Sound Off! Are “Live” Tracks in Rock Band Really That Bad?

Harmonix... get on this!

I don’t care what anybody says… Rob Halford kicks ass. He was recently on Eddie Trunk satellite radio show talking with Halford about many things, including the live recording of “British Steel.” Early on in their discussion, they addressed live versions of albums versus studio versions…

“AC/DC Live” is probably my favorite live album to listen to, so I was super pumped when that track pack was announced. There are live track packs from Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Paul McCartney, The Who, Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty, and many more. And each time live DLC tracks are announced, it appears that there is an uproar in the community regarding live tracks. In fact, over at the official RockBand.com forums, there are two threads with over 70 pages of comments titled “Please HMX , CONTINUE WITH THE LIVE TRACKS” and “Please HMX ,STOP WITH THE LIVE TRACKS.”

Why is this? Is there a belief (real or not) that live tracks are not as good as studio tracks? Or is this a case of, in comedian Brian Regan’s word, “This is not what I’m used to!?”

I guess what I want to hear from you guys is are they really that bad? Have you passed on purchasing DLC because it was a live track versus a studio track? And have you ever purchased a DLC track for the opposite reason, BECAUSE it was a live track? Or are you purchasing a track based on the quality of the song itself, regardless of the nature of the recording? Sound off in the comments below!

[Eddie Truck recording via @PlasticAxe]

Green Day: Rock Band Giveaway – Week 1

There’s a couple of very cool things going on in the Rock Band community right now, and what better way to drum up support than to cross promote them and give some cool stuff away to YOU in the process!

The first thing that just started is the 2nd Annual Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band Competition presented by Harrah’s Entertainment and MTV Games. Last year’s winners, the Gurnkillers, won the whole thing and took home $10,000 in cash! The same grand prize is up for grabs again this year, along with a chance to meet Ringo Starr! In fact, if you are one of the first 50 bands, just for signing up for the competition you’ll get a free Rock Band track for the Xbox 360 (details here), but hurry as there are only a few more free tracks remaining!

And I know you guys have heard about the release of Green Day: Rock Band worldwide on June 8th, right? How about as an extra incentive to get bands to sign up, over the next five weeks, up until the release of Green Day: Rock Band, I’ll be giving a copy of the game away EACH WEEK here on the site! I’ll post an article similar to this one each week asking a question relating to the Total Rock Total Rewards competition, and each response below in the comments is an entry. I’ll choose one person at random prior to the next week’s giveaway and announce the winner.

Important notes: Until I find out otherwise, the contest is only open to US residents. One entry per week, per person. Winner receives one copy of Green Day: Rock Band for the console of their choice shipped to them the week of the release, June 8th.

To enter for this week, answer the following question in the comments below:

Which Total Rock Total Rewards location is closest to where you live?

With events at five participating Harrah’s Total Rewards Casinos and 15 venues across the country hosted by Rock Band Bar Nights, there’s a bunch to choose from. Not exactly sure what the locations may be? Here’s a list of locations. Oh, and don’t see any locations that are remotely close to you? Well enter the Total Rock, Total Rewards Sweepstakes to win a “first round bye” and fly to the finals in Atlantic City on your own private jet!!!

Good luck!!!

Here’s the official press release promoting the Total Rock, Total Rewards competition with more details, too!

Leading gaming and music entertainment giants Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. and MTV Games, part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), are once again seeking the best Rock Band® gamers in the United States with The 2nd Annual Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band Competition.

Five participating Harrah’s Total Rewards Casinos will host Rock Band Nights. MTV Games will work with an additional 15 venues across the U.S. to host Rock Band Bar Nights, between May 1 and June 13. The top scoring band from each venue will receive a chance to enter and compete in the exciting event in Bally’s Atlantic City hotel and casino, July 1-2. The winning band will receive $10,000 and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Ringo Starr.

Additionally, one lucky band will win a wildcard chance from an online competition at Harrahs.com and fly to Atlantic City in a private jet provided by XOJET. A camera crew, and a Rock Band expert will accompany the online winners to the 2010 Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band Competition, which will be produced by MTV Games, and hosted and judged by MTV Games, Harrah’s and local celebrities.

“Harrah’s is very excited to work with MTV Games and the iconic Rock Band brand again this year and we are looking forwarding to building on the successful events from the 2009 season,” said David Norton, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Harrah’s Entertainment. “Total Rock Total Rewards Rock Band events create a lot of excitement in our resorts bringing in new guests and providing another entertainment option for our returning guests.”

“For the second year in a row, Harrah’s is helping to extend the Rock Band brand across the nation with innovative and interactive experiences that bring it to life,” said Christina Glorioso, vice president of marketing for MTV Games. “We can’t wait to see how this year’s competition unfolds with Rock Band fans sure to blow us all away.”

This year’s competition builds on the overwhelming success of 2009′s Total Rock, Total Rewards contest. The winners, The Gurn Killers from New York City, received $10,000 and opened for the legendary B-52s at the House of Blues in Atlantic City.

More information and official rules on The 2nd Annual Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band Competition may be found online at http://totalrocktotalrewards.com, a one-stop resource for competing bands and Rock Band fans to register for the competition and find information on event schedules, song lists, special promotions, and videos and pictures from the various events. Competition updates and information is also available on Facebook: http://facebook.com/TotalRockTotalRewards and on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Total_RockTR

Subject to regulatory approvals, the five participating Harrah’s Entertainment casinos will be: Harrah’s Joliet, Bally’s Atlantic City, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon in Las Vegas, Caesars Windsor and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

About Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.:

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Harrah’s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah’s also owns the World Series of Poker® and a majority interest in the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Harrah’s is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit www.harrahs.com or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/harrahsentertainment

About MTV Games:

MTV Games is dedicated to creating, marketing and publishing high-quality, innovative interactive products that are relevant to the MTV audience and complement the core values of the MTV Networks brands.

About MTV Networks:

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, Gametrailers and Xfire.

Getting to Know Your Friends at Harmonix: HMXHellion

One of my biggest regrets at PAX East was not having enough time to interview people from Harmonix for this segment (sorry, @HMXHenry). Even though I was in Boston for about 4 days, I never really got down to “work” until the last day. I easily burned through two batteries and a nearly a 16gb memory card of images and video. Hopefully I can chat with more people at E3.

One of the people I was lucky enough to stop and chat with before my time in Boston ended was Helen, AKA HMXHellion. Most of you are probably most familiar with her through her band Tijuana Sweetheart (formerly known as Vagiant), featured in Rock Band, “Seven,” and Guitar Hero 2, “FTK.” Tijuana Sweetheart just made their RBN debut with “Trash Candy,” and has two more songs, “Sticks and Stones” and my personal fave “No Mercy,” on the way. Check out the band, the songs listed above, and more on their Myspace page. I wasn’t expecting to have a chance to talk with her, but I was able to grab her for a few minutes and chat a little about herself and what it’s like to work at Harmonix, so check out the video below!

Oh, and I completely agree with Boston’s Weekly Dig newspaper… “Helen is cool as tits!”

Thanks, Helen!

RBN DLC for 5/10

  • 8 Inch Betsy – Doomed (80 MSP)
  • The Acacia Strain – Dr. Doom (160 MSP)
  • a t o m – You Take It All (160 MSP)
  • Andy Timmons – Redemption (160 MSP)
  • The Fury – Beauty Queen (80 MSP)
  • Parry Gripp – Last Train To Awesometown (80 MSP)
  • Single White Infidel – Inheritance (80 MSP)

RBN Artist Interview: Freen in Green

This week’s RBN artist interview is a little different than normal. One could say the musicians I interviewed this week were more… two dimensional… than usual. The band Freen in Green is, in fact, an animated act with a very well established story.

The members of the band (pictured above in-studio) include vocalist Smoker (a genie and the self appointed band leader), bassist Adam (the boring, serious, and normal person in the band), guitarist Aptiva (an an inanimate object given life by Smoker to fill the role as a guitarist), drummer Mint (a pathological liar created from a piece of mint), keyboardist Mysteri (the shy, mysterious one who just showed up one day), and intern/manager Marcus (who officially handles all Freen in Green business).

I recently had a chance to catch up with the band and ask them a number of questions about themselves, their uniqueness as an animated outfit, and their involvement with Rock Band.  Check it out!

RockBandAide: Tell us about Freen in Green and the members of the band.

Marcus: Well, I’m the band’s manager, Marcus Russell. Freen in Green is–

Smoker: Hello, future fans! I’m Smoker, Genie of the Marble, and vocalist for the best band in the world. I was called out of my marble by Adam one day, and although he might have thought that just because I was a genie he could order me around, I soon put him in his place. He can have his wishes, as long they coincide with mine. And I’d always wanted to be in a band! But we were short on a guitarist and a drummer, so I grabbed an old wrestling mask and some old candy that was lying around and brought them to life. As for Mysteri, well… I don’t even know how or when she joined. I just noticed her hanging around sometimes and nobody seemed to mind.

RBA: How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it?

Mint: IT’S MINTY FRESH!!!

Aptiva: It’s a whole buttload of genres and styles mixed into one big package!

Smoker: Our music is hard to describe. It’s not so much “sound,” as… cocaine for your ears. Metaphorically, I mean. I do NOT recommend pouring cocaine into your ears.

Adam: One word… hell.

RBA: Smoker, if you are a genie, couldn’t you just wish your way to the top of the music charts?

Smoker: Well, I can’t fulfill my own wishes. I can just try to force Adam to wish for things. It’s kind of a pain, because Adam doesn’t really care about anything, especially not about being popular. Or goatees. But where would the thrill be from wishing myself to the top? There’s no honor in war if you use hax, you get what I mean? I like playing life on “Hard” mode, even if that means limiting my tremendous, indescribably awesome powers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Green Day: Rock Band – “Basket Case” Video

Just a few days ago, Destructoid showed off an exclusive video of Green Day: Rock Band playing “Longview” in Performance Mode (no note highway). Below is a look at another Green Day: Rock Band track, “Basket Case,” again in Performance Mode.

[Thanks @sumboxcar182!]