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  • Queen Of Fall from Serbia is coming to Rock Band Network

    Posted on September 30th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    I’m excited to announce that we are working directly with Queen Of Fall from Serbia, to bring their rock music to the Rock Band Network (RBN). Beautiful melodic vocals, with a nu-metal feel, Queen Of Fall will definitely be a great addition to Rock Band, and destined to be an international success story.

    We connected with Ivan from Queen Of Fall on Twitter (@QueenOfFallBand and @MyRBN) based on similar interests.  After listening to the song Regeneration only once, I knew it would be an incredible addition to RBN.

    You can join in our excitement, by listening to Regeneration:

    About Queen Of Fall from their MySpace page:

    Once upon a time (in 2003), in a little land called Serbia, there were some young people who were united by listening to good music… music that influenced to create a beautiful song called “So far away”… Back then everything in life seemed so touchable, but everything that remained was a wish to create a different kind of musical kingdom that would eventually be heard of. In our country it seemed like a mission impossible, but then we decided… “Idea will gather us and idea will scatter us…” And people became fond of our music here which gave us strength to keep walking… Even the struggle wasn’t so easy, and still continues, we emerged from falling apart from that very first idea that was born a couple of years ago… Fall is the season when you can feel your soul the most, within all its fragility and strength that was gained after a lot of falling in life… Every now and then, and especially during the fall season, we feel like all the sadness was meant only for us, like we are kings and queens of that feeling. That inspired us to write a song called “September in May” (Queen of fall), written in 2003. and we took that part of the title put in parenthesis as the name of our band. After several different line-ups we created a kingdom where Dragana, Petar, Milan, Ivan, Milan and Darko rule… We try to finish our first album that will introduce a story about a part of our kingdom, called “Desolate gardens”…

  • Accessories for BlackBerry Storm

    Posted on September 25th, 2009 Shawn No comments

    BlackBerry StormIt’s been ages since I wrote about the BlackBerry Storm. Shame on me, since I was one of those people standing in line November 21, 2008 at the local Verizon store to be the first to get one. In a bit of irony, I have since switched to AT&T and primarily use a BlackBerry Bold. No worries though, my wife is now the proud user of the BlackBerry Storm, and LOVES it!

    With that, let me get to the topic of some accessories that we have found important to have.

    • Screen Protector
    • Since the screen is touched all the time, it’s important to protect it from scratches and smudges. Fortunately, the Storm’s screen is glass and very durable. You should invest the few cents/dollars it costs to get a screen protector. Think of it as the lamination over your drivers license. One screen protector should be sufficient, but buy two…it’s inevitable you will ruin the first one when attempting to put it on.

    • Case
    • Phone’s drop, it’s as simple as that. Tell me you have never dropped a phone…I won’t believe you. Your Storm cost you anywhere between $50 and $200 (unless you paid full $550 retail). If you drop that sucker and it breaks, you will be footing a big’ass bill to buy a new one out of contract, or to get it repaired. Get yourself a case, and use it. I got a rubberized case, that does the trick. It was dirt cheap (about $2 at the time), but had two minor issues. Rubberized cases stick to clothing and make it tricky to get in and out of pockets. Not the end of the world, but something to think about. The case I had bought had holes for all the side and top buttons, but did not have a hole for the speaker in the back. Fortunately, the speaker is loud enough to penetrate, but if I was to get a new case, I’d make sure it had a hole for the speaker.

    • Car Charger
    • The big technical change on the Storm, is that it uses a new charger adapter. Most phones on the market (prior to 2009) use USB adapters, but the Storm is using the new smaller microUSB adapter. So, those stacks of USB car chargers and AC adapters you have are not going to work. You can find a converter at Radio Shack, or just pick up a microUSB car charger. They are now cheap (from 1 cent to $5).

    • Here’s the combo deal:
    • Windshield Mount
    • You are going to want to windshield mount your Storm, for a few reasons. It works as an excellent GPS (with Garmin Mobile, VZ Navigator, Google Maps, etc), it’s a great speaker phone (plugs into your car stereo’s AUX jack), and is a great substitute to commercial radio. A cheap mount that swivels to take advantage of landscape or portrait is the way to go.

    If you have any other accessory suggestions, let us know.

  • Rock Band 2: 360 Title Update Out Now

    Posted on September 25th, 2009 Simon 1 comment

    rb2Dan Teasdale over at Harmonix has posted the details on the new patch for Rock Band 2, which is live now.  This is a huge update and adds a ton of features.  Here, verbatim, is the list of changes.

    • Rock Band Network Audition Mode. Available from the “Extras” menu on Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band 2, members of the Rock Band Network can now upload songs from their PC’s and audition their songs using our suite of song audition and testing tools. Currently in closed beta, the Rock Band Network will welcome authors to open beta in the coming weeks! Find out more at http://creators.rockband.com
    • “Sort by Stars” in Quickplay. If you hit the “Sort” button on the Song Select screen, you’ll come to a brand new sort that orders songs by the star ratings that you’ve achieved on each song. Each star rating gets a category, as well as an “Unplayed” category for songs that don’t have a star rating recorded. Finally, you can record your progress towards gold starring every song in your library!
    • Background Downloading in the Music Store. Purchasing songs from the Rock Band Music Store now no longer requires you to wait for a song to download before you can download another song. You can now queue up downloads to your heart’s content, which is going to be incredibly handy with some of the amazing DLC that’s coming out over the next few weeks and months.
    • [ad#post-banner-ad]

    • Xbox 360 Wireless Microphone Support. Rock Band 2 now supports Xbox 360 Wireless Microphones, like the Lips microphone. Finally, you can now have a fully wireless Rock Band experience!
    • Chord HOPO improvements: If you’ve played The Beatles: Rock Band, you’ll notice much more robust handling of chord hammer-ons and pull-offs. This patch implements those changes in Rock Band 2 to provide a more natural chord hammer-on/pull-off experience.
    • Velocity Sensitivity on Ion Drum Kits: Ion Drum kits now support velocity sensitivity in both drum fills and Drum Freestyle mode.

    Right away, the one that jumps out for me is the fix for velocity sensitivity for my Ion kit, and I’m also excited about the new sort option in quick play.  I can predict that a certain blogger on this site will be pretty happy for the LIPS microphone support.  The update is available right now for Xbox 360 and coming soon for Playstation 3.

  • RB DLC for 9/28/09: Breaking Benjamin, Kula Shaker, Alice in Chains and Just Kait

    Posted on September 25th, 2009 Simon 1 comment

    aliceinchainsAnother Friday comes and another DLC announcement from our friends at Harmonix.   Next week there is a lot to choose from!  Three new artists and some more classic grunge metal, a total of 11 new tracks are ready to drop on Tuesday, September 28.

    First up is the 5-Pack from Alice in Chains to support their new album, Black Turns to Blue, in stores next week.  Two new tracks from the legendary grunge band from Seattle, and three of their more well known songs from the original lineup, one of which was exclusive to the PSP’s RB: Unplugged.  The new tracks also happen to be the first two singles from the new album.

    • Alice in Chains – “A Looking In View”
    • Alice in Chains – “Check My Brain”
    • Alice in Chains – “Would?”
    • Alice in Chains – “Rooster”
    • Alice in Chains – “No Excuses”

    Next is a band that wikipedia describes as ‘post-grunge’, Breaking Benjamin, with a single from each of their three studio albums.  You may recognize this band as the band whose music plays over the credits of just about every action film made in the last few years.

    • Breaking Benjamin – “I Will Not Bow”
    • Breaking Benjamin – “So Cold”
    • Breaking Benjamin – “The Diary of Jane”

    Finally we have new tracks from Just Kait (warning: myspace link!) and Kula Shaker.  Just Kait appears to be more music for the Nickelodeon set, something for 14 year old girls to rock out with, unless I’m mistaken, this could be the lowest selling track of all time.  There is almost no mention of this band on the internet, which tells me that they would have been a better fit for RBN.  Sorry to all the raving JK fans, I’m sure the two of you will be quite happy to learn this track is half price!  Maybe they can spend the proceeds on a dictionary.  You’ve heard of ‘phoning in a performance’ but this one was definitely ‘texted in’.   So here’s hoping that I don’t have to hear the song twice.

    • Just Kait – “U Suck”

    Kula Shaker is a immensely popular psychedelic brit-pop band that re-emerged in 2007 and is producing a new album set to be released shortly.  “Hey Dude” and “Knight on the Town” are the first two consecutive tracks from their debut cd.   I would compare their sound to Oasis or Blur, if those bands formed in Bombay.   The Indian influenced sound was their hook, and they were known for not only singing in Sandskrit, but also incorporating heavy use of a Sitar on most tracks.

    • Kula Shaker – “Hey Dude”
    • Kula Shaker – “Knight on the Town”

    Each track is 160 points, and again Just Kait is only 80 points.  All of these will be available on Tuesday, so start warming up your Layne impressions because we’re going “Innnnto the flood Agaaaaaainnnn.”

  • Rock Band: Metal Track Pack in stores

    Posted on September 22nd, 2009 Simon 3 comments

    Harmonix has released an expansion pack just for all you Metal-heads to devour.  Rock Band: Metal Track pack includes 20 scorchingly loud, ear-bleeding songs, six of which are exclusive to the game for a limited time.  The entire pack can be exported to your regular DLC collection.  The six exclusive tracks will be made available, probably around December 2009, through the regular DLC channels.  In case you missed them earlier, here are the six exclusive tracks:

    • Blue Öyster Cult – Transmaniacon MC
    • Hawkwind – Master Of The Universe
    • I Mother Earth – Levitate
    • Motörhead – Killed by Death
    • Nazareth – Hair of the Dog
    • Rage Against The Machine – Bulls On Parade

    Right away I’m excited about the new artists on the platform.  If you haven’t noticed I’m always excited about new artists in Rock Band! First we have I Mother Earth, a defunct 90’s metal band from Toronto, has been a favorite band of mine since their debut.  I have to pay respect to my fellow canadians first.  “Levitate” is one of the heavier tracks from their first CD.  Next on my want-list are Nazareth with their classic “Hair of the Dog” which if you recall the song, contains a crazy mouth-organ-guitar solo and several mentions of a certain ‘son-of-a-bitch’.   Hey at least its not “Love Hurts”.   Finally there is a track from Hawkwind, who I had never heard of until this appearance in the game.  Apparently they are pretty obscure in the metal scene as well but they appear to have released over 20 albums in 30 years, so there are probably some Hawkwind fans lurking out there somewhere.   Rounding out the new tracks are contributions from Rock Band alumni Motörhead, Rage Against the Machine, and Blue Öyster Cult.

    Altogether this is an outstanding track pack, but if you already have one or more of the songs, it may be better for you to wait until December.  The Rock Band: Metal Track Pack is available now for $29.99 USD.

  • Conchords 3-Pack coming to Rock Band

    Posted on September 22nd, 2009 Simon 4 comments

    David over at Joystiq has noted that during a red-carpet interview with Bret and Jermaine of Flight of the Conchords, the pair confirmed that a trio of their folk-inspired tracks will be heading to Rock Band before year’s end.  There was no hint of a release date or price, but we can assume standard 3-pack rules will apply.

    Flight of the Conchords had a breakout year in 2007 with the premiere of their very own show on HBO, a gold selling debut record, and a sold out North American tour.  I’ve been a huge fan since their original HBO show aired and the rest of the world first learned of their comical and satirical style of songwriting.  There are rumors that a new album could appear before Christmas, and the duo have been further rumored to be appearing together in their own movie in 2010.

    I’m hopeful that the tracks that are selected are not their more recent, electronic dance-style numbers, but instead are chosen from previous albums which were far more traditional. This is a better fit for the standard four-instrument setup that we are all familiar with.  No doubt that whatever tracks are featured, they will quickly become favorites at the next Rock Band Party.

  • Innerfuze coming to RBN, Amazon, and iTunes

    Posted on September 22nd, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    Get ready for something cool and different. Boston electronic band, Innerfuze is releasing their debut single, Blinkou on September 29 on Vermin Street records. It will be on Amazon, iTunes, and Additech. You can pre-order a 2 song single for 99 cents, at Amazon.

    More exciting, we are working with Innerfuze to bring one of their tracks, sliepovr, to the upcoming Rock Band Network.

    To take a listen to the music of Innerfuze, they are all over the web. Here’s a link to their Last.FM station.

    If you want to learn more about Innerfuze, check Eric out at innerfuze.com.

  • Slacker Radio for BlackBerry: Update

    Posted on September 21st, 2009 Shawn No comments

    SlackerUpdate20490

    Hey BlackBerry users, and music lovers, our favorite internet radio application has been updated. After a quick check this morning of the BlackBerry App World, I see that I’m offered an upgrade from v2.0.45 to v2.0.49.0.

    In this update we get the following:

    SlackerNotes20490

    All the details in the release notes look warranted to me.  As a heavy user of Slacker on both my desktop and BlackBerry, I’m looking forward to testing out this new version.  If you are new to Slacker, you can point your BlackBerry web browser to www.slacker.com to get the application, or you can use App World on your BlackBerry to get it, or you can go send it to your ‘berry from the App World site on your desk top.  To play Slacker from your desktop web browser, just go to www.slacker.com in your browser of choice to get the complete awesomeness of Slacker.
    [ad#post-banner-ad]
    Slacker is available on all BlackBerry models.  I use it on both the Bold and Storm.  Works great on both, and looks incredible on the Storm.  Slacker also offers a full-featured application for iPhone and iPod Touch too.

  • Slacker Rock Band Station: Gets Pearl Jam’s Backspacer

    Posted on September 21st, 2009 Shawn No comments

    [ad#post-banner-ad]

    Rock Band DLC
    Radio
    Station Image
    Rock Band DLC
    NEW:
    * All DLC through September 20
    * The Beatles: Rock Band
    * Pearl Jam – Backspacer (album)
    This station contains artists from the ever growing collection of Rock Band content across all versions, consoles and regions. As of 9/20/2009 every available song on Slacker is “hearted” in the station. I have banned all unrelated artists and songs. You will find very few non Rock Band tracks in this station. As of today, more than 812 songs from the collection have been hearted. (No SpongeBob)
    Enjoy, Rock On!

    [ad#post-banner-ad]

  • Pearl Jam’s Backspacer Album and DLC Next Week!

    Posted on September 18th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    For a first in Rock Band DLC history, a full album DLC is to be released, day & date with the album in stores. Also, it’s coming in an unusual Sunday delivery, versus the traditional Tuesday delivery. Plus, it’s the super-famous Pearl Jam. So, it’s no slouch of a week for Rock Band DLC.

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