Wednesday, August 16

Postmodern music (because it obscures the nerdy origins)

I believe I was looking for Dance Dance Revolution tracks at the time. You know, so I could enjoy such songs as Afronova and Burning Heat outside of the intensity of emotion that particular rhythm game leads to the creation of. In the course of this mildly illegal action I came upon OverClocked ReMix a site that promotes and hosts free remixes of video game soundtracks. Most of them are classics, pulled from such gems as Chrono Trigger and Sonic the Hedgehog and the Donkey Kong Country franchise, though more recent games like Zelda 64 and the later members of the Final Fantasy series are represented. The site lacked what I was looking for, but the design was excellent and it looked interesting. So, I bookmarked it.

That was maybe a month ago. A week ago I returned to the site looking for some new music having gone on a free music collecting binge. I didn't think so much of it at the time, but, once the downloads finished (a day later because there was over a gig of music) it hit me, just how nerdy I was. I was downloading video game soundtracks. Not only that, fan takes on them. People who found the original scores and replaced the symphony with guitars or rapped over the top. This had to be some sort of turning point. I can't remember a time I had a problem with the label of nerd. I liked to read. I liked Star Wars to an inane degree. I had glasses. I deserved the title. But this music was something different. If the general populace learned of this, I would be thrown into the lowest levels of nerdery. Kids with pocket protectors could dump my books and give me pink belly with impunity because I was even lower than them.

Still, I have a problem with throwing things out, so the music remained on my computer. A short while later I was reading The Selfish Gene (funny story there. i had been reading a friend's LiveJournal earlier that day and, when my mom asked what it was about, i told her 'a meme.' turns out she knew what those were because she had read Dawkin's most famous work (in that it's the only work i know he has written) and had what might be a first run edition because she had to read it in college. upon her finding of it (it was fifth printing i believe) i was in a goofy good mood. yeah, funny.) and couldn't concentrate on it while playing songs with lyrics. I was tired of John Williams and other film scores, so I, not without some trepidation, put the OverClocked ReMix on and was floored. Sure, there was a slight nostalgia factor, especially in the case of Secret of Mana remixes, a game which actually had me crying at the end (that was a long bleeding time ago), but I hadn't played most of the source games and came to the remixes fresh. They were actually pretty good. Very professional and clean sounding. The remixers had put a lot of effort and care into these bits of sound, and it came through, clear as the water around the Florida Keys.

So that is my story. The discovery of some great art in an unusual place, art not to be dismissed because of its humble, easily dismissable origins.

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