Friday, September 28, 2007

The Dork Defender

It’s hard to believe that ZeaLouS1 burst onto the nerdcore scene a scant year ago. In that short time he has managed to endear himself to the faithful and spread the good word of nerdy rhymes far and wide. Whether performing at the local haunts of his native California, across the country as a featured artist at Nerdapalooza SE, or prowling the stage at Las Vegas’s Consumer Electronics Show, Z1 has turned critics into fans and kindred spirits into family.

Famed for a calm, affable demeanor that belies his imposing size, ZeaLouS1 is more than our titular King of the Boss Fights; he is a friend to all nerds, a self-styled defender of the weak. While many in nerdcore espouse the superhero mindset, ZeaLouS truly takes it to heart.

He is, at once, a nerd’s nerd and a musician’s musician. He throws himself wholeheartedly into everything he does, and what he does best is take the listener by the hand and lead him from the busy San Diego streets to the burning wastes of Azeroth and back again.

And there’s nothing he’d like more than for you to join him.


Though you've doubtlessly related the tale before, how did you fall into the world of nerdcore hip-hop?

I've been making music since 2001, and the stuff I was coming out with then was lyrically more conscious-mind, underground hip hop. I'd been sampling video games and cartoons with quotes from Anime and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Last year, while doing a live broadcast at Palomar College Radio on The Takeover, Anthony (aka: The Dark Prince) brought in a compilation of some songs he said were "Hip Hop songs that included really nerdy references" which he thought were right up my alley. I went home, browsed a few tracks and then “White Warrior” by YTCracker hit me. I couldn't BELIEVE someone sampled the beat from Gauntlet and then did a sick job adding some loops and flows to it. I was so inspired that night that I went in my “Lab” and busted out a few beats I had been playing with in the past and began work on my song “Level Up.” I haven't looked back since.

So you were making nerdy hip-hop well before you discovered nerdcore. What was your initial reaction when you realized that there were others out there making music in that same vein?

I was so surprised that there were other people making Mega Man and Fist of the North Star references besides me, but at the same time I was so stoked to know that there were other people out there that could catch my slick nerdy references and appreciate them. I'd slipped a lot of those references into my songs waaaay back in the day just to see if anybody would catch them, but now I can make full-blown songs packed with double entendres and references and have people like “YES! I know what he is talking about!”

Other than YTCRacker, who you’ve already mentioned, was there a specific artist or group of artists within the nerdcore community with whom you felt an immediate kinship?

When I first got to CES in Vegas earlier this year I didn't know anybody and I was still the new kid on the block. Photo by Vagrant AestheticWalking into the place and going into the DivX booth the first people to greet me and my boys were EPP. They talked with us, paid their respects and hung out with us. They showed me what was going on and filled me in on everything I missed due to being caught up in traffic. If it wasn't for EPP it wouldn't have been as fun or comfortable. Much love and respects to my cousins in Florida!

Your third album is slated to be released this October. Is the project proceeding according to schedule?

Yes....and no. If my dad calls me up and needs my help on a Raid or a Heroic Instance on WoW then I'm not recording that night lol. Other than that, everything is right on track.

Have you settled on a title?

No, not yet. It will be the icing on the cake at the end. I have a few ideas in mind, but I won't be able to name it properly until it all comes together.

Your first release, Assimilation Process: Complete, was a thematic introduction to the ZeaLouS1 style, while your follow-up, Collaboc1de, was very much a love letter to nerdcore as both a community and a lifestyle. What can we expect from your next effort?

The concept has changed a few times since I first started working on it. I have settled on the lyrical scheme going back to how I first started but with an enhanced technique. Nothing but straight storytelling and flexing the vocal drops. This time around I am taking a lot of time in hand-making the beats and gathering beats from certain other artists to fit each story I tell to the extent that even if there were no words on the track you would still hear a story. I am going to be taking everything that is ZeaLouS1 up to this moment and putting it onto an album, and when you play it I want you to feel like I'm sitting next to you telling my story.

That sounds like an album I’d like to hear!

So the mechanics of song creation have been enhanced for your new album. How has the recording process itself differed from your previous efforts?

This is the most time-consuming, clean sounding and brain-straining project I have done so far, and I would have it no other way. I am putting forth as much time and effort as I possibly can to make what is in my head and heart come out into the music that you will hear. I do that with all music I make, except this time I'm striving for a higher level of excellence within myself and what I put forth.

A recent video leak showcased a new recording setup, compliments of BOSSFIGHT; would you say that the forthcoming album will have an even more polished sound than those previous?

Yes, absolutely. Thanks to BOSSFIGHT for hooking me up with all the equipment I needed to take my music to the next level. Because of The Dark Prince and the rest of the BOSSFIGHT Family I have been able to make this next project the most powerful piece of work I've ever been a part of.

As you yourself are an Audio Production major, do you generally prefer to produce your own tracks, or do you find it easier to free yourself of that responsibility and simply focus on your rhymes?

I love being able to make my own beats and I am very, very particular about what I flow on. If the beat doesn't make me feel like writing anything then I know anything I do write to it won't be as potent as it could have been. Some DJ's and beatsmiths have sent me tracks that have blown me away, and as soon as I hear the beat I'm grabbing desperately for a pen and some paper. Having someone else make a beat for me is awesome if they know the vibe I am working with and sometimes it really hurts my heart to have to tell them “I'm sorry but I'm not feeling this.” I know how much work and time it takes to tailor-make a beat, and if the vibe is right then the freedom of just writing lyrics and flowing on the beat is such a relief. Making specific beats for the story that I want to tell is the hardest and most arduous process when it comes to making music for me. I prefer making my own but I am nowhere near the best so it's awesome when a DJ or beatsmith comes along who makes a beat that I am infatuated with.

IllGill was recently added to the BOSSFIGHT roster. Does the label have any plans to bring additional artists onboard?

Yes. We are currently getting things ready to be a self-sufficient business before we aggressively begin the scouting and recruiting process. We have big things in mind and we are working diligently from the bottom up putting our time in and doing things the right way. The best part about it is we are having fun, and if we never become successful I will still be able to tell my kids one day how much fun I had doing what I loved to do.

Do you envision BOSSFIGHT as a solely nerdcore hip-hop label, or could we potentially see acts from other genres come into the BOSSFIGHT fold?

I can safely say that we will by no means limit ourselves to any one music style or genre. Like I said, we have some big things planned but we gotta take care of what’s currently on our plates first. Keep an eye on us in the year to come!

What, if anything, can you divulge about the enigmatic group known only as The Sinister Six?

I'm not exactly sure what, if anything, I am allowed to divulge, but when they drop that album it’s going to make people see a different side of nerdy hip hop that many think is only hype.

(EDIT: Shortly after this interview, The Sinister Six were revealed to be MadHatter, YTCracker, ZeaLouS1, Benjamin Bear, Big Stephen, and ShelShocker. The group, however, has still remained tight-lipped about the specifics of the project.)

During the week of this year's San Diego Comic-Con, BOSSFIGHT sponsored an event called N3XT L3V3L boasting an impressive musical line-up at the San Diego Sports Club. What can you tell us about the show?

It was the first show we have ever thrown and it was a very big learning process. So many things need to be taken into account when you throw a show and in this business we are still pretty much noobs. The artists that we got to come rock the mics for us were amazing, Gill and I got to rock out for the first time through the whole show, we met really cool people and made a few connections that have turned into great friendships. The show wasn't as huge as we thought it would be due to inexperience of how to run it, but for it being our very first one it was incredible. I can't wait until we get to do it again!

Are there plans to make N3XT L3V3L a recurring event?

Absolutely! Every year from now on as long as BOSSFIGHT exists there will be a N3XT L3V3L show in San Diego, California.

You journeyed all the way to Florida to play at last month's Nerdapalooza SE. How did that event compare to more high-profile shows such as your gig at CES or the CAPCOM booth performance at Comic-Con?

First and foremost, I wouldn't have been able to do a performance at the CAPCOM booth if it wasn't for YTCracker giving up time from his set to allow me to do so. Much love and respects to YTC for that!

Now the Florida show was a completely different beast altogether. This has definitely been my favorite show I've had the pleasure of performing at. It was a huge and prestigious honor to have headlined the first Nerdapalooza SE show in history. Comic-Con was a prestigious place to be at and to perform at, but when it comes to being around other people who drove 8 hours just to hear and be a part of the music you like and make there is no comparison. The audience was right there just a few feet away from me, full of fans and artists a like singing along with me to every song I did. There is no replacing that; there is no substitute. I would be honored to play at the rest of the Nerdapalooza SE shows forever and if its not in the cards to have me perform, you'd better believe I'm saving up money as we speak just so I can be in the crowd next time. Florida is Nerdcore Friendly and they showed me nothing but love and so it shall be forever returned.

You host a regular college radio show with your friends and classmates The Dark Prince, Silent D, and Tony B. What would you tell the uninitiated about The Takeover, and have you considered a career in radio?

The Takeover is 3 hours of random chaos mixed with Nerdcore and whatever the hell Photo (and cool zombie) by Vagrant Aestheticelse we plan on playing that weekend. We are on a college radio station that you can listen to live at from 6pm to 9pm PST on 1320AM. Since we are under the thumb of the FCC, our weekly goal is to press the envelope as close as possible without getting Zeb (The Emperor of Palomar College Radio) into trouble. Recently we have taken some notes on how to run a better structured program from our big brothers at The Awful Show so we are going to see how that goes this semester. Nothing is held sacred on our show.

Because Silent D. was kind enough to interview me and have me on the show when it was called The Rundown I have given serious thought to being a radio personality, but, as it stands, I won't do the show unless Silent D. is there. He is the heart and soul of The Takeover. I talk trash and laugh and make fun of stuff, Tony B. is the whipping boy, and DP sits there, says random sexy stuff and makes fun of us as we embarrass ourselves to entertain the audience. Welcome to The Takeover!

As this marks the much-delayed return of the Hipster, please! monthly interview feature, I am beholden to ask: what kind of nerd is ZeaLouS1?

I am blessed with the ability to stomp bullies who pick on the meek, but I am also fortunate to have the ability to naturally excel at most games you put in front of me. I didn't have the best grades in school, but I was the one that found a way to beat any game we were playing. My dad gave me a trunk full of comic books from the 70's through the 90's and a dictionary. At 16 I was bench pressing over 380 pounds and playing Pokemon at school for lunch money. I pretty much dropped out of college because I spent all my time training on Marvel vs. Capcom so I could beat the guy who wasn't letting anybody play in the student lounge. The only reason my boys and I stopped playing Magic: The Gathering is because no one wanted to play us anymore because we rarely lost. My guild on WoW is full of nothing but friends and family and I think sometimes I talk to my Dad more on WoW than I do in person. I apologize for the long explanation but I had to explain it so you understand why I look at my life as one big Boss Fight. ZeaLouS1 is a prototype.

Lastly, ZeaLouS, what is the nature of nerd?

Back in the day Nerds were considered to have great booksmarts yet they were somewhat socially inept people. That’s all changed. Since the internet has become so powerful it has changed everyday life for just about everyone, and in order to survive on the internet you're going to have to pick up a trick or two and read a thing or three. The internet is the most powerful resource known to man, and lets be honest, who do you think runs it? Nerds. =)


Like most of you, when I hear a nerdcore hip-hop track I am looking for geeky references; I’m looking for that sci-fi namedrop or that clever allusion to Mario Kart or the recitation everyone’s favorite irrational number. But being a nerd is more than knowing the terminology. There is the ever-important concept of “walking the walk.”

There is conducting yourself in a nerdy manner, certainly, and there is doing nerdy things; these are all perfectly acceptable forms of embracing one’s dork side. But lest we forget the long, hard walk of living the nerd life.

YTCracker famously espoused that nerd life was his career, and, while it may not yet be paying the bills for Beau Fa'asamala, nerd life is his passion. It is his focus. His muse.

In a world that tells us that nerds are mousy, ill-tempered, unsociable malcontents, ZeaLouS1 stands out at as powerful, equable, and friendly.

In a world that tells us that music is a commodity, focused more on affluence than content and more on marketability than craftsmanship, ZeaLouS1 simply endures, making the music that he loves for the enjoyment of those with a similar slant.

To put it more plainly: in a world of insincere pitchmen, ZeaLouS1 is a genuine artist.

Moreover, ZeaLouS1 reminds us, through his dedication to excellence and his focus on personal musical growth, that the power of the nerd paradigm is its unending willingness to adapt.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

Being an Internet Celebrity isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, a fact to which the Numa Numa and Star Wars kids can attest.

The shirtless, tattooed dude to whom I alluded earlier this week also found this to be true. The Vancouver Sun has reported that the man in question turned himself into police yesterday. He didn’t steal the iMac himself, though. Of course not! He got it from a guy who got it from a guy. (I’m guessing the fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck ship had already sailed at this point.)

The unnamed mastermind showed up with a lawyer and his name is being withheld pending an investigation.

Hopefully this break will also lead the Workspace folks to the other missing machines.

If not, at least we got a LOL out of the whole incident.

  • Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters: Let’s begin with a reflection on a pastime that I’m sure many of us have engaged in: D&D. Church directed me to this Head Injury Theater piece concerning the Dungeons and Dragons Gallery of Shame. Vampire Frogs indeed!
  • That’s two: Nursehella was kind enough to tell me that she too will be trying out for VH1’s female rapper show. She’s making her way to LA for open auditions this Friday/Saturday. The nerdcore community wishes both ‘Hella and Router the best of luck. Give ‘em hell, ladies!
  • Best. Name. Ever.: Speaking of MC Router, the First Lady has recently posted a new song to her MySpace. The name of the track is “Game Cunt,” and it will be featured on Router’s forthcoming album. The release for said album is set sometime this fall, so be sure to peep the new hotness.
  • Total Recall: IllGill's new EP Internet Hate Machine is now available for free download in its entirety. The project features five previously unreleased tracks from ‘Gill, and was mixed/mastered by BOSSFIGHT’s own ZeaLouS1. The BOSSFIGHT family assures fans that you'll be hearing much more from IllGill before year’s end.
  • MC Schwarzenegger?!: Dan reports that earlier this week Austrian public radio did a feature about nerdcore. Apparently a TV producer also contacted him asking for clips of the documentary that he could use in yet another story. Stranger still, he’s looking to interview an Austrian nerdcore rapper. This, of course, begs this question does such a beast exist?
  • Now canonical: According to WIRED magazine, the term Nerdapalooza has officially made its way into recognized jargon. The noun, meaning “a music festival for nerdcore and geek-pop bands, featuring an international lineup of certifiably dorky acts like MC Gigahertz and 8bit bEtty at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka, California” joins electromagnetic dominance and cosmic forgetfulness in this month’s Jargon Watch.
  • It was a dark and stormy night: Oddioblender has plans for a show in Arlington, TX this Halloween night at 7:30 PM. This fright fest goes down at the Dreamworld Music Complex and admission is a scant 8 bones.
  • But first: MC Frontalot plans to “rock the heck out of” The Javits Convention Center in Manhattan this Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM and then again at 5:30 PM. The show is part a of the technology consortium DigitalLife, so you’ll need tickets to get in. Prices for such tickets are quite reasonable, particularly if you are a student of an old person. Why not attend and bring your favorite senior citizen?
  • A unified beatscape: Jesse Dangerously’s newest CD Verba Volent just received a rave review in Exclaim! Magazine. Writer Thomas Quinlan remarks that the album “is certainly Jesse’s best work to date,” and goes on to praise Jesse’s flow and writing style. It looks like Jesse and the Backburner crew have done it again!
  • Fuckin’ up my Christmas: This article from Scientific American purports that “long-term, moderate consumption of alcohol improves recall of both visual and emotional stimuli,” but I’m guessing mc chris would reply that it simply makes you act like a dick. Behold as mc is accosted by a drunken Santa at last week I AM Festival. Apparently, the performance had its share of distractions, but I think mc did an admirable job in defusing the kind of situation that could have made for an uncomfortable holiday season.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Radio Free Hipster Episode 31: Sonic Potpourri

This edition of Radio Free Hipster is a bit less geeky than usual, and that’s a good thing. It’s great to expand our musical circle from time to time. Shall I elucidate?

The underlying message of the project – at least as I envision it in my own little head – is three-fold:

First, it’s that nerds make good music, that nerdy music is fun and exciting and sometimes challenging.

Secondly, it’s that nerds enjoy good music. Whether it’s simply because of subject matter (like the songs of The Four Eyes or MC Lars) or due to more ethereal, textural, technical qualities (like the masterful mash-ups of Go Home Productions).

And lastly, it’s that nerd music isn’t strictly limited to things that are, on the surface, dorky in the contemporary sense. For as long as there has been music there have been nerds making it, and I like to touch on that whenever possible. For example, I’m known to play Cheap Trick from time to time because Rick Nielson is both a dyed-in-the-wool Mac fanatic and the purveyor of one of the most inspired nerd musician “looks” in all of rock ‘n’ roll history. And this episode includes a track by The Police, which I consider fair game both because of Sting’s scholarly predisposition and the band’s overall nerd-like dedication to the crafts of songwriting and musicianship.

I reckon what I’m getting at here is that my inclusion criteria are pretty loose, and, as a result, in any given episode of RFH you may hear from a myriad of artists with varying types and degrees of geekitude.

While we often like to think of nerdiness as an exclusive quality, I like to promote it as more inclusive.

Nerds are everywhere. Some of us are just a bit more obvious than others.

Download Radio Free Hipster Episode 31: Sonic Potpourri [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 43.7 MB Running Time: 47:45

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)”
I never tire of this song. I wear it as a badge of geeky honor!

Track 1: Glenn Case – “Alex Chilton
Glenn a good example of the classic nerd/non-nerd dichotomy. He is both the geeky mind behind the Frontalittle Squad and a rocker of epic proportion.

Z’s 1st interlude: “I’ve been promising a free-form episode for a while now.”
I am both motivated and vexed by theme episodes, and I’ve found the most certain way for me to establish creative, interesting themes is to swear off the concept. ;)

Track 2: The Police – “So Lonely” / The Police vs. Jungle Brothers – “Lonely Jungle Brothers”
The Police were started by Stewart Copeland as a punk band, but later went on to craft some of the most challenging pop pieces of the 1980s. The Jungle Brothers were principle members of the Native Tongues Posse who were often overshadowed by fellow groups De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. When you put them both together it is magic!

Track 3: The Remus Lupins – “Loosen Your Tie”
Lyrically, this is one of my least favorite Lupins tracks, but musically it has such a massive groove as to more than make up for it.

Track 4: Steve BC – “Lone Bullet
Check out Steve BC at MySpace and over at Last FM. He’s got a staggering amount of material available for free, and I’m sure you’ll find something that speaks to you.

Track 5: The Advantage – “Super Mario Brothers 2 – Overworld”
This track could just as easily be called “Doki Doki Panic – Overworld.”

Track 6: Yohahifu – “Girdle”
Once again you get to hear me murder traditional Japanese pronunciation. Three cheers for consistency!

Track 7: Baddd Spellah – “Ten Year Old (ADHD Remix)
There are two remixes of mc chris's “Ten Year Old” that totally blow me away no matter how many times I hear them. This is the first. The second may make an appearance later in October.

Track 8: Beefy Write a Song About...
Beefy and The Advantage are two great tastes that taste great together.

Track 9: Goondocks – “Posse Needs Upgrades
If you didn’t download the Nerdcore Undercover album, do yourself a favor and at least grab this track. The Goons are a force of nature!

Z’s 2nd interlude: “He or she didn’t fill out the id3 tags.”
I love a good mash-up, but I abhor not giving adequate credit to mash-up artists. Anyone know who crafted “Lonely Jungle Brothers?”

Track 10: Ultraklystron – “Clerk”
Karl’s new (old) double album is great for long drives and housework. It’s great for general listening as well, but I tend to spend a lot of time driving and cleaning house.

Track 11: Datarock – “Fa-Fa-Fa”
If you can find a better Norwegian Dance Punk band than Datarock… please let me know.

Track 12: Jay-R – “My Other Car Is A Beatle
We stopped short, did a double take / He was looking so fly, I thought I wasn't awake. / He was obviously hooking up bass, I assume, / But then he turned a little button and the car went boom.
There are so many things wrong with the above quatrain that I simply don’t know where to start.

Track 13: Gorillaz – “19-2000”
When you put the man responsible for Tank Girl and the guy who brought us “Country House” together you really can’t be too surprised when the results are excellent.

Z’s final interlude: “A bunch of songs that have nothing in common.
Now that I’ve gotten my random playlist jones slaked I must begin preparation for the Halloween Crap-tacular. Right now I’m leaning toward making the first episode zombie-centered and the second one a little less stringent. We shall see.

Track 14: Random – “City Boy
I started my interview with Ran last weekend, and I have to say that he really is as mellow and intelligent as you’d imagine. I’m currently juggling two interviews, so hopefully I can get at least one polished and ready for public consumption before month’s end.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the podcast. As always, I appreciate your support and I hope found something therein that did it for you.

Your ideas and song suggestions are strongly encouraged, so keep those comments and emails coming. Look for episode 32 in a couple of weeks, and, in the meantime, check out the blog for the aforementioned nerd news and interviews.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nerd justice

I know most of you probably caught this on Digg yesterday, but, as I spent the day crotch-deep in inventory transfer forms, I didn’t notice it until Church sent a link my way.

The long and short of the story is that Workspace, an alternative (and apparently very nerd-friendly) shared work environment in Vancouver, BC, was the victim of a robbery last Friday.

A pair of thieves took four laptops and two iMacs, and, while the crime was captured on a security camera, no usable images of the thieves could be discerned. That is until someone noticed this strange picture in an office Flickr stream!

This cat is at worst one of the perpetrators and at best a fellow using an obviously stolen machine. As I know that a fair chunk of y’all are from The Great Northwest, I thought I’d throw this out there just in case.

If you have any information concerning the identity of this man, please contact the fine folks at INFO [at] ABETTERPLACETOWORK [dot] COM.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

I am a Star Wars hater. I wasn’t always that way. Hell, as I child I petitioned to have my name changed to Luke. Had my mother conceded, I may’ve stayed firmly entrenched in Star Wars fandom, but that wasn’t the case.

As a result, I write this as a Lucas-ignoring shell of a nerd.

Star Wars backsliders are quite common these days, but I had actually lost most raging Force boner years before those shitty prequels ruined to saga for the rest of you. I am neither proud nor ashamed of this simple fact.

I’ve still got those misty water colored memories of the original trilogy in its original form, but (with the exception of the occasional re-watching of Empire) I’d rather not revisit it. But my secret shame, my secret hope, is that I’ve been looking for something to make Star Wars fun again for more than a decade.

Thank you, Family Guy, for doing just that.

  • In Cali: This Saturday (September, 29th, for those of you who are currently calendar deficient), BOSSFIGHT’s ZeaLouS1 and IllGill will be performing at San Diego’s SDSC. The show starts at 9:00 PM and also features live House/Trance mixing by DeWitte. There’s no cover, so all 21-and-ups are encouraged to attend.
  • Nerdy rock goodness: Glenn Case has posted 48 new Half Racks videos from their 9/14/07 Comet show at his Web site. Most bands can’t pull off compelling covers as diverse as Prince’s “Take Me With U” and The Who’s “Boris the Spider,” but most bands ain’t the Half Racks. Take a gander and be amazed at this eclectic collection of excellent original and cover material.
  • Behold The Sinister Six!: At long last, the identities of The Sinister Six have been revealed! To get a taste of what MadHatter, YTCracker, ZeaLouS1, Benjamin Bear, Big Stephen, and ShelShocker have in store, peep the group’s site for a teaser track as well as their first single “Make Way” in both MP3 and video form.
  • She's our girl: MC Router recently confirmed that she did, in fact, send in a submission for VH1's Female Rapper Show. Concerning her chances, Router remarked that she was pretty sure she wouldn’t make the cut, but that if she did she’d “let them know nerdcore is taking over” and not let us down. We’d expect no less from our First Lady! :D
  • I already do: Router’s big bro and frequent collaborator Beefy has a new track up on his MySpace entitled “You Can Call Me Beef.” It boasts amazingly polished production by the other half of 1337 Geek Beat, T-byte, and a flow that’s not to be believed. It’s quite different from a lot of Beefy's earlier work in that it’s has a very fast, rocked-up feel, but he manages to work some Scrubs references in there so as to remind that he’s still the same old Beef… only better.
  • Wait, we’re a minority now?: Something Awful hates you and all you stand for. I mean, of course they do – they’re Something Awful – but this time they’ve designated “Ironic Rappers and Their Fans” as the third most awful minority. The piece takes aim directly at MC Frontalot, and also manages to cast mc chris, MC Paul Barman, and the Beastie Boys in an unflattering light. The highlight has to be: “Get a microphone in front of a CS major and you can rest assured that an unintentionally racist pantomime of thug tropes will come spilling out of their mouths.” So I guess the bad news is that we’re all a bunch of bigots. The good news is that it’s totally inadvertent.
  • The Bard Who Lived: The Times of India purports that a young William Shakespeare was a dead ringer for Harry Potter. Patrick Spottiswoode, director of Globe Education at Shakespeare's Globe, was quoted as saying, “We asked [a police artist] to imagine what Shakespeare may have looked like at 14 [and the] result is fascinating, but disturbingly like Harry Potter.” You Brits are weird!
  • A storied past: In addition to sharing the above with me, Church also hipped me to this really odd Publishers Weekly article about… well, nerds. It touches on two nerd-related books that should make it to shelves this winter, David Anderegg’s Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them and Benjamin Nugent’s American Nerd: The Story of My People. Shit, it also includes a lit nerd timeline! It’s like Santa got my letter.
  • The Kids Are Alright: I’m gonna go out today on not one but two videos, both submitted to me by my friend Matt. The first is of 8 year-old DJ Sara. I’m usually the last person to catch shit like this, but I thought I’d post it just in case you’re with me at the back of the class. The second is a live version of “Satisfaction” as performed by the band that introduced a young Z. to the concept of nerdy music, DEVO. Enjoy them with your kids.