[ Content | Sidebar ]

Archives for Music

games and my soul

I’ve always been an unconventional video games blogger, because of the low volume of games that I find time to play, but that’s become much more the case over the last year. I was surprised to look at my recently played games list and realize that I didn’t finish any games for five months solid […]

i would seem to be excessively sedated

During this week’s Rock Band practice, the song I spent the most time with was I Wanna Be Sedated. Like I Love Rock and Roll, it’s filled with simple power chord progressions, and after that earlier song, I thought I understood the basics of power chords reasonably well. Music with a lot of power chords […]

zero patience

We first saw Zero Patience when it came out; I guess that means in 1994? I’d had generalized fond memories of it since then: what’s not to like about a musical about AIDS where the main characters are Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor: he drank from the fountain of youth and is working […]

i love reifying relationships

This weekend’s Rock Band 3 practice was spent playing I Love Rock and Roll over and over and over again; call me a simpleton, but I really enjoyed it in ways that bear on the way it feels (physically, not emotionally) to play it. It’s a very simple song, built around the three simplest chords […]

time to read

As is doubtless clear from this blog, for the last several years most of my time interacting with art has been spent with video games. And that’s been wonderful, no question. What is less clear from this blog, however, is the extent to which that wasn’t always the case: while I’ve played video games regularly […]

rock band is rewiring my brain

For those of you who haven’t been following my progress on my other blog, I’ve now gone through all the songs in Rock Band 3 on hard pro guitar. Which has been a wonderful experience: as I’d expected, hard pro guitar is where you transition from a stripped down simulacrum of playing guitar to really […]

the psychosexuality of rock band vocals

Last month, I talked about the sexuality of my Rock Band avatars. Since then, I’ve been singing an unusual amount, and I’ve realized that, for me personally (as distinct from my avatars in game), singing is sexually charged in a way that the other instruments aren’t. Datum one: when singing in Rock Band, I prefer […]

the tactile experience of rock band

When my copy of Rock Band 3 showed up, I immediately tried out its pro keys mode. I’m used to playing piano, and reading piano music; but the game instead gives you a visual representation of (a section of) a keyboard, divided into regions by color. So I had to constantly think about where I […]

rock band driven development

I’ve been playing through a bunch of Billy Joel songs this month in Rock Band, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mostly repeated chords and chord progressions, but they’re interesting enough chord progressions for me to have fun playing them, and there’s a fair amount of melody interspersed throughout the songs as well. One song […]

my gay avatars

I woke up this morning in a musical but frenzied mood; so, as soon as the rest of the household emerged, I sat down at the piano to play (and, in places, sing) through a Billy Joel collection that I bought yesterday. I’d been full of energy this week, so next I decided to work […]

experience points podcast appearance

I had the pleasure of appearing on the Experience Points Podcast this week. Kirk Hamilton and Dan Apczynski were also guests, which made it the most participants in any EXP podcast; at 1:15, I suspect it’s also the longest. (I guess we all like to talk.) The topic of the podcast was music games, which […]

with four part harmony and feeling

So: I’ve been playing pro guitar mode in Rock Band 3 a fair amount over the last few months. And it’s great, and I’m even learning a little bit about how to play rock guitar! The thing is, rock guitar is not the only type of guitar that I like to play: as Jordan will […]

finished pro guitar medium songs

As readers of my other blog are aware, I’ve now finished all the Rock Band 3 songs on medium pro guitar. Which has been a fascinating experience, because while I’m not actually playing music yet, I’m getting close enough that I can see the music just a little ways away! On easy, I was playing […]

looking for earbud recommendations

I usually listen to podcasts when I walk to and from work or do the grocery shopping, which means that I like to always have a set of earphones in my pocket. And, unfortunately, they have a habit of breaking more often than I’d like: it’s not unusual for me to have to buy a […]

finished my pro keys run

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been going through all the Rock Band 3 Pro Keys songs on Expert, going through each one several times to try to do as good a job on each one as I can. You can find more details on my other blog, if you want blow-by-blow narration, but […]

focused practice redux

Pro guitar mode in Rock Band 3 turns out to be totally fascinating: I’m still going through the songs on Easy, and I’m amazed at how much there is to learn and think about even on that setting. In particular, last weekend I decided that I would stop looking at my left hand while playing […]

starting rock band 3 pro guitar

Now that my Squier and MIDI adapter have arrived, I’m starting on the Pro Guitar mode for Rock Band 3. I’m mostly going to be blogging about it on my gaming experiences blog, but I figure I should mention it here in case somebody was curious to read about it but was put off from […]

gdc 2011: friday

The Game Design of Starcraft II: Designing an E-Sport Hybrid Orchestration – Scoring Need for Speed The Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger than Jesus An Apology for Roger Ebert Message Queuing on a Large Scale: IMVU’s Stateful Event Architecture 9:30am–10:30am: “The Game Design of Starcraft II: Designing an E-Sport”, by Dustin Browder 2005. Dawn of […]

gdc 2011: rock band 3 pro guitar

Wednesday, 1:30pm–2:30pm: “Prototype Through Production: Pro Guitar in Rock Band 3“, by Jason Booth and Sylvain Dubrofsky The slides are available online. In 2008: music games were a big thing, needed to innovate. Harmonix has this idea of The One Question that they focus work on a game around. For Guitar Hero: is it rock? […]

bohemian rhapsody as video game

Rock Band 3‘s signature song is Bohemian Rhapsody; and, as a video game, that song is a very odd experience indeed. Unless you’re singing, you spend large portions of the song waiting for your next chance to play; whether or not you’re singing, the style and difficulty vary wildly from section to section. This is […]