Friday, August 03, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

I am a horrible suburban homeowner.

Case in point: yesterday my neighbor informed me that I had a mole living in my front yard and I was elated! My brother-in-law offered to set up some sort of barbaric trap to snare the poor creature, but I wouldn’t fuckin’ hear of it. Without Mole, how will Ratty and Mr. Badger ever keep Mr. Toad out of trouble?

Fronting far more than can be reasonably expected: MC Frontalot has a number of shows lined up for the month of August. Specifically: “Aug 23, Seattle w/ Optimus, Goondocks, Router, and Beefy; Aug 25, PAX in Seattle with the usual luminaries (Minibosses, we expect); Aug 29, [JUST ANNOUNCED:] Brooklyn with Jesse Dangerously; Sep 14, Richmond IN, Earlham College (Earlham ppl only, sorry); Sep 15, Tempe AZ, Kingdom of Loathing Con.”

Get your Gabe on: Nerdcore News’s Gabe has thrown out an open invitation to anyone in the Seattle area for this year’s Penny Arcade Expo to meet him, Syn, and a gaggle of other nerds at Gameworks on the evening of Thursday, August 23rd. Straight from the horse’s mouth: “From 9 p.m. 'til they close, you pay 10 dollars and you play all the games you want for the rest of the night. Plus there are some drink specials and the bar menu is half-off. So there's that. Food, games and cheap drinks! I'm also thinking - hopefully Thursday - of getting as many people as will come (please let me know here or via e-mail - at gmail) together for a bit of a 'round table' interview.” Gabe also promises that a new edition of Nerdcore News will be available soon.

From the vault: Super Dragon X has just added another hot track to his MySpace player, though I hesitate to use the term new. “Back in the Day” is another collaboration with Aussie MC Grandmaster Pink, but this one is just now seeing the light of day. Check it out; it’s well worth your time.

Not necessarily nerdy, but…: Whether you know it or not, you’ve doubtlessly seen the work of photographer Neal Preston. In his decades long career, Preston has photographed some of rock ‘n’ roll’s most important artists… and also Madonna. recently “gave [Neal] the space to collect his favorite photographs into an online gallery where he recounts personal anecdotes with each picture.” Music dorks will want to pay special attention to the iconic images of the late, great Frank Zappa and his childhood friend Captain Beefheart. Thanks to Jake for hipping me to this.

Third-hand Information: According to Beefy’s blog, syndicated morning drive-time DJs Bob & Tom have been talking about nerdcore of late. I don’t listen to Bob & Tom - or, y’know, radio in general - so can anyone confirm this seemingly outlandish claim?

Get in the ring!: BOSSFIGHT’s Dark Prince was nice enough to put up “some quick and dirty uploads of a few of the performances from San Diego Comic-Con at the Capcom booth.” You can check out Ultraklystron performing “Open Source Lyricist,” Ultraklystron and Nursehella busting out “Shoujo n' Shonen,” and my man Beefy doing his new track “Tabletop” all over at Bright Cove.

Hyperwhite?: Earlier this week my pal Church hit me up with this NY Times article that explores, among other things, linguist Mary Bucholtz’s belief that self identified nerds are, in fact, “white to the point of excess.” In response, Journalista chimes in with the idea that “one shouldn’t discount the possibility that nerd culture is pro-something, rather than anti-black culture, or that it may in fact have nothing whatsoever to do with race.” Finally, Jason (from my new favorite blog Geek Studies) supplies a more even-handed assessment of the intermingling of racial identity and nerd culture.

Seriously; everywhere!: And lastly, here’s another jewel to Church directed my attention. It’s a YouTube clip of the handiwork of some cat who mods old Chuck E. Cheese animatronics. Unless you’re bereft of free time (like me), you probably caught this on Boing Boing.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ninja Steffo

There’s a lot to talk about today. I mean, is Resident Evil 5 inherently racist? Will a staggering drop in the prices of super computers ultimately aid in the eradication of lingering disease? Will Eminem take Apple to court (for real this time)?

But, y’know, fuck that noise! I’m much more concerned with getting my man Steffo (of My Parents Favorite Music) on Ninja Warrior.

Here’s the skinny: G4 is sponsoring the American Ninja Challenge. Through this contest, one lucky(?) contestant will win the chance to be on the always ridiculous Japanese gameshow.

Now, we won’t know if Steffo even made it into the semi-finals until Friday, but that’s no reason not to enjoy his ninja skillz (note the “z”) right now.

So behold my man in all his greatness. And, should you see his submission floating around the G4 Web site come Friday, be sure to vote for him.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 27: More Than Meets the Eye

I’ll go out on a limb and say that this may be the most eclectic edition of Radio Free Hipster to date.

“Eclectic,” of course, is simply college-boy speak for totally fucked up.

Between the hip-hop, the j-pop, the buttrock, and the filk – not to mention the extended instrumental sub-set – I can’t help but feel that this ep. may lose a couple of you, but that’s the price I pay for refusing to limit myself to the canon of G1.

I know some of you probably feel my affection for ‘toons like Beast Wars Neo and Headmasters is blasphemous at best, but, as I’m no stranger to blasphemy, your cries fall on deaf ears.

Still, I produce this podcast not merely for my own amusement, but for yours as well, and I hope you find this episode enjoyable, even if you are a purist.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 27: More Than Meets the Eye Size: 42.5 Running Time: 46:30

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)
Spellah and Beefy are robots in disguise. No foolin’.

Track 1: MuteMath – “Transformers Theme”
I actually could’ve done an entire episode of just different versions of the Transformers theme. I chose to do otherwise.

Z’s 1st interlude: “Far too distracted by the rampant product placement to notice.”
The new Transformers movie was a two and a half hour commercial… and it wasn’t even a commercial for the Transformers!

Track 2: Stan Bush – “The Touch”
“When all Hell’s breaking loose / you’ll be riding the eye of the storm.”

Track 3: Stunt Junkies - “This is Cybertron”
The Stunt Junkies were nice enough to let me bum a copy of this track specifically for inclusion in this episode. The degree to which they rock for that simple gesture is nigh incalculable.

Track 4: SOS Wheeljack dialogue / mc chris – “Dare to Be Stupid
Planet Junk?! Were the writers even trying at that point?

Track 5: Jarek Zabczynski – “Transformers Theme
See? I told you.

Track 6: Current of Air – “Space Dreamer
You demanded more J-rock, and I listened. Sort of.

Z’s 2nd interlude: “I’m about as mature as your average 8 year old Japanese kid.”
Before you judge me, I would like to point out that, in the Beast Wars II and Neo series, Optimus is a Lion and Woolly Mammoth respectively. If you aren’t enticed by that prospect alone, check you fuckin’ pulse.

Track 7: Maja – “Transformer”
Maja is another cat who was nice enough to let me bum a song for this ep. Everything on his MySpace player is required listening. It’s geeky, but still totally accessible.

Track 8: Kazunori Maruyama – “Atrocious Offensive”
Yup. Their Super Link is our Energon.

Track 9: Dane Cook / Patrick Cowley – “Megatron Man”
Listen to more Patrick Cowley.

Track 10: Vince DeCola’s – “Unicron Theme”
I love the fanboy applause as this track commences. Great stuff!

Track 11: The great Luke Ski and The Nick Atoms – “The Ballad of Optimus Prime”
I’ve always wanted to play some filk on RFH, but I could never find a track that worked within a given show until this one. I know filk might not be your thing – shit, it ain’t mine either – but you gotta give it up for the nerdiest of all nerd music.

Z’s final interlude: “Dane Cook is generally about as funny as a prostate exam.”
I withdraw the above statement; I’ve had prostate exams far more entertaining than your average Dane Cook bit.

Track 12: Optimus Rhyme – “Precogni2”
By all rights, Optimus Rhyme should’ve been included on Michael Bay’s Transformers soundtrack. Don’t act surprised. You knew I was gonna say that.

Super Fire Convoy was the Optimus of Japan’s Car Robots line (known to us as Robots in Disguise), and I was always fond of that particular figure. I mean, it’s no Tako Tank, but it’s pretty boss.

Anywho, thanks for allowing me to indulge my inner Transfan with this episode. I have a couple more themed eps in mind, but then I think I might head back to the free-form shows for a while. Only time will tell, and I’m totally open to suggestions so gimme a yell.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

We nerds are seemingly warlike by nature. We tend to pick our ponies early on and ride ‘em out as long and as far as possible. We tend to disagree and debate and, let’s face it, bitch incessantly, but we seldom let shit get out of hand.

Except for this guy; this guy flipped the fuck out. Which begs the question was he really a nerd after all? Maybe he was just a psycho.

I’m sure they have their own music and culture blog. Somewhere.

  • Return of the Robot Masters: Riding high on a recent wave of (much deserved) publicity, Random’s Mega Ran album got a very favorable review in Canadian music magazine Exclaim. Always nice to see a deserving artist get some love.
  • Rage in the Cage: On another Capcom-related note, Beefy leaked some pics from last week’s Nerdcore For Life show at the San Diego Comic-Con. That Chun-Li is acceptable. Ryu? Not so much.
  • Do the right thing: The Spork of FL nerds Rocket Propelled Geeks is actively seeking other groups and artists to take part in a charity event for a recently disabled employee of Daytona’s Speed Park, a local arcade and go-kart track. The event is slated for Saturday, August 4th and RPG are looking for “any other bands who’d be willing to play as well. The music will start at 11:00 AM and go on all day. […] The gig will be free, but you'll get to put up a merch table if you so desire, and it's going to a good cause.” If you and yours’ll be down Florida-way next week, holler at Spork if you wanna lend a hand.
  • Take that, Fox Network!: Game rockers Armcannon are in the running to appear on Fox’s newest mutant reality/talent show hybrid The Next Great American Band. Armcannon was chosen one of the top bands in the Buffalo area, but they need your help to go all the way. Click on this handy dandy link to vote for your boys and help them make it to Vegas for the show.
  • Shame on a nerdguh!: RZA is running a contest with through which some lucky bastards can open for Wu-Tang on the forthcoming tour. Basically, you just download the instrumental, rap over that bitch, and then submit the results. Matt has “this crazy mental image of Ultraklystron opening for Wu.” Let’s make that a reality, shall we?
  • On the subject of songs: After a fairly lengthy solo hiatus, Super Dragon X is back with a new track called “Apoc;” you can peep it at his MySpace. Consequently, if you’re feeling adventurous and looking for something that is new to the very Nth degree, try the first ever nerdcore track from Luzid; it is, not surprisingly, at his MySpace.
  • Getting Pooooo-litical: Today, I’m gonna close with a vid by my pal Church. It’s political, and y’all know my slant, so be forewarned. Take it away MC AG!