8.15-8.21 For one week, and one week only!
Today Pitchfork.tv did one of the greatest things that I've ever since them do in the short time that they've been around. Available for One Week Only, free for online viewing in it's entirety is "Blipfest: Reformat the Planet", the documentary on Chiptune music and culture by 2 Player Productions, which in my opinion is the best, most comprehensive resource that covers the Chiptune music scene. This my friends, is a cause for celebration.
The thing is, it's only available for ONE week, so head on over to Pitchfork.tv to see what the excitement is all about. If you haven't seen it, and have been curious about music made with Gameboys, now you can!
It came as a complete surprise to me, after having not seen the film since the Game Developers Conference back in 2007, so I found myself distracted all day long at work watching it over again. I was literally sitting at my computer when I got word of this Pitchfork exclusive, and as I watched it, I couldn't help but Geek Out. I instantly updated my Twitter, and facebook statuses to reflect my enthusiasm for this. You see, I plan on attending Blipfest 2008 in December, so seeing scenes from the fest got me totally stoked about attending the event. No one else in the room was as enthusiastic as me, and believe it or not I work at a video game company. I guess Chiptune is an acquired taste even for gamers, and employees of game studios.
I've always been somewhat frustrated with the fact that Chiptune music on the west coast of North America doesn't seem to be too prevalent. Certainly there are Chiptune artists in LA, and San Francisco, but other than that I don't think it has reached other cities on the west, definitely not Vancouver. New York is where it's at, and I've been missing many exciting events going on this summer. If ever I move to New York, I'd be all up in this party scene.
I began to think of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle which is fast approaching at the end of August as a place that would be a perfect to showcase this music. The massive gamer/geek expo features musical acts, none of which are Chiptune artists. There's rappers, and electro pop acts with songs that deal with familiar gamer themes, and covers of game songs, but for Chiptune itself, that's where its lacking. I remember I emailed the folks at Penny Arcade sometime ago, regarding their lack of interest in inviting chiptune acts, but I received no reply.
*EDIT So apparently this year's PAX will be getting a Screening of Reformat the Planet, along with a performance by Anamanaguchi. I will definitely try and make it to those. So should you! Though Anamanaguchi rocks, I'd prefer if it were Bitshifter, Glomag, Nullsleep, Covox or Bubblyfish representing at PAX.
What will it take for Chiptune to gain a larger audience and presence at gamer events? Just because chiptune artists don't necessarily perform Megaman songs, and other fan service, doesn't mean the art itself isn't relevant to game culture.
Here's hoping this Pitchfork exposure gets Chiptune the recognition it deserves.