Friday, December 24, 2010

Advent 2010: Side Player and MORE!!!

Thanks to Soundcloud, you can hear all the songs without having to go to NewGrounds or MySpace!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

So, in celebration of Axe Cop's first birthday...


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Advent 2010: Todd In The Shadows

This guy encapsulates everything I love and hate about Top 40 radio, and should defintely be checked out.

His most recent stuff is available on That Guy With The Glasses WARNING: There are A LOT more misses than hits on that site.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent 2010: Rhythm Bastard Christmas Mixtape 2010


YES! Here's some Christmas tunes for all the hipsters and headbangers.

I was going to do a cover of Green Day's "Macy's Day Parade" myself, but I was pressed for time. Plus, I wanted to get Akira The Don's song through RBN, so I had to fix up those errors.

"Macy's Day Parade"- Green Day
"Good Mourning/Black Friday"- Megadeth (C WUT I DID THAR?)
"Holiday Road"- The Aquabats!
"Christmas Card From A Hooker..."- Tom Waits
"Don't Shoot Me Santa"- The Killers
"Oi To The World!"- No Doubt
"Mistress For Christmas"- AC/DC
"Punk Rock Christmas"- The Sex Pistols
"Yule Shoot Your Eye Out"- Fall Out Boy
"I Won't Be Home For Christmas"- Blink 182
"Fuckin' Up My Christmas"- MC Chris
"Things I Want"- Sum 41 feat. Jack Black
"All I Want For Christmas (Is To Kick Your Ass)"- Midnight Riders
"Let Me Sleep"- Pearl Jam
"Space Christmas"- Shounen Knife
"I'm Dreaming Of A Green Christmas"- MC Lars feat. Jaret Reddick
"Imagine" by John Lennon

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent 2010: Last Year's Christmas Mixtape

This year's will be here tomorrow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent 2010: My 2010 Game Of The Year

So, time for that thing you've all been waiting for, MY 2010 GAME OF THE YEAR!!!

Now, who will it be?

Your initial guess would probably be Rock Band 3: with all the new ways to play, and an improved sorting feature, I'd be all over it. Well, I only got to play it for an hour (Christmas Present, you see), but I liked what I saw. Besides, I got an hour out of it, and I'm sure I'd feel better about it once I got more game time in.

Now, next guess would probably be Green Day: Rock Band, since I've given them more BJs than Billie Joe's initials. But the fan in me did have a couple nitpicks, mainly that you can't have a Green Day live show and NOT have "Hey-o!" and "King For A Day". Good game, though, and cost efficient if you want a shit ton of Green Day in your library.

I also put in some time with Final Fantasy XIII, and while I can't say it's the game I hated the most this year, it's the game that hated me the most. Combat system was really good, but the rest of the game realized I'm not a virgin and shoved so much bullshit at me I got bored of it.

Fallout: New Vegas would have been up there, by the simple virtue of me getting to roleplay Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but well...

That and I didn't play it.

The Scott Pilgrim game was an ace bit of retro, and get the silver medal, but none compare to

MY 2010...






Deadly Premonition

What is Deadly Premoniton? You're Francis York Morgan (But call him York, that's everyone always does.), an FBI Special Agent who's been sent to a small Northwestern town, Greenvale, to investigate the murder of a pretty, white, blond girl, while the town is being terrorized by The Raincoat Killer.

Which is different than Twin Peaks, where Dale Cooper, and FBI Special Agent gets sent to a Northwestern small town to investigate the murder of a pretty, white, blond girl, while the town is being terrorized by the world's luckiest stagehand.

Regardless, never have I seen so much thought and effort put into a game. All throughout I went "Oh!" "Ew" and "Wait, what?!?"

Now, to be perfectly honest, there is A LOT of shit you have to put up with in this game. The most obvious thing, is the dated graphics. While the animations and models are really primitive, but there's windshield wipers, turn signals, and realistic physics on the car, and the town of Greenvale is huge. Given the limited budget, the developers at least had their priorities in order. While it can't look real, it can feel real.

While it may be what turns most people off, it certainly isn't what draws my ire. The game opens up with a little bit of Resident Evil 4 style combat, if RE4 was clunky. It's cool at first, since you spend the first hour of the game shooting juggalos. The weapons suck, but it's the beginning of the game, and I'm willing to forgive a slow start. However, these sections are repeated far too often, especially in the latter half of the game, and pale in comparison to the real meat and potatoes of the game:

The town of Greenvale is a place filled with interesting people, York especially. The fun of this game comes from talking to all the people around town, and getting to know them. You can actually follow these people around, and they have set schedules, making it feel more like a real place. You even have to do real things, like shave and change your suit. There's little cool things you can discover throughout the town that draw you in ever more, like fishing and the darts bar.

Most importantly, it's one of the few games I've seen where the adults actually act like adults. Adults with a lot of hangups, but adults nonetheless. They have anxieties, and wants, and feel like real people, or at least the closest in a while. York's quirkyness doesn't become his main trait. While he does strut around and fire off rounds without breaking a sweat, well, there's a reason for that. Regardless, he's authoritative without being overly macho. He and the lead female don't hate each other one minute, then jump each other's bones the next scene/when it becomes convenient. All this makes it the more interesting, because I want to know more.

It's a shame, because being York in Greenvale is a lot more interesting than Silent Hill with Juggalos. If you didn't get it yet, all I can say is that the first time I met up with the Raincoat Killer after the opening scene, I was legit scared. Only problem is WHY CAN'T I SHOOT HIM?

There are more thoughts I want to share, but really, all I can say is that Deadly Premonition is a game that needs to be experienced.

At $20, you can't go wrong.


I was talking about the Lumbermill part, BTW. The Raincoat Killer starts hacking away at the door of a room you're in, and you have to hide somewhere in the room. It's a pretty chilling effect having both yours and RK's view shown in split screen. Then, once you successfully hide, you get out of the room, and he pops up again, prompting a quick time event.

SHIT! I think, as I start wiggling the analog stick. So, once I get some good distance on him, I think I'm safe, and it'll be an endurance contest. Then York runs in front of the box, even though there was a clear spot ON THE OTHER FUCKING SIDE OF THE HALLWAY.

Out of nowhere, the prompt for box pushing comes up, and hit A, while the RK's window showing my slow ass about to get chopped. The rest of the time he's booking, but I guess he understands the whole box thing is bullshit too. I just barely get the box out of the way in time, and keep running down the hall, steam valves going off behind me. I'm getting a little tired, and just as he catches up, I burst through the door to safety.

THAT was one of the most exciting moments in gaming for me.

OK, so I first go into the Sherrif's Office, and have to look for the keys to some files. So while I'm looking through the office, I come upon a dumbbell in the kitchen room, with the word "Arnold" on it.

"Cool," I thought. "He must be another officer, who's into working out."

So then I run into George, the Sheriff. He tells me that he's looking for Arnold to finish his routine, and that his partner Sylvester was looking for him. "All right," I figure. "So they're both officers. K"

I go looking for the keys some more, and wind up in George's office. I talk to him, and the option comes to give him an object. I gave him the dumbbell, figuring he'd tell me where Arnold was. Turns out, that's what he was looking for. He named his dumbbells Arnold and Sylvester. I went "Oh!". And then he gave me a trading card with them on it.

BUT this little moment made sense in the grander scheme of things as I played through the story. When George mentions his past, he mentions "the strong overpower the weak" and I had another "Oh!" moment. Thus, it came as no surprise when he explained his motivations for going through with the whole Raincoat Killer thing in the first case.

While at times Twin Peaks felt like it was making up stuff as it went along, Deadly Premonition feels like it has more thought behind it. There's lots of stuff that points to the fact George did it, and if you watch a lot of mysteries and stuff, it becomes pretty obvious. "I just happened to be here!"

Speaking of George, when you check Thomas's back for the inverted peace sign, there's a tattoo, Love G. At first I thought it was George himself, meaning that Thomas was gay. Even that was better than most games, where, sure he's feminine, cooking and running like he does, but it was pretty sedate. Maybe he's just a girly-man and "LoveG" was a red herring.

Then he threatens to kill Emily in a red dress, claiming George for his own, and his sister Carol confirms that they were substitutes in the freaky sex dungeon underneath the Galaxy of Terror.

The whole York/Zach dynamic I wasn't as in to, as I just thought the Red/White room stuff was where it copied Twin Peaks. Planet Redwood has that bit of mythology explained, though. I thought Zach was supposed to be a metaphor for the player, but actually playing as him got kinda weird. Still, he's above and beyond the rest when it comes to protagonists.

Take the ending, abridged:
George: A GOD AM I!
York: No, George, you're a first degree murderer.
York: I'm still going to have to bring you in. (shoots axe into his chest. Win.)


Again, despite its flaws, I'd recommend giving it at least a look.

P.S. It does have Green Day! Sorta.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent 2010: Reaching My Threshold


Yes, from the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Awesome movie with tons of kick ass music, you should see it.

What I found most interesting was that Beck did all the songs for the fictional band Sex Bom-Omb. Which is weird, because Bweck doesn't normally rock this fucking hard. It's sad really.

The song is really simple to play, but as you'll see this Saturday, hard to Voxtar.


The there's a little fill that's basically Eb5, D5, C5.

Chorus is C5x8, Bbx4 then F#x4


Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent 2010: I Had Enough Of Your Shit America


You can't claim that the Wikileaks leaks are unimportant, and utterly worthless, then go scramble to arrest Julian Assange.

You can't both have your fear of brown people validated, and your junk not touched.

Fear makes people retarded sometimes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent 2010: The Bender

Preping for the gig, and Wikileaks shit be pissing me off right now.

Man the fuck up, government.

Oh, Schaffer the Darklord! Why you so awesome?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent 2010: RBN Reviewing Part 1

So far it's a quick and painless process. I'm still new to the reviewing community, and hopefully can get more in depth once I get a guitar that can fast forward through everything. But so far, here's what I reviewed (will add group later):
"24-7" by The Pursuits (Bass)- When in doubt, reduce.

"Falling Apart" by BSM (Guitar)- This song seems like a fun party tune! Unfortunately, I need to PT another song by this author, because apparently I already did one for this song when I was trying to upload "Steven Wells" the first time around. This was back when the Creators site was still buggy from the RB2 -> RB3 transition.

"Feast Or Famine" by Within The Ruins (Vocals)- This one was easy, being all talkies. I made a second pass through just to make sure they were time right.

"Lift" by Poets Of The Fall (Guitar)- I love the song, and despite it's length (I have the GH5 guitar, so I can't fast forward) it's a beauty to listen to and is mixed well. To listen to.
In Rock Band, the main guitar part definitely needs to be louder if you're trading off between two guitar parts. For an exmaple of how this is handled well, check out "Reptilia" by The Strokes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent 2010: Day 2

Oh shi- Missed a day.

I think I'll leave this here...

I also joined the Playtest group for RBN, so expect some updates from that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent 2010: December 1st

Whew, as if NaNoWriMo wasn't hard enough, here's what I've got on my plate for December:
-Show on the 18th
-"Steven Wells" in its last throes on RBN
-"This Gigantic Robot Kills" beginning
-Rock Band 3 and Rock Band AC/DC Impressions
-One or two new songs
-New Christmas Mixtape for 2010, which I've already gathered songs for

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chris, Lars and Darklord In Brooklyn

Last week at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn MC Chris had a show, with Schafer the Darklord opening, and MC Lars (preview video coming tomorrow) and YTCracker doing a double set. I dragged a friend along with me into the middle of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, THE HIPSTER MECCA!!!

We came out unscathed, although now I have a better appreciation for music you've never heard of and I want to take up smoki- OH GOD. I am of course, saying that ironically.

And, unlike those mentioned in Daryl Hall's follow-up about nerdcore, everyone was actually talented.

First up was Schafer the Darklord. He dressed like he just got out of work from his job as an investment banker, but HOLY CRAP this guy got into it!

He has songs like "Boo! I'm A Ghost" (I'ma haunt your shit) and "Cat People" (meow meow). That's really all I have to say. I respect both his conviction and his ability to work with a backing track so well.

Funny stuff, will look up.

Next was the MC Lars/YTCracker set. It was more Lars than Cracker, but I didn't mind at all! One thing to note was that they're the only act that had a live band: a drummer and a guitarist who'd switch off guitar/bass. I thought the songs would sound weaker, but I didn't notice much of a drop off. It felt more, "loud", I guess.

They still had to sync themselves up with the videos playing in the background, though. I guess rap doesn't lend itself very well to messing around. MC Lars previewed a couple songs from his new album "Lars Attacks!", including a song about "Mad Men" and the title track. Also of note was the fact that this was the only venue where he played "Hipster Girl", so clearly he and my friend are on the same wavelength.

But seriously, people don't fucking lie about Williamsburg. SO MANY WOOL HATS!!!

The Lars took up the guitar and played "Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock".

At long last, MC Chris took the stage, and like he was last year, was funny, awesome, and some son of a bitch had to bring the show to a screeching halt.

If MC Chris every finds himself having to put away the laptop and give up music (which won't happen with a children's album coming out later this year, and his new album Race Wars coming out next year) the man can still make a killing with stand up. Long story short, I've avoided Fallout: New Vegas and found new sources of baking grease thanks to him.

"Fette's Vette" and "Wiid", the standbys were played, as well one that I can't seem to bring myself to enjoy, "Drunk Asshole Stops Show". There's always some guy who has way too much, and it gets on Chris's nerves a lot.

PROTIP: If you hang toward the back, you drink all you damn well please. It took ten minutes for Cracker and Schaffer to escort some people out.

As for my friend, who the most he's heard of "nerd influenced rap" was when I showed him "This Gigantic Robot Kills" on Rock Band Network?

"At first I was like, 'not bad', and then I was like 'This is awesome!'"

Yes it was, buddy. Yes it was.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

REVIEW: Guitar Hero 5


Yeah, the website named after Rock Band is reviewing Guitar Hero. I got an Xbox 360 not too long ago, and I needed a guitar controller. Luckily I was able to get the bundle for $45.

Obviously a review for a year old game in a major franchise that everybody got is very fucking pointless, but I'll give it a shot.

OK, so Guitar Hero 5 is the game where Neversoft FINALLY got all their shit together.

Guitar Hero 3 was a double assault of difficulty. The developer, being new at making charts, and a game company as opposed to a collective of musicians, didn't know what they were doing. That's why you see things like power chords charted with three notes, and Drop D tuning charted like power chords. Also, it feels like for the first half of the set list, they did a good job, but for the last two tiers, they listened to Score Hero and picked ridiculously hard metal.

Guitar Hero: World Tour suffered from trying to copy the Rock Band formula of having all four parts. A lot of the songs were taken from Rock Band 2, and the engine looked worse than 3 somehow. It was them starting all over again, basically. Any game using that engine (Smash Hits, Van Halen) looked weird and felt a little off timing wise.

Metallica I didn't play, but Smash Hits I did, and the demo for GH: VH.

Guitar Hero 5 is the 7th(?) effort from Neversoft, 3rd main game, and while it does have some problems, they've gotten so much right it's the only one I've enjoyed since 2.

Graphics wise, the character models are a lot smoother and more muted. The camerawork isn't as sophisticated or as diverse in Rock Band, but there's still enough to go on, and the characters animate appropriately, especially in songs such as "Sweating Bullets" where the singer sings right into the camera, in that whole "linear motion capture" thing I talked about.

While I at first balked at the soundtrack, there were a lot of songs I ended up liking. "They Say" by Scars On Broadway, "In The Meantime" by Spacehog, "Streamline Woman" by Gov't Mule, and "Six Days A Week" by The Bronx are a couple I've grown to love. I've even grown to disagree with Yahtzee's take on GH5, saying that aren't any epic classics. I point you to "Spirit Of The Radio" and "Do You Feel Like We Do?" While they aren't on the scale of "Freebird" and "Bark At The Moon", I still love 'em.

The difficulty curve is scizophrenic, where on the first tier I have "Sympathy For The Devil" that I almost failed out on, and on the sixth tier is Weezer's "Why Bother?" which is like "Song 2"-lite.
Other than that, it's basically the same thing. I was happy with the avatar I was able to set up from square one, so the challenges didn't really appeal to me that much. They did get me to switch over to bass every so often, which is really simple to do, at least in solo career.

While it's a bitch to setup since I'm playing on a non-CRT TV, the guitar I'm starting to get into. It's got a nice big, strum bar, slidey parts I don't have to use, and all the buttons are out of the way. The only thing I don't like about it is the whammy bar. It's not as loose as the RB Stratocaster's, and while we're on the subject, going from the Rock Band guitars to this brand was all CLICKITY CLICK CLICK CLICK. However, it does recognize up-strumming, so I was able to get the "Flawless Groove" achievement in RB2. Although I can't use the slide bar as solo buttons, so fuck that noise.

Party Play is a nice addition. It's NaNoWriMo, so I'd let the thing run in the background, work on the novel, and then pick it up whenever a song comes on.

What it seems to be my problem with Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, other than whole ManBearPig Rocker transformations, is that while the core elements are retained, it seems like they went back to the Guitar Hero 3 way of doing things: listening to ScoreHero and picking the uberhard metal. While GHWOR's soundtrack still has some easy, recognizable songs, but the last two stages are just so jam packed with MACHINEGUNSKITTLEZ metal (also known as 'Sperg Metal for short), that I can't get into it.

Guitar Hero 3 was arguably the most popular one, because it was in the right place at the right time: GH2 just started to generate some buzz about the franchise, and by 3 people were eagerly awaiting the newest

GH5's final tier has a nice mix of prog, metal and blues, so even if I don't like one song, I can just skip over it and try harder on the others, since it has the "Earn X Stars" rubric that every game since GH: Metallica had. And yes, challenges do count toward your overall total. (1* for completeing them on the lowest level, +2* for the next highest, with the highest level granting you 3 extra stars)

FINAL VERDICT: Well, it's a year old so don't expect anyone to play with you (except for me). For the people who have been Rock Band purists this whole time, it's a lot of fun, and a pretty good change of pace. Also, consider it the only way you'll be able to play:
-"Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones
-"All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan
-"Spirit of the Radio" by Rush
-Anything by Muse other than "Hysteria"
-"Bullet With Butterfly Wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins
-and Kevin Bacon

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Follies!

Yeah, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has taken up a lot of my time, so don't expect many update. I'll work on a song later today if I manage to catch up.

Some quick news:
1. Tried out this website "Sonicbids"where you can find gigs. Got one response, but I needed to buy tickets in advance. Will post about later.
2. FINALLY got "This Gigantic Robot Kills" in working order. Will video soon.
3. "Steven Wells" is ready for PrimeTime, but I'm having trouble uploading it.
4. Got Guitar Hero 5. Yeah, I'm cheap. At least I have a guitar for the 360.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Belated AND Spooktackular?

Haven't had a song lesson in a while, so here goes:

A great song from a cult classic!

The song itself is pretty simple, but you do need to perfect this one move:


It's similar to the blues riff in A:


Preserve that same motion going to the following chords in the verse:
A (6th string, 5th fret)
It's astounding
B (6th string, 7th fret)
Time is fleeting
G (6th string, 3rd fret)
D (5th string, 5th fret)
Takes its toll...
Then return to A position

And here's the riff for that line we all know and love (at least how I play)



You know what else is SPOOKTACULAR?


I thought I had a song about this...

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Blogspot says this is my 250th post!

As a man who's done Rock Band Network tracks for a guy who did an entire Street Fighter Mixtape, and MC Lars, as well as writing a song based on Axe Cop I'm a bit into nerd music.

However, a recent (by the time I was like "Hey, maybe I could write about this...") Garbage Day article from Something Awful, prompted me to rethink things a little.

The main point of the article was that nerd music is more about nerddom than actual musicianship. There's no doubt that some are, dropping in references for the sake of people going "Hey! I know that reference!" (See: XKCD and Family Guy) and making the phat loot.

But I think in the end what matters most is this question: "Would I enjoy this song just as much if it weren't about video games/Star ____/internet memes?".

In the article, the writer, Daryl Hall, gives The Protomen as the "tamest" or "least bad" example of nerd-centric music, stating that their music, while not the worst, is only appealing because it's about Mega Man and they wear Mega Man helmets HEY MEGA MAN.

First: I don't think the story of any Mega Man game goes beyond "Here are some robots, kill them". If they do, then 1. I haven't been paying attention, and 2. that means you give a damn, and that's the kind of attitude that ruined Star Fox and Sonic.

Second, these guys really look more like robot David Bowie mixed with a shitty 80's band trying to stay relevant than Mega Man, but that's not the point I'm trying to push.

It's more of a loose interpretation. It's like they said Robots + Doctors = CLEARLY IT'S A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE!! (According to their Wikipedia page). They're not terrible, but like DH said, it's the Mega Man references that bring people in. Otherwise, they'd be a Survivor sound alike, maybe enjoying breif success after one of their songs is used in a montage scene in a movie.
Are they relatable? Eh. Like I mentioned, they sound like Survivor, but some of the songs get so heavy handed with their story it's like reading a book aloud with the radio on. A couple songs you can play for a non-gaming friend and might make decent workout music, but for the average dude, their get up might be a little hard to swallow. It's not that Aquabats! brand of weird where you can look at it and go "Oh, for kids." or "Oh, DRUGS"

Next, he brings up The Advantage, a video game cover band. These guys I can understand having a problem with. That problem is the same with all cover bands, but while listening to Basket Case play "Basket Case" will remind of the last time you heard "Basket Case", 'cause, you know, you like the song, The Advantage reminds me how I could be doing something more than just listening to Flashman's Theme from Mega Man 2 by downloading an emulator and actually playing the game.

Can someone explain to me the "gold plated batter's helmet" thing? I think I know where it is, but I can't remember...

But is The Advantage relatable? Sure. If I were to go to a remote village where people are too poor to afford water, let alone electricity, let alone video games, and blast the Tetris/Mario/Flash Man's theme, I could go back to that village a month later and they'd still be going doo do do doo do do doo do do dooo, because, as Extra Credits has taught me, the melodies of those old games had to be catchy due to limitations of the old systems.

But because they ONLY play videogame music, a point for Daryl, I guess. If you've never played the game, you wouldn't "get it". Although it'd be kind of badass to see a cover band that covers normal songs AND video game music. Then you got two markets covered.

Lastly, he brings up "nerdcore" or rap about nerdy shit, which he considers "fucking offensive" (or close to it). But I think one thing he misses is that rap/hip-hop is a genre, or a style of music, not necessarily a subject matter. If metal can be about anything from dragons and dungeons to rebellion, and punk covers a range of idealogies both left and right , then why can't rap be about video games or whatnot?

Because it doesn't take the scene seriously?

That kind of shit happened WAY before nerdcore was even a thought. While songs like "An Open Letter To The New York Post" have a lot more thought put into them than "Cant Touch This", Public Enemy look like a bunch of bad men, the kind I walk on the other side of the street as I see them walk toward me while MC Hammer is an inoffensive chap in shiny pants dancing about. One of the "good ones" so to speak. A "house- Well, you get the idea.

Pop sensibility trumps everything else in the end. Then again, "bitches and hos" sell well too, so the genre has been dragged through the muck.

For the relatible question, I'm just going to go over the triumvirate of nerdcore MC's: Chris, Frontalot and Lars real quick:

I haven't listened to much of MC Frontalot, but just listening to some of the song he has this weird harmony where by singing "off beat" he's creating a new rhythm. It's hard to explain. Sort of like he's doing a guitar solo with rhythms instead of melodies. And that's pretty much what rap is.

I outsourced this next bit to my good buddy Koltreg, who wrote a bit on Frontalot since I don't know much about him:
"Frontalot is considered to be the father of nerdcore, which instead of rapping about things like bitches and hos, raps about video games and lusting after goth girls."

But is he relatable? I asked as Koltreg admired my vast genius and broad shoulders.
"Nerd culture is becoming more mainstream. He has about 8 or so songs on really obsucre subjects, but he's got really good songs and can introduce you to something new."

MC Chris is probably the most hit-or-miss, since his songs cover a range: "Hijack" and "006" are typical "I'm awesome" songs. "Wiid" is about pot, but spelled Wii because NINTENDO. "Fette's Vette" is basically a boastful gangsta rap song about Boba Fett where "jetpack" can be replaced with "Bentley" and "bounty hunt for Jabba [the] Hutt" can be exchanged for "Cap mofos and get my hos".

He made a Ghostbusters reference in a "Twin Peaks" song. He actually made a "Twin Peaks" song, I know. What next, a "Deadly Premonition" song? No, because I wanna do a "Deadly Premonition" song called "F.K. In The Coffee". MC Chris is more than welcome to help.

Back to the "Twin Peaks" song, it's pretty self contained. Yeah, it'll help a ton if you watched the show, but most people can assume it's about a murder in a small town that has pie so good, it's a crime.

MC Lars covers the most mainstream topics, such as summaries of "Hamlet ("Hey There Ophelia") and "Moby Dick" ("Ahab"), ska music of the 90's ("This Gigantic Robot Kills") and a kid trained to be a pro gamer ("O.G. Original Gamer")

All three wanted to be rappers first, and just happen to be nerds. Even Hall conceded that this is people rapping about shit they like. Whether it's about girls, sex or games, people like what they like, and unless they're damn hipsters, they want to share it with the world.

Back to the original point: Is nerd music limiting the horizons of nerds, while dragging another facet of art into it's blubbery folds?

Music was already a part of nerddom in the first place, such as the 8-bit chiptunes The Advantage covers, or the orchestral background music in modern games like God of War. They're just adhering to sound musical theory. With Koltreg's point about nerd culture becoming more mainstream, who's to say what's "nerd" music at all?Or if it will even stay "nerd" music.

As far as limting horizons, that would be pretty difficult in the long run. Sure, you could make a shit ton of money relying solely on direct references (OH HAI FAMILY GUY), but they become dated after a while. This is the kind of nerd music we should be shunning.

Eventually the artists will inject themselves into the music, whether it be political (the line "If you're in the 80's Reaganomics was a scam" from MC Frontalot's "Spoiler Alert"), personal (MC Lars' "23" about the suicide of a former roommate of his), or even if it's outside the music, there are still things they feel strongly about (MC Chris' campaign against Cystic Fibrosis), that they will introduce to the audience.

Want to play a Frontalot song on Rock Band? You'll need the disc first, that comes chock full of a diverse range of music, from classic rock to heavy metal to modern indie.

And there are the opening acts at these shows. At an MC Chris show, punk band Whole Wheat Bread opened for him, and they're not nerdy at all, unless you count the school uniforms.

So don't worry, the nerds will see the sun eventually.

N.B. I did a "Speed Listen" of the first Protomen album with videos from YouTube and found this shit. That is why people hate nerds.

Thanks to Koltreg for the words on Frontalot, and Daryl "Fucking" Hall for the original article. I'll probably write more on the subject later, but I just wanted to cover the Garbage Day piece.

Hall did bring up a really good point about using familiar themes to expose people to other genres, mentioning metal, bluegrass and jazz. If you read this on Twitter, and know of any "Nerd-Non-Traditional Genre Here" acts, post it in the comments.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crisis Of Infinite Aversions

Got my laptop back today, hopefully everything works.

UPDATE: 10/21/2010
Got an external HD, as well as my 250 Gig Hard drive in the mail today. So, not only can I playtest songs now, but I can use any computer to record my stuff as well, since I'm installing it all on the EHD.

The bastard is now mobile!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

My laptop shit the bed.

I spent $270 trying to recover it, so everything I wrote and all the RBN stuff won't go to waste.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


RhythmBstrd is my GamerTag. It's the same for the PS3, but nobody friended me :(.


ANYWAYS, I released another song out into the wild. WHERE IS IT? WHO KNOWS??

Also, that was part of a three song dealy I was doing called the "Songs I Made For Other People LP" Whether you're a webcomic artist, a friend of mine, or a dickweed, I made these songs for those people.

However, recent events have made me add a couple more, so that's what I was working on.

Now, what I can guarantee whoever stumbles by the next couple days:
-Another song released. It's a cover of a Dead Kennedys song and I'll release it through Twitter.
-A video runthrough of "This Gigantic Robot Kills" on RBN, and an updated version of "Steven Wells"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Livestream Gig Recap


Nobody watched, lots of stuff went wrong. But I still had fun messing around with my friend who came. We didn't have mozzareppas like I planned, but we had Molten Chocolate cake. It's like regular chocolate cake, but the middle oozes out when you cut into it.

Said Koltreg, "The sound is coming in choppy, and the video lags. I like the song." So, for next time, I should probably put the backing tracks on something that isn't the machine I'm broadcasting from, and take notes on which backing tracks come in loud. The only problem is that with the laptop I can change the volume of the individual instruments, and always make it louder. Or rather, keep the levels low, and crank it up on the amp.

99% of the time this blog is just me thinking out loud.

All right, let's do this (***- OK to *****-Great to *****G- Flawless Performance):
I couldn't find a backing track without vocals. It was fun to jam out on, and a relief not having to worry about singing as well.

This was the song Koltreg liked. Played it twice. Once with someone watching.

Played it a million times. This song never gets old.

AXE COP- *****G
WITH SPECIAL GUEST. This song will always be fun, and it's a damn shame I haven't tried to promote it more. I'm serious, everyone I've played it for sings the chorus ("AXE COP! THat's what I said!") whenever I'm around. I legitimately work out to that song, and not skip it over like "AH I DID IT IT SUCKS I FAIL!!"

DAYMAN- *****
The lag and the transfer from the laptop to the amp warped the sound, but we pulled this one off. I've played it live before.

So, RL gigs are hard to get, and nobody gives a shit about online gigs. I've learned nothing and my Mom wants me to clean the basement.

Maybe next time I'll play Rock Band over the stream... When Rock Band 3 comes out?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stupid Announcement Delay...

Anyway, since I got home late both Saturday and Sunday, I have to delay my stupid announcement, which means all my stupid announcement stuff will be a day late. That 3 pack of songs I was going to give out, uploading MC Lars' "This Gigantic Robot Kills" to the Rock Band Network, and my LiveStream gig? Day later.

Yeah, so a free 3 song EP? Saturday.

Putting up "Steven Wells" by Akira The Don, and "This Gigantic Robot Kills" by MC Lars on the Rock Band Network?
Later in the week, maybe Friday. I need to take care of the paperwork and sound levels.

I WAS going to try to do a LiveStream gig this Tuesday at around 8:30 PM, but guess what?
I'll have to have it on Wednesday now.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th, 2010 at 8:30 PM.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Will Announce My Announcement...

At a screening party of my friends' internet show, Dino Hunter M.D., which is this Saturday. I dunno, I might be too tired by the time I get home to announce my announcement. So it'll be more like Sunday. My friends will be all over. So all you have to do is find out who I really am, and where I will be Saturday night. Also, I might be attending RockGamer Studios's Green Day Rock Band event tonight.

Som on Sunday, I will announce my announcement. AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

REPOST: NinjaGamerGeek and Hookers and Oreos

NinjaGamerGeek posted up another article, even after they've been shut down.

by Cranson Bashcraft

According to his twitter page, the Rhythm Bastard had released some details as to his upcoming announcement. Luckily, we're here to tell you what it means!

OK, r0x0r your b0x0rs. Who roxors boxors? Hookers, otherwise the only women who will sleep with me, because Julie that girl at the video game store, never goes out with me. I think she put me on her Friends Ladder. Baka Gaijin.

Anyway, then he puts the four zeroes as 0s. 0000. What does that mean? Well, there are two 0s at the beginning and end of the word. So since he doesn't have anything to do with Ohio, clearly it means Oreos. Like the kind I OM NOM NOMed a sleeve of.


Clearly that bullet proof logic means that I will have hookers give away oreos. It's like Edward R. Murrow and Jon Stewart had a baby.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

REPOST: NinjaGamerGeek Reports on the Announcement Of My Announcement

So anyway, news of the announcement of my announcement has already hit the major game blogs. Or at least one of them, Unfortunately, due to this economic clusterfuck us Yanks find ourselves in, it had to file for bankruptcy, and no longer exists. Still, I need to highlight such outstanding journalism:


Sup dawg, I herd u liek announcements? The Rhythm Bastard announced an announcement so he can announce annoucements while he announces announcement. Lol. What a fage.


NEW YORK, NY. Person who does a thing on internet Rhythm Bastard has announced today that he will make an announcement. When asked about the nature of said announcement, he said this:
"Well, it's certainly not because I'm finishing up work on a song, or some other cool stuff I was thinking of doing and didn't want to go a week without an update"

His accountant, Phil, claims "He stole my last name and then beat me with it."

As to why The Rhythm Bastard has announced an announcement instead of waiting till the actual date: "Because as much as I enjoy reading "Game Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits" I'm not a games journalist, just a music player. And I don't see no website called "Game Musicians Are Incompetent Fuckwits" and even then it would just be one page that says "DragonForce""

The Rhythm Bastard's only claim to fame was posting the Guitar Hero: Arcade setlist.

He also has a song about Axe Cop available for download.


See how good of an article it is? You can tell it's great because they copied and pasted the article straight from my site. And I'm a good writer, so by transitive property, this is one of the greatest pieces of news of all time. Also, how the headline made assumptions, instead of reporting that I only announced an announcement which may or may not be cool stuff instead of actually doing it, was a nice touch.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rhythm Bastard Pleased With Sucess Of Announcement Of Announcement


NEW YORK, NY. Rhythm Bastard, who recently announced that he would make an announcement, boasts of his recent success:
"I got like, a million hits from just the idea that I'll be announcing something."

Records show he only received 16 hits. 7 of those were counted twice.

Will it be big? The Rhythm Bastard seems to think so: "With all these posts related to my as of yet unmade announcement of something big, it can't possibly be a letdown! Like Daiktana! Or the box-office draw to Scott Pilgrim vs The World" The latter being a movie staring Michael Cera based off a series of Graphic Novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The former is bieng turned into a movie starring Michael Cera and will be released in 2013.

His accountant Phil had this to say: "As a running joke that nobody gives a shit about as well as an accountant, this is a huge failure. He doesn't even sell anything, and barely bothers to network. For the love of God, please get me out of here. This man keeps me chained in his parents basement"

The Rhythm Bastard's father is equally unimpressed with the success of the announcement: "I don't care if my generation turned into a bunch greedy fucks and would rather make a profit than hire new people to ease the workload, I'm tired of him on the goddamn computer and playing his goddamn guitar."

His mother's take on the event is unorthodox, to say the least "Could you do me a favor and bring the laundry basket down?" She said, standing next to said laundry basket with perfectly functioning legs.

Regardless, the Rhythm Bastard remains steadfast that his announcement will bring him even more success: "Read my lips. I will make you my bitch."

He then proceeded to physically abuse his accountant, Phil.

The Rhythm Bastard had originally started a blog to chronicle his learning of the songs from the original Rock Band music video game. Now he does this shit and writes his own songs. His only claim to fame was posting the Guitar Hero: Arcade setlist.

He also has a song about Axe Cop available for download. Other songs can be downloaded via his Newgrounds Page.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rhythm Bastard's Announcement to Announce Something


Person who does a thing on internet Rhythm Bastard has announced today that he will make an announcement. When asked about the nature of said announcement, he said this:
"Well, it's certainly not because I'm finishing up work on a song, or some other cool stuff I was thinking of doing and didn't want to go a week without an update"

His accountant, Phil, claims "He stole my last name and then beat me with it."

As to why The Rhythm Bastard has announced an announcement instead of waiting till the actual date: "Because as much as I enjoy reading "Game Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits" I'm not a games journalist, just a music player. And I don't see no website called "Game Musicians Are Incompetent Fuckwits" and even then it would just be one page that says "DragonForce""

The Rhythm Bastard's only claim to fame was posting the Guitar Hero: Arcade setlist.

He also has a song about Axe Cop available for download.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting The Axe

I made a song about Axe Cop, a comic written by a 6-year old and drawn by his 29 year old brother. And it's a lot better than you'd expect: amazing, even. It's a tribute to the imagination unfettered by the rules of writing.

It's the polar opposite of Sonichu, a horrible comic written by a 28 year-old who's mentally 6.

Anyway, here's my song about Axe Cop:


It was a silly little thing I wrote about a silly little comic. Hopefully it'll be on the Chop!Cast.

I just finished recording guitar on another song based off a webcomic.

In other news, most of my efforts have been toward "This Gigantic Robot Kills" in Rock Band Network, and setting up a LiveStream concert, so learning Rock Band songs have fallen to the wayside.

"Steven Wells (He Was The Greatest)" is in Peer Review, so go to, set up an account, and go here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Comin' Down The Block

Unfortunately I couldn't get a very good preview of the pre-Xbox stages, but I'm finished with the early draft of my new RBN song, "This Gigantic Robot Kills" by MC Lars:


In other news, Akira The Don's "Steven Wells (He Was The Greatest)" is in Peer Review.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Juggalos Attempt To Kill Tila Tequila

You're fuckin' weird, God.

BTW, Green Day said HEY-O alot at the PNC and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was a pretty cool movie.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is Punk Right-Wing?










Friday, August 6, 2010

New Song For RBN?

Just got the stems for yet another rapper to put in #RBN. BUT WHO???

I dropped a couple hints on Twitter:
@The_Ozone OK, OK, I'll drop one hint: Remember that band I "thought" you got for #RBN the other day? He's worked with them.

Another hint, I've mentioned this band on this site before.


We now know the FULL Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock soundtrack, due to a YouTube video that has since been taken down. Regardless, some standouts for me:
"Cryin'" by Aerosmith- THis one sounds like it'd be a fun number. It alternates between between hard and soft, and the vocals will be hard, but it's not jumpy.

"Burnin' For You" by Blue Oyster Cult- Hey, this guy was at my school! Although it sounds like one of those songs better suited for Rock Band 3 than Guitar Hero, unless they're doing the whole "WHAT KEYBOARD? IT WAS GUITAR THE WHOLE TIME" thing.

"Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival- Meh. It's already in Rock Band DLC, so I'm not terribly excited. Not even a hard song either.

"How You Remind Me" by Nickelback- Fuck. This. Noise. Next Topic!

Scrappy underdog Power Gig: Rise Of The Six String also released some more of it's tracklist, let's check it out!
P.S. The Expendables looks awesome. Looks. That's the keyword.
Video 1-
The Black Keys- "Strange Times"- Meh, indie's a big risk in these games. It'll either be really interesting, or... gulp... shoegaze!
Paramore- "Ignorance"- They're going for some deep cuts, huh? At least I can remember hearing it somewhere before. also, at 0:54 in the first video here, grafix fail.
The Academy Is...- "His Girl Friday"- Sounds like Fall Out Boy.
Bad Religion- "I Want To Conquer The World"- Boy, for a Bad Religion song... you think there would be a lot more intensity.

Video 2- "Be prepared to have a Mangasm?" Really Ain't It Cool News?
Black Sabbath- "The Devil Cried"- Boy, for a Black Sabbath song, you think there would be more intensity.
New Found Glory- "Listen To Your Friends". At first it looked boring to play, but then they showed a shot of the fingers on the fretboard and it looks a lot better than Rock Band 2. 3's what you need to worry about.
Superdrag- "Aspartme"
Mastadon- "Crack The Skye" These trailers are at least showing us some other guitarists, but he looks more like an art critic than a metalhead.

Video 3- "This movie [The Expendables] has ALL THE HEROES" NO WAY!!! Too bad I'm already seeing Scott Pilgrim the 13th and Green Day the next day. Shit, I think I might be a pussy.
Queens Of THe Stone Age- "Long Song Name"- Now, I SWEAR I've heard this in a Tony Hawk or something. I guess with Guitar Hero and Rock Band already so huge, the "I think I heard this in another game" is the best they can get.
Surfer Blood- "Swim"- See my comment on The Black Keys
The Get Up Kids- "Martyr Me"- NOPE.
3 Days Grace- "Break" My little brother likes this song, therefore I've already heard it 100 times today.
Mute Math- "Chaos"- Well, at least they named the song right.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

StarPower Podcast

COnsider me a fan. I figured it'd be a bunch of 'sperging, foaming at the mouth , but it went into some interesting discussions on topics I'd like to touch on:

Pro Mode Instruments- As much as I'd appreciate having a learning tool from some guys who know what they're doing, it's a shame that they don't have some sort of bridge where I can use my regular guitar. They have the MIDI bank for keyboards, but nothing for guitars. Considering the price is supposed to be "competitive" with the Fender Squier, it'll run you about $250. Power Tab's free. I'm not sure about the overally quality of Squiers, but I guess if you wanted to make the investment, the extra $60 for the game AS WELL AS a fully functioning guitar seem like a good deal.

I still want that bridge, guys.

Another point touched on was "What if Activision did the Pro Mode/Keyboard thing?" Of course, being GH fans, they sarcastically quipped about all the gold plated skulls the Bobby Kotick snorts coke off of, because Activision is evil. But, really, I don't they'd try such a thing. Keyboards, maybe, but the direction their going in with the 6th iteration shows that they're focused on being a video game.

Harrah's Tourney- Discussing the merits of score vs. performance scoring in competition. One commenter did mention the prevalence of "Get Up (Sex Machine)", and was right on the money.
The one thing key to this argument is getting people to care. People go to rock shows all the time, and nobody cares that you FC'd a song on a plastic guitar babby game. So, if you're doing a tourney on the latter, it's best to inject as much of the former as possible. The casters noted that as all the bands had costumes.

But should score even matter? Well, go by the same standards as a regular rock concert. Play on expert, and it's up to the judges whether or not you screwed up enough to warrant penalization. I'd rather see someone get most of a solo bouncing around then FC'ing that same part staring at the screen.

That's all I guess. "Steven Wells" is still in playtest. I might have another song soon for the RBN.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Of That...

So, I was away for a while, now I'm back, and will try to make a post everyday.

Flirtin' With Disaster is slowly becoming my bitch, I'm trying to score a couple local gigs, and trying to expand my repitoire in the process. I've been trying to play FwD for a while, but my fingers won't move fast enough.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Thing Is...

You know how some people just don't give a shit about politics, or science, or the greater mysteries world around us, because they're too focused on just getting through the day?

That's how I've been the past two weeks finishing up papers for my online course.
I haven't posted much about Nickelback and Miley Cyrus DLC, because I'm too busy pretending to care about Modern Chinese history.

Here's that shit in a nutshell:
At first some guys from Manchuria were all like "Fuck the Han Chinese oppressing us and shit" and they temporary renamed themselves the Chin because it was the last big foreign dynasty, sort of like the Tea Party. So they took over and called themselves the Qing Dynasty.

Then opium happened, and they were too baked to win the war against the British, so then they make all kinds of negotiations so every other nation doesn't curb stop them.

THis gets some people pissed, 'cause they're sick of the Qing dynasty's bullshit. A republic's started, then WWII happens and the Soviet tell some Chinese people that Communism is a super idea.

Civil War breaks out, COmmunists win, and then every God damn thing every one does has to be for the state.

Great. That's what I pissed away 5 weeks of my life on.

In less depressing news, Akira The Don's "Steven Wells (He Was The Greatest)" went through a complete round of playtesting. Most of the work is on the vocals. I'll be posting on that again.

I have another song in the tank and ready to be released, but I'll save it as an incentive for joining my Facebook or Twitter.

Fuck Nickelback.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Rock Band 3 Wishlist

All right, everyone's doing it since the news a few days ago, so here goes:

"No More Heroes" by The Stranglers

Get the album and the video game that takes its namesake, because there is absolutely nothing else like it. Why would it make a good Rock Band 3 song? Complex guitar and keyboards will make it quite the challenge, and they interact nicely.

"Reelin' In The Years" by Steely Dan

Did you play through Steely Dan's "Bodhivasta" and thought "Fuck this noise, I'll never like Steely Dan"? Well, this song's much easier on your poor little fingers. It has interesting parts for everyone: the keyboard plays most of the rhythm with guitar coming in for a little lick every so often. Rock Band needs moar Steely Dan!

"Lily, Rosemary and the Jack Of Hearts" by Bob Dylan
Youtube doens't have any good videos, just covers. Aaaaaaaaaaaanyways, it would be a pretty boring song overall, but the story told is damn interesting, and everyone would be too focused on what's coming out of the vocalist mouth to care that they've been going over the same pattern for eight minutes. Then again, if they did "Tangled Up In Blue"...

"Super Rad" by The Aquabats

It was either this, or "Fashion Zombies", but I figured let the Charge!!! album be DLC, because gosh darn it we need something to balance out the depressing indie. Plus, I've been working on my MC Bat Commander voice for a while now, and it's almost as good as my Sean Connery. As far the song itself goes, it has all the hallmarks of ska: busy bass, complex drum beats (courtesy of Blink 182's Travis Barker).

"She Is Beautiful" by Andrew W.K.

Sure, I guess you could have DragonForce if you want metal with pianos in Rock Band 3. You know, if you're stupid. Andrew W.K, the king of partying and the inventor of hard, needs to be in this game, and not just his song, oh no. You know how in my Green Day Rock Band review I said I'm a sucker for the linear mo-cap? Seeing your guy bounce around like AWK would be TITS! It would be ACE! It would be... awesome! The guy's a pretty accomplished pianist, so naturally he plays it in most of his songs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Total Rock, Total Satisfaction

Well, to most people getting 93% average isn't mediocre, but in the Rock Band Total Rock, Total Rewards contest, it was :(.

OK, maybe I should start from the beginning. Back when the Harrah's Total Rock, Total Rewards competition was announced, I put a post up looking for band members on the site. Of course, I was still back up in school, and didn't have an Xbox, so we couldn't practice or anything, at least until June. This girl e-mails me, saying she's a singer and her boyfriend's a drummer. So we went back and forth for a while, what songs I was good at, what songs she could handle, etc.

Finally, Thursday night, it's game time. I show up early, and look around. Normally I'm a little shy in these situations, but they're Rock Band nerds like me! If it weren't for the $8 whiskey and Coke, I'd make the pilgrimage there more often, because it is a nice place. Anyway, the girl and her boyfriend come in and we talk for a bit. As it turns out, we didn't have a bassist! There was this one guy, but he wasn't up for it if we made the next round. So we finally scrounge up a guy, when, holy crap, we didn't pick a song!

So we have a drummer who's only drummed on the Ion, a singer who wavers between picking a song she's good at and "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine)", a bassist who actually sings and drums, and a guitarist who doesn't own the game. Now, with all that, what song do we pick?


"Carry On My Wayward Son"

So, our band, Last Minute got to warm up first. This was basically fucking around time, we play Chop Suey, Livin' On A Prayer and Conventional Lover. It was fun. Come game time though, I was feeling odd, like in some Zen state where I was focused on nothing but the game, yet not caring about the outcome. Maybe the 2.9 mil high score for "Get Up..." relaxed me a bit. I accepted my fate and merely live in the moment. I knew I wouldn't win, but I didn't care.

I thought about the city. I thought about how the hell Kansas and Styx were considered Prog Rock. Mostly though, I thought about all the new friends I made and just being there.

Seriously, though $8 for a mixed drink? Fuck that. I got spoiled on poor-ass Port Jefferson bars. And buying my own booze.

TL;DR: Yeah, a lot of stuff was done last minute, but it was satisfying seeing this thing through to the end.
For all 0 of you who read this blog, post about your experiences with the Harrah's Rock Band competition!

Friday, June 11, 2010

REVIEW: Green Day Rock Band

So, on Tuesday, I got Green Day Rock Band.

The game is Rock Band, but with Green Day. Just Green Day. That's it really.

FINAL VERDICT: Ask yourself these questions-
1. Do I like Green Day?
2. Do I like Rock Band?
If yes, get it. Nothing else I can really say.

Oh, you wanted MORE? Then all I can give are my impressions and experiences, and that's not a review. EVERYONE'S reviewed this damn thing, so all I can do is tell you folks a little story:

All right, so while my little brother was at work, I called a friend over and we jammed a little bit. Since my Dad would probably want to tear through 21st Century Breakdown, we decided to go through the Dookie campaign. I was an idiot and decided to go on drums, AND try to sing, while my friend played the guitar. It was fun, and whoever thinks that a punk band can't have difficult music is out of their mind. Either way, it was a lot of fun.

The one thing that stuck out at me was how appropriate all the motions seemed. Linear motion capture really does make a difference, and I think that's one of the few areas where the Guitar Hero franchise has an edge over Rock Band.

Sure, you can have the different camera cuts and all that, but it felt more "professional". There is the argument that Rock Band isn't supposed to be about that, but more along the lines of you jamming out with some friends, and they're not going to be doing all the fucking around the GH avatars do. Still, after playing for a while, the "standard" cuts and motions look samey, and sometimes don't fit the scene. Anyway, back to my rambling:

I was born in '88 (raised by the bastards of 1951), and never really got into that album (Dookie). I sort of got into Green Day during that odd period between American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. I just started to pick up the guitar, and "Holiday" was he first song I learned. Then one day my dad heard "Brain Stew" on the radio and he though "I like these guys!", so the next day he got Bullet In A Bible and International Superhits!, and watching that DVD, it's a real treat to see these guys live. "Energy" is the defining word.

And they tried to bring that energy to "Green Day: Rock Band". For the most part it succeeded. There's still the limitations of it being a video game, so the animation appears stilted at some points, and of course the, "fingers go THROUGH the strings" trick.

As far as complaints go, they're not that big, but it's like the Uncanny Valley: so close to being perfect (for me at least), that all these errors seem gigantic.
1. Nothing pre-Dookie. As I have mentioned before, there's a handful of good songs they could have used, and helped beefed up the Warehouse venue. But none of those stems are digital, so that gets a pass.
2. Not a lot of venues. The songs for the "other" albums (Insomniac to Warning) could have easily made another stage. It felt kind of anemic after The Beatles: Rock Band
3. Which leads me to my next point. It could have been cool to see the 21st Century Breakdown and American Idiot albums played out like a story, with GD playing in the background. For a band known for its music videos as well as the live shows, this was a disappointment.

Either way, I had fun with it, and intend to play it again when my brother goes to work later today.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vector Calculations

It's been an interesting experience making RBN tracks, and I'd like to do it again, especially my own. However, it's hard to get a band interested due to the industry standard being at around $1000. Sure, you keep the royalties (at least all the good ones let the bands keep the profits), but if you're a small band looking for a way to get to millions of people, what are you to do? And what about us track makers who spend hours hammering out everything? We did the work, compensation is expected.

Therein lies the problem when you have a band that can't afford the up front costs. If you are one of the "biggies" of the RBN Authoring world, you can either find someone who can pay or break a deal.

One deal I was thinking about, and I'm posting here so we can have a debate on the ethics of the situation, is similar to that of Vector Marketing, or CutCo, to anyone who can do five seconds of research.

Yes, that scam we've all heard about and seen on college bulletin boards. Basically, here's the rundown:
1. Gullible student takes number from poster, calls it, breezes through interview, and gets hired as an "independent contractor".
2. Pays $150 for a "sample" set.
3. Is asked to bug friends and family to sell overpriced knives.
4. ???
5. PROFIT, but only if you're a douche to loved ones.

It's all commission based, and as you sell more, you get more commission. The logic behind that is, since first, you'll be selling to family and friends who'll take pity on your sorry ass, and be more likely to sell, that's when most of your money goes to the higher-ups. Fewer people sell a shitton, so obviously, the system works. There's more info on that at the links I've embedded.

Now, why do I propose a Vector Marketing/Cutco style system? Am I a scummy asshole too? No, I'm just good at math. The plan works the same way: Sell more songs, get more royalties. But, there are a couple distinct advantages:
1. A RBN song is only $1-2, not $900 like some Cutco products.
2. It's digital, so technically it can be purchased a lot of times simulataneously.

All that crap aside, here's how I break it down: If you pay a company that authors a song for a flat fee and lets you keep all the royalties, you begin in the hole. The authors get their compensation, but the focus here is on the artists. To make that initial, let's say $1000 back, you'll need to sell 3500 tracks. You might make that up in merch sales, you might not. With my system, you pay nothing, and by the time you reach that 3500 sales mark, it's about 60-40. Not exactly fair, but better than it was.

Let's take a look at the Vector system, vs. a flat fee (assuming .30 profit on a $1 song):
Up to 500th Download (90% goes to author)
Normal- Artist down $850
Vector- Author makes $135, Artist ahead $15

501-1000th Download (80% to author)
Normal- Artist down $700
Vector- Author up $255, Artist ahead $45

1001-1500th Download (70%)
Normal-Artist down $550
Vector- Author up $360, Artist ahead $90

1500-2000th Download (60%)
Normal- Artist down $400
Vector- Author up $450, Artist ahead $150

2001-2500th Download (50%)
Normal- Artist down $250
Vector- Author up $525, Artist ahead $225

2501-3000th Download (40%)
Normal- Artist down $100
Vector- Author up $585, Artist ahead $315

3001-3500th download (30%)
Normal- Artist ahead $50
Vector- Author up $630, artist ahead $420

Now, all of these numbers are adjustable, and I want feedback from other authors before I deem this legit.

It's only one possibility. I'm not springing it on anybody, and for a fan work (like Akira the Don) I'm going to be more apt to do it on their terms, because, hey, I like them, I like Rock Band and I want to see them succeed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm Gonna Just Leave This Here...

1. Flirtin' With Disaster's solo is both a lot easier and more difficult than I realized. It still stays within this scale:


But there are parts like these:


It's all in the same scale, but spread out over the strings. had some exercises that address this, but it's riffs like these that make it much more difficult to learn real guitar.

But you know what? Even playing it slow, it feels good. That's one feeling I can never get from a plastic guitar.

Speaking of which:


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Was The Greatest, He Was The Greatest, They Were The Greatest

From concept to completion, "Steven Wells (He Was The Greatest)" is up on the RBN for playtest!

I'm also working on a new song. The weird thing was, I only had it 3/4 written by the time I started recording, and now I got a lot of stuff to work with and make into a song. Sure, I'll revise it, but at least I got over that first step of actually doing it.

After this, I'll probably record a couple covers. After those are in the pan, I'll start up my own Facebook page, just to give an air of legitimacy.

AND YES I WILL FINISH FLIRTIN' WITH DISASTER. GOD YOU PEOPLE WHO DON'T VISIT AND THEREFORE DON'T REALLY PRESSURE ME TO DO ANYTHING. Although some of the transition licks were pretty badass. I'll put something up on those tomorrow.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a paper on the fall of the Qing dynasty to finish so I can spend all June 8th playing Green Day Rock Band.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Theme Of This Post Is Green

1. As if you couldn't tell from Twitter, I plunked down the green to join XNA, and be able to play test songs.

"Bang Camaro" and "Nightlife Commando" by Bang Camaro- They were still version 1, but on my run through, it seemed good. A couple inappropriate chucks were charted, but other than that it seemed OK. Hard, but OK.
Bang Camaro brings up odd feelings inside me. I always worry about lyrics like "Will this make sense?" and "Does it convey what I want it to?" or "How does it fit in?"

"Bang Camaro" only had two words: Bang and Camaro. "Nightlife Commando"? More complex at a whopping 5 words: "He was a nightlife commando!" But as always, the guitar parts are not something us mortal men should attempt; they simply resonate forth from these holy guitars in machinations that can only be conceived with awe.

"493 Ruth" by Bomb The Music Industry- All I remember was screaming... and uh... that's about it. It was a fun song, but the sudden changes from two to three chords get a little disorienting. I think the vocals could have been mixed a lot louder.

2. Me and Akira The Don will be makin' green now that "Steven Wells" is in the system. I have a few thoughts on pricing and charging your client for charting, but I'll get into that another time.

3. Green Day Rock Band's demo is out for the PSN. Impressions? Why, yes!
Harmonies: Me and my brother played through both available songs "Welcome to Paradise" and "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams". It felt really good, like we were more into the song because of it. I played through Beatles Rock Band with some friends, and it looked good, but I wasn't as familiar with the songs we did harmonies on. Mostly it was used as an alternate key in the event that we couldn't hit the "main" track.

Welcome To Paradise: Hard as fuck on guitar. Nothing insurmountable, but when Green Day's involved, don't go in expecting a chordfest. Halfway through the song I got the rhythm down, but then the bridge came in.

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams: Bass = boring. One thing I noticed is that they chart the delay in the opening as separate chords. This also happened in Dead Kennedy's "Police Truck".

4. What else is green? Oh, uh... All the weed I sell to childr- I mean, um... Hmm... You know, it would seem like in a blog, I could edit out all those "buying time" words. And that selling drugs to ch-, um, yeah... But Punk Rock, Don't Care.

A solar powered amp! That's what I was thinking of.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Goin' On!

Oh man, I got so far in "Flirtin' With Disaster" this week it's not even funny. Or maybe it is, if you've got a weird sense of humor.

Right now, I got a couple songs on the table waiting to be recorded, as unfortunately, my setup at school sucks.

But, I move back home tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have some more updates for ya.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So anyway, there I was, putting up a quick post about the death of Ronnie James Dio, just figured I'd throw up what was on his official site. Looked at the numbers five minutes ago, guess what I see?

130 visits. Shit.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Message from Wendy Dio

From his official website:

Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

- Wendy Dio

Leave your condolences on Facebook

Thursday, May 13, 2010


My college days are over! I had my last final this evening, and now I have some time to myself again. On my "list" is work on more of my stuff, try to tackle the "Flirtin' With Disaster" solo, and put "Steven Wells" up for Playtest.

In other news, one of the tips I sent to RockBandAide made it on the front page.

In other other news, I guess I'll be using Twitter a bit more now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Now For Your Reading Pleasure

1. Licks I Love

From Flirtin' With Disaster (workin' on the solo after finals):


What I love is how if you do it right, it will feel very natural (save for that last note). Start with the index on the fourth fret, and hammer on with the ring finger. Then play the next part using only your first two fingers. Return to the base position with the index on the fourth fret.

2. It's summer, kids! You know what that means, right? MUSIC FESTIVALS!!

3. Shit, I guess I didn't have that much to write about after- OH SHIT GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND STUFF!!!

4. Right, so other than that I don't have a whole lot. Just winding down for finals. I'm going to try to record some stuff over the weekend, but it's so hard to practice when the pressure kind of just, drains you. One thing I try to do is a couple exercises from GuitarCardio a day.



Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Yeah, it's finals time, I just figured I'd fire off a quick one at 1 AM Wednesday, and try to whip something up bigger while I work on my project. What is it about?

Go to 1:52

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kelly Fest Post Game

Whew! It's been a hell of a weekend, but I'm ready to make a post.

All right, my set started around 1:10, and the guy in charge of booking let me get set up. The great thing was that he let my set go on as long as it needed. I was planning on 15 minutes, but it ran on for a bit longer.

Break it down!

No, not you, JFlo.

OK, that was cool. But just roll with it.

Eh, the sound was off, and I got lost like once, but everyone seemed to be into it.
I got applause at the end.

I played this at Tabler Open Mic before, and got a lukewarm response. The difference this time, was that the audience had to prove that they rock harder than Tabler.
Messed up the solo, but other than that, it went over pretty good.

This is the point where things seemed to go down hill. I kept losing my place. That's the big drawback with working on a backing track. If I don't hear a particular fill or riff, I'm lost.

Picked it up a bit here. Messed up the solo, but the rest seemed OK.

See Knowledge. But I NAILED both those solos.

DAYMAN- *****G
PERFECT SONG TO GO OUT ON! I even got a guy to come up and sing with me! I didn't have a loop going, but the "acoustic" version was just as good.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010





"I’ve taken some flack for being too hard on video gamers. In truth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with playing an occasional video game. The reason I frequently mention video games in connection with the problem of arrested manhood, is not the games themselves, but what they symbolize.

Whereas men once fought as soldiers, they now pretend to be ones. Where men used to play baseball and football, they now control avatars who play for them. Where men used to play an instrument, they now press buttons on a plastic toy. Where we once created, we now consume.

Why play a plastic guitar for hours instead of learning how to play the real thing? The answer of course it that doing the real thing is harder. Struggling with something tangible, something without a reset button takes dedication and commitment. So why bother?

The labor one performs transforms something in the environment, which in turn transforms you. The act of creation shapes you as a man, refines your sensibilities, improves your strengths, hones your concentration, and builds your character. Passive consumption leaves you untouched and unchanged. Consumptions breeds indifference; creation begets empowerment."

Good show, ol chaps!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

KellyFest 2010!

Got a part in my first fest!

From Facebook:
2nd Annual Kelly Arts and Music Festival
Saturday, April 24th 2010
Outside of Kelly Dining in the Quad!


Artists performing (subject to change):

**This is an outdoor event**

I'll be going on at 1:00 PM. It'll be in front of the Kelly Dining Center on the Stony Brook campus. Any directions will be put here.

So I'll be working on some new shit.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

All I Remember Is, There Was Noise...

And it was all blue.

So anyways, a friend of mine, Steve, played drums with me tonight. He, like me, are both victims of "Side Project Syndrome", where anytime you're part of band, it's always every other member's OTHER band. So while you want to rock, they're going to bail because their altertaive-indie-emo outfit has a gig at this place in the city AND RECORD PRODUCER MIGHT SHOW UP if he feels like it cause his kids has a big little league game. I think the Peter Pan Games Tigers can beat the Whitestone Laundromat Yankees this year!

Anyway, here's the breakdown-

My voice sucks, no studio monitor, I went "Fuck it" halfway through. NEXT!

It went good for a while, but then I forgot the words to the third verse. D'oh! Still we meshed OK considering our limited practice schedule.

That one practice session was maybe 1 hour long. Remember kids, by yourself or in a band, FUCKING PRACTICE. At least I got another guy turned on to Akira The Don. The main problem with that practice session is that you're not sure when to end. Steve can keep a beat and bang out a fill, no doubt. But trying to mouth to him "OK, one more go around," was impossible with all the noise.

At this point we lost the crowd with our obscure songs, and what didn't help matters was that he wanted to learn this song ON THE WAY THERE.

Case in point, practice makes perfect, kids! Or at least mediocre.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Me Liveblogging Octavarium

Just got back from an Open Mic at a place that doesn't suck, will write about later.

All right, so Monday was some Guitar Hero tournament on campus, and I won 2nd place. My prize was an autographed copy of any Dream Theater album I wanted. I don't listen to Dream Theater, but hey, free music. Since I'm a little buzzed from said Open Mic place, I figured I'd review it as I listened to it, since I got homework to do as well.

OK, ripping it, holy shit these are some long ass songs. 24:00? Shit.

Track 1- DUNNNNNNN. OK, now it's got some cool synth thing going on. OK, now it went from movie sountrack, to this pretty groovy song. Then it's over and I'm in the forest.

Track 2- It's weird for a band that did "Panic Attack" do this little Piano diddy. Then again, Green Day did it too... Sounds a bit like Queen.


Fuck it, I'm too drunk for this shit...

Leave a comment in this webzone if you want some Pizza rools...