Studio Ghibli Songs + Jazz = Awesomesauce Remixes

All That Jazz Album ArtI seem to be on roll lately with discovering new music (particularly good remixes of songs I already love), and when one of my roommates introduced me to a series of official jazz arrangements of songs from Studio Ghibli movies, I knew I had to get my hands on them. Seriously, these tracks are pure gold, and I can’t stop playing them. Give this version of “Kaze No Tani No Nausika” (from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) a listen.

Tell your ears I said you’re welcome. :)

Fortunately, you can get your hands on tons of jazzy Ghibli goodness for less than $10 an album on Amazon, as long as you’re cool with MP3s. I grabbed the first two, and they have been quite enjoyable, though I’m probably going to end up buying the live album eventually. Some of those tracks are even better than the normal recordings.

What are some of your favorite remixes of video game or anime music?

Every Day’s Great with 8-bit Persona 4 Music

Hi folks! It’s been a while. There’s been some craziness in my life in the last few months: in the beginning of the year, I managed to find an amazing job as an editor! I feel unbelievably lucky to be doing something I enjoy and getting paid for it. I’m trying to get myself moved to a new city for said job in the near future, too, so there’s been plenty to do in that regard. Between that and my G.A.M.E.S. blog writing, my personal blog wound up falling by the wayside. Anyhoo, I don’t like it when I neglect the blog for so long, and I had some breathing room today, so I thought I should pop in to say I’m still here. I want to post more often now that things are settling down, though when the move starts, all bets are off.

You know you read the post title in Nanako’s voice.

Of course, you didn’t click through to read about why I’ve been gone. You wanted to hear that music I mentioned in the title, right? I’ve been playing the heck out of Persona 4 Golden every chance I can get, and I’m loving it so much. One major reason I like it is that I get to hear lots of Shoji Meguro’s awesome music.

When I fall in love with a game’s soundtrack, I tend to poke around YouTube to see if I can stream it. As I was looking for P4 music, I discovered that someone uploaded 8-bit remixes of several tracks from the game. Some of them, like this version of “Reach Out to the Truth” are pretty darned good. If you liked the 8-bit version of “I’ll Face Myself” that plays during the Void Quest boss fight (I don’t know for sure, but that version of the song might only be in P4G.), you’ll love this.

You can find the whole playlist here. I have no idea whether these are official mixes or not, but I’d love to track down the actual album if it exists. If it’s not an official remix album, I’d still like to find the original artist who did this arrangement, so either way, if you can shed any light on this, do leave a comment. :)

P.S. No spoilery comments on anything past the Secret Laboratory dungeon! I never played the original P4 on the PS2, so I’m going through this game for the first time.

New Articles Over at The G.A.M.E.S. Blog!

Since I’ve been posting mostly fun, fluffy geekery here lately, I thought you might like to know that I’ve actually had a few more serious articles go up on The G.A.M.E.S. Blog lately. Follow the links if you’re interested in checking them out!

  • Last month, I reviewed an anime called anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. It’s a really good anime about a bunch of high school kids who try to grant their childhood friend’s wish. The show is really sad, though, so bring some tissues if you’re a softy.
  • I actually posted my review of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance earlier today. I’m something of a Kingdom Hearts fangirl, as I’ve noted before, so head over there to find out what I thought!
  • Speaking of Kingdom Hearts, I also recently put up an article on Kingdom Hearts music.
  • If you like anime, you might like this feature I wrote on the music of Code Geass.
  • I’ve also been helping out with a podcast for the site. You can listen to The G.A.M.E.S. Blog staff talk about gaming news, reviews, etc., on iTunes.

Ok, that ends the shameless self promotion post. I have a couple of crafty things that I’ve been playing around with lately, so I’ll try to write something up about them soon. Meanwhile, don’t forget to update your bookmarks and re-follow the blog here on its new home! There’s a subscribe button on the main page. Thanks a bunch for being such awesome readers! :)

Not Literally Makes Harry Potter Web Series + Music Videos

Have you ever wanted to send a question by owl post to a wizard at Hogwarts to see what advice they might have to offer someone with your troubles? Perhaps you’ve been looking for some Harry Potter music to listen to on your daily walks into Hogsmeade? Well, today is your lucky day, because there is a group of performers out there that will provide you with both of these things.

The awesome folks over at Not Literally have created a fun Harry Potter YouTube show, which is called Ask Hogwarts. They have an e-mail address on each of the Ask Hogwarts videos asking viewers to submit questions, and in each episode, students from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin offer advice in response. Ok, so it’s not exactly owl post, but I suppose some wizards are savvy to the ways of Muggle technology. Maybe they spoke to Mr. Weasley about it.

Here’s one of my favorite Ask Hogwarts episodes, titled, “Of Hipsters and Facial Hair.”

These incredible witches don’t just do sketch comedy, however. They also sing! Not Literally recently had a Kickstarter to raise money to put together an insanely amazing Hufflepuff pride music video that also happens to parody “Born This Way,” which is one of my favorite Lady Gaga songs. “Sorted This Way” has an awesome dance sequence, amusing lyrics, and crazy costumes. It should make any Hufflepuff proud to be sorted there. Check it out below.

This article on The Mary Sue showcasing “Sorted This Way” was my introduction to both the music video and Not Literally, and I’ve since learned that they also created a Slytherin pride music video, which mocks a Ke$ha song. It is awesome. They even have people flying on brooms. And a House Elf! (Hopefully he was a free elf who was paid for his performance.) In any case, go watch. Now.

If you enjoyed this sampling of Not Literally’s fantastic work, give their YouTube videos a like, leave them comments, go Like their Facebook page, give them a follow on Twitter, or some combination of the above. If you’re feeling extra generous and love their music videos, you can even purchase the songs as singles on Bandcamp!

Should any of the folks from Not Literally make their way here: thanks for making awesome Harry Potter videos and putting them on the web! Also, you two ladies have fantastic singing voices. Oh, and please make more videos soon. I want to see the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor ones!


New Anime/Game Music Column on The G.A.M.E.S. Blog

Click through to check out the first article in our column, The High Notes.

Guess what, gang? It’s time for some shameless self-promotion! (Also, I genuinely think you might be interested in reading the article I’m about to share.)

I recently kicked off a new column for The G.A.M.E.S. Blog that we’re calling “The High Notes.” I probably won’t be the only staff writer contributing to the segment, but every week, we’re going to try to spotlight something cool in anime or gaming music. For the inaugural article, I decided to talk about some awesome anime openings. The songs spotlighted in this feature come from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, The Twelve Kingdoms, and Cowboy Bebop. Stop by and share your thoughts anime and video game music! I’m also open to suggestions for things that I should check out for their awesome soundtracks, so feel free to leave a note with your recommendations here or on the article. :)