Friday, April 18, 2008

Dual Core is never gonna give you up

There are older and more resilient memes, but surely there is no more elegant a meme than the Rickroll. My own favorite variation on this harmless prank/Web phenomenon is the live Rickroll, a gag that strikes a perfect balance between practical joke and performance art.

At this year’s Notacon, Dual Core’s int eighty Rickrolled an entire room full of coders, hackers, and nerdcore fans. It was a risky move, but he’s no stranger to love.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More crunchy goodness

In all my excitement about the latest Nerdapalooza news, I totally forgot to mention that a new edition of GeekDad’s HipTrax is now available for your listening pleasure.

Episode 3 includes songs from the lovely and talented sisters of RiddleTM, Video Game Music juggernaut The OneUps, and the amazingly indescribable Elfonso. It also contains tips of the (virtual) hat to my pal Anthony and the OverClocked ReMix community. Take a listen and fully realize what a poor orator your old pal Z. really is.

Tonight, the Nerds Will (W)Rock!

I have long been a cheerleader of Nerdapalooza. While geeks have always been known to have lofty ambitions but questionable follow-through, I felt the dream of Nerdapalooza to be one worth supporting. Sure, I had my doubts as to whether such a huge event could be pulled off just like everyone else, and yet in the end the festival did come to fruition, if on a smaller scale than originally hoped.

Now the dawn of new Nerdapalooza is fast approaching – a Second Age of Geek, if you will – and it rests on the shoulders of two uniquely competent dorks: Hex Warrior, the brains behind the original concept, and mCRT, who all but single-handedly brought together last year’s Nerdapalooza SE.

I’ve touted the roster for this iteration of the festival before. It is, to put it bluntly, a beast. A many-headed beast to which the faces of two more of nerdcore’s finest was recently affixed.

But it gets better.

My only knock against Nerdapalooza ’08 was its lack of geeky rock, or more specifically Wizard Rock. But this too was recently remedied in a fashion most grand.

Last night it was announced that geeky synth-poppers Math, the Band would be joining the lineup. Phenomenal!

It was further stated that the sock puppet rock of Uncle Monsterface, featuring my new pal Dan Brennan, would likewise be rocking the joint. Fantastic!

And lastly, it was revealed that Saturday night’s mystery headliner would be none other than Harry and the Potters. Fuck yeah!

That, my friends, is what we call the hat trick.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

Last week Wired was kind enough to foot the bill for some Moo minicards for GeekDad contributors. Through what can only be described as gross negligence on the part of the official bean counter, I made the cut.

I was gonna scan them in so you could see them in all their tiny, brightly colored glory, but contributor Kathy Ceceri’s son beat me to the punch.

As you can well see, I now have business cards depicting Boba Fett, slot cars, and Bionicles. The world is truly my oyster.

  • A gentle reminder: First, let me thank everyone who contributed, bid in, and spread the word regarding the Kingdom of Loathing community’s Andrew Bailey Memorial Fundraiser. The silent auction is currently in full swing, so be sure to head over and familiarize yourself with the various great KoL and non-KoL items up for grabs.
  • Like Sesame Street, only not: Anthony of GM4A and MisterB of that United Kingdom place have joined forces to create a podcast “about video game inspired music and nerd music.” You can subscribe to the Letters VS Numbers podcast via Feedburner, make friends with the show via MySpace, and send feedback and song suggestions to the lads at lettersvsnumberspodcast AT gmail DOT com. How simple was that?
  • Nerdcore meets Hip-Hop: This week’s edition of the RandomBeagle show – featuring the Blue Bomber himself, Mega Ran – steps into disturbingly nerdy territory. While Ran and DN3 generally focus their podcast on hip-hop gems both classic and modern, this time around they dedicated the entire episode to nerdcore. In addition to featuring and exclusive interview with MC Frontalot, the show also features some great nerdcore tracks, several of which were suggested by yours truly. Give the show a listen, and be sure to thank Ran for continuing his effort to bridge the gap between rap nerds and traditional heads.
  • Rocket! Yeah! Satellite of Love!: mCRT has recently announced that Nerdapalooza’s all-important Saturday night headliner has been confirmed. Unfortunately, Rob is being tightlipped about the specifics other than saying: “It isn't a hip-hop group, but it's still definitely nerd music, and it's an extremely influential group. You have almost certainly heard of them.” Tune into the official Nerdapalooza radio show on Rocket Propelled Radio on April 15th for the unveiling. Holy shit! That’s tonight!
  • Pay it forward: Uncle Monsterface needs your help giving their friends Fishboy… some… help. Anyway, Fishboy is touring from Denton, TX, and will be playing with UM in NYC on May 2nd. Fishboy’s May 4th show in Boston, however, fell through, so the band needs what we call around these parts “the hook-up.” While Monsterface can’t play that evening due to a scheduling conflict, they’re simply asking if “somebody (can) please find a cool show or venue for Fishboy on the night of Sunday, May 4?” Help your favorite band’s favorite band find a place to play, Bostonians!
  • Comic books and drug humor: The venerable mc chris will be performing on Sunday, April 20th at NYC Comicon. He’ll be playing between 2:30 and 3:00 PM on the Variant stage, and he plans to unveil a new track form hhis forthcoming album mc chris is dead the preceding Saturday at midnight.
  • The Sideburn State: In other giggy goodness, Sudden Death has been contacted by a New Jersey venue that’s looking to put together a geeky hip-hop show. Savannah's on Route 23 in Stockholm is hoping to pull it off some time in July, and Devo Spice is looking for other interested rappers in the area. Holler at him over at RT if you are a Jersey-area rapper with the inclination to participate.
  • Their Atari: Sudden Death would also like to grace your eyeballs and earholes with a new video for their track “My Atari.” You can check the vid out over at YouTube. Don’t forget to comment!
  • u r likly 2 b eated: In his continuing search for the perfect LOL, Church has uncovered a beast from geek culture’s past. Behold the LOLGrue. It r verry dark. Kthanxby.
  • Same as it ever was: And Matt comes back with more Star Wars gangsta rap. Perhaps I spoke too soon. Maybe all nerdy music is about Star Wars.
  • Because you demanded it: Delightful lady-type Wrockers The Moaning Myrtles have set themselves up on gig request service Eventful. What this means is that you can go to their site profile and suggest your city as a projected tour stop. Just don’t, like, suggest they play at your apartment or anything. That’s just creepy.
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (except Diagon Alley): And to wrap things up, today we’ll end on another find compliments of my pal Matt: a new video from one of my favorite Wrockers The Weasel King. Check out “They Can’t Catch Us All,” and, when you’re finished, go check out TWK’s site for more musical goodness.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 42: The Fightin’ 501st

For a long time I told people I wasn’t a Star Wars fan, or, more specifically, that I wasn’t a Star Wars fan anymore. That’s not to say I was ever a card-carrying Star Wars hater, of which there are more than a few, but I was fairly vocal about my stance on the new direction the franchise began to take around the time of the Special Editions: it just wasn’t for me.

Years later, I’ve made my peace with Lucas. (Yeah, I’m sure he’s relieved!) I’ve learned to treat the saga like I treat any other epic geek property that has seen its share of less-then-stellar plot twists, iterations, or re-imaginings.

This episode of Radio Free Hipster is, in part, about me comings to grips with the harsh reality of the Star Wars of my youth versus the Star Wars that my kids will grow up with. Sure, I like mine better, but that’s just human nature. Midi-chlorians or no, The Force is strong within us all.

But more specifically, this ep. is a celebration of what I consider to be some of the coolest things about Star Wars and Star Wars fandom; it’s about the creativity that fans have shown through music.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 42: The Fightin’ 501st [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 47.8 MB Running Time: 52:15

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)
Spellah’s midi-chlorian level is off the scale, and I believe Beefy to be the Chosen One.

Track 1: Party Ben – “Galvanize the Empire
This is one of those songs I found, loved, listened to for weeks, all but forgot about, and then was reintroduced to by a friend. Thanks to Denika for reminding me about this one!

Z’s 1st interlude: “You can’t help but amass a staggering collection of tracks about Star Wars.”
Nerdy music isn’t all about Star Wars. A lot of it is about Star Wars. Shit, most of it is about Star Wars. But not all.

Track 2: Dual Core – “A New Hope”
Three words: Sand People Choir.

Track 3: Down Underdogs – “Nerf Herders (Empire Mix)
The Down Underdogs are what I consider to be an often overlooked jewel of nerdcore hip-hop. The Ranger and Co. remind me of the lesson I learned from Pinky and Diabolik: there’s some fierce hip-hop coming out of Australia.

Track 4: Rebel Force Band – “A Respirator for Darth Vader”
Blame this one on Church. Totally his idea.

Track 5: “Blue Harvest” clip / MC Frontalot – “ Yellow Lasers
There’s a lot of talk about excretions in this part of the show. I’m probably not nearly as ashamed of that fact as I should be.

Track 6: unknown - “Star Wars Mix”
Again, some folks say this is Aphex Twin - and it may well be - but I am unconvinced.

Track 7: Star Wars: The Musical - “Let’s Blow This Thing
This is the kind of track that folks will either love or hate. Its polarizing nature made it a great candidate for inclusion.

Z’s 2nd interlude: “The epitome of fandom.”
I don’t personally know anyone involved the 501st, in my local Garrison or otherwise, but I really like what they do. That is why I titled this episode in their honor.

Track 8: Anarchy Steering Committee – “I Wanna Be a Stormtrooper”
The ASC is no more, but tracks like this endure. comedy + geekery = teh genius

Track 9: Gluecifer – “Obi Damned Kenobi”
A lot of my friends are into the whole Scandinavian hard rock revival thing, a movement with acts like Gluecifer and The Hellacopters at the forefront. Me? Not so much, although I do appreciate the opportunity to inject a little non-nerdy music into the mix.

Track 10: Weird Al – “Yoda”
This episode only had room for “Yoda” or “The Saga Begins.” I believe I made the right choice.

Track 11: Caravan Ray - “Natalie Portman”
In a set dedicated to classic characters, I elected to include a song about an actress from the new trilogy. Consider it a gesture. Check out Ray at He'll make ya smile.

Track 12: “Blue Harvest” clip / Superbus – “Han Solo”

While trolling for songs for this ep., I came across several mentions to this track. I assumed it was by the other Superbus, but a quick listen let me know that I was sorely mistaken.

Z’s final interlude: “Noticeably absent thus far.”
Tell the truth: you were all waiting on “Fett’s Vette!”

Track 13: mc chris – “Fett’s Vette (Glenn Case Imperial Remix)” / “Star Wars According to a 3 Year Old Girl” clip
While Baddd Spellah’s is undoubtedly the definitive mix of this song, I have a soft spot for Glenn’s interpretation.

In a modern world, one devoid of myth and supernatural whimsy, epic tales of good versus evil and the weight of personal choice play an important role. In fact, I think that’s part of the appeal of things like the Star Wars saga.

Luke is our Hercules. Han is our Beowulf. Yoda is our John Henry.

But most importantly, C-3PO is the shiny guy. And the shiny guy always worries.