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  • Our Green Day: Rock Band Release Party

    Posted on June 29th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Green Day: Rock Band Party 1I make a general rule at work to host a party when ever a new rhythm game gets released. Sometimes, we just have music game parties just for the hell of it too.  Last summer, I organized a dual release party on 09.09.09, where we had The Beatles: Rock Band in one room and Guitar Hero 5 in another.

    Earlier this month, on 06.09.10 to be exact, I hosted a Green Day: Rock Band release party at work. In one room, which we will call the main stage, we had Green Day: Rock Band splattered across five giant projectors. It was a bit overkill, but that’s how we roll. In the other room, which we will the 2nd stage, we had one giant screen projector setup with Rock Band 2, and about 600 songs.

    These parties generally bring out the plastic rockers from work, and this event was no exception. On the main stage, we had it set up with guitar, bass, and 3 vocals. We were shy one set of drums so, unfortunately there wasn’t a chance to let people realize how insane the drums for many early Green Day songs really was. Though, the vocal harmonies were a big hit, and people are really looking forward to that feature in Rock Band 3. Over all, many of the early Green Day songs were requested, and people were looking for more Insomniac and Warning songs. For me, I love American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, so no complaints on the set list from me.

    Stage 2 was a different vibe entirely. It was more comfortable, since everyone has been playing Rock Band 2 for about two years now (and we’ve had it at several parties). This room has the traditional Rock Band set up, vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. I even set up the Rock Band Stage Kit for some lighting effects. For fear of a visit from the local fire department, I opted not to turn on the fog machine. Some favorite songs that jump out to me were Poker Face, The Great Southern Trendkill (see video), and Foreplay/Long Time.

    Of course, both setups had No Fail Mode on to increase the party/fun factor without the bummer of someone killing the buzz by being booed off the stage.

    Over all, our 2+ hour event was a success with a couple dozen of our closest coworkers joining in the fun. I expect we will have a couple more of these throughout the summer.

    Everyone is looking forward to the 7 person band of Rock Band 3, which I expect we will have a release party of that in early November.

    Check out the small gallery below.

  • Back on the Kit

    Posted on June 28th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Here’s something I have not written much about before, likely because the site hasn’t focused on this obsession.  But, let’s start a new category and see if there’s interest from our readers. I had the opportunity to pick up some drum sticks last week and jam with a couple guitarists from my town.

    Our two hour impromptu jam at one of the guitarists studio, who we will call SuRGe, was reminiscent of a garage band I used to jam with two years ago.  That band was Sorry About Your Dog from Charlotte, NC. Those guys were a group of I.T. pros and closet musicians, who played some common party classics (a lot from the mid-90s). I helped out on drums and vocals, when their permanent players weren’t available. Maybe, you could call me a scab.

    These guys I jammed with this past week, nearly have identical taste in songs.  Plus, many of the songs are also in Rock Band.  Needless to say, I knew the drum parts to most of the songs shouted out during our jam session, and we jumped right in and did a decent job knocking them out.

    Here’s an example of what we played:

    You May Be Right
    The Break Up Song
    Just What I Needed
    Jenny 867-5309
    Wild Flower
    Bad Case of Lovin’ You
    Should I Stay Or Should I Go
    American Girl
    Basket Case
    Welcome to Paradise
    Your Love
    When I Come Around
    Saw Her Standing There
    My Best Friends Girl
    Don’t Do Me Like That
    Dirty Deeds

    You might agree, lots of party songs.  You’ll see from the photos, that I may appear to be not so enthralled by what we were playing.  At least, that was my wife’s impression when she saw the photos.  Actually, I knew the songs drum parts so well, that I was mentally trying to figure out the vocal harmonies while we played. So, in the photo’s you see the outcome of my brain in action….not a pretty sight, I guess.

    Well, after two hours, the three of us agreed that we jelled together and plan to put together a list of songs to play next time. I’ve already warned them about my love for metal and prog rock, so let’s see how my suggestions play out.  The songs we played were all pretty basic for drums, which also probably plays into my lack of excitement in photos. Though, they were good for a pick up jam session.

    I’m thinking of testing the waters with classic prog rock of Kansas and Styx, maybe working our way up to Dream Theater.  I’d be up for it, though I may be alone on that one.  Keeping with the theme of songs, but adding a little difficulty, I’ll throw in Boston as a suggestion.

    P.S. – The T-Shirt I’m wearing.  I’ll give Twitter shout outs to the first person to comment where it’s from.  HINT: It’s gaming conference related.

  • RB: DLC 06/29/10 – Nickelback 6-Pack

    Posted on June 25th, 2010 Simon 2 comments

    Harmonix has announced next Tuesday’s DLC, six tracks from a little group called Nickelback.  July 1 is our national holiday, “Canada Day” (real creative name I know),  and now you can celebrate the day off with some generic canadian rock and roll… and it does not get more generic than this.

    Available on June 29, 2010:

    • Nickelback – “Burn It to the Ground”
    • Nickelback – “Figured You Out”
    • Nickelback – “Never Again”
    • Nickelback – “Photograph”
    • Nickelback – “Rockstar”
    • Nickelback – “This Afternoon”

    It has finally happened.  They put Nickelback in your Rock Band!  I’ll point out that Nickelback is the most hated band in rock music today.   40% of the band’s Wikipedia page is dedicated to criticism of the band.  There are hundreds of parodies of the band on YouTube.  This one in particular is really good.  Recently, a pickle was found to be more popular than the lead singer, Chad Kroeger.

    I think the important thing to do on days like this is to make sure that we are criticizing the band for their horrible music, not Harmonix.  Adding Nickelback to Rock Band makes sense for the game and Harmonix.   If you don’t like their music, then vote with your wallet, and buy something else instead.  However this does feel like some kind of sick punishment after several solid weeks of great DLC, to be given back-to-back disappointments of Miley Cyrus and now Nickelback.

    Next week’s predictions:  The summer looks pretty bleak for new music according to metacritic.  I’ll go with one from the wish list, a 6-pack of RUSH in support of their new bio-pic, Rush – Beyond the Lighted Stage, in stores on June 29th, from director Sam Dunn of “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” and “Iron Maiden: Flight 666”.

  • Rock Band Slacker Radio: Serj, Coheed, No Doubt & more…

    Posted on June 24th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band Slacker RadioIt’s rapid fire update time for our custom Slacker Radio Rock Band station. This is the second update this week, getting us into the DLC  for May.

    INCLUDES ALL SONGS THRU 5/4/10.
    NEW:
    Serj Tankian x2
    Smash Mouth – “All-Star”
    The Used x3
    Coheed and Cambria x3
    Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Peek-a-Boo”
    Supergrass – “Sun Hits the Sky”
    Violent Femmes – “American Music”
    Flyleaf – “Again”
    Silverchair – “Tomorrow”
    Busted – “Thunderbirds Are Go!”
    No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom: The Deep Cuts
    Orianthi – “According to You”

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on Slacker.com
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  • Rock Band Slacker Radio: Hendrix, Underwood, X and more

    Posted on June 22nd, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band Slacker RadioIt’s been three months since I updated our custom Slacker Radio Rock Band station. Does anyone other than me care? Not sure. Well anyway, I’ve added about 30 songs today catching us up to the second week of April.

    INCLUDES ALL SONGS THRU 4/13/10.
    NEW:
    3 Doors Down – “It’s Not My Time”
    Mute Math – “Control”
    The Subways x2
    X x4
    Ace Frehley – “Outer Space”
    Carrie Underwood – “All-American Girl”
    OneRepublic – “Stop & Stare”
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love (album)
    Anberlin – “Feel Good Drag”
    Hawk Nelson – “Live Life Loud”
    Skillet – “Monster”
    Superchick – “Stand in the Rain”
    Switchfoot – “Meant to Live”
    Thousand Foot Krutch – “Fire It Up”

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on Slacker.com
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  • E3: Complete Rock Band 3 Demo

    Posted on June 21st, 2010 Shawn No comments


    Let’s start right up front, this comes direct from the Kodak Zi8 owned and manned by our virtual BFF, RockBandAide. This 26 minute (yes, I said 26) video gives us way more than we bargained for.

    I won’t spoil it all for you, but expect to see the likely opening cinematic from Rock Band 3.  Also, get ready for a live Rock Band 3 demo of Power of Love with 7 (yes 7) simultaneous players.  Seven players on one system is quite mind blowing to me. You’ll also see the new filtering system to help you get through the nearly 2,000 songs in the Rock Band library.  Of course, you will see lot’s of Pro mode with the new Pro guitars.  There’s more.

    Just grab a beverage of choice, fire up the embedded video below, and enjoy the next 26 minutes of your life…

    [SOURCE]

  • Rock Band 2 Track Export in Jeopardy?

    Posted on June 21st, 2010 Simon 3 comments

    Curiously, Harmonix has not yet confirmed that Rock Band 2’s tracks will be fully (or more likely, partially) exportable into Rock Band 3.   Typically this feature is one of the earliest known facts about new Rock Band Games, and always comes with a fee.  I’m guessing they like to publish this fact as early as possible because of the fact that they charge extra for this feature.

    Our good friend at RockBandAide has posted an excellent interview with Dan Teasdale, with the following Q&A:

    Will Rock Band 2 export require a unique code to do?

    Details on Rock Band 2 export have not been announced yet, as the possibility of export is still in process.

    He mentions it again in the “Gamespot E3 Reveal” at 11:20:

    “..and of course, all your old songs are gonna work ?”

    Exactly.  All your Rock Band 1 and 2 DLC, your Green Day export, your Rock Band 1 export, all gonna work in Rock Band 3.

    “Still in process” is a good thing, it means that the answer is probably not “No”.  If you recall, Rock Band 1’s export did not actually include all of the music in the game, notable tracks from Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and others were not available.  This was also the only export thus far that actually copied the tracks from the disc, the other exports were in the form of a large download (at least on XBOX Live).  Lego and Green Day’s exports were inclusive of all of the tracks in the game, and also gave you possibility of waiving the fee if you pre-ordered the game.  The “Bonus Tracks” from Rock Band 2 are probably safe, as these show up in the set list as DLC and not Rock Band 2 tracks (true for Lego tracks as well).

    Since they can’t confirm that an export will exist, I will speculate that it is likely due to licensing issues with the artists themselves, or their labels, and further that we can expect a partial export similar to RB1.  It will be a disaster if the great music from Rock Band 2 is orphaned, unable to be exported.  Let’s hope that Harmonix is doing everything they can to preserve as much of the Rock Band 2 legacy as they can, and that the cost of this function is going to be similar to what we’ve had to pay in the past.

    What tracks from Rock Band 2 would you be willing to give up, assuming we can’t export the entirety of the disc?

  • RB: DLC 06/22/10 – Miley Cyrus?

    Posted on June 18th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Harmonix has confirmed the rumor that next Tuesday’s DLC will feature none other than Miley Cyrus with 5 tracks to support her new album, “Can’t Be Tamed” which is in stores on the same date.   This is the part where I say something like “It’s always good to have new artists in Rock Band” with my casual take-the-bad-with-the-good attitude.

    Random fact:  A friend of mine recently admitted that his guilty pleasure was a Miley song called “Party in the USA”, he works as a roughneck in the Alberta Oil fields.   Her music seems to be breaking through barriers if nothing else.   This much I know:  I’m not ‘shoopping any Miley banner ads this time.  I can’t even bring myself to listen to the tracks, and frankly this entire subject makes me uncomfortable.  Enjoy the tracks, you wierdos.

    Available on Tuesday, June 22, 2010:

    • Miley Cyrus – “7 Things”
    • Miley Cyrus – “Can’t Be Tamed”
    • Miley Cyrus – “Fly On the Wall”
    • Miley Cyrus – “See You Again”
    • Miley Cyrus – “Start All Over”

    Next Week’s Prediction:  Two new artists debut, Scissor Sisters and The Roots.

  • Cena confirms Rock Band 3 ION compatibility

    Posted on June 17th, 2010 Simon No comments

    A recent tweet from Cena (authority on most things Rock Band related) was noteworthy:

    To clarify for all. The Ion Drum Rocker does work with RB3. if you have the 3 cymbals you Are set for pro mode. #cenaE3

    If you’re like me and just have the standard ION with two-cymbals, then you are probably looking ahead to upgrading.  If you want to get in on PRO-mode drumming, there are three components that you should consider.

    • 3rd cymbal.  This can either be the ION variety, or something else entirely as the kit is highly expandable and compatible with other e-cymbals on the market.
    • 2nd bass-pedal.  The stock ION pedal is garbage, I purchased the Rock Pedal and could not be happier.
    • Bass-pedal coupler.  The ION ‘brain’ does not have a second input for the bass pedal.

    It’s likely that ION will announce an upgrade package that has all of the above.  There are a few bass-pedals that have the coupler built in, so that could potentially cut down on the cost and certainly the cabling.  I’ve been in touch with Jordan from Rock Pedal, and he will be offering just such a package in time for Rock Band 3.  However I will probably look to get a better quality and brand of high-hat than another ION cymbal (and I’m not complaining about the ION cymbals, they are great).

    What are your plans for upgrading your e-drum kit?

  • Closer Look at XBOX Slim Hardware

    Posted on June 17th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Short video showing off the sleek new look, via Gametrailers.

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