Friday, December 12, 2008

Nerd News in Brief

Today marks the 1st Day of Geekmas. It's only the second major project I've ever attempted at – the other being HipTrax – and I'm really hoping it will be successful.

I mean, seriously, the guys and I were able to score an amazing amount of cool shit this year when the giveaway was more or less a whim, so I can only imagine the kind of stuff we could get if this were to become an annual occurrence!

So go by GeekDad and toss your name in the hat to when a wicked-awesome mini R/C R2D2. But first, Nerd News in Brief.
  • Old Beef, New Beef: Earlier this week, MC Lars announced that he had squashed his beef with mc chris. Of course, later he unwittingly tagged over the old R.E.M. graffiti at Charlotte's Milestone, so y'know, Peter Buck is gonna be on that ass now.
  • Eight is Enough (Or Not): In case you missed it, there's a new addition to the Rhyme Torrents family. The community birthed the eighth volume of its continuing nerdcore compilation project last Sunday. Congrats to its many proud parents.
  • Please Don't Call it a Period: Also from the RT meta-community comes episode 5.5 of Vagina Deep in Podcast. This edition features a new theme song by my pal funky49 and an interview with Whore Moans. And also a decimal.
  • Move Over Santa: According to our friend Hex Warrior, December is Random's month. Hex named Ran Nerdpalooza's artist of the month this week, and I can't help but agree that he's a most worthy candidate.
  • Turkish Gold: And speaking of Nerdapalooza, an article about the event recently appeared in the Turkish version of Billboard magazine. Images of me are inexplicably included with those of actual important people. But how were the poor Turks to know?
  • Moving on Up: I will now pause to reflect on the fact that my friend Church got front-paged at Tech Dirt earlier this week after submitting a story about an alleged MP3 resale site. See? He does everyone else's research too!
  • Meh: And speaking of Church, he hipped me to this list of 10 Essential Nerd Rock albums from InsideNOVA. For the record, my list is totally fuggin' different. (Okay, maybe I'll give them Flood.)
  • And Also: Church is currently looking for a musician to create three short
  • pieces for a news podcast: an intro, outro, and bridge. If you're interested, just leave a comment here, as Church is far more aware of what goes on around this blog than I am.
  • More Calls For Help: Also looking for an assist is Jason Scott. Jason is planning to film Frontalot's New Jersey show on December 14th. If you've got adequate gear, he'll cover door and drinks. Full details here.
  • They Call 'em Snogs: On the WRock front, Matt presents a lusty clip from this year's Yule Ball. Behold as Lauren Myrtle lays a wicked smooch on Whompy. Now feel free to descend into fits of bitter, bitter jealousy.
  • Fa-la-la-la-la-EX-TER-MIN-ATE!: Only in Baltimore would it be traditional to decorate your Daleks for Christmas. In a related story, I totally need to move to Baltimore.
  • Why Chicago? Why Not!: Dan (of Nerdcore For Life) won second place in the "Why Chicago" Olympic video contest. This netted him $5,000 worth of the video production gear, which is, oddly enough, better than the first prize. And with that Crapbot Productions slinks ever closet to legitimacy.
  • Does This Count as Nerd Ink?: Owls are the poindexters of the animal kingdom. I'm just sayin.'
  • And They Said it Couldn't be Done: Taking us out this week is the new video for GOSHone's "Newteknowledge." It was shot entirely on GOSH's iPhone, which makes it extra-nerdy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Help Me Help You

By now you’re all familiar with the fact that, in addition to my nerdy ramblings here-abouts, I write for the GeekDad blog over at It’s a great outlet for me because it generates a little cash for the fam and even lends a modicum of legitimacy-by-association to what I do at Hipster, please! It also gives me a chance to mix my musings regarding nerd culture with talk about issues (like fatherhood and children’s music) that wouldn’t exactly fit the tone of this blog. In short, it’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it.

The thing I like most about GeekDad is that often the things I do there play directly into the goings-on here and vice versa. This holiday season, for example, the GeekDads and I have put together a very special promotion that I think you’ll all be interested in.

It’s called the 12 Days of Geekmas, and it’s essentially a dozen days of giveaways. Starting this Friday, Ken Denmead and I will post a written piece and a related podcast each morning to celebrate the season, talk up some nerdy music, and, most importantly, give away a ton of cool shit.

Up for grabs will be everything from Lego sets to bead sprite art, from t-shirts to DVDs. And of course there’ll be lots and lots of geeky CDs. We approached 15 or so sponsors, each of whom was more than happy to give us stuff to give to the readers. As I look as the growing pile of swag in my den, I am rather amazed by both the quality and quantity of what’s to be presented.

While I can’t explicitly tell you what we have, I am at liberty to mention that sponsors include ThinkGeek, MAKE, PBC Productions, MC Lars, Uncle Monsterface, Year 200X, The Protomen, and Doctor Popular. Pretty sweet, huh?

What’s even better is that all you have to do to enter is write a response to the daily 12 Days of Geekmas post before midnight. Each morning we’ll choose a winner at random before we unleash upon the unsuspecting yet another fine selection of prizes.

So whether you’re a parent or not, keep a keen eye on GeekDad over the coming weeks. We will be brightening up the holidays. With swag.

Monday, December 08, 2008

On Paying Dues

Saturday night, my pal Seamonkey and his lovely wife Nikki Nefarious drove down from Charlotte to check out the local MC Frontalot/YTCracker show with me. It’s kind of interesting that they made the hour and a half drive down to Spartanburg given that Front, YT, and MC Lars (who had double-booked Saturday and was instead in NH) were all playing a Charlotte show mere minutes from their home the following evening, but they’s my peeps and that is, indeed, how we roll. The gig in question was at Ground Zero, the same venue that hosted the inaugural show of Front’s first tour, so it was a lopsided homecoming of sorts.

Sadly, much like his Front’s previous expedition into the upstate, the club was sparsely populated. Still, there was a nice nerdy vibe amongst the crowd, an excellent local opener – The Dreaded Paranoids, please give them some love – and, of course, our esteemed headliners put on an amazing show.

The relaxed atmosphere and relatively low attendance served to make the night more intimate, and I’d go so far as to say that everyone had ample opportunities to meet and mingle with the talent. I personally shot a horrendous game of pool with Blak Lotus (after he shed his cue of a distasteful hanger-on), listened to Nikki talk shop with Sturgenius, and enthusiastically annoyed Mssrs Case and Hess throughout the evening. At one point I even found myself minding the merch table, which was a little odd. But I did sell a copy of Nerd Life, so I reckon I pulled my weight.

Seamonkey and I had caught YT and Front this summer at Nerdapalooza, and the significantly larger crowds at the event did serve to give their performances a more epic edge. Yet even in the dingy setting of a more-than-half-empty dive bar in rural SC, they played/rhymed their hearts out. Moreover, the on-stage chemistry they’ve cultivated over the tour’s preceding weeks really showed.

The tour itself has been fraught with misfortune from auto accidents to booking woes, but when I asked the guys if they were disappointed by such a mediocre turnout in its waning weeks, particularly after playing such nerd-friendly locales as Orlando, they simply laughed it off. I was assured they were merely "paying dues."

Yes, the men who have been the subject of documentaries, have been featured on MTV and G4, have been profiled in magazines internationally, are still paying dues. And they’re fine with that.

The Internet has become a bit of an echo chamber with regard to nerd culture, particularly nerdcore. Because of this it’s easy to lose one’s sense of pure relativity. PAX, Nerdapalooza, Rhyme Torrents, hell, even lesser conduits of geeky culture like this very blog make it easy to forget that, despite our pride and our growing numbers, we constitute a small pond.

It’s nice to know that the biggest of our fish, guys like YTCracker and Frontalot, don’t get sucked in by this ego-inflating (but undoubtedly toxic) sense of entitlement. It truly makes their successes all the more rewarding.