Saturday, September 09, 2006

Nerdcore baby

As I mentioned in the podcast, even my son loves Optimus Rhyme’s take on “Train in Vain.” I now present to you visual evidence of this claim. Cute, crazy, frenetic visual evidence.

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 6: Spear and Magic Helmet

I would never say that all music should be light-hearted and jovial. In truth, I applaud those who broach social issues, personal strife, or universal injustice through verse. Still, there is something to be said for good-natured goofiness and intentional peculiarity, not to mention pushing the boundaries of sound, texture, and, yes, good taste.

The only real vein consistent within all of the following songs is their unabashed weirdness. Some are solidly creative works that challenge convention, some are raucous romps through familiar territory, and some or just fuckin’ goofy. Still, in a world that often takes everything a bit too seriously and that focuses so solidly on order and conformity, these things are important.
For me, the strange and the humorous have been linked. I place the blame firmly with the initial cause of this unique phenomenon.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 6: Spear and Magic Helmet Running Time: 46:13 Size: 42.3

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 6: Spear and Magic Helmet Show Notes

Intro: Drown Radio – “A Brave New What?
Drown Radio is Doctor Popular. Doc Pop is master of the yo-yo. Ergo, Drown Radio is master of the yo-yo. That’s logic.

Z’s 1st interlude: “Nerd appeal”
I like the phrase “nerd appeal” it feels good when you say it. Just like “taint” or “snuffleupagus.” Words are neat.

Track 1:
Lords of the Rhyme – “Lords of the Rhyme (Sauron’s Flying V Mix)
Did Sucklord do this remix? I wonder…

Track 2: The Four Eyes – “Rivendell
I found The Four Eyes while looking for tracks for another show. This song just went too well with the previous LOTR number.

Track 3: DJ Tripp – “Standunbelievable
I got this track courtesy of the Mash-up of the Week Podcast. Oddly enough, I’ve never actually listened to said podcast; I just check the site for mash-up links.

Track 4: Schäffer the Dark Lord –“Attack of the Clonefucker
“It’ll be like humping a mirror.” This song reminds me a bit of Tenacious D, particularly with regard to the ridiculously in-depth descriptions of events and ideas in verse and the sometimes rushed/sometimes stilted vocal delivery. I doubt it’ll have the same mass appeal, but I dig it.

Z’s 2nd interlude: “Notoriously hard to offend”
Or at least notoriously hard to offend via profanity and sexual innuendo. Say you like Star Trek more than Star Wars and cats’ll flip! ;)

Track 5: Camper Van Beethoven – “Take the Skinheads Bowling (Live)”
I think the word I was struggling for here was “eclectic.” You can download the entire show (Camper Van Beethoven Live at The Catalyst on 1987-06-06) if you feel so inclined. CVB are another band that I would consider classic nerd rock because of their experimental and absurdist tendencies.

Track 6: Delia Derbyshire – “Doctor Who Theme”
The Doctor Who theme is not only significant in the confines of geek music for it’s attachment to the seminal Brit sci-fi epic, but also because of its significance as a groundbreaking piece of electronic music.

Track 7: Moondabor – “Yellow”
I know very little about Moondabor as an artist. I first heard this track on the very excellent Radio Clash podcast. A Coldplay cover without all the artsy pretension? Indeed.

Track 8: Nintendude – “Colonel Mustache
8 and 16-bit music has a genuine appeal to me, so I really like finding artists still making these kinds of dynamic chiptunes.

Track 9: Optimus Rhyme – “Train in Vain”
Does anyone have that cut of Optimus Rhyme performing “Guns of Brixton?” It was posted to their MySpace a few weeks back. My copy has inexplicably vanished and it seems to have recently been bumped from their download list. :(

Track 10: mc chris -- “Blastic”
The worthiness of “Dungeon Master of Ceremonies” is all up to individual interpretation. Personally, I thought there were some solid tracks, but the skits left me cold. I’ve always found mc’s albums to be a mixed bag – some definite highpoints coupled with some drastic lows – but if you like chris and think it might be your thing I encourage you to pick it up. This track makes a Ben Sherman reference, so that earns him some points from me due to my mod tendencies.

Z’s final interlude: “Rooted firmly in Germanic paganism”
I wonder how long it will take for y’all to get sick of the “nerd news, exclusive interviews, and [silly non sequitur]” thing.

Track 11: Baddd Spellah feat. MC Frontalot – “Rhyme of the Nibelung
I won’t go into excruciating detail about this particular song, seeing as how I’ve posted so much about it already, but I will remind you to vote (every 12 hours until the 14th).

Bonus: Elmer Fudd – “Spear and Magic Helmet”
Needless to say, this was my first introduction to the works of Wagner.

And those are the notes for the show that was. Thanks for listening, and feel free to hit me up with your questions and comments. And don’t forget to vote for Spellah!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lea Hernandez

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that more than a couple of you who are reading this are comics fans and will certainly know the name Lea Hernandez. I’m also going to assume that a few of those same individuals haven’t checked out popular comic nerd haunts such as PVP or the Oni Press BBS for a few days, and will thus be unaware that early yesterday morning Hernandez and her family awoke to find their Texas home in flames. They lost most of their house, several of their pets, and the bulk of their personal belongings. Thankfully, the comics community is currently mobilizing to aid them in their time of need. You can also contribute by making a donation directly to her Paypal account -- -- and you can get more info at her LJ.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More nerd news in brief

It’s been a big week for nerd music, and nerdcore in particular. Don’t believe me? Well read on, ye of little faith:

  • Nerdcore is blowing up in Europe. If, that is, you define “blowing up” in the loosest of possible terms.
  • mc chris’s new album Dungeon Master of Ceremonies is currently in the top twenty on iTunes hip-hop and also in the top 100 albums overall. He is, at present, attempting to mobilize the troops so as to bust into the iTunes hip-hop top 10, so check out the new album if the urge strikes.
  • Optimus Rhyme is co-headlining a mini-tour with MC Frontalot in late October. Front sez: Sat the 21st is confirmed for NYC. We're trying to put Boston together that Friday, then DC and Philly afterwards. Do you have a reliable lead on an excellent venue? (Suggestions are great, but if you or a close contact actually books a space -- that's the kind of leads we need.) Time is short and self-booking is a pain in the bottom, so any help is appreciated. We need: anywhere with a great sound system, lights, and a stage. Our ideal schedule is 10/20 Boston, 10/22 DC, 10/23 Philly. We're expecting to draw 200 or so in each of these towns.
  • In other Front-a-licious news, the man who’s been rocking our collective ass for the breadth of the new millennium now has his nerdcore sights set on a much smaller collection of derrieres. Frontalot lends his considerable vocal talents to the recently released Elmo's Potty Time DVD. For those of us who have always wanted to hear a 1.5-minute rap about a toilet paper factory, this is an opportunity not to be missed!
  • Let me reiterate that Canadian wunderkind Baddd Spellah (aka David T. Chong) has made it to the final round of a remix contest put together by the CBC. His track "Rhyme of the Nibelung," produced with a little help from a certain gentleman (last name: Frontalot, first name: MC), can be both listened to and voted for right here. It’s important to vote for Spellah’s cut not only because it is the most interesting, most original, most entertaining, bestest track presented, but also because I’m fairly certain this is how Canada chooses it’s prime minister/president/grand poobah/whatever-the-hell-they-call-it. The future of the Great White North depends on you!
  • And lastly, behold the glory that is the Nerdcore News PAX edition:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Vote Spellah in '06!

Our old buddy Baddd Spellah has been chosen as a finalist in the CBC’s “Remix the Ring” contest. He humbly requests that you take the time to vote for him as the final selection process begins, and I would like to reiterate.

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

A remix I made got selected as one of 10 finalists
for CBC's (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) "Remix the Ring" contest!
Now its up to public voting to see who comes out on top.

Between September 5, 2006 and September 13, 2006
you can vote for my remix, "Rhyme of the Nibelung", here:

---------- CLICK ME! ----------

The limit is one vote per listener per day so vote daily!
Please tell your friends too!

Apologies in advance: I plan on being fully obnoxious and spammy
for the duration of the contest; I've got the Eye of the Tiger... RAWR!

Thanks to MC Frontalot for donating his literate and rappadocious vocal skillz
and to Big John McCaig at PanicStudios for the masterful mastering on the track.