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Thursday, October 30, 2014

NEWS ALERT - THE RETROWAVE SCENE HAS MET ANOTHER ISSUE!



Hey Retrolovers,

We all have speculated that the Synthwave sound has all the elements to make it into the mainstream. Many of you guys have shown STRONG dislike to this idea ever occurring. Look at the below evidence:




The image of  top 40 popstar Selena Gomez scared the crap out of you all. Poor "Robots With Rayguns" had to take all her hate because of this!!!

It can therefore be concluded that "Top 40" has no place in synthwave, or vice-versa. At least from the retro community perspective, right?




Well look what has been brought to our attention via Sunglasses Kid! The video below may scare you even more than Selena ever did!!

Listen VERY CLOSELY to the evidence below! Pay no mind to the visuals.







*Gasps*


Is that.....Synthwave??

On a Taylor Swift record??!!

We all hear the bassline and synth-stab arrangements that correlate to Synthwave production! Do not deny this! Why do we call this a problem you may ask? Well it is this simple. The capturing and watering down of the Synthwave sound has now CLEARLY begun.


Think about it folks. Swift is one of the biggest pop-stars WORLDWIDE right now. If Taylor releases this embedded song as a single and it reaches top 10 status in Billboard charting, you can bet many other artists will hop on board and make carbon copy sounding tracks. Including that Selena chick!! Synthwave will become the new pop....

Now for the question we all constantly ask ourselves. Is this what the scene needs?

On one hand, it will bring the light to the EPIC Retrowave sound, yes, we all know this. But will all the artists who have put in their time and efforts to make this scene and sound what it is today get their recognition? Will our culture and community shine from watered down Synthwave records?! Is this the look Synthwave needs?! Who knows, but it is apparent that our scene may be in some trouble here.

We urge all musicians to copyright their music via ASCAP or BMI. Be LEGIT with your work. Do whatever it takes to legally cover your creations folks. Or else someone else like Bieber may take your work if Synthwave hits Top 40 status. Worse, Bieber could start bothering Lazerhawk for some production??!!  lol


Yes, this is all tongue in check, but we want to bring the larger scale news to your attention.

The Retrowave scene is growing an is now being implemented in MAINSTREAM music.

**Lady Gaga also used the Synthwave sound in "Do What You Want (Feat. R.Kelly)" - via Lhasa Mencur. EVEN WORSE!! lol

What are your Thoughts?












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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Retro Gaming - Final Fantasy



I was seven years old when I was first exposed to the world (metaworld?) of Final Fantasy. It was a few days after Christmas of 1999 and my cousin had received Final Fantasy VIII as a gift. Being seven in the presence of a teenager meant I had no right to take a turn in his game, and it wasn’t even a game where you could take turns. So I sat back and just enjoyed the cinematic experience of the game. That moment had a profound impact on me and is what truly led me to identify as a video game enthusiast for the better part of my formative years. The sheer narrative scope of RPGs astounded me.
We here at NRW review music and films, and so I wanted to kick off a series of video game reviews with a game whose name has grown to weigh more than any contribution to the series. Final Fantasy received its name because it was believed that it would be the last game Square would be able to release before declaring bankruptcy. It was their “Final Fantasy”.  Little did they know it would be a massive success and create a massive series of unconnected but thematically similar games and eventually give us this masterpiece.

But Final Fantasy wasn’t always a blend of science fiction and fantasy. The first installment of the series was purely a fantasy JRPG. I played the PS1 port of the original NES game because it is most faithful to the original. The first thing that comes to mind when I think Final Fantasy is how unrelentingly difficult it is. I’m not saying that later Final Fantasy games were particularly easy, but none of the games I played (FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, FFX, FFX-2, Tactics, Tactics Advance, and Tactics A-2) feel so punishing as this original tale.
Before I move on to the actual gameplay, I’d like to share with you the thoughts that went through my mind for the first hour of playtime:
“Gee, that Prelude song sure is pretty sounding.”

“I get to name all four of them, and they have nothing pre-established? Onward Fart and friends!”

“Nah, I don’t think I’ll need a white mage.”

“This is a lot like tactics, but with a worse story and battle mechanic.”

“I spy with my little eye a damsel in distress (cough, Sarah, cough)”

“To quote the King, “If you bring my daughter back safely, I will build a new bridge. I am counting on you.” Is that the going rate of missing daughters these days?”

“Buying spells? What black magic is this?!?! (see what I did there?)”

“Level grinding? Again?”

“Jesus, everything costs money.”

“First boss? That was a joke.”

“Thanks for the lute, princess. This looks ambiguously useful for the future.”

The early portion of the game will have you staying close to the nearest town and going back in after every couple of battles to heal up at an inn or buy some more potions. Everything costs money in this game, from full saving to learning magic. Random encounters can be simple, like running into one horse (not a magical horse, it is literally just a horse) or they can be as grueling as an eight enemy encounter. It’s really difficult to figure out where is safe to walk and where is not. From a design standpoint, this is a cost that was probably hard to avoid.
The game is huge. The overworld rivals the scope of A Link to the Past (fellow Nintendo fanpeople, I’ve got a treat for you at the end of the article). It only becomes more massive when you get the boat and find yourself surrounded by water as far as you can see. It is nowhere near as linear as the series has become. To be fair, the game becomes more manageable once you get your party to around level 20, especially if you grind enough to do this early. The boss battles are never particularly difficult. I’d say that moving through each dungeon and dealing with the random encounters and noticeable LACK OF SAVE AND HEAL POINTS is much tougher than the actual bosses.
You control four characters with no exposition apart from some vague talk of a prophecy. They’re pretty vacant as far as personality is concerned. Don’t expect any dialogue. You are allowed to choose their jobs, which is an exciting amount of customization afforded considering how old the game is. I chose a Warrior, Red Mage, Thief, and Black Belt. I named the Black Belt Cid to ensure that I wouldn’t play a Final Fantasy game without a Cid in it. These empty vessels don’t have much plot to work with. Apart from an interesting / convoluted / nonsensical time travel related twist, the story is really a “go fetch this for me” excuse.
The pixilated graphics of the game are actually quite beautiful. This is primarily due to the vivid colors and all around bright atmosphere. The world of the game feels hopeful, and the art accompanies it perfectly. I’ve always said that old video game scores were so memorable because of the limitations of the system. The original composers could only have three sounds playing at once. This led to a greater focus on melody. There is a reason a lot of these songs are so instantly recognizable. I mean, just listen to “Prelude”. It’s downright moving.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m badmouthing what has become one of the most influential games of its generation. Once you get some experience under your belt (metaphorically and literally, grind grind grind), the game becomes enjoyable, and actually highly addictive. I found myself happy to be level grinding and saving up for new swords or spells. The scenery is interesting enough that I found myself wanting to genuinely explore for personal enjoyment. Talking to every NPC and interacting with everything I could even led me to discovering a pretty interesting Easter egg, especially considering how much of a Zelda fan I am.

If you are a fan of this series and like the idea of game history or analyzing the medium as a whole, I definitely recommend finding a way to play this game. You can enjoy it for what it is. The NES and PS1 versions are, according to my research, notably more difficult than subsequent ports. I loved playing this game, and wish I could have been alive at the time of the game’s release and had that feeling like I was playing something that would be huge. I’d love to continue the discussion on this. I’m curious if any NRW readers/listeners played the game at the time of release. What was that experience like? Did you enjoy it? And if you are like me and played the game years after the fact, how did you like it? What party did you complete it with?  

 - Joey Edsall


Monday, October 27, 2014

Remember This...



REMEMBER THIS…GWAR’s Phallus In Wonderland
by Sam Haine

 R.I.P. Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus)
            I bet you didn’t think I was going to take you here this Halloween. Well, I guess you were wrong in all the right ways you could be. Because before Mushroomhead, Slipknot, ICP came on the scene and way before Wes Borland started dressing up like Kung Fu Skeletor, there was Gwar.
            Gwar formed in 1984, they are a thrash band from Virginia comprised of a rotating line-up of musicians, artists and filmmakers from Slave Pit Inc. They are known for their elaborate and often grotesque appearances and sadistic stage performances. “Imagine a gumbo soup of blood, brains, Cthulhu, Barbarella, Snuff-porn Conan the barbarian, Guardians of the Galaxy, Luke Skysquirter, Skate metal and political and social satire.” If you are lucky enough to attend their shows then you are in possession of fond memories of celebrities being fed to worms, disembowed and beheaded like Oklahoma beauty queens; all these things while being splashed on the face Peter North style with more fluid than a Gallagher show. They were ugly; they were funny; their songs were really damn good and unforgettable.
            The Grammy nominated Phallus In Wonderland was their first full length film. It depicts the conflict between Gwar and The Morality Squad after the castration and theft of  Oderus Urungus’ Cuttlefish of Cthulhu. The Morality Squad consisting of a group of overtly hyper-sensitive knee jerky hypocritical stereotypes that today can easily be any of your favorite Fox News & MSNBC personalities: Corporal Punishment, Grambo, Tiny and we can’t forget the viscous filled Father Reverend Bohab. This piece is a musical. Sprinkled throughout this near hour long art piece are the romantic and beer sex inducing songs such as ‘Crack in the Egg’, ‘Have You Seen ME?’, ‘The Road Behind’, ‘The Morality Squad’, ‘Gor-Gor’ and ‘Ham on the Bone’.
            This is a musical.
            Starring: Oderus Urungus, Beefcake the Mighty, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Jizmax the Gusher, Sexecutioner, Slymenstra Hymen and Sleazy P. Martini. With a cameo appearance by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.
            October is here, which means you’ll be filling up to the gullet with beer and getting ready for Halloween. I encourage, hope, and suggest this become the soundtrack to this year’s festivities and debauchery. In fact you should all watch this before heading out into the night and creating your future romances with the new Trevor Something album or Timecop1983’s recent release, just like I plan to do this month.
            So light your candles this month. Leave some food on your porch. Remember to join in the festivities on Mischief Night. And like every month keep your finger pressed down on that Rewind Button.

“It’s really Super, Sleazy”


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films Trailer (2014)



The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)

If you have never seen a film from Cannon then you haven’t lived yet. The Cannon Group Inc. was famous for releasing classic films that your nephews and nieces and little siblings have never heard of especially from the Golan & Globus years, 1979 – 1985.
           
 Two Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus took over a dying studio and produced the following gems featuring stars like Dolph Lundgren, Sylester Stallone, Shabba Do, Charles Bronson, Michael Dudikoff, Patrick Stewart, Lou Ferrigno, The Barbarian Twins, Richard Chamberlain, and others:

Movies like:
The Death Wish movies
Delta Force
Invasion USA
Breakin
Breakin’ 2
The Last American Virgin
Lifeforce
The Barbarians
Hercules
King Solomons Mines
Cobra
Over the Top
American Ninja
Ninja III the domination
and many more.
             
Here is a trailer to the upcoming documentary telling the story of these two master minds. Directed by Mark Hartley. I suggest yous all go out and search for this movie A.S.A.P.
Rewind time!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

THIS WEEKS FREE DOWNLOAD IS...



NONE OTHER THAN...




THE ITALO DISCO IS BACK! COMPILATION ONLY ON SUNLOVER RECORDS
!



ENJOY!

NRW


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