Power On Pt. 2: The Sequel

I have previously talked about music in video games, about how the composition in the original soundtracks can be brilliant and moving, rivaling those of their cinematic counterparts.

There is, however, another part to the video game soundtrack that I did not talk about, and that is the one that contains songs from various artists. They sort of feel like a music sampler, and they’re usually pretty awesome.

My all-time favorite being the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 soundtrack.

Throughout my Junior High and into my High School days, the THPS games were my favorite franchise.

Throughout my Junior High and into my High School days, the THPS games were my favorite franchise.

Oh man, let me tell you about this one! It had songs from Motorhead, AFI, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ramones, Alien Ant Farm, Del tha Funky Homosapien, Aesop Rock, and Dialated Peoples! SO many good songs to coincide a really fun game! I spent hours on that game, beating it every which way, and loving the music as I played.

A more modern classic, I would have to say, would be Batman Arkham City.

I highly recommend picking up this modern masterpiece

I highly recommend picking up this modern masterpiece

At the time of this game’s release, I was working at GameStop a video game retailer, and all the anticipation for this game was borderline unbearable. The artwork, the storyline, the images, the story line…everything about this game had my so hyped for it!

And then come to find out, not only did it have an awesome musical score, it had an amazing soundtrack to go with it!

We’re talking songs from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Coheed & Cambria, A Place to Bury Strangers, ††† (Crosses), and an awesome tune from Blaqk Audio! Batman Arkham City came out four years ago, but it’s a game and a soundtrack that I enjoy to this day.

I use to play video games a lot, and I always thought it would be cool to be the guy in charge of  getting these soundtracks together. They really add an enjoyable element to the game you’re playing, and even help you discover new music to broaden your musical horizons.

Some notable mentions go to the Borderlands franchise for always having an fantastic opening song. Also to the Saints Row games, because I’ve never had that much fun blowing stuff up while “What is Love” by Haddaway is playing.

What are some of your favorite video game soundtracks? Tweet us at @TheMusicJunkie8 and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook!

A Conversation with Inker Bella

 I recently had the opportunity to talk with Model, Actress, and now musician Inker Bella. What started out as a regular conversation turned into a full-blown interview, and I enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share it with you.
Inker Bella and her awesome spider Ukulele

Inker Bella and her awesome spider Ukulele

TMJ: So, you first started out as a model, right?
IB: Yes! I had always wanted to model, and just didn’t know how to get started on that path. I was actually approached on MySpace (yep that long ago) by Jeff Davidson of Cosmic Frog Photography in San Diego, CA. He was working on a website of tattooed chicks called The Female Canvas (**WARNING!** Slightly NSFW) and wanted to know if I was interested in modeling for it. I was totally up for it! Jeff is super talented, and we had a great time. From there, I was hooked! I tried different genres, and ended up modeling for different websites and companies (jewelry, clothing, make up etc.) I have been featured in magazines, calendars, comics, books, and so on.
TMJ: That’s pretty cool! You’ve even tried your hand at acting right?
IB: Yes I have! I had my first go at acting back in 2007. I did a music video for an Indie band called The Transers. I loved it and had a blast, but at the time…I was more focused on modeling. I really started to get into acting in 2011. I have been lucky enough to have worked with so many amazing and talented people though all these years!! I have been on CSI, 1000 Ways to Die, Innocent Blood, Odd Brodsky, and many, many others! I’ve also been music videos as well. Maroon5, Neon Trees, I just really have so much fun meeting and working with new people on set!
TMJ: Wow, Maroon 5 as well as Neon Trees? That’s really cool! That must have been an awesome experience
IB: It was most certainly amazing to work with these two talented bands! Neon Trees were so down to earth, and they actually came over to me and thanked me personally for being there! Maroon 5 was another blast to work with. Adam Levine is a nut! He kept messing around on set. Peter Berg was the director for the Maroon 5 music video (One More Night), and complimented me on my work! I was shocked and happy he that noticed I was trying to just be in the moment and act as if I wasn’t “acting” hahaha. I even got to have some great conversations with Mickey Madden as they put me sitting next to him in the video. It was great, lots of amazing memories and of course I always love to make new friends on set too, I call them my film family!
TMJ: Wow, that’s awesome! So then what inspired you to pick up the ukulele?
IB: Well, I come from a very musical family background. My Grandpa is Harry Chamberlin, the inventor of the first Electro-Mechanical Keyboard Instrument called the “Chamberlin”. My Dad was in a band and played the drums. On my Mom’s side, I have a Great Great Uncle, Benjamin Doubleday, who was a famous banjo player in the UK. As a kid, I was into piano, singing and dance. I just really love to entertain people! I decided to start taking up the Ukulele when I learned about my Great Great Uncle Benjamin. I never really had a huge interest in learning a string instrument until then, to be honest. I wondered if I had any talent with a string instrument. I started looking into it, and the first thing that popped into my mind was the Ukulele. I love the way they sound, I love the size, and I felt like it was the perfect fit for me! I got my Soprano Ukulele in October 2014. The first day I practiced for 6 hours straight! My finger tips were numb for like a week! I looked up chords and how to play them on YouTube and just kept practicing. I learned my first song, “You Are My Sunshine,” on the third day of getting my Uke. I decided in May 2015 to share some of the songs I have learned, and came up with my weekly release that I call #TunesTuesday or #InkerbellaTunesTuesday.
TMJ: I’ve checked out your videos, and I’ve got to say I’m impressed! You’ve got a great variety of songs up, ranging from classic tunes from The Animals and Herman’s Hermits, to more modern songs from acts like Sublime and Pearl Jam.
IB: Well thank you, that means a lot! I really like all kinds of music, so I don’t limit myself to a certain style. I actually just got another Ukulele this week! I’ll be switching it up a bit… this one is a Tenor Electric Ukulele. I’m still learning it and playing around with what it can do! Last week I decided to try to teach myself how to do finger picking. I can now finger pick a song. It’s tricky, but it’s getting better each day!
That's right, an electric ukulele!

That’s right, an electric ukulele!

TMJ: Yeah, I saw your video on that. I’ve got to say, when it comes to songs featuring an electric ukulele, I’m drawing a blank.
IB: Oh cool, thank you! Well, really an Electric Ukulele sounds a lot like an electric guitar. It definitely changes the sound up a lot. It’s fun though, and I’m excited! I already have some songs in mind for it! I plan on making videos about the Electric Uke as well, because when I was doing my research I found there wasn’t much out there. So keep your eyes peeled for that to come!
TMJ: Well, it’ll certainly be cool to follow your research on the matter.
 IB: Awesome, thank you for that! I just like to make people smile with my music, and help them out along the way too if I can with tutorials or research. I’m not saying I’m any type of expert AT ALL, I’m just a UkeLady enjoying life and trying to help others along the way!
TMJ: For sure. So, aside from your research, what can we expect to see from Inker Bella next?
IB: Well, definitely more Ukulele videos on Tunes Tuesday! I also plan on doing more acting again soon. Other than that, I keep an open mind to other things to come, because I’ve noticed in life that it can take you down paths you never thought you’d be down. So you never know what else could happen!
TMJ: Well, it looks like you’ve got a bright future in various forms of entertainment ahead of you, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what’s next!
IB: Well thank you so very much! I totally appreciate your kind words and support!
Inkerbella-Actress/Model/Musician Southern California. Enjoy a new video each #TunesTuesday. Check out Inker Bella on YouTube Here , as well as her IMDB page.

Oh Happy Day

It’s an almost indescribable feeling when you finally get to see one of your all-time favorite bands perform live. It’s a bit surreal, really. Especially when they play ALL of your favorite songs by the.

You proudly stand up in the crowd, singing the words as loud as you can with no regard for others around you. It truly is an amazing feeling.

Last week I got to experience this when I finally got to see Smashing Pumpkins perform live in Irvine, California with Marilyn Manson. It was magnificent.

Manson is touring for the release of his latest effort "The Pale Emperor"

Manson is touring for the release of his latest effort “The Pale Emperor”

Now, I’m not much of a Manson fan to be honest. I do enjoy a few of his songs and his covers. I mean, let’s be honest, how can you NOT like “Beautiful People” and his cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”?

And you have to give the man credit, he puts on a hell of a show. From constant wardrobe alterations to frequent stage design changes, not one minute of his performance was dull.He had the whole crowd going at all times, and I’m glads I got to experience it.

Onto “The Pumpkins.” I have been a die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fan for years. There will be bouts that I go through when that will be the only music playing in my car for several days straight, much to my friends’ chagrin.

Smashing Pumpkins released their latest effort "Monuments to an Elegy" in December 2014

Smashing Pumpkins released their latest effort “Monuments to an Elegy” in December 2014

I know Smashing Pumpkins have always been received with mixed feelings, but you’ve got to give credit to lead singer Billy Corgan for keeping the band going for almost thirty years now with consistently fresh material. Even though the band has gone through several lineup changes over the past few years, the sound remains true.

In fact, I was lucky enough to witness the band perform with original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin! I never thought I’d actually get the opportunity to see one of the original members, aside from Corgan, with the band.

Smashing Pumpkins performed all of my favorite tunes, as well as a handful of their newer songs, and it was spectacular. In fact, midway through their 2+ hour set, Billy Corgan performed “The Star Spangled Banner” in a Hendrix-esq guitar solo. Granted, Corgan is by far no Jimi Hendrix, but it was still neat to watch. They also dedicated a song to the troops, which was also a nice touch.

I have been to an innumerable amount of shows over the years, but I have to say that this one was, by far, the most entertaining and enjoyable concert I have ever been to. Check “Seeing Smashing Pumpkins Live” off my bucket list, and we’re on to the next one.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?