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Chipzel Game Boy R-Type Music

Photo credit: Joe Sutherland / The Verge
Niamh Houston, also known as Chipzel, was fascinated by the Nintendo Game Boy when she received the console and Super Mario Land for Christmas many years ago. During those days, she plugged in a small speaker to amplify the Game Boy sounds, as she says: “I remember the music the most. It was really raw and beautiful, and unlike anything else that you’d hear.” Today, she’s a big part of the chiptune scene, where you make new songs using old video game hardware, and for her, that means two Game Boy units. Read more to watch one of her performances in Tokyo.

Fender Game of Thrones Guitars
Fender’s Game of Thrones Sigil Collection guitars will not only appeal to fans of the series, but just anyone who wants a cool-looking musical instrument. They were created by Ron Thorn of Fender’s Custom Shop and the Principal Master Builder, with each guitar representing the three primary houses: House Stark, House Lannister, and House Targaryen. One caveat: they range in price between $25,000 and $35,000. Read more for a video additional pictures and information.

Google Doodle Artificial Intelligence Johann Sebastian Bach
To celebrate German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Google decided to create its first AI-powered Doodle, or a fully interactive musical experience that uses machine learning to harmonize with whatever notes you decide to play. This was a collaboration between the Google Doodle, Google Magenta, and Google Pair teams, and simply put, once you compose a two-measure melody by dropping notes onto the bars, AI takes care of the rest by harmonizing your music to Bach’s famous style. Check out the one we created here. Read more for a video about this special Google Doodle.

How Light Changes Your Face
Nacho Guzman used a rotating light and changing colors to show how those two elements can quickly change how your face looks, without requiring CGI. This short clip is actually part of French electronic group Opale’s song “Sparkles and Wine” and was captured using a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR and two lenses. The lighting setup itself consists of two 10×10 centimeter LED lights, paired with a string of Christmas light-style LED, that were fixed to a ring and rotated around the woman’s face. Read more to watch both the teaser and official music video.

Assault Trombone
A geeky father and son duo have built a strange “Assault Trombone,” and though it may not help in a zombie apocalypse, the creation has vaulted them to internet stardom. How does it work? The father uses a pump to manually create pressure fed to an air tank strapped to the son’s back with a tube that goes to the modified trombone. Since the instrument has been fused with the back end of a shotgun, pulling the trigger results in a sound you don’t expect. Read more to see it in-action.

Trombonist Texts Wife
Photo credit: JazzTrombonist
Musician Paul Nowell, also known as “Paul the Trombonist” on Twitter, accidentally activated his iPhone’s voice recognition system during a trombone-playing session and what happened next? Apple’s iMessage turned those musical notes into actual words, and to date, his Tweet has already received over 67,000 Retweets and 205,000 Likes since it was posted nearly 1.5-years ago. Read more for a video demonstration showing what exactly happened.

Shazam Grammy Awards Apple Music
There’s an “Apple Music special offer” for Shazam users who interact with the app during tonight’s Grammy Awards. By simply using the app during the event, you’ll get a full timeline of music from the show as well as see a rundown of songs in real-time as they are performed. Best of all, new subscribers to Apple Music who use Shazam during The Grammys will get an extended four month free trial. Read more for a video explaining exactly how the service works and for additional information on the special offer.

Verizon Wireless Apple Music

Verizon announced today that starting on January 17th, Apple Music will be offered for free to “Beyond Unlimited” and “Above Unlimited” plan subscribers. Previously, the company offered six-month subscriptions to Apple Music with its unlimited plans, but now, that is given to the lower “Go Unlimited” plans at no additional cost. Just to be clear, that this is not for a isngle Apple Music subscription per account, but rather one for each line that has either the “Beyond” or “Above” unlimited plans. Read more for another Apple Music video and additional information.

Sony Walkman

Does this device look familiar? If so, that’s because it was featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. That’s right, Sony’s metal-cased blue-and-silver Walkman TPS-L2 is the world’s first low-cost portable stereo, and went on sale in Japan on July 1, 1979, priced at around ¥39,433.58 (or $150.00), or ¥57,109.02 (or $498.66) adjusted for inflation. The company predicted it would sell about 5,000 units a month, but actually sold more than 50,000 in the first two months. Read more for more cool facts.



Photo credit: Reddit
Yes, there’s a real Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Christmas album, the one that Peter Parker jokes about in the opening scene. Sony officially released the A Very Spidey Christmas EP, an album with five holiday songs that are sung by the cast with a geeky twist on the classic Christmas tunes. You’ll hear “Joy to the World” is sung by Shameik Moore (Miles Morales), who complains about the cost of being a superhero, “Spidey-Bells (A Hero’s Lament), and a few more. Read more to stream previews for all of them.