Monday, September 14, 2009

iTunes Running Diary – Monday, September 14 – Guitar Hero 5

This week's artists.

I decided to do another theme entry, since I just got Guitar Hero 5, and I'm loving it so far. (By the way, McDonald's, I am not paying for that usage, never ever.) Because I realize that some people – myself included – like to discover the game's songs as they play, I will preface this entry with the information that these songs are uncovered within the first hour or so. I only play the guitar, because I don't have any of the other instruments, and really, who prefers to play bass? On to the songs!

- "Fame" by David Bowie. It is already well-cataloged on this here blog that I'm a huge Bowie fan, so I didn't mind playing along with this version at all. I did really well, too, getting five stars easily with 99 percent, and only misplaying a single note. It seems like a song that is tailored more for the vocals, with the ending especially hard.

The song itself is one of Bowie's better, although it doesn't really work up to much of a crescendo. A fun fact from Guitar Hero 5: Some of the backing vocals at the end are by John Lennon. Good for him! I'm glad he had such great taste. I like the first and last minutes the best, with the 1960s "face-off" music giving way to the pluck and glitz of Bowie, which reaches its peak at the end of the song, with the echoing vocals.

- "Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage, a.k.a. the Shirley Manson band. Their biggest hit might be "Stupid Girl", but I much prefer this song, and I had forgotten about how awesome it is until it came up as a playable for me. Hmmm, do I want to play Shirley Manson or Bob Dylan? The answer is simple, although I'm probably the only one who would chose for the Garbage over the art. (Get the double meaning, get it???)

On a game-related note, the avatar for Shirley Manson is shockingly hot. The actual Shirley is pretty attractive, but the goth makeup and outfits don't really do much for me. Her outfit in the game is just a red dress, and as a result, she has earned the spot as the lead singer in my make-believe band. The other two spots are still fictional characters though; still holding tryouts and what not, you know.

- "Gratitude" by The Beastie Boys. I was actually surprised that this song made it into the game. As a big fan of The Beastie Boys, I don't really consider this one of their signature songs, or one that lends itself well to Guitar Hero. Obviously, "Sabotage" is the easiest one to port, and that's already been done, along with "So Watcha Want?", which wasn't done as well to me.

Off the top of my head, if they wanted to go kind-of-artsy like "Gratitude", then "Sabrosa" would have been better, except that it doesn't have lyrics. My favorite Beastie Boys' song of all-time, "Live at PJ's", would have been an awesome selection because of the great lyrics, bass and drums. There is also some ambient sound in the background - people cheering and clapping to start and end the song - that would have lent itself well to the Guitar Hero crowd. Also better than "Gratitude" would have been "Jimmy James" and "I Don't Know" and "Heart Attack Man".

- "Hurts So Good" by John Cougar Mellencamp. I'm torn on Mellencamp as an artist; he is so freakin' pandering. He's like the generic, mass-market version of Tom Petty, like The Eagles of his generation. "Small Town" and "Jack and Diane" are especially guilty of this sin. I could stand them if they were played sparingly, or if he wasn't shilling Chevy trucks in every other commercial, but it's just all so muchery.

That being said, I do think "Hurts So Good" is the best song of his catalog. It is just a bit catchier and rockier than his other songs, and thus, it gets a reluctant nod of approval from me.

- "Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones. Yes, I'm not much of a Stones' fan outside of "Get Out Of My Cloud", but I must admit that I did enjoy playing along to this song, as opposed to some of the alternatives at this point. Also, some of the other songs available - "Steady As She Goes" by The Raconteurs and "Gamma Ray" by Beck - I've already written about, so this song gets the last spot according to the two sweetest words in the human language, according to Homer Simpson - Dee Fault.

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