The latest album of chiptune rock, 'Who Loves the Sun' by The J. Arthur Keenes Band

The one of a kind eclecticism of The J. Arthur Keenes Band is on full display again on the long awaited full length album  Who Loves the Sun. I can not get enough of this song filled, utterly catchy folk rock style. There are so many things going on in your average J. Arthur Keenes track that I can gladly dissect them. The music feels so natural that I can' help but feel like I've spent more time analyzing TJAKB music longer than it took the Band to write. 

I've been covering The J. Arthur Keenes Band since the debut EP Pamplemousse and have excitedly listened to any new tracks from TJAKB ever since. This is the groups first full album in a few years and I'm glad it is here and it exists. There is something very particular about The J. Arthur Keenes Band, and it makes me feel very good to listen to in some odd, old timey way.

All things and all stuff by Dan McLay. Except art by Magdalena Eustis and committee, I believe. Thanks everyone.
— The J. Arthur Keenes Band

Lo-fi chiptune pop album Mighty Social Lion by The J. Arthur Keenes Band

As mysterious as ever

Been a long time since I had a chance to mention J. Arthur Keenes Band. Seems I failed to mention the lo-fi pop of Mighty Social Lion from 2013. That is now rectified. Jam to this vibrant album of live and electronic sounds and soothing vocals.

A bunch of songs by The J. Arthur Keenes Band in 'Fuzzy Posters & Pain (demo)'

There is something blindingly brilliant about The J. Arthur Keenes band. Ever since I heard Pamplemousse I fell in love with the whole band. Some of my favorite songs in my life  are because JAK took forum requests for song ideas. Luckily there is yet more to be heard from the mighty JAK Band. 8 unreleased tracks from a never before released collection of songs written in 2013, probably. 

I still remember a rare chance of hanging out with Danimal Cannon, and my ringtone was a classic from Pamplemousse, naturally. When Dan heard it, we discussed the album, which had recently come out on the now retired Pause netlabel. He said he didn't care for it! GASP To each their own of course, but my amount of shock at someone not liking The J. Arthur Keenes Band debut showed me that I really think this guy-roup is amazing.

I don't need to write about the album. Hit play. This album sells itself.

The great lost J. Arthur Keenes Band album — a bunch of songs written and recorded in about a week in the winter of 2013, I think? Now available for the first time to the hungry public.
— The J. Arthur Keenes Band

Listen to chiptune ballad 'Okay' by The J. Arthur Keenes Band

Maybe one of my favorite tracks ever? Definitely one of the best from The J. Arthur Keenes Band if you asked me. Even if you don't ask, since I'm telling you anyway. This track is from the wonderful 'World's Smallest Violin' EP

The J. Arthur Keenes Band - Computer Savvy EP release

j-arthur-keenes-band-chiptune-rock-computer-savvy

J. Arthur Keenes has such a way with words.  The music is pretty damn good too. A song from TJAKB's debut EP was my ringtone for several years based on those facts. If not for the current Earthbound theme of my new phone, a strong case can be made for the track Water2 (wetter) being a pretty catchy ringtone today. So be a savvy music lover and go get Computer Savvy.

The J. Arthur Keenes Band - The World's Smallest Violin EP release

Got to keep this brief, but TJAKB is playing The World's Smallest Violin for you. More great music from this band of one solo group of dude(s?). I've already listened to it twice. Update: Now I've listened to it at least ten times or so.

I kind of enjoy the idea of a person not being sure of himself, but is it strange that my favorite songs by The J. Arthur Keenes Band are named Probably and Okay? TJAKB has shrugged its way into my heart with such songs.

The J. Arthur Keenes Band - 48 Hour EP volumes 1-3 released

A few weeks ago, I was in touch with a Mr. J. Arthur Keenes, and he directed me towards a project going on in the forums of chipmusic.org. It would appear that J. Arthur Keenes threw down the gauntlet, and accepted several song suggestions. These requests have coalesced into 144 hours worth of music.

The J. Arthur Keenes Band presents the 48 Hour EP Volume 1, 2, and 3 for your listening pleasure. Each EP consists of five tracks, all of which requested by the community of chip fans and musicians over at chipmusic.org, tracks such as "Song for a children's show. Teaching kids proper txt msg etqte lol" or "make a surfy insturmental thunderbirds-esqe theme about a super group who goes around the world trying to prove that obama isnt a us citizen." And those are only two of fifteen songs. Amazingly, J. Arthur Keenes works his way through every request with catchy riffs, and a dignified singing voice.

The album is comprised of the type of catchy chip rock tunes you have come to expect, along with some quite eclectic styles. The album can be a somewhat odd smattering of styles for some, and for those who love serious poetic lyrics, you may need to look elsewhere. Though J. Arthur does sneak in some very clever lines between all the shenanigans.

I want to point out some stand out tracks, but unfortunately for my writing, but fortunately for you, this is a very surprisingly strong album, especially considering that this music was made on such short notice. For your time though, you couldn't find a better song about a girlfriend who stole your horse. Each track has it's own flair, and if you are anything like me, all three albums will be getting repeated listens. So head over to the proper chipmusic thread and download all three EPs free.

New STFUAJPGM, Episode 10: The Imaginary Man

Superb chiptune podcast, STFUAJPGM has just released a new episode with the theme of "Chip music combined with more traditional instrumentation. Songs that are half man, half machine."

Episode 10: The Imaginary Man features music from Chromelodeon, Teleidofusion, Starscream, Statikz (feat. The J. Arthur Keenes Band) and The Shortsleeves, along with complementary art and words. Go listen now!

New Gamewave Podcast episode

The listeners asked for it, so I sat down yesterday and recorded my first episode of the Gamewave Podcast in about a year and a half!  I usually record a Christmas Special around this time of year, but there's so much great new music that I decided to just play non-festive tunes from arcadecoma., lpower, Spheres of Chaos, Jay Tholen, Machinae Supremacy, C-jeff, IAYD, Henry Homesweet, Fighter X and The J. Arthur Keenes Band.

Gamewave Podcast

Game Music 4 All even gets a mention.  Head over to gamewavepodcast.com or subscribe to the feed at gamewavepodcast.com/rss.xml to listen!

Week in Video Game Inspired Music 12/14 – 12/20

Up above here we have awesome Gameboy artwork by 8bitcollective member MassiveUntilMorning, with his simply titled but well done DMGpaintjob. Speaking of artwork, our resident artist Nyno added an epic Earthbound inspired Krakken to the background, if you had not noticed yet. Well besides that, this week saw a few big things, one is the return of Joe Allen to the Gamewave Podcast, another was our very own first ever GM4A Records release of Challenge! by Comptroller. Be sure to check out both of those, not to mention all the other big news this past week below.

NEWS

PODCASTS

REMIXES Latest OCReMix releases

Other singles and releases

VIDEO The video this week is of course from the recently passed Blip Festival 2009. Well perusing for some recaps of the event I came across little-scale's blog and found some footage of the amazing J. Arthur Keenes Band performing pieces from their latest Pause release Pamplemousse.

Remember to leave a comment with awesome articles, songs, videos, art, etc. for next weeks round up as well!

Blip Festival 2009 Event Schedule finalized, Gaijin/Robotube video game design Battle of the Brands

Blip Festival 2009 logo

With only a few weeks left before Blip Festival, possibly the largest gathering of chiptune performers from all over the globe, the organizers of said event have finally released the full schedule of concerts and events that will be taking place from December 17th-19th at the bell house in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are available with full three day tickets at $40 and one day passes for $15. There will be several great workships as well throughout the event, with prices ranging from free for movies and chiptune making tutorials to a $65 A_SID Synth Workshop that will have you going home with your very own "working usb controllable breadboard A_SID Synth, and the knowledge to begin using it."

Battle of the Brands Not only this, but also good pals at Gaijin Games have announced that they, alongside fellow chiptune loving game developers Robotube Games are having the first ever Battle of the Brands! A collaborative battle to the death to release a brand new game in one day during Blipfest! Throughout the day of the battle both companies will be constantly updating their sites, facebooks, twitters, etc to keep everyone on top of the latest happenings.

Why are they doing this? Well Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games states, "We can do whatever we want!  It’s our freakin’ deal, so shut up if you feel like it!" Oh, and the rules? There are no rules! Well except these ones.

1. Try to make a game in one day while at Blip Festival 2009 all the way over in New York City 2. Drink lots of coffee 3. Release the end product to the public, even if we fail miserably

Of course, the main reason to be at Blipfest is the tons of amazing artists and visualists that are just far too numerous to mention. But if you head past the break or go over to blipfestival.org you can check out the entire list of scheduled events and concerts taking place. Concert Schedule

Dec 17 Thursday 8:00 Silent Requiem With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 8:40 failotron With visuals by Paris 9:20 Leeni With visuals by VBLANK 10:00 minusbaby With visuals by Enso 10:40 Chromix With visuals by The C-Men 11:20 Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours With visuals by NO CARRIER 12:00 Albino Ghost Monkey With visuals by outpt 12:40 Eat Rabbit With visuals by Rosa Menkman

Dec 18 Friday 8:00 Disasterpeace With visuals by Enso 8:40 Starscream With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 9:20 Fighter X With visuals by outpt 10:00 little-scale With visuals by Rosa Menkman 10:40 I, Cactus With visuals by VBLANK 11:20 Nullsleep With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Paris 12:00 Rainbowdragoneyes With visuals by The C-Men 12:40 Patric C With visuals by NO CARRIER

Dec19 Saturday 8:00 The J. Arthur Keenes Band With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Enso 8:40 tRash cAn maN With visuals by Jean Y. Kim & Paris 9:20 Bubblyfish With visuals by NO CARRIER & outpt 10:00 The Hunters 10:40 glomag With visuals by The C-Men & VBLANK 11:20 Bit Shifter With visuals by outpt & Enso 12:00 David Sugar With visuals by NO CARRIER & VBLANK 12:40 Psilodump With visuals by Paris & The C-Men

Workshops & Daytime Events

Film Screening - Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 1pm-3pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: $5 at the door

A_SID Synth Workshop: A usb/serial controllable chip based C64 SID chip emulator * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 2pm-5pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: $65 (includes materials & necessary tools)

Film Screening - Reformat the Planet 1.5 and Curated Music Videos from 2 Player Productions * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 1pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: Free

From Classic Sound Chips to Virtual Instruments with David Viens of Plogue * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 2pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

Open source solutions for live visuals - presented by Don Miller / NO CARRIER * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 3pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

The J. Arthur Keenes Band - Pamplemousse album release


From the icy depths of Canada comes “Pamplemousse”, a loving tribute to the noble grapefruit. The J. Arthur Keenes Band skillfully mixes the rhythms of their native Ontario with modern sounds in this fun-filled, action-packed romp for the whole family.

OK I am not sure if Ontario has their own native rhythms. That is the official statement from Pause and I assume they are sticking with it. Pamplemousse by The J. Arthur Keenes Band does create an amazing sonic arrangement, compiling several genres together which are at times reminiscent of folk, blues, ska, shoegaze and more. All this is wrapped in a fine layer (or skin, much like the mighty grapefruit) of chiptune sounds and pleasing vocals. I currently have this album on repeat ever since downloading it. Much like every other Pause release, this one is an interesting new take on chiptunes, not to mention grapefruit.