Entries tagged with: video games

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 26):

8-bit Will Sheff
Okkervil River

If there's one thing Portland's Red Fang are known for, apart from monster riffs, it's their love of beer. With that in mind, the band are promoting their upcoming, Chris Funk-produced album, Whales and Leeches (out 10/15 on Relapse), with an online game where you, virtually, chug as much beer as possible while listening to songs from the new record. It's no Tapper, but if you're looking to kill a few minutes before you leave work and kill a few real beers, it'll do. Red Fang will be touring and in NYC with Cancer Bats in December and beyond. Updated dates are listed below.

If you're looking for a more nuanced album-tie-in gaming experience, Will Sheff helped created a videogame that compliments Okkervil River's new album, The Silver Gymnasium, a record inspired by the singer's '80s childhood. Paying homage to such games as Leisure Suit Larry and Maniac Mansion, the online adventure game features 8-bit versions of songs from the album and text by Sheff and co-creater Benjamin Miles. It's a multi-chaptered game with new chapters coming out every two weeks. You can play it here. Okkervil River's tour hit NYC last week (9/26) at Terminal 5.

Red Fang dates below...

Continue reading "Red Fang & Okkervil River made video games for their new LPs"

photos by Chris La Putt

King Hippo come to life - Saturday @ NY Comic Con
NY Comic Con 2012 in pictures

and just in time for tonight's Walking Dead premiere...

NY Comic Con 2012 in pictures

More pictures from this weekend's New York Comic Con at the Javits Center, below...

Continue reading "New York Comic Con 2012 photos (Cosplay enthusiasts, King Hippo, superheroes, Walking Dead, Cobra Commander & more)"

Marching band

You don't need to be a sports fan, or even a video game fan, to agree that what this marching band can do is pretty amazing. Watch the clip from Saturday's Ohio/Nebraska halftime show, below...

Continue reading "VIDEO: watch the Ohio State Marching Band pay tribute to classic video games at Halftime (Mario, Zelda, Pac-Man, Pokemon & more)"

It's just Lego Optimus Prime, checking out the 2011 Con. NBD (more by Chris La Putt)
Comic Con

The 2012 edition of the New York Comic Con returns to Jacob Javits Center on October 11 - 14, featuring four days of sci-fi, your favorite fantasy/action heroes, and costumes, costumes and more costumes. In addition, the 2012 edition will feature its share of big name appearances as well, including the cast of The Walking Dead, members of Robot Chicken and Children's Hospital, Elmo & Gordon from Sesame Street, Draco Malfoy (not kidding) and many others. In addition, you can kick-off the festivities with a concert featuring Ben Folds Five at the IGN Theater on 10/11, as discussed. Tickets for the Comic-Con are on sale.

In semi-related news, gamers know that when you play a video game enough, those songs stay with you until you find yourself humming them when you are far far away from your controller. If you know what I am talking about, this one is dedicated to you:

Featuring dynamic and compelling video accompanied by a live symphony orchestra, The Legend of Zelda™: Symphony of the Goddesses brings the world's most popular video game series to life! Enjoy original music spanning 25 years of adventure from the celebrated Zelda franchise, uniting music and visuals in a way never before realized. Experience the magic at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 28.

The Legend of Zelda™: Symphony of the Goddesses is the first ever video game themed concert to feature a complete 4-movement symphony, showcasing the work of Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo.

That's right. Legend of Zelda. IN THE FLESH. Get stoked... tickets are still available.

And finally, if you're heading to Comic-Con, look for possible tributes to Sean Smith, known as Vile Rat, who was tragically killed in the attack on the Libyan Consulate this week. So sad.

Nintendo Power

Gamers of a certain age likely remember the days when their main fix of information about new and upcoming video games came in the form of the monthly Nintendo Power magazine that was delivered directly to their mailbox. That experience is set to become yet another relic of a past era, as Ars Technica has learned that Future Publishing is planning to stop publishing the magazine....

....Nintendo Power senior editor Chris Hoffman seemed to confirm our source's information on Twitter, saying that he was "sad to see it go" and that the editorial team would "try to make the last issues memorable." Nintendo Power writer Phil Theobald, meanwhile, promised on Twitter that they had "something pretty sweet planned for the final issue." [Further update: It seems the tweets in question have been deleted after publication.] [Ars Technica]

Continue reading "Nintendo Power still exists (but not for long)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Chromatics @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
The Chromatics

Chromatics were in town this past weekend, opening for Hot Chip on Friday (7/20) and playing a headlining show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday (7/22). I caught their T5 set -- my first time seeing the group -- and they were more engaging than I thought they were going to be, with a live drummer keeping things banging. I like their new album just fine but to this point, though, Chromatics don't so much make music to dance to as music to melancholically bob your head to. Kill for Love's "Lady" and the Survivor-esque "These Streets Will Never Look the Same" came closest to getting the crowd moving. Pictures from the Brooklyn show are in this post.

In related news, Chromatics' "Lady" was the inspiration for a new videogame that's part of the Pitchfork-comissioned Soundplay series and you can play that here.

Chromatics recently played the Pitchfork Festival too (which we have pictures of). More pictures from the MHOW show, a FIXED production (that was originally supposed to happen at Dekalb Market) where the band shared a bill with DJs JDH, Dave P and Paul Raffaele, below.

Continue reading "Chromatics inspired a videogame, opened for Hot Chip at Terminal 5, headlined Music Hall of Williamsburg (pics)"

Max Payne 3

HEALTH wrote the score and another new song for Max Payne 3, out via Rockstar Games in May "for Xbox 360®, PLAYSTATION®3 and PC. ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol." The non-score song is called "TEARS" and a snippet of it premiered in the game's commercial which first aired during Friday night's Lakers/Spurs game. Watch that commercial below...

Continue reading "listen to new HEALTH in the commercial for Max Payne 3 (they did the game's soundtrack)"

Pictureplane @ PS1 over the summer (more by Erez Avissar)
Pictureplane

Pictureplane heads out on the Check Yo Ponytail tour with Spank Rock, Big Freedia, The Death Set, and Franki Chan later this month (it hits Brooklyn Bowl), but first you can check yo Pictureplane at a free show at Santos Partyhouse tonight (10/11) with Mux Mool (DJ set), Beacon, and DJ Todd Pendu. The occasion? "Videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen is partnering with Capcom to launch the first ever Fright Club based on their zombie titles such as Dead Rising 2 Off the Record, Resident Evil : Operation Raccoon City, and Resident Evil Revelations." Sailor Jerry, another sponsor, will also be providing drink specials. Sounds like fun. One problem: you need to RSVP to enter and RSVP is now closed. Another problem: even if you RSVP'd, it's first come, first served. We can help with both problems, as we have five guaranteed-entry RSVP-list-spots to give away to this show. All tour dates, the flyer, and contest details, below...

Continue reading "Pictureplane playing closed-RSVP event tonight (win tix!), touring later this month (updated dates)"

Chinatown Fair

"When famed arcade Chinatown Fair finally closed two weeks ago, manager Henry Cen mentioned a possible move to Brooklyn. And apparently that's already happened. Bifuteki reports (video below) that Cen has opened "Next Level Arcade" in Sunset Park.

The setup is currently pretty bare, with Marvel v. Capcom 3 and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, and there are reportedly plans to open a bubble tea shop. But so far it looks like a lot of white walls." [Gothamist]

That video is below...

Continue reading "Chinatown Fair reopens as Next Level Arcade in Sunset Park "

photos by Leia Jospe

Super Mash bros
Anamanaguchi

Silent Barn will host a day of "music, comic books, video games and non institutional learning" SATURDAY (2/5) starting at 2PM. It's a multi-media event called OKEVERYTHING. The first part of the day is FREE and will kick off with discussion on video games and gaming design before shifting to comic book production. Right around 7PM is when the music will kick off, and when revellers will have to pay the $10 entrance fee to catch an 8-bit heavy lineup headlined by Anamanaguchi with The J. Arthur Keenes Band, Nullsleep, Starscream, and George & Jonathan.

Anamanaguchi recently supported Super Mash Brothers at Irving Plaza on January 22nd. Pictures from that show, and full details on the OKEVERYTHING show are below.

Continue reading "Anamanaguchi opened for Super Mash Brothers @ Irving Plaza (pics), playing video game & comic book party Saturday"

photos by Leia Jospe

Anamanaguchi
Anamanaguchi

"Unlike the heroes of "Tron: Legacy,'' the members of Anamanaguchi haven't gotten trapped inside a video game. But they did get to compose the score for "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game,'' which is almost as appropriate. That's because Anamanaguchi plays "chiptune'' music - jumpy, bleepy rock that incorporates the rudimentary tones of such early eight-bit video-game systems as Game Boy and NES.

An American band with a fake-Japanese name, Anamanaguchi doesn't rely entirely on braying electronics. The group adds guitar, drums and bass to its instrumentals, yielding music that suggests a more trebly version of Trans Am, the D.C. trio that melds electro- and arena-rock." [Washington Post]

Anamanaguchi began a short tour at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on 1/6, and ended it last night (1/16) in Boston. On Friday night, 1/14, they made a stop at The Studio at Webster Hall with Peelander-Z and Starscream. More pictures, and a video, from that show, below...

Continue reading "Anamanaguchi scored the Scott Pilgrim game, played the Studio @ Webster Hall w/ Peelander-Z & Starscream (pics)"

photos by Brian Ach/WireImage

Jay z
Jay z

"It was 09.09.09, a date burned into the popular consciousness as an almost astrological convergence of music and technology marketing. The date had been set, the branding tie-ins had been tied in, and the product was all set to go on sale to a salivating public.

No, not The Beatles: Rock Band. And not Apple's latest iTunes tweaks, either. Rather, it was time to promote "The Blueprint 3," the latest release in the ever-expanding franchise known as Jay-Z.

For the occasion Jay-Z performed a guerrilla show on Wednesday night at the Blender Theater at Gramercy, a 600-capacity club on East 23rd Street in Manhattan, with help from MySpace Music and DJ Hero, a new video game that adapts the Guitar Hero model for hip-hop. It was announced barely 24 hours before, and 250 fans were given free tickets. (The other 350 or so in attendance were assorted V.I.P.'s from the companies involved, and from the news media. They didn't pay, either.)

Jay-Z's 74-minute, 25-song set, played with a 10-piece band that included two drummers and a three-part horn section, was a muscular, virtuosic and totally satisfying performance, both in older hits like "Big Pimpin'" and "99 Problems" that are now hip-hop standards, and in material from "The Blueprint 3." But that was only part of the experience. Before his set the audience was held captive to a demonstration of DJ Hero -- its controller resembles a turntable and crossfader, and the player scratches virtual vinyl..." [NY Times]

9/9/9 also marked a performance of Boadrum 9 by the Boredoms and the opening of the new Knitting Factory in Brooklyn (not to mention the date of a Motorhead concert at Roseland Ballroom). There was also a spotting of the mysterious Jeff Mangum on that date (last night) which is a nice addition to the overall mythology (apparently he was in the crowd, but unfortunately not on stage, at the Circulatory System show at Le Poisson Rouge) (he appears on their new album) (more on that later).

More Jay-Z show pictures below...

Continue reading "Jay-Z (and DJ Hero) @ Gramercy Theatre in NYC - pics "

Video Games Live

The brainchild of veteran US videogame composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, Video Games Live is a concert devised to encompass the cultural significance of videogames. Since its debut at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2005 it has since gone on to be performed in front of over 100,000 people across the world.

It's a show that's a classical concert, lightshow and rock gig all at once. And while the running footage of games and off-the-wall audience participation, such as a giant on-stage game of space invaders, make Video Games Live a deliciously geeky experience, the music conducted by Wall and played with such aplomb by world-reknowned orchestras is just as impressive.

If any one piece summed up the entire evening it was the rendition of the Halo theme. As the gregorian chants of the London Choir rose above the fiery strings of the orchestra, an excitable Tallarico, bedecked in torn jeans and a denim jacket, bounded across stage playing a thunderous electric guitar riff. All the while the giant screen showing the colourful alien warfare of the Halo series. Rarely is a clash of cultures in such harmony. [Telegraph UK]

Video Games Live is bringing its show to NYC's Beacon Theatre on October 25th. Tickets are on sale, and we have a pair to give away - details are below along with some videos and more pictures from past shows and more upcoming tour dates...

Continue reading "Video Games Live on tour (dates), coming to NYC (win tix) "

by Ryan Barkan

Miller Chili or mojitos anyone?
DodosMatt and Kim

AC DCPhone wars 2009 - Verizon vs. AT&T. It is always a battle when these two giants square off with their :60 second spots in tow to prove which company provides the best cellular service and coverage. In recent years, Verizon has enlisted the likes of AC/DC and The Killers. Included in the deal with the Aussie rockers was the right to exclusively offer the band's music digitally. On the other side, AT&T has hammered home their phone offerings and 5-bar messages with a spot including a track from Lupe Fiasco featuring Jill Scott, "Daydreamin", one with Mates Of State, and an Amos Lee commercial, among others. Both have recently gone to the licensing well again to soundtrack new technology and coverage, but with different strategies.

Verizon's new "Hub" decided to go the synergy route, using one of the most popular mainstream tunes of the last year, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", in multiple spots showcasing the company's new phone technology.

AT&T meanwhile went with different tunes for each of the new 5-bar spots, matching songs with each commercial's creative direction. In "Backpackers", the sentimental "Falling in Love in a Coffeeshop" by Landon Pigg tells the story of two lovers who met on a brief European backpacking trip. However, because of the quality of the service and technology, they not only can stay in touch with great coverage but end up together again with a touching beachfront reunion. Another boxing themed spot brings to mind Rocky with "Gonna Fly Now." Eighties rockers Journey power this commercial for the symphony. Lastly, an inspirational spot based on Venice, CA, store Tom's Shoes. The store has one premise -- each pair of shoes bought equals one free pair for a child in need. The commercial uses an instrumental version of James Blunt's "Same Mistake." Watch that spot here.

Other Notable Commercial Licensing News:

An instant classic commercial from Heineken -- the beer company celebrates responsible drinking (title is called "Let A Stranger Drive You Home") with the help from Biz Markie's "Just A Friend". Watch the spot below.

Beer maker Miller went with San Fran's The Dodos as the music for their new Miller Chill commercial. Watch it below.

"Daylight," a track by Matt & Kim, provides the vibe in a new commercial for Bacardi Mojitos. See it below.

continued below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing (De La Soul, the Dodos, Passion Pit, Black Lips, Matt & Kim, Mates of State & more...) "

by Ryan Barkan

Duffy @ Lollapalooza 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Duffy

The cola war has been heating up globally in the last couple of months with music as the weapon of choice.

Pepsi's image rebranding campaign, including a new smile-esque logo, launched right after Christmas with a tv commercial featuring The Apples in Stereo song, "Energy". They then went deep during the Super Bowl, dropping a spot featuring Bob Dylan and Will.I.Am singing "Forever Young" as the beverage's new anthem.

Coke counters with a European spot for Diet Coke that features a playful Duffy doing things on her time during an encore break at a concert. In the commercial, she sings a cover of Sammy Davis Jr's "I Gotta Be Me."

When Sara Tate, a senior planner at the London advertising agency Mother, was asked to find a new face for Diet Coke, she knew what she didn't want. "Definitely no rent-a-face," says Tate, whose ad with Duffy will launch on British television, before rolling out across Europe. "We steered clear of yet another glamorous star with a six-figure fee who will promote anything if the price is right. The public is getting smart to that. We wanted someone who is well known, but not hugely famous. Someone who is on the rise, for whom fame is recent enough that they remember what it is like to have a regular life. Duffy was a perfect fit because, although she is extremely successful, she's still incredibly down to earth." [Via Times Online]
Duffy has since cleaned up at the Grammys, at the British version of the Grammys, and - per Paul McCartney's request, recorded a cover of his song "Live And Let Die" for the new War Child Heroes comp that is released in the US this week. You may have heard the Beck/Dylan track from the same album, when it was played during the credits of last night's Oscars (more on the Oscars in a second...).

JusticeCoke's second attack is from Justice - Coke enlisted the duo along with Ed Banger Records' So_Me to design a glow-in-the-dark bottle and provide the soundtrack, their massive jam "D.A.N.C.E.", to a commercial. The bottle will be available in clubs throughout Europe. See the bottle in the commercial below.

The third assault from the Coke comes in their Full Throttle NHRA spots; three of the five have licensed songs: The Faces has "Blue Moon" by the Mavericks, The Machine kicks it country with Merle Haggard's "Working Man Blues", and Left Behind features Operator Please's "Zero Zero."

The final wave occurred as I was writing this article. A one-two punch during the Oscars with both The Boy Least Likely To's "Be Gentle With Me" and Sea Ray's "Revelry" showing up in Coke spots during the telecast on ABC (no video available yet). For those not familiar with the band, Sea Ray broke up in 2005.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing (Duffy, Justice, Sonic Youth, Franz Ferdinand, Radiohead, Sea Ray & more...) "

WHAT IS NEW YORK COMIC CON?
New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. Our show floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. Our panels and autograph sessions give fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators. Our screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. And with dedicated professional hours, New York Comic Con is a market place, bringing together the major players in the entertainment industry. New York Comic Con is the second largest pop culture convention in America and the only one that takes place in the comic book, publishing, media, and licensing capital of the world -- Gotham City.

WHEN IS NEW YORK COMIC CON?
Professional Only Hours:
Friday, February 6 -- 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Open to the Public:
Friday, February 6 -- 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Saturday, February 7 -- 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, February 8 -- 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

WHERE IS NEW YORK COMIC CON?
New York Comic Con is held at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan. The Javits Center is located at 655 West 34th Street. See our Travel page for directions and information about New York City 's buses and subways.

The Comic Con opens to the public at 1:00, and that is exactly the same time Mastodon will be appearing there. "They will be at the Namco/Bandai kiosk for the debut of the new Splatterhouse game at 1pm." I assume that means to sign autographs and pose for pictures (Meet & Greet), and NOT to perform.

MastodonMastodon's new album is coming out soon.

Mastodon's next scheduled show is in Atlanta for the Scion Rock Fest. They're also playing Coachella.

In related news, "Marvel Comics was named Comic Book Publisher of the Year and DC Comics received eight awards, including Original Graphic Novel of the Year for its Joker Hardcover and Trade Paperback of the Year for perennial bestseller, "The Watchmen TP," at the 2008 Diamond Gem Awards."

And, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is in theaters on May 1st.

All Mastodon dates below...

Continue reading "NY Comic Con starts today, MASTODON is there! (+ all dates)"

Loud Crowd

"The idea is like Guitar Hero with the arrows on your keyboard. Naturally, a lot of fun right off the bat.

Add to that a very social experience. You choose to "dance" for people (either flirty, flashy, or funny), and leave a comment for them, sort of like an IM conversation. Comments are auto-generated, so even if you don't really want to say anything in particular, it's still quite funny to have this pseudo-chat." [David Rusenko]

The online video game is still in beta, but each week they, Loud Crowd, ask someone to come in and be the guest DJ. That person usually has a website where they can in turn invite people to go check it out. The last chance to hear Showtrotta's songs are today/Tuesday at noon, 3, 6, and 9 EST. You don't have to play either. You can just leave the game on the background and it basically becomes a radio station. Check it out.

by Ryan Barkan

Tom Waits

When it comes to licensing, Tom Waits has a strong reputation..

Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has joked about other artists who do. ("If Michael Jackson wants to work for Pepsi, why doesn't he just get himself a suit and an office in their headquarters and be done with it?") He has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. He has been quoted as saying, "Apparently, the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad -- ideally, naked and purring on the hood of a new car," he said in a statement, referring to the Mercury Cougar. "I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor....

...In 2005, Waits sued Adam Opel AG, claiming that, after having failed to sign him to sing in their Scandinavian commercials, they had hired a soundalike singer. In 2007, the suit was settled, and Waits gave the sum to charity." [Wikipedia]

Speaking in an interview in 2005 to NPR's All Things Considered, Waits bluntly says "I'd rather have a hot lead enema" than have a song in a commercial. At the time he was referring to products like Doritos, cars and diapers. His stance isn't as strong when it comes to a good cause. His song "Never Let Go" is the soundtrack to a new PSA by the Ad Council for Feeding America.

The campaign, shot by American History X director Tony Kaye, launched November 25th and is intended to raise awareness and drive action to fight hunger in America.

Created pro bono by Ogilvy NY, the new TV, radio, print, and web advertising aims to change the way Americans look at this critical issue affecting our country and to understand the fact that many people they interact with on a daily basis may not know where their next meal will come from...

"We are thrilled to partner with Feeding America to educate Americans about just how close hunger is to each one of us," according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. "I believe that the 1 in 8 campaign will inspire Americans to become involved in this critical issue."

"This work uses simple visual imagery to demonstrate the reality of the fact that everyone today knows someone who is hungry," said Antonio Navas and Chris Bradley, creative directors at Ogilvy who developed the campaign. "We were very fortunate to get musician Tom Waits to contribute a beautiful piece of music - "Never Let Go" off of 2006's Orphans -- that helps bring the work to life and connect with the public in a tangible way. We believe it will have great impact on this important cause."

Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide this week and will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

Waits says of the project: "We all need to be reminded that the folks who need help getting back on their feet are all members of our family." Watch the two different PSAs below.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Arcade FireAnother band that usually passes on licensing requests for its music is Arcade Fire. The Canadian band decided to let its song "My Body Is A Cage" be used in the trailer for the new Brad Pitt movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

According to the Arcade Fire's management, "This is the first time the band have used their music in this way. David Fincher asked them to look at the trailer. They all thought it was a good use of the music. They have no issue with licensing music when it's used in a creative way. It rarely happens." [Pitchfork]
Watch the trailer below.

The soundtrack to Juno continues to inspire advertising creatives. One of Barry Louis Polisar's songs from that soundtrack, "All I Want Is You", gives it a go in a spot for the National Lottery in the UK. The commercial can be seen below.

Sigur RosI've seen the commercial for Ubisoft's new Prince Of Persia game on air this past week. Just like the trailer (watch it below), the spot features the song "Saeglopur" by Sigur Ros. This is the second video game featuring Sigur Ros music - EA's trailer for Dead Space (released in October 2008) uses "Track 7" as the soundtrack.

The Shins' "Sleeping Lessons" provides a cool soundtrack to Statkraft Energy's new European commercial. Watch it at Boards Mag.

ChromeoSony has released quite a few new commercials recently for both the PS3 and PSP that have good musical soundtracks. The "Mural" spot features "Everybody Ona Move" by Michael Franti & Spearhead, "LA Plays PSP" has The Grouch featuring MURS' "The Bay To LA", and "NYC Plays PSP" uses Chromeo's "Fancy Footwork". Watch the last one below.

continued below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"

This weekly post was really just meant to be an (arguably) interesting news roundup of where (mostly BV-covered) music and musicians are showing up besides in our stereos/computers/headphones/players/etc. Like all news, it might be positive, negative or neither depending on your point of view. Whether or not an artist is "selling out" by licensing their song to a particular product advertisement and/or TV show is always going to be a valid issue/argument/debate, but I removed "It's Not Selling Out Anymore" from the post title because, lighthearted or not, I think it was making this post into something it's not. Most importantly, I didn't want the title to be misconstrued as an official BrooklynVegan position on anything. There will always be (arguably) cringe-worthy examples of licensing (see Of Montreal + Outback Steakhouse) and licensing-related broken (fan's) hearts (see The Moldy Peaches + Atlantis resorts), but a lot of licensing news (as you can see below), is (arguably) pretty neutral. Are there any Modest Mouse fans offended that a Modest Mouse song appears in a snowboarding video game? I doubt it. Does it bother anyone that Stars of the Lid gave a song to the Environmental Defense Fund? Probably only people that are anti-polar bear... That's all I wanted to say.... I won't write intros to these posts after this week (please try to keep the conspiracy theories to a minimum!), so without further ado... it's "This Week in Music Licensing"...

by Ryan Barkan

Battles @ Irving Plaza (more by Bao Nguyen)
Battles @ irving Plaza

42 Below likes to do things because they can, like make Vodka and wear white suits. The New Zealand spirit maker just launched a campaign and website around the brand's mantra, "Because We Can" - living by your own rules and following your dreams. Pretty deep. The web-based campaign consists of five short films and a user-generated video contest.

Each of the five short films have a few things in common - men in all white suits, left-of-center creative, art installations, cool music, and no relation whatsoever to Vodka. Carpet Cupcake uses Battles' 2007 jam "Atlas". Two different Boards Of Canada songs are used in Beach Dolls and Car Wrap. Domino artist Four Tet provides the sonic background to Mountain Rainbow, a spot where the white suit men create a huge arch of colored plastic chairs on top of a snowy mountain. South African electronic artist Felix Laband is used in Crate UFO.

Do you have a "because I can attitude"? Do you also like to make your own videos? Do you want to win some money for doing those things ($4200)? If so, you can head to the campaign's website to find out more about the contest.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Tokyo Police ClubTokyo Police Club think it is "really cool and really awesome" that they made a cameo on Sunday night's (11/16) episode of Desperate Housewives. They entered a "battle of the bands" contest, performed "In A Cave", and had two of their song titles ("Shoulders And Arms" and "Cut Cut Paste") featured on the club walls as faux band posters. Even more, two band members have lines in the dialogue. Stereogum has the video. In semi-related news, TPC's Graham Wright just released a solo EP online as a free and/or pay download.

On the tube, Gossip Girl featured three tracks from the new Kings Of Leon album, Only By The Night; One Tree Hill for the second week in a row used a song by Margot & the Nuclear So-So's and also had a song by Earlimart; 90210 went with Kanye West, and Stereolab; CSI Miami used both Jenny Lewis and Bloc Party; NUMB3RS had Cold War Kids; Privileged used CSS; Grey's Anatomy had The Coral Sea. All this week Letterman is featuring cover bands.

Nissan'snew Canadian commercial "Morning Light" goes singer-songwriter with Alexi Murdoch's "Breathe". Nice song but I think they could have found a similar style track with a better lyrical match. Watch the video here.

Crystal CastlesToshiba's UK agency breaks the broadcast mold a bit with a commercial featuring Matrix-esque cinematography while using the Crystal Castles song "Air War". Watch the video below.

Stars Of The Lid hit NYC's (le) Poisson Rouge on Friday 11/21; I wonder if they will play the serenely spatial "A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaningless Process", a song used by the Environmental Defense Fund to help fight global warming. The web commercial was released at the end of August. The powerful Polar Bear spot can be seen below.

What do 2008 Mercury Prize winning band Elbow and Electronic Arts have to do with each other? Elbow's song "Grounds For Divorce" is the soundtrack to the commercial announcing EA's new first person shooter, Left 4 Dead; the game hits shelves this upcoming week. Video is below.

Ubisoft Montreal just released Shaun White Snowboarding in North America. The game's soundtrack is a good mix of classic (Bob Dylan, Heart, Blue Öyster Cult, Living Colour, Run DMC, Harry Nilsson) and modern (Modest Mouse, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) bands. Check out the full soundtrack at Wikipedia. Bob Dylan plays NYC this Friday night (11/21).

Interesting downloadable content (DLC) was made available this week via Xbox Live and Playstation Network for both Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2: GH got both a Jimi Hendrix and Smashing Pumpkins three song pack and RB2 fans can now play the entire Foo Fighters album The Colour and the Shape.

Videos below...

Continue reading "This Week in Music Licensing (Crystal Castles, Stars of the Lid, Elbow, Battles, Tokyo Police Club, and more) "

by Ryan Barkan

Gogol Bordello @ Irving Plaza (more by Jefferson)
Gogol Bordello

The second edition of this controversial new feature is back. "It's Not Selling Out Anymore" (or is it?)...

Pacific RiftAggressive racing game, Motorstorm, was one of the most successful titles for the Playstation 3 in 2007 (selling over three million copies world wide). It was only natural then, that Sony Computer Entertainment would get a sequel out in 2008. Enter Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The game recently hit shelves in the US at end of October and in the UK this past week. The TV spot announcing the new game brilliantly matched Motorstorm's crazy, edgy style of racing on tracks in exotic locations with the "authentic energy" of Gogol Bordello's "Wonderlust King." Watch the video of the commercial below. Gogol Bordello tour dates are HERE.

While Gogol did not make the in-game soundrack, David Bowie, Clutch, Megadeth, The Hives, Simian Mobile Disco, Death From Above 1979, and more all made the cut. Eight of the forty-five songs are exclusive to the game including a remix by Diplo of Nirvana's "Swap Meet" *.

Thurston MooreSpeaking of exclusives, The Ramones' classic jam "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" was covered by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and singer Jemina Pearl (from the now defunct Be Your Own Pet). Their version exclusively premiered in this past week's episode of Gossip Girl. Love & Rockets made the episode too...though not as an exclusive.

Other Notable Licensing News:

On the tube, One Tree Hill had songs by Ra Ra Riot and Margot & the Nuclear So-So's; 90210 had Florence & The Machine, The Raconteurs, and The Bravery; Grey's Anatomy had The Bird And The Bee, Whitest Boy Alive, and Brett Dennon.

M83's "You, Appearing" provides a solemn background to a French commercial for Douleurs' "Pain Without Borders" commercial. Watch the video below. M83 is currently on a tour of the US (and in NYC this week).

Cadbury's new "Favourites" commercial features the song "Stars and Sons" by Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. Watch the video below. Pics from the band's recent show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple can be seen HERE.

Bad Brains

Supreme continues its love for musical collaborations with the announcement of a Bad Brains x Supreme collection. The line consists of a couple hoodies, a t-shirt, and two different styles of Vans shoes. Bad Brains have been busy lately playing shows in Austin, NYC and elsewhere.

Iron MaidenVans recently released its fourth Iron Maiden tribute shoe, this time featuring the artwork from the Powerslave album. The Sk8-Hi and slip on models are available at the vans online store as well as local distributors.

Videos below...

Continue reading "It's Not Selling Out Anymore -- This Week in Music Licensing"

Love it or hate it, licensing songs seems to be the new reality for "indie" bands (or any bands) looking to make money and gain exposure. As an avid music fan and Senior Director of Advertising & Video Games at Primary Wave Music Publishing, Ryan Barkan makes sure to stay on top of news related to artists getting their songs in ads, on TV, in movies, in video games and just about anywhere else a band would get paid to put a song. As someone who never pays attention to any of that, I thought the site could use a weekly column to identify who sold out this week help fill in what I'm missing (think M.I.A. in the Pineapple Express commercial, Nick & Norah, Santogold shilling Bud Light, Chairlift & CSS for Apple, etc..). For that...please welcome Ryan (who also goes by the blog and photographer name "Fresh Bread")....

---

by Ryan Barkan

DevotchkaMicrosoft's Halo 3 video game commercial was so amazing that it won the Grand Prix (i.e. best of show) at this past year's Cannes Advertising Awards, in June, in the "Film" ad category. The spot, titled "Believe", was created by San Francisco advertising agency T.A.G. and featured the dramatically delicate "Raindrop Prelude No 15" by Chopin against a violent and disturbing war scene.

Another huge 2008 release for Microsoft is the upcoming sequel to the game Gears of War, creatively called....wait for it...Gears Of War 2 (available November 7th exclusively on Xbox360). What works once should work again right? T.A.G. thought so and took the same approach with the music as they did with the "Believe" spot, juxtaposing the hard war visuals against a beautiful song, but this time with a more contemporary artist, Devotchka. The beautiful song they used by the Colorado band is called "How It Ends" and the trailer will debut on network television this Sunday, November 2, during NFL Sunday Night Football. You can also watch it right now. The video for that, and of the full version of "Believe", are below.

----------

Other Notable Licensing News:

DevotchkaThe Walmart-exclusive AC/DC edition of Rock Band is out November 2nd and now MTV/Harmonix have announced a Beatles video game that will be based on the "Rock Band" engine, but not branded "Rock Band". "The Best Of The Who" edition of Rock Band was released in July as DLC (downloadable content).

Hypebeast has the info on a new line of Miles Davis-inspired T-shirts by urban boutique and shoe company, Supreme.

Flaming Lips, the B-52's, BB King and others were commissioned by NBC to create their own interpretation of the network's classic "Chime In"...

You may not know that the notes to NBC's famous chimes are G, E, and C, but chances are you'd recognize the Peacock jingle in an instant. With that in mind, executives at the network decided to have some fun with their famous chimes and launched a national campaign calling for a 21st century reinvention of the 75-year-old television staple. [Hollywood Insider]
Wayne Coyne talks about it in an interview to EW you can watch HERE.

What do Friendly Fires, The Duke Spirit, The Submarines, The Black Keys, Black Kids, The Virgins, and Robyn have in common? They've all had songs featured in an episode of Gossip Girl this month.

What about Lykke Li, Passion Pit and The Kooks? Well, as you may have read earlier, they'll all be appearing in future episodes of Gossip Girl/OC-creator Josh Schwartz's new "music-themed scripted web series" Rockville, CA.

I really dig the new spot for the Google Android Phone. The commercial features a song by The Black Angels called "Black Grease" - not sure if it'll convince me to switch from the iPhone but it's a nice placement nonetheless. Video below...

Continue reading "It's Not Selling Out Anymore -- This Week in Music Licensing"

by Black Bubblegum

You've come a long way baby...
Ick

They say you shouldn't kick people when they're down, but what if they're already kicking themselves? Guns 'N Roses announced that the new GNR track "Shackler's Revenge" from the right-around-the-corner Chinese Democracy will premiere in the Harmonix Music Systems video game Rock Band II due this September.

The band's decision to officially introduce material from their sixth album via a computer game is an unusual one, but it's a move likely to become more popular as the industry begins to recognise just how important music-related video games are. Since its launch in 2007, Rock Band has won several industry awards and netted its developer Harmonix Music Systems $208 million. Music by the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and the Who is currently available on the first version of the game, which allows players to form a virtual band and play along to famous songs. Like its rival Guitar Hero, the music video game has found success by tapping into the long-established history of air-guitar playing among music fans into a competition with an all-star soundtrack. [Guardian]
The news came days before Metallica announced that their entire upcoming album, Death Magnetic (as in a magnet to your coinage) would be available for download/play on Activision's Guitar Hero III. GnR and Metallica still feuding after all these years..... and what's more metal than feuding via corporate synergy?

Metallica's Death Magnetic was produced by Rick Rubin, an encouraging sign considering hewhoshallnotbenamed has produced every album since ...And Justice For All. (Sorry guys, I do have an eensy teensy glimmer of still ridiculously skeptical faith.)

In other news that would make Cliff spin is his grave, Death Magnetic will be released in a collectors edition Coffin box set (where have I seen that before?) with a CD of demos, a DVD detailing making-the-album, a limited edition (natch) tee, a flag, guitar picks, and a fold out poster. The "Coffin" is in addition three other releases on their Mission: Metallica website. I think I'll go for that fan-friendly 5LP set, what about you guys?

Metallica recently played all the classics at Bonaroo.

Jimmy Gestapo

L.C.H.C - Liberty City Hardcore

Liberty City HardcoreDJ: Jimmy Gestapo
Genre: Hardcore Punk

Tracklist:
Murphy's Law - "A Day In The Life"
Maximum Penalty - "All Your Boyz"
Underdog - "Back to Back"
Leeway - "Enforcer"
Sick Of It All - "Injustice System"
Cro-Mags - "It's The Limit"
Sheer Terror - "Just Can't Hate Enough"
Bad Brains - "Right Brigade"
Killing Time - "Tell Tale"
Agnostic Front - "Victim in Pain"

That's just the hardcore channel. Justice, Les Savy Fav, !!!, LCD Soundsystem and even Cheeseburger are among those who made it on the new video game soundtrack too.

Pitchfork TV

....today, we're proud to announce the April 7 beta launch of Pitchfork.tv, the first-ever music video channel dedicated to documenting independent music as it happens. As a visual extension of the music coverage Pitchfork has provided for more than a decade, and a means of updating and advancing the music television format, the online channel will bring you closer to the artists you love, through original mini-documentaries, secret rooftop and basement sessions, full concerts, exclusive interviews, and the most carefully curated selection of music videos online.... [Pitchfork]
ALSO: Pitchfork made half of a video game soundtrack.

Rock Band

In the two months since MTV Networks and Harmonix released the music-based videogame "Rock Band," players have purchased and downloaded more than 2.5 million additional songs made available after the game's initial distribution. Activision, meanwhile, said it has sold more than 5 million new songs via download for "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" since it began adding downloadable content in early November. [Reuters]

Previous