Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Coulton’
Hmm… just noticed this was never published. Sorry about that…
Unless otherwise noted, all tracks are $1.99.
- Death of the Cool – Everything I Hate About Myself *
- Jonathan Coulton – Alone at Home
- Jerry Naylor – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
* Denotes $.99 track pricing.
Unless otherwise noted, all tracks are 160 MSP ($1.99). Songs not linked below were not available on RockBand.com at time of publishing.
- an Unkindness – A Death *
- an Unkindness – Words Cannot Express *
- All Shall Perish – Rebirth
- Eurobeat Brony – Discord (The Living Tombstone Remix *
- Jerry Naylor – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
- Jonathan Coulton – Alone at Home
- The Giraffes – The Border
* Denotes 80 MSP ($.99) track price.
The Rock Band Network is an invaluable source of new music but, perhaps because of the quantity of songs or the unfamiliar nature of the artists, it can be a little hard to find the type of music you want. As a tester and charter for the Rock Band Network, I get a lot of exposure to songs coming through the pipeline and there are definitely songs that deserve more recognition. This feature will help you discover new favourites, find a new challenge, and support the independent Rock Band scene. Each week I’ll highlight one new Xbox 360 song, one new PS3 song, and even a song released awhile back – all of them worthy of a listen!
The latest song from his most recent album to hit the RBN (in addition to an already substantial number of songs already), Nemeses is another track from geek-rock and Rock Band darling Jonathan Coulton. Coulton is the master of turning a song about a rather leftfield subject into a pleasant piece of music (see: SkullcrusherMountain, Ikea) and Nemeses is no different.
Guitar and bass are fairly easy charts that don’t throw too much at you in terms of challenge but are fun nonetheless. Guitar features an array of different chords that will stretch your finger reach at times with chords moving all over the fretboard. There aren’t any solos or tricky parts but the change in chords keeps you on your toes. Bass also makes use of the whole fretboard but also throws in some hammer-on slides in there for good measure.
Drums are also not too difficult but include enough variety to hold your attention – there’s a great buildup around 70% of the way into the song that gives bass and drums a turn in the spotlight. Other than that, it’s all about notestreaks and enjoying the song.
Vocals are interesting – a song about nemeses with two singers! John Roderick tends to cover the higher harmonies and it’s wonderful to sing with another person – the subject material makes it a little competitive (imagining two nemeses singing at each other) but it’s so pleasant and inoffensive that you’ll end up having a lot of fun trying to hit the higher notes.
All in all, this is a fun and pleasant song for all instruments. Nothing’s boring to play and there’s potential to FC with ease but, being JoCo, it’s great nonetheless. We’ll likely have another JoCo song highlighted in the future but this one is as good as any!
Sounds like: Parts sound a little like The Cure at times, other times like a gentler Foo Fighters
Perfect for: Harmonies, players just wanting a fun-to-play mid-tier song
For a slice of infectious punk, look no further than Teenage Bottlerocket and their two-finger salute to KISS (albeit heavily tongue-in-cheek!) Coming off their album They Came From the Shadows, released last year, Bigger Than Kiss is a fast-paced blast with clever lyrics and high-energy instrumental parts.
Guitar, although rather chord heavy, is quick and takes full advantage of different chord types. That’s not to say it’s all chords – there’re a couple of nifty little solos – but for a song this fast chords do the job perfectly well. For those guitarists who like to sing as well, this is a brilliant song to try out. The same applies to bass, which tends to involve a lot of fast alt-strumming but is easily given a pass because the song is so damn punchy!
Drums, given that it’s a punk song, use a standard punk beat with fast but easily doable kick-pedal action. The cymbals crash through, adding punctuation to the beat and there aren’t any hugely complicated fills. It’s another quick drum beat that would be stamina draining were the song any longer but it’s a great one to play and quite an easy one to memorize, should you be inclined.
Vocals are far and away the highlight of the song – the lyrics are just the right side of slander – ‘Let’s beat the piss out of Peter Criss’ etc – but include nice nods to previous KISS hits. The tune brims with punk sensibility and the anarchic disobedience to higher authority that is usually par for the course. It’s all in good spirit and great fun to sing – harmonies get some backing on select words – that won’t be challenge but is fun nonetheless.
The song itself is a joyous deconstruction of one of rock’s premier bands and it has that pretentious upstart feel of the best punk bands out there. The song even sounds like something KISS could have written back in the day, albeit slightly faster and with a lot more swearing. It’s fantastically fun, guaranteed to put a smile on your face (unless you’re in KISS) and the perfect song to sneakily put into a KISS playlist.
Sounds like: A punkified KISS song.
Perfect for: Singers, full bands, people who actually hate KISS
Throwback: Flight of the Conchords – Business Time
Finally, a song that needs no introduction… A soulful ballad to sing to your significant other in a moment that will be remembered for eternity: Business Time. A song that combines a funky rhythm, lyrical genius and semi-helpful tips on seductive skills, Business Time is a must-have for any RBN library if only so Party Shuffle can inadvertently cause hilarity mid-session.
Good luck to any player new to this song – it’ll be hard to focus what with all the ‘recycling’ tips, romantic forwards and shigga-shiggas.
Guitar features a rather tricky alt-strum pattern, with three-note chords punctuating the rhythm. It’s really difficult to master as there are some transitions between three-note chords that could end up with tangled fingers as well as an unpredictable amount of chords too.
Bass is sparse but fun when it’s present – plenty of hammer-ons up and down the fretboard to nail, while the relative scarcity of notes means the bassist gets some time to clown about.
Drums follow a fairly standard pattern focusing on the yellow hi-hat and snare, changing little throughout the song. It’s a quick beat that puts a fair bit of strain on one arm and is probably the least favourite part to play, but still worth it just for the funky beat.
Vocals are the main highlight – these are grandstanding lyrics that need to be delivered note-perfect. Bret McKenzie won this year’s Oscar for Best Original Song (unfortunately not for this masterpiece) and Jermaine Clement’s delivery is hilarious. It’s a lot of talkies at times but this gives the singer extra maneuverability to mess about and complement the shigga-shiggas with some sweet moves.
Business Time needs to be in your collection. It might not be too challenging to play in terms of charts (simply due to the instrumentation) but boy is it fun to put on mid-session.
Sounds like: Amazing, period.
Perfect for: Couples, lead vocalists
Unless otherwise noted, all songs are 160 MPS ($1.99). Songs not linked below were not available at RockBand.com at time of publishing.
- Carnifex – Until I Feel Nothing
- Jonathan Coulton ft. John Roderick – Nemeses
- Nightrage – Insidious
- Sherryce ft. Beta Control – Animal Instinct
- Strikken – Forever in Lies (2x Bass Pedal) *
* Denotes 80 MSP ($.99) track.
Unless otherwise noted, all songs are 160 MSP ($1.99). Songs not linked below were not available on RockBand.com at time of publishing.
- Anarchy Club – Für Immer Verloren *
- Halcyon Way – Building the Towers (2x Bass Pedal) *
- Halcyon Way – The System (2x Bass Pedal) *
- Jonathan Coulton – Good Morning Tucson
- Rishloo – Feathergun in the Garden of the Sun *
- Winter Crescent – Battle of Egos Intro *
* Denotes 80 MSP ($.99) track pricing.