He looked like he didn't want to be there. But Sebastian was kinda getting into it. Maybe because he's been in less commercials and cameos and stuff, he has more energy to do it.

FINAL FINAL VERDICT: While not being an entire show (i.e. 30-60 min ecah episode), it was kept quick and (almost) painless, but it could have filled an hour special and be a bit more satisfying, showing more people kicking ass at the game. However, by keeping it so short, it isn't focused on gameplay, just the game. This is every episode of RB2:TS in a nutshell.

-Recap of last episode
-ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAARS! (Courtesy of Phil from Accounting)
-Stryker: You're going to do some challenge based on COMPLETELY ZOMG AMAZING NEW FEATURE FROM ROCK BAND 2, THE VIDEO GAME.
-*30 seconds of gameplay*
-Alice and Sebash kick a guy off.

I think the difference is that with the Rock Band Mockumentary, the premise didn't lend itself to "Hey guys, we're going to play Rock Band", it was a parody with a band that played Rock Band and everyone treated them like a real band. It was an ad, but it was still a complete show. Not that it was very good, but other than the pre-commercial cuts, it wasn't a blatant advertisement.

TL;DR: Prize sucked, premise whatever, Phil from Accounting is trying to jump of a ledge outside my house. (runs)

Friday, December 19, 2008

God Damn It, Activision, You're Killing Me!

You're sticking a little knife in my heart AND KILLING ME...

December 23
Hinder - "Use Me" (single)
Nickelback - "Because of You" (single) <--- DAMN IT!!!
Rev Theory's "Light It Up" (single)

On the other hand...

January 15 - Travis Barker Track Pack
Blink 182 - "What's My Age Again"
+44 - "Lycanthrope"
Flo-Rida w/Travis Barker - "Low (Travis Barker remix)"

That and for some reason my wrist is messed up. Curse you "Creep" and your bar chords! CURSE YOU YOU GODDAMN SWINE!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Tunes

Another day of me not working on Creep (which I am), another blog post.

Here's a look at what I'm listening to, to get me in the holiday mood:
Akira The Don's Christmas Mixtape
Granted, if you wanted to listen to Akira's actual music, you can head to his site, and you'll be hooked. His song "In The Morning" is pretty Christmassy if that's what you're after.
The mix itself has some pretty interesting stuff, like Family Guy Christmas song, but also has a couple essentails, like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Christmas In Hollis".

The Kinks- "Father Christmas"
Ah yes, The Kinks. The bastards that started it all. My Christmas wish is this song in Rock Band DLC. Pretty hard rockin', with a post-chorus solo going for it, not once, not twice, but three times. TL;DR: Some guy plays Santa (or "Father Christmas" as he's called in the UK) and gets assaulted when some punk kids try to rob him.
It carries a very strong message that we need to take away this season:
"Have yourself a very merry Christmas, have yourself a good time. But just remember the kids who got nothing, when you're drinking down your wine."

The Waitress- "Christmas Wrapping"
First, AWESOME video. Second, number 2 choice for some DLC (until they release Ska Hero, and even then this comes way behind Reel Big Fish and Aquabats on requests, and it's not even a ska song). Poppy, but worth it. The story of a girl trying to meet her sweetheart all year long, until Christmas comes along.

Homestar Runner- "Hooked On Decemberween"
A collection of 6 songs:
Dethemberween Thnikkaman- A traditional holiday, story-in-a-nutshell, song about Bub's alter ego. Download and mix it up with your usual holdiay mixtape fare.
Cheer Up Coach Z- Not very Christmassy, but very funny. Download.
Seasonal Sweaters- Eh, sucks, but I think that was the point. Filler track, don't have to download.
O Decemberween- Parody of "O' Christmas Tree!" If you want a summary of the H*R cast, download, otherwise not worth it.
Homestar Runner Presents: Presents- Only download if you've seen the accompaning toon. Or if you REALLY need to apologize for getting crappy presents and everyone is hip to the Homestar.
If I Don't Get Video Games... By Brainkreig, a parody of crappy teenage bands. Pretty cool song on its own merits, and all the more worth it if you've seen crappy teenage bands.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Black Ice Review

Finally got AC/DC's Black Ice at the MTV/Rock Band store yesterday.

Good News? Money well spent!

Bad news? Reinforces what I've feared for a long time: AC/DC's songs all sound the same. Granted, they're not as bad as Nickelback, but one can't help get deja vu.

Instead, what I like is the feel of an AC/DC song: Loud, energetic and heavy. After listening to the tracks, I can tell that while it isn't anything earth-shattering, it's still awesome.

A couple songs bled together, like "Smash n' Grab" and "Spoilin' for A Fight", and "Wheels" feels reminiscent, and this kind of thing is expected with AC/DC's consistency. "Rock n' Roll Dream" changes things up considerably, but still feels a bit awkward.

But there are a couple standout songs: "Rock n' Roll Train" isn't necessarily their most "uinque" song, but goddamn it just blasts out the speakers, and just feels good. "Skies On Fire" takes it down a bit with an almost celtic sound, with Cliff Williams (the bassist) getting something fun to do in chorus, and solos are blasting all throughout. "Anything Goes" is a bit more poppy, and "Stormy May Day" adds a little Southern slide guitar to the heavy blues.

Do I agree with Something Awful's take? Yeah, somewhat. There are a lot of songs with the word "Rock" in it (a similar reason to the name of Electric Six's "Fire"), and there aren't any fast paced songs like Heatseeker or Thunderstruck.

BOTTOM LINE: Still rocked my face off, just wish it was in a different way.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When We ARE Young, Please?

Fine, fine, fine:

Main verse: (all major barre chords)

E (022100), G (244322), A (466544), C (799877)

Hardest part: The verse-


Hold your hand in power chord position, arpeggiate, and slide up and down.

Not that hard a song, actually. Shame, since I'm putting off the real bastards like Limelight and Creep.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Guitar Hero Arcade Setlist


Tier 1- Starting Out Small
"Slow Ride" by Foghat
"Talk Dirty To Me" by Poison
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benetar
"Rock And Roll All Nite" by KISS
"Sabotage" by Beastie Boys

Tier 2- Your First Real Gig
"Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream
"Mississippi Queen" by Mountain
"School's Out" by Alice Cooper
"Closer" by Lancuna Coil
"Bulls On Parade" by Rage Against The Machine

Tier 3- Getting The Word Out
"Barracuda" by Heart
"Helicopter" by Bloc Party
"Paranoid" by Black Sabbath
"Avalancha" by Heroes Del Silencio
"Lay Down" by Preistess

Tier 4- Out On The Road
"Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones
"She Bangs THe Drums" by Stone Roses
"Anarchy In The U.K." by The Sex Pistols
"Reptilia" by The Strokes
"Cherub Rock" by The Smashing Pumpkins

Tier 5- Welcome To The Big Time
"Rock You Like A Hurricane"
"La Grange" by ZZ Top
"Black Magic Woman" by Carlos Santana
"Same Old Song And Dance" by Aerosmith
"Pride And Joy" Stevie Ray Vaughn

Tier 6- The Hottest Band On Earth
"Cities On Fire With Rock And Roll" by Blue Oyster Cult
"Monsters" by Matchbook Romance
"Holiday In Cambodia" by The Dead Kennedys
"In The Belly Of A Shark" by Gallows

Tier 7- Turning Out The Hits
"Black Sunshine" by White Zombie
"Don't Hold Back" by The Sleeping
"Knights Of Cydonia" by Muse
"Stricken" by Disturbed

Tier 8- The Axes Of Legend
"The Metal" by Tenacious D
"Cult Of Personality" by Living Colour
"Cliffs Of Dover" by Eric Johnson
"Take This Life" by In Flames


Yeah, thought it would be fun. This isn't what I'd call the Quinessential Guitar Hero songlist, just predictions, knowing Activision and where they've taken GH.

First one I thought of:
"Through The Fire And Flames" by Dragonforce- Hard as hell, and all music arcade games need an "ooh!" or a quarter muncher (dollar muncher, nowadays). Also, it will be based on GH3, so it would be safe to assume it has a few songs.
"Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple- Really? Did you have to ask?
"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne- Again, hard as hell, and in GH:WT
"Miss Murder" by AFI
"Lay Down" by Priestess- New songs
"Helicopter" by Bloc Party- Used in EVERY non-main GH iteration
A Pat Benetar Song- For all the moms out there
"Spiderwebs" by No Doubt
"One Way Or Another" by Blondie
"Rock And Roll All Nite" by Kiss
"The Middle" Jimmy Eat World- All syndicated with a DS game or also on RB2

4 out of 10 right :(

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bonked With The Jousting Stick

If you too were a fan of this recently revived show as a kid like I was, you'd get the reference. Especially if you notice that some of the ladies are actually...um... hot, this time around. Hooray, science!

Even with this being the busiest week I have ever experienced so far, I managed to eke out a new song update. Technically I finished this Wednesday night

I first heard of this band when my friends brought me to Warped Tour 2007. I hadn't really heard of any "new" punk bands at the time, but I figured I'd go anyway, see if anything tickled my fancy. Not a whole lot did, except for Paramore. They sounded like the punk/pop-punk I listened to (Blink 182, Offspring, Green Day) only going a teensy bit into emo. Just enough to intrigue, but not enough to turn me off. Anyway here's the lesson kids:

It's in Drop C# tuning. Tune everything 1/2 a step down, then tune the low E-string one step further. I'll provide tabulature for standard tuning.

Hardest part:
The end-

D----------------------------------------------------6-----9--6 ----------------

Index finger on 6th fret, pinky on 9th.

Now, for the sake of it, here's the chorus in standard tuning:

Pretty easy, would be easier is you tune it down first, but it sounds good in standard tuning as well.

Now for something insignificant:
-Next Team Fortress 2 Update is the Scout. Hooray for bonking! Boo for Red Sox fans!
-Guitar Hero: Arcade coming soon! My setlist speculation coming tomorrow!


Monday, December 8, 2008

A Report On Jerry Brown By The Rhythm Bastard

I know I'm supposed to be writing about stuff like thermocouples and galvanic series for school, but I figured I'd write about a great man in history: Jerry Brown.

Jerry Brown is the attorney general of California (2007-present) and used to be the governor (1975-1983). There's other crap about him, but all that matters is this:

I am Governor Jerry Brown,
My aura smiles and never frowns,
Soon I will be president.

Awesome. California Uber Alles in the bag!

Very simple song. just fast. The hardest part is these bridges in time:

And for the part where it slows down ("Now it is 1984..."), just play the root notes (the ones toward the bottom of the tab)

And this part at the end is tricky:

Another part I had to re-tab because it didn't sound right.
Strum up and down for this last part, just like the Fake Plastic Rock games we all know and love.

I "beat" this to the tempo on Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death album, which is slower than the version on Fresh Fruits For Rotting Vegetables (also on the Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Soundtrack, where I first heard the Dead Kennedys).

Also just found this: an updated version with Schwarzenegger as the object of "affection". Hear it here.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Of Hell: Sunday

Mission: Impossible

Everything more or less worked out, up here (points to head) but sadly, it sounded like garbage whenever I tried to record it. I'm back home now, so I can't really work on it, at least not in time for the contest. Plus homework kinda got in the way, like.. lots of things.

I really hate to promise then not deliver. So much I have planned, but until I get a coupe of actual readers, I'm just going to keep on plugging away at Tier 3. Should have a double update for ya tomorrow.

On the other hand, I finally saw Superjail and liked it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Of Hell: Saturday

Dam. Woke up late, wrote some more of the lyrics did some homework and mapped out the song.

It's coming together, but I'm going out with friends now, so it's going to be a close call.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Of Hell: Friday

Hey, you know how I decided to call this three-day clusterfuck a "Weekend Of Hell"? My fretting wrist ain't feeling so hot, and my guitar's high E-string is broken.


There is still work to be done! That I can do! I have Power Tabs! And...uh... lightning...! And...Team Fortress 2! For those of you who mysteriously stumbled upon my site, this is being posted in that weird time at night where I'm just starting to feel creative and ready for hard work, but I'm also feeling a little sleepy.

Last weekend I came with a good riff to work around, sort of AC/DC-ish. I have some ideas, I'll plug them in Power Tabs, see how they come out. Hopefully my hand is feeling better tomorrow and I have a chance to go to a music shoppe. I could plug in the Rock Band drumset for the Drum Fills, and testing it out Hammerhead first.

So I guess tonight it's just working on lyrics. Time to get...uh...inspired...

I'm good to dri- what? BOOM HEADSHOT!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

They May Not Be Satan's Best Knights...


Quick one this time. Fun songs, some good stuff in there. The solos aren't too hard, and are actually kinda fun to play when you get them memorized. Only thing I hate is that this songs has a lead and a rhythm, so while it may be easy to switch between the two on a Fake Plastic Guitar, the two parts are too far away on the fretboard to combine easily. It's possible, but tricky.

Surprising the solo wasn't the hardest part about this song. It actually feels natural once you play it a time or two.

Anyway, hardest part is right here at 1:29-

Easy enough, right?
Play that one and a half times (11th note) then go into this:

Repeat for another one and a half times, then take it up one full note:

And the kicker:

Looks simple, but switch positions at the speed the song is played is pretty tricky.


Tomorrow I start a series I call "Weekend Of Hell", where I try to write my song for the Rock Revolution contest. I might get a couple songs knocked out of the way while I'm already on the guitar.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


All right, I don't have a song for you today. After I finish "Detroit Rock City" I'm going to work on "Creep", since I HATE that song.

Open Mic Night was a bust.

Figured I'd try to break my record of consecutive posts, and give a little info on what CDs I'd get given the money/asking for Christmas:
"Black Ice"- AC/DC
"Runnin' Wild"- Airbourne
"Charge!"- The Aquabats
"Fire"- Electric Six
"When We Were Young"- Akira The Don
"The Colour and The Shape"- Foo Fighters
"JoCo Looks Back"- Johnathan Coulton

Granted, this is outside my usual COMPLETELY LEGAL downloading shenanigans, I figured If I had the money to buy these CDs, I might as well be decadent and just get whatever BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL THAT SPECIAL.

Not my most eloquent posts, but I got stuff to do.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Go Wit It

Wow. That was a longer break than usual. Anyway, here is a song lesson:

I hate these songs because it requires a rhythm and lead guitar part.

Rhythm part here: E, C5, Amin

It never stops.

LEAD part: EASY AS HELL. You know that scale I showed you in the Mississipi Queen update?
Move it down a bit, and you get this:

Exactly all the notes you play over the chords is some where in here.

There weren't any really tricky parts, I guess it's this high because the chords come at you so fast.

For a bit of extra spice, toward the end, these three notes are played:

Because I'm such a bastard, play it with tremolo picking.

"Crushcrushcrush" is the Reader's Choice DLC song.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Electric Skin!

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Remember, don't cook your turkey in an electrical oven, or else you'll get the titular result

Also, a DOUBLE SONG UPDATE? Haven't seen one of those in a while!

The problem with this song isn't that it's hard, it's just fast. The only part that I had to fudge around a bit on was the pre-chorus and chorus.



Everything else can be mastered if you have a pulse, the bridge and last verse (using the same progression),... yeesh...

Basically, it's an arepggio of the A and D open chords, but it get pretty fast, and I find it hard to coordinate.
Start by switching positions every four beats, then get used to the string order.




Look at this, Creep's going to be a bitch.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Revolution May Or May Not Be Televised

From a Konami Press release:

The Rock Revolution contest is for bands, and involves getting your group’s song included as Rock Revolution downloadable content. You enter at Konami’s MySpace page, including your song in aac, aif, iff, m3u, mid, midi, mp3, mpa, mpeg, ra, ram, wav or wma format. The first place winner gets their song included in Rock Revolution, gets to record said song for the game in LA with Dave Jerden and Bryan Carlstrom, gets an Xbox 360 and the Rock Revolution bundle and gets to be in a Rolling Stone Rock Revolution ad. The ten runners up will receive copies of Rock Revolution for the DS, PS3, Wii or Xbox 360. Entries will be accepted until December 10, 2008, and the winning entry will be chosen around December 17, 2008.

I am definitely doing this. Granted, I might have to use some other psuedonym, but hey, I'm going for it.

I will eventually rent Rock Revolution. I'm a sucker for getting a game for only two songs I like regardless of the rest of the game. Past examples:
Aggressive Inline- "Sellout", Reel Big Fish; "Crawling In The Dark", Hoobastank
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1- "Superman", Goldfinger; "Police Truck", Dead Kennedys
Saint's Row 2- "Woman", Wolfmother; "Bat Country", Avenged Sevenfold
Hoping Saints Row 1 makes it to the PS3- "Look At Me! I'm A Winner!", The Aquabats.

Granted, this one has songs from Rock Band 1, 2, and DLC, but one stands out the most:
"The Spirit Of Radio" by Rush

That long HOPO bit at the beginning has been neutered though:
How It's Supposed To Go
Actual Guitar Gameplay Video

In other news, regarding that "Open Mic Night" December 3rd, I'll probably do one of the Clash songs. They're simple, and have distinct cues so I can sing and play at the same time. Most likely "I Fought The Law".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sad Bastard :(


No guitar until I go home Wednesday. WHAT AM I TO DO?

Perhaps watch this cool video?

Pretty good OH SHI-

I just might have to my first video, playing Prisoners of Society, ON A BIKE. OR SKATEBOARD.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nickelback? I Want The Full 15 Dollars!

On Destructoid, I found an article about another musician telling kids to put down the fake guitar and try the real one. OK, John Mayer said the same thing and it's opinion I respect (and took to heart as you can read). Both are fun, but there's more enjoyment in the real thing because it's ALL YOU. It's more tangible than the games.

The musician this time around?

Chad Kroger from Nickelback.

No, just, no...Shut up...

I hate to turn this into a hatin' blog again (given yesterday), but Nickelback is the LAST band that should be telling us to try the real thing.

Maybe I should put it in context: Nickelback figures since everyone just finished touring or is recording, they can't get any bands to play with. So he wants everyone to start playing for reals.

Maybe the reason that Nickelback can't play with anyone is because...maybe...they suck?

Strike 1: "Someday" and "How You Remind Me" Sound Alike
Yeah... A bit more than a coincidnce.
The Bastard in me commends Nickelback for hitting on the "perfect radio formula", that same part of me also regards L. Ron Hubbard as an idiot savant for engineering the greatest scam ever.
The Rhythm in me condemns them for not doing a little fact checking first to see if it sounded EXACTLY THE SAME as one of their other songs.

Strike 2: In response to this video, bass player Mike Kroeger said “I think that’s remarkable for someone to notice that there is a hit quality. If all hits sound the same, then sorry. When you are a band that has a distinct style such as us or AC/DC, that happens. When you have a distinct style, you run the risk of sounding similar.”

Yeah, even as a fan, I do get a feeling of Deja Vu listening to some of their songs, but they have entire ALBUMS that sound the same. That's 12-15 different songs, compared to Nickelback's 1.
Also, AC/DC doesn't play wimpy acoustic rock.

Which brings us to Strike 3, today.

Now, for something completely similar:

No, there aren't any Nickelback fans in Portugal. And yes, they do want to hear rock and roll, so would you kindly get off the stage and let a real band play?

Sorry for the hatin', I'll get to work on those Tier 3 songs right away sir!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Insert Scientology Joke

Because I finished "She Sells Sanctuary" by... THE CULT!!

But seriously, folks, that shit is much scarier than aliens and Tom Cruise's insanity.
And the funny thing is, the internet is kicking their ass.

On to matters that won't get me sued,
What I find amazing about this song is that it utilizes only the middle two strings, save for one note, and even that you can always hit on a lower string.

The original recording used a flanger pedal to give the song an Eastern, mysterious vibe to the intro. I can't really explain it, but it's like delay and phase-shifting combined. A lot of popular songs have used it, like "Barracuda" and "Spirit Of The Radio".

The riff in question:


You can also use the 19th fret on the G string in lieu of that last note.

The main problem with this isn't that it's hard to play, it's that it requires your fingers to move quite a distance quickly.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No! I Killed Him!

I'm going to temporary re-open the polls for about another week. If no-one answers, I'll pick one of the Dead Kennedy songs (Police Truck or California Uber Alles).

EDIT: Nevermind. I just saw two people voted.
Eh, screw it. California Uber Alles will ALSO be added!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christening My New PC

So as I said, this past weekend I had to bring my PC home. Got a new hard drive (160 GB), and I decided to burn a shitload of CDs onto it. Some were mine, some were "borrowed" from my Dad.

Figured it would be cool to show you what I got and give an insight of my music tastes. Here's the list:
2007 Warped Tour Compilation
The Rolling Stone Collection 1967-1969
The Rolling Stone Collection 1971-1973
The Rolling Stone Collection 1973-1977
The Rolling Stone Collection 1977-1982
The Best Of .38 Special
AC/DC- Back In Black
AC/DC- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
The Allman Brothers- Brothers and Sisters
The B52s- Cosmic Thing
The Beatles- 1
Billy Joel Greatest Hits
Blink 182- Enema Of The State
Bob Dylan- Blood On The Tracks
Boston- Boston
Brian Setzer Orchestra- The Dirty Boogie
Dead Kennedys- Give Me Convienience Or Give Me Death
Derek And The Dominioes- The Layla Sessions
Fastball- All The Pain Money Can Buy
Foreigner- The Best Of Foreigner
Green Day- International Superhits!
Green Day- Bullet In A Bible
Heart- The Road Home
The Kinks- Come Dancing With The Kinks
Led Zepplin- House Of The Holy
Lynyrd Skynyrd- Pronounced...
Madonna- Madonna
Pink Flyod- Dark Side OF The Moon
Semisonic- Feeling Strangely Fine
Steely Dan- The Best Of Steely Dan
U2- Achtung Baby
The Who- Quadrophenia
The Who- Who's Next
The Who- Tommy

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Also A Soda

Sorry to keep you all waiting. Weekends are usually a hassle for me. Not because they're busy but because I have to lug my guitar on the train when I go home on the weekends. This time I had to bring my computer home, and was unable to play this weekend. I have to borrow my brother's acoustic. This is how the conversation went:
Me- Hey, can I borrow your guitar for, like an hour or so?
Him- I don't approve of you borrowing my guitar. (ACTUAL WORDS)
Me- But you're not playing it, you're playing Playstation. I won't break it or anything.
Him- Well, I think you would.

I have never wanted to curbstomp a 16-year-old so badly.

The chorus is the hardest part. Not too hard, but you will need to change up positions and it can get awkward.
First, know these 3 chords: E (022100), B (-24422) and, Fm (244322).
Arrpeggiate as such:

The solo is simple, but all harmonics, and could take a while to get the sound right. Remember to hold your finger on the line between that fret and the next one.


Friday, November 14, 2008

About As Believeable As The Second Gunman

The Dead Kennedys are finally in Rock Band. I don't know how this happened! I love them and a ll, but you'd think with a song called "MTV Get Off The Air", a game published by MTV Games would be the LAST place they'd show up. For a while, I was going to do a song lesson video as a "Never 'Gon Happen Pack", featuring "California Uber Alles" by The Dead Kennedys, "Holiday" by Green Day, and "The Ocean" by Led Zepplin. I'll still do it, with the aforementioned "Get Off The Air Song"

The THREE pack consists of:
"Holiday In Cambodia"
"California Uber Alles"
"Police Truck"

MUST BUY for your systems equivalent $5.50 for the pack, $2 a piece.

All I know is: Jello is going to be pissed... He's held a very anti-corporate ethos and I wonder how what his opinion is on the Dead Kennedys being in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, Guitar Hero Rocks The 80s, Guitar Hero 3, and now this. He even accused his former band members of wanting to license "Cambodia" to Levi's for a commercial (which they denied) and condemned the use of the song "Too Drunk To Fuck" in Grindhouse.

I can understand WHY Jello is against licensing, and it's (probably) the same reason Muslims aren't allowed pictures of Muhammed in their homes or using the Quran in music. He wants the focus to be on the message and song, not the product. Otherwise, it becomes "that cool song from that commercial/game". Roger Daltrey said something similar. Nobody takes the time sit down and listen to a CD, album, whathaveyou anymore. Usually we have a song playing on our computer while we surf the 'net, or on our MP3 players on our way to work.

So every once in a while, take a CD, any CD (burn one if it's all on your computer), sit in a comfy chair, and just listen.

"Orange Crush" comin' soon, y'all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've Been Thinkin'...

Tier 3 DLC poll is up. I might add new features soon. Hopefully new song tomorrow.

I've been thinkin', there's this Cafe place on campus that holds Open Mic Night. Next one is December 3rd, gonna try to perform at that. See the setlist, suggest a song.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Double Duty

Duty 1:
The Clash: Punk Without Power Chords

Main riff is the D chord strummed quickly 5 times (x2) followed by the G chord 5 times, then the D chord again.

A pretty simple song, it's the quick strumming that's hard to get down.
As per the the hardest part, it's this lick at the end on the chorus:

Try it now, go ahead!
Yeah, quite a lot to change positions that quickly, and sadly, there's no trick to it. The only recommendation I can make to do the A chord with the first three fingers since your index finger only goes up one string.

Also, there's this one part at the end that's kinda fun to play, and easier than the chart implies:

Repeat Twice, then before you play the 7s again, play the lick mentioned above.

DLC Time!
MY CHOICE- "Limelight" by Rush- Seems like a fair Rush song, with plenty of good riffs. Thank God I don't have to drum.

1. "Breaking The Girl" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- Looks pretty straightforward, with a hypnotic melody

2. "Crushcrushcrush" by Paramore-
I've been a fan of them ever since I went to those 2007 Warped Tour.

3. "Die, All Right!" by The Hives-
Tick Tick Boom I knew how to play prior to this actually, and it's a lot of fun, with plenty of energy. This looks no different.

4. "Fortunate Son" by Credence Clearwater Revival-
The band's name makes no sense, but it's about time we got some folk rock with some edge to it. FUN FACT: It was used in a Wrangler Jeans commercial, because it sounds patriotic, but if you listen to it, it's really about the privlages politicians and the rich get:
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, dont they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,
It aint me, it aint me, I aint no millionaires son, no.
It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, no.

5. "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner-
In the words of that drunk chick at a party: "THIS SONG IS SOOOO ABOUT ME!!" Shit, I might have to weasel those lyrics into the mission statement somewhere...

6. "Message In A Bottle" by The Police-
I eventually plan on featuring the Guitar Hero games as well, and I'm not too sure if I should do this right now, but if it gets voted on, I'll do it.

7. "More Than A Feeling" by Boston-
See above.

8. "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" by The Offspring-
I'm 20, meaning I was growing up when they were on the radio ALL THE TIME, and I used to think that this stuff was the hardest rock in existence. This song takes me back to the days of Darkwing Duck and long afternoons of Goldeneye 007 with my friends, listening to these guys share airspace with Blink 182's "What's My Age Again?" and Smash Mouth's "All Star" as we drove in my Dad's beat up minivan to Little League practice. So now, more than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. Where was I?

9. "Still Alive" by GLaDOS-
Make no mention of the cake and move on.

10. "Syncrinocity II" by The Police-
It was between this and "Limelight", but since I already chose The Police for Tier 1 DLC... Oh, and see "Message In A Bottle"...also by The Police

11. "Teenage Lobotomy" by The Ramones-
This is about as hard as their songs are going to get, but it's one of their lesser knowns. Speaking of which, "Blitzkreig Bop" has been in, what 3 music games since the release of Rock Band 1? Why not every other game have "I Wanna Be Sedated"? I know the Ramones are simple, and everyone loves them, but dig a little deeper! The only exception is "Rock and Roll High School" from the recent Alvin and the Chipmunks game and don't ask me how I know that...

12. "This Ain't A Scene..." by Fall Out Boy-
Yes, Fall Out Boy, the most tolerable Emo band. Still, I like how it switches up tempos and intesity, so IT'S NOT THAT BAD!

What did I say? DOUBLE DUTY!!!


Monday, November 10, 2008

My Two Favorite Games Combined

That I cannot play while up at college...

I swear to GOD I'll do double duty tomorrow. I just don't like a long time inbetween updates.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh Yes, It Is So

DUH DUH (bwah wah) NUH NUH (bwah nah)

Ha Ha! Success!

Yeah, so as for the hard parts, the entire goddamn song. For the main riff, this guy has your number. Bar chords ahoy.

For the three parts I mentioned, buckle in it's gonna be a loooong ride:
First Interlude-

The only real problem is playing it up to speed. Other than that, keep the index finger over the ninth fret is the best I advice I can give.

Second Interlude:

Right here-----------------------------^ Pick in the (slightly) adjusted chord form, then it's pentonics all the way.




Speedy Pentonics all the way. I used Power Tab to lower the BPM, then gradually work my way up.

Not a whole lot of "reccomendations" this time around, other than just working on dexterity.

"I Fought The Law" by The Clash is the DLC song.


Thursday, November 6, 2008


"Say It Ain't So" is coming along, got the first interlude down.

Commercial teim now... Let's take a look at the commercials for the current generation of music games:

All right, good job. Advertises rocking, AC/DC, and bands. Doesn't show a whole lot of band play though, but still good enough to psyche you up to play.


OK, overdone and says "WE HAVE THIS MUCH MONEY!", but shows a bit more gameplay than Rock Band 2 shown, and is silly enough to get people talking about it.

This wasn't used because this is apparently a sexual fantasy of mine they used without my permission. And they left out the part where I come in. In other words, GOT MY ATTENTION!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Obama was elected President... Yay!

Right, so remember how yesterday I said how Say It Ain't So was really hard? Well, apparently I some kind of breakthrough, and managed to get the main riff. There's still a bit to go, but right now there are three key areas that give me trouble:
1. First Interlude
2. Second Interlude
3. Guitar Solo

Heh heh heh, that's going to be quite an update.

Now, on to Nine Inch Nails:


The only hard part about this is the "solo" that's really a synth, and even that isn't too hard:




Tuesday, November 4, 2008

News Stuffs

Remember how a few weeks ago I called the Rock Band Stage Kit stupid and impractical?

I take back the first part, and the second if you have friends. Found out via FakePlasticRock that it ain't half bad. Looking at some of the videos, it seems like a worthy buy for frequent party people. The effects range from OMG!AWESOME! to Eeeehhh.... and it feels like the game.

BUT HOW? You ask,
Apparently the company making the kit worked with Harmonix, so that everything syncs up with the virtual light and game effects, so everything is all programmed in.

It looks good, but $99 is a bit too much for me right now.

I leave you know with Boston:

"Say It Ain't So" is really hard for a Tier 2 song. I guess I'll do "Hand That Feeds" in the background.
The reason Harmonix is now the true overlords of has right to the Beatles songs, is accountable to one thing: flexibility.

I guess this means with royalties or branding, whereas Actvision would want the games in the Guitar Hero franchise, I have no idea what this game is supposed to be. Harmonix just wanted it more and would be willing to do something else entirely rather than say BEATLES IN ROCK BAND NAO! Sometimes it's not who gives you the most, but who gives up the most. Both companies stance have something, but again, I would like some more details. Holiday 2009?!? I still don't know what the hell I'm doing for Holiday 2008!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No Songs Were Mutilated

Workin' on "Say It Ain't So" (again, hardest song in the bunch), but since I couldn't come up with any news this weekend, here's a new song!

This song took me about an hour. Yeah, it's easy.

It mostly centers around these chords: F5 (133---), G5(355---), A5 (-022--), Bb5 (-133--)
The only interesting thing to note is that most of the chords look like this (1x3---).
All that is is putting you middle finger on the string below the one you normally would to bridge the two. There weren't any hard parts, just remembering the chord changes. This (requires Power Tab) has all you need.

Although I must admit, this part was a cool hook:


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Insert Beatles Pun Here and Exclusivity

Rock Band/Harmonix now has exclusive rights to Beatles music. As to whether it will be an expansion like GH: Aerosmith or the AC/DC Track Pack is yet to be seen.

I find this interesting because audio director Eric Brosius said this in an interview:
“We prefer not to sign exclusive deals with artists because while it seems like the competitive ‘business’ thing to do, in the long run it’s really not good for anyone. We think we should be working to get more music out to more people,” he stated plainly.

The problem with exclusive bands is that it's no longer about what you want in a game (i.e. Difficulty/videogameyness from Guitar Hero, Musicianship from Harmonix), but which bands you want. Some people just want to be exposed to new stuff. And if we start to go by bands and record companies, then that screws us out of a ton of variety we'd be missing out on.

Granted from the artist's perspective, you'll probably make more from an exclusivity deal than you would the royalties from both games, but the number one reason the artists are throwing themselves at Activision and Harmonix is exposure. With the exclusivity, the artists are limited to the customers of one game. Now, some people own both games, but the children of "PARENTS WHO DON'T GET IT" and cheap bastards and more or less everyone outside the truly hardcore will choose one game and stick with it. They might switch alleigences depending on that years showing, but it's ostracizing half of your potential new market.

Now to lighten things up where the Guitar Hero: Decades soundtrack:
Alien Ant Farm - "Smooth Criminal"
The All-American Rejects - "Dirty Little Secret"
Blind Melon - "No Rain"
Blondie - "One Way Or Another"
Bon Jovi - "You Give Love A Bad Name"
Boston - "Rock and Roll Band"
The Darkness - "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"
Edgar Winter Group - "Free Ride"
Fall Out Boy - "The Take Over, The Breaks Over"
Foo Fighters - "The Pretender"
Free - "All Right Now"
Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"
Joe Satriani - "Satch Boogie"
Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
Lenny Kravitz - "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Linkin Park - "One Step Closer"
Los Lobos - "La Bamba"
Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Sweet Home Alabama (live)"
Paramore - "Crushcrushcrush"
Queen - "We Are The Champions"
R.E.M. - "The One I Love"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Can't Stop"
Sammy Hagar - "I Can't Drive 55"
Seether - "Remedy"
Smashing Pumpkins - "Tarantula"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Down"
Veruca Salt - "Volcano Girls"
Weezer - "Buddy Holly"

I might get this one... or just get the first one for cheap. I already have a few of these on Rock Band 2.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can't Stand The Paranoia

As promised:

One of the few hip-hop songs that make sense in one of these games. Luckily it's one of the easier songs that Harmonix (gasp!) overcharted. Most of the difficulty comes from the bass. They included the record-scratching parts, which can be accomplished my scratching the pick across the top two strings. More specifics as they develop.
It's incredibly simple: G# power chord (466---), mixed with a harmonic on the A string of the 5th fret.

To make a harmonic, light press your finger above the nut on the fifth fret.
As for the solo, these two positions:

Arpeggio: Holding a position on the guitar (chord) and plucking strings in a certain order. Best results for this one: bar the index finger over the B, G, D strings on the 10th fret. bar the ring finger over the 12th fret. Pick as such:

That's the main riff, the rest is simple enough.
Except for the Outro:

Working on the harder songs next, but tomorrow's update = :awesome!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fake Plastic Rock

Fake Plastic Rock is a blog, like 1fort, I hope this to be: insightful ramblings based on one of my favorite games.

Some interesting posts I'd like to highlight:
Fake Guitars vs. Their Real World Equivalents- Noted, because I wonder why these guitars were chosen. The Gibson SG was used for the first two GHs, but every site I checked lists the Les Paul and Fenders as the most popular. Wouldn't one of those have sufficed? With the quintessential nature of the songlist, I wonder why they didn't go with the quintessential guitar? My guess is that the concept was still too fresh for Gibson to take a huge risk licensing the most popular, so the chose the second-tier Gibson.

Kevin Perireria vs. Coheed and Cambria- Seen it a million times, but figured it's worth a repost.

Air Guitar Championships- It's stuff like this that makes it a step above a newsreel. How does he find this crap? He actually went to the crap! He even gives some rules and tips. I'd love to see a sort of Gonzo Journalistic take on such an event, but that's another story for another blog for another day.

Doesn't update very often (once a week maybe), but is chock full of good stuff.

OH HAY GUYZ- Sabotage and I Think I'm Paranoid updates tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

it's over!

Not ALL over, but Tier 1 is done with (the "new" Tier 1)!

Tip time!

Three chords. Three POWER chords. That's it. Hopefully you all can get that. One of the easiest songs in the world, but also the most fun to play.
A5 (577---)
D5 (-577---)
E5 (-799--)

Another Power chord driven song, but it's not that easy. Not that hard, but the only part that gave me trouble was this riff after the verse:

This requires a bit of barre chordage. First, bridge your index finger on the bottom 5 strings of the first fret, then put your middle, ring and pinky fingers on the D,G, and B sstring respectively. Then you can either use a major barre chord shape (index bridges second fret, ring +pinky on D and G of 4th, middle on third of B) or power chord the next one.
Repeat the first shape on the third chord, only with the 6th and 8th frets, then slide it down to the fourth and second. For some reason, my fingers find themselves in the perfect postion for this: Pluck the A, D. and G strings (keeping the same shape), then the bottom three, then the D, G and B strings. Switch to an A chord and repeat the process.



Now, for my opinions on my DLC choices:
"Dirty Little Secret"- This is one of those songs I picked because I hear it on the radio all the time, and it's a lot faster paced than the other DLC choice for this band, "Move Along"

"Troublemaker"- That is one catchy hook, I tell you what. It's been stuck in my head all day, and sounds not that hard.I might not use this and "Buddy Holly", because under the new arrangement, Weezer is now in Tier 2.

"Buddy Holly"- Why? Blue album Weezer. I'm not one of those people to get into "OH THEY WERE BETTER WAY BACK WHEN" (apparently Blue Album and Pinkerton are the only albums Goons are allowed to like), but it's interesting to hear the difference between two eras, like Johnson and Scott era AC/DC (which was Garbage Day'd on Something Awful. Yes, the Walmart hurts me too). Plus, it's in this awesome game.

"All The Small Things"- Yeah, I like Blink 182. "The Rock Show" was among the first songs I learned.

"Cheeseburger in Paradise"- My brother downloaded this, "Crushcrushcrush" and "More Than A Feeling" for DLC. On top of that, I wanted something REALLY out there as an option.

"I Fought The Law"- Ah, The Clash. Expect a Clash related thing soon.

"Under The Bridge"- Smooth as peanut butter with a lot of soul.

TL;DR: Tier 2 y'all

Thursday, October 23, 2008


So anyways, I found this little site right here, and it gives all the difficulties for the new Rock Band Songs, as well as the updated tiers from RB for all the songs you can import. I guess they figured 9 was a little excessive, but anyways I'm going to change up the setlist to accommodate the new 7 tier system. Tiers will be longer, but I get to try out more songs. The DLC choices (I don't know, I have to double check) will still be the same.

Tomorrow is another double song update.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Hotnesses

Me and my brother got Rock Band 2 Sunday!

Sadly, I spent all day working on a lab report, but from what I played it's still the same. The only problem is that it suffers from the same fate as Guitar Hero: 1st edition, great, filled with popular songs you heard on the radio yesterday, as well as quintessential songs everyone learns why they start (to play guitar/form a band). 2nd edition goes a bit... "indie". Less popular acts, and more obscure songs by popular artists. Plus, RB2's songlist a bit more poppy and more metal than it's previus incarnations. Granted AC/DC's on it, and I got it on a system where I can make a Virtual Bastard, and play online, and download DLC, and should proabbly stop bitching. '

Anyway, on to the songs!

There are quite a few bits that are left out of these things it seems. Still a blast to play.

For example, after the hook "Just a girl/ just a girl/ The girl u want!" there's an awesome little lick that goes like this:


Solo's a bitch, with it's bends and upside down power chords:

D--10^---7--------------12^---9 ---------------10^---7-------------------

D---------------------------12^----9 ----------------10^---7--------------


It's fun, but hard to keep track of fast. It helps to look at the fret you're going to bend next.

Good southern rock song, especially to work on pentonic scales. Only caveat is that you need rhythm guitar to play properly in a real band. According to a source I didn't TOTALLY rip off, both versions try to cram in rhythm as well, Rock Band less so. The hard part is memorizing all the different licks. Another song that should have been much harder.

Pentonic scales are good because unlike GH and RB where you have to move your hands up and down the neck, you move your finger up and down the strings for a fine solo. It's mostly used for improvisation in more traditional blues. Here's the first pentonic scale I learned:



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just Stupid

Working on Girl U Want. I'll save all the info for when I finish it, but the solo is killing me.

Anyway, I don't want to leave anyone high and dry, so I'll post a few stories I found on Destructoid:

Rock Band 2 Reality Show
Really? REALLY? Does planet Earth need ANOTHER reality show? I guess I can't say too much without being hypocritical though, since I actually auditioned for the mockuentary VH1 did last year for RB1 for the role of the guitarist. Whether or not I dodged a bullet, I don't know.

The actual text:
"On October 15, VH1 Classic will premiere a new reality show called Rock Band 2: The Stars. It will feature Alice Cooper and Sebastian Bach as they play hosts to 12 wannabe rockers as they live in a mansion and compete in different Rock Band 2 competitions.

Every week the contestant with the worst performance will be eliminated. Once there are three players left -- one on drums, one on guitar, and one on bass -- the final group will perform until one is crowned the ultimate Rock Band 2 player! I also think the winner gets to perform with the traveling Rock Band Live tour, but who cares when you will be known as THE ULTIMATE ROCK BAND 2 PLAYER!"

RB2: The Stars seems like a really dumb idea. I guess it's cool that they get to go on tour with the Plain White T's (FUCK THOSE GUYS AND HEY THERE DELILAH!!!) and Panic At The Disco!, but still, I'd rather see the Mythbusters compete against a real band after intensive GH/RB training to see if they can match up, or some pro-GH/RB players try the real thing.

Rock Band Stage Kit
$100 for a strobe light and a fog machine only available on the 360. It looks awesome on paper, but in practice, it sucks. While it's awesome that it syncs up with the music, it's excessive and impractical. If you're THAT into the game that you need one of these things, just get a cheap-o guitar/drum set on e-bay.

It seems more like a thing for people who host HUGE Rock Band parties. And on that note, I want to get invited to one of those parties. I'm a blogger now! Someone voted on my poll! I'm like a celebrity in that I have problems. Like seriously, I have a Materials Science Midterm.

From Destructoid:
"Remember the Rock Band stage kit which was first revealed back in January? Well, it looks like it's finally going to start showing up in people's homes. The kit produced by Performance Design Products, consisting of a fog machine and multi-color strobe light (which flashes to the music), will retail for $99. The accessory is only available for the 360 but will be compatible with both versions of Rock Band."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Ha ha! Musical puns. No this has nothing to do with Phish, unless if by Phish you mean UPDATES!

1. Turns out, people have been having problems with the sound file. I'll use a different file host. It should be all better by tomorrow. NO LONGER RELEVANT

2. 6 days until Black Ice.

3. RB2 for the PS3 comes out this Sunday. Gon' get it. If anyone has the original for the PS3, can you hook a honky up?

4. Hey, it works now!

Monday, October 13, 2008

That Bitch Roxanne Is Back

"Roxanne" by The Police

Here it is, at long last, my first recording! I was going to add vocals, but that would have butchered it more.
Here's why the quality sucks (a.k.a. My Equipment)
1. Washburn Lyon Guitar
2. Lightsnake USB Recording Device
3. Audacity
If for some reason you can't hear it, or don't have the plug-in, it's over here.

These aren't meant to be professional grade or anything, just a tangible measure of my progress. I'll try out different recording styles as time goes on, but right now, this will do.

Hopefully I can finish out Tier 1 by the end of the week. Girl U Want is the song whose ASS I'M GOING TO KICK!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Roxanne's Got The Maps

If I managed to beat "Girl U Want", then the title of the post would be "Roxanne's The Girl U Want"

These are going to be the first songs I record.

OK, let's break it down for y'all:
This is quite a bit harder than the charts. If it were realistic, it'd be another tier up.

It starts out with a bit of tremolo picking on the 10th fret of the high E-string. This is NOT in the Rock Band note chart. I found the best way to do this is (other than practice, dummy) is rest the bottom of your hand on the bridge and try to rock your hand back and forth as you strum. I'm probably doing it wrong, but if anyone out there reading this knows better, then feel free. It accomplished the same effect, but I might pick up some bad habits (I think you're supposed to anchor your forearm on the back of the guitar). Either way, it's important to have an anchor.

Another way in which Rock Band got it wrong (or changed it for the sake of fun/challenge) is that the notes that kick in when the singer starts up are only strummed ONCE (Four times). It RB it's a quick double strum. This isn't too hard.

The first part where I had trouble going of the tabs is the chorus. The best one on Ultimate Guitar had power chords over the solo, but this little riff seemed more prominent:


Like "Here It Goes Again", the solo is also under dispute. The tab I showed had single notes, which sounded fine, but it didn't sound as full as the original. One version I saw had power chords, but it falls apart after the first bit.

It did have the breakdown afterwards correct. One guitar plays those two notes back and forth, the other hits those notes.

It ends with the picking.

This song is created for practicing the different types of chords and switching between them. You've got bar chords and open chords in the intro, power chords for the chorus, it's perfect for practice. Again, this is a song that is on a higher tier than it should be IF were talking about playing the real guitar.

Nothing I can really tab out or explain to you here, just a good song to work on chords, and it's fun to play. Ever since I started this experiment and learned more about open chords (see this post), part of me enjoys the sound of them more (Before this, I mostly tried to learn punk and a few other songs that mostly used power chords)

Here's the tab I used.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Getting High Off High Voltage

Found this video by the same guy who does the Angry Video Game Nerd. Appropriate given today's earlier post.

Plug Me In!

I am working on the Tier 1 DLC songs right now (Roxanne=done), but I want to make sure I have Girl U Want down before I cock my eyepatched head back and laugh.

But right now, I want to talk about the new AC/DC Song Pack coming out in November.

I'm a HUGE fan of AC/DC. I got the entire tab book, the Live At Donnington DVD, and plan on picking up Black Ice when it comes out in two weeks. Concert tickets ($130!) a bit much for my blood, but hey, what can you do? Ever since "Let There Be Rock" (a song I hadn't heard from them) was announced to be in Rock Band 2, I knew me and my brother would have to get that (...for the PS2. Now we got the PS3. It's one louder better).
On top of devising a scheme HONESTLY AND LEGITIMATELY OBTAINING Rock Band 1 for the PS3 to import the songs, you can import the AC/DC tracks as well.
Also, achievements, so I can show other people how good I am at pretending to be AC/DC

You can only import once. This is obviously an anti-piracy method, but hey, Rock Band 1 doesn't, right? While it's not AS BAD as Spore's situation (I uninstall and reinstall games all the time, and Spore allows 3 installs), and I don't plan on getting a PS3 myself, it's still an inconvienience.

18 songs... for $40. DLC is usually $2/song. I'm assuming the extra money is for packaging, but the 1st Rock Band Track Pack was $30 for 20 songs.
AND it's not like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith where you can play as the band itself, it's just cover bands, and I don't think there are any exclusive venues. So essentially $40 for a bare bones package. I can ALMOST see why you can't play as AC/DC themselves: Malcolm Young (the rhythm guitarist and brother of lead guitarist Angus Young) gets left out. Going back to GH:A, while it did only focus on Joe Perry (not counting co-op play), that was kind of the whole point. Nobody was expecting the singing and the drumming.
Finally, it won't be DLC for at least a long time from now. Granted it's about the "album experinece", but it would be cheaper on DLC, as seen from Red Hot Chili Pepper's Blood Sugar Sex Magik

MMMmmm... Still up in the air for this one. I'll wait until closer to the release date to make a decision, but so far it looks like I'm gonna be putting that burden on other people (i.e. Christmas).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Explaining My DLC Selections- Tiers 1 and 2

I have to amend my initial post (which wasn't really the inital post at all! HA HA!) after this, but after traveling and working for school projects, and friends this weekend, I don't have anything HUGE for you. (All three of you).

For all tiers I go by this old edition of the DLC Wikipedia page
I don't know what I'll do when everything is converted to the 7-tier system that Rock Band 2 uses, but I'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm the Rhythm Bastard; I cross bridges so you don't have to.

Where was I? Oh yeah.

ROXANNE- The Police
It seemed like a good song to practice switching chord shapes with, looking at the tab. I switch around which song I'm working on a lot, but this one is the current one right now as of this moment yes. THIS ONE. I WILL DEFEAT YOU ANDY SUMMERS!!!

I think it's about a hooker that Sting doesn't want to be a hooker anymore. He wants his lovin for free.

Hey, Devo! There's a band you haven't heard in a while! Thank God the 80's are coming back! And by Thank, I mean Fuck You, and by God I mean Seth MacFarlane Now That, and by ! I mean And Therefore Ruining Family Guy.
This song has been used in recent promos for The Sarah Silverman Program, and is kinda catchy.

I've sen every episode of it, and I'm still not sure whether or not I like The Sarah Silverman Program

A nice, sort of airy tune in contrast to all the harder rock in the main tier. Also, a rule of thumb I TRY to go by will be to pick a song that have the same Guitar and Band difficulties. For the Reader's Choice (impressions in a later post) I just pick songs that sound cool that aren't by a band in the main tier.

Plus the lead singer in this video looks like a pirate.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where I Am So Far

Yeah, I started this project a few days before the blog.

Anyways, right now I have "Here It Goes Again" and "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" down pat. Here are my impressions:

Easy, power chord driven song. It's really fun to play, but the only part that really gave me trouble was the solo. Not because it was hard, but NOBODY has a clear idea on how to play it. It starts with D# power chord, but then I couldn't really figure out what to do next. This seems to be the best idea, combined with a tab I found and looking at the video from Rock Band:




If anyone knows a simpler way, let me know.

If, like me, you've been used to doing Power Chords, this one is a real wake-up call. The entire song is open chords.

The progression is
D G(with four fingers) D
G5 F5 G5 <----Some tabs showed open chord, but this is the easiest, and sounds most like the original song

The chorus is just that, only FASTER. After the A chord strumming, it resumes to normal speed.

Also, the four fingered G chord feels much more natural when switching between it and the D because you can keep ring finger on the third fret of the B string.

That's it for now, Maps I have, a bit, right now going over Mississippi Queen.



Hello all, and welcome to the Rhythm Bastard Experiment!

Why did I start this site?
Ever since I first tried it at the DigitalLife Expo in 2005, I've loved the Guitar Hero (and Harmonix in general) games. It has encouraged me to take up the actual guitar, not only so I can play my favorite hits, but because I enjoy writing my own songs as well. Eventually Rock Band came out, and expanded on everything. I'm not as gung-ho about it as I used to be since taking up the real thing, but it's always a hit when friends come over.

I started this site to chronicle my experience learning the songs from the Rock Band game in order learn new songs, and improve my overall playing/writing skills.

Why Rock Band? Why not Guitar Hero?
Yeah, I'd like to go the GH route too, which is why for the first 18 hours this blog was operational, it was called the "Rock Band Experiment". Rhythm Bastard has the RB initals, so I wouldn't have to change the address.

As per why Rock Band, there were three infulencing factors:
1. Rock Band 2 is coming out, and I'd like to give Rock Band 1 a proper send off. (Finally got a PS3 (or rather, mooching off my little brothers))
2. Even though I've only been playing for a year and a half, I at least know enough that some of GHIII's note charts are off.
3. The idea behind GHI's setlist was "OK, a couple newer songs (Stellar, Fat Lip), a couple older songs (Texas Flood, Godzilla), and the rest songs EVERYBODY tries to play on guitar when they first start out". GHII chose more obscure songs by popular bands, and the less said about GH80's the better. With Rock Band, these are songs everybody knows, by bands most people are familiar with.
4. Rock Band dialed in the difficulty curve better than Harmonix's previous games. So songs like "Blitzkreig Bop" are on a lower tier than "Say It Ain't So", because less skill and dexerity are required.

Ironic: I own stock in Activision.

Are there any rules?
Yes, all good experiments have boundaries. The parameters are:
1. I must play all the songs on the current tier before moving onto the next one. The tiers are defined by this site.
2. In order to declare a song "beat", I have to be able to play along with it to the recorded version in its entirety.
3. I can use any method to determine notes (i.e. Tabs, chords, PowerTab, etc.)
4. In addition to the five songs per tier (the main 45), I add one DLC chosen by me, and I add one DLC song chosen by the readers. The list is here. The only exception is Tier 1.
5. .mp3s of (just) me playing the song (and butchering the vocals) will be provided.
6. But most importantly, I WELCOME ALL OUTSIDE HELP. You know something I don't? Share it. This blog is an entirely personal thing, to chart progress and express frustrations and triumphs, but also to help out future Bastards who undertake this task.

Enjoy the site!