Friday, March 30, 2007

You on point, P?

I make it a point not to do a whole helluva lot during the weekend. And for me the weekend starts early. Still, sometimes I happen across something that just can't wait until the recommencement of my standard work week, and I am led to drop it on y'all posthaste. This is such a case.

I like a lot of artists within the sphere of nerdy music – shit, that's the juice that keeps this blog and my podcast going – but there are some guys whom, in addition to enjoying their music, I also genuinely like as people. There are cats out there that are fun, likable, interesting characters as well as talented artists.

You know the usual subjects: guys like Beefy and Antisocial and Doc. Folks that I support as musicians but whom I also speak of fondly as individuals. The comprehensive list is lengthy indeed, and I reckon that says something for the community spirit inherent in the nerdcore movement.

Two folks whom I really dig – again both as artists and as people – are Grandmaster Pink and Super Dragon X.

Pinky is, in my opinion, one of the shining stars of 3rd gen nerdcore; he's got this genuine creative spark about him that I find intoxicating. Plus he's always happy to talk comics with me.

My adoration of Metamystiks Inc. is well known, and Dragon is a core part of that magic mixture of equal parts real nerd and real hip-hop. What y'all don't know is that SDX is also always down for a lengthy bullshit session with yours truly about music or women or fine Greek cuisine.

And so it is with great pleasure that I offer to you, oh gracious readers, a Web exclusive track before I send you off to whatever fun and frivolity you've got planned for your Friday. It's Pink's love song to the hip-hop of the 1990's, and a veritable meditation on one of my favorite acts of the era, A Tribe Called Quest. And though it's hard to imagine the fire-breather rhyming on a light-hearted party track, it even features SDX on the chorus.

Two great tastes that taste great together?

Oh, fuck yeah!

So enjoy, and have a pleasant weekend.

Download Grandmaster Pink – “I Have a Quest (feat. Super Dragon X)”

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

For some reason, the onset of springtime always gets me down.

Is it that I abhor the dawning of new life as the world around me opens up and is reborn? Nah.

Some kind of weird, off-brand equivalent of seasonal affective disorder? Nope.

It's the yard work. I seem to have an adversarial relationship with my lawn. We just don't jive. I'm not the outdoorsy type, even when it comes to planting/watering/weeding/spraying/mowing. It's just not my kind of thing.

I'd much rather be indoors, pouring up a hot cup of Nerd News in Brief.

  • Welcome to the House of Nerd: Got a Flickr account? Looking to show off some pix you took at that Frontalot show you attended? Well, my pal Denika's got your hookup. She's recently started a Flickr group called The House of Nerd, a quiet, friendly little place to go and get your photog on with other likeminded individuals.
  • Back to the front: MC and Northwest Nerdcore cofounder TG 2005 recently told the community that he may soon be re-enlisting in the Army. TG, whose previous tour of duty was cut short, simply explained that he felt he had an obligation to fulfill, and he saw this as a chance to finish what he started. Politics aside (and I imagine that most of you are full aware of my political slant), I wish TG the best, and I hope that you'll all keep him in your thoughts. He's a bro.
  • Hope Rides East: Mega Man-centric game rockers The Protomen are once again taking the fight to Dr. Wily. Hope Rides East tour dates include: March 30 Nashville, TN @The Basement; March 31 Columbus, OH @Columbus Airport Marriott; April 5 Knoxville, TN @The Pilot Light; April 6 VA @TBA ; April 7 Baltimore, MD @Lo-Fi Social Club; April 8 Washington, DC @Red and Black Bar; April 9 NYC @Knitting Factory; April 10 Boston, MA @P.A.'s Lounge; April 11 Philadelphia, PA @The Khyber; and April 13 Franklin, TN @Cool Springs Conference Center. If you can help out with the April 6 date in VA, please hit up the fellows at their site.
  • One hand washes the other: As my pal Glenn has already astutely pointed out, we currently appear no closer to securing a nerdcore MySpace music genre than we did when the campaign kicked off in January. With this in mind, ChurchHatesTucker has concocted a scheme that may help out. Currently, the Wizard Rock community is having an equally difficult time securing recognition for their own genre. Church has suggested that if, in addition to campaigning for our own recognition, the nerdcore community also aids in the effort to promote a Wizard Rock genre and vice versa, both groups could effectively double their effort. What say you all?
  • Death and mild irritation: Church also hipped me to this Denver Westword article about Ben Schulz, the man behind Internet celebrity and WoW screw-up Leeroy Jenkins. It's an interesting read.
  • SWAG: Lastly, I just received a nice little parcel from girly-punkers/Wizard Rockers Switchblade Kittens. Said package contained a copy of their most recent release The Weird Sisters, a copy of their press kit bio, and a tiny stuffed bear wearing a snuggly sweater. The CD itself is actually quite good – you can be damned sure you’ll be hearing some tracks from it on forthcoming podcasts – but I have yet to figure out the bear. I mean, it’s not a kitten, and it doesn’t appear to contain any switchblades. Still, it was awful nice of the gals (and guy) to hook me up, and I genuinely appreciate it.

A care package form the Kittens.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 19: For Dorks About to Rock

What can I say? I love nerdcore hip hop and mash-ups. I dig the hell out of chiptunes and electro. I adore cheesy television theme songs and oddly placed dialogue clips from funny movies. But this episode isn't about all that.

This ep. is, if you'll forgive my forwardness, all about the rock . (Not to be confused with this guy.) And not just any type of rock, mind you: nerdy rock.

What differentiates nerdy rock from other types of nerd music, and, indeed, what differentiates nerdy rock from regular ol' run-of-the-mill rock ‘n' roll is up for debate. I apply my own logic to it, and I hope you'll find it suitable. What is and is not nerdy seems to be a hot-button issue of late, and I suppose I tend to have a bit more relaxed criteria than most.

That's just how I roll.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 19: For Dorks About to Rock [mirror provided by Antisocial] Size: 43.1 MB Running Time: 47:06

Show Notes
Intro: Baddd Spellah (feat. Beefy) – “Radio Free Hipster Theme”
Rock or not, you just can't fuck with Spellah and Beefy!

Track 1: Rush – “Fly By Night”
As a rule, I hate prog rock. Rush is a notable exception.

Z's 1 st interlude: “With guitars.”
There's an awful lot to rock 'n' roll, all things considered, but I elected to stick with more guitar-driven tracks. There are, of course, a couple of notable exceptions.

Track 2: The Four Eyes - “Compucore
Not exactly the most lyrically florid track, but a pretty solid place to start a set, I think.

Track 3: No Kill I - “Bonk Bonk on the Head
A great band named for the Horta's decree in that seminal Trek episode “The Devil in the Dark.”
Track 4: Stovokor - “Life in Exile.”
I'm by no means an avid Trekkie, but I am fast becoming a real Stovokor fanboy.
Track 5: Hidari - “Natto”
It appears as though phreakymonkey has actually joined Hidari. Good for him!
Track 6: Cars Can Be Blue - “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
Given that the new TMNT movie premiered last week, this track seemed oddly topical.
Track 7: Fourteen Year Old Girls - “Release Date”
I would like to reiterate that your life will be summarily enriched if you purchase their album Strategy Guide.

Track 8: Year 200x - “Bad Dudes Level 2”
Speaking of wise purchases, Year 200x has a new demo/t-shirt combo available at an unbelievable price. See their MySpace for details.

Track 9: The Dead Milkmen - “V.F.W.”
R.I.P. Dave Blood.

Track 10: The Gods of Antiquity - “American Haircut
A fun song by a great couple of guys. The Gods have nerdier tracks, but I've already specifically tagged one of those for another project I'm currently working on.

Z's 2 nd interlude: “Some rock is nerdy because of content or intent, and some is nerdy just because the people who make it are nerds.”
Then, of course, there's the impenetrable force known simply as "nerd appeal."

Track 11: The Fine Print - “Gravity Well”
I've only got a handful of Fine Print tracks in my collection, but they're all amazingly good cuts.

Track 12: Glenn Case - “Hurry Up
I finally got around to playing a song by Glenn that's not a cover! Be sure to download the entire album here.

Track 13: Chris Maquire - “Professional Princess Savior
I know little about Chris save that this track is a demo, and a damn good one at that.

Track 14: The Advantage - “Ghosts ‘N' Goblins.”
I had to make sure video game music was well represented in this ep, and The Advantage are one of my game rock favorites.

Track 15: The Mudbloods - “Ginny and Me”
Lyrically, The Mudbloods offer some of the best Wizard Rock tracks I've had the good fortune of coming across.

Track 16: The Remus Lupins - “Looking for Trouble”
And the Lupins' melodies are phenomenal. This song has such a great feel to it!

Z's final interlude: “Both those acts go for the emotional subtext.”
Last episode ended with a pair of Wrock tracks, and I decided to follow suit this time as well. Much like nerdcore, the genre is growing by leaps and bounds and it really has a lot to offer.

Track 17: Alice Cooper - “Escape”
This episode had a lot more “mainstream” content than most, but I felt it important to include songs from the breadth of the (nerdy) rock spectrum. Like I said, nerdy music isn't exactly a new phenomenon.

Outtake: “I just can't prete-e-e-e-enda!”
This is a fuck-up from an earlier incarnation of the all-rock episode that got scrapped. Sometimes I have a couple of drinks when I podcast. Sometimes I sing along to some of the tracks I play to pass the time. Sometimes I do both and forget the mic is live and ruin a perfectly good transition. ;)

I've done a lot of theme podcasts of late, and I think I'm gonna back off that for a bit. Maybe I'll do a couple of nice, free-form ‘casts next month as we ease into spring. But don't, y'know, hold me to that. There's always a chance that I'll get a wild hair up my arse and decided to do an ep. where all the song titles start with “R” or other such silliness. At any rate, thanks for listening, and be sure to hit me up with your comments, show ideas, song suggestions, and thinly-veiled death threats.

Nerd News in Brief

This weekend I took the wife to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for our anniversary. It wasn't exactly her thang , per se, but she seemed to dig it. Unfortunately, the spirit of fair play reared its ugly head, and last night I was coerced into watching something called Pussy Cat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. Not to sound crude or anything, but how a show with a filthy euphemism right there in the title could be so unabashedly boring is beyond me.

Apparently, to make it into a cheesy pseudo-burlesque pop act one has to cry. A lot. Or maybe that's just the reality show angle kicking in. I don't know.But I digress.

And now, on to the Nerd News in Brief.

Them's some big boys.
Above photo by Denika.