Friday, May 23, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

With the success of the Old Nerdy Bastard compilation, I know many of you are wondering if I simply plan to rest on my laurels for the foreseeable future.

Yeah. Pretty much.

But I reckon I could do an edition of Nerd news in Brief. I mean, that’s pretty low impact.

  • Nerd Ink, the Continuing Saga: It’s no longer surprising when Church finds more Nerd Ink. It is, however, a little disconcerting when I am unwittingly included. Wait, is that guy with the fake Wii Play tattoo mocking me?
  • free_at_last: I seem to have forgotten to mention that my buddy Matt’s site Headphone Sacrament has recently been transformed into free_geek. Same great taste, nerdy new name. Check it out.
  • I totally bought you a card: And thanks to Matt for reminding me that this Sunday, May 25th, is both Towel Day and Spain’s Nerd Pride Day. Sass that hoopy Matt Sweeney. There's a frood who really knows where his towel is.
  • Almost Ready to Launch: While I’m thanking people, let me give a serious shout-out to Ant of GM4A for favoring me with a pre-release copy of that site’s next compilation Heavy Troopa is Ready to Launch! Though the official release date is the 25th - which is shaping up to be a really big day - I got a sneak preview of a project that can only be described in two words: epic proportions.
  • WRock and roll all night: Also going down this weekend is WRockstock 2008. While it’s kicking off today (and most interested parties are probably already en route), I have to mention the event due simply to its importance in the WRock world. Boasting a musical lineup that includes all your favorites and a supporting a worthy cause, I’m gonna go ahead and say that it’s the best thing to happen to St. Louis since the Arch.
  • So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: On the last episode of the GeekDad’s HipTrax podcast I played Drown Radio’s “Weapons Grade Porpoise.” Doc Pop recently posted the story behind that at his blog. And yes, it’s just as odd a tale as you’d hope.
  • Unfinished business: Earlier this month I posted about Random’s request for a translation of a German language review of his new release Patches & Glue, and reader Luca did just that. Check it out in the comments of this old NNIB. Thanks, Luca!
  • Alas, a grownup!: Congratulations to longtime friend of Hipster, please! Jason of the Geek Studies blog on his recent graduation. Though he’ll be the first to tell you that there’s till plenty of work to do, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention this landmark. We’re proud of you, bro!
  • Cool + New: On the new releases front, this week has seen three cool new albums make an appearance. The first is from Radio Free Hipster staple Steve BC, and is entitled, cleverly enough, Forthcoming LP. The second is a nerdcore mixtape from our friends at EMPulse Records. And last but not least is new hotness from Attack Slug in the form of Endsville is Burning. While Steve and Slug's new releases are free, EMPulse Mixtape Vol. 1 costs a slim five bucks for direct download. My suggestion? Pick up all three and rest assured that you’ve significantly increased your nerd music library for well less than 2 bones per album.
  • The new nerd homeland: And speaking of the EMPulse/RPG family, it was recently asked why I have yet to mention that collective’s new affiliate, a multi-genre nerd music project known as Crossplatform Music. Honestly? My only defense is senility. But forgetfulness and slackitude aside, be sure to check out this burgeoning new community for all that is musical and geeky. Add you strength to the growing masses!
  • Wherein I am press: Also from the warm and wet climes of FLA comes the latest Nerdapalooza press release. Rather than relate the info contained therein, I’ll simply link to the source .doc. For those of you unwilling to barter your souls for a Microsoft product, let me explicitly state that the Orlando event has now been officially linked to the Child’s Play charity. So make your way down south this July 4th weekend, listen to music, get really drunk, and rest assured that you’ve done all three for a worthy cause.
  • Mana and She: Taking us home this week is a clip form last year’s Nerdapalooza SE. It’s Betty Rebels “Mana and Me,” and I like it a whole bunch.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Old Nerdy Bastard

“Life,” a slutty Sally Field once told a mongoloid Tom Hanks, “is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

The same can be said for remix compilations.

You spend months pinning down just the right vocal tracks from just the right artists only to turn them over to motley group of producers - what amounts to a rabid band of mad scientists looking for a wild weekend at a convention somewhere far away, like, say, Tahoe - and you just don’t know what you’re to receive in return.

Sometimes you get a reimagining so perfect as to seem almost unbelievable, something that is both true to the original and yet a wholly different beast altogether.

Sometimes you get… nothing.

I got my fair share of both as I assembled my second foray into the wonderful world of compilation albums, now presented to you as Old Nerd Bastard: Geeky Music Remixed.

This project, as the regular reader of Hipster, please! will no doubt know, was slated to be released back in February, on Leap Day, to be precise, but the Fates conspired against me in that regard. And so we find ourselves here, nearly three months later. But such is life, and, truth be told, I think the comp is all the better for the extra time.

Sadly, a number of the contributors originally touted were unable to participate, but, again (and with the utmost respect to those who bowed out), the resulting injection of new blood served to uniquely strengthen and diversify the project. Or at least that’s my little opinion.

The ensuing round of musical mayhem is a collection of remixes, mash-ups, and re-orchestrations of geeky tracks from across the spectrum. There’s nerdcore, of course, and Wizard Rock, geek rock (or, grock, as it’s come to be called in some circles) and even a dash of foreign language goodness on the menu, reworked by a delightfully eclectic collection of DJs, producers, and musicians. I owe each of these participants an equal measure of thanks, as this is really their album.

I also have to give it up for another quintet of individuals without whom I would have never gotten this sucker off the ground. Specifically, my longtime supporters and good friends Matt and Church; Lizz from Wizrocklopedia, a woman who knows the ins-and-outs of WRock far better than a hundred Zs; Anthony from Game Music 4 All who is, I must add, almost pathologically encouraging; and my one-woman design team Denika, who managed to prank me in such a blatantly obvious way with her cover illustration that I couldn’t help but be amused.

I’ve got more praise to heap, but that’s what liner notes are for. So, without further ado, here’s the skinny.

-- Right-click, Save As, Enjoy! --

The whole shebang in a tidy RAR

1. Baddd Spellah – “99 Balloon Flights (The Grammar Club vs. Nena)”

2. The Weasel King – “Red Hair (2DefMice Nerdy Gospel Mix)”

3. Snake Eyes – "Transformer (Sara Connor's Wild Ride Mix)(Maja vs. Lou Reed vs. Traci Chapman vs. Brad Fiedel)”

4. Random – “Robot City (feat. YTCracker and JonBap) (Larry Legend Remix)”

5. Ginny and the Heartbreakers – “Halloween at Hogwarts (D-Form Bass Mix)”

6. nYgel – “6 MCs (and 1 DJ) Who Like Schoolly D (Commodore 64 vs. Beastie Boys vs. Bloodhound Gang)”

7. Optimus Rhyme – “Just Forget It (Cheeks Remix)”

8. YTCracker – “In My Time (Dumbledork Remix)”

9. Brad Sucks – “Sick as a Dog (Antisoc Remix)”

10. Harry and the Potters – “Felix Felicis (Dumbledore's DS Mix by Paradise Dan of Monsterface Industries)”

11. MC Frontalot – “Braggadocio (killsaly's Super Saiyan Remix)”

12. MC Hawking – “Why Won’t Jesse Helms Just Hurry Up and Die (Smoke 'Em if You Got 'Em Remix)”

13. Trier Music – “Hyphy Sunglasses (MC Lars vs. ZZ Top vs. John Bonham vs. Phish vs. Vanilla Ice)”

14. The Whomping Willows – “This Arboreal Coil (TrierMusic deathstepWTFLOL mix)”

15. Hidari – “Clambon (Glenn Case Campfire Singalong Mix)”

16. Dual Core – “Orbit (Remix)”

17. Schaffer the Darklord – “Nerd Lust (Peeved Remix)”

18. The Evolution Control Committee – “Pwn Monkey (Jonathan Coulton vs. ... well, everyone)”

A handsome playlist, suitable for framing

A delightfully necessary piece of cover art

Exhaustive liner notes