Announcing the World Premiere of Rocks Off's New Video Game, Indie Rock Band

[Ed note: Until Indie Rock Band is released - we can't wait either - come play Beatles Rock Band with us in the Rocks Off Loft upstairs at Thursday's Best of Houston party.]

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Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray

Harmonix Music Systems / MTV Games, March 15, 2011 - There have been a lot of rumors swirling about these past few months, and we want to take this opportunity at SXSW 11 to affirm that this time they are true: Indie Rock Band is real, and it's on its way!

We could ignore the pleas of desperate hipsters no longer. Jaded after hours of jamming along to Stone Temple Pilots and Boston, you asked for something better, and we are now answering.

After the success of last year's Eagles/Chicago-centric Lite Rock Band, we have accepted that niche Rock Band titles are not just viable, but actually clamored for. At long last, you will be able to step into the overpriced but cheap-looking shoes of all your favorite indie-rock darlings, including the New Pornographers (above), Broken Social Scene, Okkervil River and many, many more. 


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Which instrument will you choose to play with IRB's Broken Social Scene?

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Give your IRB Feist avatar even more pitch control than the Canadian chanteuse has in real life.
You will start out as a small, disorganized quintet from either Canada, Scotland, or Houston, Texas (why not?). Indie Rock Band includes the capability to expand your lineup to include up to 59 different instruments, including the zither, the squeezebox and glockenspiel. Gain points for wowing the local crowds with your insular lyrics and accessible stage personas; the folksier your demeanor, the better. In fact, a lot of your early scores will be based more on how nonsensical your interviews are with the local press than on your actual performances. Indie prettiness also counts, so practice building those avatars!

As your success grows, you will start to gain new fans from other cities, with about 98 percent stemming from your YouTube videos, and the remaining two from the narrow contingent of people still on MySpace. At this point you will be given the option to grow a beard and go on tour. Be careful, though! You'll need enough car space, gas and food for your growing army of musicians. You may have to abandon the sousaphone player somewhere along the way.

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Before long, you will start to gain buzz within the indie community. Win Butler will mention you in NME. The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle will call you up to collaborate. You will make a guest appearance on the new Sage Francis album. You'll open for the newly reformed Pavement. Will you be able to complete the tour before they break up again? That's up to you! Finally, it will be time to head into the studio to record your very own debut LP, to be released on limited-edition vinyl only.

At first the excitement of the brand-new enterprise will carry you along swiftly, but soon the bickering for creative control will start, and thanks to Indie Rock Band's custom Hipster Logic Engine, you will be able to hold actual arguments in real time with your fellow players! Your arguments don't have to make sense, they just have to make you look like you're in control. Please be as petty and personally injuring as possible.

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We won't give away much more, but what we've covered so far is only a tiny fraction of the game. You'll have to contend with side projects, the customary indie-scene feud - that Wayne Coyne certainly does love to talk some shit! - Pitchfork's arbitrary adoration of your first album and seething hatred of your second, the backlash, abandonment and jealousy when the callous, fickle indie community drops you in favor of the Next Big Thing and, of course, the road to selling out. There will even be extensive options to calibrate your very unique, custom drug dependency.

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This fall, Become the Change You Want to See in the Music Scene™. Indie Rock Band drops on Karen O's birthday, November 22.

Also coming next year, in time for Halloween - Rock Band: Danzig!


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