Summer of Sonic 2012: Crush 40 Interview

First up in the 3-part series of Summer of Sonic interviews, we have two legendary guys  – Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli! Together this duo makes Crush 40, but I’m sure you all knew that already! Without further ado, let’s get on with the interviews, shall we?

Continue reading Summer of Sonic 2012: Crush 40 Interview

Competition: Win a Summer of Sonic Goodie Bag + Crush 40 Signed Merchandise!

Sore you couldn’t go to Summer of Sonic? Bummed out that you can’t go to Sonic Boom? Nothing can compare to being there on the day, but we hope to give two very lucky readers out there a little piece of the UK experience with our Summer of Sonic goodie bag!

We have a pair of these to give away, which include the Summer of Sonic tote bag, an Archie comic, a Summer of Sonic programme, a stick of Summer of Sonic rock, a Sonic birthday card and a code for Sonic Generations on the PC. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in one of the awesome 20th anniversary pin badges that have only been available at a few events, along with the brand new Crush 40 EP containing their three new tracks and a Crush 40 poster. What’s more; you will also receive the autographs of both Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli!

So what do you have to do to nab these awesome prizes? Well, all you need to do is answer these three easy-peasy questions about this year’s Summer of Sonic Event!

 

1) Which two SEGA characters were announced for Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing: Transformed by Steve Lycett?

2) What are the names of the two character theme songs that were performed by Jun Senoue and guest singers during the Jam with Jun?

3) Which two of our invited guests in attendance were involved with the UK Sonic the Comic?

 

Send your answers to all three questions to the usual competition address at competition@sonicstadium.org along with your name. The competition will close at 5:00pm BST on Friday 20th of July, and two winners will be chosen at random out of correct entries; winners will be notified by email soon after. This competition is open worldwide, so wherever you are on the planet, feel free to enter!

Good luck!

Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

My readers, this day is what all true Sonic fans strive for!

Yes, today is June 23rd, and you all know what that means! The Blue Blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog, is celebrating his 21st birthday today!

So, let’s have a bit of an extravaganza ourselves! 21 is the magic number, so why not go for that many tracks, just for today? A great number of these tracks have been tipped by you guys, and I thank you all for your contributions!

Due to the sheer amount of music to be featured beyond the jump, I’ll refrain myself from commenting on each track. Instead, I will leave you all with this. If everything goes according to plan here, Sound Test Saturday will be moved to SEGASonic: Radio next week. Yes folks, SS:R will return sooner than you think! And with the big move, we will introduce a new feature on our weekly music column: interviews! First ones up are Freen in Green, followed by xTrickyWolfy and Ring Energy should all go well!

If there is any particular artist you would want featured on a future Sound Test Saturday, if there are any remixes, covers, or originals you want to share, if you have work of your own you would like to see up on the site, then do not hesitate to notify me at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

That being said, Happy 21st Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog! Still unstoppable after 21 years!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlfoErrGMSo

Title: Green Hill Zone
Author: TheSymphonicGames
Tip: Faseehudeen

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

New Crush 40 Songs Released on iTunes

[EDIT: Apparently the songs are available now! Go get them! – T]

If you really can’t wait until Sonic Boom or Summer of Sonic to get your Crush 40 fix this year, new songs from their upcoming EP are available for download.

iTunes currently has Rise Again and Sonic Youth listed for a 4th of July release (although you can download them right now), for the not-so-bank-breaking cost of 79p each. As of this moment, One of Those Days is not listed for download.

You may also be interested in the physical CD release of their Rise Again EP, which will contain Song of Hope (also available through iTunes) along with the three new songs. The CD will likely be a Japan-only release through Wavemaster Entertainment, retailing at 1,260 yen (approximately £10/$15). This is due for launch on the 1st of August, and can be ordered online through HMV Japan; anyone outside of the land of the rising sun will have to import in order to get hold of a copy.

Release Date of Wave 2 Summer of Sonic Tickets Announced

Due to the incredible demand for Summer of Sonic tickets this year, the entirity of wave 1 tickets (that’s 400 tickets!) sold out in less than three minutes. If you didn’t manage to grab a ticket the first time around, then here’s your next chance!

Continue reading Release Date of Wave 2 Summer of Sonic Tickets Announced

Sonic Generations Sound Team Questions and Answers!

Three months ago, the community team down at SEGA gathered questions for the musical talents behind the 20th Anniversary title Sonic Generations. As many as 300 questions were submitted by eager fans, spanning from the composers and arrangers’ personal favourite tracks as well as what other songs from Sonic’s history they would’ve liked to tackle.

Today, these questions have been answered by a majority of the Generations sound team. To see what questions Jun Senoue, Tomoya Ohtani, Kenichi Tokoi, and Alex Makhlouf have answered, their replies are available in full at the SEGA Blog, as well as Original Sound Version.

Crush 40, Summer of Sonic Venue Announcement!

If you couldn’t hold on much longer for news on special guests at this year’s Summer of Sonic, you’ll never let go of this announcement! Prepare to open your heart and get ready to roll out the blue carpet, because Crush 40 will be making a booming return to the annual SOS convention!

Continue reading Crush 40, Summer of Sonic Venue Announcement!

Slam-Up Jamday: Adventure 2

Because “Act 1” didn’t sound epic enough.

Hello readers, and welcome back to a special second edition of Slam-Up Jamday! If the rumours circulating around SASASR2 don’t add your needed slam jam on your morning toast, then this surely will!

Like its predecessor, this week’s Mash-Up Monday brings you another batch of Sonic music mashed up with Quad City DJs’ infamous  “Space Jam”, the main theme for the movie bearing the same name. As you may have guessed, we’re looking at a couple of slam-ups with famous tunes from Sonic Adventure 2!

With that out of the way, dust off your SEGA Jamcast as we continue to follow the adventures of Slamnic the Hedgehog and friends!

Now, back to adventure! *badum-TSH*

The Lost Slam Colony!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsRuIxP4CZc

If you’re still itching for an extra jam, catch “Live and Slam” after the jump!

Continue reading Slam-Up Jamday: Adventure 2

Crush 40 Live In Tokyo: Pictures, Setlist and Review!

A lucky handful of Japanese fans got to experience the full tenacious force of Crush 40 in Toyko over the weekend just gone, with two shows over two nights at the Shibuya GUILTY venue followed by a meet and greet session on Sunday night. Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue were joined by Takashi Kaneda and Toru Kawamura to create a full-bodied ensemble to present a history of Crush 40 tracks covering three decades.

Continue reading Crush 40 Live In Tokyo: Pictures, Setlist and Review!

Crush 40 Teases Sonic Youth, One of Those Days, and Rise Again

After announcing development on three new tracks back in January, Crush 40 released a two-and-a-half-minute preview of Sonic YouthOne of Those Days, and Rise Again on their YouTube channel this morning, granting fans and listeners a quick sample of what to look forward to once these tracks are available in full.

On the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Jun Senoue teases that they will perform all three tracks in Tokyo for the first time this week, and advises fans to stay tuned an iTunes release in the near future.

Check out the sample after the jump!

Continue reading Crush 40 Teases Sonic Youth, One of Those Days, and Rise Again

Sonic Boom ’12 Tickets On Sale Today

Tickets for the live US Sonic event Sonic Boom 2012 went on sale today via the venue’s ticketer Ticketmaster.

This year’s event, being held at the House of Blues in San Diego on July 13, has already confirmed the presence of rockers Crush 40 and Jean Paul/Alex Makhlouf from Cash Cash. As is Sega’s way, more guest and event announcements will be coming through a sieve in the coming months.

Though Sega have yet to announce today’s opening, they did announce the date and time last week. Tickets this year are priced at a total of $20 per head, which includes food and a drink during the evening.

The switch to paid ticketing came about due to Sega of America’s experience with the inaugral Sonic Boom in 2011, where there was a great deal of confusion over how many ticketholders and non-ticketholders would actually arrive at the Los Angeles venue. It remains to be seen whether the UK’s Summer of Sonic convention – where similar confusion over numbers came to a head last year – will go the same route.

Thanks to Sonic Wrecks for the heads up via Twitter.

Sonic Boom Tickets On Sale Next Week, Crush 40 Performance Confirmed

Tickets for the US Sonic the Hedgehog convention, Sonic Boom, will go on sale next Monday, 19th of March. Unlike last year’s application process, the tickets will be be distributed through Ticketmaster, from which entry can be purchased for the cost of $15 + a $5 fee ($20 in total).

Continue reading Sonic Boom Tickets On Sale Next Week, Crush 40 Performance Confirmed

Johnny Gioeli Speaks About New Crush 40 Songs

Crush 40 gave us a sneaky peak at some of the track titles of the songs the band are currently working on last month, named “Rise Again”, “One of Those Days” and “Sonic Youth”. A post today on the Crush 40 facebook page confirmed these songs have now been recorded, with commentary from Johnny Gioeli on the themes of these songs.

Continue reading Johnny Gioeli Speaks About New Crush 40 Songs

Production of the ESP Sonic the Hedgehog Guitar

Last year saw some very high-end pieces of merchandise produced to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary (including statues, crystal cubes…even pocket watches!), but by far one of the most desirable objects offered were reproductions of Jun Senoue’s signature Sonic the Hedgehog ESP guitar. The guitars are now in full production, and Senoue-san has been to the ESP factory to oversee production!

Continue reading Production of the ESP Sonic the Hedgehog Guitar

Soundtrack Review – Sonic Generations: Blue Blur & Anniversary Releases

Soundtrack collectors have had their pockets rinsed dry over the last year with the release of a whole plethora of Sonic albums to sate the appetites of those looking for the sounds of the old and new.

Continue reading Soundtrack Review – Sonic Generations: Blue Blur & Anniversary Releases

Crush 40 Currently Working on New Songs

Last year saw Crush 40 release a one-off single Song of Hope dedicated to the Japanese Tsunami disaster victims, which was the first new non-Sonic themed track since those that featured on  Super Sonic Songs back in 2009. Many fans have been keen to see Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli team up once more in order to produce a full-blown Crush 40 album, the likes of which have not been seen since their self-titled album back in 2003 (which was a re-working of their album Thrill of the Feel from way back in 2000 when they went by the name ‘Sons of Angels’).

However, it looks increasingly like a new Crush 40 album may be in the works, with Senoue posting a teasing image on facebook and twitter with the statement:

“Just want to let you know the name of the songs we are currently working on. Yes, new Crush 40 songs! “

The new tracks look set to be titled Rise Again, One of Those Days, and Sonic Youth – the latter appears to give a nod to the Sonic Adventure title tracks, with the opening verses of “I’ve opened my heart, I’ve lived and learned”.

Hopefully we will have more information on any potential future releases very soon!

Crush 40 “Song of Hope” Single Now Available on iTunes

From today, you can now download Crush 40‘s latest track “Song of Hope” which is dedicated to the victims and affected families of the mega-earthquake and tsunami which devestated parts of Japan’s east coast earlier this year. The track is now available on iTunes and can be downloaded for a meagre 79p ($0.99).

If you were unable or could not afford to pick up the Best of Crush 40 album “Super Sonic Songs” , the entire album is also now available to download electronically for £7.99 – less than half the price of buying the physical copy.

Link to download “Song of Hope” single from iTunes

Link to download “Super Sonic Songs” – Best of Crush 40 from iTunes

 

Sonic CD 20th Anniversary Soundtrack Hitting in November

Well this is a surprise – continuing the trend for Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack re-releases in Japan, it has been confirmed that Sonic CD will also be getting the 20th Anniversary OST treatment.

It follows the re-release of Sonic Adventure Digi-Log Conversation, multi-dimensional: Sonic Adventure 2 Original Soundtrack and the Sonic Heroes Complete Trinity soundtrack earlier this year.

The difference here is that Sonic CD was never officially graced with an OST release. The closest anyone came was Alfa Music’s Sonic the Hedgehog REMIX in 1994. Which isn’t really an original soundtrack at all. And also, super rare.

Naturally, the reason for the OST is the incoming launch of Sonic CD on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. It will be released in Japanese music stores on the 23rd November for ¥2,400 (about £20), and will feature brand new artwork and the Crush 40 cover of Sonic Boom first heard at SEGA of America’s anniversary celebration in Los Angeles. HMV Japan has more information on the CD… in Japanese.

CDJapan are offering preorders at the same price of ¥2,400, and ship internationally. You will, however, have to deal with shipping costs and potential import duties.

Crush 40 Live in Japan – “What I’m Made Of” Full Video

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKZIuXyik3E&feature=player_profilepage[/youtube]
Another video from Crush 40’s shows in Japan has been posted online from the Crush40 official youtube channel, this time it’s the climactic track from Sonic Heroes “What I’m Made Of”.

If you didn’t catch the full version of Live and Learn, you can also check this out on the Crush 40 youtube channel as well!

Videos From Japan: Crush 40 Live In Tokyo

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgpBacEzC9E&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

For those not in the know, Crush 40 have been playing a couple of gigs in Tokyo the past few nights to two delighted crowds, where the band played a whole host of Crush 40 hits from the past decade and beyond; event goers were even treated to some classic Hardline tracks including Hot Cherie. The two shows are the first Crush 40 live performances to have a full ensemble including Takeshi Taneda on bass and Toru Kawamura on drums.

Only a few videos have cropped up so far, but the one above is of high audio and visual quality – let’s hope more pop up in the future!

So now that Crush 40 have rocked Japan…who would be up for some gigs in the west? Let us know in the comments where you’d like to see Crush 40 play in the future!

Sonic Boom: Behind the Scenes

One of the most frequent questions we get asked every year is whether or not Summer of Sonic would ever be held in the United States, but due to many reasons “SoSUS” never come to fruition. Unsurprisingly though there has been a huge demand for a Sonic convention state-side, and it was really only a matter of time before one materialised.

With the Sonic’s 20th anniversary around the corner, SEGA of America spearheaded plans to create their own official convention, the appropriately named Sonic Boom. Aaron Webber, the newly appointed Sonic Brand Manager took on the role of chief coordinator for Sonic Boom and got in touch with Dreadknux and myself a few weeks back, and cordially invited us both to the event.

We didn’t need to be asked twice!

The convention had been carefully timed to coincide with the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles’ downtown convention centre venue. Sonic Boom was scheduled to take place in the moody and ambient environment of Club Nokia, a versatile bar come night club within walking distance of E3; a perfect site to celebrate twenty years of Sonic the Hedgehog.

I arrived at the venue early in the afternoon with Aaron, and before we’d even made our way upstairs we were greeted by fans queuing outside Club Nokia; some of them had been camped out since 6am that morning in order to score a place inside the venue as they had not been able to acquire a ticket. If that’s not dedication, I really don’t know what is! Kellie and Julian from the American community team (who you will know from the Free Stuff Friday videos!) were running around upstairs in the venue coordinating the setup of stands, pods and making sure everything was in place – a familiar scene to anyone who has been involved in the organisation of Summer of Sonic!

Even more familiar faces were up on stage as Jun Senoue, Johnny Gioeli and Alex Makhlouf (from Cash Cash, the band involved with the Sonic Colors soundtrack) were performing a dry run of the tracks they were going to be playing later on that evening. After a warm reunion with the guys I sat back to take some snaps and enjoy the privileged position of being an invited guest backstage at an event. I must have looked pretty dumb, but nevertheless I could not get rid of the huge grin on my face as the guys blistered through their fresh new set list, which included a brand new version of Sonic CD’s “Sonic Boom” and Sonic R’s “Super Sonic Racing”. What’s more, Alex’s accompaniment on synthesiser added another layer of ecstasy to the already monstrous set, and took the lead on the funky fresh new version of “Escape from the City” which will be gracing the in-game soundtrack for Sonic Generations!

I got an opportunity to briefly catch up with Johnny after rehearsals, and as always was up for a bit of laugh, as you can see from the picture (although I don’t think SEGA will be taking him on as their new mascot – stick to your day job, Johnny!). Another act rehearsing on stage before the doors opened was the cast of Needlemouse the musical. American fans will remember this bunch as the winners of the 19th anniversary competition last year, and were the lucky recipients of a trip to Japan to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode One. These guys were fantastic and incredibly animated on stage, so much so most of us assisting set up had to pause to watch and laugh at the jokes they were cracking. AJ and the bunch came to talk to me after their run-through, and were even kind enough to let me have my picture taken with them – an absolutely great bunch of guys and gals and well-deserving of the incredible ovation they received later in the evening (watch their performance here!).

By 5 o’clock the venue was taking shape, with the merchandise stands set up (each entrant received a Sonic hat, a special edition Sonic Generations T-Shirt and badge set) and nearly twenty gaming stations were primed and ready to give the throng of rabid Sonic fans outside a chance to play the demo of Sonic Generations. A number of photo booths had also been established to allow fans to record photographic postcards and video messages for Sonic’s birthday (you can check out Aaron and my postcard here, Dread’s postcard here and Yuji Naka’s here). Outside a huge queue of fans had formed, eagerly awaiting entry into the venue. Aaron and I went outside to rattle the crowd up a bit, and got to shake the hands of a few fans that had recognised Aaron and me.

At 6 o’clock sharp the doors opened and the mass of fans piled in. I took a brief trip upstairs to the VIP lounge, where the likes of Iizuka-san, Oshima-san and Naka-san were meeting other industry members at an exclusive VIP event. Unfortunately I was not introduced to Naka-san, but I was reintroduced to Iizuka-san, who smiled courteously as we had already met that week! Dreadknux appeared at the venue after his busy day at E3 (and was fashionably late as always!) and we proceeded downstairs to the main event floor.

A heap of guys came to greet Dread and I (there are far too many of you to mention!) and it really made our day – so if you came up and said hi, thanks loads; it really a pleasure to meet you all! TSS staffer, Sonic Retro writer and Sonic Show star Brad Flick was down on the time trial competition station hastily jotting down top scores on Green Hill Zone – you will have to keep an eye out for some hilarious pictures of Brad and Dreadknux in their bronik poses! Similarly to Summer of Sonic, there were a massive variety of cosplayers at the event too, including SSMB’s own mikeblastdude who came in an awesome Metal Sonic getup, and an excellent Charmy the Bee cosplayer. We also caught up with Scarred Sun from Retro and Shayne representing TSSZ news. I’ve never met either in reality before so we got to have a good chinwag and posed for a few photos for posterity – both are fantastic people and I certainly hope we get to all meet again in the near future.

Aaron appeared on stage to welcome all of the guests to Sonic Boom, and it wasn’t long before Jun, Johnny and Alex were on stage blowing the socks off all those in attendance. A lucky few spotted Naka-san on the event floor and managed to grab his autograph and a photo before he disappeared backstage once more. Jun, not one for passing up the opportunity to meet fans, came down off stage with the legendary Sonic guitar to sign autos and pose for pictures with a handful of fortunate fans.

Following Needlemouse: the Musical, the best of the cosplayers were invited on stage to participate in the cosplay contest, and Iizuka-san, Miyamoto-san and Senoue-san were all invited up to wish Sonic a happy birthday and to sing him a happy birthday song…and of course, Sonic was present too, along with his birthday cake! It wasn’t long before Dread and I found ourselves up on stage, telling the Los Angeles crowd all about Summer of Sonic. I had been really nervous beforehand about how the crowd would receive us on stage (especially considering the acts we were following!) but the audience were really receptive, and cheered us on – thank you all for letting us talk to you briefly, and hopefully we’ve enticed some of you to come to Summer of Sonic!

Naka-san and Miyamoto-san, along with Oshima-san joined the cast on stage at the end of the show once again and were presented with the graffiti artist’s drawing of classic and modern Sonic which had been created over the course of the evening. I’m sure most will agree the evening past all too quickly, and before long it was time to close up the evenings proceedings.

Dread and I pitched in to assist with the clean up, and ended up collapsing in the dressing room to have a chin-wag with Alex (who is also a massive Sonic nerd by the way!) After moving a precious cargo of guitars, we emerged on the street next to the Nokia theatre and ran into our good friend Richard Jacques, who was just as surprised to see us as we were to see him! Exhausted, we crashed for a few drinks at a local bar as well as a few last photographs of the day, and toasted the success of Sonic Boom.

I’d like to end by applauding the fantastic job Aaron and the team at SoA did putting together an event of this magnitude in such a short period of time, and all those involved in the stage entertainment over the course of the evening. America has now had a taste of a Sonic convention, and I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of Sonic Boom. I’d also like to thank Aaron on behalf of Dread and myself for sponsoring our trip to Sonic Boom; I’m sure I also speak for both of us by saying we are both honoured and flattered to have been considered during the creation of this event to represent Summer of Sonic; we’ve had the time of our lives, and I’m sure I speak for hundreds of other fans when I say…

SONIC BOOM ROCKS!!!

Details of Sonic Adventure 2 Anniversary Soundtrack Release

With the Sonic Adventure soundtrack released only a few weeks ago, details of the second anniversary soundtrack installment are now coming to light.

Sonic Scene have obtained a high quality image of the soundtrack cover, along with the full track listing on the album. Many of you will be pleased to know the abridged 30-song tracklist is the cream of the crop, featuring themes of all of the main characters along with Escape from the City, Metal Harbour and Pumpkin Hill to mention a few.

The album will be released on the 22nd of June, and will be the modest price of ¥2,400 (£19/$30) as stated on the Japanese Sonic 20th Anniversary page.

Thanks to Woun for the heads up!

New Crush 40 Live in Tokyo Concert Dates

Concert venue Guilty has revealed on their website that the Crush 40 Live in Tokyo 2011 concert, which was delayed due to the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Tokyo, will now take place on Saturday July 30th and Sunday July 31st. Crush 40 hasn’t announced anything via their website, Twitter or Facebook, but we expect they will soon.

Source: Guilty (via Sonic Scene)

Thanks to Woun for the heads up!

Crush 40 Japan Concerts Postponed Until Summer

Due to the current circumstances surrounding the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that has lead to the humanitarian distaster in Japan, Crush 40 have cancelled their two conert dates, which were set to go ahead on Saturday, 2nd of April and Sunday, 3rd of April in Tokyo and Osaka. I’ve been in touch with both Jonny Gioeli and Jun Senoue this week, and after careful consideration they have decided this is the most appropriate action to take at this time.

Wavemaster Entertainment and Crush 40 extend their sympathies to all of those affected by the events in the north east of Japan, and apologise to all of those who had bought tickets to the two sold-out shows.You can read the official statement on the Wavemaster Crush 40 Concert page.

We will keep you updated here at the Sonic Stadium when dates for the rescheduling of these dates is due.

Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition To Be Released

Quick on the heels of news that SEGA and Wavemaster Entertainment have things in the pipeline for Sonic’s 20th Birthday celebrations, a number of websites across the internet have already begun advertising a Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition album.

Those who have been despirate to own  a copy of this seminal soundtrack will be pleased, as the original Sonic Adventure “Digi-LOG Conversation” CD double album has been out of print for many years, and now fetches in excess of $150 on ebay auctions.

The album is tipped for a April 20th release this year in Japan, at the rather modest price of ¥2,400 ($30/£20). Those with keen eyes may have noticed this is currently tipped as a single CD release, and as no track list is available at present it is unknown what portion of the entire soundtrack will be included, along with any possibilities of remixed or reworked material.

Relieved you can now get an official copy of the soundtrack? Let us known in the comments section!

Props to Woun on SSMB and SoA at JunSenoue.com for the heads up!

Sonic 20th Anniversary Music: Gigs And Albums To Come

A double whammy of music updates today!

First off, tickets for the Crush 40 Live In Tokyo gigs will be on sale tomorrow from 10am Japanese time (2am GMT). The band, consisting of Jun Senoue, Johnny Gioeli and the first live appearance of bassist Takeshi Taneda, will be playing two dates at the GUILTY LIVE STAGE on the 2nd and 3rd of April and will be playing a host of classic Crush 40 tracks…and possibly some surprises too! You can follow this link to the Japanese Wavemaster Site to book your tickets should you be lucky enough to live nearby! Tickets are priced at ¥5,500.

Secondly, it looks like the Wavemaster, the record label on which the majority of Sonic the hedgehog soundtracks are now released under, are gearing up for some serious 20th anniversary releases with a placeholder page now online. Although nothing has been announced yet, it is likely fans will be able to snap up some nifty OST releases this year!

Stay tuned for more details in the future!

Summer of Sonic Merchandise Suggestions Box Open

Fellow merch-hogs like myself love our Sonic themed merchandise, and Summer of Sonic has over the past few years been the source of exclusive items both sold and given away, including archie comic page originals, Crush 40 merchandise and goodie-bags. But from what we have heard from you guys is that you can’t get enough – we couldn’t believe how fast we were wiped out of nearly all of our merchandise this year!

So, we want to hear what you guys want to see at Summer of Sonic next year! But please guys, realistic ideas are much more helpful! In order to submit your ideas, head over to the Summer of Sonic website and let Mr. AAUK know!

Listen to Sample of Crush 40’s Cover of Free @ JunSenoue.com

Ok, ok, bad puns aside – if you want to hear a small clip of Crush 40‘s version of “Free”, the title track to Sonic Free Riders, pop over and see our friends at JunSenoue.com and have a little goosey. Its very good.

Follow the link to have a listen!

The track will be available on the Sonic Free Riders Album, “Break Free”, due for release on the 8th of December 2010, for the handsome sum of ¥1800.

Sonic Free Riders Soundtrack “Break Free” Confirmed for December

Beating the Sonic Colors soundtrack to its release is the official Sonic Free Riders Soundtrack, Break Free, which will be hitting Japanese shelves on the 8th of December.  Standing at a modest 12 tracks long, the soundtrack will also feature unsurprisingly a cover of the main theme tune to Sonic Free Riders, “Free”, performed by Crush 40, as well as the original version performed by Chris Madlin.

For a full track listing, head to the Video Game Music Database.

If you’ve got a spare ¥1800 and you’re mad on your Sonic music, you’ll want to ask for this in your stocking this christmas!

If you’re like Bob Cratchit, and are too poor to purchase a copy this year, tune in to T-TIME on Sunday the 5th of December during Project 24 on SEGASonic:Radio (4:00PM GMT), to be in for an opportunity to win yourself a copy of the soundtrack (along with loads of other goodies!).

What Happened to Getting Crush 40 on the Rock Band Network?

For those of you in attendance at Summer of Sonic this year, you’ll all remember the first question I posed to Jun in the Q&A session regarded Crush 40 songs on Rock Band Network. Some of you may also remember a little while ago that Ozone Entertainment had mentioned via many sources that they would be bringing a selection of classic Crush 40 tracks to RBN. You will probably also remember that after these announcements were made we heard nothing more.

Now, in an article by the Examiner.com, Owen Douglass, owner of Ozone, speaks about about what happened. According to Douglass, things had been going well with the organisation and he was in contact with Jun Senoue; three tracks had been chosen (Live & Learn, Open Your Heart and Knight of the Wind). Apparently a snag had been hit when it came to distribution rights, as these are owned by Wavemaster entertainment. In the wake of this, several comments were made on Douglass’ Twitter regarding unprofessionalism on Sega and Senoue’s behalf, with the comment that “Sega has their heads up their asses.”

Douglass claims that these comments were made due to a complete cut-off in communication with SEGA and Senoue, and that he was frustrated in the fact that so many fans were requesting Crush 40 tracks for RBN, and there was nothing he could do about it.

“No, I really don’t (feel that I mishandled the situation). When you disrespectfully leave a potential business partner who is trying to benefit you more than themselves (they wanted all the profits from the sales of the tracks, I wouldn’t have made a single penny) waiting for half a year with no explanation or contact at all, I believe I have the right to be ticked off. It was at the half year mark I publicly gave up on them. The reason I held on for the second half of the year was because of the fans. They wanted the music in the game, I didn’t care anymore. I had ill feelings about Sega and all involved, but I’d swallow it for the sake of getting the deal done.

Yeah, in a previous article you quoted me saying that Sega has ‘their heads up their asses.’ I stand behind that statement 100%. That’s how I feel, and if it hurt the feelings of a multi-billion dollar company, that’s their fault for making business choices based on that. I will always put my personal feelings aside for the sake of making deals to give the public what they want. That’s the only reason I’ve still tried to get the situation figured out all this time. And it’s why I’m relieved this is over and now off my shoulders. Now I can go and work with people who actually care about what we’re working on.”

It also transpires that since then Douglass’ statements SEGA have made it clear that they have no interest in working with Douglass or Ozone after these comments, to which Douglass responded:

“And now finally they claim they were hurt by what I said and don’t want to work with me. Which is great, because the feeling is mutual. They wasted my time, and I feel they just don’t care what the public wants. Why do you think they haven’t made the a good Sonic game in over a decade, despite their very vocal fanbase continually laying out a near-perfect blueprint? I don’t know, that’s just my opinion. I bet I’ll get another email from them. Or maybe a letter soaked with their tears. But probably not, since I’m not even worth 2 seconds of their time.”

Douglass released this final statement after the publishing of the examiner.com article:

Over the past couple days there’s been a whirl of controversy that surrounded Ozone Entertainment. It stems from an article in which I was quoted giving out details regarding contacting an artist for involvement in the Rock Band Network. I would prefer not to link to it here, but I would like to address this here.

Ozone Entertainment has never used conventional methods in our operations. As you may know, I am very open regarding what I do to the public. This is because I believe this builds trust between the consumers and the company, and eliminates any fears of shady practices and deceit.

Unfortunately, a year-long frustration on my part directed my answers to the questions posed in the article. Looking back, I may have crossed some lines and I apolgize to Martin [webmaster of junsenoue.com – T] and Jun personally. I did not intend to offend you personally by any comments made.

However, I do not take back the main focus of the article. The situation was handled poorly with a lack of communication and I knew this partnership would not work out six months ago. I never signed a non-disclosure agreement when entering talks, so I believe there is nothing wrong with sharing any details now that the deal is officially closed.

I have also received comments personally attacking me. To those people, that is your opinion and I respect your right to say it. Just know that even if I am a horrible as you make me out to be, I will continue to attempt to entertain you and provide people with quality products and services to the best of my ability. If I fail, as I have done here and likely will again many more times, I will simply get up and try again.

Thank you very much for your time, and I hope you guys continue to enjoy at least some of the things Ozone Entertainment produces.

So, although it looks like there won’t be any Crush 40 tracks released through Ozone, it does not rule out the possibility that there may be tracks released on the Rock Band Network sometime in the future through another publisher.

To read the full article on the examiner.com follow this link.

If you didn’t catch the Q&A session at Summer of Sonic, watch it here!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgDlssQs0WM[/youtube]

So, do you have an opinion on these matters? Sound off in the comments section!

Pictures from Summer of Sonic 2010

Welcome to my pictorial roundup of Summer of Sonic 2010! Here are a collection of photos from the day, taken by my sister, who was there as official Summer of Sonic photographer (do go check out her website!) If you stopped and posed for a photo thank you; being busy on stage meant I didn’t get an opportunity to take photos for myself, so these are all fantastic captured moments of what was a fantastic day for all.

Over breakfast the day before, Johnny Gioeli leaned over the table and asked me how many people were coming to this little shindig he would be performing at tomorrow. I proceeded to explain that we were expecting between eight-hundred and a thousand people to show up, travelling from all corners of the world, and he was simply staggered. Although I knew the numbers myself, the reality of it all didn’t sink in until the countdown began on stage, and looked down onto the vast throng of people. It still seems like another lifetime to me when Dreaknux, AAUK and myself were huddled around a little table in a Nottingham café fantasising about the prospect of a Sonic convention, yet not four years later we have accomplished a third successful Sonic event.

First off I want to thank all of you guys; you all showed up for starters, supported the event, and behaved impeccably. I didn’t hear one complaint on the day that you had to wait an extra half an hour outside of the venue (an unfortunate setback because of the thefts of electronics), You all waited patiently in queues for Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, in some cases for over an hour. Although we managed to get over twelve pods on the day, more than twice the number we had last year, we could have done with more – the popularity of the games available was incredible! I also didn’t hear one moan about the heat during the Crush 40 performance either, even from those of you who aren’t used to attending hot and sweaty rock gigs; everyone was far too busy enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Jun and Johnny perform live. I also want to thank you all for treating our guests with respect and politeness throughout the day.

Although I was pretty much running from point to point for the entirety of the event, what really made my day was the brief pauses I had in between my dashes, chatting to you guys. Even if it was only for a few minutes it was awesome to catch up with you lot, have my photo taken with you…or even signing things! I had a few minutes to catch up with Aaron “RubyEclipse” Webber, the community manager at SEGA of America, who is a fantastic and pleasant fellow, and is probably just as busy when he’s away from his (now Green Hill Zone themed!) desk. It was also marvellous to catch up with folks from the SSMB, Junsenoue.com, SonicWrecks.com, NiGHTSintoDreams.com and EmeraldCoast.co.uk amongst many sites, and to finally put some names to faces! Thanks to everyone who has sent the staff and I a thank you via PM, email or facebook, and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought me a drink or a bottle of my favourite poison – my whiskey cabinet is now well stocked!

I want to also convey my heartfelt thanks to our guests Nigel Dobbyn, Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli. For starters these guys are incredibly busy folk, and yet they took time out to come along and perform, draw, talk and sign items for you, for free. I’m always stunned that at the end of every event our guests always ask if they can come back next year, sometimes with their kids because they love coming out to meet you lot, and because the atmosphere is always so friendly. A huge cheer for the guys and gals at Archie Comics and First4Figures too for their extremely kind donation of literally hundreds of comics and action figures! I must also extend my thanks to Richard Elson of STC fame for donating some fantastic artwork to give away as well – all very much appreciated!

I think I speak for the majority of attendees when I say the Crush 40 performance totally blew everyone away. Organising all of the pieces that went towards creating the performance involved many sleepless nights on my behalf – I had nightmares of cabs blowing and microphones failing, but yet in the end it all came together miraculously. I give my infinite gratitude to AAUK, Dreadknux, Jun Senoue and SEGA for assisting me in putting it all together. I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagined introducing Crush 40 on stage…so Summer of Sonic really has become a place in which even my dreams have become reality.

Before I conclude, I think thanks are in order to all the members of staff this year, some of whom have, for a third year running, have given up their time to provide a fun-filled day for everyone. Not only that, some of these folks have donated substantial quantities of money towards the running of these events, and so I’d like to end with a few words of thanks to a few of them:

The DJs; FastFeet, Turbo, BlitzChris and Gavvie: The boys kept the turntables hot all day. This was the first year I haven’t commanded the DJ booth, so I tip my hat to Mr. Graham “FastFeet” Seward who took up the reigns and kept the wheels turning, and who also provided a spot-on job with backing tracks for Jun and Johnny’s performances – simply amazing dude.

The Store Staff: Flyboy, WayPastCool, Speedknux, Char & Nemain – My NiGHTS in shining armour! These guys manned the stores selling all those of wonderful bits of merchandise that no doubt grace many of your shelves and wardrobes. From Jun, Johnny, Tracey Yardley and myself, thank you all so much! A special thanks to Nemain who is probably the person responsible for propping me up the past few months!

The Tech Guys: B’man, Discoponies & Roareye – Even with a massive blow to their arsenal with the theft of equipment the night before, they provided excellent on stage support with feeds and visual magic for the third year running. I honestly don’t think there are any limits to what these guys can achieve on the day!

The Doors and the Games: Urtheart, Vger, Jay Zeach, Shadzter & Blake Draco – The ever present Urtheart once again resided over the doors flanked by his cronies, allowing us all to have another safe day at Summer of Sonic, while Shadz and Blake both kept the crowds moving on the pods. Cheers guys!

Sonic the Hedgehog: He always shows up year in year out with no complaint. And year in year out SonicYoda is nowhere to be seen…we thank him for staying in touch with him and getting him along every year!

…and the Rest: SoA, bcdcdude, Iceman, Rachael, ENVY, Gnasher & SonicMark – I still maintain Iceman is the coolest bloke on the Earth, doubly so as he jumped in when the going got tough and was a huge help setting up the day before. I also tip my hat to the dudes from junsenoue.com who also pitched in, especially in bringing me much needed sustenance in the form of a cheese burger. Rach was also running around much like my sis taking loads of snaps during the day as well. ENVY is the very tallented young chap who provided the fantastic art for the Buzzbombers quiz, and Gnasher for once again running the show. SonicMark has become affectionately known as my caddy as he ends up lugging my stuff around – I just need to find him an appropriate hat. Thanks loads fellas, you all helped make my life easier throughout the organisation of the event.

The Dynamic Duo: AAUK & Dreadknux – Let’s face it, Summer of Sonic only happens because these two guys have the drive to propel it forward. Kevin has once again gone so far beyond the call of duty that we’ve had to send out a search party for him. Svend somehow manages to coordinate a fantastic website every year and continues to be our shining standard bearer. Even though this event is nothing short of an organisational nightmare, they keep coming back year after year to entertain you lot, and I hope your remember that.

So, Summer of Sonic is done for another year, but we’ve already got a date in our diaries for 2011 (25th of June, folks!). Who knows what will be going down on the day, but with it Sonic’s 20th birthday racing towards us, anything could happen!

Thank you all for an awesome SoS ’10.

T

Ask YOUR Crush 40 Questions At Summer of Sonic!

I know many of you “Crushers” out there can’t make it to Summer of Sonic this year, and that some of you have burning questions to ask Jun and Johnny…well, here’s your opportunity! During the Q&A session that we’ll have in the afternoon, I’m giving you all an opportunity to have your questions put to the dynamic duo!

Due to the limited time we have on stage to ask questions, and because we’ll also have questions being pitched by the crowd on the day, I will only be able to ask a selection of questions – so make your questions interesting and unique to increase their chances of being asked!

If you have a question you would like to be asked, please send them in an email entitled “Crush 40 Questions”, to tbird [at] sonicstadium.org. I’ll see if i can rustle up some C40 goodies for what I think is the best question as well!

Please submit all your questions by Thursday at 9:00am BST, so I have sufficient time to prepare them.

Crush 40 Merchandise Available at Summer of Sonic

Those of you fortunate enough to be attending the Summer of Sonic this year will be the first to be able to get their hands on some Official Crush 40 merchandise! As well as a selection of  T-Shirts, there will also be badges and guitar picks available for purchase!

Not only that, there will be a whole host of other Sonic the hedgehog related merchandise including plush toys and comics up for grabs – stocks will be strictly limited though, so if you want to snag yourself some bits and pieces, better do it early on the day!

You’d better bring your pennies with you!

EDIT: All C40 merchandise prices TBC

EDIT 2: I’ve also just been informed by Jun there will also be a selection of CDs available for purchase as well!

Live Acoustic Performance from Jun Senoue at Summer of Sonic

Because AAUK won’t have already stuffed enough goodies into your free bag of goodnesss upon entry, and because you’ll not know whether you want to play Sonic 4 or Sonic Colours first, we know Summer of Sonic is going to be exhausting, what with all this excitement.

So, if you’re already nackered by the afternoon then don’t worry – you’ll be able to sit down, relax, and not miss out on any of the action, as there is a treat in store for you Summer of Sonic attendees! If you’re around the stage in the afternoon, you’ll have an opportunity to mellow out in the presence of Jun Senoue, who will be playing a selection of acoustic tracks from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.

What will Jun play? I’m not going to tell you…it’s a surprise!

If you haven’t already registered for a ticket, I suggest you do so today – with over 700 guests already attending, you’ll want to get your skates on to avoid missing out!

CONFIRMED: CRUSH 40 To Attend Summer of Sonic

It’s time to go crazy kids!

It is our utmost pleasure to announce that the Summer of Sonic will play host to the legendary rock group CRUSH 40 at this years’ convention!

Both Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue will be joining our already incredible roster for the day, and you, the fans will have the rare opportunity to come along and meet the band members!

Johnny Gioeli is no stranger to the world of rock, and has blown away audiences for nearly twenty years with his incredible vocals, fronting acts such as Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell. Teaming up with Jun Senoue to form Sons of Angels, they later became Crush 40. Gioeli’s powering voice has become synonymous, with a huge number of Sonic the Hedgehog title tracks including Open Your Heart (Sonic Adventure), Live & Learn (Sonic Adventure 2) and I Am…All Of Me (Shadow the Hedgehog).

Jun Senoue is one of the most influential composers in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, having worked on Sonic titles as early as 1993. Sound directing some of the most prolific soundtracks to date including the Sonic Adventure series, Sonic Heroes and Sonic & the Black Knight to mention but a few, Senoue has become infamous for his musical direction as well as his musical prowess, with his trademark guitar work becoming the staple of countless Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Not only this, Senoue is the composer for the soon-to-be-released title Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. The double threat of Gioeli and Senoue as Crush 40 has literally redefined the music to Sonic the Hedgehog games as we know it.

Jun and Johnny will also be answering any questions you might have in a Crush 40 Q&A event on stage. They will also be available for a quick chat in the afternoon in a meet and greet session, where you can bring along your Crush 40 memorabilia to have signed!

Not only this, but we are delighted that Crush 40 will be treating Summer of Sonic fans to a very special Summer of Sonic Crush 40 performance on stage at the end of the show, playing a selection of fan-favourites that will rock you to your core!

You’re not going to want to miss this year’s convention…it truly will be way past cool!