Inside Pulse 12

A Thumb To The Eye Number 10

blah blah blah blah blah…
LEONARD BERNSTEIN!!!
-R.E.M. “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I have no rhythm. None. I am fully, totally, and completely arrhythmic. In most game genres this is not much of a problem, but in the ever growing and magical realm of rhythm and music games, my chronic arrhythmia is a severe weakness. To me the pinnacle of rhythm gaming is the amazing Bust- A- Groove with Samba De Amigo and Cool Cool Toon running up close behind. Hell, I even bought Puyo Puyo DA!, the obscure and goofy Dreamcast dancing game. Missing from my collection? Why, the Konami Bemani games. I have never even played one, mainly due to my exceptional laziness. And my lack of rhythm. That is all going to change this fall due to one game: Karaoke Revolution.

You see, while I am largely tone deaf, lack rhythm, and have no discernible musical talent, I LOVE singing along to songs. As much as Lee loves liquor, Bebito loves Sonic, and Fred loves accusing video game designers of recreational drug use, I love to sing along to songs. Whether it is on the radio, on my computer, or in my head, I NEEDS to sing along to songs. So, after perusing the Konami provided song list, I have selected a few that I am dying to sing along to and a few that NEED to be on the sequel. And there will be a sequel or the streets will run red with the blood of the nonbelievers. Oh, sorry, that’s Mike Judge and Alex Lucard at the door. Ummm, yeah, due to the injunction, ignore the whole “streets running red” business. Anyways, here are a few songs I am dying to karaoke:

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It ( And I Feel Fine): R.E.M. may have made this song popular, but MTV made me tired of hearing it and frat boys bombed on cheap beer singing along to it made me hate it. Luckily, this game gives everyone the ability to embarrass themselves while trying to remember the pseudo- Ginsberg lyrics while drinking alcohol in the privacy of their own home. Yay for that. As the title of this column probably exposed, the part of this song I look forward to the most is hearing all my drunk friends screaming “LEONARD BERNSTEIN!!!” in unison, or the alcohol soaked equivalent to unison. Remember it all started with an earthquake and you’ll do fine.

Bizarre Love Triangle: That year I spent wearing all black and listening to Joy Division and New Order FINALLY pays off. Trust me, no session in my house will be complete without my tear- jerking rendition of this song. Prepare to lose. Seriously, though, I love this song, even if I fear that they’ll include the FRENTE! variation of this classic, and I am glad to see Konami putting something not completely sucky on this game. Bonus points go to everyone who sounds both disaffected and heartbroken while singing this one. It is much harder than it sounds…

One Week: THE song I most look forward to singing with a Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat in one hand and a grin on my face. This is a perfect drinking song and is great to rattle off in a slight stupor. The Barenaked Ladies may be Canadian and use acoustic guitars, but I love them all the same. Bonus points for Sailor Moon and Aquaman references.

Smooth Criminal: Let me be serious for a moment. This song is an EXCELLENT piece of music. Catchy, fun to sing along to, and it gives you plenty of opportunity to break out a dance move or two. No matter what you think of Michael Jackson, this is going to be a crowdpleasing song. I do not know the guy personally, so I can not judge him, but I do know he has created some incredible music and brought me a lot of joy over the years. Bonus points for singing this song seriously and not doing the ironic, Alien Ant farm version. Or I will send Bryan Berg over to your house to revoke your Bemani privileges.

Honorable Mentions: Hey Jealousy, The One That I Want, Kiss Me

Too Cool For School, the Songs Konami Forgot To Include

I Want You To Want Me: That neither this nor “Surrender” made their way into this game makes me a little bit sad. Why, you ask? Because karaoke and Cheap Trick go together like Tango and Cash. They are unbeatable. I sing along to these songs if they are on or not. A Cheap Trick- free shower is a travesty, to me. That nothing from “Live At Budokan” made it in is a little disheartening. I will live, I guess

Ruby Soho: Of all the output from Rancid over the years, this song represents them at their most karaoke friendly moment. All it takes is one drunk buddy doing a Tim Armstrong impersonation and you WILL see the beauty of this song. Ruby Ruby Ruby Soooo Hoooo.

Are Friends Electric?: I would have even settled for Cars, or any Gary Numan song for that matter. My love of disaffected British singers is complete and all encompassing. Why leave out the god of synth fueled rocknocity? Why Konami, why?

Well, I have to go see the Rundown and play some Drummania. Have fun and be nice out there in Internetland. This has been a Thumb To The Eye.