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OMG! Afterburner: Black Falcon Soundtrack by Trans Am!!

chespace

It's not actually trolling if you don't admit it
Jun 8, 2004
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Saw Trans Am in Chicago (Empty Bottle) on the eve of the year 2000 for their Futureworld LP.

Seriously awesome show. I haven't liked their stuff since they started sleeping with The ****ing Champs... and when I saw a Champs show in SF a few years ago, I was surprised to see the Trans Am guitarist as one of the fret shredders onstage.

I hear their latest album is back to the shit they're good at again, so I should go pick it up.

Cool to see someone at Sega has good taste.
 

Flynn

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Jun 7, 2004
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BenjaminBirdie said:
Holy shit! Trans Am fans U****ingNite!!!!!

I saw them tour for Surrender To The Night in Cinci. Such a great band....
Surrender to the Night is easily one of my all-time favorite records. I caught them just after the Surrender to the Night tour.

Che, I don't totally hate their vocal stuff. And there are some really high points in their collaborations with bands like The ****ing Champs. Golden, for example rocks.

But since this is in the gaming thread, lets refocus the love.

Game makers; there's tons of amazing indy music out there that can be gotten for ultracheap. Do like Sega. Make your game awesome by having excellent musical taste.
 
Jan 19, 2005
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www.benjaminbirdie.com
Flynn said:
Surrender to the Night is easily one of my all-time favorite records. I caught them just after the Surrender to the Night tour.

Che, I don't totally hate their vocal stuff. And there are some really high points in their collaborations with bands like The ****ing Champs. Golden, for example rocks.

But since this is in the gaming thread, lets refocus the love.

Game makers; there's tons of amazing indy music out there that can be gotten for ultracheap. Do like Sega. Make your game awesome by having excellent musical taste.
SECONDED.

(And, yep, STTN is just definitely one of my favorite records.)
 

Munin

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Jul 20, 2006
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While I like Trans Am and seeing indie music appear in a game or two, I sure as hell don't want developers regularily nabbing already done songs by indie bands instead of composing their own music for games.
 

Flynn

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Munin said:
While I like Trans Am and seeing indie music appear in a game or two, I sure as hell don't want developers regularily nabbing already done songs by indie bands instead of composing their own music for games.
I feel differently.

Sure, there are some truly amazing examples of original musical work composed for games. But most is fairly hackneyed.
 

FlyinJ

Douchebag. Yes, me.
Sep 22, 2005
12,696
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My friend Trevor is the art director on this project. You might have heard of him, he's Mr. Grimshaw from The Terrible Mr. Grimshaw:

http://overstated.net/2003/02/05/the-terrible-mr-g

Anyhow, he didn't like the music they had for the game and ended up getting Trans Am to do the soundtrack. It's a really funny story how he ended up getting them... he told me he wants to post it. He's not a member, so I'll post it when he writes it up.
 

allarise

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Jul 27, 2006
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Saw them in Austin back in 2000. It was wild, as I'd never heard of them at the time, and there was about 500 people packed into Emos all going nuts. I disagree with the monsieur a couple posts up, I would love for more excellent, older, indie music to be exposed to a larger audiences through games.
 

Flynn

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Jun 7, 2004
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BenjaminBirdie said:
GOD DAMN 7:45 OF THE BEST MUSIC OF ALL TIME.

Sorry, but I haven't listened to this song in way too ****ing long.

Everyone. Go listen to "Carboforce" by Trans Am. Right now.

DO IT DO IT DO IT.
The game has inspired me to rip all my old Trans Am CDs to iTunes. I'm ashamed to have only of their three records loaded up.

BTW. The game is pretty damn good -- twitch arcade action -- I kept trying to put it down, but was always tempted to try one more level.
 

chespace

It's not actually trolling if you don't admit it
Jun 8, 2004
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Personally, I like Cocaine Computer myself.

But yeah, STTN came at around the same time Thrill Jockey was going through what Wax Trax went through in the late '80s... a total renaissance. I remember getting STTN in '96 and just thinking to myself, holy shit, somebody has made an album tailored specifically to my taste buds, right down to the math rock break beats underneath minimalist analog synths or washes of lock-riffed guitars. And best of all, it was 100% instrumental -- just the way I liked it.

Yeah, I'm a huge F'ing Champs fan (H00GE!!) but I wanted Trans Am to be Trans Am and Champs to be Champs. After the excellent STTN album, I was disappointed with The Surveillance. They redeemed themselves with Futureworld, but then had a compilation of B-sides I didn't care for (Redline).

Strangely, given their sense of humor and song titles, I could totally see them being all gung-ho about doing the soundtrack to a game called "Afterburner" :lol
 

SonSon2

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Nov 25, 2006
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Flynn said:
Surrender to the Night is easily one of my all-time favorite records. I caught them just after the Surrender to the Night tour.

Che, I don't totally hate their vocal stuff. And there are some really high points in their collaborations with bands like The ****ing Champs. Golden, for example rocks.

But since this is in the gaming thread, lets refocus the love.

Game makers; there's tons of amazing indy music out there that can be gotten for ultracheap. Do like Sega. Make your game awesome by having excellent musical taste.
QFT

Though not technically the "indie" sound, Air had expressed interest in doing music for a videogame in a small album release a while back. They do great soundtrack work, so why not?

If developers are going to use outside music, I think they should stick with one band/group to produce it and retain some kind of continuity. I think it's horrible how a lot of games have a lot of different licensed songs from a rainbow of bands which are usually radio fodder.

Either have one band produce the sound, or write the damn music yourself.
 

FlyinJ

Douchebag. Yes, me.
Sep 22, 2005
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Here's what my friend wrote up about getting Trans Am to do the soundtrack for Afterburner:


hello game forums.



My name is Trevor Grimshaw and i was lead artist on the Afterburner project, my friend reads this forum and told me that people were interested in Trans Am. So I thought I'd relate an anecdote to those Trans Am fans out there.



Without getting into to much detail, we were not happy with the music that was originally slated to be in the game. i don't want to go into a rant, but allot of game music is pretty bad and i usually mute it the first chance i get. We simply didn't want to treat the music like an afterthought in our game. We wanted some genuinely good music that felt afterburnery, and we wanted to include something that we genuinely liked and enjoyed instead of second guessing the consumer.



The project lead asked me to see if any of my "rock and roll buddies" as he calls them could create or license music for our game. since I know some various guys that are in some bands I started to ask around. I brought in about twenty or so different CD's from some different friend's bands and record labels in San Francisco. We couldn't make it through half the songs without turning the CD player off in disgust. Most of what i got was terrible. Awful. Sort of like butt-rock redux performed by sweaty thirty year olds trying to relieve their stoner rock high school band fantasies, or that dreadful whiny emo crap that passes its puerile and derivative crappyness off as punk rock.

after a few weeks of this i was ready to give up.

"i though you were hip!" the project lead yelled at me." with your tattoo's and your black clothes, your nothing but a fat liar! clean out your desk!"



later that week I was at my friend Jens house to watch Deadwood and I started complaining about what a load of crappy bands we had as potential game music. she says.

"why don't you ask my boyfriend, he's in a band".

I've never met the guy before and assume she's dating some blowhard doorman or bartender in some lame local rock band. like every other San Fransisco mission hipster. but, to be honest, I didn't know what the whole story on this character is so couldn't say for sure. why not? i say. she calls him on the phone and says

" my friend Trevor is here, yeah, that one, he needs some music for a game he's working on do you want to talk to him? ok. " she hands me the phone.

"so Jen says that you are in the music business or in a band or something" i say.

"yeah i guess you could say that" he replies.

" well, so, were making this video game with some jets in it, and we want some decent rocking tunes that doesn't sound like nu-metal whiny crap. we need a relatively inexpensive band that's good, but not huge so we can afford it, i don't know, someone sort of hip, but that doesn't totally suck, i mean, someone instrumental, like trans am, i guess , have you ever heard of trans am?"

"yeah" he says.

Jen is looking at me with this expression on her face like I'm a huge jerk.

I continue. " yeah, someone like trans am, but not trans am because nobody knows who the hell they are, i mean, they're cool but they're totally obscure. I like them, but they basically don't exist as far as mainstream music goes."

Jen is now glaring at me.

" i mean, besides the metaligensia record store clerks at Aquarius records and some math rock sweater nerds, who's heard of them? nobody. "

"what is wrong with you!" she yells and tries to grab the phone from me "give me back the phone"

"oh, do you know someone in trans am?" i ask him.

"um, yeah" he says. " I'm in Trans Am"



I accused him of lying, or being some session guitarist or something, or of just joining them. Jen was convinced i was just screwing with everyones head and knew it was him all along. but, no, it turns out he really was in Trans Am and is a cool guy. I stuck by my guns however and argued with Jen that, seriously, aside from a few people, no one has ever heard of them. I even made a bet that absolutely no one in my office will know who they were.



I walked into work on Monday.

" hey guess who we can get to do our soundtrack!" i exclaimed. " Trans Am!"

the Project Lead stared blankly at me.
"Who's that?"



and that's how we got Trans Am to let us use some songs for the soundtrack of Afterburner PSP. I'd like to point out that this is where my involvement ended. Others picked it up from there and worked really hard to get them in our game. In fact, everyone on the team grew to like them. we even rigged a special device so the project lead could listen.

I am actually a big Trans Am fan and I was really happy that we got to include them in the final product. I'm even more happy that someone actually knows who they are and appreciates them enough to comment on the forums.
 

chespace

It's not actually trolling if you don't admit it
Jun 8, 2004
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Haha, awesome story. So who (i.e., which of the two guys) from Trans Am was on the phone?
 

Flynn

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Jun 7, 2004
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Mifune said:
Ha, when you said Trans Am, I was thinking Fly Pan Am. That wouldn't work quite as well.

I often confuse the two bands.
Fly Pan Am? Don't you mean Pan American, the Kranky band?
 

Mifune

Mehmber
Jan 19, 2005
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Flynn said:
Fly Pan Am? Don't you mean Pan American, the Kranky band?
Yes, that's who I mean. The Kranky band. I saw them open for Low many years ago.

Where the hell did I get Fly Pan Am from? Hipster card torn up and flushed down the toilet.
 

AlternativeUlster

Absolutely pathetic part deux
Dec 10, 2006
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Trans Am is f*cking boring. Yeah, this might have been cool if this was for the Sega CD version. I don't think they were around when the Sega CD version was released, though. Way to be ahead of the post-rock curve, Trans Am. Has post-rock ever done anything more than start slow, make some pretty sounds and then build up bombastically?

Regardless, I am glad that Trans Am might find a new audience for their music and maybe someday have a song on Gray's Anatomy.
 

ram

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Sep 21, 2004
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arcader said:
WOW - I have this game and love it - but the music doesnt really stick out to me.


Great game tho!
at first, i loved the game too, but after a few mission it gets boring really quick - why the **** does i have to fly through the same levels over and over again. there arent even really cool bosses.

also, after beating a mission it is not every time clear, if you have unlocked the next one, because sometimes you have to finish all level targets and sometimes, you dont need to do that. :/
 

Flynn

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Jun 7, 2004
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ram said:
at first, i loved the game too, but after a few mission it gets boring really quick - why the **** does i have to fly through the same levels over and over again. there arent even really cool bosses.

also, after beating a mission it is not every time clear, if you have unlocked the next one, because sometimes you have to finish all level targets and sometimes, you dont need to do that. :/
The game reminds me of Pursuit Force, samey-but-fun.
 

666

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Sep 22, 2005
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**** Yeah! Surrender to the Night is such an amazing album!! Go the Am! I saw them play for the first time in around 1998 and they were mindblowingly amazing! Like Kraftwerk & AC/DC in one band, I played a few shows with them on a later tour too, they love going for jogs...
 

Andonuts

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Apr 14, 2006
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This is an interesting story.

Something that I've always wondered about game soundtracks though -- does having popular shitty emo band #25 on the game soundtrack really affect sales one way or another? Why does it matter if no one has heard of the band or not? If it's good music and the band is willing to provide it for cheap, and it complements and fits the game better, why not just go with that? Is someone going to pick up the box, see that the soundtrack is by some band they've never heard of, and think "**** this, I only buy games with fallout boy on the soundtrack", and put it back down?

I mean does that ever happen? Is that a significant market force?
 

FlyinJ

Douchebag. Yes, me.
Sep 22, 2005
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Andonuts said:
This is an interesting story.

Something that I've always wondered about game soundtracks though -- does having popular shitty emo band #25 on the game soundtrack really affect sales one way or another? Why does it matter if no one has heard of the band or not? If it's good music and the band is willing to provide it for cheap, and it complements and fits the game better, why not just go with that? Is someone going to pick up the box, see that the soundtrack is by some band they've never heard of, and think "**** this, I only buy games with fallout boy on the soundtrack", and put it back down?

I mean does that ever happen? Is that a significant market force?
In this instance, it had more to do with the fact that they could get Trans Am for the same price they'd have to pay for the shovelware stuff that was provided to them.

It's just a better situation going with the band. You either have people who really love Trans Am enjoy the game more, or people who don't know who they are just being indifferent or maybe liking it and being turned onto a new band.

On the other hand, if they put the shovelware in, people either don't like the music at all or just tune it out.

As to your point, it has had the opposite effect on my gaming purchases. I actually didn't buy Lumines 2 because I don't want to be forced to listen to Hoobastank or Gwen Stefani in any capacity.
 

ferricide

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Jun 8, 2004
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damn, that's crazy. i'm not actually interested in the game at all, but this makes me moreso. this may be the first time that has ever happened.

when it comes to the "EA trax" issue (i.e. putting shitty mainstream music into games) i think it's more viewed as marketing that music to gamers, rather than the other way around (licensing that music because it fits the game.) i think to the labels it's like getting the music on MTV -- another promotional tool.

PS surrender to the night makes me think about you che! you gave it to me to listen to at gamers.com. which i did a lot. but never really after that.
 

Andonuts

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Apr 14, 2006
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FlyinJ said:
In this instance, it had more to do with the fact that they could get Trans Am for the same price they'd have to pay for the shovelware stuff that was provided to them.

It's just a better situation going with the band. You either have people who really love Trans Am enjoy the game more, or people who don't know who they are just being indifferent or maybe liking it and being turned onto a new band.

On the other hand, if they put the shovelware in, people either don't like the music at all or just tune it out.

As to your point, it has had the opposite effect on my gaming purchases. I actually didn't buy Lumines 2 because I don't want to be forced to listen to Hoobastank or Gwen Stefani in any capacity.
Well, Lumines is an exception because it's a non-game/pleasant music simulator. The music is more appealing than anything else and plays directly into the "gameplay" (such as it is).

I was responding to his comments to the effect of "why the hell would we put Trans Am in the game I mean who the **** is that band anyway." It seemed to reflect this notion that you can't include a band's music in a game if the band isn't popular. Which... doesn't make much sense.

I guess that's PSP marketing-think for you, though. People who buy PSP's aren't really interested in games anyway so the games can't be marketed as such.