Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 14/11/2012

Rock of Ages




Beach, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

After my rather hippy day listening to Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel et al. on Monday, I’ve had a rocky few days after discovering a number of videos on Youtube taken from the game Rocksmith. I think I’ve mentioned before how this console (and PC) game allows you to plug a standard electric guitar into the console of your choice (as long as your choice isn’t Nintendo’s Wii, as it’s not available for it) and then participate in numerous games similar to those that feature in the incredibly successful Guitar Hero game. The later utilises a plastic guitar supplied with the game which has 4 coloured buttons on the fretboard which you have to press in time to their appearance on the screen to mimic the song you’re supposed to be playing along with… as you can appreciate, it’s not very realistic. Using a real guitar and playing the real notes, however, is incredibly realistic.. well, you’re playing the notes after all. My interest was piqued when I first saw it but the only list of tracks I saw were for bands I had no desired to try and emulate, however I must not have seen the full list as at least 50% of the songs featured in the game are from bands I like, some of which I’m surprised are well known enough to find their way into such a “big” game.

As almost the antithesis of Monday’s soundtrack, I had been listening to an American rock group – Queens of the Stone Age, whose 2002 album “Songs For The Deaf” was appropriately titled. I remember hearing this album for the first time (fun how these images stay with me – see my blog on the Nick Drake song “Cello Song”) whilst in Boston, our final destination of a world tour back in 2002. Living and breathing music, as I did then (harder than it sounds!), and being cut off from the Occidental music scene for so long, I was desperate to check out the new releases as soon as I possibly could. “Songs for the Deaf” had just been released and was available on a listening station in a small store in the city. A combination of the absence of music as well as the quality of the album has firmly lodged it amongst my favourite albums of all time – and so I was more than pleased when i saw “Go With The Flow” from the album was amongst the tracks on the Ubisoft game. This alone might have tempted me to purchase the rather expensive game, however with the likes of Muse, Interpol, Blur, The Strokes, Pixies and even The Cribs – well, it has to be high on the list of think to write to Santa about.

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