My new album “Robots. Lasers. Awesome.” is now out on iTunes, which is very exciting and, well, awesome. You can preview tracks and purchase the full album or individual tunes by hitting the button below to jump to the album page on iTunes. Very cool. This latest release kicks things up a notch from my e.p. “The Beacon” without losing the similar vibe and tone. Most of the songs were written with LSDJ on an old school Game Boy (DMG) and I also play guitar over all of those good blips, thumps, and bleeps. If you enjoyed The Beacon, you should dig this too.
The situation in Japan is dire. Being absorbed fully by the vortex of PAX East for three days, it wasn’t until I was on the bus ride home from Boston that I really had a chance to watch the news and soak up the exact nature of what is happening over there. I was floored by the devastation and horrible loss of life. What’s awesome is that so many people across the globe are rising to the occasion to offer aid and donations to help out in Japans recovery efforts…which will be ongoing for a very long time.
Led by Pixelh8 and True Chip Till Death‘s Peter Swimm, the international chip music community is rallying together with its own fundraiser to gather funds for the Red Cross to support Japan. By donating money via a secure page setup through Firstgiving, you’ll gain access to a link to download a massive, multi-volume chip music compilation. Volume One comes out today and features over 35 tracks from a huge range of chip music artists. One of my new tunes is featured on the first volume alongside awesome artists like 8bitweapon, Little-Scale, ComputeHer, Pixelh8, br1ght pr1mate, and more. I suspect a second volume is in the works too, and I know they’re looking for more donations and chip music artists to contribute songs for the project.
As of this writing, the comp has raised $1,000 of its $5,000 goal, so please take a moment to donate funds, spread the word, and contribute in any way you can. All proceeds go to the Red Cross for Japan relief efforts.
You can find out more about the project and how to donate RIGHT HERE.
It’s here! My new album is wrapped up, and you can buy it as a digital download over at CDBaby right this very second. “Robots. Lasers. Awesome.” is a rocking collection of indie tunes crafted with guitar, LSDJ, and an original DMG Game Boy system. The album will soon be up for sale on iTunes and other distributors shortly, but you can nab this 9-song album of rocking chip music for $8.99 right now. Feel free to tweet, facebook, write a review, and spread the love if you dig it. Thanks for the support! Anyone interested in doing a review can get in touch for a review copy.
Check it out HERE on CD Baby. And you can stream the first track, Doomlaser, for free down below:
I’ll be releasing a new album of Game Boy rock stuff very soon, called “Robots. Lasers. Awesome.” I’m currently waiting for the album to be available for digital purchase via iTunes and other online distributors. In the meantime, here’s a super rocking track off the CD to stream online. Like most of the tunes on the album, this was made with an old-school original Game Boy, LSDJ, and guitar. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I’ve put together new solo material, but new 8-bit indie songs are in the works,. I’m planning on releasing a full-length album on iTunes in the coming months. Unlike my free e.p. The Beacon, it’ll cost money, but the quality of the recording and the tunes themselves will be much beefier. This new album will feature the same Game Boy/Guitar sound combination featured in my previous work, though I’m making some songs with LSDJ on an old-school DMG and others on a Game Boy Micro with Nanoloop 2.3 (which I used for The Beacon). Here’s a new tune from the upcoming album. Enjoy!
Color me psyched. So Naughty Dog rolled out the first teaser for Uncharted 3 at the Spike Video Game Awards. While that’s pretty awesome stuff, what I’m really pumped about is this cool mini-documentary that 2 Player Productions just put out featuring some behind-the-scenes action with the Naughty Dog folks. The 2PP guys were nice enough to include a short snippet of my 8-bit music right as the credits kick in, which is super awesome. They used the title track for my e.p. The Beacon. You can still download the thing in its entirety for FREE right here. Feel like streaming it online? Hop on over here at the Free Music Archive. I’m gradually working on more 8-bit music and will be releasing more jams in the future as time permits, but I’ve been pretty busy between freelancing, working on my book Geek Beat Manifesto, and playing with my actual live (non 8-bit) band.
You can check out 2 Player Productions’ Uncharted 3 documentary over here at Joystiq.
In addition to doing some regular review work in EGMi, I’ve been writing news features for the print edition of EGM lately. This month’s issue has a massive two-page feature spread titled “Through The Lens” that I’m pretty psyched about. Located on pages 12 and 13, the piece focuses on a handful of interesting independent film makers that have created or are working on documentaries chronicling various aspects of gaming-related culture. The main piece focuses on 2 Player Productions (Reformat The Planet, Penny Arcade: The Series), the nice folks working on Indie Game: The Movie, Dan Lamoureux’s Nerdcore for Life, and the collective project that put together The Demoscene Documentary. There’s also a nod to Get Lamp, for text adventure gaming fans. Unfortunately, space limitations left a cool side-bar I wrote up (sorry Scott S.) on the cutting room floor, but that might see the light of day eventually in a separate piece.
This was a pretty busy issue all around. Beyond the feature, you can find my review write-up of And Yet It Moves (WiiWare) on pg. 76, and my second opinion to Bryan Stratton’s R.U.S.E. review is over on pg. 75. I have a few pieces headed for the next issue as well as some other stuff I’m working on for the digital edition. Awesome. Over and out.
I first stumbled across Famicom indie rockers The Depreciation Guild way back in 2006 before the first Blip Festival and was immediately sucked into their absorbing, 8-bit infused shoegazey rock sound. While many artists drawing from the chip music world focus on a purist approach revolving around a favored piece of old school gaming hardware, this group used the retro bleeps and noise hits to drive a very different kind of musical vibe awash in reverb-laden guitars and subdued melodies. Their second full length album, Spirit Youth, showcases an incredible amount of polish and a substantive evolution in the band’s sound.
Listening to Spirit Youth, it’s clear the band has grown and undergone some changes over the years. Where their first album In Her Gentle Jaws showcased more of a raw, edgy sound that was bathed heavily in the pleasant sounds of the Nintendo Famicom, Spirit Youth ventures into musical territory situated on the poppier, safer end of the spectrum. The 8-bit sounds are frequently relegated to the background on most tracks, leaving the listener wondering if there even there at times. That’s a bit disappointing, considering how prominently they factored into the earlier songs – something I enjoyed immensely about the band’s music. But the familiar 8-bit sounds do shine through the highly polished studio mix, and the songwriting remains as tight as ever.
It took some time to adjust to the melded sound, but Spirit Youth got it’s hooks in me soon enough. While the opener, My Chariot, immediately fired off an introductory barrage of NES synth arpeggios, it was the upbeat and melancholy bounce of Crucify You that first grew on me. Midway through the album, the melodic Sonic Youth-esque guitar licks in Trace blended nicely with the subtle downward synth drone in the chorus, making for another standout track. Through the Snow‘s urgent, driving beat and strong undercurrent of pulse channel noodling was equally appealing. Other songs filled in the gaps pleasantly, showcasing the band’s tight musicianship, meticulous guitar work, and ample vocal prowess. There’s not a dud among the lot, though the stylistic peaks and valleys between tracks doesn’t seem as stark as those found among the group’s prior work.
Compared to In Her Gentle Jaws, The Depreciation Guild’s latest effort is a very different animal. It’s a big departure that perhaps plays it safe a little too often. Yet this follow-up album is a tightly crafted effort that I can highly recommend nonetheless. You can pick up a copy of Spirit Youth from Kanine Records.
Ok, I’ve been “chipping” away at writing and recording some new 8-bit indie rock tunes using my old school Game Boy DMG, LSDJ, and my trusty old six string. I’ve got three new tunes recorded at the moment for what will be my next full album, and I’m posting this here for regular readers to check out, download, and provide feedback on. These tunes don’t have names yet, they’re not necessarily the final mixes, and they’re simply the first pass at recording and mixing the tunes. I’d love to get some feedback on these few songs, particularly in how they contrast to the six songs on The Beacon e.p. (which you can still download for free, by the way, but I do like $3 donations for the effort). In any event, here are the three new songs for you to check out and critique:
I’ve been a huge fan of NES cover band the Minibosses for many years now, and it was incredibly fun to be able to sit down and have a long phone interview with guitarist Aaron Burke a little while back to chat about the band’s history, the game music cover scene, and their future. While a portion of our interview was for research for Geek Beat Manifesto, I worked a fair chunk of it into a Community feature for Nintendo Power on the band’s 10 year innversary. That appears in the August issue on page 94. Also, my first Play Back piece remeniscing about the charm of Final Fantasy Adventure on Game Boy appears on page 84.