Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rock-Star-Band

In terms of finishing up graduate school, finishing my dissertation in a timely manner and moving on and out of this phase of my life, I have one mortal enemy.

Video games.

As an undergrad I lost many many days to playing games such as Super Smash Brothers Melee, Phantasy Star Online and Perfect Dark with my friends and family. As a grad student however, so much of my time has to be spent on writing, reading, and other academic and community projects that spending a day or a few days trying to beat the latest RPG is an unfortunate impossibility.

I remember when Final Fantasy X came out several years ago. At that time I was already cutting back on my video game time because of the master's program I was in at the University of Guam, and had basically given up RPGs all together. In this game, there was something called a "sphere grid" which you would use to develop your character. My friends the Labrador Brothers, Francis, Joe and Ron were determined to completely conquer the sphere grids of every single character. In the process of doing this they pumped more than 300 hours into the PS2 just for FFX.

At that time the idea of pumping 300 hours into a game was a bit much. Right now its almost beyond my ability to comprehend.

As my schedule has slowly opened up this year, since I'm ABD now and just working in the department and working on my dissertation, my old delight in video games has slowly begun to return.

My current obsession, which I am saved from losing too much time on since I don't actually own it, is Rockstar or as I like to call it Rockstarband.

The family I come from is relatively musical. I have three brothers that are in different bands, Freedom Fries, Pump Fake Nation and Eloise. My family in the past has been very musical, in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Catholic Church. One of my grandmother's favorite activities today is the translation of SDA hmyns into Chamorro, and then playing them to herself on the piano. Interestingly enough, this hobby for translating songs is one I've picked up, and you can find alot of these translation from songs by Green Day, Coldplay and Michael Franti and Spearhead, on this blog.

This doesn't really make me a very musical person at all. The only instrument that I can play is the paino, and I haven't really played it much in the past six years. In elementary school I was in the band at Guam Adventist Academy for about a week, and then switched to choir because playing the trumpet was too hard and gave me headaches.

With the game Rockband however, I can bring together my love of video games and my desire to be musical like others in my family, and I can join three other players while doing it!

My family that lives in LA has Rockband and everytime I pass through there I stop by to play some songs. I'm pasting below a video of myself, my brothers Jack and Cyrus and our sister Cate playing "In Bloom" by Nirvana.



Since I don't play the game very often, I haven't actually gotten that good at it. Right now the only instrument that I can play on expert is bass, and there are only a handful of songs that I can survive playing and be above 90%.

I'll be heading up through LA again this weekend and so I'm looking forward to another try.

Here's a playlist I've made for the drive up north, made of songs that you can play on Rockband.

Weezer - "El Scorcho"
Jet - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?"
Iron Maiden - "Run to the Hills"
Nirvana - "In Bloom"
Weezer - "Say it Ain't So"
Radioheed - "Creep"
The Pixies - "Wave of Mutilation"
The Who - "We Won't Get Fooled Again"
The Police - "Roxanne"
The Sweets - "Ballroom Blitz"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Dani California"
Garbage - "I Think I'm Paranoid"
All American Rejects - "Dirty Little Secret"
Blink 182 - "All the Small Things"
Foo Fighters - "Learn to Fly"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Interstate Love Song"

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