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  • RB: DLC – 03/02/10 Disturbed, Mother Hips, TRUST*CO & Silversun Pickups

    Posted on February 26th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Next week’s DLC has been announced, and this week it features a return of some old favourites in Rock Band and one new artist.  Harmonix is releasing a second three-pack of Nu Metal from Disturbed, as well as double singles from DLC alumni Mother Hips and Silversun Pickups.  Making their RB debut is a band called TRUSTcompany.

    • Disturbed – Meaning of Life
    • Disturbed – Voices
    • Disturbed – The Game
    • The Mother Hips – “Third Floor Story”
    • The Mother Hips – “White Falcon Fuzz”
    • Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch”
    • Silversun Pickups – “Sort Of”
    • TRUSTcompany – “Downfall”

    Disturbed has been featured twice before in the weekly DLC, with a three song pack in June 2008 and two more followup singles in May 2009, and also featured a song on the Rock Band 2 disc.  Their music has a very complex and pulsing sound that translates very well to the note highways of Rock Band; the band’s songs are among some of the more interesting and fun pieces to play as the riffs are very addictive once you get the pattern down.   Indie rockers The Mother Hips were one of the so-called ‘Bonus’ tracks from the first Rock Band disc with their song “Time We Had” and also had a DLC track in May of 2008.  Silversun Pickups make their second appearance in DLC with two tracks from their latest CD, 2009’s “Swoon”, and are currently on tour with the wildly popular Muse.

    March 2nd will also feature the debut of TRUST Company, whose sound is described as “Alternative Post-Grunge”.  Their track “Downfall” was their highest charting single to date and the song has appeared in over 10 different videogame soundtracks including “BMX XXX”, the “MVP Baseball” franchise, “Burnout” and “Project Gotham Racing 2” as well as being the promotional theme song to many WWE Pay-Per-View events.  Recently the band has experienced hard times and have parted ways with some of the founding members of the group, so the outlook for more DLC from TRUST*CO is not terribly promising.

    Next Week’s Prediction:  Classic rock from Scorpions and Flock of Seagulls, as both bands have “Best of” compliations out shortly.  My advice:  Run so far away!

  • RB: DLC February 2010 Roundup

    Posted on February 25th, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    So far in February we have been treated to three consecutive weeks of brand new music and artists in our weekly Rock Band DLC, and the selection spans not only the last few decades of Rock music, but also spans several genres of music, from Motown R&B to Electronica.   New music is always welcome, not only to attract new fans to the game, but to keep existing fans interested by allowing us to expand our setlists and ‘repitoire of replica-rock’.  Here’s a rundown of what has been added this month:

    Otis Redding – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”
    Otis Redding – “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”
    Otis Redding – “I’m Sick Y’all”
    Otis Redding – “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember”
    Otis Redding – “Love Man”
    All Time Low – “Weightless”
    Alphabeat –“Fascination”
    Brian Setzer Orchestra – “Stray Cat Strut”
    The Chemical Brothers – “Let Forever Be”
    HIM – “Heartkiller”
    HIM – “Ode to Solitude”
    HIM – “Wings of a Butterfly”
    KSM – “Distracted”
    Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show”
    One Night Only – “Just For Tonight”
    The Police – “Walking On the Moon”

    There have been some standout singles, and of course the can’t-miss pack from Otis Redding which is one of the first track packs especially for Rock Singers – basically the other instruments are not the focal point of the music and complement the vocalist.  H.I.M. is a finnish metal band, and they describe their music as “Love Metal” however I find that their sound is akin to the later works of Black Sabbath.  “Stray Cat Strut” is a classic from 80’s pop music.   The Chemical Brothers make their debut with their trademark, digital electronic sound.  Marilyn Manson is no stranger to heavy metal fans, and finally The Police’s “Walking on the Moon” contains their world famous mix of rock and reggae riffs (one of their all-time best songs, check out Cas Haley’s rendition from America’s Got Talent Season 2).  Once again Harmonix have treated fans to a wide assortment of music, and this is exactly what they need to keep doing to attract as large an audience as possible.

    Next Week’s Predictions:  I was right about H.I.M. but wrong about the date.  I’m getting closer.  March 2 will be new music from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and a follow up pack from Gorillaz.

  • Theory on when Pantera will arrive on Rock Band

    Posted on February 25th, 2010 Shawn 1 comment

    There is some interesting pontification going on over at the Rock Band forums today, around one of the most anticipated (and yet still not delivered) bands to be added to the Rock Band DLC arsenal. The one and only, Pantera.

    From newcomer phildo2000 over at

    I know RB likes to sometimes time their DLC releases with cd releases……well check out the news below. March 30?????

    “The planned onslaught of Pantera reissues will soon kick off with what looks to be a new greatest hits collection set to be the first out of the gate. Due out through Atlantic/Warner on March 30th is a new compilation titled “1990-2000: A Decade Of Domination“. No further details have been revealed as to what the offering will feature as of yet.” I got this info from

    For me, I’m more than ready for some Pantera. 1 song, a 3 pack, or their entire greatest hits collection…I’ll take them all.

    What about you?

  • PAX East 2010 Schedule – Official & Beyond…

    Posted on February 24th, 2010 Shawn 4 comments

    PAX East is coming up soon.  If you missed my earlier post on “What Is PAX East and Who Is Going?“, just read the post for an intro.  Since the official PAX East site still does not have an official schedule posted (plus there will be many unofficial events), I’m starting to organize events in (and around PAX East).  I will continue to update this as we get closer to the event, which is in Boston, MA March 26-28 twenty-ten.

    UPDATE: Events in red are confirmed. Events in black are 90% accurate, and I ‘m in process of confirming with various schedules.

    Friday March 26

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Journalists vs. Developers: The Ultimate Grudge Match– Manticore Theatre

    Game developers can’t stand those damned journalists, the way they pick apart your three years of hard work with a review they wrote in an afternoon. And journalists don’t understand why game developers won’t listen to all of their great ideas! What happens when we force some of the industry’s most opinionated writers and developers to hash out their issues in front of an audience? Will they finally see eye-to-eye, or kill each other in public? Watch as writers Chris Kohler ( and Patrick Klepek (G4) square off against game creators John Drake (Harmonix) and another guest from the industry.

    Panelists Include: Chris Kohler [Editor, Games,], John Drake [Publicist, Harmonix Music Systems], Patrick Klepek [News Editor, G4] SOURCE

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Grassroots: Why Gamers are Getting Involved and Why You Should Too– Naga Theatre

    Over the years we as a community of gamers have had our fair share of nemeses ranging from politicians, activists, and…ahem…lawyers. And make no mistake, as one discredited opponent fades away there will be more to fill the void. Find out how we’ve been fighting back, where we’ve found success (and failure), and how you can help the cause. SOURCE

    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Radio Free Nintendo: A Live Nintendo Podcast for Grown-Ups– Wyvern Theatre
    Radio Free Nintendo has delivered a weekly discussion on all things Nintendo since mid-2006, in a convenient podcast format. This outspoken and funny group of Nintendo experts comes from the oldest and largest independent Nintendo website in the world, Nintendo World Report. We love Nintendo games, except when we don’t, and we appreciate/criticize Wii and DS games in the context of multi-platform gaming. We know the best Metroid upgrades, the worst Zelda dungeons, and what makes Sin & Punishment sublime. We own more WiiWare games than you knew existed. And we’re not afraid to compare Mario with Ratchet & Clank or Prince of Persia.

    Panelists Include: Jonathan Metts [Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report], Karl Castaneda [Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report], James Jones [Features Editor, Nintendo World Report], Jon Lindemann [Director, Nintendo World Report], Karl Castaneda [Contributor, Nintendo World Report] SOURCE

    3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – PAX East 2010 Keynote – Main Theatre
    Best known for his role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek The Next Generation and Gordie in Stand by Me, Wil Wheaton has since become one of the most prominent and vocal bloggers of our culture with topics ranging from his personal growth as a geek, to Star Trek, to naturally gaming. We are super excited to have Wil present the very first PAX East keynote. It’s going to be awesome.

    Speaker: Wil Wheaton SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – It’s Got A Good Beat, And I Can Kill Zombies To It – JamspaceSince the first kid heard the four-note Space Invaders theme blasting out the arcade doors, music has played a powerful role in the history of digital games. Join panelists Aubrey Hodges (Doom, King’s Quest, Spy Hunter, Madden NFL), Jim Bonney (Mortal Kombat, John Woo’s Stranglehold), Tom Salta (H.A.W.X, GRAW 1 & 2, Red Steel), Gene Rozenberg (Henry Hatsworth, Madden NFL) and Duncan Watt (League Of Legends, Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway, Need For Speed: Undercover), for an audiovisual trip celebrating great videogame music – from the past, to the present… and into the future. Audience discussion encouraged.

    Panelists Include: Duncan Watt [Founder/Creative Director, Fastestmanintheworld], Tom Salta [Composer], Gene Rozenberg [Composer, 38 Studios (Maynard, MA)], Aubrey Hodges [Audio Director/Composer, 38 Studios (Maynard, MA)], Jim Bonney [Audio Director/Composer, Irrational Games] SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Online Gaming Communities and “Real Life” Relationships– Manticore Theater
    Are you are a member of one or more online gaming website communities? Perhaps the friendships and relationships you formed online have made their way into your everyday “real life”. You are certainly not alone. We will discuss the communities we have created and support, and how they impact real life relationships for gamers of all types.

    Panelists Include: Derek “DSmooth” Nolan [Co-Founder / Host, / 2old2type Radio Podcast] Stewart “Wombat” Nacht [Co-Host, CAGCast], Derrick “Codemonkey” Schommer [Co-Host, 2old2type Radio Podcast], Dane “Waterborn” Tullock [Community Manager,], Kareem “Daigoji Gai” Harper [Social Media & Online Marketing Manager,] SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Puppet Masters – The not so Invisible Hands of Video Game PR– Naga Theater
    Four masters of video game PR talk about the role of public relations in the video game industry. They’ll cover the buying and selling of souls, crafting and controlling messages, the rise of community, and how social media is changing how they do business.

    Panelists Include: Charles Husemann [Editor in Chief, Gaming Nexus], Arne Meyer [Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Naughty Dog], Aram Jabbari [Manager of Public Relations, Atlus], Stephanie Tinsley Schopp [Owner, Tinsley PR], Chris Paladino [Promethium Marketing, Director of Community Relations] SOURCE

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Penny Arcade Panel #1 – Main Theater
    Make sure to get there early for this one, as its one of the most well attended panels of the show. Two mics on stage, two mics in the crowd. Line up for your questions and Gabe and Tycho will do their best to accommodate! And god, please no “who would win in a fight” questions. If you can’t make this particular Q&A, be sure to catch the second Penny Arcade Panel. SOURCE

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Design an RPG in an Hour – Wyvern Theater
    We’re making a pen and paper RPG, and you’re invited to the design meeting! During the panel, you’ll address the problem-solving and analytical questions required to design a successful game. During the discussion, we’ll cover the basics of game theory and how to outline, centered around an example you’re participating in.

    Panelists Include: David Hill [Game Designer, Machine Age Productions], Filamena Young [Game Writer, Machine Age Productions] SOURCE

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM – IWADON: A Tribute to an Unsung Hero of Game Music– Jamspace
    Game composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki (Iwadon on Twitter) has been writing game music for 20 years, but now for the first time his work is gaining international recognition. Game Music 4 All, a videogame-inspired music and nerdcore news site, is collaborating with artists from all over the world in arranging Iwatsuki’s remarkable and often overlooked music for the 8-bit Nintendo, Game Boy, Super Nintendo and Xbox Live Arcade in assorted musical styles. The tribute compilation will be made available online for free in time for PAX East, along with lengthy liner notes in English and Japanese. In this panel you’ll learn all about Iwatsuki’s unique history in games and the making of the IWADON tribute from site founder Genoboost (Anthony Ruybalid) and research organizer Jeriaska.

    Panelists Include: Anthony Ruybalid [Founder, Game Music 4 All] Jeriaska [Correspondent, GameSetWatch] SOURCE

    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Storytelling in the world of interactive fiction– Wyvern Theater
    Text adventures have been quietly experimenting with narrative gaming for thirty years. Five authors from the amateur interactive fiction community discuss the design ideas in their games — reordered storylines, unreliable narrators, deeply responsive NPCs — and how they apply to other kinds of games. (Rob Wheeler (mod.), Robb Sherwin, Aaron Reed, Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin) SOURCE

    6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – NVIDIA Presentation – Main Theater
    Come see NVIDIA unveil the next generation of PC gaming. Want to see what’s hot and what’s next? If you’re even vaguely a fan of PC games and miss this special event, you’ll likely be spending the next few months kicking yourself. Line up early as seating is limited. ‘Nuff said. SOURCE

    9:30 PM – 11:00 PM – GET LAMP Panel/Screening– Naga Theatre
    Premiere of Get Lamp!
    The current plan as approved by the PAX organizers is the showing of the main GET LAMP episode at 9:30, followed by a panel on stage of people interviewed for the film, and then some showings of a few more features of the DVD after that, including the Infocom and Bedquilt episodes.

    Saturday March 27

     8:00 AM – 8:45 AM – The First Annual Joystiq Blueberry Muffin Tops Breakfast BAND PICK-UP – location not announced
    Due to the overwhelming number of people coming to PAX East and the fact that the room can only hold 300 people at a time, we’ve decided to implement a bracelet system for entry. To obtain the bracelet, we’ll post Alexander Sliwinski’s location and picture here at on Facebook and on Twitter @JoystiqBBMTat 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. He’ll be in very close proximity to the convention center. To obtain a bracelet you’ll need to show your PAX East badge to him when he arrives at 8 a.m., as the breakfast will occur within the convention center. (Alexander Sliwinski) SOURCE

    9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – The First Annual Joystiq Blueberry Muffin Tops Breakfast SOURCE

    1:30 PM – 2:30 PM– Memes, Microcultures, and 2D Chicks: Our Future in the Otaku Gamer – Wyvern Theatre
    Alex Leavitt (Comparative Media Studies, MIT) explains how a new generation of entertainment is succeeding in a market which chooses to de-emphasize the games in favor of the characters. And as the Japanese fans influence the industry through their own amateur initiatives, what will the future of American gaming hold when online fandoms adopt similar appetites? (Alex Leavitt) SOURCE

    8:00 PM – 1:00 AM – Gamers Gone Wildhosted by SFX-360 & 2old2play – Lir, 903 Boylston Street
    Rock Band tournament, Cosplay contest, Xbox 360 raffle, prizes. 21+ and no cover charge.

    9:30 PM – 11:00 PM – The Joystiq Podcast LIVE! – Manticore Theatre
    Alexander Sliwinski & Justin McElroy gaming journalists of

    UPDATED!! 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Major Nelson Radio Podcast LIVE!– Wyvern Theatre
    Larry Hryb (Xbox Live’s Major Nelson) and the podcast team (e, Stepto, and Laura L0llipop) will record their regular podcast, in front of a live audience.

    Sunday March 28

    11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Panel on security for Xbox Live– Stephen Toulouse, Director of Policy and Enforcement for Xbox LIVE, location not announced

    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Game Journalism Panel – location not announced
    Kyle Orland of Crispy Gamer, Gus Mastrapa (Wired, Crispy Gamer, The Onion AV Club, Past, X-Play, Edge), Susan Arendt of The Escapist, Chris Grant of Joystiq (Editor in Chief), Lev Grossman of Techland and Time Magazine SOURCE

    More Announcements, not yet dated/timed/located:

    • day/time not announced – Bringing Up the Next Generation of Geeks – location not announced
      • (Dave Banks, Natania Barron, John Booth, Doug Cornelius, Michael Harrison, and Corrina Lawson) SOURCE
    • Music acts:
      • Anamanaguchi
      • Jonathan Coulton
      • MC Frontalot
      • Metroid Metal
      • Paul and Storm
      • Protomen
      • The Video Game Orchestra
    • Exhibitors:
      • 2K Games
      • Dell
      • EA
      • Harmonix
      • Microsoft
      • Nintendo
      • NVIDIA
      • Rockstar Games
      • Sega
      • Ska Studios
      • The Behemoth
      • Turbine
      • Twisted Pixel Games
      • Ubisoft
      • Wizards of the Coast SOURCE
  • RB: DLC Rumor – Midnight Riders from Left4Dead 2

    Posted on February 16th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Gametrailers has a preview video (Part One, Part Two) of  Left4Dead 2’s “The Passing” DLC, which contained the following comment from Bret Faliszek, writer at Valve Software:

    Not only do [sic] the Midnight Riders have a new song coming out in this game, in Rock Band, you’ll actually get to play the Midnight Riders, we’ve got some songs coming out there.

    Who are the Midnight Riders?  They are a fictional band from the popular zombie co-op FPS series, Left 4 Dead.  In Left 4 Dead 2’s second chapter “Dark Carnival”, the heroes make their way through an abandoned amusement park to an empty concert amphitheater.   It seems that the Midnight Riders were due to perform a show minutes the zombie apocalypse began, but were instead helicoptered to safety.  The heroes try to summon the same helicopter by activating the stage’s sound system and fireworks show, which subsequently attracts every zombie for a hundred miles.  During this frenzied finale, two songs from the Midnight Riders are playing at full volume over the arena’s speaker system.

    Valve has taken the promotion of this band to a viral level, publishing a blog for the band, and creating a YouTube channel.  Here are the tracks:

    Mr. Faliszek did not say which tracks would be available for Rock Band 2, nor did he hint at a release date.  My best guess is that the songs will be the “New” yet-unreleased song from “The Passing” and the opening tracks to their record “High Heels and Brushed Steel“, and also that the songs will likely be released on the same day as the DLC for Left 4 Dead 2, sometime in late March 2010.

    These will not be the first songs from other videogames to appear in Rock Band, as Jonathan Coulton’s “Still Alive” is from another Valve game called Portal.  When this rumor is confirmed by Harmonix I’ll post more information.

  • Slacker Rock Band Station: Otis Redding, Megadeth & more

    Posted on February 16th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Our Slacker Radio Rock Band radio station has been updated with this weeks installment of Rock Band DLC. This week you get Megadeth’s classic album Rust In Peace, in its entirety; plus 5 tracks from King of Soul, Otis Redding; plus 4 singles to make a very eclectic mix. (see Simon’s post for the details…whenever he gets to writing it). 😉

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on

  • RB: DLC 02/09/10 – Rust In Peace by Megadeth

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    Well it certainly looks like the weeks of ‘re-run’ DLC have come to an end! No more songs that you already heard about when the expansion disc came out and no more limited-time ‘exclusives’.  On Tuesday, Harmonix provided us with a rare full-album DLC: Megadeth’s “Rust in Peace”.  This is Megadeth’s second full-album DLC, and third Tuesday DLC appearance; 1986’s “Peace Sells.. But Who’s Buying” album and their 2007 song “Sleepwalker” were added to the Rock Band DLC catalogue  in August-September 2008.

    Released 20 years ago, “Rust in Peace” is a hallmark speed-metal album that is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of speed-metal music.   Late last year the band announced that they would be touring to support the anniversary in March 2010, and they would be playing the album, in its entirety, at each show.

    • “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”
    • “Hangar 18”
    • “Take No Prisoners”
    • “Five Magics”
    • “Poison Was the Cure”
    • “Lucretia”
    • “Tornado of Souls”
    • “Dawn Patrol”
    • “Rust In Peace… Polaris”

    Thanks to Rock Band, you can now play the album, in its entirety, with three of your friends for the low cost of 1200 points for all nine tracks, or 160 for individual tracks.  I have clear memories of owning this album and loving every song as a teenager, but the level of skill required to master these in the game will be quite daunting.   I enjoy challenging setlists, but I also enjoy playing music that people like to listen to and some of the tracks on “Rust in Peace” are very complicated and dark.  The first two tracks on the album are excellent and if you are a passing fan of Megadeth, you should check them out, especially if you plan to simulate your own Megadeth World Tour in your living room.

    Next Week’s Predictions:  3 tracks from Angels & Airwaves upcoming “LOVE” album, in stores on February 14th.

  • Google Buzz, A Real Threat to Twitter & Facebook

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    I’m just learning what Google Buzz is all about today.  I like to keep things short and simple here. Think of Gmail mixed with all the social aspects of Facebook and Twitter.  Photo sharing, status updates, posts/blogging, geolocation, etc.  All this in the simplistic Google interface.

    Who doesn’t have a Gmail account? Just about no one.  Who doesn’t use Twitter and/or Facebook?  Just about no one.

    Google Buzz is rolling out today to Gmail users.  The coolest part, is it’s not only rolling out for desktop users, but also smartphone users.  At first rollout, a bunch of dekstop (Windows, Mac, etc) users already have the Buzz features enabled, plus iPhone and Android users have access just by navigating to from the browser. No word yet on BlackBerry or WebOS support.

    Knowing that Gmail already has a huge install base, would you give Buzz a try? I know I will.

  • Wil Wheaton Keynotes PAX East

    Posted on February 9th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    The PAX Expo Organizers announce that “Gamer Geek Icon” Wil Wheaton will deliver the Keynote address at PAX East, the east coast edition of the Penny Arcade Expo coming to Boston, MA next month. “We’ve always considered Wil as the keynote speaker for PAX, so it’s only appropriate he kick off the first PAX East,” said Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade. “Wil is one of us. We accept him. Wil speaks to all gamers, from the console jock to the keyboard fanatic to the pen-and-paper devotees.” You can register for the event on this page, but at this point only day passes for Friday and Sunday remain. SOURCE

    For the unofficial PAX East Schedule, we are compiling it here. Wondering what games will be showcased on the floor.  We have a list here.

  • RB: DLC 02/07/10 – The Who’s 2010 Superbowl S-Mashup

    Posted on February 8th, 2010 Simon 3 comments

    This year’s NFL Superbowl halftime show was a rock’n’roll medley by legendary rock icons “The Who” called the Superbowl S-Mashup.  The medley features five of their greatest all time hits arranged together to form a seamless song.  The majority of these songs are already available as master tracks or DLC in the game, which should be no surprise, as The Who are one of the game’s main acts with 19 tracks available to play.  The songs in the S-Mashup are, in order:

    • Pinball Wizard (Rock Band 2)
    • Baba O’Riley (DLC)
    • Who Are You ? (DLC)
    • See Me, Feel Me  (New)
    • Won’t Get Fooled Again  (Rock Band 1)

    The song is rated as a 5 star difficulty (bass and drums and vocals).  Here is a preview of the medley in two parts.  The song is a mere 160 points, but if you’re like me, you already own the master tracks and would rather play those all the way through.

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