Thursday, January 08, 2009

They Are A-Changin'

Today is sort of... well... bittersweet.

You see, on the one hand, Lizz has officially announced her retirement from the Wizrocklopedia. This isn't exactly a surprise, as she laid the groundwork for her departure a month ago, but it's a bit of a bummer nonetheless.

The 'Pedia is a testament to the true power of fandom, and it has long been a part of my personal geek rock bible. I've had the good fortune of working with Lizz on a handful of occasions, and I can guarantee that she is the real deal; she is a writer of great skill, a fan of the highest order, and an expert logistician that has managed the delicate balancing act of keeping a widely popular and increasingly important community hub for Wizard Rock humming along, even in the face of countless changes in the dreaded RL.

In her stead she has left the site in the capable hands of staff writers Dinah and Freya, who I am sure will put their own unique spin on the classic 'Pedia formula. Freya, for example, has already begun questioning me for a series of pieces on WRock, nerdcore, and filk, and how these musical disciplines fit together, which, as you know, I am always eager to discuss.

This is all to say that the Wizrocklopedia is neither down nor out, and I both wish the staff continued growth and success and genuinely expect these optimistic prognostications to come to pass. But that being said, the 'Pedia will soon be hiring additional writers, and, if you have an interest in the finer music from the wizarding world, you should keep a keen eye open for contribution possibilities.

On the obligatory other hand, we have my friend Hex and the Nerdapalooza crew. Just like our comrades at the Wizrocklopedia, the 'Palooza camp has some new things going on as well. Thankfully these include more pluses than minuses. One of the most interesting developments will be discussed at length tonight in a live chat session. When Hex gave me the skinny regarding this shortly before Christmas I was delighted, and I can say with some confidence that you'll also find it to your liking.

Also tangentially related to Nerdapalooza (and directly related to nerd music in general) is Hex's own recent venture 16-Bit Management. This independent booking agency out of Casselberry, FL is geared specifically toward supporting the independent nerdy music community. Hex is running things on his own, so this might be another place where your support and interest, not to mention your urge to volunteer, would be well rewarded. Booking and press-related inquiries can be directed at Hex via 16-Bit Management's own MySpace.

So there you have it, my pretties; things are changing, waxing and waning, shifting, transforming. But in the end what remains is our dedication to our own music and culture. And even those of us who slip away are still tied to our meta-community through shared history, continued support, and the shining examples they've provided as our nerdy brethren.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

My unbridled love of television sometimes puts me in precarious positions. For example, the announcement that the 11th Doctor is just some dude makes me a little anxious.

I mean, he's just some dude. I don't know him. Do you?

What if he's got, like, a Dalek in the woodpile, y'know? It could be disastrous!

But in the end, you sometimes have to simply trust the whims of the entertainment gods. It occasionally works out okay, like Scrubs' transition to ABC. Sure, I was worried, but it looks like everything got off to a good enough start.

We'll just have to hope the Doctor Who changes are equally as smooth.
  • At Large and in Charge: According to Cracked, 2008 was the year we took over. I had no idea. Why didn't I receive a memo?
  • The Most: My pal Church let me know that earlier this month our own MC Frontalot was interviewed by entertainment site Kwanzoo. Therein he discussed his first PAX gig, that sticky genuine-vs.-novelty-act aesthetic of nerdcore, and 2 Skinnee J's. Check it.
  • This Just In – Bill O'Reilly Still Gay: Guess who's taken credit for the recent round of high-profile Twitter hacks? Our old friends from Digital Gangster, of course! DG, you truly are a constant source of entertainment.
  • Nerdy Motivation: Genetic Anomaly has amassed an amazing collection of RPG-themed motivational posters. I humbly suggest that this one be integrated into your new sig file.
  • Da DON: Rhyme Torrents mastermind DON VITO has made a collection of his own geek funk instrumentals available for free download. These are some amazingly solid beats perfect for use in working up new flows, crafting nerdcore mash-ups, or simply cribbing for use as podcast background music. I will be doing at least one of those.
  • The Sleeping Dragon Awakes: My bro Super Dragon X dropped a mixtape in late December that I am only now getting around to pimping. It's entitled Where the Fuck is Your Album? and collects some top-shelf material from the Metamystiks MC that may or may not already be in your collection. Dragon always brings the fire, so this is an easy recommendation.
  • Pure Poison: Another 2008 release that I'm only now getting the chance to plug is from the enigmatic KABUTO. The great Python compiled a number of unreleased tracks into SHED SKINS: A COLLECTION OF SHIT THAT SUCKS, though the title is a little off base. There's some good stuff in there, even if KABUTO doesn't quite think it's up to snuff.
  • Back From the Dead: At long last, Ultraklystron has resurrected his old Nekodashi site. This means that Karl's albums are once again available for purchase – with the whole of his original material available for a mere $30 – but it also means that 14 of his releases are currently available as free MP3 downloads! And before you ask: yes, nerdcore masterpieces Opensource Lyricist, Romance Language, and Revision4920 are included. Get on that shit!
  • No Ran in '09?!: Random's New Year's resolution is not to release music in 2009? Say it ain't so! Well actually, it ain't; Ran will drop Mega Ran 9 this year, but other than that he plans to spend '09 working on the business aspect of his rap career. Could this include putting together more music videos? Probably.
  • Both Music *and* Gaming: I was unable to attend this year's MAGfest – much to Shael's chagrin – but thankfully it seems everyone else was. Be sure to check out some of the more interesting recollections of the festival.
  • Hidden Jewels: I realize I am sometimes late to the party with regard to earth-shattering revelations, but, in case anyone else missed it, there's a Grammar Club chiptune cover album. It's freely available through their site if you know where to click on the homepage. I could tell you more, be that would be wrong.
  • Get Your Degree in Gameology: My new friends the Brilliant Gameologists will be hosting a live show via Ustream at 9:00 PM EST on Thursday, January 8th in celebration of BG Meg's birthday. Learn how to throw your own mini-con, uncover what shameful acts the Gameologists performed on New Year's Eve, and find out what the fuck a "Because it's Saturday" party is in this hour of mirth and mayhem. Tell 'em Z. sent you!
  • Shall I Compare Thee to a Blue Shell?: Taking us home in what I hope was an enlightening first NNIB of 2009 is this vid from Sam Hart (AKA: blinktwice4y). It's an acoustic ballad that connects love and Mario Kart in a manner most sublime. Take a listen, and then go buy the track at cdbaby.

Monday, January 05, 2009

My Seven Things

I generally avoid this shit like the plague, but, since Snipey tagged me all direct-like, I reckon there's no harm in a little New Year's meme. And so, without further ado, here are seven weird and rather random things about yours truly:
  1. I am a notary public, which means I can legally perform marriages in the state of South Carolina. To date, I have performed one: for my best friend and his long-time girlfriend.
  2. I have two children, which isn't exactly a trade secret. What's lesser known is that each has a name that references both cheesy rock musicians and beloved sci-fi/fantasy properties. For my son it's Cheap Trick and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For my daughter, Guns N' Roses and Robotech.
  3. My wife is six years my junior, which doesn't seem like a lot until you remember that I have an unhealthy obsession with pop culture minutia. She genuinely doesn't get a significant chunk of my silly references because she was too young to watch Three's Company and Galaxy Rangers. Her loss. ;)
  4. Before I started writing about music, I actually wrote and performed it. I was in a half-dozen or so local bands with a number of high school friends throughout my teens and twenties. I chose to leave music for two reasons. The first is the simple fact that I was never really particularly good; I played bass, a little rhythm guitar, and did some songwriting and singing, but I obviously have no innate talent for any of these. The second is a personal brand of chronic, crippling stage fright.
  5. With the above two entries fresh in your mind, you shouldn't be at all surprised to learn that it is my fondest wish to start a heavy metal band that does nothing but covers of classic television theme songs. We will be called Clicker, which I imagine would look great in some horribly indecipherable metal band font.
  6. I have worked for the same company, a local community college, for 15 years. Yep, that's my whole adult life. I've held four different positions across three departments in my time here, so it's not like I've been doing the exact same thing for a decade and a half. Still, I can't help but think that it's a little odd for someone to hang around the same workplace for so long.
  7. While most adults fear things of actual consequence, like, say, loneliness or their own mortality, I am still haunted by the same terrors that plagued me as a child. Namely zombies, spiders, clowns, and Christian puppet shows. The zombie thing is easy enough to avoid, but spiders, clowns, and, since I live in the rural south, religious-themed puppet shows are a constant threat.
With that unpleasant incident behind us, I'm'a tag:
  • Church – because he doesn't have a blog and will have to tweet his answers, which I find amusing
  • Matt – because he needs something to distract him while he's trying to quit smoking
  • Hex – because he spends a lot of his energy focusing on others
  • Beefy – because he enjoys talking about his hilarious and noteworthy exploits
  • Snake Eyes – because he's Canadian, and Canadians are fascinating
  • Anthony – because he is my nerdy music blogging brother
  • La BĂȘte – because his job description alone makes me pretty sure he's got some interesting stuff going on
Da Rules:
  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post — some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.