Free Game Rentals at Redbox, and More

free game rentalsJust a Few Days Left of Free Game Rentals

Zowie! The free game rentals deal at Redbox is no joke — all week, they’ve been letting you rent games for free if you just reserve the game online before picking it up.

At first I thought it was just a neat one-time promo. But I looked more closely at the fine print and… there isn’t any. In other words, this isn’t a “one free game rental per person” deal. This is a “free game rental Wednesday, and free game rental Thursday too” deal. There’s no silly pretending you’re two people, or using different email accounts and credit cards. Redbox wants you to have a lot of free game rentals. And that is not a bad thing. It’s just too bad I didn’t figure this out earlier so I could share it with you folks.

Unfortunately, this is only good through tomorrow (3/1) UPDATE! Redbox has extended the free game rental deal through 3/8/12! Act now, and you could get a rental tonight and another one tomorrow. You’ll need to sign up for a free Redbox account.

How Game Rentals Work at Redbox

Redbox movie and game rentals are simple: rent today, return it by 9pm tomorrow. “Today” begins at 12:01 am today, though, so if you’re crazier than I am, you could drag yourself down to the nearest kiosk at midnight on a Saturday morning and get a good 45 hours in before returning it at 9p on Sunday. The selection ain’t the most expansive, of course, but they’ve got most of the titles that everyone’s buzzing about right now.

And Check Out NBC’s New Show “Awake”

Turns out an ex-Austin resident is the brains behind this new show, which tells the story of a police detective who survives a terrible car crash that kills either his wife or his son… but he’s not sure which. In one of his realities, his wife lived, and in the other it was his son, and he can’t tell when he’s waking or dreaming.

I just watched the first episode online (embedded above; you can fullscreen it) and it’s the best thing I’ve seen from TV this year. The acting is top-notch, the puzzle-solving police work brilliant, and best of all, this thing has tremendous heart. You really feel for this guy who’s torn between two half-lives and is trying to reassemble himself in the middle. Just don’t blink, because the dialog is fast and polished and the whole thing feels cinematic. Highly recommended.


Free Tunes Trifecta

Free + Tunes = Thursjoy

There is such a thing as a free lunch, or at least some free tunes for you, my loyal readers. Quality tunes, of course.

We may all lament these changing times. Information overload, internet privacy concerns, and random yokels trying to be your friend on Facebook. One positive side to the internet revolution, though, is that it’s blown the doors off the previously-cloistered music industry. Musicians, who are reputedly nowhere near as greedy as record executives, can be remarkably willing to share their work for free. And here are a few examples!

The Cars’ New Album

Ric Ocasek and the boys are back together, and sounding as timeless as ever, partly because Ric has kept busy, producing albums for artists like Weezer and Guided by Voices. Stream their new album, “Move Like This,” at Rolling Stone. But hurry: it’s unclear how much longer the stream will be live.

It’s been 24 years since their last album. That’s too long.

Download the New Album from Tiny Animals

I discovered Tiny Animals, a punchy New York 3-piece that produces pure and addictive alt-rock, at South by Southwest a few years back. You may have heard their stuff and not know it; their music has been played on Channel One and several different MTV shows.

Not only are they hard-working and funny (check them out on YouTube), but they’re giving away their entire new album here. And Chris is a solid guy.

NPR’s First Listen

Lastly, I give you First Listen, an amazing resource and vital conduit of new, full-album streams. Generally these streams are live until the album hits store shelves. Currently posted for your full listening pleasure are the new albums from Beirut and Stephen Malkmus (ex-Pavement) and the Hicks, along with a full set of Muppet Show tunes covered by indie stalwarts like OK Go and Rachel Yamagata.

Free Tunes Thoughts

Times are tough for musicians. Even the big artists need to tour and sell secondary merchandise like t-shirts to keep food on the table. Why? Because of the collapse of the record industry and the leechery (sic) of many of their fans (you know who you are).

I hope that, in twenty years, things have settled out in a way that allows musicians to make a fair and honest living without having to tour 24×7. Support your favorite artists! If you do, maybe they’ll keep making the music you love.


Free Videogames at Game Over Videogames

free videogamesFree Videogame Deal This Weekend

Texas’ own Game Over Videogames — a great resource for any gamer, especially anyone who loves vintage games — is having a remarkable free videogame deal on football games of all eras this coming weekend. If you live in Austin, Sunset Valley, Round Rock, or San Antonio, find your local Game Over Videogames and head on out!

Here’s the deal: for Super Bowl Weekend, Game Over Videogames is giving away football games that are priced $4.99 and lower. (“Which is practically ALL of them!” says the announcement.) All you need is this coupon. No purchase required.

Game Inventory at Game Over Videogames

Our hard-working videogame writer drones took a quick spin through Game Over Videogames’ online catalog reveals Madden 08 and Madden 06 for Xbox 360, both priced at $4.99, but no PS3 titles. And of course, Game Over Videogames has some of your old-school faves like Madden for SNES, NFL QB Club for SNES, and NFL Blitz for the PS1, all in the coupon happy zone.

Not bad. Check it out if you feel so inclined, game writer fans.