Friday, September 9, 2016

Ep. 36: The Heartland

This week’s episode is all about adventure. While the tunes capture that end-of-summer feeling, Josh churns out more ideas for VGMJB corporate ventures, Emily’s heart nearly explodes from the sheer awesomeness of the setlist, and the intriguing possibility of a multi-podcast crossover emerges. If you're excited about a hypothetical episode of The Pixelated Radio Jukebox, let us know! Who knows what the future may hold...?

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This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
Persona 4 Junes Theme Shoji Meguro, Atsushi Kitajoh
Mega Man Ice Man's Stage (Happy Snowman Remix) Manami Matsumae, TECK (arr.)
de Blob Funky John Guscott
Saturn Bomberman Staff Roll Jun Chikuma
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Stickerbrush Symphony David Wise
Time Trax Main Theme Tim Follin
Touch Down Fever Tournament Mode
1st & 3rd Quarters
Yoko Osaka, Toshikazu Tanaka

...and listeners like YOU.


  1. Even though Josh accused me of smooching my male cousin, I still enjoyed the episode. Pucker up, Josh- you're next.

  2. As soon as those first few notes from the Iceman stage came through my speakers, I was a deer caught in headlights, locked into its sheer awesomeness. Thanks for breaking down what MIDI actually is, Emily... I *did* notice a slight difference in the song, but it was so minor that I thought I misremembered it: the drums. The beat was a little simpler, and way less pronounced, in the way I remember it, but the meat of track remained, er, frozen in time. You picked the version closest to what I loved about it (and I do vaguely recall you both discussing the VG site -- oh, and additional thanks for converting the file, too; I tried to download a program to play the song on my computer, but I hit a wall and figured you'd be way more computer literate anyway. I deeply appreciate the extra mile you went!) -- SO yeah! This version rocks! Or rather, it perfectly encapsulates that bittersweet summer winding down, that back-to-school mix of somberness and hope. Typical Mega Man.

    1. HEART

      Also, in case you do want to listen to MIDI files themselves sometime, I use a program called Notation Player. It's free and you can find here: http://notation.com/DownloadNotationPlayer.php

      I absolutely love this program because it renders the MIDI information as actual sheet music in addition to playing the file as audio; this has been an invaluable tool for me as I've worked out my music box arrangements of video game tunes.

      And of course, I get all my VGM MIDIs from our beloved www.vgmusic.com.

  3. Mother 3 Naka-kun writes:

    First off, my own heart has become dangerously large, due to the high concentration of Bonk tracks contained in this episode.

    Commercial jingles I remember: Juicy Fruit, Rollo (it's a whole roll of smiles!), Toyota(I love what you do for me), and local jingles to Car Toys and O'Reilly's(Oh-Oh-Oh O'Reillyyyyy's.......AUTO PARTS!).

    "The heartland of California" has got to be ironic. It's likely based on the Americana music Josh described, intended to get people stirred up about the stores.

    Secondly, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being the first the VGM podcast to accurately describe MIDI. It drives me crazy to hear game music described as MIDI tunes(especially when it's to a PlayStation game). They're usually describing sequenced music using cheesy instruments and reverb coming out of the system's onboard sound chip. As an aside, MIDI's initial purpose was to get multiple keyboards working together with sequencers to record music easier. MIDI had nothing to do with video games until soundcards became a thing.

    I am NOT calibrated to LA weather. In fact, right this moment, I am happily saying goodbye to summer, and waiting with bated breath for the falling leaves, rain soaked everything, midnight afternoons of a Portland autumn. Emily, if you love the Northeast fall, but hate the winter, fly west for the winter and visit Portland! It's basically fall nine months out of the year. And you're right, it is the BEST season.

    Oh my gosh, that de Blob track is so rad! The game sounds so fun; it makes me want to get a Wii just to play it. Dynamic music in gaming is important to me because it's a way that video games have evolved beyond the sum of their parts. I cite super Mario Brothers 64, Dire, Dire Docks as my example, because it's the first time I realized dynamic audio was a thing.

    The Jun Chikuma track is Bossa Nova. I don't know much about Bossa Nova's history, other than it originated in Brazil and Henry Mancini popularized it for Americans in the 60's. So good!

    I'm so glad you played the Time Trax track! I've always hated the term "Instant Classic", but I think it's appropriate here. My question to the Universe: how the HECK did Tim Follin so completely master the YM2612 in one game?! How?? I mean, not only is the composition legendary, but the song runs rock solid. What, did he write his own drivers, too?

    Lastly, I'm all for a multi-platform podcast crossover. You guys could guest on the other shows, and if the Pixelatedtunes guys guest on VGMJB4B, they could just read off the Patron-selected tunes like you two do, with a guest-selected track of their own. That sounds like a favoritism I could get behind!

    PS--VGMJB4B made my Friday AGAIN. I gotta go. There's Funk Everywhere!

    1. Time Trax was incredible. I just checked my vocal cut and have confirmed that this was the tune that had me yelling off-mic -- doubled-over in my chair -- "I'm gonna die. I'm going to DIE this episode is gonna KILL ME it's so GOOD! CAN'T... BREATHE!" It was the perfect culmination of all the feelings that had come from the tunes before.

      We've registered your crossover vote! My concern is that I don't want patrons to feel that they are less important or less favored than others if we feature listener guests... but I suppose if the guests are other VGM figureheads, folks with their own shows and such, that's a bit different?

      My opinion on this is evolving.

    2. To me, a guest is 'just' another host. If a guest is primarily reading the Patrons' picks, and if they get one pick of their own, that doesn't seem to me to be favoritism. You're right, the fact that they are hosts does make it different.

      Anyway, you've played at least 2 Ruiner9 tracks, who (as we all know)happens to be one the hosts of Pixeltunes. But how many Bogus Meat Factory tracks have you played? how many of my tracks have you picked? We must be waaay more special than Ed. :P

      I don't consider having a guest host to be anything like favoritism. But if you're still not convinced, just do it as a bonus episode. A holiday special!

  4. had me cracking up on the jingle part. however, i'm a juicy fruit jingle kinda guy. i think i even said it a few times on our show. it will always live on.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ92qqzutcE

  5. The guitar player on Saturn Bomberman is named Kaoru Akimoto, same name as a one-hit-wonder City Pop singer from the '80s, doubt it's the same person. It's listed on the composer's own soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/junechikuma/

    Either way they did some pretty great work on the soundtrack, especially on the Wild West World and Samurai World themes.

    In my never-ending quest to relive the Sega childhood I never had, I actually got a Saturn recently. Saturn Bomberman was THE game I had to get! I got a Japanese import because, man, every US Saturn game goes for like Neo Geo levels of absurd prices. Anyway, the game is excellent. I love the battle mode, but what I really think is cool is the two-player co-op mode. It works surprisingly well, and now I wish more Bomberman games had it.

    The end credits theme is kind of unintentionally funny on its own, but it's funnier in game because it does not fit the silly credits sequence at all. Even the ending cinematic preceding the credits is like that. The visuals have the Bombermen looking sad as they leave their Dino buddies, yet this super funky guitar rendition of the classic Bomberman theme plays. It's great!

    So many classic jams in this episode! DKC2 is by far me favorite of the DKC trilogy and it has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. When I was a kid I used to do the sound test code and put on Stickerbrush Symphony or Forest Interlude to help me focus on my homework.

    1. saturn bomberman is legit. especially if you have the multitap! i think you could have a total of 8 people playing at once. there was even a special bomberman multitap with bombermans face printing on the casing. pretty cool stuff :)

    2. With the "Wide Map" selected, you can even have 10 players at once! I think it requires 2 multitaps to do, but man it would be awesome. It's one of the things I need to do before I die. There's also a sick Saturn Bomberman controller with with a turbo function and the turbo speed switches are Bomberman's eyes. How cool is that!?

    3. Sooooooooo... party at goemonsama's place? :D

  6. Omg stickerbrush symphony so many memories of my childhood flowing through me now....words cant describe how good it is