It's... Retronauts Pocket Episode 1

Well, hello, there! Welcome back, my friend, to the show that never ends. Or at least won't end for another year, anyway.

Retronauts Pocket 1 cover art

As you may recall from a few months back, the terms of our Kickstarter venture were thus: If we could hit a certain stretch goal, we would not only record 26 biweekly episodes of Retronauts over the next year, we'd also fill in the interstices between those shows with 26 "mini" episodes. Since we blew past most of our stretch goals in very little time, well, here we are. Our very first mini episode. We're calling the smaller shows "Retronauts Pocket" to help distinguish them from the standard episodes (credit to Ray for coming up with the name), but don't worry: They'll all be on the same feed, and the ID3 tags will help keep the 52 total episodes nice and sequential in your music app of choice.

Retronauts Pocket differs from the standard episode template, somewhat. Or at least that's my intention. I've been interested in exploring the things that influence games, from pinball machines to Star Wars, and so the Pocket episodes I put together (or at least the ones whose topic isn't determined by a Kickstarter backer) will not be so much about games as about the media and other concepts that influence them.

Since we had a straight-up music expert on hand for this first episode -- Chrontendo's Dr. Sparkle, whom you may recall from last week's episode -- I decided to talk about rock music's influence on games. Specifically, progressive rock. What follows is a 45-minute conversation that sometimes touches on games, but is really more about the nature of something that was hugely influential on a lot of key game composers, with plenty of fair-use sound clips to provide context.

Retronauts Pocket Episode 1 (July 8, 2013): Gaming Roots - Progressive Rock

Libsyn (45:00 | MP3 | 36.0 MB) | Soundcloud | YouTube (coming soon)

Since music plays such a key role in this episode, here's a breakdown of the tunes you hear. In case you want to look them up, or possibly burn every copy of the album in question.

  • 5:06 - Jon & Vangelis "The Friends of Mr. Cairo"
  • 6:00 - Rick Wakeman "Catherine of Aragon"
  • 8:06 - Pink Floyd "Money"
  • 8:55 - Pink Floyd "Astronomy Domine"
  • 11:29 - Can "Halleluwah"
  • 12:59 - Mike Oldfield "Tubular Bells"
  • 15:25 - King Crimson "Discipline"
  • 17:41 - Gentle Giant "Runaway"
  • 20:45 - David Bowie "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"
  • 22:45 - Dream Theater "Pull Me Under"
  • 27:13 - The Nice "America"
  • 31:04 - Norihiko Hibino "Metal Gear Solid 3 - Lady Luck Revisited"
  • 34:30 - Nobuo Uematsu "Final Fantasy VI - Dancing Mad"
  • 35:42 - Emerson Lake & Palmer "The Three Fates"
  • 39:10 - Genesis "Watcher of the Skies"
  • 42:35 - Yellow Magic Orchestra "Rydeen"
  • 44:25 - Gong "You Can't Kill Me"

I realize this isn't your typical episode of Retronauts, but that was kind of the point. If you hate it, please focus your fury on me as this is all my doing. And don't worry, we'll be back to the old-fashioned format next week when Bob takes the driver's seat.

P.S. We're still working on the iTunes thing. Apple moves at its own pace, because they're richer than Croesus. But you can still goof around with the show's RSS feed like you did last week.