Thursday, September 17, 2020

Nerd Noise Radio – Channel 2, Episode 1 (C2E1): “Songs of the Pandemic”

 Episode can be found here: 

It’s the Dawning of a new Era! You are Tuned to Nerd Noise Radio – Channel 2! Today’s inaugural installment is C2E1, for Theme Thursday, Sept 17th, 2020. Today’s theme is “Songs of the Pandemic”.  

Track# - Track – Game – System – Composer(s) - Selected By – Timestamp 

 01: The Runaway (City on the Horizon – Instrumental) - 198X – Multi – Daniel Rosenqvist and/or Anton Dromberg (UFD?) - St. John 

    a: Music / Intro: 00:00:00 

    b: Conversation: 00:03:47 

02: Overdrive – Saturday Morning RPG – Multi – Vince DiCola and/or Kenny Merideth - Hugues 

    a: Music: 00:11:05 

    b: Conversation: 00:13:19 

03: Unholy Impact – Mother Russia Bleeds – Multi – Fixions – St. John 

    a: Music: 00:19:10 

    b: Conversation: 00:24:28 

04: The Abyss – Trails in the Sky the 3rd - PC / PSP – Hayoto Sonoda - Hugues 

    a: Music: 00:27:28 

    b: Conversation: 00:30:04 

05: They’re Back – Streets of Rage 4 – Multi – Yuzo Koshiro – St. John 

    a: Music: 00:35:17 

    b: Conversation: 00:38:24 

06: Power or Technique – Trails of Cold Steel III – PC / PS4 / Switch – Hayato Sonoda - Hugues 

    a: Music: 00:42:17 

    b: Conversation: 00:45:27 

07: Friend Select – Air Zonk – Turbografx16 – Daisuke Morshima and/or Hisashi Matsushita – St. John 

    a: Music: 00:48:43 

    b: Conversation: 00:49:44 

08: Bar – Dungeon Explorer – Turborafx16 – Tsukasa Masuko - Hugues 

    a: Music: 00:53:18 

    b: Conversation: 00:54:59 

09: Demons Undulate – Alien Crush – Turbografx16 – St. John 

    a: Music: 00:58:35 

    b: Conversation: 01:01:00 

10: Mako Reactor – Final Fantasy VII Remake – PS4 – c: Nobuo Uematsu / a: Masashi Hamauzu - Hugues 

    a: Music: 01:06:59 

    b: Conversation: 01:10:29 

11: Behind the Cosmic Curtain – Samarost 3 – iOS / Android – Floex – St. John 

    a: Music: 01:19:32 

    b: Conversation: 01:22:09 

12: Beneath the Mask (Rain – Instrumental) - Persona 5 – PS3 / PS4 - Shōji Meguro - Hugues 

    a: Music: 01:26:20 

    b: Conversation: 01:29:59 

13: 10pm – Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch - Yasuaki Iwata, Yumi Takahashi, Shinobu Nagata, Sayako Doi, and/or Masato Ohashi – St. John 

    a: Music: 01:32:40 

    b: Conversation: 01:35:03 

14:  Results (Golf) - Wii Sports – Wii – Kazumi Totaka - Hugues 

    a: Music: 01:45:29 

    b: Conversation: N/A (Included in previous conversation) 

15: Blooper: 01:48:21 

Total Episode Runtime: 01:48:55 


Twitter: @NerdNoiseRadio 


This is our LAST CALL for track submissions for December’s Channel 1 “Best of 2019 – listener picks!” Here is the list of eligible tracks! 

Please get us tracks as soon as possible. Deadline is 09/30/2020! 

On Archive dot org, there is a Super Bonus – music only! All the music from this episode, without any of the talking. This will be something we do with every Channel 2 episode moving forward! We also went back in time and created a parallel Super Bonus from last December’s “Episode Zero”: “Nerd Noise Game Club”. So, go check those out! 


Thanks for listening! Join us again in December for C2E2: Holiday / Wintry Theme [Episode Title TBD] 


Blogspot Exclusive Additional Notes: 

This is a very special moment for me for AT LEAST two reasons:  

1) This is a moment I’ve been looking forward to for a VERY long time, and is long overdue!  

When I launched the podcast back in January 2017 with Nerd Noise Radio - Channel 1, I made it a point to call it “Nerd Noise Radio – Channel 1”, as opposed to simply calling it “Nerd Noise Radio”, because I envisioned some kind of “Channel 2” coming along a reasonably short time later – maybe 3 to 6 months. And now, here we are in September 2020, just shy of FOUR YEARS later, and it’s FINALLY happening! I didn’t really have many concrete details of what I wanted this hypothetical Channel 2 to look like, only that I didn’t want it to look like Channel 1 at all. I didn’t want anything which would go on to bear the name “Channel 2” to just be “reheated milk”, or “Malibu Stacey with a new hat” for a great Simpsons reference. Instead, I wanted Channel 2 to be the “Yang” to Channel 1’s “Yin”. Something deep where Channel 1 was shallow, and something shallow where Channel 1 was deep. Something as opposite as two video game music podcasts by the same person could be. In short, something COMPLETELY different! 

In mid 2016, when I was in the planning phase of Ch1, I looked out at the podcast scene at large, and saw a scene with a lot more conversational VGM pods, pods loosely similar to Legacy Music Hour in that it was two-four panelists, taking turns sharing tracks, and then talking about them as a group. There were much fewer – if any – active mixtape pods at the time. Already having sort of a skeletal view of both some kind of conversational pod and some kind of mixtape, it was just a matter of figuring out which kind I should start with, and so, I chose to start in the much less crowded lane, and go mixtape.  

Only, truth be told, the actual term “mixtape” itself, or the concept behind it of emulating the classic tradition of the homemade mixtapes on cassette tape wasn’t even meaningfully on my radar at the time. Instead, I was always a big fan of NPR's Hearts of Space, where it was this big uninterrupted journey of music, bookended by only minimal intro up front and minimal housekeeping at the back. So, HoS and other terrestrial radio-based programs like it, such as “Jazz After Hours” were my real inspiration, and what I was actually attempting to emulate. 

As a great big aside, I’m struck to this day by how “different yet the same” the two competing ideas are behind the homemade mixtape cassettes and the radio music programs as inspirations for a podcast. Completely different headspaces yielding substantially equivalent fruits. To be sure, insofar as the two are the same, Channel 1 is indeed a mixtape, and over the course of time, I have come – for purely pragmatic reasons – to embrace the use of the term in describing it. It is a term that makes it much more readily understandable and accessible, and conveyable. A much smaller pool would know what I’m talking about if I continued to insist on saying “I want to be the ‘Hearts of Space’ of video game music”, than would know what I was talking about by saying “Hey, I’m a mixtape podcast”. It’s meeting the listeners where they are, rather than expecting them to meet me where I am, kind of like how I have gradually been beaten into sorta kinda making peace with the term “8-bit” to describe anything vaguely “chippy”, even though I still personally loathe the term in that context. I don’t feel the same kind of antipathy towards the term mixtape, of course, only it is still much more a case of adapting my language to meet the listener, rather than it is a truly accurate depiction of what was behind the design of the show. 

But I digress. Starting with the mixtape pod, I had hoped to have some kind of talky pod come along soon after, and now all this time later....we’re FINALLY here! This is the other half (or at least, “another side”) of Nerd Noise Radio that has been missing this whole time. I can see people liking both, or disliking both. But with as different as these two shows are, I can also VERY easily see people liking the one and not the other. This has the potential to draw new listeners who weren’t really into the mixtape. But it also has the potential to drive away the audience I have built on mixtape fans, which is something that I VERY MUCH DO NOT WANT TO DO! So, for now, at least, we’re only planning on doing this new show as a quarterly. In part, because of the limitiations of my co-host's and I’s schedules, but also so as not to drive off the people who have been with me for so long on the mixtape. 

2) Who I’m getting to do this show with!! 

My co-host is a man that I’ve been aware of, and a fan of since all the way back in 2011, and now he is my co-host! Hugues Johnson, out of Chicago, is one half of the Video Game talk podcast “Retro Game Club”, along with “Rob, from Detroit” (real name unknown to me). But for years and years before Retro Game Club existed, there was “The Retro League” which got its start in 2009 or 2010. If I understand the history correctly (and I’m open to correction if I do have it wrong), it was born of conversations among members of the Rocketboy (Racketboy?) forums, where they decided to launch a podcast together – a podcast that would go on to become one of the longest running, most central, hallmark, and important of the podcasts in the general “The Retro Junkies” video game community, which, of course, shares a ton of overlap with the members of the “VGM Podcast Fans” scene, and with Nerd Noise Radio. Originally a group of four, it gradually shrank down to two, Hugues, and a completely different Rob, “Jungle Rat Rob” (Robert Anderson, out of Provo / Orem, Utah). The other two original members, Nick, and the mysterious “Hemrock” did continue to make the rare appearance, but Rob and Hugues were the regulars. Rob the more dynamic of the two, who generally drove the conversation, and Hugues the more cool, laid back one, contributing a ton to the conversation. It’s fun and refreshing to see how little Hugues has changed over the years. 

As I said, I discovered TRL in 2011. TRL and Legacy Music Hour were the first two video game related podcasts I connected with. In 2012 or 2013, I got to guest on two episodes of TRL, and in 2014, or so, I got to meet Hugues in person, where a business trip took him from Chicago to Des Moines, and we got to grab dinner and drinks at one of the city’s microbrews, namely, “Exile Brewing” – which is still going strong to this day, with its to-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty crown on the roof! 

But it’s so incredible, and surreal for me to have this fellow who I’ve been a fan of for the past decade almost, for whom guesting on his show and meeting him in person was a top honor for me at the time to now be my partner in crime on this new endeavor. I never cease to be amazed at the twists of fate that occur over the course of doing a podcast. While I maintain that the greatest single moment I’ve encountered so far was getting to guest produce program 1228 of Hearts of Space itself last October, I think in terms of nominal, ongoing amazingness, I think this partnership with Hugues may be my new high water mark, and so I’m very delighted, and excited to get to be here in this situation with this incredible, but decidedly, and deliberately understated, laid back individual! TRL is a piece of Hugues’ past, one that I sense that he would rather move beyond, and so I don’t want to bring it up too often. But just this once, I hope he will indulge me a little gushing, and “fangirling” about it. 😊 

But Hugues and I will not be the only voices you will hear on Channel 2. As the “main panelists”, we’ll be the two you hear most often. But we are working on assembling a team of “relief panelists” who can not only keep the show going when Hugues and/or I’s schedules are too tight to allow us to participate in an episode or two, but who also will bring new voices, and perspectives, and musical tastes to the table to enrich and enlarge the tapestry of the show. When we recorded our “episode zero” beta episode in December 2019 as a Channel F “F-isode” (at that point, just a “one-off” with no concrete plans for more), we called it “Nerd Noise Game Club”, as a portmanteau of “Retro Game Club” and “Nerd Noise Radio”. And while the official subtitle of Channel 2 has yet to be set in concrete, with this cloud of relief panelists (who will not be officially considered “guests”, but “members”), it really does become something of a “club”, doesn’t it? So, perhaps “Nerd Noise Game Club”, or something very much like it will end up being a fitting subtitle after all. 

Which brings me to my last point: even though we decided not to call this episode a “beta”, but to actually officially launch the show and call this “episode 1”, in a certain manner of speaking, it’s still kinda like a beta, since there are so many decisions we need to make, loose ends we need to iron out, and a couple design tweaks which may still happen. This may be a distinction that doesn’t make a difference to you, the listener, but from my perspective, it’s a case of not waiting til we have all the window dressing figured out, but hitting the ground running, with some of that being figured out as we go.  

This show will release on the same podcast feed as Channel 1, so you won’t need to worry about subscribing to any new feeds! And if you are worried about Channel 2 superseding Channel 1, and pushing it off to the side, fear not. Channel 1 will remain just as it has been. It’s my bread and butter. It’s “the main gig!” It’s not going anywhere, and not changing in any way that I can anticipate. As for those who will end up liking only the one show or the other, if you’re comfortable just ignoring the releases of the show you dislike, cool. But if there is a big enough outcry for a separate feed for Ch 2, we can look into that later. I’d much rather that than to shed Channel 1 faithfuls who are less interested in Channel 2. 

In any case, I hope that you will enjoy it as much as we do, and that it will be something that only enhances, and enriches, and adds to what we as Nerd Noise Radio will be able to offer you. I eagerly await your feedback, and we hope you will enjoy the journey! 😊 


-St. John – Nerd Noise Radio