Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nerdcore Undercover

The title of this compilation is totally misleading.

First off, not all of the submissions are hip-hop, and some of the artists themselves actually eschew the nerdcore label. Second, it’s not simply a collection of covers; it’s more a selection of reinterpretations ranging from covers to parodies to full-on rewrites.

Of course Nerdcore Undercover has a much more pleasing aesthetic than An Anthology of Song Reinterpretations by Artists That Are Nerdy But Not Necessarily Nerdcore. That shit just sounds silly.

I’ve been working on this compilation for the last few months, and I have to say that by “working on this compilation” I mean haphazardly emailing artists to ask for submissions. They did all the real work. This is their project. Clearly, I’m just here to hijack the credit.

Let me reiterate: a lot of hard work went into putting this release together, and very little of it was on my end. Guys like funky49 and Ultraklystron did more than their fair share by creating excitingly fresh covers and helping others do the same. Cats like Doctor Popular and My Parents Favorite Music scoured their back catalogues for old gems. Hell, artists like Shael Riley and Goondocks even went so far as to have brand-spanking new songs deftly recorded and competently mastered, almost as if this were a legitimate album and not just a downloadable freebie from some hick’s blog.

I truly can’t thank them enough.

The same can be said for folks like my pal BrĂ¼x (who tried to distill years of recording and sound engineering experience and instruction into a half-dozen emails for my benefit), my faithful comrade Church (who helped me wade through my text-heavy elucidations concerning the project), and my friends Dennis and Denika (who put together the cover art amid moving cross-country.) Truthfully, I owe tons of thanks to a bunch of people. So much so that I gush over them in the liner notes, so please read ‘em.

If you're still scratching your head concerning where, exactly, this album came from, that's totally understandable. I obviously didn’t do a lot in the way of pre-release promotion for this project, and that was due to a number of reasons.

The most straightforward is that I had to forgo an open submission process in order to limit the number of tracks I was dealing with. Even though mine was the easy part, there was no feasible way to get more than a single disk’s worth of music together and still meet my self-imposed deadline. I started down a list of nerdy musicians – beginning with those with which I already had a working relationship – and then stopped when I got close to 20 interested parties. As a result, a lot of really deserving artists got left out, and that’s the only thing about this comp that saddens me.

The most compelling reason, however, is that I’ve developed a recent allergy to hype. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but with all the publicity nerdcore’s been getting of late I thought it might be fun to work in secret, to simply focus on putting together what I hoped would be a really fun CD and not worry about making too much preemptive noise along the way.

That’s what this is all about: fun.

I had fun putting it together, and you can tell the artists had fun with their individual submissions.

I hope you have fun listening.

Moreover, I hope you hear some material from some folks you know and love as well as some you might not be so familiar with.

Mostly, I hope that some part of this compilation strikes a chord with you and reminds how much fun it is to sing someone else’s song at the top of your lungs as you motor down the highway with the windows rolled down.

Thanks for reading, and happy listening.

-- Right-click and Save Link As --
Download Nerdcore Undercover (in its entirety)

Individual track downloads available for the finicky and those poor bastards still on dial-up:

1. My Parents Favorite Music – “Just Try and Sue Us”
2. Beefy – “Move Somethin’”
3. Shael Riley – “Umbrella”
4. mc chris & Modd Jobs – “Dare to Be Stupid”
5. Nursehella – “Keep It Real (Represent My Nuts)”
6. funky49 – “Intergalactic Pizza Party”
7. Glenn Case - “Alex Chilton”
8. Goondocks – “Posse Needs Upgrades”
9. Ultraklystron – “Daydreamin’”
10. LogicOne – “You Don’t Know Me”
11. ZeaLouS1 – “Paparazzi”
12. funky49 – “Everything (I Own)”
13. Drown Radio Therapy – “Vapors”
14. myf - "Paid in Full (feat. Kal-L & DJ Snyder)"
15. Shael Riley – “I’m Yours”
16. Dual Core – “What Have We Done”
17. Optimus Rhyme – “Train in Vain (live)”
18. Rai – “Shiki No Uta”
19. YTCracker – “Summer Girls”

Brilliant front cover
Equally brilliant back cover
Tiny iTunes cover

And don’t forget the liner notes!


Anonymous said...

my favs were hella's and yt's

ahhah summer girls!! CLASSIC

pinky said...

OH DAMN, i cant wait to listen to this.

but i gotta go to work right now, motherfuckit!

shame we didnt get t=our trak in, were really kickin ourselves now.

hot dang.

Dr. Confusion said...

Nicely Done Z!


myf said...

yo i got a total crush on nursehella now. :o

seriously though, impressive collection from a slew of talent!

ZeaLouS1 said...

Great Job getting this together Z! Thank you for the opportunity and the kind words. Everyone really came with it and I'm proud to be a part of such an awesome project. Thanks again!

Doc Pop said...

Love the chris track.

Hella gave Represent What that cool Kool Kieth "Sex Style" too. That was keen.

Glenn Case said...

I am proud to be part of this, and I thank you for asking me to participate. I can't wait to hear these.


Glenn Case

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those poor bastards on dial-up, so I just grabbed the four tracks with Sedgwick guys on them for now and I'll get to the rest later.

"Paid in Full" is awesome. The first 16 bars from myf are FIRE and DJ Snyder comes correct with the turntablism as usual.

I don't know what the hell YTCracker was thinking with the LFO cover. The original makes me want to rip off my ears and shove bananas into the bloody holes that are left in the side of my head. So I'm having a little trouble listening to that one.

Zealous1's "Paparazzi" might have worked for me better if I hadn't been listening to "Geekarazzi" recently. I think YTCracker did a better job of making the song his own. Still, Zealous's track is very solid. It's just not different enough from the original and suffers for being the 2nd cover of the song to be released recently.

I don't know the original of "You don't know me" (I'm an 80s/90s rap nerd), so I'm not sure how LogicOne's version compares. It's a solid track but won't be pushing "Give Em More" from the top of my LogicOne playlist.

Anyway, I've linked to this from the main page of sedgwickavenue.net :)

ChurchHatesTucker said...

I must say: I got an early listen, and Z asked what tracks I liked. I started to list them, but then realized I was just listing them in order. So kudos to all involved. Everyone did a bang-up job. This is what I'm going to point my friends to when they ask "WTF is Nerdcore?*"

*Yeah, I'm not even going to go into the whole definition thing. This works for me.

TG2k5 said...

Word Z., I am particularly impressed by this collection of songs

Anonymous said...

I just posted a track by track review over at the Rhyme Torrents BBS.

Z. said...

Damn, y’all! Thanks for all the comments. I lost my connection to the Intertubes last night shortly after I got the comp up, so forgive my tardiness sin responding.

Yeah, Router, YT and Hella both went into unexpected territory, and I give props to both for musical bravery,

I’m sorry y’all had to drop out as well, Pink, but know you and the boys are always welcome in my little endeavors.

Thanks, Dr. C., for your support and your praise.

Glad you dig it, myf, and thanks for contributing.

You always bring it, ZeaLouS, and I’m happy to have you onboard.

Yeah, Doc, mc really did me a solid by letting me include that, and ‘Hella seems to be a real favorite!

Lemme know what you think, Glenn, and thanks for doing a request. :)

Ranger, thanks for taking the time to give the comp a fair shake, and for giving your honest opinion. And thanks so much for the link!

Always glad to have your input, Church. Thanks so much for your help!

Glad you found some stuff you like, TG. :)

Matt S said...

Yeah for the cover of Alex Chilton!

Funny thing is when I first saw the track that YT did, I thought it said September Girls and I wondered if it was a cover of September Gurls*. I can't decide if that would have been brillant or aweful. I'm leaning towards the latter though so it is probably for the best.

Still need to give the whole thing a listen, but I dug what I heard sitting in traffic this morning. Karl knocked it out of the park again. And with every new track I hear from Beefy the more I'm looking forward to his next album.

Z, solid work. May we hope that Hipster, Please comps might become a regular occurance?

* (for everyone else, because Z better know this or I'm revoking his 'Mats fan membership) September Gurls was one of the bigger hits that Big Star had. It was written by Alex Chilton. Big Star were the band that wrote the song that That 70s Show uses for their theme. The acctual version they use for the show is Cheap Trick covering the song.

ChurchHatesTucker said...

Waitaminute, 19? Hey, there's a myf track! When did that happen?

Z. said...

Oh Matt, you know I never travel too far without a little Big Star. ;)

Yeah, Church, myf decided to take advantage of the delay by polishing off his track.

Matt S said...

OK, I've gotta tip my hat to Z on that one. The naturalness of that reference sent me off to Skyway to double check that that was in fact the lyric.

I was tempted to reply with something, but honestly, I'd just come off looking silly.

Jeremy said...

I can't wait to hear this.

Big Ups Mr. Z! The cover art is sweet.

myf said...

hehehe...literally, last second....

Z. said...

Ah, Matt, I just appreciate that you appreciate shit like that. :)

Jeremy, glad to have you and yours onboard. Hope you dig it.

And, myf, like I said before: totally worth it!

Dr. Confusion said...


Skyway is a town just down the road from here. I'm always..."Is Westerberg talking about Skyway WA?"

Anonymous said...


Anthony said...

Well done good sir, my hat goes off to you. Of course I posted about it on our site, even if a little bit late.


Z. said...

Thanks for the free publicity, Ant. :) You know I got nothing but love for GM4A!

Steffo said...

Nerdcore is something that has grown out of nothing but pure passion for what we do. It snowballs at a slow rate, but it never goes back up the hill. People learn and improve VERY quickly in this genre. It will be something big, and what I can't wait to see is when it DOES make it big and you have frat guys trying to rap about power pads but not quite gettin' it. Can't wait for that phase. Everybody and their grandma thinking that they can buy a mic and start a career. More power to ya, but I'll out-do every one of you bandwagon jumpers.

Z. said...

You will and you do, Steffo. Can't wait to hear what kinda new stuff you and Stellar are cooking up. And thanks for contributing the the comp. :)

uzithaklown said...

lol ilove all u guys and girls repping geeks and nerds i stumbled across nerd core by accient bout 2 years ago felt it and been listing since

Z. said...

Hey thanks, Uzi. I hope you dug the album. A follow-up disk is slated for a late February release, so keep your eyes peeled. :)

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