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Rockage Organizers Release Trailer Previewing New Festival

In Culture, Music
The Glowing Stars are one of the chiptune bands who'll perform at Rockage this weekend.

The Glowing Stars are one of the chiptune bands who'll perform at Rockage this weekend.

With the first Rockage festival coming up this weekend, Grand Fanali Presents has released a trailer for the festival that gives the South Bay a first look at its retro-gaming-meets-electro-music style. Watch it below.

The all-ages festival, Saturday and Sunday at the San Jose Woman’s Club, will feature over 50 old-school arcade games on non-stop free play. But it also features nearly two dozen bands and DJs, who’ll perform throughout the festival both days. Some are indie rock acts, like Sacramento’s Tera Melos, Kepi Ghoulie and the Slackers’ Vic Ruggerio. But many play chiptune, the electronic-music subgenre that incorporates the 8-bit music of Game Boys and other gaming systems. The Bay Area has become a hotbed for chiptune—not too surprising since it spawned the video-game culture that chiptune idolizes—and some of the chip acts that will perform at Rockage include the Glowing Stars, A. Rival, Crashfaster, DJ Doctor Popular and more.

For those who’ve never heard chiptune, the trailer offers some quick flashes of what the music sounds like.

Even this sampling, however, doesn’t give the full range of what chip music can be. The Glowing Stars, for instance, play guitars and drum on stage, along with a Game Boy—thanks to Lizzie Cuevas’ songwriting and Matthew Payne’s skill with arrangements, it basically sounds like indie-rock with a layer of Nintendo-type electronics. Crashfaster, on the other hand, makes sublime video-game-inspired synth soundscapes, although he recently added a full band to his live sets, as well. A. Rival’s most recent release was a drum-and-bass tribute to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Rockage runs from noon to 10:30pm Saturday and Sunday at the Woman’s Club in San Jose. Single-day tickets are $20 at the door; two-day passes, $30.

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