Saturday, June 23, 2007

Totally inappropriate

So far on this vacation, I have learned I am allergic to children's sun screen, the wife has left our car unlocked on the street for a full 24 hours, and my sun has fervently vomited in a local diner. But it ain't been all bad; the weather has been wonderfully mild and we hit up a great sushi place this evening. Still, if I had to sum up the trip in two words it would have to be totally inappropriate. Which is also how I describe this picture.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

Consider this the More Nerd News in Brief pre-holiday busywork edition.

In order to guarantee that you are all adequately entertained in my absence, this one is chock-full of suggestions concerning how to spend your precious free time.

Quit fuckin’ around and listen to…
  • The Blue Bomber: Random’s take on Capcom’s Mega Man saga, known simply as Mega Ran, dropped earlier this week. You can pick up a dumbed-down version on the free and enjoy the geeky hip-hop goodness.
  • Full frontal nerdity: Florida poindexters Rocket Propelled Geeks also just dropped their latest offering GOTO 10. It too is bargain priced at $0.00, so you’ve no need not to pick it up. “Crimson Twins” comes highly recommended.
Get off the couch and go see…
  • Front the most: MC Frontalot requests that all NY-area geeks “ATTEND the HECK” out of his upcoming shows. On Saturday, June 23rd he’ll be tag-teaming with the high-toned honky known as mc chris from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Passout Record Shop (131 Grand St., Brooklyn) for the very reasonable price of FREE. Front goes on early, so show up for the duration. Then, the following Wednesday, June 27th, Frontalot will blow the doors off The Knitting Factory in Manhattan; doors open at 6:30 PM, but Front won’t commence the rockin’ until 8:00 PM. This all-ages gig costs 8 bones at the door.
  • She’ll cut ya!: MC Router will be rocking out her own bad self this Sunday, June 24th at Embargo as part of the FW Weekly showcase. She’ll be taking the stage at 6:00 PM; show up early and help her get her pre-gig drunk on.
Don’t watch that! What this…
  • Teh Winna: Ms. Router (with some help from Dan Lamoureux) handily won the Axosoft Geek Marketing contest with her video “Buggin' Out.” Why not take another look at that?
  • Mid-season replacement: Church was nice enough to turn me on to this campaign to resurrect little-known 70s sci-fi farce Quark via DVD release. The same site also offers episodes for download, which, as Church said, “belies the ridiculous claims of the studios about the impact of piracy.”
Get your game on with…
Read cool stuff like
  • Lovin’ the Craft: In this week’s edition of online gaming periodical The Escapist, Allen Varney explores just why it’s so damned hard to make an interesting, functional game centering on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. It’s a good read, specifically for slavering fanboys such as myself.
  • White kids love hip-hop: If you’re looking to read something a bit more substantial, I’m gonna throw caution to the wind and recommend Other People’s Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America. I picked up the hardcover – for a scant $1647 – from Amazon a couple months back, and I found it to be a fascinating read. If you’re looking for a book expressly about the nature of nerdcore within the realm of hip-hop, you’re gonna be mildly disappointed; but, consequently, if you’re looking for a book that perfectly treads the line between factually grounded illumination and charmingly personal exposition, then this one is sure to please. Jason Tanz explores the incredibly thorny issue of whites in black culture at length, but stops short of A) being preachy and B) giving simple answers to complex (and distinctly subjective) questions.

And that, faithful readers (Matt, I’m looking at you), should ensure that you have plenty to do while Z. and company soak up some fun in the sun. I’ll be sure to keep my camera phone holstered in case I see anything adequately nerdy that warrants sharing. Looks for more musical dorkery next week, and thanks, as always, for stopping by. :D




What? You're still here?

Okay, fine. Here's Church's latest video project. He calls it "Charity Case," but I call it Frontalot vs. Chaplin.


I need to start packing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where’s Wheelie

The primary reason behind the fervent blogging on my part over the last few days hinges handily on the fact that the Family Z. is going on a bit of a mini-vacation for the latter part of this week. We are going, as all good suburban families surely do, to the beach, and that sort of activity generally precludes making with the geeky music news. As such, I planned to dazzle you all – dazzle you, says I – with some extra crunchy info as my truncated work week winds down.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently found my one nugget of unabashed “A” material to be, for lack of a better word, neutered.

Where's Wheelie?The crux of today’s little news brief was supposed to be that next Saturday’s mc chris gig at Seattle’s Chop Suey was to feature hometown heroes Optimus Rhyme as the opener. Moreover, said show was also going to double as the CD release party for He Dies in Rocket School, the remix album of their instant nerdcore classic School the Indie Rockers. But, alas, this no longer looks to be the case.

A quick glance at Chop Suey’s calendar reveals that on the 30th mc will share the gig with mere “Special Guests,” and that makes me a very sad panda. True, with me being a literal nation away from the show, I shouldn’t have much of a vested interest in the lineup, but, at the same time, the very idea of that rare amalgamation of mc’s frenetic tenor and Wheelie’s bassy brogue couldn’t help but thrill me.

So, essentially, I guess today’s news is that there is no news. Or, at least, that the news that was is no longer... If you get my meaning.

Sure, mc chris is back on tour, and that is undeniably awesome. And, of course, Optimus Rhyme will surely rock Seattle to its molten core with the release of their new album; that too is fuckin’ phenomenal. But, sadly, these two events – which together would have surely coalesced to form a perfect storm of nerdcore goodness – are now entirely disparate.

Oh, Discordia!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 24: Summer Skin

Summer turns me upside down / Summer summer summer / It’s like a merry-go-round.”

So sang Ric Ocasek, and who am I to disagree?

This edition of RFH is (roughly) summer-themed. There’s some music that’s explicitly about summer, and a bit that’s more casually related to warm-weather activities. I really enjoyed putting this ep together because it not only gave me a chance to listen to some exclusive material, but also to some tracks from my two favorite records of the moment, International Metamorphosis and Zero One.

And that, my friends, is how I get my summer on.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 24: Summer Skin [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 41.1 MB Running Time: 44:52

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah (feat. Beefy) – Radio Free Hipster Theme”
This track sounds great regardless of season.

Track 1: The Goondocks - ()
I still have no idea what the hell this song is called. “Open Parentheses, Close Parentheses” is the best I can come up with.

Z’s first interlude: “Jo, Blair, Tootie, Fat Natalie…”
It always comes back to The Facts of Life!

Track 2: DJBC - Hotbreaker
If you’re not listening to Tim’s Radio Clash podcast, you should be!

Track 3: DJ Beef - DJ Beef Goes All-City/ Robin Williams / Cousin Eddie
Halifax must be some kinda hip-hop town, as it has given us Jesse D, Uncle Fester, Wordburglar, et al. Do yourself a favor and download this entire mixtape.

Track 4: Billy Idol - Hot in the City Tonight
I know Billy was the marketable face of the post-punk, MTV revolution, and I also understand that he was supposed to be the very epitome of hip in the 1980s. Still, he always struck me as an interminable dorkwad.

Track 5: Rachael Layne - Summer, Highland Falls
This is yet another gem I pulled from Glenn Case’s expansive online library.

Track 6: Ziwtra - Stomp the Summer Sky
And this is yet another gem I pulled from OverClocked ReMix. It pays to have old standbys!

Track 7: Fourteen Year Old Girls - Beach Party
“Take Luigi with you; use the buddy code.”

Z’s 2nd interlude: “New love and drinking.”
There’s something about summer that always makes me think of romance and booze. Perhaps it’s my poetic heart.

Track 8: Shael Riley - Bandaid
Shael told me early on that he didn’t wanna leak any demo material from the new album. I have no idea what sparked this change of heart, but I am thrilled to present this track.

Track 9: DJ Mashup - Kool Temperature (EVEN Kooler edit) / Ollie Williams
It’s hard to follow-up a track about hospital sex. I thought this sufficed.

Track 10: FOXHOUND - TwoFace
In their own words, “FOXHOUND plays the music of the 8-bit/16-bit golden age of video-gaming with an earnestness and gravity that is completely ridiculous.” God, I love this band!

Track 11: Dual Core - Give Me Wings
I am decaffeinated and also very old, so I totally missed the whole “Red Bull and Vodka” thing. This song makes me really regret that.

Z’s final interlude: “My little jaunt through the nerdy (and not-so nerdy) songs of summer.”
I’m still unsure how Billy Idol made it into this podcast. Perhaps it was the wine.

Track 12: YTCracker and the Tanner 4105 Orchestra - Phillip Nis in High School
It sort of makes me feel good to know that Nis hasn't always had all the info. ;)

I tried to make this episode of the podcast a little different, a little, I dunno, jazzier. I like to spice shit up for y'all at irregular intervals.

I'll wager I missed a lot of great summer songs, so feel free to point out any classics I may have ignored. Who knows when I'll get the wild hair and decide to do another summer ep.

As always, your comments are encouraged. I am nothing without your input.

Thanks for playing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Righteous Bad-Ass

I seem to have shorted you all a video in my previous NNIB, so allow me to make amends. Below is the newest piece of hip-hop mastery from Halifax's Jesse Dangerously. Behold and be amazed!

Nerd News in Brief

This weekend, in between checking out its rock-ass children’s library and helping Diego rescue Baby Jaguar’s growl, the family Z. were afforded an excellent opportunity to explore downtown Charlotte. Honestly, it’s been a while since I soaked in the unique charm of our closest urban center, and, while most of the old sights, sounds, and smells were as I recalled, I seem to have forgotten that Charlotte, NC is a scant 20 miles from the surface of the goddamn sun!

There is simply no heat like city heat, and it is with that feeling of oppressive clamminess that I was most impressed. Well, that and the sight of that guy dressed like My Buddy carting two My Buddy dolls around in a stroller buying what appeared to be hand-made, macramé pot holders from an elderly biker couple.

Ah, the city!

  • Rock out with your dork out: Earlier this month, Glenn Case’s group The Half Racks played a show at the Comet in Spokane. Glenn was nice enough to upload a shit-ton of clips to YouTube, and you are fervently encouraged to check ‘em out.
  • On the road again: In other news from the Northwest, my boy Beefy has finally gotten the bulk of his summer tour plans ironed out. Upcoming events include shows at Club Hypnotiq in Lebanon, OR on June 22; The Trove in Grants Pass, OR on June 24; shows in San Francisco, and Soledad, CA on the 28 and 29, respectively; another OR show on July 1 in Bandon; and, of course, the WOW Hall gig with mc chris in Eugene, OR on July 3.
  • Fancy-schmancy: Rhyme Torrents mastermind High-C has recently found some time to return to the boards, and has just dropped the knowledge that the seventh edition of the compilation will be a bit of a change from the previous incarnations. “This one will have to be very pro,” High-C says, “MC Chris is going to be on it, probably MC Lars. Hopefully Frontalot, too […] That means you need to have top-notch production, tight-ass delivery. You have six months to do a single song that is gobsmackingly cool.” Artists interested in smacking gobs should contact High-C immediately.
  • NASCAR!!!: Last week, Doc Pop posted his own hand-inked, hilariously rescripted take on a classic page of Jack Kirby-penciled Thor. The results are delightful!
  • Shadow over Chilliwack: Sadly, I neglected to mention that Canadian Lovecraftian rockers Darkest of the Hillside Thickets celebrated their first ever Fan Appreciation Day last Friday. The newest Thickets album Shadow Out of Tim is scheduled to drop this Thursday, and that album’s first single, “A Marine Biologist,” is available for free download at the band’s MySpace.
  • Cephalopod with opposable thumbs: Taking the above booboo into consideration, I offer this pic as penance. Cthulhu Monkey implores you to forgive a wretched blogger of his errors. (Thanks, Church!)