Monthly Archives: March 2013

Top 10 Final Fantasy Bands and Albums to Ride Chocobos To

Final Fantasy (FF) is one of the world’s most popular video game series.  It revolutionized video game RPGs for all time.  The series has also known for its great music, which has inspired a number of artists to either cover in their own way, remix, or create original songs inspired by this series.  So let us look at a list of ten music acts and albums inspired from this series.

1. I have to start off with Mega Ran’s Black Materia series of albums.  First there was Black Materia which was a FF7 concept album sampling from the soundtrack.  Then Black Materia: The Remixes which remixed several tracks and added some new ones.  The there was White Materia, a mashup albums of Black Materia and various popular mainstream rap songs.  I also have the instrumental album of this and the pre-order album with early mixes of some of the songs so I own this album five times over (and one song like six).  Make of that what you may.

2. Those Who Fight have create their own Final Fantasy inspired rock opera.  It is about a crusade against the tyranny of General Bizan of the Empire of Malacia.  A misfit group out to stop the corruption that seeps into this dying world.  They are the Resistance, and they are those who fight.

3. K-Murdock’s , of Neosonic Productions, favorite FF game is FF6, so he created an instrumental album featuring remixes from it called Hero Muzik.  The first in a series of albums of Murdock’s favorite RPGs.  The album pays tribute to the games, the music, and its composer Nobuo Uematsu.

4. The Square Soft/Enix VGM folk band The World is Square is a five piece tribute band to the classic years of Square Soft/Enix games using traditional, unconventional, and modern instruments.

5. Erutan (Kate Covington/katethegreat19) is a singer/songwriter who worked out her own arrangements of the music from FF.  Performing and arranging by here self, she writes her own lyrics to songs that lack them.  You can check out her songs on her page.  Her second album, A Bard’s Side Quest features most of her FF covers and other songs from different video games.  An iTunes exclusive and was arranged with Joypad Records to remaster her arrangements and to work on licensing deals with the companies that owned the tracks.

6. Random Encounter started out as a video game cover band but has reached out to create their own video game inspired music.  Their first album has several Final Fantasy cover songs which combine acoustic instruments, synth, accordion, and electric guitar.

7. OverClock ReMix created an album of fan arrangements from FF7 called Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream.  It is a mix genres going from jazz to techno to rock to classical and more.  There is over forty-five tracks from forty artists each doing their own style.  You can get the album for free by either torrenting the whole thing or getting it track by track.

8. Knight of the Round is a thrash metal band that plays music from the FF series in their own style.  Starting out as a one man act it has grown into a metal powerhouse band.

9. Post hardcore rock band A Skylit Drive released the album Wires… and the Concept of Breathing in 2008.  Almost all of the songs are inspired by Final Fantasy in one way or another, with special attention to FFX.

10. Piano Squall, who cosplays as Squall from FFVIII, is a pianist who performs video game and anime music on piano.  His album GAME donates 20% of the money to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.   You can also get sheet music from his website for free, with an optional donation to NMSS.

Honorable Mention: Last year Square Enix released an album of the music of FFXI done as chiptune, XI Chips.  For the 25th anniversary of the series at the end of last year they also released chiptune albums of the music of FF7-FFX too.  At first they were only available in Japan, but they are going to release all five albums for purchase in both North America and Europe.  I do not see where you can buy them yet, but I want some of these.



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MarsCon Results

The winners of this year’s Logan White­hurst Memo­r­ial Awards for Excel­lence in Com­edy Music announced at MarsCon earlier this month are:

Out­stand­ing Com­edy Music Video: Beauty and the BeatTodrick Hall

Out­stand­ing Orig­i­nal Com­edy Song: 29/31Gar­funkel and Oates

Out­stand­ing Par­ody Song: When You Wish Upon A Death Starthe great Luke Ski

Which means I only got one out of three right this year in my picks.

You can watch both the con­cert and cer­e­mony on Jered Perez’s YouTube account or Power Salad’s Ustream in two parts.

Also at from this year’s opening ceremonies at MarsCon, instead of doing the usual live comedy sketch Luke Ski and other FuMPers created a 20 minute Muppet Show parody video, the FuMPept Show.  The video stars some of the stars of the FuMP as puppets (voicing themselves) doing a tribute to MarsCon itself.  It contains a few bits of songs from them and plenty of nerdy humor.  I feel it is both well made and really good Muppet parody as well, feeling like it could have been written for the original show, complete with Kermit arm flail.  Features songs by Possible Oscar, Flat 29, Rob Balder, Carla Ulbrich, and Luke Ski with something new, plus appearances by Devo Spice,  Shoebox, Insane Ian, Carrie Dahlby, “Claudia Christian”, and more.

A few podcasts have done their post-con reviews and here are some of them to enjoy.

Luke and Carries Bad Rapport Episode 80: Retainer Container

The Flopcast Episode 44: Mars Con 2013, Part 1: The Flop of Destiny

The Flopcast Episode 45: Mars Con 2013, Part 2: Bad Flopport

The ScopeEpisode 138: How Does Johnny Hot Dog’s Beet Garden Grow?

Pros and Cons PodcastEpisode 25: Mars Con vs. MadiCon

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Some More Projects on Kickstarter to Check Out

Ok another round of nerd music related Kickstarter projects to check out and maybe help fund.

From across the pond in the the UK, Pardise Decay is wanting to realse his latest album Chipotronic 8 on CD Baby and needs some help paying the CD Baby submission and bar code fees.  Chipotronic 8 contains 30 tracks composed on an Amiga computer using 8bith samples and a 4 track sequencer.

He only needs 50 pounds (I do not know what that is in dollars) and has only two donation levels.  For one pound you get 10 bonus MP3s not on the album; for five pounds you get a digital download of the album and the bonus tracks.  Funding goes till April 6th.  Get a free track for just checking out the Kickstarter page.


Josh Perschbacher, an organist, wishes to perform classical music and music from the sound track of Star Wars on an organ using the Walt Disney Concert Hal in Los Angeles and record it.  He needs $5,000 to rent the hall to rent the hall for three days to do all of it.

Music to be recorded are Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony, Darth Vader’s Imperial March, Duel of the Fates, the end credits from Episode 3, first movement to Beethoven’s 5th symphony, Mozart’s K426 fugue in c minor, Saint-Seans Dance Macbra, and Paul Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Pledges of $10 gets you an downloadable album.  $20 for a physical album.  $100 pledge lets you into the hall to watch him record.  $500 and get a producer credit on the liner notes.  Funding goes till April 12.  Check the Kickstarter page to get a taste and listen to the Imperial March on organ.  It was made to for an organ I swear.

For video game fans we have Jeremy Soule the video game composer looking to create his own symphony, Soule Symphony No. 1, “The Northerner.”  He was writtern music for The Elder Scrolls, Guild Wars, Neverwinter Nights, Forgotten Realms, Harry Potter, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, World of Warcraft, Warhammer, and many more.  He now wishes to move into the tradition of classical music.  The symphonic work will feature live players and singers with new technologies.

He has asked for $10,000 and has gotten over $44,000 as of this writing.  Do not worry you can still join in on this till April 14th.  Since he is already over his goal he plans to work on being able to replace as many of the digital elements with live musician as he can.

Now to the donation levels: $15 to get an autographed CD of the symphony, $50 personalized autograph CD, $100 name in the special thanks part of the liner notes, $500 autographed and bound copy of the conductor’s score, and $1,000 to receive a page of the conductor’s manuscript written entirely in the composer’s hand, only available through Kickstarter.

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Slytherin House Mixtape Review

Adam Warrock has rapped about many topics in the past, lots of comic book stuff, webcomics, Firefly, individuality, unity, not watching Doctor Who, and more.  His latest project, produced by Mikal kHill of Thought Criminals, tackles Harry Potter in the Slytherin House Mixtape.  The album uses remixes from the Harry Potter movie soundtracks with original lyrics.
The Slytherin House Mixtape
The album was delayed a few times, with hard drive crashes, laptop stolen, and being busy with other projects. Worth the wait though.   The album features Tribe One, Sulfur of the Thought Criminals, Ceschi Ramos, and Dr. Awkward.  The songs cover various topics of the Potterverse from a Slytherin perspective.  Going over topics related to the house (Parseltongue, Ambition), members of it (Malfoys, House of Black),  or just stuff about the dark arts in general (Dark Mark, The Hallows).
Now personally I am not a big Potter fan.  Just never really got into it.  I have seen a few movies and my family who have read all the books and seen all the movies have told me stuff.  There are a few things in the songs I am able to pick up on, but true fans will have an easier time getting all the meanings.

The album has eleven tracks, the first one is audio from the Goblet of Fire when Voldermort is finally resurrected.  The other ten are all music.
My personal favorite track is Parseltongue, also the longest track.  Becoming evil to become powerful through dark underground classes.  Talks about how outcasts and the beaten can seek revenge.  Well that is my interpretation of it.
Wands Out, next favorite, continues on with this theme.  More about the unity of the house and how they deal with those that mess with one of their members.
The beats of the album are melodious.  Flowing along easily with a good tempo.  Lyrics play along with the beats.  Talks about the dark side, how people come to it and what they do with it.

You can get the whole thing for free at the Slytherin Mixtape website.  Something for any Potter fan or fan of good hip-hop in general.

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Music Madness Melodies of Madicon (something else that begins with m)

Madicon is a yearly gaming/literary convention run by the Science Fiction Fantasy Guild at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  This year it is at the student center at JMU, March 8-10.  The con has a number of panels, workshops, vendors, artists, many games, costume contest, a LARP, art show, video games, live bird show, and auctions (including the Geek Auction to buy live people) to raise money for the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Guests for the con are authors: Jana Oliver, Jean Marie Ward, Pip Ballantine, R.S. Belcher, and Tee Morris, plus makeup guest Megan Amberly, voice actor Jon St. John, the 501st Storm Troopers, combat groups Bridgewater College Comitatus, COMARR, and Silverdain.  In addition some great music acts.

The Music Guest of Honor is Johan Knight, who I have written about so much before.  All I can really say is expect good music from him at the con.  Once again he has three concerts, paranormal folk, creepy, and supernatural steampunk.  Plus a chance to talk with him over a cup of coffee.

There is also a several chiptune composers.: Cartoon Bomb, Datacats, and Inverse Phase.  Catch the three all weekend at performances and panels.

Madicon this year has two veterans of convention raves DJ Cutman and DJ Super Sonic.  The rave is on Saturday night and will be filled with 8bit sounds and remixes of all kinds.

Panels include discussions on what different sound chips in old school consoles, about releasing a cover album, learn to write your down chiptune music, and explanation on video games remixes and their scene by DJ Fayt.

Of note, Tainted Reality will be selling Jrock CDs in the vendor room too.

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