Days of Lore
THE GREATEST AMERICAN GUITAR HERO I don’t care much for video games. In fact, the last time I really got sucked into one was when I was running Bo Jackson for 400 yards a game in Tecmo Super Bowl on the original Nintendo. Remember those days, zigzagging across the screen as linebackers bounced off of you as if you were made of steel? Yeah, Bo was the shit. Those were also the days when my brothers and I would get into heated tournaments and end up throwing the controls at the TV, and each other. Video games will make you do stupid things, all right.
Well, I’m hooked again, and my friend Ginny Eck is to blame. This time it’s a game called Guitar Hero on Playstation 2. I’m sure it costs about 70 bucks and can be purchased anywhere (but not Wal-Mart) and would make a perfect gift for the, ahem, kiddies on your list.
Basically, it involves a plastic guitar with five colored buttons on the neck and a little toggle where you “pick,” which in itself, looks pretty ridiculous. On the screen there’s a bar that resembles a guitar neck that scrolls down with different colored dots. When they lock in with the matching “frets” you hit the corresponding fret on the guitar. There’s also a whammy bar for extra hot, rock posturing.
You also see a band performing in the background and when you hit a bum note, you hear that God-awful sound of your pick scraping the strings while the crowd gets restless and starts booing you off the stage.
There’s also a decent selection of songs, performed by some mystery band, that come pretty close to the originals.
Here are some of my current favorites that I’ve conquered on the “easy” level: 1) “No One Knows,” “as performed by Queens of the Stone Age;” 2) “Killer Queen,” Queen; 3) “Infected,” Bad Religion; 4) “Spanish Castle Magic,” Jimi Hendrix and 5) “Unsung,” Helmet.
I can’t put the damn thing down. And I find myself standing in front of the television posing and swaying like a complete jerk-off. Yeah, video games will make you do stupid things, all right. Just don’t expect to actually learn how to play the guitar.
A PAISLEY CHRISTMAS Indie rock icon-DJ-super-nice human being, Barbara Manning is featured in the new book, Tell Me When It’s Over: Notes from the Paisley Underground, a collection of articles documenting the Paisley Underground movement of the mid-’80s which included Manning’s 28th Day, Dream Syndicate and Mazzy Star among many others.
The 280-page book is compiled of articles from UK rock zine Bucketful of Brains and The BOB magazine and was put together by Clive Jones. There are also new introductions, including a piece by Barbara herself. The cost? Twelve bones. E-mail Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org to order yourself a copy.
SURE TO BE A GOOD ONE What better way to spend the night after Christmas than at Duffy’s with a frothy Guinness for the 3rd Annual Chico Legends Showcase. This year’s lineup includes The Abominable Iron Sloth, Faydog & Becky Sagers, Boy Tiger and DJ Eddie Def. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, it’s also Boxing Day in most Commonwealth nations. Cheers to drinking and thuggery after Christmas.
MERRY WHAT?!? As Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Festivus (am I forgetting something?) approach, I’d just like to with everybody a happy one. Hell, I’m sure there are a few birthdays out there. You guys have good ones, too.