Friday, April 20, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

During times of tragedy, there are many mechanisms employed to help the fragile human mind cope. Some folks turn to religion. Others switch off their televisions and attempt to remove themselves, however, briefly from the unfolding calamity. I, myself, drink bourbon and play Nintendo. Others, still, make a desperate and gratuitous grab for publicity.

Guess which group Jack Thompson falls into?

But while other sites recount the horrors that happened at the hands of a disturbed young man (and the ensuing shamefully self-serving actions of an angry old man), the departure of that Sanjaya kid from that show he was on, and where to go to find a really old-assed tree, I will favor you all with some Nerd News in Brief.

Because it's been a long week, and I think you deserve it.

  • Throw up your hands: The trailer for nerdcore documentary/your new favoritest film of all time ever Nerdcore For Life was chosen as a “featured video” on MySpace earlier this week. If you want to get in on the ground-level of the flood of new friend requests, I suggest you sweet talk Dan into putting you in his Top 8 immediately. Mr. Lamoureux was also nice enough to post a handful of new, raw pieces of performance footage for your continued viewing pleasure; ‘cause he's cool like that.
  • All the way live: On the subject of performances, let me reiterate that MC Frontalot, MC Lars, and Optimus Rhyme are, in fact, still on tour. What's more, they'll be in Portland tonight (at Dante's), at Stoneys in Reno tomorrow, and in San Fran come Sunday at Cafe Du Nord. Check out Front's tour page for more info on upcoming gigs, and peep Penny Arcade for a recollection of an event that will surely be remembered as The Great Nerdcore Ping-Pong Massacre.
  • He's at home washing his tights: Sadly, Beef Thompson: Private Dick will NOT be the title of Beefy's forthcoming album. Instead, Mr. Moore has settled upon the more pedestrian (but no less compelling) Fighting Crime . I can only imagine that Jones will be Robin. I'm just sayin'.
  • Rise from your grave!: mc chris has also let slip the title for his next album: Six Feet Under and Rising . This record, slated for release before Christmas of this year, is the monster-themed project he alluded to in his Hipster, please! interview earlier this year, and it appears to be squarely focused on the subject of zombies. I can hear Dennis and Denika from Vagrant Aesthetic rejoicing from here!
  • Ah, the joys of college radio!: Nerd-Music has a nice piece up about getting your music played on college radio. Glenn was the Chief Engineer of his college's student-run radio station, so he's speaking from experience. Take a read and make some notes.
  • Bean counting update: I have the nigh final results from the Nerdcore Top 10 project. I'm not going to share them yet, though, as this would ruin the surprise. The list itself is actually pretty eclectic, and I, for one, am happy to see many flavors (and eras) of nerdcore well represented.
  • In other news: And lastly, since I began this post bitching about the news, I feel it only proper to share with you my two favorite headlines of the day. The first, from Discovery reads “Robot Surgeon Tested Underwater.” The title alone renews my flagging faith in humanity. The second, from BBC News: “Wang's riches 'for feng shui man'.” What can I say? I am a ridiculously immature man-child.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nerdcore Top 10 update

My head hurts. The next time I get the bright idea to do a collaborative top ten project like this, someone please remind me that I am a man of letters. Numbers frighten me.

This thing could have easily been a clusterfuck. Seriously. No one could’ve participated or everyone could’ve just bribed their friends to flood me with bogus lists designed to make them stand out, but it didn’t go down like that. I actually got a ton of submissions - well over a hundred that I’ve recorded and a growing pile of indeterminate size that I haven’t - fraught with genuine thought and sentiment. A lot have come from fans, thanks to the support of cats like my pal Anthony and the rest of the crew over at Game Music 4 All, and a lot have come from the artists themselves. I’ve been presented with an interesting cross-section of the nerdcore populace, to say the least.

The final list is slowly beginning to emerge from that undulating mass of names and numbers that has so bedeviled me for the better part of a week. But, saying that, I fully realize that the next time I look in the ol’ Inbox there could be a handful of submissions that completely change the terrain. I think that’s the part I like best.

The part I like least is the whole process of quantification. While a lot of people assigned a specific position value to their preferred artists, many chose not to. I’m totally cool with that, of course, as I understand that one musician’s merit isn’t always so easily contrasted against another. Still, this presents an interesting quandary; do I focus on an artist’s overall position or on his sheer prevalence?

My answer: both.

Basically, in addition to keeping a running tab of how many times a specific artist is mentioned, I also keep a record of this artist’s average position within weighted submissions. The plan is to reconcile the results via a concordance of both lists, as this seems both the fairest and the most accurate way to gauge the results.

So far it looks like this should be eminently doable, as the results so far seem to jive between both lists (meaning that those most voted for are also generally the cats most highly ranked).

Does this mean the list will please everyone?

Oh fuck no!

But, thankfully, that was never the intention of the project. :D

Monday, April 16, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

So what did you do this weekend?

The wife and I spent most of our time (and energy) in a continuing endeavor to potty train Li'l X. Unfortunately, despite the combined efforts of me, Em, Elmo, and MC Frontalot, he's still got a-ways to go. There were a lot of false alarms, a lot of “uh-ohs,” and a ridiculous amount of mopping. Such, I suppose, is a parent's lot in life.

And now that you've all had an uncomfortably close look at the Family Z's biological functions: Nerd News in Brief.

  • Best. Cover. Ever.: Nerdrap Apostles ComputerScienceHardCore (comprised of Conyeezy and Inubito) have just dropped their album Rule #1… Make it Not Suck! The only remaining question is, of course, is the music as good as the album art? I'm gonna give that a yes, but I encourage you to download it and see for yourself.
  • And if that's not enough: Speaking of releases, shortly forthcoming from my friends at Game Music 4 All is a music compilation to rival the gods. The gods, says I! The Music Exp comp. will feature everything that is good and pure about video game music including chiptunes, classical reinterpretations, and, of course, the rock. More information and a final release date are forthcoming.
  • But wait, there's more: Also looming in the none-too-distant future is a new album by nerdcore giant Beefy . The Beefster recently let slip to me that his follow-up to the amazingly good Tube Technology should be dropping in June, and I'm letting it slip to you mostly because I am a shitty friend who can't keep a secret. The title is still up in the air, but I'm pulling for a gritty, film noir, detective-themed album called Beef Thompson: Private Dick. He's not gonna do it, but I'm pulling for it nonetheless.
  • Clothe thyself: You have nipples; the secret's out. And what is there to do but cover up those filthy chesticles? Nuthin'. With this in mind, I humbly suggest that you peep the glory that is the new Benjamin Bear & Betty Rebel t-shirts. Aren't they nice? Wouldn't you like one? I thought so. I mean, if you gotta cover up your shameful parts, why not do it in style?
  • Chi-Town gets its geek on : Last week a nerdcore army stormed the streets of Chicago. Frontalot, MC Lars, Optimus Rhyme, Former Fat Boys, and a legion of fans tore Abbey's Pub to the ground and danced upon the splendorous ruins. Dan was nice enough to provide some pictures of the geek-tastic slaughter.
  • Wow: And lastly, a word of thanks to all of you who've contributed your lists to the Nerdcore Top 10 project. The response thus far has been staggering, as evidenced by the fact that I am, y'know, staggered . The lists have run the gamut in both scale and content, and I genuinely appreciate the thought you've all obviously put into ‘em. Y'all rock.