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Category Archives: video game nerds

I had a great Thanksgiving at Stan’s place with many friends and lots of games and delicious food and booze and Ratatouille and football and it was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. We played the video game Rock Band, which I am terrible at in every capacity except singing although you don’t really need to sing to be good at that part thank God because I’ve become a progressively worse singer since the age of, oh, let’s say twelve. The thing about Rock Band is the song selection. The first go-round there were some good cuts but it was so teenage boyhood; do people really want to play a Stone Temple Pilots song?

The new group of songs or whatever you call it (upgrade? v2.0? I dunno) excited me only because it included Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl.” YES OMG. And I found out that they also have Sleater-Kinney’s “You’re No Rock’n’Roll Fun.” Now those are some songs I’m happy to sing. And part of the reason I wanted to sing “Rebel Girl” was to re-enact their fabulously empty shouty rhetoric during the parts of the song where the game asks you to just make noise or whatever on the microphone. As an old gender studies minor, this gave me a great opportunity to spout sloganeering bullshit about patriarchy and women’s bodies and rape and lesbianism and on and on and on, though I really should’ve referenced Judith Butler or something. Not to toot my own horn, but I thought my Tobi Vail impersonation (inspired by seeing a YouTube of her ranting incoherently at a BK show about abortion, which unfortunately I can’t find anymore) was pretty spot-on.

Last week Stan told me about Rock Band introducing some country songs and how the messageboards or whatever were all aflame with angry people saying that country had no place on Rock Band (I don’t have a link or anything but it was probably referenced on one of those techgeek blogs where people have to wear tinfoil hats and type 175 wpm). Referencing whatever he read, Stan sent me this: “There was even a poll on the site asking, “Should country music be on Rock Band?” A few great songs (Johnny Cash!) would fit; We needn’t go hog-wild.”

Oh yeah, because there were all those great intricate drum parts and thrashing solos and wild vocal stylings in all those Johnny Cash songs. Mainly what bothers me about their reaction is the rockism inherent in it, as if only Rock Songs can be included in a game where people um excuse me SIMULATE playing music, and only rock = music. It’s the same thing as when people say they like all kinds of music except rap and country, which is a vaguely racist and classist statement. Also, why wouldn’t you want to have different kinds of music on your virtual band game? There’s already rap on Rock Band (the Beastie Boys, but oh they’re white okay). Do you need another Radiohead song to moon along to? I would love a Country Band game, and George and I have already thought about a Girl Group game, where you incorporate hand gestures w/ a Wii controller as well as stomping dance routines on a Dance Dance Revolution pad a la this amazing performance.

The timing of this is funny, because on Thanksgiving I said something like, “They should have some Loretta Lynn on this shit.” And now there’s going to be Miranda Lambert! And Brad Paisley! (I seriously hope it’s “Ticks”) We were speculating on which Lambert song it would be, and while I would love it to be “Famous in a Small Town” (seeing as it is just already a classic country song) but it is probably going to be “Gunpowder and Lead” because that song is just RAWWWWWKKKKK, and I’m okay with that.

Seriously, I just wish I could sing country songs for the rest of my life. I need a job that will let me do that.

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