Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

I was one of the fortunate few who did not contract inauguration fever earlier this week.

Okay, maybe I had a touch of it, but it wasn’t full-blown.

It’s very rare that, in the political spectrum, my team wins. (Come to think of it, this is also rare in the realm of professional sports, but I digress.) Still, I resigned myself shortly after the election to the straight and narrow path of not being a dick. At least with regard to my guy sitting behind the big desk.

It took some restraint, but I managed to maintain my composer even during the ceremony. I simply watched a little footage, made a mental note that I was, indeed, participating by proxy in a damn significant moment in my nation’s history, gave a hopeful smile, and then got back to work.

Maybe I could’ve done with a little more excited flag-waving, but I decided to keep shit low key.

It seemed a good way to go.
  • Age Old Question: From Church comes a pair of links in the political vein. The first is from The Daily Beast and purports that Obama is poised to make geeks cool. The second, from Patrol, counters by saying that geeks are already cool. The battle rages on.
  • Alpha-numeric: Have you checked out the new Letters vs. Numbers podcast? It’s delightful. Seriously. The guys are in rare form, and the musical selections are, as always, top notch!
  • Brother from Another Mother: Also from Anthony comes news of SpamM’s Earthbound Zero mixtape. It’s a mash-up album centering on music from the Mother series. You can download it for free from the Earthbound Crew site. And you should.
  • Gooey: Speaking of game music, be sure to download a copy of Kyle Gabler's World of Goo soundtrack from the WiiWare title of the same name. It’s freely available from his site, and our friends at VGMdb have compiled all the track notes on this helpful page.
  • New Module Me: If you’re more interested in making your own VGM, I will once again recommend Protein[DS]. It’s creator Pierre’s birthday, and, in keeping with tradition, he’s favored us with a new version featuring "a proper graphical user interface for global options and [DScratch] parameters (no more xml editing to test values!), state and recordings save, and a little [DSamples] update." As always, this homebrew goodness is available free of charge.
  • Cause and Effect: Shael Riley and his all-star band – henceforth known, at least to me, as The Dapper Lads - will be playing a benefit show for the children of Rwanda on January 27th in NYC. Show info can be found over at Shael’s LJ.
  • Smashed: And speaking of The Dapper Lads – and, yes, I’m gonna call them that until it sticks – Zen Albatross turned me on to a new Web comic earlier this week. It’s called Brawl in the Family, and, yes, it’s all about Smash Bros.
  • Free at Last: My pal Matt has migrated his own music/geeky culture blog free-geek to a more suitable URL at Three cheers for logical progression!
  • All Talk: My (unwitting) podcasting big brother, Tim from Mutant Pop/Radio Clash, was recently interviewed by MIT’s Technology Review for a piece on conflicting aesthetics in the mash-up community. Okay, truthfully the piece is more about Girl Talk’s tepid reception from the more seasoned fans and bootleggers, but it boasts some great insights from Tim, Lenlow, and DJ Earworm. Give it a read and weigh in on the subdued aural texturing vs. rapid-fire meta-mashing debate.
  • When the Scene Looks the Worst: Taking us out today is a video I can’t imagine you haven’t seen already, but it’s so damn good you need to watch it again. Of course I’m talking about Random’s "Push," directed by John Colombo. It’s from Ran classic album The Call, and he’s even made a version of this track available for free for new fans. Sure, this ain’t one of his nerdier joints, but it’s beautiful and uplifting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Across the Twitterverse

If you’re at all interested in videogame music or even tangentially aware of the amazingly creative community at work at OverClocked ReMix, then the name Larry Oji shouldn’t be unfamiliar. Liontamer, as he’s known in ReMix circles, is a community moderator, project producer, submissions judge, occasional contributor, and an otherwise indispensable fixture in the world of VGM rearrangement and original composition. He’s also the mind behind VG Frequency, another project dedicated to the glorification of game music in all its forms.

In summation, Larry works a fuck of a lot harder than just about anyone else you could think of in the VGM sphere. He is a dedicated pillar of fandom. He is a ceaseless champion of videogame music as a viable art form. He is a machine.

Recently inspired by a Destructoid post about following the game industry via Twitter, Larry took it upon himself to compile a list of game music professionals and enthusiasts also available to stalk follow via the service. In typical fashion, Liontamer’s parameters for inclusion are suitably broad, encompassing everyone from the OC ReMix regulars to game/geek rock crossovers to gamer-friendly hip-hoppers to those of us rooted more on the journalistic end of the spectrum.

It’s really a comprehensive list that should provide interested parties new to Twitter a great place to start, and has even proven an ideal way for an old hand like yours truly to get a better handle on the ever-eclectic and always expanding videogame music scene.  

Take a look for yourself. And prepare to be amazed.