Toys in the Attic

Good day all,

I have talked about my fascination with technology and how it is used in today’s music before, but as yesterday was Bob Moog’s 78th birthday (he invented the synthesizer) I got to thinking about it a little more. One of the things that is really amazing to me as the years wear on, especially with a 4-year old at home is how fast technology has moved in my lifetime and how easy the younger generation really has it today. I was having a discussion  with my wife about libraries and how they almost seem obsolete. With the innovations of the Kindle and the various pads that you can read books on, it almost seems the libraries are irrelevant. However, I can tell you from experience that there is no substitute for having a real book in front of you when you are working on a research paper. The highlighter does not stick well on a pad.In this same vein, the advancement of the video game has been extraordinary, from Pong to Wii, to Kinect, the advancement of video technology is just mind-blowing.

That being said , as far as I am concerned one of the greatest things to happen to music, especially heavy metal was the creation of Guitar Hero, and to a lesser extent Rock Band. When I was a kid the closest I got to jamming to may favorite metal bands was when I dropped in a cassette and played air guitar, or air drummer, or air singer. We didn’t have the technology at the time for us to be holding a pseudo electric guitar and playing “chords” with our favorite bands like you can now on the Guitar Hero platform. This game is just amazing, and yes I know it is a few years old, I just think that from what I grew up with compared to what is out there now is really noteworthy. Plus if there are any younger readers out there who weren’t alive at the time of Super Nintendo, you may find our lack of technological fun interesting, or dated, whatever! But the point is you can now jam on a “guitar” to all of your favorite metal songs as well as drums, microphones, etc… You can have your own pseudo-band without the expense of the gear, manager, promoter, monitors, effects pedals, etc… you can just jam with what you have in the confines of your home.

Picture this; a kid in his bedroom with a video camera and a stereo system, his favorite song playing and performing like he is on stage with the band. He doesn’t have a video game to guide him, he has to know all of the words by heart, the breaks, the choruses, just to try to make this thing that he is doing look right. There are no points given out and he can’t collect stars to get double and triple bonuses, all he is doing it for, is the fun of it. We didn’t have Guitar Hero when I was young so we improvised in our own way, some of us where more creative than others and therefore we created things that should have been left in the past. The irony is that if I would have had a game like Guitar Hero in my youth I may have pursued music more than I did just being a fan. But I didn’t so I was relegated to being somewhat of a video savant. Somewhere, out there, are some interesting videos of me being a guitar hero!

As technology advances so does our ability to do things easier. Computers and technology have made the recording process for bands easier in the way that they have more of an ability to control how their music sounds before it becomes public. The only true way to know what a band really sounds like is to see them live, but technology also plays a role in the live performances. Things like auto-tune can help enhance a singer’s voice during a live performance (just ask Steven Tyler). But technology has also helped to create what could be the greatest game a metalhead could ask for. Guitar Hero is to today what air guitar was to yesterday, an amazing feat of technology; now if you will excuse me I need to go play “Ace of Spades” with Lemmy and the boys.

A special video of the day:

Song of the Day:

Until Later, Peace,





3 thoughts on “Toys in the Attic

  1. First, auto tune and Tyler – can you give me a little more information on that?

    I would have loved guitar hero back in the day myself because as a non video game guy I got to say this is one I do like to play. I can’t stand playing the crappy songs on there, but when it is something I love. Look out.

    I’ve heard Maiden is going to have a bunch of songs on one of those either Guitar or Rock Band. I think Ancient Mariner is one of those songs. Imagine playing bass on that one. Might have to buy the system just for that.

    Nice post.

    • Steve and the boys (Aerosmith) performed the new single from their upcoming album on American Idol last night. Apparently, auto-tune isn’t just for the contestants.

      • That’s disgusting to hear. The talent in Steven’s voice doesn’t need to be altered. He should hang it up if he needs help like that. Thanks for the information.

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