Monday, October 22, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

I’m taking the wife to Charlotte tonight to see the Last Comic Standing comedy tour. I bought the tickets long before I knew who the top five were gonna be, and I’m a little pissed that I spent my money to see most of these asshats.

For those of you who didn’t watch – and I’m assuming that’s most of you – the wining comic was North Carolinian and Dodge pitchman Jon Reep, so I’m imagining the humor-impaired redneck constituency is gonna be out in full force. Still, I get to see Amy Schumer and Doug Benson, both of which are actually pretty funny, so I’m hoping for the best.

Going to stand-up events is always a weird experience for me as it reminds me how homogenized comedy has to be to gain popularity with mainstream America. In that regard, it’s eerily similar to popular music. I reckon that’s why comedians like Bill Hicks and bands like The Clash mean so much to me: they fuck with the formula but still manage to capture the attention of the masses.
  • Album of the year – no shit!: Listening to Tbyte’s new release Bad Apollo – I’m a Burning Fart IV – Volume Two No Butts for LMAO is like living inside the mind of a schizophrenic, and I can think of no higher praise than that. Whether cutting the theme from Pokemon and the hook from "Lowrider" together to create an electrofunk dance number or mashing up Randy Savage and Ringo, this album serves as a gentle reminder that there’s nothing so wrong with pop music that can’t be cured by skillfully fucking with it. This album’s so good that you don’t even mind the Rick-Roll that Tanner throws in on the fifth track! I know I suggest a lot of stuff around here, but, if you listen to anything I say this month, make sure you download this disk. Plus, anything that mocks neo prog rockers Coheed and Cambria must be good.
  • Science says you suck: Remember the Canadian cat that pointed out that all the singles by modern butt-rockers Nickleback sounded exactly the fucking same? Well, indie music site Hometracked has also proven the same about whine-core pioneers and California state spelling champs Linkin Park. The visible waveforms of a half-dozen songs provide for compelling (if anecdotal) evidence.
  • And speaking of butt-rock: Matt pointed me to this blog post dissecting the YouTube video of a Van Halen’s off-pitch performance of "Jump" at a recent show in Greensboro, NC. There’s also some further discussion of the mechanics of this cacophony that reminds us that music is, ultimately, just math.
  • The Battle of Colorado: I’ve actively tried to avoid covering the most recent bout of nerdcore drama for two reasons: A) the animosity (and, by extension, me adding to it) doesn’t really accomplish anything and B) I figure you’ve probably heard amply about it elsewhere. Still, this article that Church found in the Colorado Springs Independent, that both touches on and may well have genuinely sparked the new beef, is actually a pretty good read. I imagine you could call it a bit one-sided, but it’s still worth your time.
  • Like real television, only different: IPTV show Frag has a piece about nerdcore – mostly about MC Frontalot, but my boy funky49 makes an appearance as well – viewable at online video repository Joost. Episode 3 also features "mouse sex enthusiasts - men who are sexually aroused by the mice they use on their computers [and] Joel Veitch [of]" All I’m saying is that nerdcore is in good company. Good, good company.
  • Wrocking in the Free World: Matt also alerted me to the fact that the International Wizard Rocker's Union, a DIY knowledge dump from the Whomping Willows, is ready for action. While the project is geared toward Wrock artists, much of the info provided can prove useful to independent musicians of all persuasions. Content’s a little thin at present, but this will, no doubt, be a promising project.
  • Nerd-on-nerd violence: Church recently found the first portent that the age of geek chic is drawing to a close. Behold the Flash game "Slap the Nerd." I’m don't want to get into the ethical grey area concerning whom it was that coded this particular piece of idle entertainment, but it was, y’know, probably a nerd.
  • The Undead invade Washington: DJ Chubby Cheeks passed on a little info concerning the need for extras for a zombie film being made just a half hour outside of Seattle. The feature film Zombies of Mass Destruction is being filmed "in a quaint sea side town that gets over run by zombies called Port Gamble." If you’ll be in the Seattle area between October 23th and November 17th and would like to be an extra, please contact Denise, the extras coordinator. Contact info and further info can be found in this thread at the Revenant Magazine BBS.
  • Young Zombies in Love: I don’t even want to entertain the notion of what a zombie wedding cake would consist of, but here’s an idea of what the cake topper would be. It just goes to show that nerdy creativity is a strange and wonderful (and strange) thing.
  • With Dave Vanian as the Invisible Man: What we need is some geeky, gothy, ironic punk rock up in here. And so, here’s an old promo vid for The Damned’s "Smash It Up." The video quality is shitty, but the song’s still great.


Matt S said...

Actually the HP Alliance and the IWRU are two different groups.

HP Alliance is the group that Harry and the Potters put together to try and leverage the WRock community for various political causes.

IWRU is a project from the Whomping Willows that is trying to spread knowledge about DIY techniques that the WRock community could use.

IWRU is just using the forums at HP Alliance as its platform.

Church said...

OK, that Bad Apollo album has the funniest tracklist I've ever seen.

Z. said...

Dually noted, Matt. Thanks for clearing that up.

Yeah, Church, Tanner has a really odd sense of humor and the track names are a prime example of that.

Matt S said...

Actually, change HP Alliance Forums to International Wizard Rocker's Union, and you'll be set.

Z. said...

Goddamnit! I edited the wrong part!

Matt S said...

Close enough.

Matt S said...

the video has been yanked.

Z. said...

The Damned vid? I'm still getting it.

Antisoc said...

The waveforms for Linkin Park prove very little. Basically, all that was proven was the song structure: Intro, Kicker, Verse, Chorus - which is probably common in most music that involves lyrics. Sure, they are using a formula, but everyone does that to some degree.

I'll definitely have to check out Tanner's album as I am a big fan.

Z. said...

definitely do check out Tanner's new offering, Soc. It's quite good.