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for some reason my xbox live wasn't connecting for the longest time, which is fine as sadly i rarely use it.  but with my new love for guitar hero 3, i wanted to see if there were any new/free tracks i could download.  i suspect my problems are with using OpenDNS as since i started using them i noticed the problem.  anyhow, it started working again so i was able to take a look.

i noticed a free 'holiday' track of we three kings that was available for download.  it's a pretty good track for GH3 as well as a nice twist on a holiday classic.  after playing it i wanted to see if the guitar track itself was available for download on iTunes (i think it is great how the GH3 site integrated with iTunes so people could immediately navigate to the tracks on the game).

well, it wasn't available, but i researched and found the composer's site, steve ouimette.  what is interesting to find out is he's the same composer who created 7 other tracks for GH3 that you would have thought were just created by the original artists.  from steve's site i learned that he created: Rock You Like A Hurricane, School’s Out, Barracuda, Talk Dirty To Me, Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and Mississippi Queen, and the electric version of The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

in a QA post he talks about TDWDTG track...i particularly like the question of "Isn’t it blasphemy to destroy a classic song like TDWDTG?"  interesting stuff to learn about some of the history behind the music of games, etc.  glad to have found steve's site.  reminds me of some of the discussions with steve ball and the audio behind operating systems...but admittedly this is funner.

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thanks to those who were able to make it to the pre-launch event for halo 3 in phoenix!  i hope everyone had a great time being the first in the valley (of the sun) to play the halo 3 game and rock out to some guitar hero.  we had about 55 people for the event plus some staffers.  i know the building access was a pain in the arse, so i appreciated your patience getting in the building.

we gave away 5 xbox 360 elites, 3 copies of halo 3, guitar hero set, halo 3 watches, flash drives, etc.  everyone was able to walk away with at least a halo 3 t-shirt as well!  special thanks to mcfarlane toys for donating some items to give away to winners as well!

(attendees in silent awe of the cinematic experience of halo 3 -- or something like that)

(winner of one of the 360 elite systems)

(rob bagby rockin' out in guitar hero -- aren't you supposed to stand?)

for those who didn't know, this was one of about 14 events happening across the country.  i'm sure there will be a lot more blogging/pictures/etc today, but you can check out some of the pictures as well from the silicon valley event, which was the largest with over 500+ people in attendance.