Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fur And LARPing At I-Con

No, don't expect a full write-up, but I was at I-Con at Stony Brook University this weekend. While there, I decided to give random people a CD of the songs I made so far, including a secret one JUST RECORDED.

Hopefully of the 5 demo CDs I gave out, one of you got curious and decided to check me out.

Well, just to sum things up, here's the rundown:
This site originally started as a way for me to track my progress learning the songs from the original Rock Band game on guitar. Once I started playing Open Mics and expanding my repertoire, the blog now features Rock Band news, as well as my own stuff published under the Rhythm Bastard.
I will do the occasional song update like I used to, where after I learned a song, I write up a bit about the trickiest or most interesting parts.
All the songs learned so far, as well as accompanying tabs can be found on


So if you're looking to offer your opinion, or (hopefully) your expertise, feel free to contact me, or post up a comment.

How did I get the idea for the demos?
So, I'm there when my accountant Phil calls me:
Phil From Accounting: Um, while you're up there, why don't you do a little promotion? You made some songs, why not burn them on a CD and give them out at your table?
Rhythm Bastard: Wow, Phil, what a great idea!
PFA: Really?
RB: Until I actually thought about it, fuckface. Tables cost money I don't have, and nobody wants to buy a CD with only 3 songs!
PFA: Three songs, you mean you finished-
RB: Boning your wife? Yes. Besides, I'd rather other fun stuff like watch anime, buy some crappy little pins, tell furries to yiff in hell, bone some fat chicks...
PFA: I'm just saying, there are a lot of musical acts there, and it might be something to think about.
RB: Pfft... Like who?
PFA: AeroSith

RB: They were interesting to watch, I'll give them that. But they didn't really perform, the synced up to backing tracks.
PFA: Well, the guy there said-
RB: What guy?
PFA: The guy assisting with the show who wore a Jar Jar Binks costume said that they do record all the instruments live, but at shows they have to play it over a boom-box because of their costumes.
RB: Really? You trust an Episode 1 character?

PFA: *watches link* *70 minutes later* Wow, that was really funny! Thanks for that!
RB: I also boned your ex-wife 3 times.
PFA: No, I'm not letting you get to me! I know you lie about my wife!
RB: Ex-wife...
PFA: WHATEVER! Devo Spice was there as well...
RB: Like MC Lars, only less fresh. He's more... "dope".
PFA: Marc Gunn...
RB: “The Godfather of Celtic Music Online”? That's... specific. The I'm "The Emperor Of Muay Thai/Rock Band in New York Who Is Currently Wearing A Red Shirt and Makes Music"
PFA: You don't know Muay Thai.
RB: Yeah, but I know more than everyone else in New York who also makes rock music and plays Rock Band wearing a red shirt, so there.
PFA: Lastly, Voltaire.
RB: Shit, Stony Brook can revive dead people? I guess they really are a top research university.
PFA: No, he's a musician. He made a song called "Brains!!!" for The Grim Adventures Of Billy and Mandy

"He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man"
RB: Oh, sorry, I'm an adult who does adult things. I don't watch cartoons.
PFA: He drew quite the crowd, and seemed to put on a really fun show. For "Goth Music", they had some pretty funky rhythms, like mariachi.

RB: Pfft... Damn manchildren. Why can't they grow up and be responsible like me? I don't watch anime, or collect nerdy stuff, or read, or jack off, or play video games-
PFA: Um, that last one is kinda-
RB: Or fursecute, or dress up in costume, or read comics books, or play Dungeons and Dragons. I think I'm missing some stuff.
PFA: Yet you were at I-Con.
RB: Cognitive Dissonance is a bitch. Oh, and I don't wear really sweet goggles.

PFA: Wait, what? You don't own those. You could, but-
RB: But the lady wanted $20 for it.
PFA: Please kill me.
RB: Nah, I'll let the Carbon Monoxide in my basement take care of that.

So, welcome I-Con Demo CD people! All 5 of you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Bar Gig

All right, so here's what I learned:
1. NEEDS MOAR CABLES! They had a PA system and speakers, but man, thank God the band playing after me knew what they were doing.
2. NEEDS MOAR MIKES! Yeah, that might be a worth while investment. The club didn't have one and neither did I.
3. GO LATER! Let's see, there were the bar employees, my parents, one of the guys I live with, and the band playing later. So, while it was great I couldn't be "judged", I couldn't be judged.
4. NEEDS MOAR PRACTICE! I tried playing Clash City Rockers that night, and because I forgot how it goes, I fucked up. THAT WAS THE SONG I ENDED MY SETLIST WITH.

Great, now here's the breakdown:
How could I fuck up Seven Nation Army? When I try to sing and play guitar at the same time. I remembered the words, but singing them WHILE playing? What am I, coordinated?
My originals I'm doing better on. No missed chords, the solo was decent, and I had the proper guitar to do the kill-off with.
Another song I'm getting better at. The strumming pattern and the singing pattern don't quite match up, and I kept singing in the wrong key, but I think everyone likes the line "*CSSH* The representative from [Port Jefferson] has the floor"
If there is anything to get out of feeling like shit at these shows, it's this: I'm getting better at these songs. The crowd (a.k.a. My parents) clapped along, and I knew what to look out for since last time.
Didn't remember how this song went, but I managed to fake it long enough.
RADIO DAYS PT. 1- *****
The solos I weren't to sure of, but other than that, I think I got it down.
See above.

The bands I actually saw, Purple Operator and Yellow Birds were what I'd call "soft indie", but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

So, I'm the Rhythm Bastard. I fail so you don't have to.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Telephone, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Loved The Gaga


So, as usual, I was lurking the Something Awful forums when I stumble on a thread entitled: Lesbian sex with Beyonce, prison rape, mass murder, it's Lady Gaga time.

Well Goddamn it, I said. Her again? I already hear all 5 of her songs when ever I head to the gym, why do Goons give her the time of day?

Lo and behold, it was the video for her new song, Telephone.

Watch it then come back to me

Hol... Eeee... Shiiit...

I feel bad admiting this, but that was kinda awesome.

Couple that with the news that she was so obsessed with Dookie that she licked the damn thing,, coupled with her celebrity play list, and you have to consider my interest piqued.

Then it hit me: the ridiculous outfits, the juxtaposition of simple pop songs to Tarantinoian movies, the sci-fi references? She's not a pop star, she's the world's greatest troll.

This video represents exactly what I'd do if tomorrow someone gave me a shitton of money and said "Here, make a music video about Club Song #40231897". Honestly, who would have expected this?

When you have Goons who switch between ironically and unironically liking Muse and Radiohead every other day who are willing to come out and say "She's awesome" says something. I just enjoy how much fun she's having with all of this. The recent Rock Band tracks even played on this trend. There are two versions of "Poker Face": the original, and the one sung by Eric Cartman in the Whale Whores episode of South Park. Now, if you're a fan of Gaga, good for you, but if you're a typical Rock Band player who wants DRAGONFORCE MUSE ROCK BAND MOAR METUL!!!. you're thinking "Screw that! When is Harmonix going to get us some REAL music?". That is, until you see the South Park version. "Well, maybe I'll just get it for the lulz... I do enjoy South Park!"

Bam, bitch gets some royalties.

And it's not like she's completely talentless either:

So, can you call me a fan? Well, fuck no. I'd need to go on a 6-month radio detox before I can even think about listening to her again. But it just goes to show the evils of Top 40 Radio: it takes otherwise talented people and forces them into the mainstream so that those of us who want to pick and choose are music throw it back up again. In a way, it's like the Scientology of the music industry.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

200th Post Party!

So, OPEN MIC NIGHT LAST NIGHT WOO!!! Good thing it's getting warmer, and even my fellow New Yorkers are beginning to take notice.

"Radio Days Pt. 1"-****
Did a bit better on the solo, but still need to work on those chords.

Looking at the playback, I HATE my voice, but I had a lot of fun. My favorite anecdote of the night is that when I said "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?", I actually got a "meh".
"That is the most lackluster response to that question I have ever heard."

Meanwhile the guy playing John Mayer gets applause...

OK, more stuff! Uh, 200 posts, wow... Phil, bring me up to speed here...

Phil: Um, so let's see, since the past 100 posts, you've
Learned 29 songs,
Played 4 open mics,
Got a bar gig, and
Produced three songs of your own.
RB: Super!
PFA: You're top three countries are the U.S., the UK, and Austraillia!
RB: I don't want my fans to be convicts or wussies who make me paranoid and fuck up my Heavy kill streaks!
PFA: Make you paranoid?
RB: Jack Thompson was right. Thanks to Team Fortress 2, I'm always on the lookout for snipers.
PFA: That's... not an unreasonable thing...
RB: I also murder Red Sox fans.
RB: What? I'm a Yankee man. AND SPEAKING OF YANKS, I'm making a Rock Band Network Track for Akira The Don! He's like an All-American grain of Sand In The Ocean.
PFA: But Sir, he's Welsh.
RB: I pay you to cheat on my taxes, not to think!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Green Day: Rock Band Setlist


The Warehouse

Dookie (1994)
  • “Burnout”
  • “Having a Blast”
  • “Chump”
  • “Longview”
  • “Welcome to Paradise”
  • “Pulling Teeth”
  • “Basket Case”
  • “She”
  • “Sassafrass Roots”
  • “When I Come Around”
  • “Coming Clean”
  • “Emenius Sleepus”
  • “In the End”
  • “F.O.D.”

Milton Keynes
American Idiot (2004)

  • “American Idiot”
  • “Jesus of Suburbia”
  • “Holiday”
  • “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
  • “Are We the Waiting”
  • “St. Jimmy”
  • “Give Me Novacaine”
  • “She’s a Rebel”
  • “Extraordinary Girl”
  • “Letterbomb”
  • “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
  • “Homecoming”
  • “Whatsername”

Warning (2000)

  • “Minority”
  • “Warning”

Nimrod (1997)

  • “Hitchin’ a Ride”
  • “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
  • “Nice Guys Finish Last”

Insomniac (1995)

  • “Brain Stew”
  • “Jaded”
  • “Geek Stink Breath”

The Fox Theater, Oakland
21st Century Breakdown(2009)

  • “Song of the Century”
  • “21st Century Breakdown”
  • “Before the Lobotomy”
  • “Last Night on Earth”
  • “Peacemaker”
  • “Murder City”
  • “¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)”
  • “Restless Heart Syndrome”
  • “Horseshoes and Handgrenades”
  • “The Static Age”
  • “American Eulogy”
  • “See the Light”

Downloadable Content (not included)

  • “21 Guns”
  • “Know Your Enemy”
  • “East Jesus Nowhere”
  • “Last of the American Girls”
  • “¡Viva La Gloria!”
  • “Christian’s Inferno”


Because it worked before in drumming up some traffic (seriously, I still get a hit a day), I'd give the ol' Speculation Machine a whirl.

So, what 47 songs do I expect to be in Green Day Rock Band?
1,039/Smoothed_Out Slappy Hours
Venue: Rod's Hickory Pit
1. Disappearing Boy
2. Paper Lanterns
3. Knowledge
4. Green Day

Venue: 924 Gilman St.
5. 2000 Light Years Away
6. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
7. Christie Road
8. J.A.R.
9. Dominated Love Slave

Venue: Woodstock '94
12.Welcome To Paradise
13.Basket Case
14.When I Come Around

17.Stuart and the Ave
18.Brain Stew
20.Geek Stink Breath
21.Walking COntradiction
44. Stuck With Me

23.Hitchin' A Ride
25.The Grouch
27.Take Back
28.King For A Day
45. Nice Guys Finish Last

Venue: Tokyo
29. Warning

American Idiot
Venue: Milton Keyes National Bowl
33.American Idiot
34.Jesus Of Suburbia
36.Boulevard of Broken Dreams
37.St. Jimmy
38.Wake Me Up When September Ends

21st Century Breakdown
Venue: Madison Square Garden
39. Song Of The Century/21st Cenutry Breakdown
40. Murder City
41. Horseshoes and Hand-grenades
43.Static Age

So, that's it. More stuff coming tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Bastard Was A Man

Just finished the first collection of Mike Hammer detective novels. Good reads, but the last line of the last book, Vengence Is Mine!, is a little WTF. It is paraphrased above.

So anyway, I have SO MUCH STUFF here, and not ONE of them a song update! This is why it's called the Rhythm Bastard Experiment and not the Rock Band Experiment.

Finally able to get my hands on Xbox 360 and try out the song in Audition Mode. There were a lot of MIDI errors the first go around.
Most common mistakes:
-Make sure all your lyrics and notes are ALIGNED. Shift+A does the trick.
-NAME ALL THE TRACKS. Just put a little event before hand.
-It can be easy to lose track of where stuff like Overdrive because it is so far removed from the rest of the notes, I got a shitton of "inappropriate note at XXX" errors.
-Set the SAMPLE FORMAT to 16-bit. The rate is the standard 44.1K, except for the dry vocals, which are 16K.
-TURN UP SAID .WAVS LOUD. Otherwise, you won't get any lipsync, let alone hear the damn thing.

So, this weekend, as well as making another song and doing my lab report, I'll make those improvements and maybe dick around with the event settings.


There were only about 5 people there. Three I knew. Now, let me tell you all the stuff that went wrong: First, my tuning peg was fucked. Normally I'd have gone through all the work tuning it at the beginning and then pray it lasts through the night. NOPE. So, thank God my friend had an extra guitar he was able to lend, but I sat there awkwardly with the only 3 people who've yet to leave.
Did I mention that? Yeah, it was pretty dead. Only one other guy managed to show up, so it was those people, two of my friends from the paper, and the guy who lent me the guitar.
The show went on, and well, here's the breakdown...
Is it possible to forget the chords to your own song? Yes! I picked it up later, and the solo went on longer than I expected.

The chord changes in the chorus of "Force Of Nature" are pretty close together, so I messed that up, as well as the first part of the solo.

DAYMAN- *****G
No video, but at the clapping part, everyone "Woo!"ed in that split second of silence. I think I might hate my friends.

In the video I took, I hated my voice, but I had so much fun doing it. I also played the opening riff in the wrong key AND waited too long for one of the verse breaks.
Still, I had fun.

Forgot where I was toward the beginning because GENIUS ME COULDN'T FIGURE OUT THE VOLUME KNOB ON THE GUITAR, but other than that, I liked it. I based it more off the Green Day cover of the song, which has a lot more relaxed strumming pattern, like blues.

Vids will come up at some point, but I got another Open Mic on Tuesday. HOPEFULLY NOTHING GOES WRONG THIS TIME!!!!

Despite all that, it was like playing for all my friends. I felt a lot more comfortable, and my camera guy, Steve, is super cool, and we will jam in the future.

Hopefully this will actually work, unlike my previous band.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Whole Lotta Rock Band News

First off, THE RBN STORE IS NOW OPEN!!! I played a couple songs, seems good so far. Right now, I'm amazed at all the JoCo.
"Steven Wells" is coming along in its own special way, I still gotta few kinks to work out:
-Tracks are too quiet
-During the bridge, everything goes out of sync
-No mouth movements
-Vocals need tweaking

In news that should surprise nobody. There's a Rock Band 3 coming this holiday season. That's all we got.

In news that surpized everybody: 4 Lady Gaga tracks for DLC. And the Eric Cartman version of "Poker Face". Goddamnit woman, first you say loved Dookie so much you licked every page, then this? Damn it, world, why you gotta mess with my head like this?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Expert Run What I've Done

Swells on Expert!
Expect to see some more videos from this account in the coming months...