Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

John Updike died earlier this week.

Truthfully, I’m still a little sad about that fact, but burying your heroes is the kind of thing to which every man must become accustomed. I’ll just lump his effigy atop the growing pile – with Carlin and Hicks and Strummer and the like – and go on about my business of stoking the pyre.

His short story "A&P" was the first piece of realistic fiction that ever struck me as the slightest bit realistic. It spoke to me in a way that no short-form work has since, and its reading has become something of a sacrament. It was the story that made me realize, even as a youth, that tales bereft of monsters or magic or superheroes could still be compelling, and, no, not just by leaning of the crutch of blatant sexuality. It set naked before me the simple truth that man is slave to his emotional whims and adolescent urges and that life itself is the canvas on which we paint.

But mostly it taught me that everyone has a story. Even the lowliest of worker bees.
  • From the Northern Hinterlands: Nerdcore has been chosen as the "Genre of the Month" by Canadian music magazine SoundProof. While I take issue with some of the information provided – cc rap?! – I’ll let it slide because, as you know, I love Canadians. And speaking of which, the piece also spotlights Toronto-based nerd-centric podcast The Closet Geek Show, which sounds divine.
  • Geekarama: Congrats go out to Aaron, of FL nerdcore and geek culture champions A Comic Shop, for securing a regular column at Newsarama. Aaron, in turn, contacted everyone’s best friend Hex Warrior to help put together a piece on nerdy music. And thus the love is shared.
  • Everything’s Coming Up Ant!: Congratulations are also in order to my pal Anthony, who’s parleyed the continually mounting success of Game Music 4 All into a gig at gamer/geek culture haven The Start Screen. But Ant hasn’t let this throw off his game, as he recently announced that his plan for ’09 is a new VGM mini-mixtape every month! Excitements. I has them. 
  • Wii. Where?: And speaking of GM4A, be sure to check out the site’s feature interview with Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games. It concerns Gaijin’s new WiiWare title Bit.Trip Beat, which is a Pong-style chiptune rhythm game. This is a game that’s been building some great buzz within the community, and this piece just drives home how amazingly cool it truly is.
  • When We Were One: I’d also like to wish a happy birthday to my friends at netlabel Pterodactyl Squad! The Squad chose to celebrate its first anniversary with the release of a self-titled album from Atari artist Army of 2600. Give it a listen and enjoy the chippy goodness.
  • Disaster-Dong: My pal Matt was the first of many to hip me to this Offworld post about my other favorite netlabel Pause Music. Specifically it concerns Pause’s +PLUS section, which provides free soundtracks from a number of indie games. Collect ‘em all!
  • Be Prepared: Matt has also recently turned me on to the concept of Nerd Merit Badges. Technically, there’s only one such badge available at present, but the site seems to be establishing a strong Twitter following to help them decide where to go from there.
  • Now *Stay* in the Van!: The 2 Skinnee J’s reunion documentary Get in the Van is currently being submitted to a number of festivals in search of a proper premiere, and the producers need your help. Fans are asked to contact events like The Tribeca Film Festival, South By Southwest, the LA Film Festival, and Cannes to let the submissions boards know how interested they are in seeing the film featured. Is that really so much to ask? 
  • I’m Starting to Think it’s His Personal Site: Hey, Church made TechDirt. Again. This time with news concerning the importance of pop culture in the development of childhood imagination. Exhibit A seems to be Potter fandom, so WRockers take note.
  • Mouths of Babes: Speaking of Wizard Rock, the scene’s youngest contributors, The Hungarian Horntails, were featured in the School Library Journal. It’s a Q&A with Darius, the older of the band’s two brothers, and he actually interviews better than most artists twice his age. 
  • Meryton is a Deathtrap: And while’ we’re on the subject of literacy; please pre-order Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. It’s a retelling of Austen’s classic that comes exactly as advertised. 
  • Grue Rock!: Have you ever wanted to play a text-based, Zork-inspired version of Guitar Hero? Of course you have
  • Everything Must Go!: mc chris is having another of his famous merch sales. Posters, t-shirts, bags, lighters... shit, pretty much everything for the discriminating mc aficionado is discounted. The supplies are limited and fans are legion, so get on it quick if you want in.
  • Needs a Longer Title: Random let me know that, in anticipation of the release of the new Street Fighter title, his friends at Capcom have made available a full set of vocal, effects, and music samples from Street Fighter II for DJs and producers to mix up to their hearts’ content. TrackItDown is hosting the sample set, as well as co-sponsoring a related competition. The 4 best remixers will each win an Xbox 360 and copy of Street Fighter IV, and runners up get copies of the game. For more info and rules, hit
  • Not to be Confused with Daryl Hannah: Also from Ran and my boy Ultraklystron comes a mash of Random’s "Splash Woman" and Kanye’s "Stronger." And here’s a vid of Ran’s original track for some comparison. Enjoy the android-y goodness.

No comments: