Friday, May 7, 2010

Jay's Playlist: The OneUps

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

Today's music is selections from the video game band The OneUps

As I've said numerous times before, one of my favorite genres is soundtracks. One of my favorite sub-genre of soundtracks is game soundtracks. And my favorite sub-genre of game soundtracks is orchestral/band/piano arrangements. The OneUps is a band comprised of people I've been following since 2000. While their instrumentation (sax, guitars, trumpet, violin, etc) leads to more "jazzy" arrangements, the band tends to avoid that description when defining their genre.

I first heard the name "The OneUps" on a collaborative CD of fan arranged Final Fantasy music and loved the bossa nova performance of Costa del Sol. It was soon after that I learned the band was based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas (and one of my high school band rivals played trumpet for them) which blew my mind!

I couldn't believe it: one of the top video game bands was based just a few hours away from me. This was during the a time when the vast majority of game bands were either based in Japan or at least the west coast. A few years later my next door neighbor (who I used to jam with playing FF arrangements on the piano while he played guitar) during high school joined the band and has been their lead guitarist ever since. As such, I keep up with the band as much as possible and see them perform live whenever they hit the San Fran area:

And if that connection wasn't odd enough, a few months ago I went a party here in California at my current neighbor's house and met another connection to the band. My Cali neighbor had a friend visiting who she met in Florida but he currently lives in Fayetteville, AR. When his phone went off and played Final Fantasy music I mentioned the OneUps and he said he knew them personally and was soon joining them. Sure enough, the next concert I went to he was now a part of the band. Just to make this clear as mud: My current neighbor in California has a friend she met in Florida who now lives in Arkansas and just joined my favorite video game band which includes my Arkansas high school neighbor who I used to perform video game music with. Small world...

When the band was last here I also had a chance to take some photos for them: