Rock harder than Dick Clark

The annual New Year's Music and Gaming Festival, a four-day blast of gaming and concerts, has announced the first bands lined up for it's eighth time round the block.

Metroid Metal, the band with the most self-explanatory name in music who we caught up with a little while ago, played their first gig at MAGFest 7 and will return for their third-ever show. Arm Cannon is a five-piece out of Buffalo, New York, that specializes in high-power, genre-blending reimaginings of things like classic game music and the Ghostbusters theme.

As in years past, the festival will include a 10,000-square-foot game room, tons of free-to-play arcade cabinets, art, game movies and cartoons, and of course a ton of concerts. Think of it as a smaller version of PAX.

MAGFest 8 will be held in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 1-4, and preregistration has begun. Check out the press release below and start weighing your New Years plans.

Good news MAGFans, we're revealing our first two musical guests that will be playing at MAGFest 8. They're both veteran bands to us, so they're well versed in the art of rocking out. May we present you:

Metroid Metal: Originally a solo project by Grant Henry, this excellent metal tribute to Nintendo's Metroid series became a live band and made its full-on debut at last year's MAGFest. Currently playing at PAX 2009 in Seattle this weekend, they just released their new album "Varia Suite" and you can both become a Metroid Metal sponsor and get Varia Suite from the Metroid Metal site. They'll be returning this year to attach to your head and drain all your energy, so get your ice beam ready!

Arm Cannon: An internationally renowned 5 piece band from Buffalo NY, these guys have definitely made their mark remixing video game classics. They skillfully reincarnate classic melodies of yore into a progressive-metal triumph of nostalgia. An Armcannon show will reawaken your inner child with the unmatchable power of rock. They've been wowing MAGFest attendees since our 5th year in 2007, and are glad to return this year. They also just released their second CD, so now you can purchase (and enjoy) Armcannon 2: The Return of the Attack of the Legend of Pizzor.

For some fresh new videos of Metroid Metal with terrific remastered audio, and other great videos of bands and happenings from past MAGFests, check out the MAGFest YouTube channel. And remember folks, this is just the beginning! We'll have plenty more bands and guests to announce in the coming weeks. Make sure to pre-register for MAGFest now and save $5, plus you'll get admission to our New Years Eve party!

Also, MAGFest will be sponsoring the music at the upcoming GameX Industry Summit in Philadelphia this coming October. GameX is a national game consumer show designed to draw from national, regional and local audiences of game players, film and TV fans, comic book buffs and tech enthusiasts. High-value consumer content is being provided by exhibitors and sponsors, including major media and entertainment companies seeking to build their brands with the core games audience. MAGFest will be in charge of the music, so come see bands including The One-Ups and Arm Cannon.