RSS icon Bullet (black)
  • RB: DLC 08/03/10 – Singles x8

    Posted on July 30th, 2010 Simon No comments

    As always, Fridays mean Harmonix has announced next week’s DLC artists in Rock Band.  The first Tuesday of August will bring us a mixed singles pack, featuring 8 songs by 8 artists, many of which are new to the Rock Band platform.  Here’s the list:

    • Blondie – “Rapture”
    • dc Talk – “Jesus Freak”
    • The Decemberists – “The Perfect Crime # 2”
    • Eagles of Death Metal – “I Only Want You”
    • Eels – “Saturday Morning”
    • Family Force 5 – “Love Addict”
    • KMFDM – “Sturm & Drang”
    • La Roux – “Bulletproof”

    The thing I find most exciting about this pack is that it includes another Josh Homme band, The Eagles of Death Metal.  Many of my frequent readers know my interest in both Josh Homme and Dave Grohl, because they are featured in so many different bands that also have music in the game.  Not only are they the most popular artists in the game (purely by gross song count), the two have played together in two different bands.  Here is a diagram I made showing the six-degrees of separation of Dave and Josh.  They are both extremely talented, each well versed in guitar, bass, drums, and are both skilled vocalists.

    As you may be able to tell, we are only missing songs from Kyuss, The Desert Sessions and Scream.  Each of those bands released multiple records during their tenure, so there is always a chance to see some of the pair’s earlier music in the game.  The Desert Sessions is not technically a band, Josh has described it as a ‘collective’ because of the numerous members that have recorded with the group.  Both artists have been or are currently members of Them Crooked Vultures and Queens of the Stone Age, and both of those bands are featured in the upcoming Rock Band 3.    Let’s not forget that Tenacious D, Foo Fighters and Nirvana have appeared in several previous Rock Band games, and I wouldn’t rule out a return from either band until we know the full setlist.

    The song “I Only Want You” is one of the Eagles’ more well known songs, and features Josh Homme on drums and the falsetto-screaming vocals of Jesse Hughes.   Check out the video here.  Josh had this to say recently of their arrangement:

    “I just sit behind the drums and play rock and roll, which is a great change of pace for me. J. Devil writes everything, every lyric and riff, and he’s a fantastic songwriter. He and I go through and arrange them, and I lay down harmonies, but it’s really his thing. It’s the antithesis of the bloated rock-attitude bullshit I’ve had to deal with recently”

    The tracks are priced at the usual 160 points each and will be available on Tuesday, August 3, 2010.

  • Rock Band 3 Setlist Update #3

    Posted on July 23rd, 2010 Simon No comments

    This could be the weekend where we learn the entirety of the Rock Band 3 on-disc setlist.

    First, from @RockBand on twitter:

    Yowza! What a day! We announced that Filter, Foreigner, The B-52s, Marilyn Manson and Tears for Fears are all coming on the #RB3 disc! And Def Leppard of course!

    Next we have a ‘rumored’ leaked partial setlist, supposedly from a beta tester, a leak which could be legitimate as it does contain most of the bands mentioned above.   Here are the tracks:

    • Amy Winehouse – “Rehab”
    • Anthrax – “Caught In A Mosh”
    • Avenged Sevenfold – “Beast and The Harlot”
    • Bob Marley and The Wailers – “Get Up, Stand Up”
    • David Bowie – Space Oddity”
    • Devo – “Whip It”
    • Faith No More – “Midlife Crisis”
    • Filter – “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
    • HIM – “Killing Loneliness”
    • Marilyn Manson – ‘The Beautiful People”
    • Queens Of The Stone Age – “No One Knows”
    • Rammstein – “Du Hast”
    • Slipknot – “Before I Forget”
    • Steve Miller Band – “Fly Like An Eagle”
    • Tears For Fears – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
    • Tegan and Sara – “The Con”
    • The B52′s – “Rock Lobster”
    • The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”
    • The Police – “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”
    • The Ramones – “I Wanna Be Sedated”
    • The Smiths – “Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before”
    • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “I Need To Know”
    • Warren Zevon – “Werewolves Of London”

    If these are in fact confirmed and part of RB3, then altogether we may know 50 of the 83 songs, and also 3 pre-order DLC tracks.  Furthermore, you may have noticed that the leaked list does not mention which songs from Foreigner, Def Leppard (both confirmed today), Ministry or Rush (from earlier rumors) are included, leaving potentially 29 more unconfirmed artists and tracks.    It would appear that Josh Homme’s vocals are now featured on two tracks, appearing with his bands Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, which is also features Rock Band super-alumni Dave Grohl.

    I was definitely not expecting to see Bob Marley or The Beach Boys, there certainly is not a lot of Reggae or 60’s Surf Rock in the game to date.  I was also surprised to see Amy Winehouse, but given the popularity of Lady Gaga’s DLC I guess there is room for her music.  Putting aside the sad character that Ms. Winehouse has become in the media, the song sounds like it would be fun to perform in the game.  I think it’s great to see more tracks from the Police and David Bowie, it will be their third appearance each in a Rock Band game.  Hopefully this is confirmed and we will get to enjoy all of this great music when the game arrives in October.

  • RB: DLC July Roundup – Stooges, Bad Religion, A7x and Juanes!

    Posted on July 23rd, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    Just a quick update today to inform you of the latest happenings with Rock Band DLC.  We have old school punk rock, metalcore, and some.. latin rock?

    Songs available on Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    • The Stooges – “1969”
    • The Stooges – “I Wanna Be Your Dog”
    • The Stooges – “No Fun”
    • Bad Religion – “New Dark Ages”
    • Bad Religion – “No Control”

    Straight to my complaint:  I love the Stooges but missing from the pack is their mega-hit “Search and Destroy“; hopefully this is rectified in the future – perhaps even on the RB3 disc.  The song is featured in the gunfight scene in one of the best films of the decade.  “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a legendary punk rock song that shines a bright spotlight on everything that is great about Iggy Pop.  To be certain, “Passenger” is my second favourite song from Lego: Rock Band, I’ll take all the Iggy I can get (Thank-you very much Harmonix).

    Bad Religion is another band I was a major fan of in my high-school years, and as much as I love their past DLC hit “Sorrow”, I cringe when it shows up in my quickplay setlist– the song is definitely a workout and one of the harder ones to maintain a good streak.  I can just barely finish the song on expert drums, and this has tainted me slightly against buying more BR DLC.  If I was to pick my favourite 10 Bad Religion songs, “No Control” would be on that list.  What I find interesting about the two new tracks is that you can really hear the difference that 20 years made with the band’s overall sound and the production quality of the music.  “New Dark Ages” has a much more mature and deep sound when compared with the relative simplistic sound of  “No Control”.  To me, this earlier sound is what defines the band, on top of their always policitically-charged lyrics.  Bad Religion always stood for something, their music typically holds much deeper meanings, which for punk bands of that era (late 80’s – early 90’s) was certainly out of the ordinary.  I suspect that there is going to be a BR track on the Rock Band 3 disc, PURELY because of the history of these things happening in ‘3’s’ and 7’s’ with respect to adding music to the game, and personally I’m hoping for “Stranger than Fiction” or another track from “No Control”.

    Songs available on Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    • Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare”
    • Avenged Sevenfold – “Scream”
    • Avenged Sevenfold – “Seize the Day”
    • Juanes – “Yerbatero”
    • Juanes – “A Dios le Pido”
    • Juanes – “Fíjate Bien”
    • Juanes – “Gotas de Agua Dulce”
    • Juanes – “Mala Gente”
    • Juanes – “La Camisa Negra”

    That’s 9 songs!  Suck it Guitar Hero!  Avenged Sevenfold is one of Shawn’s favourites – I can’t say I’m a big fan of their music, other than what I’ve already seen and heard in Rock Band.  “Scream” is one of their bigger hits, so fans of the band should be pleased to be getting an old favourite along side a track from their forthcoming album.  They recently endured a tragedy when drummer “The Rev” was found dead of an accidental overdose in December 2009, however they were able to move forward and finish the new album with the help from one of the world’s most respected drummers, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.

    Juanes!  Not much to say about latin-rocker Juanes, except that you may have heard that one of his songs has already been confirmed for Rock Band 3.    I’m a bit surprised to see such a large selection from this artist, but there is plenty of room for foreign speaking acts in the game.  I just hope that we don’t have to learn Portuguese just to get through the upcoming Endless Setlist III on vocals.

  • RB: DLC 07/13/10 – The Vines 5-Pack + Sweet Billy Pilgrim

    Posted on July 9th, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    Come here, come here, come here!  The Vines are coming to Rock Band on Tuesday, July 13 with a 5-pack of songs.  As Shawn tweeted on Wednesday, Microsoft spilled the beans again and Harmonix filled in the gaps today with their press release.

    Available on Tuesday, July 13, 2010:

    • The Vines – “Get Out”
    • The Vines – “He’s a Rocker”
    • The Vines – “Orange Amber”
    • The Vines – “Outtathaway”
    • The Vines – “Ride”
    • Sweet Billy Pilgrim – “Future Perfect Tense”

    If you didn’t know, The Vines are a very large part of the broody aussie-alt-rock scene that was includes bands like Jet, Silverchair and Wolfmother (coincidentally all bands that feature music in Rock Band).   They are possibly best known for the commercial that sold a billion i-Pods.

    Don’t forget that “Get Free” was announced for Rock Band 3, and since Harmonix does things in 3’s and 6’s, these five tracks will probably represent all of the Vines that we can expect for a long time.  In total, we are receiving two tracks from their debut album “Highly Evolved”, one from their second “Winning Days” and three tracks from their 2008 album “Melodia”.  The difference in sound from the former to the latter is like night and day – The Vines have definitely ‘grown’ (couldn’t resist) their talents in the studio, but have since failed to eclipse the fame they received with “Highly Evolved”.  Too many bands end up peaking with their first commercial success, which is a real shame, especially in this case – the Vines were once hailed as the second coming of Nirvana.

    I’m definitely picking up “Ride” and “Outtathaway!” to compliment “Get Free” when RB3 drops in the fall, but I’m going to pass on their new music, after listening to the songs I’m not particularly excited or attached to any of those tracks.   Still, overall an awesome week for DLC.

    OH yeah there’s also these guys.  Sweet Billy Pilgrim’s song “Future Perfect Tense” takes you on a fantastic musical journey and is a nice counterpoint to the strummy, alt-rock of The Vines.   If you played me this song before today I would have assumed it was a track for RBN, as this band is fairly obscure (they performed on an episode of “The IT Crowd” on the BBC) and almost completely unheard of in North America.

  • Rock Band 3 Setlist Update #2

    Posted on July 6th, 2010 Simon 1 comment

    We already have confirmation on 22 tracks that will be included with Rock Band 3 this fall.   RockBandAide has posted a screenshot from the International Trailer which show the following tracks in the song selection screen:

    • Blood, Sweat, & Tears – Spinning Wheel
    • Chicago – 25 or 6 to 4
    • Faith No More – Midlife Crisis
    • INXS – Need You Tonight
    • T.Rex – 20th Century Boy
    • YES – Roundabout

    Earlier in the month, canadian retailer Gamestop let customers know that by pre-ordering Rock Band 3, they would receive the following tracks as DLC (presumably via a redeemable code):

    • Talking Heads – “Burning Down the House”
    • Deftones – “My Own Summer”
    • New Order – “Blue Monday”

    The site does not go into detail about when the tracks will be available – as you recall with Rock Band 2, fans waited for months until the ‘bonus tracks’ were released.   Hopefully these are made available on the same date as the retail release (as in the “All You Need is Love” DLC when Beatles: Rock Band came out).

    There is a lot to be excited about with what has been revealed thus far.   “Roundabout” and “25 or 6 to 4” are both 70’s prog-rock classics, “Burning Down the House” was conspicuously absent from last year’s Talking Heads DLC and is destined to be a party favourite.  Here’s the video from 1UP that contains the aforementioned setlist sequence.

  • RB: DLC 07/06/10 – Creedence Clearwater Revival 12-Pack

    Posted on July 2nd, 2010 Simon No comments

    CCR has finally come to Rock Band!  Available on July 6, 2010, Harmonix has announced a 12-track pack of greatest hits from the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival.

    Available on Tuesday, July 6, 2010:

    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Travelin’ Band
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Run Through the Jungle
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Who’ll Stop the Rain
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born on the Bayou
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down on the Corner
    • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Up Around the Bend

    This is a very exciting move by Harmonix, since their announcement that Rock Band 3 DLC will not be backward-compatible as of it’s release, there has been a fairly large portion of the fan-base that very vocally announced they were ‘abstaining’ from buying any further ‘legacy’ DLC.  I think this pack is very similar to the Queen and Iron Maiden packs from last year, instead of getting full albums from these bands, they opt to go with a “Best Of” compilation pack.   This does not even rule out the possibility of full albums, as you recall, new No Doubt DLC was updated this spring and included tracks to complete the full “Tragic Kingdom” album.  This one will be priced at 1600 points for the entire pack, and I see no reason at all to go with single tracks.

    I’m sure DLC enthusiasts are already on their way to deleting the cover version of “Fortunate Son” that was released in February of 2008.  It’s great that after two years of waiting we can finally enjoy the original, studio version as it was originally recorded.  Unfortunately by eliminating one cover song, they have added another cover song in it’s place.  I’m referring to CCR’s rendition of Barrett Strong’s “Grapevine”.  The song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” from CCR’s 1970 album “Cosmo’s Factory” is an 11 and a half minute jam session, from when the band was at their commercial and creative peak.  The song was not made into a single until well into the 70’s, long after the team of John and Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford went their separate ways.

  • 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”.

  • 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.

  • Activision confirms DJ Hero 2

    Posted on June 8th, 2010 Simon No comments

    FreeStyleGames have officially announced DJ Hero 2 will be released in October 2010, which is no surprise because the game is published by Activision, famous for publishing mostly sequals.  Some of the details that accompanied the press announcement:

    • Artists include Chemical Brothers, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Metallica, Lady Gaga and Rihanna (with 85 more to be announced).
    • The game will have full microphone support.
    • There is a new DJ controller, available in two different bundles.
    • The original DJ controller will still work with DJ Hero 2.
    • It will contain Social Multiplayer mode and Freestyle mode.

    If you own DJ Hero, FreeStyleGames have made available a track from DJ Hero 2 on XBox Live, Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” with DJ Deadmau5 “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff”.  The track is available for free until June 14th.  With the exception of Lady Gaga and Metallica, all of the artists they have announced thus far were in the first game in one form or another.  You may recall that Daft Punk were featured as unlockable, playable characters, so I’m sure we can look forward to something similar.  I’m a bit surprised to see Metallica, but there were a lot of contemporary rock songs mixed in with the first game (Third Eye Blind for example).

    I’m not sure how the vocals will come into play, whether they will be similar to what we see in Band/Guitar Hero or something new entirely, but I can guess that they will be handled similarly to how the guitar was featured in a small handful of songs in DJ Hero 1, which was actually one of the game’s weakest features.   The fact that they are selling a two-turntable-and-a-microphone bundle does lead me to believe that the focus is off of the single player DJ experience and on to something different.

    I quite enjoyed DJ Hero, it was surprisingly fun and the variety of music was a major factor in drawing my interest.  For once, I could appreciate the pacing that the designers were careful to create, and after several sessions of play I was (as one could expect) much more confident and skilled with the turntable.   Usually with most music games I can jump in on Hard / Expert and be able to hold my own; not the case with DJ Hero and the challenge of playing the harder tracks, coupled with playing the easier ones on a harder difficulty really kept the game fresh.   I’m looking forward to more announcements about the new game.

  • RB: DLC 06/15/10 – The Ozzy Six-Pack

    Posted on June 7th, 2010 Simon No comments

    And I totally called it!  It was only a matter of time before one of my predictions was accurate.  Since releasing Rock Band DLC and retail albums on the same day/week has become so trendy in the last two years, quite simply I just check Metacritic, lining up the release dates, and make a best guess as to what the most likely candidates are.   Ozzy is a shameless promoter and since his new album is out on Tuesday, it seemed like a pretty good bet.   Turns out….

    On Tuesday, June 15, Ozzy Osbourne makes his ‘official’ debut in Rock Band.  You may be thinking “Wait a minute, Ozzy is already in Rock Band”.  You may then recall that the original Rock Band 1 disc had a pretty decent cover of  “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and later the Black Sabbath track pack which was, again, all covers.   It’s true that Ozzy’s music has been in the game since the beginning, but this is his first official appearance.   Harmonix is treating us to a few tracks from his brand new album, as well as some of his hits from the latter half of his solo career.

    • Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Babies”
    • Ozzy Osbourne – “Diggin’ Me Down”
    • Ozzy Osbourne – “I Don’t Wanna Stop”
    • Ozzy Osbourne – “Let Me Hear You Scream”
    • Ozzy Osbourne – “No More Tears”
    • Ozzy Osbourne – “Soul Sucker”

    John Michael Ozzy Osbourne is also known as the “Godfather of Heavy Metal”, the “Prince of Darkness”, and to Brutal Legend fans “The Guardian of Metal”; Ozzy rose to fame as the iconic and controversial front-man of Black Sabbath.  After multiple platinum selling records, Ozzy was fired from the group and embarked on his solo career.  Over the years he has teamed up with many legendary guitarists, including Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde, while continuing to revolutionize the genre throughout the 80’s and 90’s.   Ozzy has stated in his 2009 autobiography that this will be his final record and tour, and 2010’s Scream is a reunion album of sorts which has many of his former contributors and band-mates making appearances.

    As for the song selection, certainly “Crazy Babies” and “No More Tears” were popular hits of their time, but the rest of the music sounds a bit formulaic, perhaps a bit like they were manufactured in a computer lab, and are missing the distinct “Ozzy-ness” that I associate with his earlier work.   I do love the riff on “Tears” so that one is a must-have for me.

    In my opinion, this is very likely to be his first and only appearance in the game.  Guitar Hero has a small handful of his songs (notably a re-recording of Crazy Train), but the lion-share of his hits from the 80’s and early 90’s are mired in legal proceedings surrounding unpaid royalties.  Classic albums like ’82’s Speak of the Devil and ’86’s The Ultimate Sin (to name a few) are currently unavailable from any source and have been essentially pulled from his catalogue.  Couple this with the reported troubles with releasing 20th anniversary editions of these early masterpieces (you guessed it, poorly archived master tapes), there doesn’t seem to be a great case for further DLC from his repertoire.

    Enjoy the Ozzy!  Next Next Week’s Predictions:  Oh Please let it be DANZIG.

Get Adobe Flash player