Monday, May 05, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

This weekend was one of those super busy times in which I somehow managed to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Okay, well maybe not absolutely nothing: I tended to some ailing kids, scored some free books on Free Comic Book Day, and started an account over at Twitter, but that’s about it. I think we can agree that none of those represent earth shattering developments.

Will this week be any more fruitful? I kind of hope not.
  • What is this Nerdery?: Everyone’s favorite lo-fi geek rocker from across the pond – Does anyone say “across the pond” anymore? – Dan Plus Add has just released his new album Matters of Great Importance. Dan++ was nice enough to hit me with a pre-release copy last week, though, sadly, in a crush of work/family related activities, I neglected to plug it. But he wasn’t even mad, and do you know why? ‘Cause he’s English, and they are a polite and longsuffering people. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t rattle your collective cage to check it out, particularly my personal favorite tracks “My Landlord Sucks,” “Monosyllabic Expression of Heedlessness (meh),” “What is the Nerdery,” and “Welcome Back to the Internet.” Freebie versions are available at his site, but would it kill you to give the guy a couple of quid? Does anyone say “quid” anymore?
  • Plan accordingly: After some cajoling, I was able to convince mCRT to share with me the preliminary schedule for this year’s Nerdapalooza. Already set in stone are the headliners: MC Frontalot on day 1 and the Unlimited Enthusiasm Expo on day 2. But what about the rest of the line-up? Straight from the horse's mouth: “Tentatively speaking, day 1 includes Random, Zealous, Krondor Krew, Schaffer, Former Fat Boys, and Pixelh8. Day 2 has Killer Robots, Zombies! Organize!!!, Select Start, Wordburglar, myf, ytcracker, and Dual Core. There's more on each day--including another big name per day. We're still sorting out times and so forth because of those two additional big names--we'll announce as soon as we are totally locked in.” Now I just have to donate enough blood to be able to afford gas for the ride down there!
  • Microphones, tubes, and dump trucks: Church notes that our beloved Frontalot recently appeared on G4’s Freestyle 101, where he… didn’t freestyle… Still, he did bust a best-of medley, of sorts, over a smooth, jazzy beat, interspersed with his own unique brand of self-deprecation. Check it out and be amazed.
  • Rolling on: This weekend I received an update from my friend Beefy concerning his new album Rolling Doubles. Beef admitted that he was currently unsure of the final release date but he did leak a few tracks to me, and I gotta say I’m even more excited for the eventual release than before. He also toyed with some titles for the his follow-ups via Twitter, so check that out.
  • Lost in translation: Random just found a review of his new release Patches & Glue on a German web site. The problem is, of course, that Ran would like to read it and that online translators are less than accurate. Any German-speakers care to translate it for him?
  • Marking his territory: On the Wrock front, Matt pointed me toward a post at the ‘Pedia about Wizard Rock Wonder Twins The Whomping Willows and The Remus Lupins. Matt (aka: Whompy) and Alex (of the Lupins) are set to co-host an event at the Portus symposium on Sunday, July 13th called Moony and Whompy’s Post-Portus Dance Party from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM. The admittance price is set for $20, and more info can be found at the Wizrocklopedia.
  • I wanna be: Antisocial hipped me to this piece at about last month's ROFLCon in which the writer describes it as “the biggest gathering of micro-celebrities ever.” Seeing a mention of the con pop up on CNN is both wholly unexpected and, I guess, kind of the point.
  • The sound of Sea-town: With Ultraklystron in a state of semi-retirement, I’ve been looking for a third act to complete the holy hip-hop trinity of the Seattle area. This weekend I was introduced to Southside, a group that I think fits the bill well. With a noticeable punk rock ethic that’s tonic to local legends Optimus Rhyme and Goondocks without sounding derivative, I’m highly suggest you check them out. Based upon both their exemplary musical merits and their pervasive sense of lyrical eclecticism, I think you’ll mark them as an act to follow.
  • More new hotness: I’d also like to call your attention to another act of which I’ve recently become a huge fan, Trier Music. Nathan Trier is a composer that works in areas as disparate as hip-hop and tabletop RPG soundtracks. He’s also a hell of a nice guy who I’m honored to feature on the upcoming Old Nerdy Bastard compilation. Plus, he used to be in a jam band, which I imagine earns him a pass from Matt on that fact alone.
  • That’s fresh: And speaking of talented people featured on the upcoming compilation, the incomparable nYgel has just alerted me to his new project, a musical forum called Nerd Fresh. If you’re looking for a new artistic community in which to network, collaborate, or hang your virtual hat, this one will serve you well.
  • Faire to middling: This weekend, thanks to the time-wasting power of Twitter, I was able to broker a little meet-up between my pal Doctor Popular and the GeekDads at Maker Faire. Doc favored the ‘Dads with some yo-yo tricks, a little info about his crafting, and an explanation of the Crate Digger Death-match. And Ken even scored a special Doc Pop yo-yo for free. Lucky stiff!


Dan Plus Add said...

We sure do say quid still ;)

Karl said...

I'm not dead yet, nor am I'm pining for the fjords.

Watch out.

Matt said...

What's interesting is that I actually remember the Healthy Doses (Nathan's jamband). I don't think I ever saw them, but I remember seeing the name on fliers and hearing the name. I think they did some Productions Plus shows at Wilmer's Park outside DC.

Anyways... Yeah, there you go.

antisoc said...

Sounded like the Front freestyled a few bars... poorly... unless that was just a song of his that isn't very famous song

"MC Frontalot could never freestlye..."

Z. said...

You also still say "reckon," which gives the Queen's English and Southern English some rare common ground. ;)

We are all watching, Karl, and I can't wait to hear what comes next.

There you go indeed, Matt.

I hope that was his freestyle, Soc. Otherwise, I am confused and slightly disappointed.

Luca said...

If no one's beaten me to it, I'll take a stab at translating the Random review...

Luca said...

So Random is hard to reach through hisspace. I'll just post the review here:

Review in German:

Patches And Glue


Random, take four: after The Archetype, The Call and an instrumental album from last year which he dropped under his moniker Mega Ran, the rapper/producer who's just recently moved from Philadelphia to Phoenix is back at our door with a new piece of music. Patches and Glue is quite what one should expect from Big Ran: intelligent and personal rhymes without resorting to cheap clich├ęs, combined with beats that are expertly carved by people like DN3, Ohene, Storyville, K-Murdock and Raze Brooks.
The only thing we're missing a bit this time are the big names that were on The Call: Reef, 9th Wonder and Hezekiah. Instead we'll have to make do with JonBap, 88Keys and Richard Zeler. Which isn't so bad since Random sticks to the autobiographical over sugary soul beats on songs such as Fly and The Beatdown. He doesn't just settle for your average battle fare as on Til The Horns Blow. What's more grave is the fact that this production lacks a bit in originality. This mini album is clearly missing the freshness/breadth of ideas of its predecessor.
The only track that stands out is this regard is Inbox (Electric Relaxation) which surprises (as the title suggests) with a hommage to the Tribe's good old hit Electric Relaxation. One can't help being a bit disappointed by this record and we would wish Random would "look beyond the brim of his plate" (=explore more unbeaten tracks [no pun intended]) the next time...

Z. said...

Hey thanks, Luca! I'll try and pass this on to Ran. :)