First, thanks to everybody for feedback on Arcade Gaming Shrine. It really seems to have gone over quite well, and we are both proud of it. We suspect there will be some interesting fan videos using MAME footage before too long.
The lyrics are posted at YouTube and Entertonement but I’m trying to figure out how to best post them here too — with the song, on their own page, just in the blog? Dunno. But I did realize that there were some lines that didn’t make it that you might find interesting.
Palette-Swap Ninja is proud to announce the availability of our latest song, “Arcade Gaming Shrine,” a loving parody of “1985″ by Bowling For Soup. You can download it here — just right-click the link and select Save File As or Save Target As or whatever your browser tells you to do.
For details on this track, click the link below.
One of the questions we frequently get is “when will I be able to play Palette-Swap Ninja songs in Guitar Hero/Rock Band/Insert Music Videogame Franchise Here?”
The answer is both “never” and “now.” It’s never for the same reason that we do not charge for our songs: we only own partial copyright. The recording, the lyrics — those are definitely ours. However, the music/songwriting? Clearly the work of the original band. We pay a licensing fee for each song we record, but we do not have the rights to give our masters to the Rock Band Network or the Guitar Hero team and say “Thanks, have fun.” If we ever write an original song, then we’ll have the rights to do with it as we see fit, and we could approach the games about it. But until that time, the nature of what we do is derivative, and therefore we must respect the people who created the original works.
However…the answer is also now. All you need is a copy of the lyrics and you can sing whatever you like when you play the original songs by the original artists. So, here’s what we know is available so far:
ROCK BAND FRANCHISE
“Halo (All I Play-Oh”) – “Snow ((Hey-Oh))” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, as Rock Band DLC
“Vista Drivers” – “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, on the Rock Band 2 disc
“Learn to Spell” – “Gives You Hell” by All-American Rejects, as Rock Band DLC
GUITAR HERO FRANCHISE
“Vista Drivers” – “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, on the Guitar Hero World Tour disc
“Learn to Spell” – “Gives You Hell” by All-American Rejects, as Guitar Hero DLC
As long as you hit the right pitches, the games do not care what words you sing. Have a few drinks and try singing the words “fruitcake” and “pants” to every song; as long as you are still hitting the notes, you’ll do well.
If you have ever wanted some Zazzle merchandise, now is your chance. I think we’re going to be parting ways very soon.
I personally had an issue with Zazzle a few months ago when they told me that photos we’d taken for a calendar infringed on copyright. I lost that battle and had the calendar made elsewhere, but vowed I would find a new place for PSwap swag too.
When we uploaded the first PSwap designs to Zazzle, we were immediately challenged on ownership — strange, since we had already legally asserted our ownership by uploading, per Zazzle’s own terms of service. But we went through the extra red tape anyway and life went on.Well, today, they told us one of our shirts infringes on Bungie’s copyright. We have a shirt featuring a line from “((Halo)) All I Play-Oh” on the back. A line that we wrote.
We are not using any imagery of Halo or its properties. We are not claiming affiliation with Bungie. We are Halo fans. We used the word Halo. That, says Zazzle, is infringing.
The lyrics are copyright of Palette-Swap Ninja. We wrote them. This is not even open to debate and we have the legal right to put them on a t-shirt and sell that t-shirt. The whole reason we went with a text-based shirt was because we knew we had to use something we truly owned; we did not want some overactive lawyer to make it an issue.
Zazzle’s overactive lawyers have made it an issue.
The meeting went off without a hitch. We got to have lunch with a handful of our supporters who were able to make it to the show, including JugglerOfGeese, Xiantayne, HeartbreakRidge, SitSamBry, and Kdorff. We took over a section of the food court and LAID WASTE TO IT. Total irresponsible rock and roll behavior. Okay, we really just sat there and talked for a good 90 minutes, and then we bussed our tables politely. But it was great to meet people face to face and talk about stuff. Thanks to everybody who could make it!
More details about what you REALLY missed after the jump, including incriminating photos.
I am happy to say that Jude and I will be at PAX East 2010 at the end of the month. Specifically, we’ll both be there on Sunday. We’re not performing at or near the show because we didn’t have time to put something together; we aren’t really currently equipped for live performances anyway. I am thinking it might be fun to sing our lyrics over one of the Rock Band editions of the real songs. I might be able to pull of “Padding Your Gamerscore” live, if I can remember the words, and if it exists in a music game…which for some reason I do not think it does.
But even if we don’t perform, we do like pizza.
So the idea is that we say “Hey, Sunday at 1pm, we’re going to get lunch at Regina Pizzeria, which is right outside the convention center; any PSwap fans are encouraged to stop by and say hi.” We don’t have the cash to buy everybody lunch, sorry. But we would like to meet some of you folks and shoot the proverbial breeze.
What do you think? I mean, we’ll be eating pizza at 1pm there whether you come or not, but it’d be nice to see you.
UPDATE: No more “maybe” about this — we’ll be at the Boylston Street Regina Pizzeria at 1pm, telling making-of stories about the tracks and geeking out about PAX itself. Dan will be wearing his burgundy Palette-Swap Ninja shirt. But you probably know what we look like anyway.
UPDATE 2: I have scoped out the joint and the pizzeria in question is actually in the food court at the Prudential Center, which is the mall directly linked to the Convention Center. So you don’t even have to leave the complex to join us, and you are not required to eat pizza — there’s also Chinese, burgers, and many other options. And now we know there will be ample seating. Palette-Swap Ninja: We’re Cheap Dates!
Great, someone else that needs to learn to spell.
In late February, Jude got the “Spawned a Daughter” co-op Achievement with his wife as they welcomed Jacquline Marie Kelley into the world. Mom, dad, baby, and keytars are currently doing fine.
If it was a boy, I feel certain it would have been named Roland.
So you may or may not have heard, but Dan got a new job (again), and it required relocating to Los Angeles. That’s all done now, and the boxes are mostly unpacked. In the course of moving, he sold his Mac (which was used for PSwap recordings) and upgraded to a new machine. Trouble is…not all his old hardware works on the new machine yet. Snow Leopard driver issues. They will be resolved and music will resume.
The second half of 2009 really didn’t go as planned; the two-jobs-in-four-months thing did take up a lot of time and mental energy, and all the while we were hearing “when is the next song coming out?” The fact that you even want one is a compliment, and we will make good on our slackery in 2010.
It did not escape our notice that some of you bought PSwap gear for holiday presents, and we appreciate that too. More than anything, we appreciate your patience, because we know you want to hear new music. We want to make it. We just have to get rid of these pesky real lives first…
I’m going to be moving to a new apartment soon, so I’ve started tidying up my musical workspace/gaming area/home office. When I did, I came across this scrap of paper that you may find amusing (click on it to see it full-size). So now the truth can be told: This is how I write lyrics. I immediately type them in and send them to Jude for his additions, but I’m really a paper guy when it comes to hashing out ideas like this. And in this case, I’m proud to note that most of the lyrics were final from the start, though if you look closely you will see a few roads not taken. Also, the notepaper was from Game Developer’s Conference freebie table; I love this size paper and have several of them lying around for just this reason.
Meanwhile, work on the next song (yes, we picked one out of the mess of ideas) continues, albeit slowly, partly due to my situation. Drums are tracked out, bass is laid down, and the rest is up to me with guitars and vocals. There are a lot of layered guitars…
Bet you’re wondering why you haven’t heard any new songs from us in several months. I think it’s time I told you the truth: Palette-Swap Ninja is…not breaking up. It’s true. We love working together, and we’re totally committed to making more silly music in the future. We are neither bored nor uninspired. Sometimes, when a band has been together for a while, you know, they get closer and even more dedicated. It happens. And when it does, you have to simply accept it: Things are just going to keep getting better.
Boy, I feel better just saying that out loud.
However, there are some concrete reasons behind our unintentional hiatus. A lot of people have looked at all the things I’m involved in and asked “How do you find the time?” Well, lately, the answer has been “Actually, I don’t, but I’m still looking.” This is not meant as whining, it’s meant as explaining. But factors include: