Niagara Gazette

Music

May 25, 2006

Music of the 8-bit variety makes a comeback

It’s official: Generation X is all grown up, and they’ve brought with them a musical influence that’s going to be new to a lot of people.

Any person who grew up in the late ’80s and early ’90s recognizes it immediately. It’s video game music.

You can hear it in Beck’s song “Girl” off the album “Guero” or “On Top” from The Killers’ album “Hot Fuss.” Postal Service seems to have the sound in every one of their songs.

The low-quality digital MIDI styling of Hiroshi Miyauchi and other legendary game music composers has not been ignored, even if the games upon which they were featured gather dust in attics across the country.

Imitation is the finest form of flattery, and musicians in their 20s are letting Nintendo workers know that video games were more than an adolescent diversion in their lives.

Bands have sprung up all over the world covering the music of their favorite nostalgia-inducing tunes. Local hard rock outfit ARMCANNON is among them.

“The concept of the band was not a new idea, but it was new to Buffalo,” said Chris Dlugosz, founding member and keyboard player of the group.

Dlugosz created the band with Dan Behrens, who plays guitar, after realizing their common interest.

“Chris and I met in the commuter lounge at (University at Buffalo),” Behrens said. “We both loved music and gaming and found out that each of us had learned video game songs independently and decided to combine our efforts.”

The musicians were assembled, the songs arranged and now the group performs live, getting strange reactions from their style of musical reminiscence.

“I have witnessed general confusion highlighted by preparation for amazement with sporadic awe,” Dlugosz said of his group’s audiences.

Although ARMCANNON is a reference to popular Nintendo Entertainment System games Mega Man, Metroid and “every other game featuring cannons of the arm,” they cover various types of pop culture music, including the theme from the ’90s children’s program “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”

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