Rock You Like a Hurricane

I had a “rocking” Saturday for a few reasons:

First, the Open House event at The Writer’s Center was a rockin’ success! It was so well publicized even Tropical Storm Hanna decided to stop by…for the entire day. Despite the torrential rain and water-soaked streets, we had about 130 people come by to chat with our instructors, staff, and board.

Before the festivities got started, though, Hanna was inspiring a few staff members here to start humming the Scorpions’ classic jam “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

“Uh…” I said. “Have you ever listened to the lyrics to that song?”

“No, I just know the chorus.”

“Well, it’s not about weather,” I said. “Let’s just say the weather is a euphemism.”

Such is life.

* * * * *

That evening, a friend invited me to a Rock Band party out in Alexandria. I’m sure you’ve heard of Rock Band, the popular, collaborative alternative to Guitar Hero, in which four bandmates play drums, bass, guitar, or take vocals as they recreate some of today and yesterday’s greatest rock hits.

The party was a competitive Rock Band situation, so we were encouraged to come early, form our band, and practice. My band, the Fuzzy Widgets, featured Nora on drums, Jamie on bass, Graham on lead guitar, and I took vocals.

Our first setlist included a song we chose and a song selected by our opposing team. We chose Radiohead’s “Creep,” they chose All American Reject’s “Dirty Little Secret.” We crushed that team on both songs.

In the second round, we ended up choosing Oasis’s “Wonderwall,” which we did rock out to, and the other team chose the same band’s “Live Forever,” which I love. The other team was very good, though, and played on difficulty levels higher than ours, so they scored more points…and we were knocked out of competitive play.

I had so much fun, though, that I went out and got Rock Band on Sunday afternoon. I’m happy to report that my percussion skills are coming along nicely.

But honestly, I still see myself as the lead singer. Don’t you?

Guitar Hero III

My Christmas wish came true this year when I got the best gift ever:

Guitar Hero III.

You all know I play the guitar, the real one, so when I heard there was a video game that simulated guitar playing, I was all about it. Turns out I’m actually sort of a Guitar Hero idiot savant. I blew through the Easy and Medium settings already and have been trying to master that orange key under the pinky for a few days.

I’ve always been a master of sight reading rhythms, even back when I was a lowly trumpeter in the high school band. Once, my band teacher tried to stump me out of getting to first chair by giving me a complex sight reading assignment that I aced. But then he said, “Well, you still belong at second chair,” and that’s when I became a band class bad ass. I talked in class. Yeah.

In Guitar Hero, you get to play really fun songs like The Scorpion’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” My favorites are “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and Heart’s “Barracuda,” which is actually little challenging.

This is how I spend my time now, Guitar Hero.