Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

This week’s Nerd News in Brief is a bit later than usual. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’ll not bore you with them. Suffice it to say that I’ve been fairly busy, and the bulk of the things keeping me otherwise occupied are related to the site and its various projects. Always with the projects, I am!

I recently had a friend ask me how I did it: the family and the blogs and the podcasting and the real job. My answer? I pretty much half-ass my way though. In a world of excellence, I am striving for mediocrity.

  • Nerd Ink, the Continuing Saga: Church rounded up another bumper crop of nerdy (and rather disturbing) tattoos. The nerdy comes in the form of a tribute to the NES, while the disturbing is just too odd for words.
  • Old Nerdy Bastard: Not to tempt fate or anything, but I think the new Hipster, please! compilation album should be ready for release come Monday. I had sort of promised myself it would drop this week, but early in the week I received word from a wonderfully unexpected source concerning a late addition to the album. I’m excited. Are you excited?
  • Reciprocal nerd <3: My pal Matt of the blog free_geek posted a really nice write-up about the pre release version of the aforementioned compilation that I recently sent him. Almost too nice! I kid, I kid. Seriously though, look at his post to get his take on the comp. And Matt, thanks!
  • Potter-free: Thanks also to Matt for pointing out that this month, for the first time in 10 years, the NY Times Best Sellers list is sans Harry Potter. We all knew it would happen some day, but who expected it to be so soon?
  • Meanwhile, in Potter-dom: The ladies behind the Wizard Rockumentary have announced that you can now pre-order copies of the DVD through their Web site. For more info on this item and WRock in general I will, as always, direct your attention to the Wizrocklopedia.
  • Mega: Lots of news this week from the Random camp, the first of which is the release of a new Mega Ran video from the folks at Music Video Mayhem. Ran also got some love on the new Okay Player mixtape The Lesson, on which his Megas collab “Boss Battle” is featured. And lastly, German hip-hop site has posted an interview with the Blue Bomber. In English, no less.
  • Rock out with your Hawk out: I have it on good authority – as in, from the man himself – that nerdcore legend MC Hawking is hard at work on a new album. A firm release date has yet to be set, but the Hawkman is toying with the idea of doing an exclusive Hipster, please! interview to celebrate the forthcoming launch. I’ll keep you in the loop as things develop.
  • YTCracker, you’re the best: In a bold move toward, y’know, trying not to suck, G4TV has tapped YTCracker, MC Frontalot, MC Lars, and Del the Funkee Homosapien for a new ad campaign entitled “It’s a Nerd’s World.” YT says, “(We) have all produced little thirty second raps which will have accompanying videos to run as promos in heavy rotation on the television… (and) we also put together a sixty second posse track featuring six bars from each of us which is also epic.” YT goes on top say that next week he’ll be LA filming a spot for Freestyle 101. First basic cable, then the world!
  • Wiid is by my side: Though I am unwilling to pony up 90 bones for the unproven peripheral that is Wii Fit, other American consumers are eating that shit up. Or so says TIME magazine. Okay, not in so many words, but I totally fooled you, right? Seriously, though, peep the review at and further decry the death of the hardcore gamer. Go on. You know you want to.
  • SEGA!: Hot on the heels of recent release Here Comes a New Challenger (and the soon to be released Heavy Troopa is Ready to Launch!), Anthony and the GM4A crew are launching yet another compilation! This time around the project is a tribute to that oft overlooked console of yore, the noble Sega Genesis. Interested parties are encouraged to holler at Ant. Tell him Z. sent you.
  • Nerds, come together!: And taking us home this week is a little advert from Hex Warrior, Nerdapalooza’s co-coordinator, about the spirit of the event. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 44: All Things New Are Old Again

Within the last three weeks I have acquired something in the neighborhood of 15 new albums. A number of them were purchases I made on my own or freebies I’ve snagged online, but many were sent to me directly from the artists. Don’t get me wrong, I love this, and, indeed, there’s no higher compliment to someone in my position than a musician who actively seeks me out to ply me with free music.

The only problem inherent in this imminently desirable little system is that sometimes I get a bit “snowed under” with new content and folks get less play time than they rightfully deserve. Even albums I love occasionally get lost in the shuffle before I can share them with you to the extent I feel necessary.

With that in mind, the next couple of editions of Radio Free Hipster will be what I like to call potpourri episodes, shows in which I plumb the depths of both my back catalog and my stack of new arrivals and just play great songs with little regard for themes or concepts. Hopefully you’ll hear some new stuff that you really feel and be reminded of some older tracks that you never stopped loving.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 44: All Things New Are Old Again [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 43 MB Running Time: 46:59

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)”
Ah, a classic!

Track 1: Harry and the Potters – “Save Ginny Weasley”
For many, this was the introductory track to the wonderful world of WRock. Years later, it still holds up extremely well.

Z’s first interlude: “I felt like gloating a bit.”
I really am thrilled with the caliber of artists featured on the next compilation. Hopefully, you’ll be excited too.

Track 2: Dan Plus Add - “Welcome Back to the Internet
Dan’s new album is really a lot of fun. Take a listen and hear for yourself.

Track 3: id obelus - “You Will Die”
id’s rhymes about rural America are oddly applicable to my own life.

Track 4: Beefy - “Bestestest
“Like a clown on retainer, I’m always down to party.”

Track 5: The Sprites - “The Most Dangerous Thing in the World”
Wherein my recent reading becomes central to the track list of the show.

Track 6: killsaly – “Decker
Wherein the trend continues. killsaly is also featured on the new comp. His Frontalot mix is a thing of beauty.

Track 7: Go Home Productions – “Annie Rush”
A mash-up, because I can. ;)

Z’s 2nd interlude: “Which I find hilarious for some reason.”
Probably because of my juvenile sense of humor.

Track 8: Captain Spalding - “I’m Your Medic”
I can’t believe I’m just getting around to playing this one!

Track 9: DJ Pantshead and The Evolution Control Committee - “The Fat Muppets”
ECC? Also on the new comp!

Track 10: Whore Moans - “Be Impressed”
I often lament that id and Whore Moans don’t get more love form the community, and then I turn around and wait months between playing their songs on RFH. I am sore ashamed.

Track 11: RiddleTM - “Ode to Voldemort (Peeved Remix)
I’m actively trying to play more WRock. I get the feeling that some people are waiting for that one Wizard Rock track to come along and knock them on their ass, and I’m gonna keep playing them until one does. (Peeved has a mix on the new album.)

Track 12: Glenn Case - “The Power of Applause”
I play a lot of Glenn’s stuff, but I’ve played very little from The New Adventures of Captain S Soundtrack. (Glenn’s on the comp too!)

I also need to play more chiptunes and VGM. Mental note. Ant, be sure to hold me to this.

Track 14: My Parents Favorite Music – “Kool-Aid”
MPFM have had some personnel changes of late, but I have yet to pick up any of their new stuff. This one’s a classic from their back catalog.

Z’s final interlude: “Mister B of the Letters Vs. Numbers podcast.”
Let me again plug Anthony and Mister B’s new podcast. They play all the game music I forget to and more.

Track 15: Videogame Orchestra and TUS - “Pes To – Des To
I am assuming that by now everyone has the Here Comes a New Challenger compilation in their respective collections. If not, shame on you!

And there you have it, 15 eclectic tracks, some old, some new, some merely middle-aged. But all nerdy, and all fun.

Allow me to reiterate my earlier point: don’t ever stop sending me new stuff. Whether it’s your own tracks, songs from your roommate's band, or just stuff from artists of which you are a rabid fan, I often rely on your good taste to point me in the right direction. It’s a great big internet out there, and I can always use a landmark.

By that same token, don’t be afraid to hit me up with requests and show theme ideas. I love it when we share.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Still Rising

Two years ago today I interviewed MC Frontalot for Hipster, please! It was my first interview, and I was, admittedly, fairly shitty at it. Still, scoring some talk time with Front was quite a coup, and it sort of set the stage for this blog and where it was to go from there.

In the ensuing years I have talked to many more nerd celebs, and my style has gotten (hopefully) a bit less shitty, but it all comes back to Frontalot, or, more specifically, his Nerdcore Rising tour. It was the sheer happenstance of that tour kicking off in my own rural neck of the woods that gave me my first break as a blogger and, indeed, gave a genuine direction to my writing.

And while Hipster, please! has grown incrementally in scope and popularity over the last couple of years, MC Frontalot and the musical movement he named has grown exponentially. Front’s continued success is due, most certainly, to his charming demeanor, his consummate showmanship, and his unmitigated talent, but the good word of nerd has also been spread by the Negin Farsad-directed documentary focused on the aforementioned tour.

Nerdcore Rising: The Movie has already seen several high profile screenings and garnered positively glowing press along the way, and, while I, sadly, have yet to see the film, I am lucky enough to have connections with someone who has. ADeadHeart, of Radio KOL fame, scored free tickets to the Boston ROFLcon showing, and was kind enough to submit her thoughts on the event for your enjoyment.

Check the geeky missive:

How fantastic WAS this? The movie was brilliant - occasionally poignant and always funny (the theater was in stitches I tell you!) Followed by a Q&A with Farsad and Front n' Crew. She was very personable and lacked the snobbishness one might assume a movie maker might possess.

Witnessed a Free Tibet rally (?) and had the best food EVER in Chinatown, which I probably walked way too far for.

After party was for the entire IFF collaboration at the verrrry swanky Mantra in beautiful downtown Boston. I didn't get lost! Quite the mix of nerdy folks and not so nerdy. ADH felt like a hermaphrodite at her first boy/girl party. More to come about that later, I think. There was free Absolut and free Newcastle, which I could not so much partake of...damn me and my driving all the way back to my little corner of ConnectiCUT but what's a girl to do?!

Another friend of mine from KoL also scored tix (what a small world!) and she and my other half are featured, happily dancing and applauding, on the Nerdcore Rising homepage. This pleases me. I got some networking of my own done and some thoughtfulness will follow.

Got home at the not SO awful hour of 3amish (that's a.m. ISH not Amish) and have some decent photos of the night. Frabjous!

*dinner, bathtub cleaning interlude*

I forgot to say!

MC Frontalot was fantastic live, as he was when I saw him in Arizona last fall. He did 2 short sets, interrupted quite pleasantly with the hip hop goodness of Prince Paul, who played some old skool I'd forgotten about and some I was ashamed to remember. Front played my faves, from Bizarro Genius Baby, which reminds me of my daughter, to Goth Girls, which I pretend reminds me of me. I've got the whole set list scribbled somewhere, if need be. <3>

Eventually I will get around to composing my thoughts on how it felt to be a reformed hip hop DJ (read currently still likes Lil Jon) and a nerd (though some question the validity of that statement (she doesn't like They Might be Good?!?!)...walking both lines was indeed awkward. This really didn't have anything to do with the show though so if I DO go there it won't be completely related. If anyone skimming this has any experience with this, though, I'd like input cuz I can't possibly be alone in my appreciation for both?

Much thanks to ADH for acting as a roving reporter, Negin Farsad for taking the time to document the nerdcore revolution and Front’s place at the head of it, and, of course, the man himself for making the music we want to hear. Peep ADeadHeart’s Photobucket for pictures and be sure to check at her RKOL shows Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00 to 11:00 AM.

And, on a personal note, thanks to all involved for making the last two years so goddamn memorable, and for making my silly little hobby (and my delusions of writer-hood) a bit less of a solitary affair.