The Beatles Rock Band

I honestly never thought the day would come when we could look forward to playing a Beatles song in Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The rights to the songs are wrapped up tighter than a Gordian Knot and not even iTunes has Beatles songs available for download. However, on September 9th that day will finally be here.

The game will have 45 tracks on the disc when it ships. While that’s slightly more than half of what Rock Band 2 shipped with, this game promises to be a much more immersive experience. The buzz word that’s being tossed around is “experiential.”

Only 10 songs have been announced so far: I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand,I Feel Fine,Taxman,Day Tripper, Back In The USSR,I Am The Walrus,Octopus‘s Garden,Here Comes The Sun,and Get Back.


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MAGFest 7 Approaches

I know I haven’t been taking good care of Amish Otaku lately and for that I apologize but something of great importance has roused me from my apathy. In a little over two months one of the most epic events to grace this continent will be upon us and I feel it is my responsibility, no, my duty to herald its approach. Only once per … Continue reading MAGFest 7 Approaches

Bat-mania: The Batmobile Owner’s Manual

Flame on!

Guest Post

“Batman, should I start the nuclear power for the Batmobile,” asks a husky voiced Robin played anonymously by one of Link Wray’s band members, The Wraymen.

“Right again, Robin,” replies Link with all of the cool confidence of Batman.

After all, he is Link Wray and in addition to writing the 1960’s Batman TV show theme song, he is the progenitor of the power chord which reinivented the rock and roll landscape in the 1960’s. Link favored the method in the late 1950’s all the while on the other side of the pond in England, a man in his 20’s by the name of John Mayall was playing old blues songs note for note and the UK would begin to export such bands as the Who and Cream, who were inspired by both of these great artists, and the rest is something that has been beaten to death by every other special edition issue of Rolling Stone. Hendrix. Zeppelin. The Stones. Etc.

Anyway this is not about how you should go out and buy a Link Wray CD, though you should; it is about the Batmobile, the greatest car in pop culture history. It is better than the General Lee even, something I cannot believe I have actually come to terms with and even blows KITT out of the water. No discussion about Batman is complete without talking about the Batmobile since it is such an important part of his mythology and for someone who spent his second consecutive birthday at a car show, it becomes even more impossible to ignore. Superman flies. Batman has badass wheels. Wonder Woman has an invisible plane. Led Zeppelin had The Starship and so on a so forth.

I was kind of mulling over how to approach talking about the Batmobile since a test drive is impossible, unless you are one of the lucky chaps on Top Gear as I recently read that Warner Bros gave them a Tumbler to wring out. But just yesterday I was at Barnes and Nobles running some errands when I came across a book I could not possibly pass up: The Batmobile Owner’s Manual. Having read about it on Batmobile History dot-com, one of the greatest websites in the history of existence, the more I read about the Batmobile that was created for the book, the more I felt polarized and intrigued and it became an impulse buy, but now that I have had time to read through it I am glad I did purchase it. At $19.99 I could have bought some important graphic novel featuring some great story in the Batman canon but this just looked like fun.

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Bat-mania: Batman Soundtrack

LP Promo!
Warner Bros

Guest Post

This is a little late, I know. But what you have here is the first ever AO review of a movie soundtrack, and of an LP. Yes. That is correct. LP as in long playing record album, the kind you find at Goodwill except that this is not a beat to death copy of Perry Como Christmas or one of 50 random Lawrence Welk albums.

You all must think that I am an extreme-league Bat-fan to have hunted down the Batman Soundtrack on LP, but for those of you out of touch with collecting vinyl these days, they are not all too hard to find, in South Central Pennsylvania at least. Every second Sunday of the month, the Keystone Record Collector’s club has a trade show in Lancaster, PA. It has become something I have frequented with less consistency as my disposable income has dwindled since I started visiting the show around ten years ago, but one thing is always constant no matter how little I spend. I always come out with a pirate’s booty of loot, and much of that value comes from what has always been the core of the show for me: The $1 bins!

I am not the kind of comic-book guy type record collector who has his records kept in a humidor, sealed until I can unload them on Ebay for a killing. I actually like listening to them! And finding them in the often abused condition appear in the $1 bins normally satisfies the value quotient and a good album. Scratch free listenability is a trait uncommon, but found on very rare occasions in these mysterious treasure troves. The Batman Soundtrack is the rare Jack of all trades, since I found it for a buck, it plays sublimely and cleanly on my mid 1960’s GE Trimline turntable, and its a horrifically entertaining listen. It actually made its value back at being Tim Burton Batman memorabilia but the extra pluses are always welcome. Additionally, it complements my John William’s ’78 Superman LP very nicely.

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Stoopid Ugly Stik: The Rise and Fall of Nintendocore

Stoopid Ugly Stik is a former band out of Dallas, Texas. The band, composed of SX on vocals and keys, Tony on bass and 7734 on guitar, split up due to lack of interest. One CD – Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, Start – was released over the Internet at no cost, but it is difficult to find now.

Their MySpace page describes their type of music as “Nintendocore.” When you hear the growls and screams from SX, you’ll begin to understand why. For a three-man band, they put out a surprising amount of sound and energy.

If you couldn’t figure out what the songs were about you’d be tempted to put Stoopid Ugly Stik in a techno-rock/thrash-core/heavy-metal genre, but when you realize that most of the songs are only about video games it becomes clear where the Nintendocore label comes from. Continue reading “Stoopid Ugly Stik: The Rise and Fall of Nintendocore”

Video Games Live: Symphonic Video Games Come to the Capitol

There are plenty of ways to get your fix of video game music these days. You can find midis online if you want to get an authentic feel, or you could download one of the many songs available from OCRemix. If you want to go the live route, you could check out a band like the Minibosses or the Neskimos (if you’re lucky enough to live near a show) and get a dose of rock-flavored video game music.

But there is another option. There’s a way you can get the authenticity of a midi file with the sheer power and awesomeness of a live performance. And, luckily, this show tours in more than thirty cities in the US and around the world. Continue reading “Video Games Live: Symphonic Video Games Come to the Capitol”

Dual Core

The dude in a penguin shirt
Dual Core

So there I was fending off the usual barrage of camgirls and free iPod/iPhone/yourmom ads on MySpace. And of course, the obligatory MySpace Bands, many of which are talented. Sadly, in the grand scheme of things, many is not all, or even most.

Now, stop, hold on, I know what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t the Music and Gaming Festival like musicians?” Why wouldn’t we friend bands? I realize this, but we’re a videogame event, so we try to only friend videogame bands and/or videogame-related musicians. Keeps it tight, ya know?

Eventually, I came to a group of dudes called Dual Core. Close investigation revealed spiffy art of a dude in a penguin shirt, but for some reason the music player wasn’t working (does it ever?) so I tossed them a message and asked if they had any music online. Continue reading “Dual Core”

The Protomen: Bringing the MMRO to the People

Poster for The Protomen’s April 2006 show in Nashville
The Protomen

The best way to describe The Protomen can be summed up in four words: Mega Man. Rock. Opera.

Their music is heavy and diverse. Diverse not only in the styles of songs they play but also in the depth of the sound. There’s ten people in the band, with drums, guitars, basses, synths and singers.

While their album borrows heavily from Capcom’s famous franchise both sonically and thematically, it’s their original take on these stories and sounds that is so surprising and captivating. Any Mega Man fan worth their salt knows who Proto Man and Mega Man are, but this band has the courage to flesh out the interpersonal relationships between these two brothers and their creator/father Prof. Light that were never fully explored in the 8-bit video games.

I won’t burrow too deeply into the story of the album because I don’t want to reveal any of the plot twists. Continue reading “The Protomen: Bringing the MMRO to the People”

Hellsing OSTs: Ruins and Raid

The music of the original Hellsing series has been described as everything from masterful to unpleasant, but it never fails to evoke a strong reaction.

Within the context of the show, the music was integral to setting the dark mood and frantic pace of the action sequences, and did so without a hitch.

The OSTs, Raid and Ruins provide yet more of what you heard in the show, with extended-length tracks that fuse jazz, blues, rock, and alternative together into something different from the sum of their parts. Continue reading “Hellsing OSTs: Ruins and Raid”