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So, I'm really only doing this because Conor wants to make this old Cblog fad a thing again, and I'm totally in favor of this. So here goes.

1. There's actually way more than 10 things you don't know about me, because I tend to drift in and out of Dtoid, and have been doing so over the past five years. In fact, the last two times Dtoiders have seen me in person at all have been between tours of duty as a MAGFest media volunteer. I kinda want to change this- I wound up working a long Saturday last year for what turned out to be not that much actual recorded material, and I wish I'd spent more of that day partying instead. As for the site itself, I tried my hand at building a few features on the C-Blogs a few years ago, but it never really took off for me.

2. I'm a radio guy and I always will be. I've interned for three different radio stations in the Philadelphia area and spent three years working for one- Wired 96.5 in Philadelphia. While I'd like to find some way back into the industry, ever shrinking as it is, I'd be fine if I did nothing more than my own work. I currently run the 24/7 music stream at 8bitx.com, as well as host my own Friday show (Explosivo!, 8 PM Eastern, more details at facebook.com/JTIceFireShow) full of video game music, chiptune, interviews and other stuff. This is my third attempt at a regular program, and this one's intentionally less rigid in format than my last two attempts, WNES and The Blue Shell Manifesto. Both of those were fun but required way more work than they were worth, and I ended up missing show dates way too often. So I dropped all of the excess work, and I'm letting this one just grow in whatever direction it feels like.

3. I still keep in touch with some Dtoiders and ex-Dtoiders, but not as often as I could. Tino, ArcticFox, Conor, Apathy, plus there's Gabriel Gutierrez who I initially met through Dtoid and who I now know as the MAGFest Indie Game Showcase director, as well as a developer in his own right. I've also had the pleasure of meeting Senisan, ZombiePlatypus, Diverse, Antwhan, DJKirsch, Sam Gobbldigook, and plenty of others- I can't recall everyone's handles at the moment.

4. I'm still stuck in the same house I grew up in. There's a few reasons- self-esteem issues making it hard to excel at work, pursuing careers in industries with way less potential for advancement than I realized, and, luckily, getting along with my family really well. However, situations like mine are gradually getting more common, and while I spent a number of years feeling really guilty about it, I'm bringing this up now because there's someone younger than me in a similar situation who feels like total shit that they might be turning into a stereotype, and reading this might help them feel a little less alone.

5. I've been a wrestling fan since I was 14, and these past two months for WWE have been a golden age to me. I haven't been this excited to watch Monday Night Raw since the night they bought WCW, and I have never in my life seen this company make this much of an effort to bring up a new class of performers. The network is one hell of a deal, and I've been using it to catch up on the WCW and ECW stuff I missed in the late 90's. 

6. I've been roleplaying in one form or another for well over a decade. D&D, Cyberpunk 2020, Old World Of Darkness, Dagorhir, wrestling E-feds, even the old-school AOL Red Dragon Inn chats. I've touched on a lot of different parts of the roleplaying world, and at the moment, I'm involved in more individual games (a brand-new D&D campaign, a major role in a long-running Vampire game, and over a year of service in an E-fed) than I've ever been.

7. I've been following the video game cover/remix scene for over five years now. Favorite acts: Mega Ran, brentalfloss, The Megas, This Place Is Haunted, The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO, Random Encounter, the Oneups, DJ Cutman, and from OCRemix, Sir Jordanius, Jillian Aversa, and Joshua Morse. I've also followed chiptune as well- some of my favorites there are Anamanaguchi, George & Jonathan, the J. Arthur Keenes Band, and all the members of Cheap Dinosaurs, both as a unit and their solo acts. Just outside these genres, I also like Adam WarRock and My Parents Favorite Music.

8. I freaking love conventions and I wish I could go to more. A good chunk of my life in general revolves around MAGFest. Otakon, when I can get there, is practically a religious experience for me. PAX East has been way too much of a financial stretch for me recently, but I'll find a way to get back to Boston one of these years. Also, I don't think I've been to a full-on NARP since 2010. That needs to freaking change.

9. Video game streaming has taken over a large chunk of my viewing habits, to the point where I can count the actual current shows I keep track of on one hand (Archer, Rick & Morty, Doctor Who, Space Dandy. Yep, four.) I enjoy seeing streamers interact with chatters, I enjoy watching high-level fighting game play, I enjoy seeing bizarre creations in WWE 2K14, and I enjoy watching speedrunners tare ass through the likes of Mario 64 and Super Meat Boy. I'm gradually working on getting into the game myself, but I'm not the sort of person who can dedicate long hours every day to just playing games, so the standard blunt-force-trauma approach to building an audience is out. So, I'm working on quality over quantity- good production values, distinct events and goals, a dedicated timeslot, and as much viewer participation as I can cram in.

10. It's only recently that I've become even remotely comfortable divulging most of this stuff on a public forum. But this past year, I've been noticing more and more gray hairs starting to poke through, and each one represents one less fuck I need to give. So there ya go. 

Also, Conor is a really fucking awesome person.








Hello, Dtoiders! I'm back with more radio goodness.

Tomorrow night on the 8bitX Radio Network, I'm putting together a six-hour supershow, and I'd love for the Destructoid community to join in!



7:00 PM: I'll be talking to YouTube a capella master Smooth McGroove about his rise to internet fame!

8:00 PM: I'm bringing in Mike Maulbeck of Code Avarice, to recap the story of his Stream Greenlight debacle and the overwhelming voter response!

9:00 PM: I'm grabbing some guests and opening the Skype lines! Two other 8bitX hosts will be joining me for an E3 preview that will most likely turn into an Xbox One bitchfest, and we'll be taking callers!

Other guests and events:
Josh Edington of The World Is Square will be drinking beers and embarking on his very first playthrough of Super Metroid. We'll be calling him to find out if he learned how to make Metroid crawl.

Careless of Random Encounter will be dropping by to provide updates on new projects from both him and his band!

Kyle "Comeback" MacFarland of Big E Gaming will talk about the current state of the fighting game community going into one of the most pivotal EVO championships in FGC history.

8bitX Station Manager Will Strouse talked to Mega Ran earlier this week, I'll be playing this hour-long interview in two parts during the night.

I'll be giving away a few games on Steam through the night, including The Binding of Isaac, Atom Zombie Smasher, and Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony.

Want to join in? Details are right here on the Facebook event page: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/607894479222956/
Photo Photo








Hey, Dtoiders. In about 5 hours, I'll be recording my music-and-game-news podcast, The Blue Shell Manifesto on 8bitx.com. I'll be talking all about E3 and all its news and conferences, and I'll be bringing in a bunch a guests to help me out, including Dtoid community members Jess "Ruckus" Brohard, Jon Bloodspray and ArcticFox, and I'll even open the lines to any other community members who want to join in the discussion!

On top of that, I'll be airing an interview with Brentalfloss, where he'll be talking about his new album, "Bits of Me", and giving his own thoughts on Nintendo's E3 conference!

On top of THAT, I'm also going to be giving away $20 on Steam to a random follower of my Facebook page (facebook.com/BlueShellManifesto) sometime during the show- and if you're in the chat and listening when I do, the prize will be DOUBLED!

Be sure to tune in at 9 PM Eastern tonight on 8bitx.com!








In response to Dtoid's recent frontpaging of Kristi Kaufman's Noise Channel Radio, I figured it was a good time to make my own pitch to the Destructoid community.

Submitted for the approval of Dtoiders everywhere, this is WNES Videogame Radio.



Airing weekly on 8bitx.com, WNES is a weekly internet broadcast featuring chipmusic, video game remixes, news, interviews, and glorious 8-bit nostalgia all packed into two solid hours! I've got Mega Ran, I've got Anamanaguchi, I've got the Protomen, I've got brentalfloss, the Oneups, Shael Riley, 8-Bit Duane, and lots more!

You'll hear all of the week's new chipmusic and video game covers right up front, and you'll get all the info about when and where your favorite acts are coming to your town. The chatroom is open, and Skype call-ins are welcome! I've already had a few Dtoiders (like Jon Bloodspray and AvianFlame) in the chat, and I'm looking forward to having more!

So far, I've interviewed musicians (Kirby's Dream Band and Blue of Hello, the Future!), promoters (MAGFest's Nick Marinelli and Jason Richardson of Philly's J1 Studios), pro gamers (tournament mainstays Dr. Chaos and Felax), and Jon St. John. If you want to hear a few of these for yourself, check out my YouTube page!

Tonight on WNES, it's military/FPS night, with lots of gung-ho game remixes and an interview with Stephen "ShanghaiSix" Machuga of FrontTowardsGamer.com! He'll be talking about Operation Supply Drop, which provides games and other entertainment to deployed servicemen! Drop on by, and chat or even call in about your favorite headshots, killstreaks, and midnight runs!

Tune in this and every week on 8bitx.com Thursdays at 10 PM!

UPDATE: Podcast of this show is now available here! http://www.wnes.org/2011/11/wnes-live-11102011-boom-headshot.html




(Now, for the disclaimer. Yeah, this post is pretty spammy. In my defense: I've been a Dtoider for years, longer than I've been plotting this project. Yeah, I'm using Destructoid web space to promote my stuff, but it's in the hopes I can make WNES another great part of the Dtoid community- I want to be able to plaster the green robot all over this thing, and I finally feel like the product's truly worthy of its notice. If that still isn't enough, then nothing is. I think I've earned this one.)








THE MAGFEST CHIPTUNE SHOWCASE will be taking place all day Saturday, starting with a panel at 10:30 AM, and going into an 8-bit rave from 11:30 AM to about 3 PM. The following acts are slated to appear:

CHEAP DINOSAURS: Playing out of Philadelphia, PA, Cheap Dinosaurs is Dino Lionetti (formerly of Chromelodeon) and Bucky Todd on drums, with other musicians drifting in and out of the lineup
SOUNDS LIKE: The kind of nuanced, multilayered sounds that make beating up hordes of faceless mooks so goddamn memorable.




GEORGE & JONATHAN: The rising stars of the chipmusic scene, DC's George & Jonathan play jazzy, trippy rock using Studio Pixel's Cave Story soundboard.
SOUNDS LIKE: Sonic the Hedgehog, if he spent the early 90s going to clubs and raves instead of speeding through colorful landscapes.




ZEN ALBATROSS: Friend of Destructoid, Motherboard.tv all-star, Duke of New York, and deeply experimental chipmusic composer, Zen Albatross likes to bend squarewaves 'till they break.
SOUNDS LIKE: A Game Boy going to an S&M club.




NOTE!: Another member of the vast and varied Brooklyn chiptune scene, Note! loves heavy, steady beats laced with smooth melodies.
SOUNDS LIKE: Dance music, only the parts outside the "thump, thump, thump" are actually worth hearing.

(try as I might, I couldn't find a video for this one, so here's a link to Note!'s 8bitcollective page)


NOISEWAVES: A two-piece ensemble out of Michigan, these guys love to keep it slow and atmospheric.
SOUNDS LIKE: If Brian Eno were a video game composer.




WIZWARS: A staple of the west coast chipmusic scene, Wizwars is one of the more prolific lo-fi artists, with 12 solo releases, 3 split albums. Loves to experiment with various genres and styles in chipmusic form.
SOUNDS LIKE: If Action 52 had an awesome soundtrack.




INVERSE PHASE: AKA Brendan "Mr. MAGFest" Becker, Inverse Phase is dedicated to making 8-bit de-makes of pop music, with covers including Cee-Lo's "F*** You", U2's "New Year's Day", and Real Life's "Send Me An Angel".
SOUNDS LIKE: That song you're sure you heard before, NES-style.




ENSO & NO CARRIER: Visualists extraordinare, these two gentlemen will be painting the walls with elaborate, pixelated visions throughout the chiptune show.
LOOKS LIKE: Your NES game collection on an acid trip.




OTHER ACTS


DJ CUTMAN

"Late one night during a radioactive electrical storm in the skull-shaped lab of an evil scientist, an archive of old video games and music production software got mixed in with source code for antagonist robots. The accident overloaded countless robots, but one survived. This robot was different. His existence would not be bound to 8-bits. For he had a new weapon. It was more powerful than fire, stronger than wood, and more dangerous than snakes. It was music, and he took it to the streets."
~DJ Cutman's official backstory
SOUNDS LIKE: If your local dance club was more awesome.





DJ AWESOME

Staring down DJ Cutman at the Videogame DJ Showdown late Thursday night is JamSpace devotee DJ Awesome, making his first official appearence at MAGFest, bringing a love of music and a jacked-up Atari 7800 into the DJ arena.

(no video to be found here, either. hopefully, we're all in for a surprise.)


A_RIVAL: (appearing during Saturday concerts)

The 8-bit Pimp himself, A_Rival mixes old-school hip-hop with old-school game sounds to become the freshest, illest white boy you've ever seen.
SOUNDS LIKE: Dr. Dre meets Dr. Mario.









Let's face it: there's going to be a metric crap-load of stuff going on at MAGFest 9 this year- and it can be tough to decide what's worth checking out. So, for the benefit of the Destructoid community (and my own audience, whom I've linked to these articles), allow me to give a little insight as to who's showing up and what's happening at this year's Music and Gaming Fesitval.

THE BANDS: MAGFest will feature 12 of the best musical acts in the video-game cover scene over three days of concerts! Here's a little more info about each one.


THURSDAY'S BANDS: (concerts start at 9:00 PM)

BIT BRIGADE: This Athens, GA band puts on a very special act: Master speedgamer Noah McCarthy takes on a classic NES game, and these guys play the musical accompaniment in real-time! They've done stints as "Megaband", "Contraband", and "Ninjaband"- who knows what they're going to perform at MAGFest?




RARE CANDY: An offshoot of Entertainment System (see Friday's bands), this band features none other than MAGFest concert head Dominic Cerquetti on lead keyboard. While similar to their mother band, Rare Candy is much more electronically driven and tends to make more daring musical choices in their arrangements.
LISTEN FOR: Their surf-rock rendition of the Final Fantasy 4 boss theme.




THE X HUNTERS: Brentalfloss once said it better than me: this band will bubble your crab, spark your mandrill, and boomer your kuwanger. It's all Mega Man X, all the time for these Philadelphia, PA rockers.
LISTEN FOR: How many different stage themes they can play in one medley.




FRIDAY'S BANDS: (concerts begin at 6:00 PM)

BRENTALFLOSS: (appearing in the JamSpace at 2:30 PM) New York's clown prince of video games, Brentalfloss' satirical "With Lyrics" videos have made him a Youtube sensation. He's done guest spots with Mega Ran, Video Games Live, the Megas, and many others- and was also the emcee at last year's Bit Gen.
LISTEN FOR: His newer stuff, including Zelda 2 and Halloween Kirby.




ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM: Perhaps the best pure VGM band playing today. Entertainment System are also the chief organizers of the Bit Gen Gamer Fest, a summer concert in their hometown of Baltimore, MD, where many MAGFest bands also play. Their newest album, the Mario/Zelda tribute Rock n' Roll Cereal, is due for release in the next few weeks.
LISTEN FOR: Plenty of cuts from the new album- Mario and Zelda galore!




THE ONEUPS: This funk/jazz/fusion quintet out of Fayetteville, AR classes up whatever joint it's in. Headed by OverClocked Remixer and Bad Dudes frontman Mustin, Their complicated, inventive arrangements all seem to scream to doubters, "this is so music, you unimaginative jerks!" Their latest release, Super Mario Kart Album, is available now.
LISTEN FOR: All of it. Everything the Oneups play goes down smooth.




ARM CANNON: Overclocked Remixer and Bad Dudes member Danimal Cannon leads this Buffalo, NY group, which plays metal video game covers with splashes of jazz, reggae, and electronica. Their mascot, Pizzor, is a beast on the drum kit.
LISTEN FOR: Their Mega Man 3 medley, as well as the wrestling theme mashup "I'm A Real Sexy American Boy".




THE PROTOMEN: A ten-piece rock ensemble from Murfreesboro, TN that has written two concept albums based loosely on the Mega Man mythos. They'll be playing the entirety of their self-titled debut album on Friday, an electrified rock opera about robots, revenge, and oppression.
LISTEN FOR: "The Will Of One". Be sure to chant along. "We! Have! Con! Trol! We! Keep! You! Safe! We! Are! Your! Hope!"




THE MINIBOSSES: One of the original video game music bands, the Minibosses have been relatively dormant the release of their 2005 album, Brass. They played the first four MAGFests, but this is their first time back since 2006. They're considered a chief influence by many of the other bands performing this year.
LISTEN FOR: Ninja Gaiden, for starters. Other than that, they're sure to have some new tricks after this long of a layoff.




METROID METAL: This VGM supergroup includes Kirby of Temp Sound Solutions and Danimal Cannon of Armcannon. They met up several MAGFests ago, and after a mind-blowing JamSpace session, they went into business together as the ultimate Metroid tribute band.
LISTEN FOR: Brinstar, Tallon Overworld, Norfair... if you love Metroid, this is a can't-miss.




SATURDAY'S BANDS (concerts begin at 6:00 PM)

THE MEGAS: A rock band out of Los Angeles, CA that specializes in rearranging music from the Mega Man games and adding lyrics and story. Their first album, the Mega Man 2 chronicle Get Equipped, gave them their notoreity, they've continually teased that the follow-up Mega Man 3 album will be out at MAGFest.
LISTEN FOR: At the very least, "You've Sparked A War", the Spark Man theme, released as a single last summer.




POWERGLOVE: Currently the most successful VGM band, this spiked-shoulderpad crew mixes game tunes with melodic death metal. They've toured heavily with other metal acts such as HammerFall, Sonata Arctica, Mutiny Within, and DragonForce. They recently signed a deal with E1 Records, the largest independent record label in the U.S., joining a lineup that includes the likes of Black Label Society, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Stabbing Westward. Their first release with that label, Saturday Morning Apocalypse, is available now.
LISTEN FOR: "Mario Minor" and "Power, Wisdom, Courage".




THIS PLACE IS HAUNTED: This crew from New York, NY flirted with breaking up over the past year, but simply fired their drummer instead. Now they're back in business, ready to bring their intense, bass-driven game medleys to MAGFest 9. Outside of their video game albums, their 2006 rock release Ghosts In The Graveyard comes highly recommended.
LISTEN FOR: Their epic medleys, including Double Dragon and Sonic the Hedgehog.




YEAR 200X: This group of indie metal vets from Lansing, MI have been steadily growing since 2006. They're currently working on the follow-up to their 2008 debut album, We Are Error.
LISTEN FOR: Their soaring rendition of "The Moon" from Ducktales.




THE PROTOMEN: The Protomen return on Saturday to play the entirety of their second album, Act II: The Father Of Death, which sounds like what would happen if Dennis DeYoung recruited "Born To Run"-era Bruce Springsteen and the Electric Light Orchestra to help him make Kilroy Was Here.
LISTEN FOR: "Breaking Out", which wears its classic-rock influences proudly on its sleeve.




TOMORROW: Chiptune artists!
TUESDAY: Panels!
WEDNESDAY: The rest of the stuff!