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BRKfest - three-day chip music festival next week ⊟

Likely the biggest chip music showcase in the Midwest, BRKfest, will return to Cincinnati, OH on July 25-27! The extravaganza will host dozens of bleep bloop artists, including Cheap Dinosaurs, Glomag, Corset Lore, and Chipocrite — see more of the announced acts here. The festival will also offer merch and open mic opportunities.

Though I live in Cincinnati, I somehow managed to never hear about this annual event until last month. Sooooo it’s time time to fix that. I plan to head over to the Chameleon for at least one or two nights — you should too! Click these links for more details about the event and to purchase a pass/shirt. And here’s a BRKfest trailer to get you pumped!

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Pop It

Warning! New Anamanaguchi track approaching! And the sound is quite different from the band’s other releases, but I can’t hate on a new Guchi joint with vocals/vocaloids. For maximum effect, load the song here and smack some balloons around. idk.

BUY Anamanaguchi albums, upcoming games
  • Source SoundCloud / ANAMANAGUCHI

PPCC (GO! GO! DESTROY! RMX.)

Shoujo Chiptune Punk — that’s the music genre listed on Facebook for Slime Girls, a.k.a. Pedro Silva. I’ve had slimegirlsmusic on my mind and playing on my speakers a lot lately.

This particular tune is a Famitracker/NES joint that remixes "PPCC" by Japanese idol group BiS. It makes me feel like I’m painted in 256 vibrant colors, decked out in omocat threads and bouncing around in a probertson GIF.

It makes me feel larger than life, or at least larger than the size limit for animated image uploads — like there’s no way you could post me on Tumblr unless you cut two-thirds of the frames, filtered out every trace of cyan and magenta, and dithered the entire scene to all hell.

It’s almost two years old, but go back and listen to Slime Girls’ Vacation Wasteland EP.

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  • Source SoundCloud / Slime Girls
Crying is awesome ⊟
Oh man, there’s a video of the full live set from Crying’s show at Baltimore two weeks ago. I’ve watched/listened to it three times already, even though the vocals are almost completely drowned out. If you’re into the band, you should check it out for a few reasons:
They put out our favorite chip release of 2013.
You’ll feel less depressed about missing MAGFest this weekend.
You get to actually see Ryan, Elaiza, and Nick rockin’ out.
There are some new songs that sound great, even if, once again, you can’t hear the vocals.
That look of surprise when a bunch of people from the audience started singing along with “ES” (TinyCast’s theme song!)
Holy smokes at that new song after “ES”! That’s gonna be the jam.
Can’t wait for the next Crying release. Can’t wait for someone to record a live set off a soundboard or something, and share that with us. Can’t wait for the band to make it out of the Northeast and perform somewhere near me (or for me to make it to NY and catch a show).
Listen to and buy their EP Get Olde at Bandcamp. Follow them on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter for updates! Thanks to Patt Hickey for shooting the video.
HEAR More chiptunes

Crying is awesome ⊟

Oh man, there’s a video of the full live set from Crying’s show at Baltimore two weeks ago. I’ve watched/listened to it three times already, even though the vocals are almost completely drowned out. If you’re into the band, you should check it out for a few reasons:

  • They put out our favorite chip release of 2013.
  • You’ll feel less depressed about missing MAGFest this weekend.
  • You get to actually see Ryan, Elaiza, and Nick rockin’ out.
  • There are some new songs that sound great, even if, once again, you can’t hear the vocals.
  • That look of surprise when a bunch of people from the audience started singing along with “ES” (TinyCast’s theme song!)
  • Holy smokes at that new song after “ES”! That’s gonna be the jam.

Can’t wait for the next Crying release. Can’t wait for someone to record a live set off a soundboard or something, and share that with us. Can’t wait for the band to make it out of the Northeast and perform somewhere near me (or for me to make it to NY and catch a show).

Listen to and buy their EP Get Olde at Bandcamp. Follow them on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter for updates! Thanks to Patt Hickey for shooting the video.

HEAR More chiptunes

ES

Crying • Get Olde

God, this song is perfect. And I’m not only saying that because we get to use Crying’s track in TinyCast’s intro/outro, making our podcast sound a hundred times more awesome than it probably is.

Weeks after writing my Get Olde review, I keep coming back to this song for so many reasons: The first, tentative beeps. When singer Elaiza Santos confesses, “All I care to do is sip on beer and chocolate milk,” stretching that last word into two syllables somehow.

How Santos sighs, “I’m just ES,” and it sounds almost like an admission of an affliction (something like SAD), instead of an affirmation of identity (her initials). And that it’s not just a great chiptune track; it’s a great song without any need for qualifiers.

It’s a fantastic closer to a wonderful EP — download and listen to Get Olde here. Crying will be playing shows in Purchase, New Brunswick, and Philly in a few weeks. Go to those shows and tell them to keep making music.

  • Source Bandcamp

Vacation

Crying • Get Olde

Get Olde is my favorite chiptune release of the year, and I don’t want you to miss it — not like Dannel and I almost did, when someone sent us a link weeks ago and we forgot to check it out. Absolutely play through the entire thing, then do it again and again and again.

I struggled in deciding whether to declare this 2013’s best chip album so far, or dull my praise by qualifying it as my favorite. I don’t want to burden Crying’s debut release with impossible expectations and undeserved resentment from fans of other groups, so I’ll settle for the latter statement.

My tastes in the genre are very specific, and this surprise release from the Purchase, NY trio hits them all — chirpy Game Boy tunes paired with traditional instruments (Ryan Galloway on guitar, Nick Corbo on drums), servicable vocals, playful but personal lyrics, and catchy choruses.

Crying’s frontwoman Elaiza Santos goes far and beyond servicable, though, lending the kind of female voice to a video game life’s soundtrack that I haven’t heard much outside of Leeni on "Nice Young Man" or Jane Pinckard on The 1UP Show’s theme song (not actually a chip track, but I always imagine her singing over this cover).

Read more

  • Source Bandcamp

When I'm With You

Electric Children’s electro-pop “When I’m With You” from the very recently released Year-Long Hangover album, a true summer jam about those almost unreal summer nights. If you’re interested in remixing any of the songs of the album, buying it on Bandcamp actually nets you the finished tracks but ALSO the acapella and instrumental tracks. If you live in the Seattle area, definitely check out Electric Children’s FB page to find out about shows this summer!

MORE Another summer chip jam, this one by Shirobon from the UK
  • Source SoundCloud / Electric_Children

Anamanaguchi’s new album streaming on Youtube

I stream like 80% of the music I listen to at my desk on Youtube, so it’s awesome that Anamanaguchi just threw Endless Fantasy on there for anyone to listen to for free!

If you prefer reading about chiptune stuff over listening to the music — or maybe you’re into reading about chiptune junk while listening to it — there are two articles I haven’t read but will link anyway: The Charms of Chiptune (New Yorker) and Anamanaguchi - The Ninja Turtles of Rock (Polygon). 

BUY Endless Fantasy and other Anamanaguchi albums

"Never Grow Up" by Euan Lynn

Fast-paced chip punk recorded in the most lo-fi way imaginable (a cassette tape in his bedroom), it embraces every bit of the garage punk aesthetic and I love it. This track is off Euan’s latest EP Never Grow Up Club, the rest of which is as fast-paced and youthfully furious as this.

MORE Euan Lynn's debut album from 2 years ago

Miii - Down

Miii

A glitch-hop LSDJ track from Miii in Tokyo. It’s interesting to me, as someone who organizes chipmusic shows in New York, to see musicians in the Japanese electronic music scene pick up a Game Boy and make a chipmusic track. 

There may not be a Blip Festival (RIP) anytime soon, but if you’re in Tokyo this autumn, you should check out Square Sounds Festival, guaranteed to be several days of chipmusic fun.

  • Source SoundCloud / miii

Cool things from cool people

I have been amassing a hoard of neat, non-Nintendo things that I’ve been meaning to share here, links from our friends and generally cool people. Click these:

If you emailed or Tweeted anything for us to post recently (e.g. in the last four years) that I neglected to put up here, sorry! I’m awful at remembering these things!

Buy: Tiny Cartridge stickers for your DS/3DS games!
there is a light that never goes out - Leeni

there is a light that never goes out

Leeni • covers

"There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" by Leeni (The Smiths cover). Leeni is one of my favorite chip artists and all, but this version hardly matches the brilliance of the original. It’s not her fault; Morrissey is just the fuckin’ boss.

Anyway, I’m sharing this track here because it’s an opportunity to mention how I overcame my karaoke fears and sang this song in front of a real audience (one I’ll hopefully never see again) after much goading during my Philippines trip a couple weeks ago. My wife followed up with an awesome rendition of The Animals’s “The House of the Rising Sun.” Yes, I know people sing karaoke all the time; those people are not us.

See also: “Bigmouth Strikes Again” by Crashfaster (another Smiths cover), More Leeni tracks

[Via An 8bc Tribute to The Smiths, Si]