Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Time Capsule: Gimmick! Video Game Rock Band - Debut Performance

The Time Capsule is a section for quick blurbs about “current” events that don’t necessarily fit into any other category on Nerd Up, such as a movie or game trailer, an album release, an astronomical observance, etc.  The implied joke is that most of the content discussed on Nerd Up is from years or decades in the past so we need to come into a different time frame to discuss topics in the present, with the normal understanding of the function of a time capsule being to view in the present things that were preserved in the past.  If you got that on your own from the beginning, then I’m sorry you had to read the explanation… your brain is apparently as broken as my own.

The topic here is something that did happen a few months in the past from this posting: the debut performance of the video game music cover band Gimmick! Video Game Rock Band.  Gimmick! contains two former members of Descendants of Erdrick – Chris Taylor and Mike Villalobos, who have switched instruments from their previous roles – as well as guitarist Kenneth Reichelderfer and drummer Justin Olejnik.  Based out of Austin, Texas, the group performs rock versions of songs from old video games that are close covers to the original songs.

Their entire debut performance – at Genuine Joe’s coffeehouse in Austin on January 12th, 2013 – was recorded and uploaded to Youtube by Robert Swackhamer from the 8bitX Radio Network, and we’re going to embed that video here for your enjoyment.  Check it out, and keep an eye out for these guys going forward.  Rumor has it that a demo CD may or may not have been recorded and may or may not be available in the not too distant future.

The set list for the show contains tracks from some games that have frequently been covered - Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man 3, Rygar, and Bubble Bobble - and other tracks from games that are rarely covered by any VGM cover band, such as Hoops, Mega Man 5, Yo! Noid, and Metal Storm.  My personal favorite track is the Super Mario Land medley, which includes every single song from the Game Boy title.  I agree with the guy who yells out when the Chai Kingdom theme kicks in (around 32:49).

One strange thing is that, although the band is named after the Sunsoft NES game Gimmick! (which was released in Japan and Scandinavia but not in North America or most of Europe), there are no songs from that game (which is the only game to use the FME-07 expansion audio chip, and has quite a nice soundtrack) available in the set.  Chris Taylor has said that the band will be covering music from the game eventually (Happy Birthday, please).

The set list for the show is as follows:                             
1.      Hoops (NES) – Title Screen, Player Select
2.      Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) – Overworld 1, Underworld, Course Clear
3.      Mega Man 3 (NES) – Top Man’s Stage
4.      Mega Man 5 (NES) – Dark Man’s Stage
5.      Rygar (NES) – Medley (Guru’s Theme, Primeval Mountain, Garloz, Sagila’s Cave, Palace of Dorago, Door of Peace)
6.      Yo! Noid (NES) – Stage 1 Theme
7.      Bubble Bobble (NES) – Level Music (varying speeds)
8.      Super Mario Land (GameBoy) – Medley (Oh! Daisy!, Muda Kingdom, Level Complete, Bonus Game, One Up, Overworld Theme, Coin Room, Easton Kingdom, Boss Battle, Mario Down, Chai Kingdom, Submarine Theme, Can Can Invincibility, Evil Alien Tatanga, Rocket Ship Ride, Game Over)
9.      Metal Storm (NES) – Stage 1 Theme
10.  Mega Man 3 (NES) – Dr. Wily Stage Map, Dr. Wily Stage 1-2, Dr. Wily Stage 3-4, Dr. Wily Stage 5-6, Dr. Wily Boss Battle, Continue?
11.  Hoops (NES) Title Screen, Ending

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