A very rare live performance of “Viva”

Palette-Swap Ninja is, by design, a studio band. Jude and I used to play live pretty frequently in our previous band, but we’re not in the same state anymore, so there you have it. The gang at GamesRadar has been incredibly supportive of us on the TalkRadar podcast, letting us plug our songs, saying nice things, feigning interest — and the listeners have responded just as strongly. So when TalkRadar hit its 50th show, I thought…can we do something special and — gulp — live? Well, one of us could, because of that state thing. With Jude’s permission, I grabbed my trusty acoustic guitar and did something I’d never done before: I played “The Viva Pinata Song” live. Here is only slightly staged photographic proof:

You can get it only on TalkRadar 50 — it’s a true TalkRadar exclusive. It’s toward the end of the two-hour extravaganza.

In my defense, I am quite bad at playing and singing at the same time — as you will hear — and they were trying to crack me up throughout — which they did. They were also singing along in the background but too far away from the microphone to be picked up. They’re lucky.

If you can believe it, Chris Antista actually cleaned this up. You’re hearing the generous edited version. And sadly I was sober.

Don’t you wish Jude and I lived in the same state now too?

— Dan

“I’ve got an idea!”

I was on TalkRadar this past week (episode 38), blatantly disobeying my own simple “never appear on TalkRadar again” rule. Last time, I threw a mini-hissyfit, since the recording took something like two and a half hours and seemed to move at the speed of sludge. This time, however, I was prepared; I had a free evening, my wife was away, nobody was missing me at home except the cats — and some listeners said “Why hasn’t Dan been on in a while?” Combine free time with and ego stroke and I’m an easy target.

Of course, this one took three and a half hours to record. More or less.

While there, I once again got “hey, you should do this song” suggestions, including Brett’s Naughty By Nature parody of “OPP” for Little Big Planet as “LBP.” That’s a good one, but I don’t play LBP. I think the worst joke is the joke you force; as someone who doesn’t own the game and doesn’t even like the look of the Sackboys, I think I’m the wrong guy to sit down and pen a high-larious jokey-joke about it. When it comes to parody, you have to go with what you know.

It’s also nice to simply stand behind your own work. Funny or not, the songs we’ve done are creations of Jude and Dan. There are others like them but these are ours, you know? That’s kind of a key part of this project.

I think we have proven that anybody can make a parody song, so if you are one of those people who keeps thinking “You know what would be funny?” then I urge you to go give it a try. Save your ideas, make them your own.

TalkRadar 29 — with the song! — is up

Episode 29 of TalkRadar is now available via GamesRadar.com or on iTunes right now. At the 32 minute mark, they talk about the contest and debut the song. But you should listen to the whole show, as Rob Smith is a guest, discussing his new book about Lucasarts, Rogue Leaders. Oh, and if you’re never listened to TalkRadar before, here’s your explcit content warning. As podcasts go, it’s vulgar, drunken, and rambling. In other words, it’s funny and quite popular.

So the contest is pretty straightforward: Make a YouTube video for “Wii Christmastime” — however you want to, animated, acting stuff out with friends, Flash, whatever you like — and post the link to your entry in the TalkRadar forums. You’ve got three weeks, and then the GR staff and Jude and I will pick our favorite (we’ll be judging on creativity, of course), and the creator of that video gets a 30GB Creative Zen Vision W, pre-loaded with all four Palette-Swap Ninja songs (and a surprise or two). I took care of that today, charged the thing up, loaded the MP3s onto it — it’s sweet. You’ll like it.

So, listen to TalkRadar, then come back here tomorrow and we’ll have the full song posted for download. Let the holidaze begin!

New song this week; video contest

Okay, so we have details about the release of this week’s song. On Thursday, TalkRadar will release show #29 (because 28 is already out), including the first appearance of the new song “Wii Christmastime.” If you want to hear the track, download their podcast (there should be a link from the GamesRadar front page).

On Friday, you can come back here and download the song directly, then get to making a video for our make-a-video contest, so we can spread some viral holiday cheer. You’ll have a few weeks to put together a video, then we’ll pick our favorite and ship out the prize — a lovely 30GB Creative Zen Vision W media player, pre-loaded with our tracks — so you can take all of your Palette-Swap Ninja songs with you, including your award-winning video. See what we did there? Full contest details are on TalkRadar episode 29.

Meanwhile, we’d love you as a friend on MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter. We need all the virtual friends we can get.

Welcome to the dojo

So, this is it. After a year of thinking about it, we’ve finally got a website. WordPress was the best option; all we want to do here is chat, let you respond, and offer our stuff for download. A blog works well for that. Megaprops to Kat for the art elements and finding us a template that worked. Poke around, tell us what you think. Our email is dojo at paletteswapninja dot com.

We want to release songs more frequently than we have been, or else we wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble. We will have a new one to share later this week — Black Friday, if all goes well. It’s our first holiday song and we’ve worked out a deal with TalkRadar, the GamesRadar podcast, to debut it there exclusively. But it’ll be posted here shortly thereafter, if only to help facilitate the contest they’re running in conjunction with it. More on that in a little bit.