PREY FOR PSEUDO–ROCK AND ROLL
This year’s insanely hard-to-find gift (think Tickle Me Elmo, only less fuzzy) is Rock Band, the new video game that lets you and three friends pretend to be Sleater-Kinney. Or Missy Higgins. OK, more like Missy Higgins covering Metallica or Sleater-Kinney covering Soundgarden. Actually, that would be awesome!
Rock Band comes with two guitars and a drum set, plus a microphone for your lead diva. Maybe the set list isn’t rife with lesbian artists (though it does include the Pixies, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole and Garbage), but the beauty of the game is that you are the artist, and you can name your band whatever you want and be as gay as you want onstage. Or in the comfort of your own living room, which will probably be more than enough of a concert hall as far as your neighbors are concerned.
Here’s a Rock Band promo clip, compliments of the NewNowNext blog:
So far the game is available — and I use that term loosely — for Xbox and PlayStation 3, but a PlayStation 2 version is due out Dec. 18, with a Wii edition on tap for sometime in 2008. Try sites like NowInStock.net if you’re serious about giving the gift of rock, and be prepared to shell out some serious cash, too: The Logo shop has the PS3 edition for $169.99 (but again, it depends on what your definition of has is).
If Rock Band is too dear or too scarce for you, consider one of the Guitar Hero games.
The latest, Guitar Hero III, was released in November and can be difficult to find, but should still be more available than Rock Band. The other releases are everywhere and more affordable — Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Rocks the ’80s. You can’t do better than Heart‘s “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda” (on Guitar Hero II and III, respectively). And the ’80s edition has grrrl-power gems like the Go-Gos‘ “We Got the Beat” and the Pretenders‘ “Tattooed Love Boys,” while the first release has Joan Jett‘s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the Donnas‘ “Take It Off.”
If the songs aren’t lesbianish enough for you, take a look at the various female ax-wielders. Don’t tell me the characters named Judy Nails and Casey Lynch don’t have female groupies.
I just hope Activision wises up soon and realizes that not all gamers are teenage boys. Its chief executive recently said to the New York Times, “[Guitar Hero] has been on … The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I don’t know the audience demographic for Ellen, but it’s not your typical gamer.”
True, if by that he means atypically awesome. Gimme “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” on expert level and prepare to be wowed!