Temp Sound Solutions releases 'live at magfest 8​.​5'

New video game arrangements performed live on September, 13, 2014.

Game Music 4 All just isn't the same when I'm not covering my personal favorite video game cover band/squad/entity, Temp Sound Solutions. Check out this classic live set from a few MAGFests ago.

Download the album for $6 on the Temp Sound Solutions Bandcamp page.

Tickets and hotel rooms available now for MAGFest 13 taking place January 23-26, 2015

magfest-13-2015-music-gaming-festival

It's the height of summer for some, but it is never too early to get excited for MAGFest! MAGFest.org has recently announced that tickets and hotel registration are now available!

Registration and hotel booking open

MAGFest, the Music And Gaming Festival, returns to celebrate its 13th year of hosting the best gaming party in the known universe! Join us January 23-26, 2015 as we once again descend upon the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, MD, and kick off yet another four days of non-stop music, gaming, panels, vendors, and guests.

Tickets and discounted hotel rooms are now available! Pre-register now to save by getting our early bird pre-registration price, and book your hotel room in the Gaylord before we sell out like we did last year.

Inverse Phase - Shuttle Scuttle OST released

In the midst of a secret chiptune show at MAGFest X, Brendan Becker aka Inverse Phase fired his 8-bit cylinders for the crowd and brought along copies of his Shuttle Scuttle OST. The video game score was conceived for a space shooter developed in the style of NES titles of yore. This made it perfect for Brendan's compelling chip work, which ties everything into a beautifully nostalgic package. The soundtrack is available now on his Bandcamp page, and the game itself can be found as an iOS title at shuttlescuttle.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avXxSNSLN9Q

MAGFest announces full band roster for MAGFest 9 this January

Recently, the biggest convention of VG music fans and musicians in America, MAGFest, has announced their highly anticipated list of performing acts for next year. There isn't much to add to this, so just look below in awe at all the incredible talent performing. Not only brand new never before seen at MAGFest bands, but also the standard amazing acts, as well as several who haven't performed since MAGFests long since passed. Check out the bands below, and then head over to magfest.org and grab your tickets now!

Featured Game Music Bands: The Protomen (http://www.protomen.com/) The Minibosses (http://www.minibosses.com/) The OneUps (http://www.theoneups.com/) Metroid Metal (http://metroidmetal.com/) Armcannon (http://armcannon.com/) Bit Brigade (http://www.bitbrigade.com/) The Megas (http://themegas.com/) Year 200X (http://year200xband.com/) X-Hunters (http://www.myspace.com/thexhunters) Entertainment System (http://www.myspace.com/entertainmentsystem) This Place Is Haunted (http://thisplaceishaunted.com/)

Not only will these acts be performing every night of this fest, but the floors will also be home to a cavalcade of video game composers and special guests. Check out the still growing line up over at this link! Rare Candy (http://www.rarecandyband.com/)

First set of bands announced for MAGFest 9

As the sun sets on PAX and an event filled summer, the days grow shorter and it is time to look longingly into the wintery world of MAGFest. This is quite easy to do, now that the MAGFest crew has announced a few of the many bands that will be performing at the upcoming festival. Groups include newcomers The X Hunters, and personal favorites Bit Brigade. Not to mention the return of amazing bands Metroid Metal, Entertainment System, and Rare Candy. On top of that, there will even be DJs cutting things up VG style with DJ Cutman and DJ AWESOME so you can dance it off all night long.

This is just the first of many upcoming announcements for MAGFest, so keep checking their site for the latest news, and I will see you there in January!

'It has a good beat, and I can kill zombies to it' Panel at PAX East semi live blog post

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Hey everyone this is anthony and I am here in jamspace at PAX East doing my first liveblog ever. Let us see how this goes. The space is completely full and I am stuck in the very back. The Megas music is playing right now and is from their Get Acoustic album. Awesome choice MAGFest dudes!

Update 1: I should mention that this panel coming up as well as our iwadon panel at 4:30pm est and all other jamspace events this weekend will be up at the magfest ustream channel so you don't even need me!

Update 2: panel started. Montage of classic video games and music going. Tons of cheers for grim fandango. Good series of games chosen. Zelda, space invaders, streets of rage, ssx, and now parappa (also getting lots of cheers)

Update 3: Introducing jim bonney of irrational games, and gene rozenberg of 38 Studios. Apparently one more person has not arrived yet.

Update 4: aubrey hodges of 38 Studios as well just arrived yay!

Update 5: discussing the creation and updating of music from mortal kombat 3 to mortal kombat armageddon, which was supposed to be "the final mortal kombat" which it wasn't. Showing an awesome progression of 16 bit to cd quality sound design.

Update 6: taking questions. "What project gave you the toughest creative choices" to jim bonney. "Stranglehold was tough for the variety and eastern musical influences in the game."

Update 7: showed classic streets of rage commercial, now discussing henry hatsworth music and gameplay. Looks awesome and hilarious.

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Update 8: aubrey hodges discussing doom 64 and musical programming differences based on cd and cartdridges in the 32/64 bit game era. Had to program songs into 200k of memory for the N64.

Update 9: Q&A again. To aubrey, "how do you keep creativity for music from game to game?"

"Just pushing through and writing until getting that next idea."

Update 10: end of panel, was a lot of fun and played an interesting montage of game music. Also lots of crowd participation. Hope the next few panels are just as interesting.

The Smash Brothers release Bacon EP for free download

What happens when you take some of the best known and most beloved folks in the video game rock and ReMix community, and force them to play together at the biggest gathering of VGM lovers in the world? You end up with The Smash Brothers, who recently threw down another memorable set at this year's MAGFest.

Their debut and so far only album, the Bacon EP, came out at MAGFest 7, but to celebrate this year's concert, they decided to release this collection of seven, over the top tracks of video game rearrangements absolutely free at their website thesmashbrothers.com.

Things kick off heavy with the opening track Makes You Starowngahhhh/Lifeforce. Heavy drums and guitar lay the groundwork for some space fighting solo work. The song brings on some horns to drive the cosmic and epic feel home. Then things break down and we reach a lull before another insane guitar fronted climax. After soaring through the skies we crash-land right at Dracula's doorstep. Actraiservania/Actraiser Castlevania IV is a strong straightforward track skillfully combining the haunting yet heroic music of Castlevania, and the mighty sounds of Actraiser. The action builds until the very last moment. Then we find ourselves in Onett/Earthbound for a lively, jazzed up and funked out version of the town theme that would make the Runaway Five proud. Staying true to the upbeat sounds of the original, the song does an amazing job taking you back to your first time playing earthbound (not to mention a few other game worlds that are sprinkled throughout the song).

Now we come to a particular favorite track, from a game I am constantly complaining about needing some more coverage in the VGM world. We are now at Shaking Hands With The Devil/UN Squadron. Starting ominously, and not out of place in a catalog of Led Zeppelin albums, the stellar arrangement lifts into a Guitar/Keyboard fronted combo. The rhythm section keeps things hard and heavy while the leads build and swirl around one another, building an atmospheric dogfighting atmosphere that definitely gets you in the mood to take down an entire army of enemy jets all by yourself. Things get a little more relaxed with the soft nostalgic tones of ff1town.wav/Final Fantasy I. I have gone on record many a time talking about my lack of interest in new FF arrangements, having heard more than enough in my time. But this track may be one of, if not the most phenomenal recreations of the classic Final Fantasy music I have yet to hear. Any fan of FF, VGM, or music and video games in general owes it to themselves to hear this track.

Finally we come to Missile Ride/Contra IV. For those of you who have not played Contra IV, you really need to get on that. Anyway, some back story here is that the one and only Jake "virt" Kaufman was hired to create the music for the game, and virt being virt, and Contra being Contra, the game and music kicked considerable ass. So now we have a band with virt in it, rearranging game music that virt arranged originally for the game. Whoa. Anyway, that means this is one furious and over the top manly metal track, and will blow you away just as much as the previous five tracks.

There is also one more bonus track, but I will leave that to you to find out about that one. Just make sure you do not miss out on this incredible EP. Once again, you can grab it over at The Smash Brothers official website.

Armadillo Tank - We Are Not Men debut album

If you were at this past MAGFest a couple weeks ago you no doubt heard the up and coming VG metal group Armadillo Tank help rock the place. For those who weren't so lucky, the group has released their debut album We Are Not Men to order in CD form over at their official store where you can also grab an awesome T-Shirt or two. You can also check out Armadillo Tank's Bandcamp page to listen to the album in it's entirety online, and buy a digital copy of the album.

The album kicks off with a rough and tumble war march style intro which dives into the meat of the album with a rendition of Alien Crush. This song definitely shows off the bands signature style of lo-fi singing and screaming on top of some heavy drums and grinding distorted guitar work. Moving on a little more we hear a great re-imagining of a personal favorite, Mega Man X Spark Mandrill. Starting off with primal drums and slow chords, the song starts to come together into something more recognizable with the introduction of the lyrics about 45 seconds in. At this point we break into an intense hardcore rendition of a familiar theme. With both deep growls and strong vocals mixing together. This brings us crashing through the song which has an excellent but short drum breakdown at about the halfway mark as well. This song is a personal favorite of mine on the album, and is definitely worth checking out specifically.

The album also takes us through quite a few overlooked and unfamiliar VGM tracks of days gone by, with tracks like Amagon, Smurfs, and the aforementioned Alien Crush, this band has definitely gone out of their way to pay homage to some overlooked tracks with some impressive results. If no the unlikely chance that someone you know states that the smurfs are "totally not metal" you can point to this bands wild west style rendition, and nod at them slowly. We also have some more familiar tunes of course, with the likes of music from Silver Surfer, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, and some more great Mega Man tunes from games 2 and 9 respectively.

Another stand out track to me is near the end of the album. TMNT 4 has a driving classic calm before the storm attitude to it that seems to bring one back to a more grungy rock era. The quick paced drums coupled with the slowly, somewhat somber guitar riffs really make this a stand out track on the album and in VG Rock music in general. Another definite listen from the album, and great argument for purchasing the full CD.

I'm glad to finally hear some music from this band. Not just that, but their full album, which I have been highly anticipating since pIENESS, lead singer for this band, and a GM4A supporter from the beginning, announced it a while back. Not to mention other great musicians and friends Raub, Cetera, Darmock, and Geotarkus. The fusion of styles and rock attitude makes for a stand out treat for folks looking for something a bit dirtier in their VGM.

MAGFest VIII announces final bands; all out of gum


At only a month and a half away, MAGFest 8 is right around the corner, and with that the MAGFest dissemination campaign is a go! If you watched the video above you know about one of the special guests who will be there, but word from Nick at the MAGFest camp has given word about some more guests including famed game developer Sid Meier.

Alongside the new guests, the final four bands have been added to the all star roster of VG influenced performances. Let's just do the list thing here, featuring the 100% full roster of amazing artists. It should be noted that none of the bands will have any gum either, which we hope is indicative of something or other.

Final bands added
The OneUps
Select Start
Entertainment System
The Megas

Previously announced bands
Armcannon
Metroid Metal
Temp Sound Solutions
Rare Candy
A_Rival
The Smash Brothers
Armadillo Tank
This Place is Haunted

So if you are on the East Coast, nay, on Earth, head over to magfest.org and sign up for the fest right now. Unless of course you want The Duke ripping off your head, and..er..just go to MAGFest.

First MAGFest VIII bands announced!


We recently mentioned that MAGFest VIII was announced and registration is now open. But how about what those tickets get you? Well MAGFest crew member Nick 'The Newbie' Marinelli has let slip two of the sure to be many bands performing at this upcoming MAGFest! Read on to get the scoop right from Nick himself!

Good news MAGFans, we're revealing our first two musical guests that will be playing at MAGFest 8, January 1-4, 2010, in Alexandria, VA. They're both veteran bands to us, so they're well versed in the art of rocking out.

Metroid Metal: Originally a solo project by Grant Henry at metroidmetal.com, this metal tribute to Nintendo's Metroid series made its full live band debut at last year's MAGFest, and is playing at PAX 2009 in seattle. They just released their new album "Varia Suite" and you can get it through their website. They'll be returning this year to attach to your head and drain all your energy. Get your ice beam ready!

Arm Cannon: An internationally renowned 5 piece band from Buffalo NY, these guys have made their mark remixing video game classics. They skillfully reincarnate these classic melodies of yore into a progressive-metal triumph of nostalgia. An Armcannon show will reawaken your inner child with the unmatchable power of rock. They've been with MAGFest since our 5th fest in 2007, and are glad to return this year. They also just released their second, and you can get it at armcannon.com [ed. I also reviewed their new album READ IT!]

For fresh new videos of Metroid Metal with terrific remastered audio, and other great videos of bands and happenings from past MAGFests, check out our youtube channel at youtube.com/magfest

This is just the beginning, folks! We'll have plenty more bands and guests to announce in the coming weeks. Make sure to pre-register now to save $5, and get admission to our New Years Eve party! magfest.org/prereg

Also, MAGFest will be sponsoring the music at the upcoming GameX Industry Summit in Philadelphia this coming October. GameX is a national game consumer show designed to draw from national, regional and local audiences of game players, film and TV fans, comic book buffs and tech enthusiasts. High-value consumer content is being provided by exhibitors and sponsors, including major media and entertainment companies seeking to build their brands with the core games audience. MAGFest will be in charge of the music, so some see bands including The One-Ups and Arm Cannon. More info at gamexpo.us

Concatenation Records album releases - Nevar Say Die volumes 1 and 2, The Wonderful World of Willow

A place I have rarely mentioned until now, a wonderful, magical place that helps dreams come true (well if your dream is to get help for going to MAGFest at least). Anyway, this place is known as Concatenation Records and is home to many great releases. A few I am highlighting here as a crash course in the website with the following releases.


From a collection of the best minds in video game inspired music, all concentrated in the pure awesomeness of The Shizz Minibosses boards comes Nevar Say Die! Compilation, Volume One. Released October 9th, 2007 for $5 to get hopeful shizzies out to MAGFest, the album boasts impressive original tunes and incredible video game covers from the endless talent in the minibosses boards community. The album is still available now to continue providing money for the ever helpful Shizzie MAGFest Fund. Check out the incredible list of artists below over the 19 tracks. Still an incredible buy even today.

01. xoc - Magic Johnson's Fast Break
02. Wizards and Warriors (featuring Spamtr0n) - Grim Bleeper
03. Ashane - Cyrinite
04. Spamtr0n - Water Dripping in the Metvl Cave
05. Temp Sound Solutions - Room Temperature
06. Disasterpeace - Death Satellite Evasion
07. TheoConfidor - Into the Depths
08. Mustin - Serenity (Final Fantasy VII)
09. pingosimon - Metroid Symphony (performed by the San Diego State University Orchestra)
10. Phlogiston - Ture and Yoru
11. atomic-guy - Double Dip
12. The OneUps - Bomberman
13. M-H - Blue Knight of Ballacetine
14. Kodiak Attack - Motörbear
15. Metalbishop - FPS
16. weener and Tender Lad - Battleaxe Babes
17. ansgaros - How?
18. mercatfat - That's So Ironic!
19. Temp Sound Solutions - Rotten Fruit Msgboard Apology

On November 4th, 2008, just about one year after the initial release, Concatenation brought us Nevar Say Die! Compilation, Volume Two. This time compiling 17 tracks of refined shizzery for the same goal of getting people out to MAGFest, we see a lot of new additions along with old favorites and staples of the community contributing incredible works. Available as Either a $5 download or $8-10 for a ritzy pressed copy of the amazing album (I have my copy by the way). Once again check out the tracks below and get prepared, as Nevar Say Die 3 is on it's way soon!

01. neu cetera - Never Say Die (Outsourcing My Use of Profos)
02. ansgaros - Dolls' Night
03. small child david - TranceSexual
04. The Sticky Situation - Nice Graphics
05. Temp Sound Solutions - All I've Got, I Had to Steal
06. Cyanidic Rapture - Cold Open
07. Brian and Josiah Tobin - Transmission
08. Kevin Hagge - Breakdown
09. TheoConfidor - Ensis Obitus
10. M-H - Union Alpha
11. Analog Wizards - Master Blaster
12. The Tendonites - Paradijs bij het Köttfärslimpa
13. streifig - Honey, you ate the onion pie again, didn't you?
14. cacomistle - The Funnyz
15. weener and Tender Lad - The Ferryman
16. XMark - Cyanide Overdose
17. Vegeroth & Battlerager - Nevar Say Die


Our final album started as a humble request to bring some Christmas cheer to some kind folks grew into another behemoth collection of stellar work from The Shizz Minibosses community. Taking the amazing, but overlooked soundtrack to the NES game based on the movie Willow, over a dozen artists organized and released The Wonderful World of Willow. This 18 song collection covers the entire soundtrack to Willow, and is amazing whether or not you are familiar with that particular games soundtrack. This is also another album which puts money into the MAGFest fund of which I have mentioned many times. Five dollars nets you the 320kbps MP3 files, while a measly $8-10 will hook you up with the full fancy CD Package. Just like the above two, this album features a who's who of amazing VG inpired musical talent and then some.

01. norg - The Journey Begins
02. Cide Projekt - Das Kennwort ist...
03. Mystic Nova - When the Mist Becomes Dew
04. ShawnPhase - Endless Frost
05. TheoConfidor - A Royal Catastrophe
06. Cide Projekt - Kempf
07. Josiah Tobin - Dark Walls
08. Ryan8bit - Put Aside Strife
09. Amaranthine Skies - The Lords of Nockmaar Will Fall
10. NESTERBABIES - Cheef Up the Helium
11. ShinerCCC - Beautiful Lake Cheef
12. Ryan8bit - Zhena, Warwick Princess
13. Battlerager - Another Challenge Yet To Face
14. cacomistle - WILLOW'D
15. ShinerCCC - Corner of Tir Asleen and Sandwich Street
16. Vegeroth - Assaulting the Fort
17. xoc - Xocmaar Castle
18. The Powerful Shizzards - We Willow Ways Remember

I hope that was a sufficient introduction to the many amazing releases from Concatenation Records. Be sure to check them out at concatenationrecords.com and keep an eye on them for new and fresh releases of original and VG inspired works, many of which are free to download!

MAGFest 2010 Registration now open


The Music and Gaming Festival, known lovingly as MAGFest has opened registration for the 2010 iteration of the largest festival and biggest deal in the Video Game Rock and ReArrangement community. MAGFest is most likely the largest gathering of video game inspired musicians and vgm fans anywhere on the planet. Promotions Chair, Nick 'The Newbie' Marinelli, sent me all the important information for you to know about the upcoming and most epic MAGFest yet!

The Music And Gaming Festival is gearing up for their eighth year of weekend-long gaming, and the rocking off of attendee faces. On January 1-4, 2010, the yearly tradition will continue, providing yet again four days of gaming, three nights of live video game cover bands, industry guests, jamspace, panels, films, vendors, and even more. Pre-register today to save $5 off the registration cost, and allow you entrance to the exclusive new years eve party, available only to those who pre-registered. You can prereg at the updated site: magfest.org

About MAGFest:
MAGFest is an annual event in the D.C. area dedicated to the celebration of video games and video game music. Each year features 24-hour console and PC game rooms, over ten live video game cover bands, and guest speakers from the video game industry. It also features a “Jamspace” available to all attendees for impromptu music performances. MAGFest 7 took place in January 2009, with over 1,300 attendees, and MAGFest 8 is scheduled for early January 2010.

For more info about MAGFest check out my interview with creator of MAGFest, Brendan Becker. and of course head over to magfest.org for all the latest information about the event!

MAGFest and OCReMix attending Video Games Live in Virginia April 25th


So I just learned from Dom (who you may remember from his recent LBP rendition) that the OCReMix and MAGFest crews should be out in full force soon at the April 25th show of Video Games Live in Richmond Virginia. Not only that but Dom shall be playing the keys himself and taking requests of course!

For any fans of Video Games Live, both OC ReMix AND MAGFest are gonna be attending this Saturday's show, April 25th, at Richmond, Virginia's Landmark Theater! If you're in the area, it's not too late to grab tickets! Purchase tickets through this link.

Partnering once again with Video Games Live, OCR judges Larry Oji (Liontamer) & Jimmy Hinson (Big Giant Circles) are planning to be there to greet fans and talk video game music! Joining them are the staff of the biggest annual video game music party, MAGFest! MAGFest creator Brendan Becker (Mr. MAGFest), music director Dominic Cerquetti, and promotions man Nick Marinelli (Nick the Newbie) will be there in full force to tell you why you should attend 3 full days of concerts, game rooms and panels at MAGFest 8 next January!

MAGFest music director and musician Dominic Cerquetti featured in LittleBigPlanet blog

Amazing musician, MAGFest music director, and constant supporter of everything video game music (including this here site), Dominic Cerquetti, or the more friendly Dom as he is known around these parts, was recently featured in the Media Molecule blog. The blog for the creators of the PS3 game LittleBigPlanet. He was featured in one of their blog posts thanks to Dom's awesome keyboard work on a track from LittleBigPlanet. You can watch the impressive video below, and if you dig it be sure to check out Dom's Live Videogame Music Show every other Tuesday, in where he takes live requests for any and all video game songs!

Interview with the Music and Gaming Festival CEO, Brendan "Mr MAGFest" Becker

Recently I had the chance to fire off some questions to Brendan Becker, better known as Mr. MAGFest for his organizing and running of the Music and Gaming Festival, more affectionately known as MAGFest (magfest.org). The event is coming upon it's seventh year and is looking bigger and better than ever before! Read on to find out what this convention is all about, how it all came together, and even where it is going in the future. Not to mention finding out all the reasons you shouldn't miss the soon to come MAGFest VII in January!

Why did you start this convention?

This may come as a surprise to some, but I didn't! I *did* have the idea long ago for something much like what it has become, but when I was wandering around in a dealer room at another convention, I was lured by the sounds of video games and music to a booth... "Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival? Hmm, wonder what that's about...?" And then they handed me a flyer with the word Minibosses on it, and I was sold. I had always wanted to hear them, and a 4-hour trip in the car was nothing compared to having to drive/fly to Arizona.

Anyhow, to make a long story extremely short, the chair people of the first MAGFest had a lot going on and couldn't continue running it, and when I found out (via the website) I almost instantly called up the original founder and asked him for his blessing to continue the event. I ended up driving out to his place and buying all of the rights and assets, and it's been mine for the last six years.

What is the biggest difference between this year and the first MAGFest?

Well, I guess the most obvious answer would be "the size". MAGFest started out reasonably small in a bunch of meeting rooms at a Holiday Inn in a relatively unknown part of Virginia. Now it's now four times the size, covering the entire bottom floor convention area of a five star Hilton near DC.

What are you most excited to see this year?

I could pick a guest out of a hat, but it will be so much fun to hang out with all of them that I should really say I'm looking forward to seeing this year's planning pay off. We've gotten a lot of MAGFest plugs in new places and to new people, and I really want to show them what we're about.

How did you come to decide on this years performers?

It's a secret! Okay, actually, it's not, but it IS a long, drawn-out, not-very-interesting process that involves seeing if last year's acts are willing to give their spot to others, who's in line, etc. We try to keep MAGFest's concerts as fresh as possible. New acts yearly, but just as importantly, new material from the acts that stay. Never the same experience means it never gets old.

When did you change the name from "Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival" to "Music and Games Festival"? Why did you decide the name change was necessary?

Just about everyone likes the relaxed atmosphere of MAGFest, but it became that event I wanted to start long before I had ever heard of MAGFest even more quickly than expected. Because of my long-standing interest in game music and because (by M3) the concert was already more than twice the size of the first, I knew we would need to express that we weren't just a place to play games. I mean, game music is obviously game-related, but we needed to set ourselves apart somehow. The new name was born.

Was making this the center for VGRock and VG Remixing intended? How did it come about?

Much like I said before, I've always been a big fan of game music. But one thing I failed to realise before MAGFest was how much of a community following game music had, and how talented its members are. Seeing everyone congregate in one place is nothing short of awesome, and that is of course only the beginning. After seeing the many possibilities I strive to make sure that everyone will have a place to gather each year. It's one of my primary driving forces to continue running the event.

Are there any specific goals you hope to meet this year or in the future for MAGFest? Any you have already met?

We've met a lot of goals in the past, some of them small and some of them hefty. The one thing I'd like to do this year is meet our attendance goals. Granted, we've met them before, and every year I hope we have enough staff to handle the event, but if we can do that, we can start re-investing some of the money we get (as it is, we float a bit of money from our paychecks at
times to make things happen) into the event, making it even better than before.

How many people does it take to make MAGFest a reality?

Staff-wise? We probably have a couple dozen core staff, but if you include their teams and volunteers and everyone, easily ten times that (so, 150~200 range). That said, we always make do with what we have and a number of people (you know who you are) step up to the plate when needed. To give you an idea, we're currently at about half of what we need. As you can imagine
we're encouraging everyone to sign up and volunteer as much as possible.

By the way, http://courtwright.org/magfest/staffing/signup - no, I'm not being blatant at all about this.

What sets this convention apart from others?

I think the main point where we diverge from the mainstream convention-type event -- to the point where we don't like the word "convention", really -- is that most video game events, conventions, whatever, have a very "expo" or "trade-showy" type feel to them. Don't get me wrong, these events are great! I myself love to go and pick up old games or see new things on the horizon, but in that vein there is a very "business is business" feel where you don't feel the need to stay after you've seen what you came for.

Our goal is to change that outlook. We want to make sure there is *always* something to do at our event. You shouldn't necessarily feel forced, but rather you feel like you're at a video game-themed party at your friend's place, and there's just tons of things to do with anyone you want to do them with, where-ever you want to do them, combined with the opportunity to meet
new and interesting people. We want to constantly feed you new tasty morsels of gaming goodness. Even if you did almost everything you could possibly do at MAGFest, you will come back wanting more. And at this, we succeed.

What are some of your favorite moments from past MAGFests?

One ironic thing about MAGFest is how the worst of times can become laughing matters in a matter of a day. Certain people will never live down that they were wheeled away in a stretcher -- but still managed to sing Katamari and throw up the horns -- with alcohol poisoning. He was back the next day, playing games. I've also been knocked over by fake gunfire in concert,
watched the Minibosses play their own songs in my own DDR clone, seen virt and djpretzel enjoying a drink in a time where people thought it would be impossible, and been able to meet people from overseas.

Who have been some of your favorite performances?

I really like so many of the performances it would be wrong to show any kind of favoritism whatsoever, but I will give you another fun tidbit...Last year, The Smash Brothers made bacon for all to consume during their set.

I mean, seriously. Bacon.

What events will there be at MAGFest this year?

The same as usual, with added unknown hijinks. Major goings-on include a trivia and separate name-that-tune contest, screenings of the most recent work from our film guests, exclusive concerts from our musical guests (of which there will be several artists performing each night including Wednesday for preregistrants), a costume contest that's more of a roast, 24 hour gaming in multiple rooms, meet ups with the big game music community sites (ocremix, vgmix, thasauce), and I think virt just snuck in with a "write a song in an hour" panel (a la "Kwakfest live"). There's so much more going on that I can't even list it all.

http://magfest.org/guests - don't forget, those things that say music film etc are clickable tabs.

Any new events you want to mention?

The one that pops into my mind is that we are currently working with a guy to organize a world record championship for the old school arcade snake game, Nibbler. We're going to have two really awesome players playing for probably two or three days straight, in an effort to break a record set in like 1984. Should be crazy! There will be dudes documenting it as it happens (think King of Kong here) and we're also going to have some video magic going on so you can watch their respective screens up on a projector screen.

Tell us about Jampsace. How does it work, and how did the idea take shape?

Quite simply, we have way too many people that want to play musical acts at MAGFest, and there's really no way we can possibly put them all on the main stage. JamSpace is just an extension of that with a twist. At MAGFest 5, I tried to get together impromptu music jams in our second events area, and it didn't work out so well without being in a manned area. Last year, Dom Cerquetti stepped up to the plate ahead of time and got things organized, and it was a huge success. Now we have a place that can schedule more music acts, both ahead of time and impromptu, without giving my main stage sound guys (led by Norg) a heart attack.

Any questions you'd like to answer that I failed to ask? Anything else you would like to add?

Man, I think you covered a pretty broad range of stuff! The one thing we can't stress enough is that people should stay at the hotel where the event is held. The hotel block claims to have expired, but you can still reserve at the Hilton for a slightly higher price, and every once in awhile someone will cancel their room and you can get the low rate again. So, even though we've oversold our block, there's a good chance at getting a room cheap.

Also, lots of people say "I don't have anyone to stay with" or "I don't have a ride". Fear not! On the left side of our site, you can hit "share rooms" or "share rides" and see a list of people just dying to split some costs with you. You can just click on them to contact, or create a forum account and when you're editing your profile type in your own sharing information there.

I hope to see everyone at MAGFest!
-- Brendan Becker, CEO
Music and Gaming Festival
http://magfest.org/

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Huge thanks to Brendan "Mr. MAGFest" Becker for taking the time to answer all my questions I sent his way. Be sure to check out MAGFest, the largest gathering of VG Inspired Musicians on the globe. Next year's festival takes place January 1st through 4th in Alexandria, VA. Check out magfest.org for exact details, pricing, and everything else about the show!

Also hit the link to check out some footage from last years show.

Metroid Metal LIVE - and a new track up!


Some cool things happening on the Metroid Metal front right now:

Hi everyone,

Metroid Metal live is happening - believe it or not. Since March, I've been working with a pile of sick musicians to help take the Metroid Metal project to the stage. It's now official! At MAGfest of next year (Jan 1-4, 2009 in Alexandria, VA), Metroid Metal live will be taking the main stage with a great list of bands.
Check out metroidmetal.com for details.

Also, NEW SONG! It's Torvus Bog from Metroid Prime 2. Hope you enjoy! I use the Korg DS10 game for DS on this track.
Why not right? :)

Best,

Grant

And if you've never checked out some MM before, now's your chance. Check out the new track on the MySpace page, and there's a load of mp3s on his site (Kraid's Theme is one of my faves).

MAGFest VI wrap up

So MAGFest is over, and everyone who attended (which did not include me, sadly) can die happy, or more likely could go into hibernation until the build up to MAGFest VII starts heating up. Anyway, There is a ton of footage from the festival, I'm only posting a mere sampler of the smorgasbord of amazing things that went down this year. There are of course tons of stories, and anecdotes from this year that will come out in due time as people slowly recover.

One of my favorite anecdotes currently is from Paragon from theshizz forums.

Lots of great memories from this year.

Watching Hale and Pongball step out of the elevator and have such an amusingly puzzled look on their faces as this complete stranger smiles and waves at them like they're old friends.

Seeing spamtron, shouting "SPAMTRON!" and he shouts back "I LOVE YOU!" and hugs me and then asks me who I am. And then later, talking to him (or maybe more like being talked to by him).

Check out this handy thread for a ton of footage from MAGFest VI. I will probably be making another post like this one, when some more cool footage comes rolling in, so if you have some awesome MAGFest VI footage, hit up theshizz thread or send it my way!

Thanks to Kareshi from theshizz for gathering all the MAGFest media all in one place. Thanks to Sunny, Hale-Bopp and Pongball's photographs which I stole for this post. Shawn Phase for linking me to some cool footage, and all the folks who took some awesome footage and tossed it up on youtube! Here is that sampler of footage I spoke of earlier!

Armcannon rockin'
Liontamer and Hale-Bopp of OCRemix fame handling the beautiful OCRemix guitar.Hale-Bopp showing off the guitar.

Temp Sound Solutions Concert Clip

Select Start performing FF7 track

Sam, Mustin, Shawn Phase @ Jamspace

OCR doing "Carmen Sandiego" @ Jamspace

Arm Cannon - "Tecmo Super Bowl" from stage

MAGFest VI

It's happening right now! If you are anywhere near Alexandria, VA then why are you not there RIGHT NOW? GO, DO IT!

Who's playing? Advantage, Armcannon, Planet Skill (Wave Theory), Powerglove, Select Start, Smash Brothers, Shawn Phase/Temp Sound Solutions, and This Place Is Haunted.