PlayStation Kills Music Service, Adds Spotify

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 29, 2015 in Videogames


Did you ever use Sony’s Music Unlimited service on PlayStation or other devices? It’s okay if you didn’t, not many people did. So it’s not a surprise that Sony is ending the service on March 29, 2015 in all 19 countries it was offered. But don’t worry, people who actually use streaming music on a console: Sony is adding a Spotify app to PS3 and PS4, as well as various Xperia phones and tablets. You’ll be able to stream the music while in a game on PS4, and Sony is promising more exclusive features. And nearly all of those 19 countries that had Music Unlimited will be in the 41 markets that have access to Spotify. Best of all, both free and premium accounts will be able to use Spotify, so if you’re fine with ads, you can add new music to your games for free. Not bad! Could the next step be persuading Spotify to actually pay artists a decent fee for their music? Read more…

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Watch Paul McCartney’s Awful Destiny Song

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 10, 2014 in Videogames

Destiny: Hope for the Future

So Paul McCartney wrote a song for Bungie’s Destiny, since he worked on the soundtrack for the game. It’s called “Hope for the Future,” and it’s the ending song for the game. It is a bad, generic song about wanting a better tomorrow, but it can get worse. There’s now this official music video, and it’s really bad. Ghost projects a hologram of McCartney singing the song and just looking ridiculous, as Guardians sit and listen for some reason, while the rest of the imagery tries its best to sell the game. If I didn’t already pass on buying Destiny, this certainly wouldn’t have helped persuade me. Read more…

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Soundtrack Very Popular, But Star-Lord’s Daddy Will Be Different

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 14, 2014 in Cinema, Comic Books

Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Almost two weeks after the premiere, and I’ve still got Guardians of the Galaxy on my mind. (That’s partly because I’ve only seen it once, unlike most people I know, but if I could barely justify the cost of an LA movie ticket, then seeing it more than once was definitely out.) What’s not entirely surprising but still impressive is that the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (not original score), a.k.a. Awesome Mix Vol. 1, has hit #1 on the Billboard charts, making it currently the most popular album in America. This is more impressive when you realize this is the first time an album made entirely of previously-released songs (all those hits 60s and 70s) has ever topped the charts. Congrats! But an unrelated Guardians tease is even more tantalizing. Read more…

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Harmonix Launches Kickstarter For New Version Of Amplitude

Posted by Bob Muir on May 6, 2014 in Videogames

New Amplitude

Before Harmonix took music gaming by storm with Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, they were putting out other, smaller games that were no less interesting. One fan-favorite (and personal favorite) was Amplitude, a 2003 sequel to a 2001 game (FreQuency) about “mixing” electronic music by switching between various instrument tracks to fill in the song. It was a direct precursor to Guitar Hero, which would put the focus on one track with more notes (or one track per player in Rock Band), though Harmonix has revisited the core gameplay with Rock Band Unplugged on PSP and Rock Band Blitz on digital platforms. Now, there’s a chance of a full sequel! Read more…

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Coming To North America

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 23, 2014 in Videogames

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Final Fantasy fans enjoyed Theatrhythm Final Fantasy when it was released on 3DS in 2012. Maybe a part of that was that the 3DS was just starting to gain momentum, but some of it had to do with how fun it was to tap out rhythms to your favorite Final Fantasy music. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, the sequel, is releasing in Japan this Thursday, so of course Square Enix is just now announcing that it will come to America like we still live in the dark ages of localization. But hey, it’s coming out in North America sometime this year, and with more characters (over 60) and more songs (221!) than the original game. In my ideal world, this sequel has every original song, every DLC song, and then even more new, exclusive songs so that I never have to put the original game into my 3DS. It’s a lot to ask considering Square Enix made a game just designed to separate you from your money, but hey, I can dream. Read more…

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Bungie Fires Halo Composer Martin O’Donnell

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 17, 2014 in Videogames

Martin O'Donnell

In incredibly stupid news, Bungie has fired longtime collaborator Martin O’Donnell. The man has worked with Bungie since 1997’s Myth, but he is most well-known for composing the music to Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach — all of the Halo games made by Bungie. His last work for the company was this fall’s Destiny, for which he composed with frequent collaborator Michael Salvatori and former Beatle Paul McCartney. O’Donnell tweeted that he was terminated by Bungie’s board of directors “without cause” on April 11. Bungie issued a statement saying goodbye “as friends,” but that seems pretty optimistic after firing someone for no reason. It’s a real shame, but I’m sure O’Donnell will land on his feet. As the composer of one of the few memorable, hummable soundtracks in 21st century Western console games, he’s well-known for his craft. I’d imagine many developers would love to have him on board to create more wonderful tracks. Read more…

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Muppet Christ Superstar Is An Actual Album

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 16, 2014 in Fandom

Kermit Jesus

Let me step that headline back for a moment. Some fans mustered up their best Muppet impersonations and recorded their version of Jesus Christ Superstar, the 70s musical about everyone’s favorite son of God. In Muppet Christ Superstar, Kermit is Jesus, Gonzo is Judas, Miss Piggy is Mary Magdalene, Fozzie is Simon, Pepe is Pilate, and Rowlf is King Herod. I kind of can’t believe anyone would make this, but that’s what makes the Internet a wonderful place. My only issue is that even though most people would cast Kermit as Jesus, Rowlf should have been Jesus, since he’s basically Muppet Jesus. Read more…

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Awesome Retro-Style Ads for Daft Punk Merch

Posted by Ben Huber on Apr 6, 2014 in Design


I’m a big Daft Punk fan, but I rarely get to write about them because they don’t always cross over with Fanboy-style content. However, these retro ads that have been put together to promote their new merchandise are pretty awesome. From the typography to the hair, it all screams 70’s and 80’s disco. Some of the merch is pretty awesome too — I might have to pick up that Drew Struzan-styled poster. I’m actually surprised that it took so long for them to release t-shirts, given that Get Lucky’s popularity peaked last summer. Still, these are some great ads. Check them out below or on the Daft Punk site here. Read more…

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Harmonix Announces Chroma, A Music-Based FPS

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 18, 2014 in Videogames


Harmonix is a studio that makes videogames focused on music. They’ve made some of my favorite games, like FreQuency/Amplitude, Guitar Hero (the first two), Rock Band, Rock Band Blitz, and Dance Central. Now they’re making their first PC game, a free-to-play FPS. But it’s not your standard arena shooter, of course; everything flows according to the music. Shooting and reloading on the pulsating beat of the music will help propel your team to victory. As the music shifts, the arenas can change, like sniper towers shooting up from the ground. Of course, you can just shoot whenever you want, but it seems like trying to time things with the music will produce better results. The game is still in an early alpha state, but you can sign up to test it here. I love the concept, but I hope Harmonix considers bringing it to PS4 or Xbox One, or even Mac, because right now only PC users will be able to play it. Read more…

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Man Plays Doom With A Piano

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 19, 2013 in Fandom, Videogames

Doom Piano

If there’s an electronic device with a display, someone is going to try to get Doom, the landmark 1993 FPS game, running on it. An everyday piano isn’t even electronic, and yet someone has tried to get Doom running on it — with the help of a monitor, of course. The different sets of keys perform different tasks, as labeled above. It doesn’t look easy to control (I’m not sure that I’d be able to finish the first level), but for novelty sake, it’s amusing. And hey, the cacophonous notes seem almost fitting! Read more…

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Yes, There Is Classical Music In Fantasia: Music Evolved

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 4, 2013 in Videogames

Fantasia: Music Evolved

Contrary to popular belief, Disney and Harmonix’s Fantasia: Music Evolved does have some classical music in it. Just look at this gameplay demo of part of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the newly revealed section of the game called “The Haven.” I’m not sure how much the area is incorporated into the actual game, but it has plenty of charm, including some sort of fantasy snow creature. I’m hoping the game is filled with many of these realms, though I’m sure there are multiple songs featured in a single realm. Hopefully there is the option for even more classical music as DLC. Read more…

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Harmonix’s Latest Fantasia Trailer Explains Music History

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 15, 2013 in Animation, Videogames

Fantasia: Music Evolved

Fantasia” is a name that evokes a lot of musical history and artistry. While some may argue (myself included) about the song selection in Harmonix’s Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, it seems that the music-oriented studio is still trying to stay true to Walt Disney’s original concept of marrying music with fantastic imagery. This latest look helps contextualize what Harmonix is doing in the broader scope of the somewhat-ongoing Fantasia project. In the meantime, it has also been announced that composer Inon Zur is contributing original music for the game. Zur has done music for games like Dragon Age and Prince of Persia, so he’s a solid vet to have involved. Read more…

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Fans Create Hip-Hop RPG ‘Kanye West 3030’

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 25, 2013 in Fandom, Videogames

Kanye Quest 3030

Sometimes fans do crazy things. This time, it concerns Kanye “Yeezus” West. They’re making Kanye Quest 3030, a PC game made in RPG Maker VX that sends Kanye West through a wormhole to a future ruled by Lil B, The Based God, another rapper. To get back, Kanye West must fight and team up with clones of other rappers like 2Pac, Jay Z, Eminem, and more. Battles play out in RPG style, with rappers dissing each other to do damage. It’s as ridiculous older fan-RPG Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, but I’d imagine this one depends more on a love of hip-hop. Still, it’s worth checking out the trailer below, or grabbing the free PC download here. Read more…

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Harmonix’s Fantasia: Music Evolved Unites Music And Colors

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 5, 2013 in Videogames

Fantasia: Music Evolved

Harmonix, creator of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, has finally unveiled their new game, and it’s quite a surprise. Fantasia: Music Evolved is a collaboration with Disney that has players enter portals to control the musical landscape with their hands, playing along and remixing the song as they go. If they don’t like a song, for instance, they can bring in a string accompaniment or ska horns. The game is played with the Kinect on Xbox 360 or Xbox One, as the game is exclusive to Microsoft’s platform. Read more…

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Here’s a Transformers Remix to Start Off Your Week Right

Posted by Ben Huber on Apr 1, 2013 in Television


Don’t worry, no April Fools jokes today. Just a remix of classic Transformers sound bites to make for some grooving tunes to start your week. Fresh Kils on YouTube has done a great job using retro Transformers voice clips, audio bits, and more to make his song. And he’s got plenty of other great geeky works as well! It’s good work. Check out more of his stuff on his channel and watch the video below! Read more…

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LEGO Bionicle Models Play Music for Your Entertainment

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 10, 2013 in Hobbies and Collections


YouTube user Opificio Sonico put together a really cool video recently, showing off his LEGO Bionicle models that are hooked up to a collection of motors and an Arduino Uno board. Their purpose? To help create some pretty awesome music. Partnered with the Clavia Nordbeat app for iPad, the models tap out the rhythms delivered via electronic signal. It’s a pretty neat usage of the larger LEGO Technic models and gives the impression of a little band jamming away on the desk. I fully anticipate LEGOs to be making all of our music in the future. Watch the video below! Read more…

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Listen to The Hobbit’s Credits Song Now

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 16, 2012 in Cinema


Interested in hearing the final song that’ll play over the credits for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? It’s better than you might expect, as it’s spun off of the dwarves’ song from the beginning of film. And, it’s done by New Zealand artist (surprise!) Neil Finn. Perhaps songs based off movies are a bit passé now, but something like this is always welcome in my book. If you want to take a listen, you’ll have to visit Rolling Stone’s site and use their music player. Take a moment and check it out!

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Hatsune Miku Joins Orchestra And Classic Anime Composer For Concert

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 28, 2012 in Anime

Hatsune Miku

In case you missed the boat, Hatsune Miku is serious business. The virtual music star started out as a mascot for a certain Vocaloid voice synthesizer and grew to be a legitimate pop idol that swept Japan. After even getting her own live concerts thanks to 3D projection technology, it’s time for the next step in her musical career: teaming up with an orchestra for a symphonic concert. Read more…

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A Note on the Passing of Joel Goldsmith

Posted by Tim Sheehy on May 2, 2012 in Cinema, Television

Joel Goldsmith

Being the fanboys that we are, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t take a moment acknowledge the untimely passing of Joel Goldsmith.  Joel was an Emmy-nominated composer who scored a number of our favorite films and television shows. His credits include several Stargate television properties, Sanctuary, the live-action adaptation of Witchblade, along with a few Sci-Fi cult-classics from the late-70s and early 80s, such as Moon 44 and LaserBlast. Read more…

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A Second Helping of Indie Soundtracks

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Feb 15, 2012 in Videogames

Indie Game Music Bundle 2

There are so many video games out there, and while most gamers find themselves content with the mundane titles the industry churns out on a regular basis, some look to indie developers for an experience they can’t find anywhere else. These developers slave over their games, often without any benefits or guaranteed paychecks, not because they have to, but because they love to, one aspect of which is the music. Indie Game Music Bundle is a collection of soundtracks from various game composers who’ve worked on some of the most popular indie titles, some of which are among the most amazing scores I’ve ever heard. Their latest bundle features even more music and includes artists like Jim Guthrie, and Tomáš Dvořák. Finally, while the majority of the revenue from this project goes to the artists themselves, no doubt to maintain a steady supply of Hot Pockets, a portion of the proceeds also go to the American Cancer Society and Child’s Play. Click here for more info.

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Tap-Dance Version of the Super Mario World Theme? Sure

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 5, 2012 in Fandom, Videogames


The Mario Bros. theme song has been done over and over again by every instrument ever (even banana). In fact, most Mario songs have received this treatment, including the Super Mario World theme, so you have to be really unique to stand out now. The latest? Tap-dancing! Scott Bradlee takes to the piano while his buddy Alex McDonald taps out the rhythm to one of the catchiest game tunes, giving us a short and sweet tribute to Mario. Classy! Read more…

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Celebrating Metroid’s 25th Anniversary

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Dec 20, 2011 in Videogames

Metroid Arrange 25th Anniversary

The Legend of Zelda isn’t the only Nintendo franchise to celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year. Although its hardly their most popular, Metroid is among the most successful franchises to ever grace Nintendo’s catalog. The series is also having its 25th anniversary and, while I’m uncertain as to why Nintendo failed to shine a spotlight on it, fans have taken to crafting their own musical tributes to the franchise. Today, Bad Dudes Music released a limited edition arrangement album, entitled simply Metroid Arrange 25th Anniversary Album to commemorate the occasion — for the record, I contributed to an arrangement of my own to the project.

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Insane 50-Note Final Fantasy VII Music Box

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 30, 2011 in Hobbies and Collections, Videogames

Final Fantasy VII Aerith's Music Box

I’ve always had a fascination with music boxes.  They may have gone the way of vinyl and become a novelty for collectors, but there’s always a certain level of care and craftsmanship involved in creating one. That’s something I can respect, not only as a musician but as an artist. That’s why I freaked out the moment I saw this — a limited edition 50 note music box featuring Aerith’s theme from Final Fantasy VII. Supposedly, only a thousand of these boxes were ever produced, and they’re highly sought after. Finding one for sale is next to impossible, but anyone willing to part with it can usually ask for over a thousand dollars to start. To see it in action, click here.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Official Soundtrack 4-Disc Set

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 21, 2011 in Videogames

Skyrim Soundtrack Cover

I love a good soundtrack as much as the next guy, but these days I’ll be hard-pressed to purchase an actual compact disc, let alone a four-disc set. That said, here’s one I don’t mine shelling the cash for. Jeremy Soule’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 4-Disc original soundtrack contains all the audio from the game, almost all of which, I imagine, feature live recordings. The opening theme even used a thirty man choir to capture that Nordic-feel, while using a runic language they actually made up just for the game. There are some really beautiful pieces contained within, and I wouldn’t hesitate to call it Soule’s best work to date. It really says something when I haven’t grown sick of hearing any of the music — something that no other Elder Scrolls title has managed to date. The full four-disc set only retails for $29.99 via Jeremy Soule’s directsong online store, and all copies purchased before December 23rd will come personally autographed by Soule himself.

Read more…

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