Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rock Band (Or… Everyone Needs a Hobby)

I guess it was about a year or so ago that I was introduced to Rockband on Xbox. My brother-in-law, Ron, has always been an “early adopter,” way ahead of the curve in terms of technology and progress, such as it is. He’s also a huge audiophile, with a collection of vinyl records that would rival most college radio stations. So, it was quite fitting that I should play my first round of the game on his system — the perfect blend of “Smoke on the Water” and microprocessors in the living room.

My husband is a musician, and for a while was risking being called an “old man,” with his cranky dissings of this popular, and may I say, super-fun game. For the longest time he answered my stories of the great times I had at Ron and Heidi’s house with comments like, “you know, playing that guitar is like playing a ukulele with five frets and one string;” or, “If you would spend just a quarter of the time that you spend over there playing that game, playing a real guitar, in a few months you’d be able to play the guitar!”

And then I finally brought it to our house. He was lulled into accepting the Wii into his environment by “World of Goo,” a physics-based game that bores me to tears, and Mario Kart, with the steering wheels, which has brought us no end of laughter. This made it much less of a stretch for me to quietly sneak the big box with the whole package — guitar, drums, microphone — into the home.

And victory is MINE!!! There he was for the first day, looking on with a scowl as I jammed out to Modest Mouse and Cheap Trick. By the second day, he was just doing his best to ignore me, but on the third day, a moment of Biblical proportions occurred. He dug into the box and pulled out the so-far neglected drum kit, hooked it up, and goofed around with the tutorial. He’s had to eat a little crow, but we’ve been having a blast taking our “band” “on tour,” attracting “fans” and earning “cash.” We’re currently only playing Stockholm and Berlin, but soon coming to a theater near you.

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