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View Full Version : Holy crap guize, Humble Music Bundle


Kirin
07-26-2012, 11:32 AM
The new Humble Indie Bundle, that thing justifiably renown for putting out awesome multi-platform indie games at name your price with most going to charity just opened a music bundle. And it is amazing. Look at this:

* They Might Be Giants' rarities compilation Album Raises New and Troubling Questions;
* an exclusive release from the leading geek folksman, Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit (Plus 13 Other Songs);
* nerdcore godfather MC Frontalot's exclusive compilation, Favoritism;
* composer Christopher Tin's GRAMMY award-winning Calling All Dawns; and
* celebrated game composer Hitoshi Sakimoto's Best of the Valkyria Chronicles.
* plus if you beat the average: OK Go's Twelve Remixes of Four Songs!

Seriously. TMBG and m'fuckin Hitoshi Sakimoto on the same bill. I never thought I'd see the day.

Of course I already have the Giants album and most of Valkyria, and of course I'll buy this anyway. This is amazing.

http://www.humblebundle.com/

shivam
07-26-2012, 12:14 PM
so basically, christopher tin is the only one i care about there, and i already have his record. too bad!

edit- meh, what the hell, i'll buy it anyway. i like the valkyria chron guy. i just wish there was a way to give back the joco and frontalot stuff. guess the money will all go to charity instead.

Kirin
07-26-2012, 12:33 PM
Yeah, the fact that you can custom-tailor your payment split pretty much negates that problem. Pay what you like for just the one album then! Not like you even have to download the others.

Parish
07-26-2012, 12:45 PM
Guess what you didn't do?

PROVIDE A LINK

c'mon y'all

Kirin
07-26-2012, 01:37 PM
Durrrrr. Sorry, added to the OP.

Somewhere in the back of my brain I was probably assuming that most of the indie game fan nerds around here would already be familiar with the Humble Bunndle site, but also it just slipped my mind.

Googleshng
07-26-2012, 02:43 PM
To be fair though, this being all music, you can't be sure everyone who cares even plays games, even around here. Plus people are constantly giving away their redundant humble bundle steam keys, and people are taking them despite the fact that there is no earthly reason not to have thrown a freaking penny at a charity to get their own. So, awareness is still clearly non-total.

Anyway, this is a pretty eclectic mix here. The Valkyria Chronicles soundtrack in particular really seems out of left field.

BEAT
07-26-2012, 02:50 PM
I wish less of these were compilations.

I'm weird like that.

McClain
07-26-2012, 02:57 PM
I wish less of these were compilations.

I'm weird like that.

I on the other hand think it's great because I don't have a lot/anything from these artists, so it'll probably all be new to me and a good sampling. Also Charity.

Odin
07-27-2012, 02:55 AM
I wish less of these were compilations.

I'm weird like that.

I want full albums because you and I are both weird like that. Still, I am throwing my real monies at this because DUDE they have people I like from all over the globe on one billing, albeit just for download together!

Meditative_Zebra
07-27-2012, 03:02 AM
I'm not terribly familiar with any of these people. But it looks intriguing. I'm in!

Red Hedgehog
07-27-2012, 09:49 AM
I wish less of these were compilations.

I'm weird like that.

I agree with you.

But I still threw my money at this because I like some of these artists and am happy to discover works by others.

Googleshng
07-27-2012, 01:49 PM
I'm not terribly familiar with any of these people.

That's honestly kind of amazing. I'm assuming this is a case of just not recognizing the names, because if you hang out around here, and have never managed to be exposed to anything TMBG-related, or had that Portal song drilled into your brain by this point, or had people loudly declare their love for Valkyria Chronicles... I'm just plain surprised.

Sprite
07-27-2012, 03:55 PM
Wow, the average payment is already quite a bit more than the usual HIB average.

Gamers: the cheapest fans?

Meditative_Zebra
07-27-2012, 06:49 PM
That's honestly kind of amazing.

Eh. I've heard "Still Alive" of course and I played Valkyria Chronicles so I'm sure I've heard those songs before. But these aren't artists I would recognize off the top of my head or anything so I'm pleased to get this bundle and explore them a little more.

MCBanjoMike
07-27-2012, 07:37 PM
I just bought this on spec, based on the idea of getting some TMBG and Valkyria Chronicles music for cheap. Of course, like a properly trained Humble Bundle lapdog, I immediately paid over the average before realizing that I wasn't particularly interested in the OK Go stuff. Then again, at the time it only cost me eight bucks for 6 albums, and it's possible that they'll sweeten the pot as the deal goes on, since they tend to do that with their game bundles. Man, between this, the Indie Game Music bundles and the various Nobuwo Kickstarters, I've been rolling in cheap (and often really good) videogame soundtracks for the last couple of months. I like this trend!

Googleshng
07-27-2012, 07:56 PM
Eh. I've heard "Still Alive" of course and I played Valkyria Chronicles so I'm sure I've heard those songs before. But these aren't artists I would recognize off the top of my head or anything so I'm pleased to get this bundle and explore them a little more.

One of the others is a good chunk Civ 4 soundtrack. It's still weird as hell to not be familiar with TMBG though. Enjoy your fairly odd introduction to the band that every nerd on the planet has been listening to for 30 years I guess!



Also, on getting a chance to listen to these, I'd like to uh... "thank" Jonathan Coulton for submitting for his album a compilation of all the songs he already gives out as free samples on his website. That's really... "generous." And oh, it's live recordings of you singing the two Portal songs, is it?

Kirin
07-28-2012, 04:03 PM
On the other hand, given that almost everything of Jonathan Coulton's I have I got for free, I don't really feel too bad about throwing a (literal) dollar his way.

Sarcasmorator
07-28-2012, 08:20 PM
And I'll form the head
And I'll form the head
And I'll form the head

Googleshng
07-29-2012, 03:07 AM
On the other hand, given that almost everything of Jonathan Coulton's I have I got for free, I don't really feel too bad about throwing a (literal) dollar his way.

Plus whatever money vaguely floated his way by way of buying Portal games, at some point, presumably.

Kirin
07-29-2012, 12:07 PM
Uh, the only Portal game I own, I got for free. So there's that.

MCBanjoMike
07-31-2012, 09:27 AM
So I finally remembered to bring all of this music to work with me, and today I am going to attempt to listen to it from cover to cover. In retrospect, I am kind of sad that there are so many compilations in the pack, but it still looks like it was a very good deal for the price that I paid. Hell, just the album of Valkyria Chronicles music is worth eight bucks, and it's actually kind of nice to have tracks the second game as well, since I've played it. Also, Jonathan Coulton's music has always seemed like a big pile of tracks to me, rather than a bunch of discrete albums, so I don't really care that I'm not getting a specifically-named collection of his songs.

Anyway, so far all I have to report is that I liked the VC album as much as I hoped I would. Sakimoto all up in this place!

McClain
07-31-2012, 09:37 AM
Finally getting some Frontalot was worth the $10 for me. I'll never really listen to a lot of this music but I don't regret the purchase.

MCBanjoMike
07-31-2012, 10:06 AM
I decided to intersperse the OK Go songs between the other albums so as to avoid listening to six(!) consecutive versions of White Knuckles. I'm starting with the album versions of the four songs, why not. They're pretty catchy, but god damn I am getting sick of the trend of clipped-out drums in alternative rock. I know it sounded really cool when the Flaming Lips did it, but these days it just makes me wonder if there's something wrong with my speakers or the mp3s. Cut it out already! Have some respect for my waveform peaks.

Update the second:
Ok, the TMBG song Marty Beller Mask is really funny.

Kirin
07-31-2012, 11:36 AM
Yeah, it's kinda too bad they had to pull that song from their live rotation a little while back for obvious unforeseen reasons...

MCBanjoMike
07-31-2012, 12:15 PM
Yeah, it's kinda too bad they had to pull that song from their live rotation a little while back for obvious unforeseen reasons...

Too bad, I actually think it works better now that she's "dead". Yeah right, Whitney, you're not fooling anyone!

Update the third:
So that TMBG album is pretty hit-and-miss. There were a few keepers in there, like the aforementioned Marty Beller Mask, but some of the stuff is pretty bad (the covers of Havalina and Tubthumping aren't very good, for example).

On the bright side, the first round of OK Go remixes that I listened to was actually pretty good! The songs make the transition from alternative rock to electropop, losing the distorted drum samples in the bargain, and I think I liked some of them better in this form. Curious to see how the rest of them will be, but they're still a ways away in my playlist.

Calling All Dawns is playing now. It's kind of cheesy, but some of the tracks are nice in a soundtracky way. The good tracks are pleasant and relaxing, but sometimes veer into "music you'd hear playing over an airline commercial" territory. I'm not really sure why it won a GRAMMY, but they're not exactly the most prestigious award around, so no big.

Update the fourth:

Say, this MC Frontalot stuff is a lot better than I thought it would be. There's some really nice production on these tracks, which makes them enjoyable to listen to even if the subject matter is kinda dumb sometimes. And I don't really care that it's a compilation rather than an album, since I don't have any of his music in my collection (and the compilation cover is pretty cool, which I appreciate). I'm starting to think that this bundle was a pretty good deal, after all.

Kirin
08-01-2012, 12:54 PM
That Tubthumping cover was recorded while smooshed into the Onion AV Club's offices, with the writing staff singing backup. Maybe it works better if you've seen the video...

Googleshng
08-01-2012, 06:21 PM
TMBG is such a weird band, because it's like, they've been around since 1980 or so, they've had some really high profile stuff out there (basically everyone is familiar with that one episode of Tiny Tunes that just arbitrarily had music videos for Particle Man and Istanbul (Not Constantinople), and while The Daily Show's themesong isn't recognizably by anyone in particular, Malcolm in the Middle's sure is, and they had a HUGE hit just doing a children's album for the heck of it), but they just keep on acting like they're this struggling garage band trying to make their big break with free concerts, Homestar Runner collaborations, free songs on their website (or answering machine), and... recording totally random covers of songs in one take and sticking them in an album for a humble bundle thing.

Mr. Sensible
08-01-2012, 07:10 PM
I still love TMBG but this new album mostly just made me want to dig out all my old CDs like Flood and John Henry.

Kirin
08-02-2012, 11:16 AM
Well, "New and Troubling Questions" is the B-sides release from their last go-round. "Join Us" is the main album that released just ahead of it.

I swear, I am not on TMBG's payroll, despite all evidence to the contrary.

MCBanjoMike
08-02-2012, 11:24 AM
Yay, they've added new tracks to the bundle! I figured they would, but since this was their first music bundle, I wasn't 100% sure it would happen. I was actually expecting it to be an album by a completely different artist, but it turns out that you just get a few more tracks by OK Go, Coulton, Frontalot and Christopher Tin (plus some Valkyria Sheet music). That's fine by me, although it's sad that there are no extra Sakimoto tracks. Anyway, I can't download this stuff from work, so my impressions will have to wait until later.

Also, just to close out my thoughts on the main bundle, here's
Update the fifth:

Yeah, turns out I'm not really all that into Jonathon Coulton. He has a few really great songs, like Skullcrusher Mountain and Mandelbrot Set, but a lot of his stuff just falls flat for me. There are 3 or 4 that I like on this compilation, which is plenty considering what I paid for it, but the bonus live versions of "Still Alive" and "Want You Gone" really lose something without the production and GlaDOS voices of the studio versions.

shivam
08-03-2012, 06:40 PM
i can't listen to coulton without getting PTSD flashbacks to his horrifically awkward live show.

Adam
08-04-2012, 02:40 AM
i can't listen to coulton without getting PTSD flashbacks to his horrifically awkward live show.

Don't make me do it again.

Sarcasmorator
08-06-2012, 10:27 AM
I feel like I should like Coulton more than I do. His lyrics are great, his song structure is solid, he just has a voice and delivery that aren't very distinctive. If Weird Al or even Neil Patrick Harris were singing these songs they'd be spot on. Still Alive and Want You Gone are extremely catchy, and so are his other songs I've listened through, but the ones someone else sings are the ones I like most.

Not like he needs my approval, of course. Dude already has a successful career. But I think if someone more well known recorded one of his songs and released it as a single it would be a mainstream hit. Like Skullcrusher Mountain tied to Despicable Me 2, or something. (No idea if this is even something he would want, just havin' a think.)

Kirin
08-07-2012, 08:41 AM
Apparently he already makes what he refers to as "embarrassingly large" amounts of money selling his stuff directly to fans, so yeah, I'm guessing that struggling to become a writer of mainstream hits probably isn't a big priority.

Sarcasmorator
08-07-2012, 08:48 AM
Yeah, I saw a figure of about $500,000 a year attributed to him.

MCBanjoMike
08-07-2012, 08:56 AM
I think that I often find Coulton's humor to be a little too monkey-cheese internet for my tastes. My favorite songs of his are the ones that I think are musically really solid, in which case they end up being catchy power pop songs with a silly theme. But the rest of the time, the subject matter either isn't enough or actually grates on me, and I start to wonder why I'm not listening to some better band that doesn't sing about red shirt Star Trek characters. I often feel like nerds enjoy his music because it's aimed at them, despite the fact that he's often making inferior versions of pop songs that would be completely ignored if they weren't about space aliens and videogame characters.

I'm similarly conflicted with nerdcore, in that I can appreciate it when the songs are really solid by themselves, but when they aren't I just find myself embarrased to be listening to a rap song about cosplay or something. I enjoy some of Random's experiments in using chip sounds to build rap songs, but when he starts singing POV songs about being Cloud or something then the music had better be damn good or else I can't put up with it (his non-videogame stuff can actually be pretty good, as I discovered when I downloaded his free mixtape from Bandcamp). I had similarly written off Frontalot based on one or two less-good songs of his, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the songs I enjoyed on this compilation. So hey, sometimes it's nice to be wrong about stuff.

Karzac
08-07-2012, 02:03 PM
My favourite Coulton songs have always been the more heartfelt, personal ones like Drinking with You or You Ruined Everything. The funny, nerdy stuff is nice but tends to wear out faster.

I do think that his latest album, which was professionally produced (by Flansburgh, no less) is head and shoulders better than his Thing a Week stuff and is well worth checking out. "Sticking it to Myself" and "Good Morning Tuscon" from the Humble album are on that one, so if you liked those you should check it out.

Kirin
08-08-2012, 09:49 AM
I often feel like nerds enjoy his music because it's aimed at them, despite the fact that he's often making inferior versions of pop songs that would be completely ignored if they weren't about space aliens and videogame characters.

Well, exactly. He's aimed squarely at a market that was woefully underserved by corporate-produced pop (and also, not coincidentally, really easy to reach through the internet and other methods of extremely-low-cost distribution). Unsurprisingly, this is a decent way to make money.

TE-Ryan
08-08-2012, 01:25 PM
Yes, I realize I'm the odd one out here, but I kind of wrote off They Might Be Giants because I'd never heard of them before Malcom in the Middle, and I tried really hard to ignore anything relating to Malcom in the Middle (except Bryan Cranston because how could you). So I'm pretty surprised at how much I like their album here! Faceplaming at my prior ignorace.

Also, big fan of both Coulton and Frontalot. Please excuse my juvenile tastes.

Did anyone else download God of Love immediately after listening to the sample tracks? I'm usually not much for electronicy stuff, but man. This.

Kirin
08-21-2012, 03:01 PM
So despite being the one who made this thread, I've just now gotten around to actually listening to everything in the bundle. Figure I'll give my commentary for the hell of it...

Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit - I was already familiar with JoCo and had half of the older songs in this selection, so no surprises here. I Feel Fantastic is good if you need something bouncy. Shop Vac is depressing if you live in the suburbs. The live tracks here aren't doing much for me despite the fact that I've enjoyed him in concert a couple times.

Christopher Tin Calling All Dawns - This was the big unknown when I bought the bundle (I haven't played Civ since it was little pixellated square tiles) and probably ended up being my favorite thing in it. As anyone who participated in Listening Time III already knows, I love the "new language every track" concept. And at risk of an overused word, the whole thing is pretty darn epic without (mostly) being too overblown. Love it. God of Love is pretty great too.

MC Frontalot Favoritism - I only knew of him in passing, and this was hit-or-miss for me. He admits in the liner notes that some of the older stuff in this collection is only included out of nostalgia/obligation, and yeah.. the performance and production on earlier tracks can get pretty dire. The newer stuff is much better on both counts, though it's still 50/50 on whether I care for the subject matter. My faves are probably Goth Girls and I'll Form The Head.

OK Go 12 remixes of 4 songs - I've discovered that I like OK Go's music videos a lot more than their music. I don't hate this, but most of it is pretty meh for me. A few good mixes, though. There's at least one chiptune mix hiding in there (I think it was This Too Shall Pass - J Arthur Keanes?).

Hitoshi Saimoto Best of Valkyria - I love me some Sakimoto, and the original Valkyria Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite games, so of course i already had its soundtrack. A few tracks from the sequels I'm happy to have though, particularly some interestingly different stuff from 3.

And then of course the TMBG album, I already own in hardcopy. I generally <3 almost all TMBG, though this *is* pretty obviously B-sides.