Monday, January 08, 2007

You gotsta see dis…

The Church once said that on Monday morning “the cracks become quite clear,” and, while that may be true, Monday morning is also sometimes full of surprises. Pleasant surprises, like the ones I’m about to share with you.

First, let me pass on a little piece from my boy ChurchHatesTucker. In response to my post about the DivX nerdcore hip hop CES show, Church mentioned that said genre was referenced in a recent comic by the guys at Rooster Teeth. It’s not overly obvious, but peep panel two.

Likewise, I just received word that a new trailer for Vaguely Qualified Productions MC Frontalot tour documentary Nerdcore Rising is up on ye olde YouTube. This trailer features footage of Front and his crew (obviously), and also of high profile nerds Brian Posehn, Weird Al Yankovic, and, my personal favorite, Baddd Spellah. It also boasts some face time from Jello Biafra. Or, as I called him during my initial viewing, holy-fucking-shit-it’s-goddamn-Jello-Biafra.


ChurchHatesTucker said...

Awesomness! Although, what was that 'racist' comment in the middle? Something like that should either be expanded or left out of the trailer. And did they just forget the Penny Arcade guys' names?

Jello's warning was interesting. I've noticed that newer artists tend to embrace genre labels (prob. b/c it makes it easier for fans to discover them) while established artists tend to shy from them as 'limiting.'

Matt S said...

I'm new here, and this definitely wasn't how I intended to make my grand entrance, but what the hell.

Honestly? The trailer annoys me. And I think the Jello sound byte (which I apparently interpreted differently then church) nailed exactly why.

If you care, I go into a bit more detail here, but the general gist is as follows.

To my mind, the trailer plays to much into the idea that Nerdcore is just a joke. That it shouldn't be taken seriously. Or, even worse, that it is intended to be ironic, and so if you do take it seriously, then obviously you don't 'get it.'

This is what I think about when I hear that sound byte from Jello. If we indulge the idea that this is just a joke. Then all it'll be is a joke.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

churchHatesTucker said...

Welcome Matt, and I can relate as I was a lurker here for months, until Z featured one of my vids.

I don't think that the trailer is so much perpetuating the idea that nerdcore is a joke, although it does play on the "nerds doing hip-hop? WTF?" meme. That's to be expected. It's old new to you an I, but brand spanking new to most of the planet.

JB's input is something to be considered. I came into this scene just after MC Chris P/Oed a bunch of folks for not being their poster boy. I can't fault him for that (and it may very well be the smartest thing he could have done.)

OTOH, I like your formulation "If we indulge the idea that this is just a joke. Then all it'll be is a joke." Exactly. I'm not, and Z's not, and Beefy/Front/Ultra/Nurse/Spellah/Router/FSR etc. are not. Ergo, upon which, not a joke. All I'll say is that I don't think that's where JB was going.

Z. said...

First off, thanks for reading, Matt.

Now, regarding your comment; I understand your concern, and I definitely feel that such apprehension is valid. At the same time, I think that Church’s take on Jello’s statement is equally compelling.

The big question (which was intentionally not answered by the trailer) is context. Was Biafra referring to bandwagon jumpers who don’t understand the nature of nerdcore embracing the scene, or was it a stern warning to Frontalot and his ilk that the nerdcore banner is, in itself, limiting? I guess we won’t know until VQP drops the final cut.

In the end, it got us talking, which is what a trailer is supposed to do. Things like Jello’s warning, mc’s admission, and the “racist” comment were meant to tease us, to spark our imaginations and invite us to invent our own pretext and rationale to compare with that final product.

Personally, I find the obvious differences between the Nerdcore Rising and the Nerdcore For Life projects to be the most fascinating aspect. NR is rooted in the tradition of the tour documentary, but many of the other artists featured are well established and situated far from the scene itself. (Even associated acts like mc and Lars don’t even accept the nerdcore label.) Consequently, NFL approaches the subject matter from the inside, featuring artists who (as far as I know) proudly fly the nerdcore banner. Moreover, most of the artists in question are still on the ground floor career-wise; these are the guys that are still working day jobs to afford the money and time needed to indulge their creativity.

Separately, both docs will inevitably paint dissimilar pictures of nerdcore, the people who make it, and where the genre will ultimately go. Together? Well, lets just say that each should fill in any blanks that the other may’ve left.

ChurchHatesTucker said...

Well said, Z.

Early on, I was leary of the NR doco (I got the first season of Chef for little Xmas, so it's going to be "doco" for a while) precisely b/c it appeared to be entirely focused on MC F. I love him to death, make no mistake, but it seemed to be an outsider's mistake to make him the sole focus. I'm extremely glad to see that they've pulled in the people that they have. It is apparently less of the classic tour doco (sorry) than a sort of tagging along for the ride through MC F's eyes, with outsider commentary. Excellent. I'm already saving up for the DVD.

NFL still edges it out on my "which do I buy first" list, but I think if I were to buy a DVD for someone not hip to the scene, NR may take pride of place. I can't wait to make that evaluation myself, though...

Matt S said...

Z, I think your juxtaposition of the two docs is dead on and I think gets at some of what bugs me about NR. I think in the end, I would have liked to have seen more in the NR trailer that shows me that the people behind the doc really do grok what the scene is about or just focused on Front.

What I mean is that, if this was being presented as a tour doc about Front, who is a big wig in the Nerdcore scene, then I'd be cooler with it. The vibe I'm getting though is a doc that purports to explore the Nerdcore scene, using Front's tour as a vehicle to tie it all together. And, assuming the latter, I look at it and largely see a bunch of people who, while fairly well known, are either not part of the Nerdcore scene in a direct sense (like say Al for instance) or who are keeping the scene at arm's length. Which leads me to think that this is an outsider's view, done by someone who doesn't really understand what is happening, but thinks its quirky enough to make some dough off it. I would be getting a warmer, fuzzier feel from that trailer if I saw Karl or Beefy or HighC or someone else, who fully embraces the scene, talking about what's happening.

Now, may be that's me. I have been known to over analyze things. And if the doc really does turn out to be primarily about Front and what we're seeing in the trailer is just context so people can understand where Front is coming from, then fine. I'm just not so sure.

As for NFL, that is a doc that I'm looking forward to. Specifically because its obvious by the people they are talking to that there is a level of understanding to what is going on here. Or, at least an attempt by the creators to capture as many angles as possible. And, I'm sorry church, going off current gut reaction, I think NFL will probably end up being the better introduction to the over all scene.

As far as Jello's comments: One of the things I've always loved about Jello is that there is what he says and then there are the implications of what he says. And the implications are generally huge. The line "How many liberators/Really want to be dictators" (from Where Do You Draw The Line) is still one of the most amazing/important lyrics written about politics ever, in my book. Largely because the implications of the phrase are vast and enormous. Books upon books have been written trying to say what Jello said in 8 words. I touched on this in responding to your comments on my blog though, so I won't waste space here.

Z. said...

Well put, Matt. I definitely see how you could see NR as an outsider's look at the scene, especially given the tone/style of the trailer.

Personally, I look forward to both documentaries for different reasons. Front is a notoriously private guy, and I’m hoping NR will give some insight into his life and the lives of his bandmates. I’m also interested to hear what “high profile” nerds like Al and Posehn really think of the scene.

NFL, on the other hand, is a film I want to see because I feel, on some level, a personal link to it. I’ve talked to Dan, and he’s a stand-up guy. Moreover, he’s a filmmaker who started out looking at this simply as a project but eventually became a fan due solely to his growing familiarity with the scene, its music, and its defining personalities.

Much like you and Church, I think NFL edges NR out a bit due simply to the fact that the former is more a movie for us. Still, I've quite interested in both.

Oh, and extra credit to you, Matt, for using “grok.” :D