You’re all aware that the last few weeks have been a little rough for your old pal Z. – what with the teeth getting yanked out and whatnot – but it hasn’t been all bad.
There were the drugs, and those are always fun. Of course, I’ve also received an ample infusion of nature’s analgesic: swag. Nothing speeds up the process of convalescence quite like new tunes, and my dorky comrades have made sure to provide me with a nigh endless supply of new entertainment options.
Nerdcore producer nYgel, for example, was nice enough to give me a pre-release copy of his forthcoming mixtape Nature’s Outcasts. I won’t dwell to much on this at present, as I plan to give it a full write-up after its official release, but suffice it to say he brought his A game.
I also received a care package from the very bowels as hell (aka: New York) from none other than Schäffer the Darklord. Schäff provided me with both his debut release Meet My Maker and his new album Mark of the Beast. You’ve no doubt heard a bit of the material from the former, as I played the delightfully profane “Attack of the Clonefucker” on an edition of Radio Free Hipster. In case you missed it, let me sum up: Meet My Maker treads some magical line between the pomp of rap and the unbridled malevolence of metal without ever devolving into the unsavory potage that is rap-metal.
Consequently, Mark of the Beast takes everything that was right about its forerunner and builds on it. It’s more literate, more lyrical, and more lascivious. Plus the production value and overall flow of the album have really been ramped up.
I’m what you might call a comedy purist. Okay, I’m actually what you might call a douche bag, but I’m what I call a comedy purist, and as such I generally feel that musical comedy is only slightly more palpable than the dreaded prop comedy. Still, Schäffer manages to be both musical and comedic in turn without ever leading the listener to feel that one element is a tacked-on shtick meant merely to help the other go down smoothly.
What I’m getting at is that Meet My Maker is good. It’s fun and humorous and enjoyable and would be a welcome addition to anyone’s collection. Mark of the Beast, however, is a must-own. I know that STD has never fully been accepted by the nerdcore masses, but, as I’m sure anyone who caught him on tour with Frontalot can corroborate, he’s one of us. Come for the “Cat People,” stay for the “Nerd Lust.”
This brings us, of course, to ZeaLouS1’s newest offering The Living Epitaph. BOSSFIGHT’s own Dark Prince was nice enough to hook me up not only with a free copy of Z1’s newest masterwork, but one of the ultra-exclusive limited editions. Included in the slick black packaging was a pair of die-cut stickers (I love stickers!) and a logo pinback (I fuckin’ love pins!), as well as a signed copy of the disk itself.
The album is what you’d expect from ZeaLouS at this point in his artistic development, and that is in no way an insult. As the premiere BOSSFIGHT artist, Z1 has always been about quality, and The Living Epitaph takes that to a whole new level.
From the simple, poignant invocation that begins the disk to the last strains of the album’s closer, ZeaLouS1 takes you an a journey that’s equal parts sci-fi and real life, equal parts fact and fiction, equal part poppy hooks and fierce lyricism. It’s easily his most accessible work, but Z1 stays true to the nerd life just like long-times fans would expect. Tracks like “By Your Side” will both surprise you with delicate aural textures and waylay you with the one-two punch that is the next evolutionary step in ZeaLouS’s musical maturity.
I’m gonna assume that many of you reading this have already purchased this album. Those who haven’t should. It’s that simple.
I know I make a lot of suggestions about how you spend your hard-earned entertainment dollar, so I’ll sweeten the deal: if you’re not an early album adopter, just keep listening to my podcast. I can guarantee that you’ll be hearing a lot from STD and Z1 in upcoming episodes.
The good news is that the offending teeth have been dealt with. Dental retribution was both swift and, of course, bloody.
The bad news is that between the frequent antibiotics and the potent painkillers I am hazy at best and incoherent at worst. So please excuse me if this Nerd News in Brief is structurally confusing and verbally meandering.
Homage vs. parody: Last week Monzy was once again called on to spread the good word of nerdcore, and Church was quick to find the piece and pass it on to me. As usual, Monzy manages to keep his expectations regarding the genre reasonable while at the same time letting his geek flag fly.
The great racism debate, part XVII: Church was also kind enough to direct me to this piece about MC Frontalot in Northwestern University’s Medill's Journalism mag Medill Reports. It’s a pretty interesting read, but I especially like the authors’ simple summation that “Nerdcore was not created in a vacuum,” which plays oddly against the included criticisms of the Village Voice’s Tom Breihan. Take a gander and lemme know what you think.
Long live Wrock: My pal Matt also recently passed on word that the Wrock EP of the Month Club is about to become an exclusive affair. With somewhere in the neighborhood of only 50 subscriptions left, if you’d like to snag 12 exclusive CDs featuring new music from Wizard Rock bands for the low-low price of 50 bones, you best act now.
Ultra Magus: Matt also hipped me to the finalized dates for Wrock festival Magus 2008. Next June 20th through 22nd, Morgantown, WV will literally explode with Potter-related merriment. Be there or suffer the wrath of hundreds of rabid Wrockers!
Why must you destroy all we hold dear?:WIRED magazine has a small feature – a featurette, if you will – on nerd culture Web comic xkcd. Just because I couldn’t find any glaring inaccuracies doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Consider the source.
Geeky even by band nerd standards: In case you missed this when Jason blogged about it earlier, Kotaku has some crazy clips of the UC Berkley band’s videogame themed halftime show. The Tetris bit alone deserves your utmost attention.
The WB: The gamer community known simply as Plat4mer recently posted an interview with geeky Canadian wordsmith the Wordburglar. The fake street lingo interview style is a bit grating, but Burg comes off as smooth as always. Plus, he admits to loving the DS, proving once and for all Wordburglar is the shit.
I bet the icing is sharp and acrid: MC Router just announced the forthcoming release of her first full-length album. The First Lady of Nerdcore will be dropping 8-BIT CUPCAKE on us December 15th. How many references will Router make to PBR in the first track alone? I’m gonna guess a bunch.
Straight Outta Winamac: On the subject of new music, last week, while in the aforementioned drug-addled haze, I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Id Obelus via MySpace. Check out his profile for a taste of his clean, arty, challenging, and imminently nerdy rhymes, and for info on his new release flyourfavorite. I think you’ll dig it.
I haven’t the words to describe it: And just to let you know the kind of stuff my friends have been funneling me in my altered state, let me wrap up today’s post with this vid. It’s both seasonal and surreal.