Friday, January 26, 2007

The $100 podcast upgrade

As the more astute among you have certainly noticed, the vocal interludes during my most I love gettin' mail!recent episodes of Radio Free Hipster have been – not to put too fine a point on it – shitty. This is due squarely to the fact that the microphone (and I use the term loosely) that I have come to rely on has seen better days.

Thankfully, I recently finagled a solitary c-note with which to improve my meager circumstance.

Thanks to some creative purchasing through that old standby of cheap-ass audiophiles Musician’s Friend, I was able to get pretty much everything I needed.

Now, I know there are those among you who will take this opportunity to say, “Z., that’s all well and good, but you really should’ve taken this opportunity to get a condenser mic/higher quality mixer/shinier pop filter/other shit that is obviously better than the stuff you settled for, and I should know because I'm way smarter than you.”

To those folks, for whom I hold the utmost of respect tempered with the mildest of fury, I would like to point out that this was my existing “podcasting rig” in its entirety:

The old shit.

This, however, is my new set-up:

The new hotness.

Now I must ask, would any among you say that the latter is not, at the very least, a marginal improvement over the former?

That’s what I thought.

Now, hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out how the hell to use this gear before my next podcast. Y’all wish me luck.

Even More Nerd News in Brief!

Okay, so there’s been a lot of news this week. A lot of news, that is, of the nerdy persuasion. Here are a few items that you may’ve missed.
  • Panty Drop Sock Hop: MC Router will be performing this Saturday at a benefit for *ahem* “vaginas everywhere.” (Why can’t I come up with clever taglines like that?) Said gig was recently mentioned in Router’s own Forth Worth Weekly, and more info can be found at her MySpace.
  • In other vagina-related news: Floridian and frequent EPP collaborator Fanatical has covered yet another nerdcore classic. Check out her version of MC Frontalot’s “Yellow Laser Beams” on her MySpace. It’s hardcore girl-on-girl watersports action as spit to a Dr. Dre instrumental. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Making mythology fun again: For those of you looking for a new song to bump with a bit less fetishist appeal, I would humbly recommend the “A Thousand Stars Under the Sky” demo from Super Dragon X’s upcoming EP 13th Legion. SDX says that the entire EP will be “based in ancient mythology and antiquity, from Egypt to Greece to Rome.” Making this project even more interesting is Dragon’s recent disclosure that this project also includes a track about Thermopylae that will most likely be in Greek. This, my friends, is nerdcore personified.
  • Mini-Mii: I’m sure you’ve all seen this before, but I’d be remiss to not mention it myself; there appears to be a small group of hard-working individuals dedicated to helping you get a personalized sculpture of your favorite Mii avatar. Supplies are admittedly limited so hit ‘em up ASAP!
  • Leave ‘em wanting more: And lastly, here’s a teaser image for my impending project with the Doctor of Popularity himself. It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.

We <3 robots!”

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 15: WRFH

After I wrapped up my interview with Baddd Spellah last year, I mentioned to him that I was considering putting together a podcast. I made some veiled reference to him possibly making a theme song for the (at that time) proposed project, and he happily told me to fire him an email when the time came. A few months later I approached his golden throne, prostrate, beseeching the great beatsmith of the north to favor me with some semblance of an intro track. This episode begins with the fruits of his labor, and I couldn’t be happier.
Not only did Baddd Spellah bring that hot, sweet flavor for which he is renowned, but he even asked my buddy Beefy to provide some vocals. On top of that, he even incorporated that radio static motif of which I am so fond. I know it’s silly to be proud of something I didn’t create, but that’s how I feel: proud. Not a lot of cats can say that one of their favorite producers and one of their favorite MCs made a song just for them. I only hope my meager podcast can live up to the expectations that are inherent in such a phenomenal theme. I hope I prove myself worthy of the air of legitimacy that such a track surely entails.
In the end, I can only think of one way to express my elation at receiving such a gift, and it’s six simple words:
“I got a theme song, bitches!”

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 15: WRFH [mirror provided by Antisocial] Size: 40.3 MB Running Time 44:06
Show Notes:
Intro: Baddd Spellah (feat. Beefy) – “Radio Free Hipster Theme”
I am truly not worthy of its utter awesomeness.
Track 1: Dsico – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
To my recollection, this is the first electro track I’ve ever played on RFH. It shouldn’t be the last.
Z’s 1st interlude: “A little caught up in the moment.”
For the record: you are not bitches. You’re actually fine, well-mannered ladies and gentleman.
Track 2: Dr. Johnny Fever / Spamtec - “Tha Clique
Do yourself a favor and download both Spamtec albums. Because, as we all know by now, STC is the greatest!
Track 3: Jennifer Marlowe / Totally Radd! - “Vomit Missile”
Another excellent track from their album Shark Attack Day Camp.
Track 4: My Parents Favorite Music - “Sticks & Stones
As I mentioned, I was lucky enough to interview these guys as well. Can't say enough nice things about 'em.
Track 5: The Fine Print - “1995 Penny”
Tycho has a nice, warm voice. Here’s hoping he performs at this year’s PAX!
Track 6: Venus Flytrap / IRN MNKY - “Johnny Cash Rules Everything Around Me
Who doesn’t love Wu-Tang? Who doesn’t love Johnny Cash? For that matter, who doesn’t love IRN MNKY?
Z’s 2nd interlude: “It oozes”
To reiterate: much love to Brux for that wicked BGM. You's a bro, bro! :D
Track 7: Dr. Johnny Fever / Emergency Pizza Party – “Glutton
When last I checked, every man and woman above the age of 17 in the central and southern regions of the great state of Florida were either a full-fledged member of or frequent collaborator with EPP. True story.
Track 8: The Onion Radio News – “Eat Feast”
I don’t know about you, but, personally, Doyle Redland is the only newsman I trust. And, while I understand that this track differs a good bit from the others featured in this ep., it made the perfect bridge between EPP and Shael.
Track 9: Scum of the Earth / Shael Riley – “Music Ruined Video Games
Shael Riley and hoodlum rockers Scum of the Earth just seemed to compliment each other nicely.
Track 10: Metamystiks Inc. (featuring Bits of Brainthirst) - “Jack Was Right
Every time I hear a new Metamystiks song I think, That was amazing! They couldn’t possibly make a better track than that. And then they drop their next track and prove me wrong.
Z’s final interlude: “Keep your browser peeled for more on that.”
When Doc Popular asks if you’d like to work on a podcast project with him, you don’t think about it. You just say yes and then ask for specifics later.
Track 11: Optimus Rhyme - “My Peroshky”
This track is also available on Optimus’s new album School the Indie Rocker. Buy it.

I dole out a lot of props during this particular episode, and, reflecting back on them, I can honestly say that I truly believe that each one of said props was warranted. What can I say? I genuinely appreciate hard work and good music. It seems like every day I have someone try and convince me that there’s nothing good being made within the sphere of contemporary music, and every day I have to call bullshit. The problem, of course, isn’t a lack of excellent music, but a lack of personal motivation to get out there and find it. Trust me; it ain’t that hard.

Three Nerds. Three Mics. Three States.

I am of two minds. On the one hand, I am overjoyed to tell you that Beefy, MC Router, and Doctor Popular have joined forces for a three state tour this March. On the other, I am disheartened to report that each of the states is situated far, far west of my current locality.

But rather than lament the fact that I won’t be able to attend any of the scheduled stops on The Mediocre Tour 2007, I have elected to push back the tears and congratulate nerdcore fans in Washington, Oregon, and California. Truly you are a bunch of lucky fuckers!

The following dates have been confirmed:

Seattle, WA - March 15th
The Columbia City Theater (w. Tanuki and Ultraklystron)

Portland, OR - March 16th
Adventureland (w. Panda Fist and Hott Pink)

Seattle, WA - March 17th
Tommy’s Nightclub (w. The Goondocks and Optimus Rhyme)

And information concerning additional shows in Chico, Berkley, San Francisco, and LA is forthcoming.

This is an historic event, and I, truthfully, couldn’t be happier for the parties involved… unless, of course, they were doing an East coast tour. ;)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nerd of the Week

Glenn over at beat me to the punch on this, but I thought I’d throw this out there anyway. The gals from Vaguely Qualified Productions have a new vidblog feature called “Nerd of the Week.” And, while even they admit that the of the week part may be stretching it a bit, it’s an interesting piece.

This inaugural episode honors Gabe and Tycho, but it also references tons of other geeks including Baddd Spellah and Wheelie Cyberman.

Mostly, I just wanted to know what y’all think about it. So - if you'd be so kind - let a brother know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

It looks like another edition of Nerd News in Brief is in order. Which is a good thing, I suppose. After all, you can’t eat just one.
  • The two most divisive words in nerdcore: mc chris has a “secret” show planned for February 13th at NYC’s Mercury Lounge. mc’s missive concerning the gig reads as follows: “I CANNOT BEG YOU GUYS ENOUGH TO COME TO THIS SHOW ANYWAY YOU CAN. BE SAFE FIRST AND FOREMOST, BUT GET ME SIGNED SECOND!!! THERE WILL BE ZOMBIE MERCH FOR UR PERUSAL!!! I NEVER USE CAPS THIS IS FOR REAL!!!” While I’ve no idea what this particular gig will have to do with whether or not mc gets signed (label reps in attendance, perhaps?), I do know that tickets are currently available for interested parties. mc chris also goes on to point out that he is, in fact, “IN. IN TO WIN.” This leads me to believe that mc may just be the first female president of these United States. I’m just sayin’.
  • Lovey-dovey: Ultraklystron will be performing at Seattle’s Columbia City Theatre on Valentine’s Day to celebrate the release of his long awaited album Romance Language. This will be an all-ages show, so bring the kids. Rumored opening acts include the one-two nerd-girl punch of Nursehella and Rai, though nothing is set in stone as of yet.
  • More Karl: In other Ultraklystron news, Karl was recently interviewed for Evolution 107.9, the campus radio station of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Mr. Olson was nice enough to host a scaled-down (and slightly edited) version of said interview at his site for your listening enjoyment.
  • Can you hear me now?: Nerdy comedy hip hoppers Sudden Death have a new track available at The Funny Music Project called “Cellular Degeneration.” Having just purchased a new cell phone, I have to say that this song probably means more to me than most.
  • They come in peace: One of the projects proposed at last September’s O'Reilly Foo CampSebastopol, California. As reported by Kotaku, a group of interested individuals took advantage of said flyover by posting some Space Invaders-style art in the proposed area. The old school arcade goodness should be visible upon zoom-in via Google Maps and Google Earth by mid-February.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

After a full weekend of shirking, I find it refreshing to start the new week with a little Nerd News in Brief. What can I say? I’m a classicist.

  • Frontalot celebrity chat: The man himself, Baddd Spellah, and other members of the Frontalot musical entourage will be featured in this Xfire celebrity chat Thursday’s (that being, of course, January 25th). Said soiree will begin at 7:00 PM eastern, and additional info (as well as steps for registration/pre-registration) can be easily located.
  • MC Lars tour: MC Lars has a bevy of tour dates lined up for February and March. This news is especially pertinent for those of us rooted firmly on the right side of the continental map. Is Lars coming to your greater metropolitan area? Take a gander and see.
  • Optimus Rhyme saves the planet: This Friday, January 26, Optimus Rhyme will take part in the Benefit to Stop Global Warming. Said show will kick-off at 7:00 PM at Seattle’s Nectar Lounge. The cover price is ten bones, and you gotsta be 21 or up to play.
  • WOW rap: The aforementioned Baddd Spellah recently hipped me to one Shaun Connery, a gentleman who raps about a little game called World of Warcraft. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. In addition, Mr. Connery would like to ask you about “The Penis Mightier.” Check it out.
  • Watch Tyra get a knife to the spleen: According to last week’s Northwest Nerdcore Podcast 4, MC Router has been offered a chance to appear on The Tyra Banks Show. Was she being for real? Was it just some strange joke? Listen for yourself and tell me what you think.
  • The show that was: Speaking of our friends in the Pacific Northwest, last weekend’s show at Fuel (brought to you, in part, by the aforesaid Northwest Nerdcore collective) has been exquisitely documented. Do yourself a favor and peruse the loveliness.
  • Conspicuous consumption: For any nerds out there with a thirst for new stuff, I would humbly suggest checking out the following items. My loathing for the iPod as a device is only bested by my adoration for the subtle architecture of the Game Boy series. Ere go, I harbor an odd ambivalence toward this device. Of course, since the only way to procure one is to make it myself, I reckon I’ll gladly do without. The same can’t be said for Jim Mahfood’s “Ask For Janice” comic, a retelling of the making of Beastie Boys classic Paul’s Boutique. DJMC recently picked up a copy, and I’ve been motivated to do the same. Thankfully, Mahfood’s still got a few of the very limited run for sale from his site.
  • I’ll end on a high note: Nerdcore newsman Gabriel has recently promised more regular editions of his vidblog Nerdcore News, and I think I speak for the entire community when I say fuck-to-the-yeah! Please join me in triumphant jubilation and peep his most recent submission.