Earlier this week at the E3 Media and Business Summit, Boston-based video game developer Harmonix Music Systems FINALLY announced the track listing for Rock Band 2, the next installment in a cultural juggernaut that has taken over millions of living rooms worldwide since being released in November 2007. The line-up, which had been the subject of weeks of seemingly outlandish speculation [a song from Chinese Democracy, yeaaaahhh riiiight] did not disappoint.
In addition to actually including a new Guns ‘n’ Roses song [so much for that free Dr. Pepper I guess], the game will include master recordings from at least one of everybody’s favorite bands: AC/DC! Bob Dylan! Cheap Trick! Dinosaur Jr! Elvis Costello! Foo Fighters! The Grateful Dead! Interpol! Joan Jett! Kansas! L7! Metallica! Nirvana! Pearl Jam! Rush! Sonic Youth! Testament! The Who! I mean Jesus they even got Bikini Kill!!
After the announcement was made, virtually every press outlet seemed to be gripped by paroxysms of breathless anticipation. Marketwatch.com called it “the most impressive and largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame ever.” Pitchfork exclaimed that the list of songs was “bonkers” [italics theirs]. In this era of jadedness, narrowness, and cynicism, here was something that everybody could get behind.
Now the people at Harmonix are a very musically savvy bunch. It seems as though every band in the Greater Boston area past and present counts at least one Harmonix employee as a band member, from Lightning Bolt to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. So it should come as no surprise that the music selection kicks some serious ass. However, we at Daily Rind HQ were particularly impressed with one of the selections for the game’s bonus disc, which highlights bands that aren’t nearly as famous but still deserve to be heard by the approximately 50 gazillion people that will be lining up to buy the game when it hits shelves in September.
The Frank Bango Bone Marrowthon / Stem Cellebration Benefit
Frank Bango is considered by many to be one of the best songwriters since the Brill Building; right up there with Carole and Gerry, Bernie and Elton…well, you get the idea. And on top of writing indie pop for others, he does a little of his own stuff too. It’s no wonder his friends and supporters are gathering to honor him and help raise money for his sickness.
Tickets went on sale yesterday, and are expected to sell out really soon. Why, you ask? Well…some pretty sweet troops are rallying around Frankie – friends like Nada Surf and Sam Champion, among others. The event, officially titled “The Frank Bango Bone Marrowthon / Stem Cellebration Benefit,” will be hosted at the Bowery Ballroom on August 26th, and is sure to impress.
Paypal will have a special donation site for the event if you can’t make it, and if you can, make sure to head out to the Ballroom in celebration and support of a good cause, and say hey to Rind faves while you’re there!
Au Revoir Simone To Play PS1 This Saturday, Cover David Bowie
The PS1/MoMA Warm Up series is celebrating ten years! Along with the McCarren Park Pool Parties, the Warm up series – gathering performers, bands and DJs in a Long Island City MoMA annex – is one of the best ways to enjoy music on a hot New York City summer weekend. PJ Harvey, the Scissor Sisters and Fisherspooner have been some of the headlining acts over the past few years.
This Saturday, Williamsburg favorites Au Revoir Simone will take the stage. The day will also include sets by Dorit Chrysler (New York), Danton Eeprom (London), and Egill Sæbjörnsson & Flis (Island).
All Warm Up events gather thousands of people every Saturday afternoon from July to September in the PS1 courtyard, an open air venue that was designed to host artistic performances.
PS1/MoMA Warm Up Series: $10 – THIS SATURDAY starting at 3pm
Au Revoir Simone will then embark for a mini European tour:
July 31 – Ravenna/Italy – Indie Rocket Festival
Aug 1 – Pescara/Italy – Indie Rocket Festival
Aug 3 – Paredes de Coura/Portugal – Paredes de Coura Festival
Aug 7 – Madrid/Spain – Moby Dick
Aug 9 – Barcelona/Spain – Sidecar
In other Au Revoir Simone news, the girls covered David Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things” (off Hunky Dory), for the Life Beyond Mars – Bowie Covered record. You can purchase the song on iTunes by clicking here.
Pavement Punk and Asphalt Acoustic: Going to California!
I’m as much of a fan of public transportation as the next New Yorker, but I still miss driving. Hailing from Detroit, where cars are as much a part of your life as anything, I long to roll down my windows and crank up the stereo. Once again ready again to hit the road, I’m planning a drive from L.A. to San Francisco, and have begun making mixes for the journey. Here are some songs bound to sit shotgun on the drive:
Birds – Lymbyc System
A song as winding and airy as Highway
San Fernando Valley – Nancy Sinatra
Nancy’s fun take on Gordon Jenkin’s 1944 hit. And the Thelma to my Louise.
The New Rise of Labor – Norfolk & Western
A song about the West and borders drawn.
The Lone Surfer – The Deadly Ones
The only band ever known to make a Monster Party Surf Rock album! Check the cover art
Wanderin’ Kind – The Turtles
As a good of a song as any to inspire ramblin’.
LeSabre Radar – The Hentchmen
“The Hentch” talk shop while referencing our heroes of the 60s.
90s Nomad – Bratmobile
Not really a song about driving, but a band to surely help you speed.
405 (Acoustic) – Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie duh.
Draw A Map – Takka Takka
Not just another roadside attraction, Takka Takka are the real deal.
Since I’ve Been Waiting For You – MONO
Bound to inspire highway daydream
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson Burning Up My Ears (And More Of The Internets)
For the past few weeks I’ve been operating under a self-imposed 1-album-listen-per-day restriction on Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’s self-titled debut; otherwise, I would listen to nothing else. Just now, I was blaring it from my desk at Rind HQ and 3 people stopped to ask me who it was (all during track #1: Buriedfed).
As it turns out, we’re not the only ones listening. Pitchfork reviewed it and Paper Thin Walls is streaming the full album with an interview about each track. For instance, here’s a question about “Buriedfed”:
PTW: How would you like to die?
MBAR: Happy. I’d like to die happy.
I think I like this guy.
MP3: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed