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At long last, it is ready.

If you are just joining us: Jude lives near Boston. I live in LA. The annual California Extreme arcade show takes place near San Jose. We all got together a few months ago with several friends and made a video for our most recent song, which you can download here.

The road was more arduous than we expected. There are a few scenes shot where Jude lives, a few where I live, but most was shot at and around California Extreme 2010 — in our hotel rooms, at the strip mall down the street, and at the show itself. Most of it between 2AM and 5AM. And once we shot it, we found the lighting was weird, the colors were off, the files were huge…many technical hurdles delayed things. But with help, we overcame them and…well, hopefully you at least find it funny!

We are very, very grateful to the California Extreme team for trusting us to shoot overnight in a room with well over 400 irreplaceable arcade machines in it. Obviously, the song itself is proof that we are respect the subject matter, but still. We are forever in their debt for letting us shoot this with the real deals.

Two other credits that didn’t get credited: We bought ninja outfits online, then Kat sewed the colored tunics/accessories. Jude’s sister Sheridan tag-teamed with Kat to create that awesome PSwap animated logo at the beginning. And beyond that, the full credits are after the jump.

Just a quick note to share some progress. Jude headed back to the east coast, got a few pick-up shots for the video, and we worked out some technical issues just in time for a fresh batch of technical issues. But that’s fine, that’s the nature of things. The good news is that we have a full video together now, and both Jude and I like the content.

There are basically two steps left: polish and approval. The video needs polish because we’re mixing footage from several locations with varied (and sometimes poor) lighting. Jude’s sister Sheridan happens to be an ace at this stuff so she’s going to take a crack at evening out the color balance and whatnot; she has already created an awesome animated logo for all future video projects going forward.

Then there’s approval. We are not expecting any issues here, but since we shot most of it on location at California Extreme, the folks who run that show would like a look-see to make sure, like, nobody who is shy is accidentally caught on video. I don’t think there will be any problems, as we brought our own cast of volunteers for the shoot and you barely see anybody who isn’t in the band or a friend of the band. But for all the trust and access the CAX team gave us, this is the least we can do. So once we have their sign-off on the final cut, we will be ready to post. Fingers crossed, hopefully first week of September.

I have posted a few more of Kat’s shots from our CAX photo session at Facebook (we have a new group, did you know?), none of which are from the video…but after the video comes out, there will be a few more.

The rumors are true. If you have listened to either Episode 14 of the Community Voice Podcast or TalkRadar 112, I spilled the beans about why we felt it was so important that everyone attend California Extreme this year: We secretly shot a video for “Arcade Gaming Shrine” and were quietly inviting friends and supporters to be in it. Kat also took some photos that we’ll soon be posting around to Facebook and whatnot as our “official” shots. Here’s a small version of one:

The show was a blast anyway, but the video shoot made it extra special. I don’t want to give too much away about exactly what is in the video because I want it to be a surprise to anybody who wasn’t there. I can say that we made good use of over 400 classic arcade machines — everything in the song was on the show floor except for just two games (Daytona USA and Ladybug). Also, several members of the GamesRadar/TalkRadar crew helped us out and stayed up in the wee hours of the morning while we lip-synched with the best of them. We are forever grateful to the CA Extreme gang for trusting us when we came to them with this crazy idea and we hope the final video will do them proud.

The video is being edited now and we are picking up a few shots we didn’t get during the weekend. I figure it will be online sometime in the next six to eight weeks. Hopefully sooner but realistically, we have a lot going on in real life.

I’m happy to say that we have a new partner for our t-shirts, Spreadshirt. Go back a few posts and you’ll see some of the problems we had with Zazzle, so we wanted to find a better online outlet for shirts. And we found it — not only is the Spreadshirt quality very high, but the shirts prices are actually lower than they were at Zazzle. We only take a minimal cut anyway, because we want people to wear our logo — so an even cheaper shirt price is good news all around. Click on the image and take a look at our designs; we now have shirts for women, kids, babies, and very large guys, and in most cases, the colors are yours to choose.

Also, after talking with Spreadshirt about how they handle issues of copyright infringement, we feel confident they will not pull our designs without a clear notification. For that matter, we don’t think they’ll tell us that our original designs belong to someone else the way Zazzle did, but that almost goes without saying.

However, we are keeping our embroidered hoodies and caps up at Zazzle for the time being. There was a significant setup fee for us to make those items available, and Spreadshirt does not yet offer embroidered items, so those are the only items that remain in our Zazzle store. As soon as we find an alternate vendor for those, the Zazzle store will close.

Everything is available through our Merch page, of course. Thanks for your support.

Next month around this time is California Extreme. It’s the best arcade show I’ve ever been to — tons of pinball and arcade collectors bringing their prized possessions out of their basements and home game rooms, only to set them on free play for everyone to enjoy for a weekend. Jude and I have gone every year we’ve been able to for the past several years; one year, Jude brought his Gauntlet and gave a little something back. It’s well worth the price of admission, and the show has recently moved to an even better location.

Now it’s tougher for us both to make it to CAX — Jude’s on the east coast, I’m in SoCal — but we’re still planning to attend this year. And we are going to make the most of it. We are not doing a live concert (sorry), but we are doing something special beyond just enjoying the expo — and, depending on how crazy you are, you may be invited to participate. Remember how we solicited for people to sing along on “Learn to Spell?” I think this is cooler.

If you have any desire to be involved, buy your tickets now and comment below when you do.

TalkRadar — the internet’s filthiest, ramblingest, drinkiest podcast — hit its centennial episode recently and they named us one of the 100 things that makes the show special. And that’s “special” as in “unique and awesome,” not “special” as in “Olympics” — but nobody would blame you for making the mistake, because, come on — it’s TalkRadar.

Anyway, we debuted “Wii Christmastime” on episode 29, and the whole TalkRadar crew has been very supportive of us, playing our songs and giving us exposure to all their perverted little fans. And we really, really appreciate that.

So the very least we can do is return the favor. Go listen to TalkRadar 100. It’s only six hours long.

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:

“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

“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.

These lyrics belong to us.

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.

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