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  • RB DLC: 1/26/10 – Metal Track Pack Exclusives + B.Ö.C.

    Posted on January 22nd, 2010 Simon 6 comments

    Harmonix has doubtlessly been extremely busy surrounding the recent public beta of the Rock Band Network, and this week they are taking a ‘bye’ of sorts from the weekly DLC releases.  That’s not to say we aren’t getting any new tracks, in fact there are seven new tracks, but six of the tracks are in fact already available to purchasers of the “2009 Metal Track Pack” which we discussed earlier last year.   The final track is an additional song by the legendary prog-rock band “Blue Öyster Cult”.

    For what it’s worth, the letter O with an umlaut (ö) appears naturally in the German, Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish and Crimean alphabets, but in the case of Blue Öyster Cult the symbol represents a diaresis, which is a pronunciation of two adjacent vowels (O and Y).   Scores of other bands would later copy the use of umlauts in their band names, and many of them are even featured in Rock Band 2 (Motörhead, Mötley Crue and Spinäl Tap to name a few).

    • Blue Öyster Cult – “Godzilla”
    • Blue Öyster Cult – “Transmaniacon MC”
    • Hawkwind – “Master of the Universe”
    • I Mother Earth – “Levitate”
    • Motörhead – “Killed by Death ‘08”
    • Nazareth – “Hair of the Dog”
    • Rage Against the Machine – “Bulls on Parade”

    The standout hits are pretty obvious – “Bulls on Parade” by RATM was the first single from their legnedary Evil Empire cd.  Personally I have been waiting for this one FOREVER, it’s one of the band’s greatest songs. “Levitate” from the Edwin era of I Mother Earth (and also one of their earliest singles),  and also B.Ö.C.’s “Godzilla” features some challenging extended guitar solos and even some shouting in Japanese.

    Before you pick up Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” you should probably listen to the re-recorded version beforehand – the song has been updated, the drums, vocals, and even the trademark ‘Talk-Box’ guitar solo is not the same as the version you’ve heard before.  It DOES have lots and lots of cowbell.  Many of the changes are subtle and forgivable, but it was enough to turn me off of the track.   “Killed by Death ’08” is similarly re-recorded and also has notable changes, but if you enjoyed their re-recording of “Ace of Spades” this is actually from the same recording session.

    Next Week’s Prediction:   Les Claypool, H.I.M. and Smashing Pumpkins

  • RB: DLC 1/12/10 – Alice in Chains Pack #2

    Posted on January 8th, 2010 Simon No comments

    Today Harmonix has announced that the second Alice in Chains pack will be available in the Rock Band Store: “Alice In Chains Pack 02” will be a 5-track setlist and features some fairly obscure and unknown music from Seattle’s legendary grunge band, however fans of the group will be delighted as these songs sound characteristically like core AIC.

    • Alice In Chains – “Grind”
    • Alice In Chains – “Heaven Beside You”
    • Alice In Chains – “Last of My Kind”
    • Alice In Chains – “We Die Young”
    • Alice In Chains – “Your Decision”

    “We Die Young” is the first song on their debut, Facelift, so for many of the fans this song is as essential to the band as any of their other hits.  “Heaven Beside You (Hell Within)” and “Grind” are both tracks from their later, self-titled album.  This was the last original album that Layne Staley would record with the group, the band went into hiatus shortly afterwards. The remaining tracks, “Last of My Kind” and “Your Decision” are from 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue and feature William DuVall on vocals, the latter being the third single from the album.

    All five of these tracks, while not necessarily recognizable on their own, create a well rounded setlist for AIC and RB fans.  It’s interesting that we have yet to experience any of the music from their quadruple-platinum album “Dirt”, but in my opinion this just increases the likelihood that we could see it as DLC in the future, possibly even the entire album. This pack will be available this coming Tuesday, January 12.

    Next Week’s Prediction:  Indie Rock from Eels and OK Go.

  • Friday Giveaway (round 2): 1600 Microsoft Xbox Live Points

    Posted on December 18th, 2009 Shawn 68 comments

    I’m feeling generous today. It’s no scam, I have a 1600 point Xbox Live card and I want to give it away.  That’s $20 worth of Xbox Live points. There’s no charge to enter the contest, you just need to do a couple things.

    1. Follow me on Twitter (@MyGGGo)

    2. Leave a comment with your Twitter name on this post.

    3. Retweet the following line on Twitter: @MyGGGo Giving away 1600 Xbox Live points, RT and follow the steps for chance to win http://bit.ly/4vxbiC.

    4. Once my Twitter account has 500 200 followers, I will give the card away. Once I hit 1,000 500 followers, I will give another 1600 point Xbox Live card away.

    I will use a Twitter application to randomly pick the winner from my Twitter followers. If the randomly chosen winner has done Steps 1-3, I will Direct Message them the code and update this post.  It’s as simple as that. If they haven’t done Steps 1-3, I will randomly pick another winner that has.

    Good luck!

    UPDATE: I made changes to the initial Twitter link from this morning. Contest is now on! Anyone (post authors too) is welcome to participate (excluding Shawn, of course).

    UPDATE 2: I’ve decided to bring someone holiday cheer. Instead of holding out until I get 500 Twitter followers, the random winner will be drawn when I hit 200 followers. Make it happen!

    UPDATE 3: Last night I reached 200 followers and gave away the first 1600 point card. Congrats to @Mlaty.  The contest goes on, but the stakes are higher.  When I reach 500 followers, I will give away the 2nd 1600 point Xbox Live card.  Based on the first part of the contest, I added 80 followers in just under a week.  How long will it take to add another 300?  Tell your Twit friends, and let’s give another card away.

  • RB-DLC: Wolfmother 5-Pack, Hallowe’en & Teen Packs on 10/27/09

    Posted on October 23rd, 2009 Simon 3 comments

    Rock-Band-2-Wolfmother

    Wolfmother‘s long awaited second cd, Cosmic Egg, is officially in stores today, and to celebrate the release Harmonix has created the Wolfmother 5-Pack featuring three tracks from it.  The remaining two tracks are from their previous platinum-selling self-titled album.  Wolfmother is Australia’s premiere hard rock band, having recently gone through an almost complete band roster change (hence the delay for the new record), and almost changed their name to “White Feather” earlier in the year.   Here is the 5-pack contents:

    I’m honestly more excited about this than the QUEEN pack if you can believe that.  I have played their other Rock Band Song to death, its one of my all time favorites in the game.   They picked some great tracks for this pack, although some of these were already available on the Guitar Hero 5 platform.  Give the new songs a listen on YouTube and pick up their new CD today!  These songs are a real treat for drummers like myself.

    With the holiday approaching, we are reminded that Harmonix loves Hallowe’en too.  Its pretty obvious that last year’s Alice Cooper pack has been outdone and shredded Rob Zombie pack.  “Burn” is a new track from his upcoming CD, and Zombie fans will definitely recognize the other two songs.  Still no “Thunder Kiss” or “Living Dead Girl” but you can’t deny that “Dragula” was one of his better tracks.   We were previously treated to some Zombie in January and February, this brings his total to 6 tracks in the game.

    • Rob Zombie – Burn
    • Rob Zombie – Dragula
    • Rob Zombie – Superbeast

    Still frantically racing towards 1000 songs, Tuesday will mark the release of what I’m arbitrarily calling the “Teen Pack” which contains a track from Liz Phair and two tracks from the band Morningwood.

    • Liz Phair – Rock Me
    • Morningwood – Best of Me
    • Morningwood – Sugarbaby

    The only Liz Phair song I had ever heard before today was “Supernova” (which I think would make a great RB song).   I’m a bit speechless after hearing “Rock Me” because it sure doesn’t sound like the Liz Phair I remember, and in my opinion sounds more like Avril / Britney.   As for Morningwood, aside from the questionable innuendo in their band’s name, I didn’t hear anything interesting from their tracks.  Their song “Best of Me” is the theme song to a failed reality dating show on VH1.  All in all these three are fairly forgettable tracks.

    The songs are all available on the XBox Marketplace on Tuesday, 10/27/09, 160pts per track, 440 for the Zombie pack, and presumably 720 for the Wolfmother pack.  Enjoy the new music, and on behalf of Shawn and the myGGGO blogging team, have a safe and happy hallowe’en!

  • Xbox Live 1600 Points for $12.99 at Micro Center

    Posted on October 9th, 2009 Simon No comments

    brand[1]xb3601600points[1]Run as fast as you can to your local Micro Center.  I confirmed today, the location in Cambridge, MA has 100+ of the 1600 point Xbox Live cards for only $12.99.  Those are the cards that typically go for $19.99, and I have never seen them lower than $15.99 before today.  How did they get this amazing deal?  Micro Center bought all the inventory from the closing BlockBuster stores at “fire sale” prices.  The BlockBuster price tag of “$20.99” and “$21.99” is still on many of the packages.

    Just to give you some perspective on how fast these will go once word gets out.  I bought 10 of them today.  Some employees of the store had no idea of the price until they saw me carrying a stack.  Then they were talking about picking some up.

    If you are jonesin for some points…go to Cambridge or call your local Micro Center to see if they have any.  Let me know if your local store has the points, and I’ll update the post.

  • RB: DLC 10/13/09 – Metal, Metal, Metal (…also Kansas)

    Posted on October 9th, 2009 Simon 1 comment

    RBDLC_prog_punk_power

    This pack is f’n metal.  Headbangers, thrashers, shredders, and metalheads, prepare for one of the hardest weeks of DLC of the year, “The Prog, Punk and Power Pack.”    This is yet another awesome list of full volume heavy metal, punk and thrash featuring more music from the most hardcore bands that Rock Band 2 has to offer.   For all you expert players in search of higher scoring challenges, this is the week you were waiting for!  Plus it comes out on the 13th which is aguably the most metal day of the month.

    Don’t like metal?  No problem, and Harmonix would like it if you played some live Kansas instead.  No, not studio quality Kansas; this is live- and it sounds like about 50 instruments on stage playing all at the same time.  This is the “Prog” side dish of your DLC meal if you were wondering how this all goes together.

    Without further delay here are the tracks:

    blacktideYou can’t go wrong with Black Tide, their music is like a cutting edge version of classic power metal.  “Shockwave” is one of the songs I like to warm-up with when I’m on drums.   Joe Satriani’s songs are instrumental, meaning there is no vocal track at all (similar to Rush’s “YYZ”).  I was fortunate enough to see Satch live at the Fox Theater in Detroit many years ago, and made his first appearance in Harmonix’s original Guitar Hero 1.  You may be thinking that L7 doesn’t belong beside Testament and Motorhead, but if you listen to “Andres” you may change your mind, in my opinion it is far more representative of the band, perhaps also their best track.   I’m happy to see more Blink 182, and this track in particular should have been released with one of the previous Blink 182 packs.  Nonetheless its always good to see more music from established artists in the game.

    kansasAs I mentioned there are also two more from Kansas, both live tracks, and both feature keyboard and violin solos!  How much do you want to bet that Harmonix has mapped the violin riffs to the lead guitarist ?   I understand that this is preferable to looking at an empty note highway while the rest of the band plays the song without you, but couldn’t they just stick to songs that at least don’t have keyboard solos?  Kansas’s other song (no, not Dust in the Wind) was parodied in South Park’s infamous Guitar-Queer-O and featured in Rock Band 2.   I always try to summon my best Randy Marsh when I sing Wayward Son.

    Next week’s selection should have something for everyone, and if you’re like me at all (you have to buy SOMETHING each week to support the game) I recommend “Show me the Way” or “Andres” should put you in a very metal mood.  As usual the prices are unchanged, 160points per track, and will be available on Tuesday October 13 on the XBox 360 marketplace.

  • Conchords 3-Pack coming to Rock Band

    Posted on September 22nd, 2009 Simon 4 comments

    David over at Joystiq has noted that during a red-carpet interview with Bret and Jermaine of Flight of the Conchords, the pair confirmed that a trio of their folk-inspired tracks will be heading to Rock Band before year’s end.  There was no hint of a release date or price, but we can assume standard 3-pack rules will apply.

    Flight of the Conchords had a breakout year in 2007 with the premiere of their very own show on HBO, a gold selling debut record, and a sold out North American tour.  I’ve been a huge fan since their original HBO show aired and the rest of the world first learned of their comical and satirical style of songwriting.  There are rumors that a new album could appear before Christmas, and the duo have been further rumored to be appearing together in their own movie in 2010.

    I’m hopeful that the tracks that are selected are not their more recent, electronic dance-style numbers, but instead are chosen from previous albums which were far more traditional. This is a better fit for the standard four-instrument setup that we are all familiar with.  No doubt that whatever tracks are featured, they will quickly become favorites at the next Rock Band Party.

  • Save 50¢ on Xbox Live Points

    Posted on September 12th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    If you are in the market for cheap Xbox Live points, here’s the best you’re gonna get. I’ve said before that I’ll let you know whenever there are deals on Xbox Live points, and it has been a long, long time since anything has surfaced. Today, Amazon has 1600 Xbox Live points at $19.49 (regularly priced at $19.99).

    This isn’t going to make or break your year, but can get you some DLC at a little discount. It’s been months since we have seen anything off of Xbox Live points, so if you were thinking about it…get em now.

    As an added incentive, if you order two, you get FREE shipping. To be honest, it would be a waste if you paid shipping…so if you do jump on this deal, buy two. Otherwise, just pay full price for the online codes.

  • Rock Band DLC for 9/15/09: Dinosaur Jr., Anvil and The Guess Who

    Posted on September 11th, 2009 Simon 1 comment

    Rock Band DLC Update

    In addition to the Tenacious D double pack, we will be treated to several tracks from two established artists and one new one.

    • Anvil – “666”
    • Anvil – “Metal on Metal”
    • Anvil – “This is Thirteen”
    • Dinosaur Jr. – “Pick Me Up”
    • Dinosaur Jr. – “The Wagon”
    • The Guess Who – “Hand Me Down World”
    • The Guess Who – “No Time”

    [ad#post-banner-ad]
    The prices are listed as 160 MSP for each track individually, and 440 MSP for the Anvil Pack.  I’ll have more to say on Anvil and Dinosaur Jr. later in the weekend.  For now I’ll just mention that Anvil and The Guess Who are both Canadian acts that have been around for a damn long time.

  • We Are But Men: More Tenacious D coming Tuesday

    Posted on September 11th, 2009 Simon No comments

    TributeVideo

    Rock Band fans, hold on to your Rocket Sauce, and prepare for “The Greatest Song in the World.”  That’s right, one of my all time favourite bands, Tenacious D,  is making another appearance in Rock Band.  Their first DLC release (but not their first inclusion in a music game) will contain two of their greatest hits, “Tribute”, one of their best known tracks, and “Rock Your Socks” which was previously exclusive to the PSP’s Rock Band: Unplugged.  Their song “Master Exploder” was featured as one of the main tracks in Rock Band 2.
    [ad#post-banner-ad]
    “Tribute” chronicles the story of how Jack and Kyle came up with the greatest song in the world to defeat the devil (a parody of Charlie Daniels’  “Devil Went Down to Georgia“). The joke is that they have since forgotten the song, but they cleverly imply that the song was really “Stairway to Heaven.”  “Tribute” is a very interesting track, in that the original version (as performed on their ill-fated HBO show) sounded quite a bit closer to “Stairway” and even sampled the main riff during one of the verses.  When it was time to release the track for their album, they rewrote that section to avoid litigation.   The video, directed by Spike Jones, also stars a post-Nirvana Dave Grohl as Satan (who also played drums on the track).   This is also Dave’s 50,000th appearance in the game.

    Each track is a master, they cost 160 MSP each, and will be available on Tuesday, September 15, 2009.

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