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  • RB: DLC 06/01/10 – Spoon’s Rock Band Debut (plus P.O.D.)

    Posted on May 28th, 2010 Simon 2 comments

    This Tuesday will mark the Rock Band debut of one of my favourite indie bands, Spoon!  Harmonix is bringing four tracks from this excellent band to the game, plus a track from Christian metal band P.O.D..

    Available on June 1, 2010

    • Spoon – I Turn My Camera On
    • Spoon – Don’t You Evah
    • Spoon – Got Nuffin
    • Spoon – Trouble Comes Running
    • P.O.D. – Alive

    Spoon has been a very popular band in the indie music scene since their first album, 1996’s Telefono, and the band acheived moderate success in the mainstream with the release of 2005’s Gimme Fiction.  Many of the songs from Gimme Fiction and their previous Kill the Moonlight were re-written as instrumental versions for the soundtrack to the excellent Stranger than Fiction starring Will Farrell.  Their sound has been connected to many other mediums; Spoon’s music has been featured on countless TV shows (like Chuck, Smallville, Scrubs, and How I Met Your Mother to name a few), several blockbuster movies (among them are Cloverfield, 17 again, and I Love You, Man) and a handfull of videogame soundtracks (like Matt Hoffman’s BMX and Madden 2009).   I’ve had selections from their various albums on my mp3 player for years, they are definitely one of my favourite bands of the new millennium.

    “I Turn My Camera On” has falsetto-style vocals for much of the song, and I believe it’s very reminicent of the band Scissor Sisters.  It’s instantly catchy, simple, melodic and fun to listen to.  Quite a few of Spoon’s songs feature keyboards as a lead instrument–which begs the question, can we expect more from Spoon in Rock Band 3?  I think this is highly likely given the recent rumors of a new keyboard perhiperal.  2002’s “The Way We Get By” would be an excellent song to transcribe to Rock Band 3’s keyboards.

    P.O.D.’s “Alive” was nominated for a grammy, and was definietly the band’s most popular song.  I’ll admit that I was not certain that I’d heard the band before, but a quick listen of the song showed me that I had; it’s uplifting certainly, but it is fairly forgettable.   It’s notable mostly for the vocals, and the sound reminds me of the bands Incubus or early Papa Roach.

    Next Week’s Predictions:  followup tracks from RB alumni Hot Hot Heat, Against Me! and Iggy Pop.

  • TWIRB: Pantera, Green Day Demo on Xbox, Drive Shaft

    Posted on May 25th, 2010 Shawn 1 comment

    It’s the re-return of THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND! Life has been busy, the blog has been suffering. Thanks to Simon for keeping up with some posts. Due to too much Rock Band news right now, I need to do a TWIRB. Green Day demo is live, Lost fans get some Drive Shaft, Pantera will ruin us all. So, here goes THIS WEEK IN ROCK BAND!

    Green Day: Rock Band Demo on Xbox Live

    While checking my Twitter updates this morning I stumbled on the Xbox Live Marketplace account which mentioned, Green Day: Rock Band Demo.  So, I dug into it to find as of today the is a two song demo of the game available right now to Xbox Live Gold members.  It’s about 300MB, so it’s relatively small.

    I have queued up the download and will be checking it out whenever I get out of work tonight.

    If you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you can queue up the demo here.

    If you haven’t pre-ordered the game, Amazon is now (finally) offering release day shipping, plus $20 off your next game and $5 of Amazon MP3s.  Pretty sweet deal! It’s the best deal there is. Pre-order Green Day: Rock Band for Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii here.

    Pantera is now on Rock Band

    Read Simon’s post from last week about the Pantera announcement, for all the details.  From my point of view, Pantera was one of the most influential bands of my teens and twenties. I was a drummer and singer in various bands, and most all would at some point use a Pantera song to warm up during practices. I had seen the band live many times, and shed a tear the morning after Dimebag Daryl was killed.

    As of today, Pantera’s final great album (IMO) is available for Rock Band. I could only be happier, if Harmonix and Pantera would release their three preceding albums too. So, if you are like me, get this album now, and I will see you on Xbox Live tonight to sweat and scream the intensity of The Great Southern Trendkill.

    It’s Dharma Time

    Lost fans, stop crying and get ready to rock! Charlie Pace’s band Drive Shaft showed up in the Rock Band Network yesterday with their fictional hit, You All Everybody. Yes, I picked it up last night for a measly 80 MS Points ($1).  Yes, I played as Charlie on expert bass. Yes, I took heroine. Yes, I was a real rock star for a few minutes (in my living room by myself). Yes, it was well worth it.

    If you are craving some more Lost in your life, or just want to add another cheap song to your Rock Band library, here’s the link to queue up You All Everybody.

    With that, what’s NWIRB?  NEXT WEEK IN ROCK BAND!

    • More Green Day: Rock Band announcements as we lead up to June 8.
    • We wait in anticipation of the June 15 announcement of Rock Band 3 at E3.
  • RB: DLC – 5/20/10 Pantera’s “Great Southern Trendkill”

    Posted on May 21st, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    Available on Tuesday, May 20th, Harmonix today announced that the long awaited Pantera DLC will appear in the music store, and it is none other than ten tracks from “The Great Southern Trendkill”  from 1996.  The DLC will cost 1280 MSP for the entire offering, and 160 MSP a-la-carte.  Harmonix has released yet another full album of music that is sure to be a top seller.

    • “The Great Southern Trendkill”
    • “War Nerve”
    • “Drag the Waters”
    • “10’s”
    • “13 Steps to Nowhere”
    • “Suicide Note Pt. II”
    • “Living Through Me (Hells’ Wrath)”
    • “Floods”
    • “The Underground in America”
    • “(Reprise) Sandblasted Skin”

    It’s really happening.  Drag the Waters!  War Nerve!  Flood!  That solo from Flood!  Those vocals from Flood!  Rock Band DLC is going to be on fire next week.  The fans have been waiting for over two years for this day to come, including us at MyGGGo.

    Pantera is the modern American standard for Heavy Metal.  Formed in Texas in 1981 by original members Rex Brown, Diamond “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul, they originally focused on the popular “Glam” scene of the day.  It was only after vocalist Phil Anselmo joined in 1987 and the band changed their sound to metal that the band gained any notoriety, particularly with 1990’s “Cowboys from Hell”.    The band followed up with chart-breaking album after album, not the least of which were ’92’s “Vulgar Display of Power” and ’94’s “Far Beyond Driven”.  By 1995 the group’s morale had hit an all time low – in fact Anselmo recorded all the vocals to “The Great Southern Trendkill” in a completely separate studio.   Although Pantera released nine studio albums, had several platinum albums (an achievement for any group, let alone a metal band) and countless world tours, the disharmony in the band caused the group to break up forever in 2002.  Tragedy struck again in 2004 when Dimebag Darrell was killed on stage while performing with his new band, Damageplan, which destroyed any hope of a Pantera reunion.  The band has since released a greatest hits album of sorts, in March of this year.

    “Trendkill” is one of their masterpieces, and the only Pantera album I perfer to listen to in its entirety.  One track is notably missing, “Suicide Note Pt. I”, and I can only assume this is because of the diverse nature of the song which features 12-string acoustics, keyboards, and no electric guitar, or perhaps the fact that the band preferred to play this song over the P.A. in concert rather than try to play it live.  Instead we are given the bonus track, “(Reprise) Sandblasted Skin”.

    Next Week’s Predictions:  It’s going to be 1992 all over again with music from Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots, all of which have new albums on May 25th.

  • RB: DLC – Mid-May DLC Roundup

    Posted on May 20th, 2010 Simon No comments

    On Tuesday May 11th, Harmonix released another full album as DLC entitled “British Steel”.  Some musicians have described Judas Priest’s legendary sixth album, 1980’s “British Steel”, as “the first album to define Heavy Metal because it does away with the last shards of ‘blues’ that were otherwise characteristic of the genre”.  The album contains the following tracks:

    • Judas Priest – “Breaking the Law” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “Rapid Fire” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “Metal Gods” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “Grinder” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “United” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “Living After Midnight” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “The Rage” (Live)
    • Judas Priest – “Steeler”  (Live)

    I have to admit I was impressed that Harmonix would choose such an iconic and well-respected album to include in their DLC catalogue, that is, until I later learned that the tracks are not in fact the original master recordings.  No, these tracks are an entire live performance by Judas Priest, recorded in late 2009 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album.  “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight” are great metal songs to add to your collection, but I personally have drawn the line on live recordings in my Rock Band DLC.

    Some have argued the merits of live tracks, but you can put me squarely in the ‘No Thanks’ group who are not very keen on emulating anyone’s  live performance.   I think my dislike for live tunes really started with the introduction of the AC/DC track disc – I played through all of the tracks when I first got the songs, but now I’m only keeping them around just to have them on the list.  I would never choose to play one, only tolerating them when they appear in my ‘mystery setlists’ occasionally.   I would just much rather play the studio version of the songs, the versions I grew up listening to.   Also, with all honestly, I’d rather not have the song at all than purchase a live version, which is why I am going to pass on this collection.  It’s just not for me.   This post has reminded me of a classic Jim Breuer standup routine where he impersonates both Rob Halford and Brian Johnston (Priest and ACDC respectively).

    The following Tuesday, Harmonix delivered a more typical week for Rock Band DLC.  The 18th marked the return of The Grateful Dead and even more songs from their massive catalogue of music, and songs from another hipster band, The Smithereens.

    Grateful Dead – “Beat It on Down the Line”
    Grateful Dead – “Cumberland Blues”
    Grateful Dead – “Scarlet Begonias”
    Grateful Dead – “Throwing Stones”
    Grateful Dead – “Touch of Grey”
    Grateful Dead – “U.S. Blues”
    The Smithereens – “A Girl Like You”
    The Smithereens – “Only a Memory”

    These songs are all classics in their own kind.  “Touch of Grey” is long overdue, probably their most recognizable song (“I will get by, I will survive”) and will make a worthy addtion to the DLC library.  I’m not too familiar with the Smithereens sound, but it doesn’t sound like they will be too hard to play.  “Only a Memory” was the band’s only #1 hit, and “A Girl Like You” was very popular followup hit in the late 80’s.   I always enjoy seeing new artists, and while the flood of freshmen acts on the platform is starting to dry up, Harmonix seems to consistently come up with compelling DLC.

    Next Week’s Predictions (i.e. Tomorrow’s Announcement):  I think we can all bet on Soundgarden.

  • …And we are back

    Posted on May 5th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    After some quick fixes, comments are back available to all readers.  We are using a plugin called CAPTCHA, which most of you will be familiar with. It displays a random image of letters and numbers, and you will need to type that into a text box to get your comment submitted.

    Currently, the layout is a bit sloppy, but gets the job done.  I will work to get it better integrated, but need to have this implemented for now. 

    I was gettign upwards to 100 spam comments a day, linking to malware, porn, and other junk. In an effort to protect our readers, this is something that will help keep us a bit more secure at

    Let me know if you are experiencing any problems.

  • Comments Currently Offline

    Posted on May 5th, 2010 Shawn 3 comments

    Hi readers.  Just a quick note. Comments are currently offline, but will be back soon. Thanks to regular writer (Simon) for clueing my into the sites broken Comments section.

    I’m looking into this and hope to have comments back online soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

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