Friday, February 27, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

Be afraid. Be very afraid! It's only a matter of time before we are subjugated and subsequently crushed by Space Skeeters from Beyond.

Oh, science, why have you forsaken us?

But let us pass the time until our inevitable demise with some Nerd News in Brief.
  • Educational Ink: Discover Magazine is currently all up on my jock re: nerd ink. They've even compiled a ton of science-related tattoos for you viewing pleasure. I dig that they did so, but seriously, Discover, quit biting my style!
  • Knowledge is Power: The new funky 49 EP Rapbassador is presently available for free download. This release was created to help promote Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry, so checking it out is sort of like giving science a great big hug. You like hugs, right?
  • Transformer: The only thing better than Maja's debut album The Amalgam Project is scoring said album on the free. Shit yeah, kids! You can now check out all the greatness at no cost to you. Just head over to Rhyme Torrents for the full skinny.
  • They Really, Really Do: By now you've probably taken note of a new band making the rounds through nerd culture blogs. This band is Chicago's I Fight Dragons, and, in case you've missed the praise heaped upon them by my fellows, suffice it to say they are the shit. You can actually score a digital copy of IFD's new EP by joining the mailing list at their site, which you totally should.
  • Dance Majick Dance: Friend and supporter of Hipster, please! BSD Punk just released his debut nerdcore effort as MC Goblin Majick. Give it a listen and share your thoughts at the Goblin's blog.
  • A Change of Pace: Another new album that, unfortunately, is not yet ready for mass consumption is the long-awaited Testing the Waters EP from My Parents' Favorite Music. I did, however, get to test drive this new project, and found it to feature not only some exciting guest stars, but also a noticeably deeper style of songwriting by Steffo. Look for it soonish.
  • Where Ya Been?: And of course the biggest news in nerdcore releases this week is MC Lars's This Gigantic Robot Kills. Cheap bastards looking for a taste can check out the track "No Logo" at the Lars MySpace or the video for "Guitar Hero Hero" via YouTube. But I'm'a go ahead and just recommended you buy the damn album. Oh, and then go read about Lars's favorite book. That's important too.
  • Laptops and Star Trek: In a related story, a reference to Lars's new album can be found in this piece about white rappers from Supreme Magazine that Church hipped me to. Whether or not you agree with the crux of his argument, the author makes some valid points. Give it a read, and then we can debate what Lars meant by "I saw nerdcore come/ I saw nerdcore go."
  • Vote Canadian: Hip-hop superhero Jesse Dangerously is a nominee for Urb Magazine's Next1000. This is cool and all, but Jesse really wants to make it to the next round (i.e. Next100) in the print version of the mag. To do this, he needs your votes. Get on it!
  • Me and My Old Lady: Recently, nerdcore MC and fellow blogger Shawn Who has fallen on some hard times. His family has racked up some pretty hefty medical bills, but he's devised a novel way to lessen the financial impact. Shawn is actively taking on song commission to earn a little extra scratch. So, if you're in need of some custom musics, give Shawn a holler.
  • Hex Watches the Watchmen: My pal Hex Warrior is looking for songs about Watchmen. Perhaps he should contact Shawn. 'm just sayin'.
  • The Other One: Apparently Video Game Orchestra is will take the stage at Boston's Berklee College of Music next month. Wait, not that VGO, an other VGO. This one is, apparently, a literal orchestra, and, though they may not be our friends from Greece, interested parties should probably check it out.
  • Up in My Treehouse: In other VGM news, UK folksters Elfonso now have a proper Web site. Anthony mentioned this earlier this week, but they are so fuckin' awesome that I figured it bore repeating.
  • In the Beginning: Those fine ladies at the Wizrocklopedia never cease to school me regarding WRock. Why just last week they turned me on to some interesting facts regarding the genesis of the musical concept.
  • So Hungry!: Shael Riley makes music. But did you know he also creates inspiring works of sequential art? Consider yourself enlightened.
  • DTs Have Never Looked Cuter: We will end this week on a high note. This one comes courtesy of Little Miss Gamer herself. It's the newest episode entitled "Gamer, Interrupted," and it concerns the darker side of Zuma. (Locate chip artist and recent mugging victim Zen Albatross for bonus points!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 62: Total Aggro

Nerd rage, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been explored before, but not exactly like this.

This is a journey into sound. Angry, angsty, grimy sound.

We’ve got some hip-hop and some mash-ups and a whole lot of metal, because metal is the traditional music of the angry nerd.

Just ask Scott Ian.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 62: Total Aggro (hosting provided by Antisocial) Size: 49.6 MB Running Time: 54:13

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
That cat Beefy is a bad mutha… What? Shut my mouth?

Track 1: The Lonely Island – "Natalie's Rap (feat. Natalie Portman)"
I know it’s blasphemy, but this is still my favorite track from the Incredibad album. Sorry, Jones.

Z’s 1st interlude: "A real life Fight Club."
Chuck Palahniuk's response to the story in question read: "God bless these kids. I hope they're having a great time. I don't think they'd be doing it if they weren't having a great time."

Track 2: Krondor Krew - "Terminated"
I caught the Kronder Krew live at Nerdapalooza. Great stage presence, but be careful if you’re up near the stage. Crazy ninja sword action!

Track 3: BloodHag – "Ann McCaffrey"
My kingdom for a new Bloodhag full-length!

Track 4: Dr. Steel – "Glutton"
I really appreciate that Dr. Steel can switch from creepy, carnival side-show kid’s music to full-on industrial steampunk at the drop of a hat.

Track 5: HORSE the Band – "Murder"
Whenever I mention chiptunes or VGM to my friends more entrenched in the traditional punk, metal, or hardcore scenes, they invariably ask: "You mean like HORSE?" Well no, not really, but at least it’s a jumping off point.

You owe it to yourself to check out Morgoth’s Mash-up Your Bootz! series. Go ahead. Don’t be frightened.

Track 7: Jesse Dangerously – "Outfox'd"
Warning: Jesse Dangerously will rap your face off. Right the fuck off!

Z’s 2nd interlude: "Channeling that lyrical aggression into the archetypal hip-hop braggadocio. "
And, interestingly enough, Kronder Krew do swing their arms like Ralph Macchio.

Track 8: NESMETAL – "Stage Opening" / "Stage 1"
The Zombie Birthday Cake OST is a must-own. Snag it from Pterodactyl Squad.

Track 9: Super Dragon X – "The Cheater's Anthem"
Let it be written and known from this point forward that the Dragon spits hot fiyah.

Track 10: Year 200X – "River City Ransom"
Yes, I’m still working on that review of We Are Error. No, I have not yet completed it. Yes, I am kind of a slack-ass.

Track 11: MadHatter – "Bullets and Buckshot"
You’ve already downloaded 8Bit Bullshit, right? Just checkin'.

Track 12: Game Over – "Cataclysmic Clash"
Muthafuckin’ Nintendo Metal from the land of Vikings and IKEA. Hells yeah!

Z’s final interlude: "It is simple, if not elegant."
Much like this podcast.

Track 13: Optimus Rhyme – "MC Chipmunk"
I am not a fan of diss tracks, but this shit is fierce.

Bonus track: RevoLucian – "Bale Out"
"You’re a nice guy."

Thus far, 2009 has seen its fair share of themed episodes. With that in mind, the next edition of Radio Free Hipster will be theme-free. I have a lot of delightful odds and ends that I wanna play that don’t necessarily coalesce by way of tone or topic.

If you have any requests – or, for that matter, show ideas you’d like to hear – please toss them my way. I am nothing if not accommodating.

And, until next time, thanks for listening.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Geeking up Lunchtime

I have said many times in the past that I am not paid in the traditional sense for the work that I do here at Hipster, please! Further, I have stated that the means by which I am compensated tend to take the forms of free CDs and, more importantly, nerd love. But it would be far more accurate to say that my most frequent form of recompense is stickers.

Chances are, if I have received a parcel, thank you note, or care package from (or – heaven forbid – actually met face-to-face with an) artist/fellow writer over the past three years, it has resulted in one or more promotional decals falling into my possession. This is a fact I relish, as I come from a more punk rock background where things like stickers and badges are, quite literally, the glue that holds a scene together. The obvious outcome of this, however, is that I now have an entire drawer in my home dedicated to the housing of nerdy stickers.

Over the weekend, Li'l X. and I decided to use these as the raw materials for a little project; we replaced the well-worn magazine collage design that adorned my lunch cooler with the stickers in question.

Now, each afternoon when I dig into yet another peanut butter sandwich at my desk, I do so in the presence of Beefy, Schaffer the Darklord, My Parents' Favorite Music, Uncle Monsterface, and countless others. It helps to dress the proceedings up a bit.