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Idolores Aug 12, 2009

Their Megaman 2 and Final Fantasy ones were always my favorites. These guys do god work.

Angela Aug 12, 2009

Daniel K wrote:

Heh, forgot Punch-Out. :)

Awesome finds!  Naturally I jumped right into the Punch-Out!! ones.  The 8-bit version turned out a bit better, I think:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZqwHJ16 … re=related

Loved how they implemented the recent Wii version commercial into the footage.  But damn, with lines like "Gimme a break, I just wanna fornicate!"...... this is just pure gold. :D

Daniel K Aug 18, 2009 (edited Aug 18, 2009)

I'm quickly falling for these guys, and will definitely be picking up the album later this month! This is some good shit, faaar better than any of the official VGM I've heard so far this year.

Duck Hunt is my new favourite, its so damn tight. Here are the lyrics (from their site):

I'm bringin' home dinner, better warn the Miss.
I got my trusty dog sidekick to fetch them shits.
That gigglin' little bastard's got me stressin' tonight.
But I hate bein' laughed at, so my aim's on tight.
I got a, straight-shooter that I keep by my side.
Three bullets in the chamber, like I need it.
Yeah right!
Tell Brandon Lackey "get the grill ignited".
Because the whole damn neighborhood's gettin' excited, yeah!

Quack quack boom, bringin' nothin' but doom.
When the ducks fly up I'm clearin' the room.
My phat mad skills will have you holdin' your breath.
I'll have three duck burgers with a side of death, please!
I wanna kill that motherfuckin' dog.
But every time I go to shoot, the safety is on!
One of these days I'll give you somethin' to laugh about!
Duck Hunt, baby. What a pain in the ass, I'm out.

You rap like a cracker, leave my doggy alone.
You're just jealous I got more ducks than you to bring home!
I just sit back, waitin' for 'em to get in position.
Ducks drop from my motherfuckin' ammunition.
No bitchin' and whinin' when I miss one punk.
I got two more in the chamber straight ready to buck.
Tell Brandon Lackey he needs to finish this rap.
Because I'm gonna eat dinner and take a nap, yeah.

Duane Zuwala, shootin' like a girl!
Hey!
Step aside Sally let me give it a whirl.
I got the mirror in my hand with my back to the screen.
Shootin' without even lookin' like nothin' you've ever seen before.
I make it look easy droppin' ducks left and right.
I could do this all night, but I'm at level 99.
So I'mma fire up that grill and we're just gonna pretend;
that it's duck we're grillin' up instead of man's best friend!

The ending is priceless as well: that chuckling bastard finally got what he had coming! smile

Angela Aug 18, 2009

Daniel K wrote:

I'm quickly falling for these guys, and will definitely be picking up the album later this month!

Ditto.  I just tossed a fiver their way as a means of donation.  I love the Punch-Out!! remixes.  ^_^

Push It Aug 18, 2009

The concept is great, the arrangements are pretty slick, but the quality of the production ruins the experience for me.

Angela Aug 18, 2009

Push It wrote:

The concept is great, the arrangements are pretty slick, but the quality of the production ruins the experience for me.

Well, the album they're releasing promises, in their own words, to be "remixed and remastered using state-of-the-art intergalactic supersonic technology hand crafted by life-forms your human mind is unable to grasp the true form of, and will surely melt your face off."

Believe!

Push It Aug 18, 2009

Angela wrote:

Well, the album they're releasing promises, in their own words, to be "remixed and remastered using state-of-the-art intergalactic supersonic technology hand crafted by life-forms your human mind is unable to grasp the true form of, and will surely melt your face off."

Believe!

It seems like one of those "measure twice, cut once" situations, but if you believe it, then that's good enough for me?

No sarcasm included.

Ramza Aug 18, 2009

Daniel K wrote:

Heard of these guys? They do raps over arrangements of NES game music, and some of their stuff is pretty good and damn funny. Some of my favourites:

Mega Man 2

"My name's Bubble Man I got something to sa--"

DEAD!

That was *hilarious*

Angela Oct 17, 2009

So, for those who haven't been in the know, it seems the once dynamic-duo have been involved in a bit of a rift with one another.  The long and short of it appears to be that Duane has called it quits, while BrandO is carrying on the torch by assembling a new group of remixers.  The latest blog entry details that "The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO" will now officially become "The Adventures Of." 

http://www.duane-and-brando.com/

As far as the upcoming full-length LP is concerned (which was originally due at the end of August), the verdict's still out as to when it'll be released, but Lackey promises that it's coming, and that it'll be "very soon."

Daniel K Oct 17, 2009

I've been following this closely. Truly unfortunate, these guys have so much talent and it pains me that they decided to split just as they really started to get acknowledged and are to release their first album. I will keep my eyes on the new band for sure, but I suspect Duane will be sorely missed, he was a great vocalist and it feels like the two of them really had a good dynamic going that will now be lost. There are so many 8-bit classics I was just dying to hear their take on... Imagine what they could've done with Wizards & Warriors, Contra, Bionic Commando, Kid Icarus, Metal Gear, Blaster Master, Ghosts n' Goblins... Shit, just imagine what they could've done with Bubble Bobble!

There's no sense in crying over spilt milk, I guess. I'm just glad we're at least getting the LP, thinking about that gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

For those who haven't checked them out yet, here's another track for ya: Sonic. I love the Knuckles part.

Angela Dec 26, 2009

So it looks like BrandO has made good on his word: The Adventures of Duane and BrandO's LP of Devastation is at long last released, and ready for prime time.  Anyone grabbed it yet?  Daniel? smile

BrandO saw it fit to release the 37 track LP in a 960 MB FLAC format - which includes the entirety of the D&B VGM-arranged catalog, a handful of original tracks, and a smattering of preview songs from the yet-to-be-released Earthbound album. 

All of the tracks previously available have gone through a remastering of sorts, and the quality is, for the most part, higher across the board.  Remastering ranges from a cleaner, crisper output, to completely new performances in instrumentation and vocals.  Double Dragon and Kung Fu are prime examples of both.  They went with Ally's female-voiced rendition of Metroid, and a brief new excerpt of the "Underwater" theme bookends Mario 1.  (Which actually segues nicely into Mario 2, if you put Mario 1 before it.)

I'll have to do a side-by-side comparison, but so far, the only track that may have seen a hit in quality is Mega Man 2 - possibly because of the way they've down-mixed the backing instrumentation.  I'm also disappointed that the fourth version of Punch-Out!! isn't likely to see the light of day.... but on the plus side, the three previous versions are all here, so now everyone will be able to listen to the most excellent v2 that came only to those who had donated prior.

I'm still plowing through the LP, which clocks in a beefy two hours and forty minutes.  I can safely say, though, that this was an easy $10 to spend on what will likely be one of the most entertaining VGM releases of the year.

Mak Dec 27, 2009

I saw the Zelda 2 song/video a while back.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i8Oy2l0cjo

I love how the Zelda 2 one deals with all of the storyline bits and even questions where the game takes place, and its just as much about Link going on his adventure as it is the player playing through and beating the game.

I'm going through the LP, these songs are awesome. I noticed the flac files are recorded at 48khz instead of the usual 44khz.

Usually I don't like lyrics to game music because I'll have it stuck in my head (like the Final Fantasy Chocobo remix), or they're just not great material for the song, but these are just great.

Angela Dec 30, 2009

Upon further listening, it seems the only tracks that didn't get remastered were the three Punch-Out!! tracks.  They appear to sound exactly the same as the files that were previously available, which is a regrettably stark contrast to the rest of the otherwise high-quality recording.

I love the new take on Castlevania, especially when the Poison Mind rendition comes up.  Like several of the re-recordings, D&B belt out a more aggressive vocal performance here.  Dracula's also got an accent now, and Simon's eye stabbed-like scream when he gets bitten is pretty damn awesome. wink

Idolores wrote:

Their Megaman 2 and Final Fantasy ones were always my favorites. These guys do god work.

I wouldn't quite put them at "god" status, but they definitely do good work. wink  Anyway, this is the first time that I really listened to Final Fantasy, and its lyrics are brilliant on a whole bunch of levels.  Melodically, I love the part where they cover Corneria Castle, City Theme, and Matoya's Cave.

Idolores Dec 30, 2009

Angela wrote:
Idolores wrote:

Their Megaman 2 and Final Fantasy ones were always my favorites. These guys do god work.

I wouldn't quite put them at "god" status, but they definitely do good work. wink

-_____-;

Angela Jan 8, 2010

By the way, make you grab the free LP update.  It features the Guerrilla War track, as well an alternate mix of Super Mario Bros.

Daniel K Jan 24, 2010

Angela wrote:

Daniel? smile

Yo! A bit late, but now its time to duke it!

Yeah, I got it, and have been diggin' it like crazy. Seriously, I've listened to this album at least once every day since I got it, and I'm still coming back for more. I wonder what I could have done for all this good Karma to come my way, because this is completely tailored to my sensibilities. Completely-over-the-top Gangsta-rap profanity + bad-ass rock/metal arrangements of catchy classic 8-bit music + lots of attitude and great humour that works on so many levels = one happy Daniel K. It sounds godly in glorious lossless FLAC-format, the muddiness from the YouTube versions is nowhere to be seen (heard). I'm even prepared to say that this album is about the best VGM or VGM-related stuff I've heard in literary years, probably since the SH4 OST (June 2004). The only thing I disliked about the package was that the files weren't tagged at all, which was a bit amateurish (but easily fixed nonetheless).

Angela wrote:

the "Underwater" theme bookends Mario 1.  (Which actually segues nicely into Mario 2, if you put Mario 1 before it.)

I played around a bit with what order to put the tracks in for maximum effect, and I came up with this line-up:

01. Mega Man 2
02. Bomberman
03. Castlevania
04. Kung Fu
05. Ninja Gaiden
06. Super Mario Brothers 1
07. Metroid
08. Battletoads
09. Final Fantasy
10. Guerrilla War
11. Duck Hunt
12. Sonic The Hedgehog
13. The Legend Of Zelda 1
14. Double Dragon
15. Punch-Out!
16. Super Mario Brothers 2
17. Little Nemo - The Dream Master
18. Pac-man
19. Dragon Warrior
20. Cheetahmen 2
21. Tetris
22. The Legend Of Zelda 2

Everyone's tastes vary of course, but I personally found this order to be the best. Its a good mix of alternating the heavier and softer tracks, with the first half being a bit more aggressive/heavy overall than the second. The tracks flow well into each other too, the only questionable spot is Kung Fu straight after Castlevania, the transition is a bit jarring, but almost fitting in a sense.

The EarthBound promo EP is awesome as well! It makes me so sad that they broke up just as they started gathering momentum, because it means the EB album most probably will be left uncompleted. From the looks of it, they were going to cover the entire game, which would have just been insanely epic and a milestone in VGM arranging (almost like a musical or something). But what we got is good enough: "Character Select", "Titanic Ant", and "Threed / Winters" are all awesome and ingeniously crafted with a meticulous eye for details and puns. Any and all Mother fans should check it out, ASAP!

Oh, before I finish this post, did I mention I freaking love these guys and this album? big_smile Just about the best $10 you can spend on any VGM.

I am a motherfuckin' Birdo, look at my face!
I spit eggs motherfucker, straight into your face!
I'm so hardcore, I rhyme face with face!
I rhymed face four times, now get outta my face!

Angela Jan 24, 2010 (edited Jan 24, 2010)

Daniel K wrote:

Yeah, I got it, and have been diggin' it like crazy. Seriously, I've listened to this album at least once every day since I got it, and I'm still coming back for more.

Same here.   Clever, edgy, and just a barrel of fun to listen to.   Definitely have you to thank for introducing me to these guys.  It really is a crying shame about the split up.....

Here's my own proposed listing for the LP, which took days of deliberating:

01. Battletoads
02. Kung Fu
03. Cheetahmen II
04. Dragon Warrior
05. Duck Hunt
06. Castlevania
07. Little Nemo - The Dream Master
08. Super Mario Brothers 1
09. Super Mario Brothers 2
10. Bomberman
11. Ninja Gaiden
12. Punch-Out!!
13. Tetris
14. Pac-Man
15. Double Dragon
16. Final Fantasy
17. Metroid
18. Sonic The Hedgehog
19. Guerrilla War
20. Mega Man II
21. The Legend of Zelda
22. Zelda II

I think that low, NES-style explosive rumble introduced in Battletoads starts the album off nicely.  I wanted a sharp contrast in mood somewhere in there, so the serious Castlevania and more lighthearted Little Nemo seemed like a perfect match.  I left Dragon Warrior and Duck Hunt together as is, because the boys' quips at the end and beginning of each track respectively seemed to flow into something of a singular conversation.  For the last few tracks, I alternated between "epic long" and "short but sweet" with Final Fantasy and Metroid, then Sonic and Guerrilla War.  (I definitely made sure to put Ninja Gaiden before Final Fantasy, in light of the lyric reference in the latter: "It's already been five minutes since we started this song, that's four Ninja Gaiden songs way too long.")  Lastly, I stacked the heavy-hitting trio of Mega Man II, Zelda, and Zelda II for the finale.  Hey, at least we both agreed Zelda II should end the album. wink 

Actually, I'm not sure if you did it intentionally or not, but I appreciate the 'come full circle' mentality of placing Mega Man II as the very first track, and then Zelda II as the last.  The MM2 trademark "Dead!" phrase makes a nifty album finisher as the final spoken word in Zelda II.  ^_^

Speaking of SMB2 Birdo ingenuity, I loved how they acknowledged the Ostro/Birdo mix-up.  (As a point of interest, Nintendo corrected the enemy cast credits for the re-release in Super Mario Advance.  I can't remember, though, if they did the same for Super Mario All Stars.)

I always get a kick out of Duane's whiny, objectionable "Hey!" every time BrandO 'insults' him.  In Duck Hunt, it's "Duane Zuwala, shootin' like a girl!", and in Guerrilla War, "I make Duane look like a little bitch."

I was just made aware that Final Fantasy's Matoya was played by BrandO's mother.  With his sister Ally and his brother Jordan also having contributed to the project, that's one seriously cool family effort.   

Oh, and Cheetahmen II ROCKS.  Gotta admit it was a game I didn't even know existed before hearing it.  Watching the gameplay video made me appreciate the remix that much more.     

---

Now let's go see the King. I hear he built us a bridge
We can go to the town where all the pirates live
Muscle up some scallywags and get us a boat
So we can sail the seas and punch fish in the throat!

That "punch fish in the throat" line kills me. big_smile

Daniel K Jan 25, 2010

WARNING: Long-ass post coming up! I love ranting about this album. smile

Angela wrote:

Definitely have you to thank for introducing me to these guys.

Glad to be of service! big_smile Passing on great stuff like this to someone else who appreciates it is it's own reward.

Your line-up was pretty nice as well. The album is pretty flexible and allows for many different combinations that work well, since all of the material is so strong. 

Angela wrote:

I left Dragon Warrior and Duck Hunt together as is, because the boys' quips at the end and beginning of each track respectively seemed to flow into something of a singular conversation

Exactly my thought with putting Guerrilla War right before Duck Hunt! After listening to the tracks in that order so many times, it sounds like they're engaging in some playful banter a few seconds after Guerrilla War finishes, then start playing Duck Hunt immediately. It fits so well together when you hear it. smile

Angela wrote:

Hey, at least we both agreed Zelda II should end the album. wink 

Actually, I'm not sure if you did it intentionally or not, but I appreciate the 'come full circle' mentality of placing Mega Man II as the very first track, and then Zelda II as the last.  The MM2 trademark "Dead!" phrase makes a nifty album finisher as the final spoken word in Zelda II.  ^_^

Yeah, Zelda 2 is a great finisher. When the track first came out, I thought it was a pretty weak effort for them, but it grew on me, and now I just love it. Like Mak pointed out above, the schizoid lyrical switches between BrandO "playing the game" and Link narrating his adventures is just ingenious. And it works well at the end of the album since its a fairly long song (I like the finishing number to be lengthy), and the final rap battle between Link and Link's Shadow is such an epic conclusion with a fierce and great performance by both guys.

And yep, putting Mega Man 2 first and Zelda 2 last was indeed intentional. smile The Dead! part at the very end creates a great throw-back to the opening song, and when I've got the album on repeat and MM2 comes up immediately after it creates a feeling of "OK, let's take it for just one more spin!" smile The two book-ends are also very symmetrical, MM2 being 6:42 and Zelda 2 being 6:43. It just seems so fitting.

If I'm to sum up the reasoning behind my line-up, it goes like this:

I started with MM2, because it was the first song by them I found and fell in love with (I guess that goes for most people, it seems to be their most popular number). MM2 is in many ways their quintessential hit, incorporating most of the elements that make the album so good. As I've discovered their other stuff and completely overdosed on MM2, that track kind of fell into the background, but its still a great opener, the first fast-paced section introducing the story just screams "Let's go!" smile I decided to keep up the tempo a bit with Bomberman after MM2, its a short and very intense song (the profanity-count is high in this one even by DnB standards!). Then I decided to slow things down a bit and get more serious with Castlevania, and Kung Fu's short and sweet interlude builds a fine bridge to the savage assault of Ninja Gaiden (seriously, the new remixed/remastered version is so freakin' intense and epic! Motherfucker I'm dangerous, spontaneous. And there ain't nobody gonna handle this. I don't give a f---, man I'm serious. Shit, I'm outraged and I'm furious! smile). Ninja Gaiden and Mario 1 flow into each other great, since NG finishes with a NES-synth fanfare and SMB1 begins with one, it just fits so well. Metroid and Battletoads are both intense, and the short-song-medium-song placements forms a upward staircase to the 10-minute rap-opera of Final Fantasy. FF is more like a journey than a song with many calmer parts, so the short and intense bursts of Guerrilla War and Duck Hunt (joined together by banter, as mentioned above) work wonders to get the adrenaline pumping again.

I decided to put Sonic at mid-point in the album (track 12) for a number of reasons: 1. to honour the only Sega song on the album by having it open one of the LP's "sides", 2. like MM2, its a long song, incorporating many of the themes and characters from the games, so both MM2 and Sonic feel like good "panoramic" introductions, and 3. the songs have similar feels, the main characters have the same attitude, they both have abused and submissive side-kicks (Roll and Tails), both are fighting evil "doctors" (Wily and Robotnik), so they seem like two sides of the same coin, and 4. one is headlined by Duane (Mega) and the other by BrandO (Sonic), so its fitting that they each get to open a section of the LP as main characters. I put Zelda 1 after Sonic mainly because I wanted some distance between it and Zelda 2 (like with Mario 1 and 2, it crates the impression that "some time has passed" and its time to embark on an adventure again, hehe). After Zelda 1, I decided to put in some intense action with Double Dragon and Punch-Out! back-to-back, two of their arguably best-crafted and most intense songs. I love how they end up fighting each other at the end of both DD and P-O, so it just seemed fitting to put them side-by-side to create one of the fiercer portions of the album. smile After the brutal fighting games, Mario 2 (I'm back in this bitch, throwin' turnips and shit. This ain't no 'Doki Doki Panic', deal with it. It's Super Mario, in the motherfuckin' house. Gonna blast the sunglasses off that bomb-throwin' mouse. big_smile) and Little Nemo calms things down a bit with their lighter atmospheres, Pac-man picks up the pace again while still keeping the mood playful, Dragon Warrior slows down the pace a bit again before we get plunged into the heaviness of Cheetahmen 2. Tetris with it's shorter track-length and weird, nonsensical mood provides the final bridge between two longer pieces, and Zelda 2 finally finishes things off with an epic grand finale. The last minute of Zelda 2 with the slow ending music from the game seems almost like a "credits roll" for the entire album, and the I am Error, I've got nothing to say-Dead! bit is the perfect teleportation-point back to the beginning with Mega Man 2. The circle is complete!

......................Yes, I'm a complete nerd, fan-boy, and bitch for this album, can you tell? tongue

Angela wrote:

I was just made aware that Final Fantasy's Matoya was played by BrandO's mother.  With his sister Ally and his brother Jordan also having contributed to the project, that's one seriously cool family effort.

Yeah. I loved the dopey interpretation of Matoya, and Ally as Samus Aran was just awesome (SO MUCH better with a female vocalist than having Duane do the track from a third-person perspective!). Ally is quite talented, one of my dream choices if they ever get back together again is an epic Phantasy Star 1 track with Ally as Alis. That would blow my socks right off.

Angela wrote:

Oh, and Cheetahmen II ROCKS.  Gotta admit it was a game I didn't even know existed before hearing it.

Yeah, an odd choice, but I'm glad they made it. Another obscure NES gem that they picked is Guerrilla War, great game with an awesome chiptune soundtrack, a download of the NSF-file is highly recommended by me. smile

I see you're gangster. I'm pretty gangster myself.
Jimmy Lee and I'm bad for your health.
Selflessly devoted member of the f--- You Club.
Clubbin' you like a baby seal and cuttin' you up in the tub.

Angela Jan 26, 2010

Daniel K wrote:

I started with MM2, because it was the first song by them I found and fell in love with (I guess that goes for most people, it seems to be their most popular number). MM2 is in many ways their quintessential hit, incorporating most of the elements that make the album so good.

Ah, see, now that's why I put it closer to the end.  Quintessential as it is, it just felt like it would be more rewarding to have the album build up to it, and that it would seem too generous to hit the listener with such an awesome track so early in the get-go.  I stopped short of putting MM2 as the very last track, for the reasons we've already discussed with Zelda II, but yeah.... to me, the Blue Bomber definitely tastes better going down toward the final stretch. wink 

Daniel K wrote:

the savage assault of Ninja Gaiden (seriously, the new remixed/remastered version is so freakin' intense and epic!

I think most would agree that nearly all the songs have a sharper edge of intensity, due to the new performances.  Initially, I wasn't sure if I liked them when compared to the originals, but now I'm certain: the LP's takes are definitely superior.  The most noticeably improved verses I found come from the Poison Mind portion of Castlevania, and the Abobo confrontation in Double Dragon.

Daniel K wrote:

Ally is quite talented, one of my dream choices if they ever get back together again is an epic Phantasy Star 1 track with Ally as Alis. That would blow my socks right off.

Danielle Curavo also lends an appreciated air of femininity to the offerings.  She's pretty awesome in Pac-Man ("It's payback time!  You're going down, Pac-Man!") and in Zelda II. ("Oh stop yourself!  Well excuuu-.... Shut UP.")  tongue

Curious, which of the three Punch-Out!! mixes do you like best?

Daniel K Jan 26, 2010

Angela wrote:

Initially, I wasn't sure if I liked them when compared to the originals, but now I'm certain: the LP's takes are definitely superior.

Definitely the same for me. I was so used to the old versions that some of the new performances and mixes seemed a bit off to me, but it didn't take long for the LP versions to overtake the old versions. The new versions are just so well-produced and skillfully mixed that they sound much crisper and better. And having them in lossless FLAC helps a lot, you can hear a lot more of the background effects (for example the NES SFX lifted from the games) clearly now, it totally adds a new dimension when compared to the compressed YouTube-versions.

After allowing time for the LP mixes to sink in, I would say that the only bit I still think sounds better in an older version is the dungeon portion of Zelda 1. I think BrandO's vocals are a bit rawer in the first version found on the EP of DOOM!, and they've added some kind of effect to the vocals in the new version that make them sound like they're slightly in the background, which makes them lose some of the original punch. Its not a big deal, though, overall, the LP is definitely where its at.

Angela wrote:

Curious, which of the three Punch-Out!! mixes do you like best?

They're all great! smile When listening to the LP straight through, I tend to put v.1 in the mix, I've gotten used to that one as the "standard" version. But I really like the faster pace of v.2, and v.3's use of the original NES-synth instead of the arranged versions somehow makes it sound a lot more intense and hardcore, I love it! All three versions kick some serious ass, I guess what version I pick depends on what mood I'm in.

To all you bitches standing on the sidelines gawking, what are you doing still reading this shit? Go get the LP! For real.

Angela Jan 26, 2010

Daniel K wrote:
Angela wrote:

Curious, which of the three Punch-Out!! mixes do you like best?

They're all great!  All three versions kick some serious ass, I guess what version I pick depends on what mood I'm in.

Don't you think it would be cool if all three could co-jointly work as one piece?  I do..... and that's why I've been playing Dr. Frankenstein.

If you're interested in seeing my creation, shoot me an email.  ;)

Daniel K Jan 27, 2010

Angela wrote:

If you're interested in seeing my creation, shoot me an email.  wink

Well, just upload it somewhere and post the link here. You've got mad editing skillz, so I'd love to hear it. smile

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