Saturday, May 03, 2008

New HipTrax

Amid family illness and the rush to get our Free Comic Book Day activities ironed out, I seem to have neglected to tell you about the newest edition of the GeekDad's HipTrax podcast. This episode features music from my longtime pal Beefy, my new friends Uncle Monsterface, and filk superstars Ookla the Mok. It also marks a number of firsts for the show; it's our first themed ep., it boasts our first song request, and it's also the first time recording has been interrupted by a phone call form my inlaws. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Choose a Player

Anthony and the GM4A crew, who, unlike me, seem to know how to meet a release date, have dropped the 50 megaton nerd music bomb that is Here Comes a New Challenger: 22 tracks, 35 artists, over 18 hours of music. Okay, that last part is a lie, but the compilation offers an amazing experience for fans of geeky hip-hop, chiptunes, and game music all the same. Everyone involved has poured blood, sweat, and tears into the project, and I highly suggest you check it out.

On the off chance you’ve not yet downloaded this labor of nerdy love, allow me to include a link to the relevant materials. I’ll even give you a second to open the page, right-click on the appropriate hypertext and hit Save Link As.



Like any large-form, multi-artist collaboration, there’s certainly something for everyone, and, while I’d love to suggest my personal faves – “F-Bombs and 1-Ups” by Dot.AY vs. ZOMBIES! ORGANIZE!!, “Rush’n Attack” by Dibiase vs. O-Phrap, and “Champion Hero” by Videogame Orchestra vs. Dual Core, just to name a few (And lest I forget Doctor Octoroc's amazing contributions both through the phenomenal cover art and on the album itself!!!) – I’d really like to hear your input. What tracks are you feeling?

Speak up. Don't be shy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

Despite a series of posts and retractions that hit the Interwebs yesterday – the whole of which Church most astutely compared to a Python sketch – it looks as though Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann has passed. For true.

Hofmann’s name, of course, is nigh synonymous with his most notorious scientific breakthrough, the synthesizing of LSD.

On one level, his death is important in nerd circles simply because of his clout as a chemist; science is, in and of itself, a nerdly virtue. Yet it’s just as important due to his role in introducing the world to a variety of hallucinogens.

Though the prevailing notion is that nerds are, to put it in a simpler parlance, squares, the brutal truth is that we are in a number of ways another modern progeny of the original counterculture. Drugs are a unique part of our collective cultural heritage, and, while I certainly won’t use this time to endorse them, it would be foolhardy not to acknowledge the drug history of the broader geek arts.

Suffice it to say that somewhere, in the grand cosmic swirl that is the afterlife, there is a suave, but no less geeky, European gentleman on one hell of a bicycle ride.
  • Any minute now: Today's big news is the release of GM4A's Here Comes a New Challenger compilation. I had the pleasure of receiving a preview copy last week, and I gotta say it's positively stuffed with musical goodness. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available to the public quite yet, but keep your eyes peeled.
  • Does whatever a spider can: Church comes through with another round of nerd ink. First up is a totally disturbing Spider-Man tat, and it’s followed by… well… nothing can really compare, so let’s just wrap it up right here.
  • Hogwarts Redshirts: Taking a cue from mega- franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, Warner Bros has recently greenlit Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Kicking off in 2009 for a 5 year run, the event will certainly be coming to a city near everyone but me. We can only hope that this will spell great things for the Wrock community.
  • Accio band: Meanwhile, Matt just hipped me to the fact that Potter symposium Portus is currently looking for more Wrock bands. The event is also pushing a Swap Meet that promises to see some interesting wares. Learn more over at The ‘Pedia.
  • She likes guys who like Harry Potter: A very excited Lauren of the Moaning Myrtles has finished her solo CD. You can check out clips from a number of the songs as well as her headband – which is apparently awesome for a couple of reasons – at YouTube.
  • Rock out with your sock out: Sock puppet rockers Uncle Monsterface have just “returned from the futuristic future” for an all-ages show this Friday, May 2nd at NYC’s The Knitting Factory with FISHBOY and besties. Doors open at 7:00 PM, and it’s $8 to get in. The venue is a bit of a bigger room than Monsterface is accustomed to headlining, so please show up and fill said room with love. Also, it just so happens to be Paradise Dan’s birthday, so be sure to buy him a drink for me.
  • More Random: Ran’s been popping up all over the place of late! Yesterday, his new single “Fly” was included on DJ Cro's Main Ingredient Radio Show, which you really need to check out, and recently a mix of his track “Inbox” was featured MP3 of the week at Looks like that link’s still live, so go download that one as well.
  • Long live mc: The new release from mc chris, mc chris is dead, is currently available for pre-order. This album ships tomorrow to indiemerchstore in Ohio, and a pre-order will guarantee that a copy will ship to you before next Friday. Act now.
  • That’s all that matters: The Laughing Squid has a wonderful interview of MC Frontalot by GETV’s delightful Irina Slutsky. Check it out for some interesting info on Front’s career, the Nerdcore Rising documentary, and his recent foray into Twitter-ing. Also, keep a keen eye for Doc Pop and YTCracker name-drops.
  • I know that guy!: Doc’s rumination on an interestingly placed Narnia banner – it makes Prince Caspian look all Cyclops – made it’s way onto Boing Boing. Post now before all the really good snarky comments are taken!
  • Hey fella: Another jewel from Church is this link from Cracked. It’s The 11 Most Unintentionally Gay Rap Lyrics Ever. I’m not sure if this is more offensive to hip-hop heads or the gay community, so I’ll leave that up to you.
  • Sonic Screwdriver: Recently, we in the States were treated to the season finale of Doctor Who. Meaning last season. Meaning this same finale ran in the UK what, like, nine months ago? Yes, Britain still retains Who-superiority, but I digress. Here’s a little musical tribute to the final demise of The Master. He most certainly was an asshole.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 43: Sprung

Spring is a time of rebirth. At least that’s what I am told.

Mostly for me it’s just about yard work.

Still, for the purposes of this podcast, I’ll buy into the “time of renewal” thing. That same line of thinking lends itself to the whole springtime romance pastiche, and that’s some fertile musical ground.

This episode features some songs that touch on both – lyrically- or strictly musically-speaking – and some that fall well outside the boundaries of the established theme. I hope you don’t mind. While it may be a little thematically shaky, I still think it’s pretty damned cohesive. Plus it boasts some tracks that, I’d wager, you haven’t heard before.

It certainly ain’t Vivaldi, but I think you’ll find it to your liking.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 43: Sprung [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 46.3 MB Running Time: 50:34

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)
Baddd Spellah is my muscular gardener and Beefy my strapping pool boy.

Track 1: The Four Eyes – “Any Way You Want It
People play a lot of golf in the spring, right? Otherwise, this episode starts off on a shaky foot.

Z’s 1st interlude: “At least here in the south.”
A southern spring is an odd thing. While you usually think of springtime as being resplendent with color, ours is fairly monotone. It’s all shades of yellow.

Track 2: Uncle Monsterface – “Lionfist Journey
“Fuckin’ great band!”

Track 3: Spheres of Chaos – “Megafauna
Ptradactyl Squad, for those of you not in the know, is a game music Web label that boasts an amazing array of original tracks and albums. It’s definitely worth your time to check ‘em out.

Track 4: The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets – “One-gilled Girl”
Apparently spring is also a time for inter-species romance. I’m not here to judge.

Track 5: Pete Miser – “So Sensitive”
With songs about robots and iPhones, Pete makes uniquely nerd-friendly hip-hop.

Track 6: Ultraklystron – “This Is Why I'm a Junglist
I am also a Junglist. As is Ali G.

Track 7: Elfonso – “Labyrinth Zone
And the award for Best Use of a Banjo in a Geek Rock Song goes to…

Track 8: The Ranger – “Rap Bukowski
Okay, I’ll admit that this track may lack the upbeat, spark of most of the other tracks, but you can’t deny its own intrinsic value. Though I’m still a little ambivalent about the vocal effects, The Ranger manages to make a nerdcore anthem like no other.

Z’s 2nd interlude: “A brand new instrumental from my friend Steve BC.”
While I sometimes feel a little bad for choosing a song I really dig simply to talk over, Steve always offers his beats up as background music. I’m a bit of a music snob when it comes to instrumentals, but damned if his tracks don’t always satisfy!

Track 9: The Cars – “The Little Black Egg”
I pulled this off The Cars Anthology. It seemed just appropriate enough for inclusion.

Track 10: Tanner4105 – “Doug Mix”
This is probably my favorite mix that Tanner’s ever done. It’s just so over the top!

Track 11: Dual Core – “Fantastic Four”
I actually did clear this with eighty and 64 before uploading this episode, just so everyone knows. The album’s not been released yet, but when it does make its way into this cold, cruel world, I highly recommend you give it a good home. This song is just one of the many reasons why.

Track 12: Jack Westmore – “Ace of Spades (Remix)”
A Motorhead remix is a beautiful thing.

Track 13: Split Seven Ways – “Potions Abuse Part 1”
I always hate editing songs, but the ep. was running long and this track had the unfortunate honor of being both the last track of the second set and having a very prominent break between movements. Still, I think you oughtta check out Wizrocklopedia to grab the whole EP and the Split Seven Ways MySpace for more excellent free tracks.

Z’s final interlude: “Be forewarned.”
I can’t imagine any of you would be surprised to hear a song with swears in it here at RFH, but sometimes I like to at least feign propriety.

Track 14: Jonathan Coulton – “First of May”
This is easily JoCo’s most vulgar and inappropriate song. It is also my favorite.

If this episode taught me anything, it’s that I need to do another theme-free edition of Radio Free Hipster. A potpourri episode, if you will.

I’m already looking at a couple of songs to potentially include. There are some folks we haven’t heard 'round these parts in a while – cats like id obelus, Whore Moans, and MPFM – and I’ve got some handsome new mash-ups I’ve been sitting on for a while now as well. So expect ep. 44 to be a bit looser, a bit more artistically malleable.

Unless, of course, I get distracted and totally change my mind.

Could happen.