March 27, 2008
A Surrogate Band
Ever since I set my e-mail filters to automatically trash any incoming emails containing the words/phrases "loser," "pathetic," "sucks," "has-been," "ashamed," "die," "kill you," "give up already," "not even remotely funny," and "mom," I've noticed that the ratio of hate mail to -- well, "tolerate mail" I suppose -- that I receive has changed dramatically. Now I get less than four death threats a week, and occasionally I hear from someone whose self-respect is so low that they seem to actually enjoy reading The Meathead Perspective. As a matter of fact, I got one of these the other day, and I thought I'd take a quick sec and force it upon the rest of you. Cool!
I'm not sure what "XD" means exactly, so I'll assume it stands for "xylocarpous dodecahedron." What that has to do with this website is beyond me, but then again, so are a lot of things. Let's move on.
I could have sworn I talked about Rock Band on here already, but I guess I must have just been talking to myself about it because I can't find anything about it in the archives. For those of you who don't know about Rock Band and are apparently somehow accessing this web page from a tiny South American village in the year 1914, it's a video game in which you deftly attempt to hit colored buttons on Fisher-Price plastic instruments in time with the music as the biggest group of fucking posers I've ever seen performs your favorite Nickelback songs on your TV. For a minute I thought maybe it actually was Nickelback, but then I realized that the singer didn't look like he belonged in a Geico commercial, so I guess it's not. Basically, Rock Band is Guitar Hero for people who also think it would be cool to be a drummer for some reason.
This game also includes some hit songs by your favorite classic rock bands, such as The Who, Aerosmith, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nine Inch Nails. Since this isn't a Blue Öyster Cult website (god I wish), I guess I'll talk about Nine Inch Nails instead. The Rock Band guys really dug deep into NIN's catalog and selected "The Hand That Feeds," their second-most popular anti-Bush gay disco song, all the way back from 2005. That's a relief, because when I first heard there was going to be a NIN song in the game, I was afraid they might pick one of the good ones.
A short time later, due to overwhelming demand by the nerd community (or just Trent Reznor), the powers that be decided that it would be in everyone's best interests to inject a bunch of extra songs, including three more NIN songs and six Boston songs, into the Rock Band catalog. So if the novelty of annoying your friends and family by singing "The Hand That Feeds" over and over again with a mouthful of Tater Tots has finally worn off, and I can't imagine how it could have, now you can ruin even more NIN tunes with your inept musicianship (assuming Aaron North hasn't already)!
At long last, you can finally travel to a parallel universe in which Trent looks like a 20-year-old Asian woman in a wifebeater, and isn't afraid to play "The Perfect Drug" live for fear of sounding "gay," while simultaneously having no issue with singing the line "and when I suck you off, not a drop will go to waste" in public. "The Collector," featuring similarly homoerotic lyrics, is included in the update as well, along with "March of the Pigs" and "Truckin'." Just kidding, "Truckin'" is a Grateful Dead song. Gotcha! I really wish they would have thrown in "A Violet Fluid" and "March of the Fuckheads," though, as those songs can liven up any party. What were they thinking?
I don't own a copy of Rock Band myself, as I'm not a nerd (not that much of a nerd, anyway), but I managed to play it for a little while at a friend's house, after wiping the sweat and potato chip grease off the instruments. I have to admit I wasn't really sold on the concept of this game at first, but after spending some hands-on time with it, I've come to understand its appeal. If you're a loser with no life (unlike me), it can be fun to pretend you're a rock star, as long as you don't let it blur the line between fantasy and reality like I did back in the day with SimCity. I ended up re-zoning my entire neighborhood to Industrial and bulldozing a mini-mall before someone finally smacked some sense into me. At any rate, it was kind of enjoyable pretending to be With Teeth-era Nine Inch Nails while sitting on the couch. Because nobody else wanted to play "The Hand That Feeds" with me, I played each part the entire way through myself, minus Trent's part (I'm not worthy) and Alessandro's (because there isn't any). Of course, with a game this exciting, it's impossible not to get into character when you play it. First I played the drums, pretending I was each of the three NIN drummers: the first time, I played for thirty seconds of the song before collapsing onto the floor, then I went out back and smoked a doobie before coming back to play it (badly) a second time, then I played it the right way while imagining banging one of Trent's cast-offs after the show. Then I switched over to lead guitar and totally wailed. I probably sounded like shit, but hot damn I looked cool leaping off the back of the couch and into the entertainment center. Last, and least, I tried out the bass guitar, and honestly, it just made me want to go and take a shower for about six hours. I don't know why.
And that's all I really have to say about this Rock Band bullshit. Now I'm going to go play some Wolfenstein 3-D like a real man. If anyone has any more ideas for things to write about while Trent prepares his ridiculous 2008 tour, you know what to do. Keep them to yourself.