Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

So Dumbledore is gay.

Or, rather, was gay. (Sorry if that ruins shit for you, but spoilers have an expiration date!)

I understand that there’s probably a firestorm brewing over this in some circles, but, personally, I’m cool with it.

I mean, J.K. really went all out to have a socially realistic cast of characters in the Harry Potter series, and the lack of a gay player seems a little odd. In an epic resplendent with (reasonably) believable characters from a myriad of social backgrounds that goes to such great lengths to espouse the strength of humankind’s innate ability to come together despite minor differences, it only makes sense that someone be gay.

Hogwarts had white trash and fetishists (Hagrid likes big women.), bigots and Jews (Don’t fucking tell me that Ravenclaw prefect Anthony Goldstein ain’t Jewish!), alcoholics and sociopaths, so why not a gay character?

Truthfully, until he knocked up Tonks, my money was on Remus. He and Sirius always seemed to have something simmering below the surface.

  • Speculation and hearsay: I’m sure no one cares about this but me, but Kotaku is reporting that a Japanese mag has hard evidence suggesting that Animal Crossing for the Wii will be an MMO! I can't wait to level grind by shaking some trees/collecting some shells... Okay, maybe not.
  • Frontalot has a posse: MC Frontalot is actively recruiting Street Team members for his November tour. If you think you might be down check out the dates to see if His Royal Baldness will be making his way to your locality. Mr. Hess will need info concerning the names, ages, preferred email addresses, and proximity to the venues in question for all interested parties.
  • Purple Reign: Like anyone who genuinely loves music, Glenn Case is a Prince fan. With that in mind, he and Niveous are currently assembling a Prince tribute of sorts. I say of sorts because, due to Prince’s “super obsession with copyrights,” the project has a twist. “Each month, [Glenn and Niv] and any other bands who would like to join [them] in this endeavor (the more bands the better) will make original songs using the titles of Prince songs.” The tracks will be posted to the project’s webspace and the process will continue until an entire library of Prince tunes that aren't actually Prince tunes is available. The first Purple Reign will begin in November with Prince's debut album For You. Interested parties are fervently encouraged to peep this post for more details.
  • Stand 5.5: While Optimus Rhyme are venting their vitriol at mc chris in their newest song, DJ Snyder has issued the diminutive rapper an ultimatum. Okay, it's not really an ultimatum; it’s mostly just a request for a new remix contest. If you’re also interested in another such competition, say your piece over at the forums.
  • The Making of: Those of you whole loved Random’s Mega Ran project – and let’s be honest here: that’s pretty much everybody – will be pleased to know that he’s written an in-depth album breakdown that’s currently available at Hip-Hop Linguistics. It’s a great read and it really sheds a lot of light on the creative process behind all your favorite tracks.
  • Super duper: Dual Core's own int eighty was nice enough to hit me up with some more information regarding the group's new release Super Powers. The album itself should be available for purchase by the end of the month, and folks who purchased Zero One will be able to buy Super Powers for only 5 bucks!
  • It was a graveyard smash: I’ve been scouring the Internet for weeks for signs of this year’s Monster Mash-up project, and just as I had given up hope Matt directed me to this Boing Boing piece. Apparently this year’s iteration is called Mashing Pumpkins, and it’s headed up by Cheekyboy rather than djbc. It’s quite a good collection, so check it out.
  • Undead, undead!: Not to be outdone, Church followed up with this Boing Boing link about a Disney’s Haunted Mansion/Bauhaus mash. As someone who can’t get enough “Bela Lugosi is Dead” mashes, I am positively thrilled!
  • Bloodcurdlingly overused: Another seasonal submission from Matt is this ABC piece on Hollywood’s most famous scream. The article itself is fun, but the accompanying video compilation borders on hilarious. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Wrath of Wheelie Cyberman

Y'all know I tend to abhor drama, but I just received this track from grimROCK with instructions to "spread it like a disease." Consider yourselves infected.

Optimus Rhyme - "MC Chipmunk"

EDIT: I just came to the realization that some of you may need some, y'know, context. You can garner that here and here.

More powerful than a locomotive

Yesterday I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a preview copy of Dual Core’s forthcoming release. Unlike Zero One, Super Powers is very much a concept album. It’s based loosely on the notion of super heroes, or more specifically musical super heroes and villains among us. This isn’t the only difference; whereas Zero One was all about c64 and int eighty doing their own thing with minimal (but no less impressive) input from featured artists, this album looks to be a nerdcore family affair. In addition to notable collaborations with Stephanie KB and Odub, Super Powers also featured bona fide contributions from YTCracker, Beefy, ZeaLouS1, and MC Wreckshin. Though a solid release date has yet to be set, this album is easily another must-own. Rest assured that I’ll keep you apprised of new info as it becomes available.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Your Miles May Vary: Zombies!

It’s been a while since we at Hipster, please! – meaning, y’know, me – explored the glory of non-absolutism. And what better time to dredge up uncomfortable and ethically vague concepts such as the malleable nature of truth than Halloween?

And with that mealy-mouthed pontification, I present to you the triumphant return of Your Miles May Vary, a community-centered feature that explores a single question from a number of different angles.

I’m sure by now HP regulars have noticed the relatively high concentration of zombie-related content around the blog this month. Hell, I even made with the pseudo-intellectual posturing concerning nerds and zombies in my last podcast. But ham-handed symbolism aside, nerds love and zombies and zombies most certainly love nerds.

So this brings us to the uncomfortable and ever-looming question concerning the immanent threat of a zombie holocaust. What would you do if you were trapped by a horde of the angry dead? How would you survive? How would you cope? Is there, indeed, any hope for survival in the pallid, worm-gnawed face of such overwhelming odds?

Today we will be examining none of those questions.

Instead my expert panel will be discussing the worst place to find yourself during a zombie uprising.

Read on to see how this most dire of worst case scenarios plays out.

The zed word.

DJ Chubby CheeksGeoff (aka DJ Chubby Cheeks); DJ/beatsmith/Webmaster of Revenant Magazine

Howdy Hipsters!

What zombie fan hasn't thought of the worst place to be during the zombie apocalypse? For me, I have always run through these very interesting scenarios based in Colma, California. A small town at the Northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County.

I lived in the Bay Area for a few years in the late 90's and drove by Colma quite often. Colma has been dubbed "The city of the silent" as it is home to 17 cemeteries and the dead outnumber the living by thousands to one.

As a fan of the slow, shambling zombies... my fear has always been being massively outnumbered by a sea of traipsing undead bearing down on me. Colma cemeteries are also home to some of the countries famous dead like Wyatt Earp and Joe Dimaggio.

Speaking of undead, we have some cool stuff coming up at Revenant Magazine. We will have an exclusive online gallery showing by amazing comic artist Shane Oakley (of Albion fame). Shane will be bringing us some of his gorgeous zombie artwork. We also have many updates to new sections on the way including new book reviews, film reviews, original articles and interviews from writers all over the globe. Stay Dead!

The zed word.

ZeaLouS1ZeaLous1; MC/producer/zombie aficionado

I believe the worst place for me to be during a zombie invasion is separated from my friends and family. I am confident I can take care of myself in most situations, but I could not stop worrying about everything until I knew the people I love and care for were safe.

Otherwise, in a more general perspective, the worst place to be would be anywhere ground-level. Worst case scenario: we have the zombies that can sprint/jump, and are powerful and somewhat agile. If you are boxed in a room on ground level and they know you are in there it’s only a matter of time before they get in.

The zed word.

Zombie DenikaDenika; Nerdy artist/Japanophile/living dead girl

On the side of the living! ;)

The zed word.

Zombie DennisDennis; Necrocrafter/IKEA design ninja/shambling corpse


The zed word.

Wow. That took an unfortunate turn.

Yet, as previously stated, YMMV isn't necessarily about arriving at a consensus; it’s about letting individuals espouse their personal (and often disparate) opinions.

While Geoff answered very geographically, Z1 proceeded more emotionally, and… well, Dennis and Denika sold us all out for a cold handshake and a plate full of brains, I do believe that each of these answers played into a grander underlying theme. That being, of course, that in the event of a zombie apocalypse we’re probably fucked.

That being said, I can’t help but think that, for me, at least, the worst place to be during such an attack would a public restroom: there’s limited space for evasive maneuvering, generally poor lighting, and only one exit. Plus it’s hard to run away from the undead with your trousers around your ankles.

Just something to think about the next time you answer nature’s call.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nerd News in Brief

I’m taking the wife to Charlotte tonight to see the Last Comic Standing comedy tour. I bought the tickets long before I knew who the top five were gonna be, and I’m a little pissed that I spent my money to see most of these asshats.

For those of you who didn’t watch – and I’m assuming that’s most of you – the wining comic was North Carolinian and Dodge pitchman Jon Reep, so I’m imagining the humor-impaired redneck constituency is gonna be out in full force. Still, I get to see Amy Schumer and Doug Benson, both of which are actually pretty funny, so I’m hoping for the best.

Going to stand-up events is always a weird experience for me as it reminds me how homogenized comedy has to be to gain popularity with mainstream America. In that regard, it’s eerily similar to popular music. I reckon that’s why comedians like Bill Hicks and bands like The Clash mean so much to me: they fuck with the formula but still manage to capture the attention of the masses.
  • Album of the year – no shit!: Listening to Tbyte’s new release Bad Apollo – I’m a Burning Fart IV – Volume Two No Butts for LMAO is like living inside the mind of a schizophrenic, and I can think of no higher praise than that. Whether cutting the theme from Pokemon and the hook from "Lowrider" together to create an electrofunk dance number or mashing up Randy Savage and Ringo, this album serves as a gentle reminder that there’s nothing so wrong with pop music that can’t be cured by skillfully fucking with it. This album’s so good that you don’t even mind the Rick-Roll that Tanner throws in on the fifth track! I know I suggest a lot of stuff around here, but, if you listen to anything I say this month, make sure you download this disk. Plus, anything that mocks neo prog rockers Coheed and Cambria must be good.
  • Science says you suck: Remember the Canadian cat that pointed out that all the singles by modern butt-rockers Nickleback sounded exactly the fucking same? Well, indie music site Hometracked has also proven the same about whine-core pioneers and California state spelling champs Linkin Park. The visible waveforms of a half-dozen songs provide for compelling (if anecdotal) evidence.
  • And speaking of butt-rock: Matt pointed me to this blog post dissecting the YouTube video of a Van Halen’s off-pitch performance of "Jump" at a recent show in Greensboro, NC. There’s also some further discussion of the mechanics of this cacophony that reminds us that music is, ultimately, just math.
  • The Battle of Colorado: I’ve actively tried to avoid covering the most recent bout of nerdcore drama for two reasons: A) the animosity (and, by extension, me adding to it) doesn’t really accomplish anything and B) I figure you’ve probably heard amply about it elsewhere. Still, this article that Church found in the Colorado Springs Independent, that both touches on and may well have genuinely sparked the new beef, is actually a pretty good read. I imagine you could call it a bit one-sided, but it’s still worth your time.
  • Like real television, only different: IPTV show Frag has a piece about nerdcore – mostly about MC Frontalot, but my boy funky49 makes an appearance as well – viewable at online video repository Joost. Episode 3 also features "mouse sex enthusiasts - men who are sexually aroused by the mice they use on their computers [and] Joel Veitch [of]" All I’m saying is that nerdcore is in good company. Good, good company.
  • Wrocking in the Free World: Matt also alerted me to the fact that the International Wizard Rocker's Union, a DIY knowledge dump from the Whomping Willows, is ready for action. While the project is geared toward Wrock artists, much of the info provided can prove useful to independent musicians of all persuasions. Content’s a little thin at present, but this will, no doubt, be a promising project.
  • Nerd-on-nerd violence: Church recently found the first portent that the age of geek chic is drawing to a close. Behold the Flash game "Slap the Nerd." I’m don't want to get into the ethical grey area concerning whom it was that coded this particular piece of idle entertainment, but it was, y’know, probably a nerd.
  • The Undead invade Washington: DJ Chubby Cheeks passed on a little info concerning the need for extras for a zombie film being made just a half hour outside of Seattle. The feature film Zombies of Mass Destruction is being filmed "in a quaint sea side town that gets over run by zombies called Port Gamble." If you’ll be in the Seattle area between October 23th and November 17th and would like to be an extra, please contact Denise, the extras coordinator. Contact info and further info can be found in this thread at the Revenant Magazine BBS.
  • Young Zombies in Love: I don’t even want to entertain the notion of what a zombie wedding cake would consist of, but here’s an idea of what the cake topper would be. It just goes to show that nerdy creativity is a strange and wonderful (and strange) thing.
  • With Dave Vanian as the Invisible Man: What we need is some geeky, gothy, ironic punk rock up in here. And so, here’s an old promo vid for The Damned’s "Smash It Up." The video quality is shitty, but the song’s still great.