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  • RB: DLC – 05/04/10 No Doubt, Picture Me Broken & Orianthi

    Posted on April 30th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Just a quick update this time to inform you of next week’s Rock Band DLC.   This time we get *most* of a full album, No Doubt’s mega-selling “Tragic Kingdom”, the album that put them on the map, and a single each from new artists Picture Me Broken and Orianthi.

    Available on May 4th, 2010

    • No Doubt – “Different People”
    • No Doubt – “End It on This”
    • No Doubt – “Happy Now?”
    • No Doubt – “Hey You”
    • No Doubt – “Sixteen”
    • No Doubt – “The Climb”
    • No Doubt – “Tragic Kingdom”
    • No Doubt – “World Go ‘Round”
    • No Doubt – “You Can Do It”
    • Orianthi – “According to You”
    • Picture Me Broken – “Dearest (I’m So Sorry)”

    This week’s DLC is a mixed blessing for me.  This is actually No Doubt’s 2nd full album in the Rock Band Store, as you may recall their “Singles Collection” was released last year.  All of the popular singles from this album have already appeared in the previous collection, so what you are left with is the rest of the album, the filler, the songs that were not as popular.  Even if you are a casual No Doubt fan, its very likely that you already purchased some or all of this album.  Harmonix is making the tracks available in a number of ways to accomodate this fact.  It is awesome to see more music from well-established acts in Rock Band, because it is both unexpected and unpredictable that we would see more tracks from No Doubt.  At the same time, this is a bit disappointing because I have no interest in any of the additional tracks that are offered, and was not that impressed with the singles collection in the first place.  Even though I actually owned this CD when it was popular, none of the tracks stand out as “must haves” for Rock Band.   Still, overall, this is a good thing as it brings hope that there will be more music down the road from all of your favourite artists (moar Rush please).

    As for the other two acts, you can read more about Orianthi here and Picture Me Broken here.  I’ve given the tracks a listen on Grooveshark, and they are nothing to scream about, very average as far as Rock Band tunes go.

    Next Week’s Predictions:  More music from Dead Weather, UNKLE and Stereophonics (all of whom have new albums out on May 10).

  • Do You Love BlackBerry, Black Eyed Peas & Updated OS’s?

    Posted on April 27th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Check out the new commercial / BEP video demonstrating the updated BlackBerry OS 6, coming soon.  Lot’s of touch capabilities, swiping, and more.  The UI is familiar but fresh looking, and shows off multimedia as much as it does communication. (Thanks @Crackberry for the tip)

  • Logitech Xbox 360 Drum Controller 60% off, $91

    Posted on April 27th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Hey, Guitar Hero (WT, 5, Metallica, Smash Hits, Band Hero, VH) drummers, how about you get a new drum kit that blows the stock GHWT and Band Hero controllers out of the water? Logitech has made the competitor to Ion’s Drum Rocker. Though Logitech is focused at the Guitar Hero drummer, and the Ion is focused at the Rock Band drummer. At 60% off the regular prices, this drum kit is a must have if you are still using the stock Guitar Hero drum kit.

    This kit comes with three adjustable pads, two cymbal pads, and a kick pedal. Plus all the cables needed, and the built-in Xbox 360 controls.

    Here’s everything else you will find in the box:

    Package Contents

  • Logitech Wireless Drum Controller
  • 2 drum sticks
  • Quick-start guide
  • 2 AA batteries
  • 1-year limited hardware warranty
  • Game sold separately
  • It even folds up nicely (unlike the Ion) for easy and quick storage.

    Just like the Ion Drum Rocker, it is fully compatible with all Guitar Hero and Rock Band games.  Yes, this will work with all Rock Band games on Xbox 360, including Lego: Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Green Day: Rock Band.

    As a Rock Band drummer myself, who has played many hours with Guitar Hero drum controllers, I can tell you the important differences.  The yellow pad for Guitar Hero games is always used as a cymbal (hi-hat, ride, crash, etc), whereas in Rock Band games, the yellow pad may be a cymbal or a tom. For Rock Band drummers, there will be a learning curve to get used to hitting a cymbal for toms, but it is doable.  I played this way exclusively for several months.  The orange pad is only used in Guitar Hero games.  This is a huge win for Guitar Hero drummers.  Having the orange pad gives you more authenticity of playing a real drum kit, due the the dedicated orange/cymbal pad.  For Rock Band drummers, the orange pad is not used.  There is no learning curve for the orange pad, since Rock Band just ingnores the orange pad, and Guitar Hero games display an orange lane.

    The reviews are mixed, though generally positive.  Most of the mediocre reviews are comparing it to the Ion Drum Rocker, and the fact that the two are so close in price.  But, at this current price of $91 with FREE shipping, this blows the Drum Rocker pricing out of the water.  Take a look at the Amazon deal for the Logitech Xbox 360 Wireless Drum Controller and see if this is for you.

  • Pre-Order Green Day Rock Band, Save $12

    Posted on April 23rd, 2010 Shawn 4 comments

    Amazon has started a pre-order deal for Green Day: Rock Band.  Pre-order either the Standard Edition or Plus Edition of the game, and get a $10 credit to a future video game purchase.  Ten bucks is ten bucks.  If you order the Standard Edition, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users will be able to export all the Green Day: Rock Band songs to your hard drive for play within Rock Band 1, 2, and 3.  The export will cost you $10.  This Amazon deal (in a sense) will cover the cost of your export.

    On another note, as of right now, Amazon has the Standard Edition currently on sale at $57.99 [$48.99 for Wii] ($2 off retail price).

    So, get to this link now and save a total of $12 when pre-ordering Green Day: Rock Band.

  • RB: DLC – 04/27/10 Flyleaf, Busted and Silverchair

    Posted on April 23rd, 2010 Simon 2 comments

    Harmonix has announced next week’s DLC tracks on schedule.  One of Australia’s biggest rock acts in the last two decades, Silverchair, is coming to Rock Band on Tuesday, as well as a follow up track from Flyleaf and the debut of brit-poppers Busted.

    • Busted – “Thunderbirds Are Go!”
    • Flyleaf – “Again”
    • Silverchair – “Tomorrow”

    “Tomorrow” was Silverchairs debut hit in the early 90’s, rocketing them to fame in the 1992 post-Seattle grunge era.  They continued for many years to be one of the top acts in Australia and are currently recording a new album.   Silverchair has not received much attention outside of Australia since the 90’s, but perhaps we will see more of their music in the game one day.  Flyleaf was one of the original bands from the Rock Band 1 disc, with their song “I’m So Sick”, and if you enjoyed that song then “Again” should likewise please your ears.

    I’m a bit surprised with the third track next week.   Busted (now defunct) was a fairly boilerplate Brit-pop band that had incredible success with their first album, but quickly faded to insignificance within two years.  At their peak, they recieved the top music industry accolades (album of the year in 2003) but could not recapture their success with their second album.  “Thunderbirds are Go!” was not released on any of their major British or even their North American records, in fact this song was one of four bonus tracks with the Japanese release of their second album, for their short-lived tour of that country.  So rather than getting one of their handful of songs that people actually liked, we instead are given this B-side to their forgotten japanese import.   This is aside from the fact that the song is the theme to a show about marionettes in space.  Sorry Harmonix, but this track is just way too obscure to be believed.  I just cannot picture this track being popular in Rock Band.

    This might seem like a very short release list, indeed it is a rare occasion that a Tuesday only has three tracks to add to the Rock Band catalogue.  Harmonix has ackowledged this in their press release and have informed the public that they’ve ‘got loads of content in the pipeline’.   Remember there is a major title release (Green Day) in just over a month, development is presumably ongoing for Rock Band 3, and the stream of tracks appearing on the Rock Band Network seems to have hit its stride, with 5-15 new songs per week.

    Enjoy the new songs.  Next Week’s Predictions:  The Deftones, RATT and Hole.  Courtney’s not currently pissed off with Harmonix right?

  • RB: DLC – 04/20/10 Violent Femmes, Coheed & Cambria, Souxie and Supergrass

    Posted on April 20th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Hippy New Year everyone!  I’ve missed a few weeks worth of updates, and rather than recap what’s been missed I’ll simply point to these posts here over at our good friend RockBandAide.  Have you been reading his excellent PAX-E coverage, or his daily RBN updates?

    New DLC Tracks available on 4/20/2010

    • Violent Femmes – “American Music”
    • Coheed and Cambria – “Guns of Summer”
    • Coheed and Cambria – “Here We Are Juggernaut”
    • Coheed and Cambria – “The Broken”
    • Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Peek-a-Boo”
    • Supergrass – “Sun Hits the Sky”

    Do you like American Music?  The Violent Femmes were one of the most popular alternative rock bands of the 80’s and 90’s, being discovered ‘busking‘ by Crissy Hynde and subsequently being invited to open for The Pretenders (coincidentally, another Rock Band DLC alumni).  They released 8 studio albums, several live performances, and 4 compilation albums during their existence, acheiving platinum status on many records.   Their music is an eclectic blend of folk-rock and punk-rock, and songs like “Blister in the Sun” and “Add it Up” from their debut album made them instant stars in the mainstream.   Violent Femmes have also created music in other genres, notably country and gospel music on their second and third albums respectively. Unfortunately as it happens with a lot of bands, years of internal turmoil over creative rights, song ownership and money caused the band to break up a handfull of times from the late 90’s until finally announcing the band’s breakup in late 2009.

    This week we are treated to the first (of many we hope) Femmes tracks, the catchy “American Music” from 1991’s “Why Do Birds Sing?“.   The song has a handful of drug references (appropriate for the date) so this probably won’t be a Lego-friendly track.   I think it’s probably assured that we have not seen the last of this artist in Rock Band.

    Also this week, another triple pack from Coheed & Cambria from their new album, a Souxie track, and the first Supergrass DLC (but still no “Alright”).   These tracks are available today in the Rock Band store.  Enjoy the music, and I’ll be back next week with more DLC news.

  • BlackBerry Tablet In The Works

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    So, the iPad is here, we know that.  Some are calling it a revolutionary device. I won’t get into my opinion of the iPad right now.  Though, I will get into what is possibly soon to come.

    There’s most likely a BlackBerry touchscreen phone coming out this year (looking like the Palm Pre). See my earlier post on this.

    I got wind today from TechTremor, that Research In Motion (aka RIM, the makers of BlackBerry) are readying a combatant to the iPad.  If there is any credence to this early rumor, we may be seeing a BlackBerry tablet computer in the near future.

    Source: TechTremor

    If your tired of tablets already then you’re in for a tough year I’m afraid. Research In Motion, the creator of Blackberry, were caught buying up 8.9 inch screens and later ordering tablets from Foxconn, the largest electronic assembly plant in the world. Again, more rumors, but this would slate the tablet for an attainable late summer early fall launch. It looks like tablets are going to be the new Christmas crazy come 4th quarter.

    So, what say you BlackBerry users? Does a BlackBerry tablet interest you? For me, I am begging RIM to make a touchscreen BlackBerry. Though, not sure yet what I think about a BlackBerry tablet.

    UPDATE: In this weeks CrackBerry podcast, we have a confirmation that engineering of a BlackBerry tablet is in the works. Listen to Kevin Michaluk at 31:40 into the podcast. He had to change topics because he is obviously under an NDA not to talk about it.
    Get the podcast here or just listen below.

  • Rock Band Stage Kit $20, Works on Lego Rock Band

    Posted on April 16th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments
    Rock Band Stage Kit

    Yes, it works with Lego Rock Band!

    A couple co-workers dragged me kicking and screaming to Newbury Comics and Gamestop today at lunch.  One of them showed me the Rock Band Stage Kit for Xbox 360 with a sticker price of just $19.99. It’s original price was $99.99, which is still priced at Walmart. Amazon currently has it for $79.99.  So, I needed to inquire with a Gamestop employee.

    They said the price was slashed because it hadn’t sold well.  The clerk checked and this was the last one this store had in stock.  They also looked it up and found the Stage Kit had been discontinued company wide.  So, if you have any thoughts on picking up the Rock Band Stage Kit, and haven’t done so yet….hurry before they are all gone.  It’s dirt cheap. There are none left on, so you will need to get off your butt and head to the store. (Call first, to see if they have any left).

    On a similar side note, I know the kit is compatible with Rock Band and Rock Band 2 (as stated on the box).  Though, I know there was sadness when people learned the Stage Kit was not compatible with Beatles: Rock Band.  For me, my current game of choice is Lego: Rock Band, so I’m most interested in the Stage Kit working with that.

    According to this thread by Juniorpop on the Rock Band Forums, yes it is compatible with Lego: Rock Band!

    Just got popped in L:RB and happy to see that the stage kit works!
    Now just make it work for Beatles. ( Fat Chance)
    Out of (my) 340 DLC, 166 work in Lego.
    Also pretty nice surprise, 22 of the RB1 tracks transferred as well.

    I will be trying this kit out over the weekend and reporting back my thoughts.

  • Green Day Rock Band Detailed by Chris Foster

    Posted on April 15th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Green Day Rock Band

    Here’s a wonderful interview from Gamespot of Harmonix lead designer Chris Foster, talking in great detail about Green Day Rock Band. There is a ton of in-game content demo’d as well, plus a lot of Green Day goodness not previously seen in the commercials or PAX demos. If you are interested in seeing a big glimpse of the upcoming game, check this out.

    [Thanks @RockBandAide for the tip]

  • Green Day on Fallon, Talk Rock Band and American Idiot

    Posted on April 15th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Here’s the scoop. Green Day stopped by Jimmy Fallon. They talk about a few things. Tre sucks at Rock Band. American Idiot is now on Broadway. Tre may have lost the masters to a never released Green Day album. The Beatles get a mention. Plus, they talk mud slinging at Woodstock 94.

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