Of course many BAPB blog readers have heard of those popular Guitar Hero video games, in which a player, wielding an ersatz guitar game controller, follows colored dots that mimic the guitar part of popular rock tunes.
There's a screen capture above--notice the "Rock"-o-meter, which increases as the accuracy of hitting those pesky dots increases. Players even have a whammy/vibrato bar on their controller, which earns players extra points if whammied at the right point in the song.
It has occurred to this guest blogger--who is very much interested in rock music--that Guitar Hero is just the iceberg tip of what he has coined previously as the simulrockrum, a ham-handed portmanteu of simulacrum and rock. The simulacrum, you might recall, is a copy or imitation of something that becomes just as real as the original. "The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none," the late French theorist Jean Baudrillard writes. "The simulacrum is true."
And such is the case, it seems, inside the simulrockrum. Here's some examples submitted for your approval.
eddiesinner is a bassist who plays along with songs by the rock band Whitesnake. And we're not just talking the late 80's decadent rococo videos-with-Tawny Kitaen Whitesnake, either. We're talkin' post-Deep Purple, bell-bottomed, keyboard-player-with-the-floppy-hat Whitesnake.
Get a load of eddiesinner playing along to the live version of the 'Snake's recording of "Sweet Talker," above. This guest blogger has at times preferred the Whitesnake + eddiesinner clips to listening to original Whitesnake recordings; he says this not because he prefers eddiesinner's bass playing over Neil Murray's on Ready 'n Willing. No: It is the combination of the two, of female fanshriek as David Coverdale as he croons "the bitch is in heat/so you better run" combined with the decor of eddisinner's recreation room, his deep, zen-like concentration that only bassists can make. As well as the swig from the bottle and cigarette puffs.
Next up: Competitive Air Guitar. I have been an Air Guitarist all my life, but did not know of competitive air guitar completely until I reviewed Bjorn Turoque's memoir To Air Is Human for Time Out New York a few years back. Take a look at the clip above of former Air Guitar World Chamption C-Diddy, Turoque's nemesis, pantomime Extreme's "Play With Me." Again, I think I prefer the simulrocka version over the original. Not because I think Extreme as a band is particularly unattractive (guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is on my "man crush" list, if you must know), but because C-Diddy's performance brings an airness to the song; in Ezra Pound parlance, C-Diddy "makes it new." Not incidentally, Guitar Hero has "Play With Me" as one of its advanced-setting songs; see it here.
Next up: A couple of Journeys and Perry-Tales. Stay tuned.