Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Music = Good Times

It is currently News Year's Eve. Or New Year's Eve Day. Or… Wednesday. Something like that.

At any rate, I have a sneaking suspicion that you'll be getting extravagantly drunk tonight. The kind of drunk that requires a soundtrack. Thankfully, you have me to turn to with regard to such matters.

First, let me remind everyone that today is the last day you'll be able to download Optimus Rhyme's TransfORmed EP for free. It's from Optimus, so you know it's a quality release, but moreover it's all about growth, evolution, and moving on. Thus, it's exactly the kind of thing that would suit an epic New Year's party. Grab it before the ball drops.

Also on the subject of relevant music for tonight's festivities, it's been brought to my attention that a pair of retrospective mash-up compilations have recently been released, also on the free. Simon Iddol, whom I am proud to consider one of my Tweeple, dropped his Mash-ups of the Year a week or two back. It's an exemplary collection that manages to touch on a number of tracks that stayed under my radar throughout 2008.

Also on tap – and I actually got a message about this directly from A plus D, which makes a lad feel important – is Best of Bootie 2008.The Bootie collections are always heavily slanted toward the most danceable bastard pop constructs of the previous year, and this is certainly no exception. It boasts a 20-track continuous mix plus 13 bonus cuts; not a bad deal for the low, low price of nuthin'.

So listen in good health, and happy New Year to all.

Oh, and my suggestions for your last song of '08/first song of '09 are as follows:

"Darryl Hannah" - Optimus Rhyme available on TransfORmed
"Paper Rump (Wreckx-N-Effect vs. M.I.A.)" - DJ Tripp available on Best of Bootie 2008

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I typically like to end the year in one of two ways; either by thanking all those who contributed to the success of Hipster, please! and the greater nerdy music scene in the preceding 12 months, or by simultaneously congratulating and challenging our meta-community.

This year I said fuck that shit.

First off, the usual suspects – folks like Matt and Church, Dennis and Denika, Hex and Ant, Beefy and Soc, Snake Eyes and Doc Pop, Baddd Spellah and DON VITO – know how much I appreciate them. They understand that this project exists no less by their whim than mine, and, though I seldom remember to say it outright, I'm pretty sure they know that I am eternally thankful for all they do. And further, whether you send me music, help out with comps, offer artistic support, or just read this blog on occasion, you are my kung fu action hero, and I am genuinely in your debt as well. I reckon that's a given.

Secondly, we've been doing this dance for so long that I am positive everyone knows my steps by now; I am a proud but minuscule part of the greater whole of music-minded geeks, and, while I revel in the progress we've made, we could sure as hell use a little more inter-scene support and artistic interdependence. Our energies are better expended there than in looking for some "big break" from the ever-fickle mainstream. We are our own greatest strength. But that too should be obvious.

Because I tend to focus on these broader issues, I am often slow to crown a "Nerd of the Year" or a "Most Valuable Player." This is partly because I understand that the success of one depends on the work of many, and partly because it simply doesn't seem like my place. This is the year I make the exception.

So, rather than take this post into the familiar territory described above, I am going to forge new ground by saying what I am fairly certain everyone else is thinking: that 2008 belonged to YTCracker.

When I look at my favorite songs, events, or projects from '08, Bryce Case, Jr. is the silver string that runs betwixt them. When I scrutinize all that was good and pure and truly geeky about the year, he seems to be a party to the overwhelming bulk of it.

He was featured in what I consider the most entertaining of G4's "It's a Nerd's World" promo spots and was interviewed by Web geek Martin Sergeant. He contributed to a number of the best tracks of the year, including "911 AM (Rudy Giuliani)" with Doc Pop and MC Lars, "Fantastic Four" by Dual Core, nYgel's "1to3for," and both the 8-Bit Boys and Sinister Six projects. His own Nerdy South Records released exemplary albums in the form of Beefy's Rolling Doubles and his Serious Business EP, which boasted yet another best track of the year, "I am a Pirate." He toured with fellow heavy-hitters Lars and Frontalot, and he took part in arguably the biggest single musical event in nerdcore history, Nerdapalooza 2008.

And that, my friends, is just the shit I can think of off the top of my head!

I have long since abandoned my aspirations to rip people off help out my fellow humans as a motivational speaker, but, if you take anything away from this post, please let it be this: YTCracker, after all these years, all his triumphs and failures and ups and downs, still has love for this nerd game.

He works with established and up-and-coming artists with an equal measure of DG swagger, and thereby elevates both himself and those around him.

Sure, he's always going to have that hacker side that likes to cause trouble, but he also has a nurturing, almost paternal instinct that leads him to chip in, help out, and simply share the wealth of his credibility.

An easy high-point of my year was when, at a local show, YT gave me and Hipster, please! a shout-out on stage. He didn't have to; it didn't serve him to do so, but he gave some lyrical dap because that is what YT does. He gives respect. Even when it doesn't necessarily behoove him to do so.

So with 2009 already breathing down our collective neck, I only ask that everyone from the realms of nerdcore hip-hop and beyond take a little YTC with them into the awaiting proceedings.

In the words of my boy Beefy, ask yourself "What would YTCracker do?"

Holla at P.Nis for more info.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 58: Lest We Forget

The end of the year means one thing to me: obligation. There are a number of tasks that I, as a fake Web journalist, am honor bound to perform before the ball drops and scores of drunken party attendees share awkward and shameful smooches. The first of these is my year-end podcast, which I present to you now.

I liked the idea of an end-of-year wrap-up show, but elected to save that for January. Instead, we're gonna run out 2008 with a good, old-fashioned free-form playlist. You see, a lot of the songs I wanted to play this ep. are, y'know, old, so promoting them as the "best of the year" seemed misleading.

Still, there're some excellent tracks represented herein, and I can honesty see you grooving to 'em as the clock winds down.


Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 58: Lest We Forget (hosting provided by Antisocial) Size: 45.6 MB Running Time: 49:50

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
All I can rightly ask for is another year with Beefy and Spellah!

Track 1: DJ Topcat – "More Than On Point"
This is from Best of Bootie 2007, but, oddly enough, it was mid-2008 before I really got into the track.

Z's 1st interlude: "Some random jewels you might have missed."
There's a dreadful hiss behind my spoken interludes this episode. Sorry about that. I am having mic difficulties.

Track 2: Scrubs dialog / Beefy – "You Can Call Me Beef"
Doesn't the Turk/Kelso dialog work well in the intro? I think so.

Track 3: I Hate You When You're Pregnant – "Gary Sinise"
This is from the 2nd IHYWYP demo, circa 2003, so "new" doesn't exactly describe it. Awesome, however, does.

Track 4: audiobytes for autobots – "143 CHP"
N.W.A. vs. the Jackson 5. This is a thing of beauty.

Track 5: Snake Eyes – "Never Say What They Mean"
Buy Snake's Golden Country Hits. It will assure peace and prosperity in the new year. I think.

Track 6: Warp 11 – "Spock Me Shock Me"
Here's a 2000 classic from Warp 11's 1st studio album. I recently realized that I've thus far neglected to play these Trek rockers.

Track 7: KABUTO THE PYTHON – "The Face Kicking Song"

Track 8: 8 Bit Weapon "Defender of the Crown (Royalty Remix)"
This is from 8BW's Confidential 2.0 album, which I am currently reviewing. I'm serious this time.

Track 9: MisterB – "Kept My Job!"
Anthony and MisterB like to use their Letters vs. Numbers podcast as a bully pulpit from which to generate beef, but I ain't gonna beef with 'em. Them's my boys.

Z's 2nd interlude: "Tragedy has reared its knobby head."
Goddamn, but I can turn a phrase!

Track 10: The Four Eyes – "Jackpot"
I misspoke in the 'cast itself; this song is from The Four Eyes'2004 album Rock and Role Playing.

Track 11: Year 200X – "05 Ghosts N' Goblins (Intro – Level 1)"
I'm also reviewing Year 200X's We Are Error. Not to ruin a potential albums-of-the-year post, but it's probably the best game rock CD of 2008.

Track 12: This is Spinal Tap dialog / Austrian Death Machine – "Get to the Choppa"
This year, the vocalist for metalcore outfit As I Lay Dying actually did something great. This is it.

Track 13: The Grammar Club – "Red Cyclone (vocal version)"
Whenever I play a Grammar Club track, I have an odd compulsion to play solo work from its members. Thusly, the background music for this edition is Shael Riley's "We Sell Potions and Shit Here."

Track 14: nYgel – "Have You Seen Rain (ft. TYT)"
Both nYgel's Free to Good Home and T.Y.T.'s Jelly Brain are must-owns from 2008.

Track 15: Atmosphere – "Yesterday"
After my father passed, my friend Glenn Case directed me to this Atmosphere cut. It actually helped a lot.

Z's final interlude: "The great Captain Dan of Scurvy Crew fame and the fine folks from Brilliant Gameologists."
Yep, got these guys 'n' gal on-tap for special episodes of RFH. Excitement. I has it.

Track 16: Dual Core – "Orbit (Remix)"
Fun fact: No less than 65% of my recent reminisces regarding this year's Nerdapalooza directly reference the fun I had hanging out with int eighty.

That's all I've got, folks. I am tapped. I should be back mid-January with my picks of 2008 podcast, and then again later that month with the Cap'n.

I'm currently working on my written year-end wrap-up, and suffice it to say it's a break with form. Look for that later this week to see what I mean.

Thanks for listening, and for another fun filled year of full frontal nerdity. I hope you'll join me again in 2009.