Don’t Stop the Music

January 29th, 2008

I haven’t gone to a lot of concerts in my short 19 years of life, but the few I have been to have been entertaining. I have rocked out at Vans Warped Tour, head banged at OzzFest, screamed as Gwen Stefani took the stage, sang along with various Christian local bands, and, sadly, in the 4th grade, jumped up and down excitedly while watching Britney Spears. These few concerts may not seem like a lot compared to amount other people go to but they are more than enough for me. Each one represents a different point in my life where I liked certain kinds of music. I went through my bubble gum pop phase (Britney), my wanna be punk phase (Vans) and my rebellious death metal phase (OzzFest). Right now though, I am into my “listen to what makes me happy” phase (Gwen). Seeing Gwen Stefani was like a dream come true, it was what made me happy and I didn’t care if she was all mainstream or only this and not that. I have liked her music since her No Doubt days and I was going to see her perform, end of story. I went with two of my closest friends, Katay and Kat, and we had so much fun. It didn’t matter to us that we were partially surrounded by parents and 8 year olds. We loved Gwen and we couldn’t wait to see her live. When she got on stage, it was like fireworks going off. She had the crowd going the second the intro to “The Sweet Escape” started playing. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget, especially the part when she came out into the audience and was about 20 feet away from me!

Every concert is like Christmas for me: I can’t sleep the night before and I feel like a little kid – all excited and antsy. Come Wednesday, this feeling is going to be plaguing me again as I get ready to go to another concert on Thursday. I, along with my roommate Meagan and our friend Claire, am going to the Sparky’s Flaw concert, which is going to be amazing! This, like Gwen, falls under my “what makes me happy” concert phase. And I know that the second the boys hit the stage, I will definitely be happy rocking out to some of my favorites by them, like “Melodies and Moodswings” and “The New Year.” It’s hard to describe exactly what they’re music is like, it’s a mixture of alternative and punk, a cross between Maroon 5 and Death Cab for Cutie. Any way it’s put, Sparky’s Flaw is amazing and I’ll keep you updated on how it goes, so look for my next post!

Gwen Stefani Concert!

Katie, Kat, and me at the Gwen Stefani concert!

Gwen Stefani!

Gwen Stefani!

Sparky's Flaw

The boys from Sparky’s Flaw!

Rockin’ it Hard Core…on XBox360.

January 16th, 2008

Hi, my name is Michele. And I am addicted.

Addicted to Rock Band that is. I’m usually not a huge video game person. I mean, I can handle my own in racing games and can survive shooter games like Halo, but I don’t play for hours everyday. With Rock Band though, I couldn’t get enough. Unlike with Guitar Hero where all you can play is guitar for some of the more infamous songs out there, on Rock Band you can do guitar, bass, drums and vocals to almost any rock song you can imagine, from Metallica to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Clash.

I can now honestly say that I can play songs like “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston and “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with about a 97% accuracy (on Medium level that is…that’s right I mastered the blue button on that wireless guitar, now onto the orange one so I can move up to Hard). Even people like me, who can’t sing and are hopeless guitar players, can now feel like a true rockstar by jamming to great songs and even going on a world tour.

It truly is amazing. Video games now let the average person, or less than average in my brothers’ cases (FINALLY! A video game I can beat them at!), play songs created by some of the most talented people in the music industry. Rock Band and Guitar Hero, as great as they are, remind me of the “For Dummies” books. They are Guitar (and Bass and Drums and Vocals) For Dummies. Not that that’s bad, but it is interesting. Here’s a video game taking some of the greatest songs ever created and turning them into songs that can be played by the average Joe. However, Rock Band and others like it, do help lesser known artists become heard. If I hadn’t played this past winter break, I would never have heard of bands like Bang Camaro and Shadows Fall and would not be fans of them now. These smaller lesser known bands can now attribute some of their rising fame to games like Guitar Hero.

Either way, whether Rock Band makes great songs commercial and playable by everyone or if it is a leg up for smaller bands, I still love the game, and Guitar Hero just as much, and will continue to play whenever I get the chance.

My only question is: Do the artists who allow their songs to be added to the game get a free copy? Because if so, I am incredibly jealous.


Get Ready to Rock…

January 15th, 2008

Music, movies & all that’s in between? Why not. I figure I’ll talk about what I love. Music, and the media, is my life. I can’t study without a movie or some killer tunes on in the background. Exercising? Don’t even consider it unless I have my iPod with me cranking out some beats to make the time pass a bit faster. My friends can all atest…I own more movies than anyone was ever intended to own (right now I’ve completely filled up a DVD case that is supposed to hold 64, and that is with extra sheets added in). And music? My 30 GB iPod is about a gig shy of being filled up, and that is after filling it up once already and having to delete songs. So why not talk about music and movies and more? It is after all what I love, and a love like this lasts a lifetime. So let’s rock it till we drop…old school, new school, and any other way possible. P to the C gangstas.