Music Monday: Stuck In The Sound – Let’s Go

This video has just about shattered all expectations I have for animated music videos. Stuck In The Sound has a really catchy song here as well as an amazing animation/story by Alexis Beaumont & Rémi Godin. Pop this song on repeat and just float into the void!

 

 

Stuck in the Sound is a French indie rock band formed in Paris in 2002.[1] The current band line up consists of José Reis Fontao (lead vocals and guitar), Emmanuel Barichasse (lead guitar), Arno Bordas (bass guitar) and François Ernie (drums and backing vocals).[1] The group are presently signed to Discograph Records and have to date released four studio albums; their début Stuck in the Sound was self-released in 2004, their first commercially released album Nevermind the Living Dead was released in 2006 and their most recent album, Pursuit, was released in early 2012.

-Wikipedia

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Music Monday: Anamanaguchi – Endless Fantasy

Song time links: here

Anamanaguchi Official Site

Anamanaguchi is an American chiptunerock band from New York City, that “makes loud, fast music with a NES from 1985.”[1] The band has four members: lead songwriter and guitarist Peter Berkman, bassist James DeVito, guitarist Ary Warnaar and drummer Luke Silas.[2]

The name “Anamanaguchi” came about from a member in one of Berkman’s former bands pronouncing gibberish in the style of Jabba the Hutt;[3] the band has also explained it as coming from the members’ internships at Armani (Berkman and DeVito), Prada (Warnaar), and Gucci (Silas) while studying fashion at Parsons School of Design, though three of the four majored in Music Technology at New York University.[4]

Like other chiptune artists, Anamanaguchi creates music using video game hardware from the mid-to-late 1980s: namely an NES and a Game Boy. Berkman has stated that their music isn’t just based around video game music and that much of it is inspired by “[s]imple pop stuff, like Weezer and the Beach Boys.”[5]

The band composed music for the video game adaptation of the Scott Pilgrimgraphic novels, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game.[6] The soundtrack for the game was released on Amazon and iTunes by ABKCO Records on August 24, 2010.[7] The soundtrack debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart (aka Soundscan‘s New Artist Chart).[8] Two tracks from Dawn Metropolis (“Blackout City” and “Mermaid”) were also used for the Bit.Trip Runner soundtrack. In October 2010 it was announced that Anamanaguchi would appear in the music video game, Rock Band, with the track “Airbrushed”.[9] The band’s song “Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues” is the current theme to Chris Hardwick‘s The Nerdist Podcast.[10] Anamanaguchi’s second LP Endless Fantasy came out on May 14, 2013 and debuted at No. 1 on the aforementioned Heatseekers chart. [11]

On May 3, 2013, Anamanaguchi provided a Kickstarter project for their album Endless Fantasy. In just 11 hours, their funding goal of $50,000 was reached. At the end of its run, the project was backed by 7,253 people who contributed to raising a grand total of $277,399,[12] making it the second most-successful music project to be funded on Kickstarter at the time, behind that of singer Amanda Palmer.[13]

Anamanaguchi was featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on June 17, 2013, where they played their song “Endless Fantasy” from the album of the same name.

-Wikipedia

Bring Back the 80’s Vibe with the Berlin Boombox

BoomboxIf there was one musical device that defined the 80’s, it was the boombox. Introduced during the late 70’s, it was basically designed to be a portable music player. Each portable radio consisted of a cassette deck, radio tuner, AC or DC power cables, and a slot for batteries. With its low-end bass and drum sounds, it caught the eye of music lovers everywhere, especially the young urbanites. From the streets of New York to the sidewalks of Hollywood, it became ingrained in popular culture.

Almost two decades later, the boombox is making its way back into the mainstream and it’s lighter than ever. Weighing at only 850 grams, the Berlin Boombox is the brainchild of Alex Pfaeder, a Berlin-based illustrator and DJ. Combining his passion for design and music, he started a Kickstarter project which raised more than $20,000 in just 30 days. With its eye-catching black-and-white retro-inspired design, it will definitely turn heads as you pump up the volume with it.

Aside from its unique design, this smartphone stereo also comes with a Class D SMD 2×5 watts stereo amplifier and 2 MIVOC Pro 3-inch full range Hi-Fi speakers. It also has a 3.5-millimeter stereo or headphone plug, which is compatible with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4. According to O2’s page for the new Samsung Galaxy S4, it can connect to other phones and play the same song simultaneously, while connected to it. It also features a large aluminum knob which lets you adjust the box’s volume to your ears’ content.

backsideSustainability was Alex’s inspiration when he designed this music docking station. Previous incarnations of the boombox were made from metal or plastic casings, which made them heavier to carry around. With this in mind, he opted to use an alternative material: cardboard. Using a 3-millimeter thick, type-E corrugated cardboard; it became the perfect platform to support all of its hardware. To give it an 80’s feel, he gave it a minimalist approach—bold black lines and details over a white background. Don’t be fooled with its appearance; this cardboard device is sturdy enough to keep your music rocking as you roll down the street.

Now, before you could rock to RUN DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” or serenade your special someone with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, the Berlin Boombox needs a little bit of assembly. You really don’t need special DIY (do-it-yourself) skills, tools, and even glue to put it all together; all you’ll need is a few minutes and a little bit of patience. The speakers, circuit board, and other electronic devices can be easily inserted into specially cut slots. After securing all the hardware, fold the tabs to assemble the product. Surprisingly, all the tabs lock into place, making it really sturdy piece. Place your mp3 player or smartphone into its device compartment, and play your favorite song to your heart’s content.

The Berlin Boombox is a testament to innovative design and intuitive sound engineering. Who would have thought that this cardboard music docking station would bring back so many memories? Although, you can’t bring it to the beach with you, it’s still a good conversation-starter piece. For $86 dollars, it’s a good buy and it’s obviously lighter than your average 80’s boombox.

Music Monday: Rap for the Nerdy

When I went to PAX East last year, I got to see a number of interesting video game musical acts. One of them that stood out to me was a group called Supercommuter.  It was a interesting act, He rapped over what sounded like game boy style chip tunes. I have to admit, for a guy who’s really not into Rap or hip-hop I found it pretty damn catchy.

But later on that year I went to a show at the Grog Shop to see my favorite video game metal band since they were opening for MC Chris. Chris was good and my guys slayed as usual, but the acts that really caught my attention were two openers: A guy named Richie Branson and a guy who went by Mega Ran.

Random31

Mega Ran (AKA Random) opened the show with Bassil, the drummer from Powerglove, by doing a freestyle rap about who he saw in the crowd. Aside from being incredibly funny and entertaining, he had a pretty good flow to his stuff. Now I can’t claim to be an aficionado of what makes good rap, but what I can tell you is I had a crystallizing moment during his set: People rapping over chip tunes is pretty fuckin rad.  Random followed his freestyle with a series of songs based off old NES video games such as Little Nemo the Dream Master and Mega Man as well as what sounded like some original chip tune compositions.

I had the chance to meet with the guy after his set before MC Chris went on, and he was pretty happy to talk to a new fan. I picked up his compilation album with Richie Branson which was based off Ghouls and Ghosts, which was also pretty awesome. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on Random to see when he’d next come to town.

Doing this I found out that he recently released a concept album called “River City Random” which of course is based off my favorite NES game ever River City Ransom. He’s also got a large number of concept albums such as “Black Materia” from Final Fantasy, “Forever Famicom” which borrows from all sorts of games, and he cuts a number of singles such as a “Thank you rap” for the now closed Nintendo Power magazine or his new release “Wreck It Ran”.

Random is quickly making me a fan of his work, and I think he’s definitely one of the names I bring up now when I talk about chiptune or video game music. So give a couple of these select tracks a listen. If you like it you can find more of his stuff on his page (he’s got a lot of free downloads in there) and he also released a free sampler album on destructiod.. So there is no reason not to give him a chance, it might open a new horizon. Certainly did for me.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=912568560/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=1850683207/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=799109306/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

 

https://www.facebook.com/MegaRanDotCom

Music Monday: Crescent Fresh!

“Back during the before time, in the long long ago”, we lived in a very dark era we liked to refer to as the “90’s”. Some of you kids may have read about this time in an old textbook, and how ancient it must seem to you:  A man named Bob Barker hosted the Price is Right. Very few people had cordless phones (you know them as cells) that you couldn’t text on, and those who didn’t own one were actually required to memorize phone numbers. And maybe strangest of all, MTV used to be a TV station where you could watch music videos.

I know, crazy right? It’s like we just evolved from cave men.   But hey, even back then we found ways to entertain ourselves. One way we did this was actually with one of the shows found on this primitive version of MTV. The show featured a pair of sock puppets who went by the name of Sifl and Olly. They hosted a fake talk show of sorts where they would cover songs, sing original tunes, hock fake products on their home shopping network (best part of the show), interview guests and all other kinds of random crap. The show lasted for two seasons, before it was cancelled. They released a 3rd season on DVD, but it’s somewhat faded into obscurity for 12 or so years.

But the fans of the show have a pretty rabid following. These fans will often bounce back and forth their favorite one liners, skits, and songs reliving the enjoyment of the show.  Now you are probably asking yourself: “That’s great old timer, but what the does this have to do with Music Monday?”  Well, on YouTube they have recently released a new short and song announcing their return to the show, now featured on the Machinima YouTube channel. One sit through of their promo immediately threw me back to when I watched the show and for a brief four minutes, this rage quitter was happy. In more than a 10 year hiatus, it’s like they haven’t missed a beat.

So for this edition of Music Monday, I thought it would be fun to go relive some of their original songs. All of them are pretty catchy, and it seems everyone had different favorites so it was harder to choose than I thought. So I decided to go with one of my favorites, one that was popular amongst my circle, and one that I felt everyone knew.

Performance Art

This one always made me laugh, because I thought performance artists were dumb. It’s just not something I understood. How does rhythmic dancing on sticks of butter make a strong political statement? Its not graceful, its not powerful, its not moving. You look like a dumbass. Human beings are stupid creatures….

 

Fake Blood

This one is great because some of the best moments in the show are when they do a spoof on Guns and Roses. They do another one called “Speed Reader” that I was really a fan of but when I asked people the consensus is that people really enjoyed Fake Blood more. It’s  so good.

 

United States of Whatever

This is probably the most notable of the songs to come out of that show. Featured in a sketch where Olly just didn’t care about the show anymore, this song has appeared in a commercial for a Tony Hawk Underground game, was performed live on the Late show with two members from No Doubt, and was in a behind the scenes featurette for Clerks 2. Word is it still finds some rotation on some radio stations.

So if you loved the show as I did or are interested to see more of the new episodes, then pop on over to the Machinima channel and subscribe.  You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/user/machinima. Good things do come to those who wait.

Welcome back Sifl and Olly.

Music Monday: Lifeformed – Dustforce OST

So a couple nights ago last week, there I was… minding my own business and Steam (F-ing Steam) had a midweek madness sale for a fantastic new indie game called Dustforce. Dustforce is a fantastic new challenging platformer with fantastic art and animation but where it roped me in was the music from the trailer.

Lifeformed, the artist who’s first completed musical project being the Dustforce OST, is absolutely astonishing! You can visit his Soundcloud to listen to the tracks for free, OR you can be AWESOME and  pay the $4 to get your very own digital download copy of this beautiful, chiptune inspired work here at his Bandcamp. The soundtrack is also avialbe for purchase though Steam.

I really cannot express how much you need to listen to this soundtrack, as well as check out Dustforce, which you can expect an article on very soon!