's blog covering community artists, gallery shows, and the whereabouts of young entrepreneurs and artistic talents from NY, LA, London, Paris, the world.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Guitar Anti-Hero

Almost every evening since school let out two weeks ago I've been going to Jesse's house for some post-work sessions of Guitar Hero II (and to be fed by Jesse's stepmom, Ali (thanks, Ali!)). Though I'm a naturally musical person, and do play the guitar, Guitar Hero is probably the closest I'll ever come to real shredding. But, it's not a bad substitute - knocking out Wolfmother's 'Woman' on Expert is a pretty satisfying experience. Charlie, of Hysterics, who really CAN shred, joined us one night and cut his teeth on the mini-ax; he was a natural. I asked him afterwards how similar he found Guitar Hero to real guitar playing. Hardly at all, he said, but it definitely strengthens the wrist muscles and tendons. That may be, but after several marathons I'm beginning to suspect the onset of mild arthritis.

I have a reputation in my group of close friends for being a quick learner, particularly when it comes to games (ping-pong, foosball, Icy Tower), and I think I've followed suit with Guitar Hero, so much so that Jonny suspects me of secretly owning an XBOX 360 (which I do not!) and practicing at home. It may be that I have good hands - I have long, tendrily fingers, and practiced classical piano for the better part of my youth - though, to be honest, I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to hand-eye coordination (I've never been good at magic, for instance). There's pressure though, in being expected to excel at things. When Theo came over and I couldn't find my rhythm on 'Killing in the Name of', by Rage Against the Machine, I was a little embarrassed. In fact, it made me resentful that there was any expectation of my prowess. But then on another evening our intern, Yann, a Guitar Hero newbie, came over, and I was proud, even a little bit cock-sure, to show him how it was done. Don't read this the wrong way, but if there's any videogame whose mastery has some sex appeal, it's Guitar Hero (see love-to-hate-him Kevin Pereira's Attack of the Show! Guitar Hero tutorial here - "you'll get to the point where the notes are just a vague suggestion of how to rock out." <-- tard.) In fact, we know that Ray Chandler and Harley Viera Newton are avid players. Here's a booth-girl at E3 (post-no-bikinis policy) posing with her ax:

So, I'm conflicted about my new-found talent. While I do find improving pleasurable, and do enjoy the kudos that come along with it, I don't like being expected to perform, as if it were part of my identity. I guess you could call me the Guitar Anti-Hero.

Here's a video of some guy nailing the solo of 'Arterial Black', by Drist, a band I'm glad to say I've never heard of.

Author: Paris Ionescu


Blogger jessebogner said...

who ever said u were a fast pingpong learner

June 11, 2007 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Jonny Rooms said...

fast pingpong loser

June 11, 2007 at 9:51 PM  
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