I’m an old fart so i don’t play these kinds of games myself. DC Universe Online is about as fast as I go, and I find hunting for exobits to be more fun than Legends PVP or trying to conquer the evil Lex Luthor across all space and time. The latest Trigon stuff is not as titillating to me as it would have been twenty years ago. I’ve lost my edge, frankly. This blog post is not about DCUO. I’ve talked about that one in the past. I may do so again in the future, since I’m still paying to play that game.
This blog post is about a game I’m not currently playing. It’s called Saints Row IV.
Of course if you have the resources, and are into this sort of thing, I urge you to give this game a try. It looks like fun, especially for anyone who is still young at heart. However, i have taken the liberty of virtually watching over the shoulder of the one and only Rad Brad, professional chair thrower. He plays these games so that someone like me doesn’t have to. My system (computer I mean, tho my body’s seen better days too) simply can’t handle something as high maintenance as Saints Row Four. My video card would explode if I tried. Fortunately, YouTube videos of someone else playing it on an XBox is much easier on my video card if not my DSL.
I noticed Rad Brad was careful not to play the copyrightable music on his YouTube videos cuz he was concerned YouTube’s automated system would censor his videos. However, fortunately for purposes of making this blog post, other YouTube users don’t share his fears. Just the same, it’s possible by the time you look at this blog post, or if you’re in a different country from me, it’s entirely possible one or more of the videos below will no longer work. Censorship is a harsh mistress.
As I understand it, the Saints Row IV game has a half dozen or so faux radio stations inside it, and when you play the game you can opt at any time to turn one of them on and be treated to roughly a dozen songs (presumably that the producers behind Saints Row IV got permission to use in their game) which will play on a loop. You can also opt to manually create your own playlist among the selections available, if you’re so inclined. This feature is the sort of thing that would keep my attention in a game like this probably more readily than blowing up aliens or figuring out boss strategies.. tho Cluster Grabbing looks like a hella lotta fun (not unlike exobit farming in DCUO). I wanted to imagine if I was playing this game, what my MixTape might be. Here’s what I came up with.
I’m gonna put an actual copy of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” at the end of this list, but this video takes some explaining. The late great Michael Clarke Duncan of stage and screen (Kingpin in Daredevil and he’s done a whole bunch of other stuff) played a character in the original Saints Row video game. He was gonna reprise his role in SRIV and even recorded some preliminary stuff for them, but he died before his voice work was completed. At the end of the game, during the credits, you hear the entire cast singing this song. It ends with Michael Clarke Duncan’s recording. It’s both happy and sad at the same time, for anyone who is familiar with that incredible voice of his.
Still about the same song. This bit happens during one of the side quests. The Boss and Pierce start singing along to this song, and while they’re singing it, they hear what sounds like an opera singer belting out the song and subjectively destroying it. This is classic comedy right here. Love it. Again, I’m gonna put an actual copy of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” at the end of this list, just for kicks.
I was twenty-something when Cypress Hill’s “Insane In The Brain” came out, and was often questioning my sanity. Good times.
Back in high school and college there were these weekend hangouts where people would go and dance and laugh and hang with friends and this was the kind of music that was playing. I mean not THIS song, surely. I’m an old fart. This song was made in this century, but we’d listen to this kinda stuff sometimes and just stand around and do what I called Shoegazing. There were bands that played stuff like this. Well, I say bands. It was actually guys with computers that had monitors which could choke a velociraptor. Like Devo, but without any soul. We’d smile and nod and tell ourselves we were being artsy and then we’d get drunk so we’d forget we were pretty pathetic. Good times.
And it’s good to know us white people still can’t dance for shit.
Wayne Smith’s Under Me Sleng Teng
I may not know music, but I know what I like. Though this tune has a classic Jamaican reggae feel to it, the rhythm also feels processed like it was computerized. So it’s a marriage of both analog and digital which seems to tie in with the Saints Row mystique on many levels.
Beware of Darkness’ “Howl” is an example from SRIV’s faux radio station GenX 89 which grabbed my attention. I like the beat. I could beat on virtual baddies to this. Phrases like “catch me of you can” and “howl so the angels can hear you” seem to lend naturally to running all over the place doing crazy shit.
“I beg your pardon? I’m Park Place. You’re Marven Gardens.”
When listening to this one, I’m reminded of how if you repeat a recording of a word like “Cadillac” over and over, after awhile it stops being a word, and starts being music. Sour Apples by The Cool Kids lies in the landscape of wallsounds between hip hop and spoken word, where the voice is an instrument and one’s consciousness can flit in and out of remembering that the words have meaning. This is art beyond mere freedom of expression, where the expression magically morphs into whatever the listener had for breakfast that day.
Of course as Edie Brickell once said, “choke me in the shallow water before i get too deep.” ..and no, New Bohemians wouldn’t make this list even if she was a selection in SRIV. Her music is about putting flowers in gun barrels, not actually shooting people’s faces off. Work with me here!
Flying Spaghetti Monster by Doctor P ..half the sounds in this thing sound like they were lifted from older games. What’s not to love about it?
El-P – “The Full Retard”
“Where harmony and love reign, no longer do we live in a society bent on its own destruction. Children of every race creed and religion frolic through fields of golden dandelions.”
Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from the Klassic radio station DJ’d by the primary villain of the game, Emperor Zinyak, voiced by JB Blanc. This is a great example of music for a boss fight. Some of the best classical music would bring gravitas to any big boss battle. Ride of the Valkyries would also be nice, but then I’d be thinking “KILL THE WABBIT!” all the way through.
I could do this forever. Well. Not forever. There’s a finite number of songs on this list, but it’s a good list of music. Stuff I remember from long ago. Stuff I never heard of before. Here’s an example of the latter. Lissy Trullie’s “It’s Only You, Isn’t It?” Sadly, all good things must come to an end, so without further ado.
Finally a selection I would add to the game if’n I were a Volition Inc god. The White Stripes are a natural inclusion in this world and I can’t see why it’s not already on their list. Probably some legal folderol reasons. The name “Icky Thump” reminds me of Monty Python. I think it’s something Graham Chapman once said. This song has more music than words and the delicious insanity of the rawness of Jack White has always appealed to me. I’ve never understood the song, but that only makes me love it more. Something about the work of The White Stripes reminds me of my youth, watching a rather drunk acquaintance at a party grab another friend by the shoulders and shaking him furiously while demanding they both enjoy life more and not take anything for granted and other mad wild crazy ramblings that a drunk teenager would scream at another drunk teenager. That memory is in the third person, and kinda blurry, but I think one of those two people might be me. Not sure which one. Memories are funny that way.
What would be your selections?
Oh. Almost forgot. Here’s the original “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie.