Today, The Cars is
up on XBox Live for Rock Band's weekly DLC. We are finally into
having whole albums as a monthly tradition.
This should be an
album that will be one of my few "automatic downloads". That is to
say that I don't need to check out these songs, in youtube clips, to
know that I need to rock out to these songs.
Wikipedia, these songs all fall into the pretty easy range (3-4
tier on band with only the vocals going constantly higher than that
on individual instruments). I have no problem with that. While I do
like a good challenge, as opposed to an annoying challenge of
hammer-on hell, I like good songs to rock out to more than songs to
make me sweat. The Cars definitely fits the bill of being good fun.
Sadly, I may not
get these songs on my XBox 360. Why? Because I need a new 360. It's
sad to say, but my launch unit is almost ready to go off into the
sunset. While it will load up (no RROD) fine, the drive refuses to
spin 19 times out of 20. This means that I usually spend about 30
minutes of swearing and shifting the console (vertical then
horizontal and back again) and messing with cables while toggling
the power before I get the console to run without telling me the
disk is unplayable. It may finally be time to put out the money for
a new console. At least the HDD is fine, so I can look at the
cheaper options. Sadly, it means I have to be logged in to Live to
use any of my DLC when I pick up my new console. At least the old
one can still be used as a Media Center Extender in another
room...for whatever that's worth.
It's not all bad
news for me. I did get a new (new?) vintage guitar this weekend.
According to the internet, it looks like it never existed. It is
probably a cheap Japanese knock-off axe from the mid to late 1960's.
Then again, it could be from a small serious manufacturer. It's a "G
Holiday" electric. Beyond some dirt on the knobs and switches, it's
a solid guitar and it feels really good.
The downside is
that it's a high pitch little bitch when plugged in, but that can be
dealt with using something like the Digitech Whammy pedal (which I
picked up yesterday).. While the electronics are scratchy, it still
does work (when it's set up, you can't mess with the switches unless
you want to take a few minutes to get it sounding good again).
Best of all, it
looks damned sexy. Between having some good action (this axe is
built for speed...thrash and punk should be good on it) and a
vintage sunburst pattern that is nearly flawless, there is nothing
sweeter than holding this thing and just looking like you're ready
to rock out for anything that crosses your path. It's just sad that
the electronics will be hard to faithfully fix since I can't find
this make anywhere on the net (so I don't know what works best for
Anyway, it's now
time to see if I can load up Rock Band or if I need to hit a store
and get a new console...sigh...
of the above was posted before I was home for the day. After
getting home, not only did my 360 work (YES!!!), but I got the whole
The Cars album.
First of all, the
guitar is not hard on any of these songs, but you still will get a
nice workout. After one try per song, I actually got only 4
stars on two songs due to amazingly quick and surprising hammer-on
phrases. I also did get gold stars on Moving in Stereo (such a
fun song to play and fun to listen to).
Overall, I can't
name a single song on this album that is not worth the cost.
This is not just a great party album, it's also ideal for anyone
who's working on building their expert guitar techniques (a lot of
quick strumming, hand position changes, hammer-ons, and other fast
techniques). Also, on an extra note, Don't Cha Stop is the
first song to actual cause my left (fretting) wrist to burn.