“I will gain an extra life / When I get the high score.”
That lyric – from ‘Photoshop Handsome’ by Everything Everything – has been stuck in my head since I got their debut album the best part of a fortnight ago. If not since last year when I first saw them live.
It’s been stuck there partly because it’s a damned catchy song, but also because I can’t stop thinking that it’s simply not accurate. Can you think of a game in which you get an extra life for getting the high score? I bet (hope) you can’t. Extra lives are earned during play, and high scores when it’s game over. No?
The band aren’t idiots though, elsewhere referencing the Game Gear – so our resident obsessive Matt will be pleased – and Sega being dead. Not that they’re anything like the first band to mention video games: Kaiser Chiefs with their “powered-up Pac-Man”, Underworld with their “Tetris keyring”, etcetera. In fact, it’s not even the first time I’ve written about it: I previously espoused the delights of a song by Silvery about the creator of Space Invaders.
Using game machines as part of your act is something new to me, but it’s what MidiMidis do. When I saw them a few weeks ago, they teased the crowd with a bit of classic Super Mario Bros music before launching into their excitable set. Not only that, but this video from their performance at the Reading Festival shows them including a PSP in their equipment. I’m too stupid to know what they might be doing with it.
While I’m on chiptunes, or approximations thereof, I can’t help but mention the track ‘My Butt Hurts’ by Printed Circuit. It’s been played by Tom Robinson on 6 Music, and you’ll find on their MySpace page. It really is a lot of fun.
Elsewhere this week, I have also been musing about the motorsport games due in the coming weeks
There’s also 1998’s Body Movin’ from the Beastie Boys: “if you play Defender I could be your hyperspace”
To really learn more about artists who use video game systems as instruments, you should check out the film Reformat The Planet, which features a ton of chiptune musicians with live performances.
Thanks for the suggestion; I managed to find the trailer (http://www.2playerproductions.com/projects/rtp). Looks interesting.
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