Like with last
Monday, I don't have too much to say. It's a slow day for me, and
there simply isn't much to talk about.
The one exception
is to continue something I started talking about last week. Yes, I
have one more idea for an update to Rock Band. It's nothing major,
and it's something that should be free. In fact, this is something
that has already been done once before. It's also something that has
annoyed me since the very first week Rock Band came out.
A patched version
of Fortunate Son is needed. Some other songs have been updated.
These updates have covered anything from problems with the vocal
tracks to minor details like the meta-tags that tell the game what
year, genre, artist and so forth are on a song. This lets the song
be properly classified. For example, there's a year tag on Bang a
Gong that tells the game that it came out in the 1970's. So, if you
sort songs by decade, you'll find it in the 1970's section.
The same happens
with Fortunate Son. My problem, and I doubt I'm 100% alone on this,
is that Fortunate Son should not be in the 1970's group. It came out
in 1969. That one year (I believe it's actually only about 1 month
since it came out at the end of 1969) is major when you look at how
empty the 1960's grouping is. 1960's has Give Me Shelter and Last
Train to Clarksville. It should include one more in the form of
The main reason
this matters, beyond annoying the crap out of CCR fans, is that it
would make things smoother if any update/expansion, like I went off
about the potential of last week, was to come out with genre venues
in tow. In particular, with year based venues.
this bitching for today.
I've kept quiet on
this issue for a while. It's more or less me trying to live in
denial and all of that. However, the Sonics are always a special
team to me and I've been a fan since I was old enough to know what
the NBA was.
With the work in
place by Clay Bennett, and the man-love he has going for Stern, it's
unlikely anything can change the fact; the Sonics are leaving
At least it's good
to know that some people are on your side. Be it an owner, like Mark
Cuban, who knows what's best for the NBA in general, or the old time
players who gave me so many memories of the Sonics and their glory
like good old GP.
Now I can even
find a little respect for the man who seemed to not give one damn
about this situation. Yes,
Howard Schultz is finally thinking of suing Bennett for breach
of their good faith clause in Schultz's sale of the Sonics to
Yes, a lot of
people put the blame for this whole mess on Schultz. It's easy
since he's the one who sold the team to Bennett. However, in
reality, Schultz is just a businessman. He was tired of a team
that was not meeting his idea of a bottom line, so he sold. At
that point, he could have just walked away. Instead, he put in
his "good faith" clause. The clause that says that Bennett
must try, for at least 12 months, to keep the team based in Seattle.
If Schultz was as slimy as public perception paints him, he would
have said "f%$# it" and taken some money and ran. Instead, not
only did he add the clause, he is not going to call Bennett on it.
Maybe this is not as proactive as the average Sonics fan wanted
things to be with Schultz, but it's a shit ton better than a pure
businessman (which is what Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is) would
have typically done. Now he's even fighting to get the team
back, even though "good faith" clauses are hard to enforce (why?
You give me a definition of "good faith" that everyone in the world
can agree to...it's a subjective term), spending both money on
lawyers and a potential of spending money to buy back the team
(technically, refund the seller's price). Not bad for someone
who has been portrayed in Seattle as the devil...especially since he
sometimes gets a worse wrap in Seattle than Stern or Bennett.
Even worse than Ken Behring did (look up his name and "Seahawks" on
google and you'll see who the real Seattle sports demon was).
No matter what
happens, there's two things that will not change in my eyes. First
off, Stern is an ass who doesn't realize what he's doing. He's
trying to make sure the NBA is strong, but he's taking a large media
center (Seattle) and downsizing to a medium sized one (OK City).
He's also trying to lose a gateway to Asia (which would be Seattle)
while trying to expand the NBA to Asia. That makes no sense...but it
only becomes worse when you see his level of man-love for Bennett.
The other thing
that will not change is the fact that Bennett was a jerk from day
one. For him to have kept his true plans on the down low for so long
only makes it more powerful of how the word "jerk" (there's even
better words, but I try to skip the whole "F bomb" on this site) is
when applied to him.
I know that the
Sonics are gone. People with power waited too damned long to make
any effort. Balmer (of Microsoft fame) sat around and waited until
after the last minute. Gov. Gregoire (who I've always hated...but
that's politics and not geek stuff like sports can be) didn't make
any real effort. There just wasn't anyone stepping forward to try to
solve this until it was too damned late.
At least one thing
I can take away from this is that Cuban has won a Mav fan in me.
Once Seattle is out of the NBA, I will find it hard to watch
basketball with any sense of connection to the sport that ruled so
much of my childhood. However, when I do read the standings and
check out a rare game or two on TV, I will be rooting for
Dallas...until Stern is overthrown and the next commissioner brings
Seattle back into the fold.
Also, at least I
can now drink my usual Starbucks caffeine fix with less of a dirty
feeling to it. Sorry...they're close to my work and the people who
work there are good people...and I need my caffeine. The only
cause of my dirty feeling now is that they have crushed good coffee
freedom with their purchase of the Clover.
checked out the videos for expert guitar for the new Rock Band DLC.
This action before buying has become a regular thing for me since
I'm done with downloading crap that just angers me to play or songs
that are difficult enough to stop being fun (Metallica pack...on
expert) when I play in my usual style of expert guitar.
The Classic Rock
Pack passed this test and was quickly downloaded. As for the other
song...the Motley Crue single "Saints of Los Angeles"...blah. I have
read that it's fun to play, but it only looked like a boring maze of
hammer on repetition to me. On the bright side, I find it
interesting that a new single from an established band would make
it's debut on a game. Rock Band being that game only makes me
If more bands
follow this path, it could be good news for DLC. Afterall, Saints of
LA wasn't even announced last Friday in the usual Harmonix weekly
announcement. This opens more room for the one thing I have been
wanting so badly in Rock Band; variety.
I didn't have time
to test out the drum parts for the Classic Rock Pack since I've been
running myself a bit thin as of late. However, one thing I can
describe is the guitar parts. Besides Simple Man, I played each song
three times on expert guitar. Once for the first play/sight read.
The second time to get the five stars I knew I could get. The final
time was playing some with Velveta with her on vocals.
First off with
these songs, they are all easy. However, besides Simple Man, I think
they offer enough complexity to keep them interesting. For example,
like with many Police songs, Message in a Bottle has several
distinct feels to the various parts of the song. The main verses are
played with a good quick progression of single notes in a constant
flow. The chorus usually rolls out a quick progression of two note
chords (a lot like the two note chord progression of Blitzkrieg
Bop...with the single bass strum to start each section). Then
there's a pretty fun solo to round it out. Overall, this level of
complexity in an easy to beat song make it a great warm up song. You
get some challenge if you're not feeling the vibe of the game yet,
but it will get you ready for other songs that you play later on.
Call Me, like with
Message in a Bottle, is relatively easy. The only real challenge
comes from a stream of hammer ons to start the song and after the
first chorus. It's not a hard song to pass, but it's a great song to
warm you up for the day with hammer ons. These are fast hammer ons,
but they have a good quick pattern and a fun sound to them. Plus,
Call Me has a slightly quicker feel than something like the Oasis
Pack (which offers the same general guitar feeling). Most of all, as
a kid of the 1980's, this song is ingrained in many of my childhood
memory (not that I'm a Blondie fan...just this song was applied to
saw or heard as a kid).
Simple Man, like
the other two, is not a hard song. The difference is that Simple Man
is not even a complex song. It's fun, but it's basically a slow
paced single note progression for almost all of it's seven to eight
minutes. It is, if anything, very similar in play style to the
verses of I Think I'm Paranoid...just it lasts a lot longer. Still,
this does make Simple Man another good warm up song for your
endurance. In fact...
I think the main
thing about this pack is that it will serve two purposes. The first
is that it's the ideal three song warm up pack. That is to say that
if you're playing with a group/band, you might as well pick a three
song create a set list venue and pick all three to start your night.
I'm not sure about the other parts, but this will warm up the
strings nicely. I imagine Message in a Bottle will do more than warm
up the drummer, however, since Police songs have a habit of adding
slightly harder than expected drum lines.
The other purpose
of this pack is to be a party/crowd favorite. You have three very
well known songs, they're easy enough to not make you sound like
shit while you play, and these songs are a strong part of nostalgia
for so many people in their late 20's and older. Plus, you can now
play some Skynard without going through the possible pain of Gimme
Overall, I'm very
happy with this pack. If I was a Crue fan, I might be happy for a
80MP ($1) new song from them. However, it's just not my type of
music. Crue always represented a part of the 1980's music scene that
turned me off. Not metal, not punk, and not new wave (a guilty
pleasure)...just miscellaneous bubble gum rock. If it's your type of
thing, the song does look like a blast on guitar.
Short post today.
I just don't have much to talk about since I've been focusing on
some less than geek things for the last few days.
tomorrow may be an awesome day for Rock Band DLC announcements.
If you follow that link, which I have not done, it'll take you to
something at the G4 web site. Supposedly the CEO of Harmonix was on
Attack of the Show (which I don't watch...I'm just not poser enough
to go for that forced of a show) and said something about full album
DLC announcement by the end of the week. Since we all have seen that
Harmonix is strict on holidays and such (like how the DLC
announcements first came on a Friday when the usual Monday for
announcements was a holiday), it's likely that "by the end of the
week" is probably code for "Friday". I mean Friday is the usual DLC
I'm hoping it's
more than just an update or a future release date. I'm hoping that
this will be the DLC announcement for next week and it will be Who's
Next...at long last. I guess we'll see tomorrow. Here's hoping to
Next Tuesday is
when full albums finally hit Rock Band! Yes! This means we finally
get one of the greatest albums of all time; Who's Next!
Wait...what...it's not...why is Harmonix spelling The Who J-U-D-A-S
P-R...what the f#@$ is this
Judas Priest "Screaming for Vengeance" bull shit?
Yes, we do get a
whole album on Tuesday, but it's definitely not the one we expected.
I wouldn't mind too much, since I was a Priest fan as a kid. Hell,
once I learned to break free from just listening to what my parents
liked (and the bubble gum crap that floated around my grade
school...Ice Ice Baby...), I found the rock station in Seattle. From
day one, I've had Judas blasting out of whatever was giving me music
(Walkman, car stereo, bookshelf stereo, and so on). So, I'm
definitely down with Priest.
Harmonix said that Who's Next would be the first downloadable album,
that made anything else seem small and insignificant. Who cares
about Judas, or any other band, when you have one of the most
powerful forces in the history of rock taunting you with their
coolness. The Who is more than a band...The Who is a force of pure
rock energy. I mean just listen to the long sustained "yeah" on
Won't Get Fooled Again and you'll know that this are not just a
shout...this is a primal roar of pure rock-itude!
Anyway, I will
enjoy the Priest album, which has
some killer tracks on it. I know I will. I do want to check out
the charts, however, before I buy. It just doesn't seem the same as
The Who (who I'd buy without any hesitation)...or even Nirvana (I'm
a Seattle native, so Nirvana runs in my blood).
At least the price
is pretty good. It's $15 (1200MP) for the whole album of ten songs.
That's a discount of 25% versus paying $2 (160MP) for each
individual track. Plus, this does add some variety to Rock Band
since the game is seriously lacking Judas Priest.
On a related note,
two more albums are in the works. There's The Pixies with
"Doolittle". That will be fun since that sound of music is still
under-represented on Rock Band. Best of all, some more variety is in
the works with The Cars being slated for a full album of the
In fact, I think
The Cars is the news that has me the most excited. I've heard them
so many times on the radio (and on my iPod) since November. Each
time I'd hear them, I'd say to anyone willing to listen (Velveta
heard this a little too much for her own good) that they needed to
be on Rock Band. I expected we would maybe see a single track and a
three pack one of these days...not an entire f#@$ing album! Not only
is this variety, and a new genre (I never could lump The Cars with
anyone else...just a little too distinct of a sound for me to
generalize them with a genre), but it's one of the best bands of
Anyway, I'm out
for the week. Too much to do and too much rocking to take part of.
For Those Who Don't
Have Flash Plug-Ins...
This Site Links
Contact Us Disclaimer