the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: videogames

Tech / tunes links 8.19.07 – Just a thing or two

*The Rock Lighter page, for use at concerts with your internet-enabled phone. Seems like there are now dozens of digi-versions of these. [via]
*I’m not usually one for indiscriminate podcast consumption, but GigaOm interviews Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser.
*A few days ago Salon ran a piece on how Guitar Hero is bringing back guitar music. Now, the New York Times is weighing in on how it thinks the videogame is changing aspiring musicians’ enthusiasms and aspirations.
*Perfect for any baby shower: An album of lullaby covers of Rolling Stones songs such as “Brown Sugar” and “Mother’s Little Helper.”
*Musical beards: Huh. Rob Zombie is directing the next movie in the Halloween franchise.
*Manu Chao exclusive performance on IFC, but unfortunately for the little Dude, the song’s not “Bongo Bong.”
*Superbly named blog Green Pea-Ness argues that the Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents is “the single most devastatingly accomplished work of pop-art criticism since Orson Welles’ F For Fake, albeit probably completely inadvertantly.”


WoW: That’s the World of Warcraft That You Play!

Admission: I have no idea what most of this original song and video even means.

Tech / Tunes links 8.2.07 – Wider awake than ever

*Get ready iLike. Pandora leaps onto Facebook.
*Otocky integrates music and videogames. Not in a kick-ass Guitar Hero way, but in a kid-friendly boop-boop way. (Warning: longish video.)
*Elton John on the internet:
-“The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.”
-“Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision.”
-“It’s just a means to an end.We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.”
-“I mean, get out there — communicate.”
-“Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.” [via]

*Napster losses down, subscribers down, too.
* adds the ability to embed videos. (I almost posted a BEPs vid yesterday, but held off. For you.)
*Oooh. Crave gets ahold of the Venzero Slickr.
*Rock Band wins Best in Show at the Game Critics Awards.
*Concert-goers need not resort to the backlight anymore. Virgin Mobile is offering a “virtual mobile flame” in its Mobile Festival Survival Kit – turn your cell phone screen into a flickering torch, a bright spotlight or a flashing beacon.
*The Terra Firma-EMI thing is done.

More links, less context: Not for the faint of heart

*Nokia launches its own music service to challenge the iPhone-iTunes juggernaut in Europe on August 29. Upload songs from phone to PC, transfer songs to non-Nokia phones, 1 million songs+. [via]
*Illegal downloads are at an all-time high. [via]
*N’gai Croal pwns Roger Ebert RE: videogames and their cultural merits. (Had a similar conversation with him about vidgames at CES this year.)
*Killing the record sleeve. (Don’t say it’s already dead.)
*Record labels are racing the likes of iTunes to deal up with social networks to sell songs on them. [via]
*GOOD magazine links to a Bono video retrospective. I love GOOD (and long have), I hate Bono (and always will).
*Led Zeppelin is finally ready to sell songs via iTunes.

WoW: Dance fever

via Wonderland comes this strangely mesmerizing video depicting in-game World of Warcraft dance moves alongside their real-life inspirations. Includes the likes of John Travolta, Chris Farley, Alizee and MC Hammer.

Working at Rockstar Games

At Alphabet City a former RS employee writes about what it’s like to work at videogame publisher Rockstar Games.

He says: “Every Rockstar project turned into a huge clusterfuck.”

But also: “I will say that the first time I played Vice City was definitely a moment of zen. That was the first and only time at Rockstar that I really felt like I was involved with something culturally important – pop culture, yeah, but still culture…I still remember firing up the game, getting into a Porsche (they really looked like Porsches at that point) and hearing Kim Wylde’s “Kids in America” come up on the radio. Gave me chills. “More Than This” by Roxy Music was also the theme song to the game at that time, so I still think of the opening to the game whenever I hear that song come on.”

Also, he knew about the notorious “hot coffee” mod for GTA as the game was being published.

Interesting look at the guts of gaming.


Pwnd by Hannah Montana?

As has been widely remarked upon, Hannah Montana (the fictional average teenager – played by country crazyman Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter – who lives a secret second life as a pop music star) topped the albums chart a few weeks ago, beating out Kelly Clarkson to sell the most records for the week ending July 1.

Now, Ms. Montana’s taking on a nation of Guitar Heroes. Hannah Montana: Music Jam has emerged from (this year’s miniature version of) E3 with stellar reviews. (IGN calls it “really awesome ETC. ETC.”) The Nintendo DS game gets players jamming on virtual guitars, drums, and bass. All licensed tunes from the Hannah Montana show. (UGH.) With the album’s aimed at any audience old enough to figure out how to download dying, power’s clearly concentrating in the kid-centric franchises.