Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

I didn’t intend to watch Kid Nation last night, but I did.

Now, I’m sure everyone has already established their personal views concerning the relative level of A) actual, feasible reality inherent in this reality show and B) exploitation inherent in involving children in such a fiasco, but let’s table that discussion for now.

The thing that struck me – more so, even, than the cheesy locales, the razor-sharp edits, and the subtle, camp counselor creepiness of host/former Sundance award winner Johnathan Karsh – was that the bulk of these children were just so goddamn nerdy!

I’m not sure why I was surprised by that. I mean, if your plan is to leave 40 kids to their own devices in a ghost town for over a month, it probably plays to stack the deck with a few extra smart ones.

Still, it lacked a lot of the Lord of the Flies quality that I was expecting, and, as a lit nerd, that was a little disappointing. I’m not sure if I’ll stick around for the rest of the season, but I suppose it’s good to see the next generation of poindexters getting some screen time.
  • Pretty (Internet) Hate Machine: The fine folks at BOSSFIGHT were nice enough to send me a little press release concerning the forthcoming EP by their own IllGill. Internet Hate Machine, is slated to be released on the 25th of this month, and interested parties are encouraged to download the album’s premiere single “Hatin’.” On a side-note, the single, as well as the other tracks on the EP, was mixed and mastered by fellow BOSSFIGHT artist ZeaLouS1.
  • Tear the roof off the sucka: IllGill also garnered a recent mention in the LA Times for a series of parties he’s been throwing on his roof. Gill is even included “in the picture section … talking to some dude that [he] can't remember.” California does, indeed, know how to party.
  • Internet famous: Thanks to some tireless name-dropping by my pal Church, Hipster, please! was recently mentioned in the “Link Pileup” over at Geek Studies. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of this blog, and getting a little pop from it was a really pleasant surprise. Don’t let the moniker fool you; Geek Studies is tons of fun while still being both scholarly and culturally relevant.
  • Whack Friday: mc chris has promised to release a full list of dates for his fall tour this Friday. Probably. Will mc make it to upstate SC. Will Z. buy him a beer? Will the person who took my bicycle pump please return it?
  • Double your pleasure: Fans lamenting Ultraklystron’s retirement from the sphere of nerdy music got a double dose of auditory delight earlier this week when Karl released both Never Knows Best and Never Yours to Share It for free download via his Web site. After several attempts to remaster both works, Ultraklystron finally elected to release them in their original incarnations. Concerning the albums, Karl says “This is basically what I [was] capable of circa 2002-2003.” Never Knows Best is “pure Drum n' Bass and Glitch [and] not unlike a soundtrack.” Meanwhile, much of Never Yours To Share It is stuff that was originally intended for Never Knows Best and some additional material he “happened to make during a bout of inspiration that really didn't fit in with the main disc,” encompassing everything from Eurobeat to Breakbeat. While you won’t find any rhymes here-abouts, I highly recommend that fans check out both.
  • In the Old Country: Matt was kind enough to direct me toward the MySpace of this British Wizard Rock festival. The roster is nine bands strong and tickets just went on sale, so jump on that shit if you find yourself across the pond.
  • One more for the Wrockers: I’d also like to direct your attention toward this Tokyo Game Show update from the guys at Kotaku. Apparently they got to demo a broomstick controller peripheral. Three words: Quidditch World Cup.
  • An open letter to Hideo Kojima: Mr. Kojmia, please read the following piece from Destructoid concerning film conventions that don’t translate well into gaming. Pay special attention to point 6 concerning cut scenes. PS: Lunar Knights is the shit!
  • What would NNIB be without a video closer? Unsatisfactory: Throwdown is a straightedge metalcore band named after the Food Network television show featuring cantankerous restaurateur Bobby Flay. Okay, maybe not, but they are also not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Even though they should be!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy and avast, ye scurvy dorkwads, it be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

This day be of particular import to our brothers and sisters in The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but, whether ye be Pastafarian or just a connoisseur of fine buccaneering, I wish ye a safe and enjoyable day of plundering, piracy, and miss-use of the English language.

And, for your own educational well-being, here be a little lesson in proper piratical elocution from the two what started it all, Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good news/bad news

First the bad: apparently mc’s Tyra Show invite was a bust. (Yes, I made a boob pun; fuckin’ deal with it!)

But here’s a little pick-me-up from your boy MAJA. It’s his Janglish remix of Kanye West’s “Stronger.” It’s got a cool, minimalist vibe with just the slightest hint of glitch. Plus, MAJA doesn’t get all pissy and go off about Britney Spears. ;)

At any rate, it’s quite enjoyable, even to the none-otaku like me who are left a little confused by the Pocari Sweat bit at the end.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

It’s been a shitty month for Sci-Fi/fantasy fans.

It’s been an even shittier month for Sci-Fi/fantasy authors, particularly those for whom the word “time” figures heavily into their masterworks.

Earlier this month, we lost Madeleine L'Engle, whose award-winning A Wrinkle in Time has delighted children and confounded adults for nearly a half-century. And yesterday, she was joined in the sweet literary hereafter by Robert Jordan, whose The Wheel of Time series displayed a similar love of both intricacy and whimsy.

If we can take any solace at all from these losses, I believe it to be this: people remember.

L’Engle and Jordan live on through their words, and, as hard as it is to fathom – particularly in modern America – people still read.

And that, my friends, is the ever-spreading light.

  • Beam me up: Not to dwell too much on the subject of death, but Church recently hipped me to this press release concerning Star Trek branded funeral products. Yeah. I suppose it could be argued that “vanity caskets” are in poor taste, but I ain’t gonna tell you how to live and I sure as hell ain’t gonna tell you how to die.
  • Help a father out: As a gamer and a dad, I’ve always felt a kinship with the titular Gamer Dad, and recently Andrew’s had a run of bad luck. A heart attack necessitated quadruple bypass surgery and more surgeries are needed. If you’ve got a few extra coins and are supportive of the cause of gaming as a family affair, you can make a donation via the Paypal link at the bottom of this page.
  • On a happier note: The fine folks at MashupTown have released yet another themed bootleg compilation. Relive the 70s with less generic beats and slightly more fashionable attire with Blame it on the Bootie. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Clarification corner: A recent blog post from Beef Thompson himself may help to clarify the facts surrounding The Grammar Club project to those of you still scratching your heads. *cough*MattandChurch*cough* Beefy writes that the GC is a “side project [he’s] very much involved in, but [unsure of how much he’s] allowed to talk about.” He does reveal that the other major players are “the amazingly talented Shael Riley, Glenn Case, and DJ Snyder.” He also goes on to say that the contributors are still very hard at work, and that even the track revealed via video last week on the group's Web site (known as “Bank Holiday”) “has been punched up and [now] sounds … much sexier.”
  • Hot-Wired: Despite my misgivings about many of their musings on the subjects I hold dear, the folks at Wired cranked out a pretty nice piece about Tycho and Gabe last month. they even posted a song that Tycho created using UbiSoft’s recently released DS guitar sim Jam Sessions. Fun stuff.
  • I'm both excited and deeply disturbed: mc chris was asked to be on the Tyra Banks show. No shit! mc seems reasonably excited about the prospect but alludes to the previously canceled Halo 3 party he was asked to headline, almost as if to let us know he’s not counting any chickens. Personally, this reminds me of MC Router’s recent talk of a Tyra Show invite. Could the two be related? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • More questions: Karl Olson recently posted a couple of interesting images over at his site. Does this mean that OpenSource Lyricist has indeed made it to print? More importantly, if so, will my review copy arrive soon? /doe-eyes
  • Keep on Wrocking in the Free World: It appears as though a new Wizard Rock festival is in the works. Matt just tipped me off to Magus; saddened by the fact that they couldn’t make it to October's WrockStock, a handful of your favorite wrockers have taken it upon themselves to set up a festival for the coming spring. While the dates and location are sketchy at present, the roster is shaping up nicely and more information will be made available as it surfaces.
  • He did it his way: Wrocker The Whomping Willows, who just so happens to be on the aforementioned roster, unveiled that his first album will shortly be making it’s way to iTunes thanks to a service known as TuneCore. TuneCore also supports Rhapsody, Napster, and eMusic, so if you musical-type dorks are thinking of making the jump any of these distribution channels it might behoove you to check the site out.
  • Kiwi Nerdcore: Dan, of Nerdcore For Life fame, recently discovered a piece from New Zealand’s TV3 in which Nightline host David Farrier looks nerdcore hip-hop. Not only does the story touch on MC’s Frontalot, chris, and Hawking, but it also mentions NZ’s own MC Stormtroopa. You can view the vid at good ol' YouTube.
  • Bad ol' YouTube!: Richard Dawkins banned from YouTube? Inconceivable... and yet true. The Rational Response Squad have lost their YouTube account. The allegations are that Creation Science Evangelism Ministries have been submitting DMCA copyright requests directed at RSS-posted videos that use footage copyrighted by the CSEM. Oddly enough, a Wired article points out that the ministry’s own Web site states that “none of the materials ... are copyrighted, so feel free to copy these and distribute them freely.” Whether you support the ideas of creationism, evolution, or some delightful mix of the two, this really comes down to a simple matter of fair use. And, while I try my best not to get overly political, I’m gonna close with the following vid. It features the RRS’s… um.. response, accompanied by a track from atheist rapper Greydon Square. Which is, now that I think about it, pretty damned nerdy on its own.