Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

As if losing Bea Arthur and Dave Arneson this month wasn't enough, Matt’s just told me that everybody’s first free (shitty) Web host, Geocities, is also shuffling off this mortal core. Death appears to be the order of the day.

Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. I mean, the rest of us are still in our veritable prime, right? We’re young and healthy and indestructible.

Wait; swine flu.

Damn it!

So once again I end this weekly intro in a state of panic. Palms sweating. Knees knocking. Mind reeling. But at least we have Nerd News in Brief. It'll keep us safe.
  • Pray to the Geek Gods: During times of such great duress, we mere mortals typically look to a higher power for guidance. Thankfully, as Church points out, we nerds finally have our own deity.
  • Would that be Wrilk?: Also from Church comes this link to a spirited discussion from the filk community. Filker meltatum ponders the question: Is Wrock filk? The breadth of the ensuing discussion probably won’t surprise you, nor will the varying answers and attitudes. Still, it’s a fascinating read for those in either camp, and I personally have to give it up to happyfunpaul for referencing the obvious commonality between traditional filk and more modern movements (like Wrock, nerdcore and VGM) early on.
  • Special Request: Will the attendance of Sangriaa’s birthday Dork Party please keep me in the loop as pictures and videos of the event become available? I couldn’t make it down, but I needs to see that shit.
  • And Another: Also, if anyone would care to nominate Radio Free Hipster in the Best Speculative Fiction Music Podcast category of this year’s Parsec Awards, I would be most appreciative. I can’t see as I’ve got a snowball’s chance in Hell of actually winning, but I reckon it couldn’t hurt to try.
  • He Has Arrived: Our own MC Lars recently earned a nice pop from Crossfire concerning his latest release This Gigantic Robot Kills. And while others were less impressed, everything seems to be coming up Lars, as revealed in this recent tweet. Nas, Luda and Lars!
  • Holla@chaboy: Wanna make it onto the next mixtape from your boy Random? It’s easier than you might think. Just record a little shout out to Mega Ran and you’re already half-way there. See his official board for full details. 
  • Continued Resistance: Sadly for those of us in the Carolinas, the Protomen cancelled their proposed Ashville, NC show. Thankfully, the band will be playing this year’s Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN. The fest runs from June 11th to 14th, with news of the band’s exact play time forthcoming.
  • Hipster, please!: Geek Studies' Jason passed this link along the following summation: "As hipsters appropriate nerdy dress and affectations, so too do they inherit the ruthless mockery." Well said, my brother. Well said.
  • More Sociable Than You'd Think: My pal Antisoc has finally released the long-delayed 2.0 iteration of his 2007 album Depressed Nerd. This polished version of the album is now freely available in various bitrates from Soc’s own site. 
  • Game Music 4 U: There have been lots of exciting things going on over at GM4A. It’s official unofficial podcast Letters vs. Numbers has been resurrected with the help of a pair of special guests -- Brian of 8 Bit Revenge and Thugmasta J of Magitek -- and with MisterB’s triumphant return to the Internet, there’s more podcast-y madness yet to come. The site itself recently featured a new interview with the brains behind chiptune netlabel Pause, and also acquired a new staff writer known simply as Ma. So it’s looks like good stuff abounds for Ant and the crew!
  • Now with More Awesome!: Did you see the latest round of confirmed Nerdapalooza acts? This summer’s fest will be welcoming back Devo Spice (formally known as Sudden Death) and my Ohio-based brother int eighty of Dual Core, as well as debut acts Superpowerless and I Fight Dragons! For those keeping score at home, that’s 4 more great reasons for you to attend.
  • As in Beer: Speaking of IFD, you can now register for free tickets to the May 7th I Fight Dragons Metromix Rock'n'Vote Finals at LaSalle Power Co. And once those have been secured, be sure to head over to YouTube to peep the new video for their track "Money" by Boram Encargado Kim.
  • The Closer: Lastly but not leastly, here’s another fine bit of YouTubery. It’s the videof or 8 Bit Weapon’s "Closer (Bitpop Mix)," which was directed by Sterling Silva and Jeff Allen. Enjoy it in all its frenetic, robot-laden glory.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 65: No Foolin’

After the unmitigated surprise of the previous podswapped episode, I’m afraid this edition of the show is strictly more of the same. Of course, I guess I can assume - if you’re a regular listener, at least - that more of the same is exactly what you’re looking for. In which case, have I got a deal for you!

Episode 65 hits on some recent high points, new stuff from Hidari and Beefy and Sticks Downey, as well as some older material that has recently resurfaced, like the nerd-tastic Twin Sister and the mysterious Mark VII. It’s wholly devoid of theme, but I do linger on the topics of Japan and Star Wars for a bit, so hopefully that’ll give it some much needed cohesion.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 65: No Foolin’ (hosting provided by Antisoc) Size: 44 MB Running Time: 48:04

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
Beefy and Spellah are like the nerdcore Wonder Twins.

Track 1: The Browncoats – "The Hero of Canton"
Church has been on a Browncoat rock tear as of late, and I have greatly benefited from his recent obsession.

Z’s 1st interlude: "Any man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another."
Mal Reynolds is a genius.

Track 2: Sticks Downey – "These Monitors Are Frigid"
Sticks Downey is a Portland trio that has completely charmed me with their new full-length When the Belt Changes Hands. "These Monitors Are Frigid" is an excellent example of its unique style.

Track 3: Hidari – "Maybe Baby"
Hidari’s Wine and Chocolate is another fine collection of Japanese language power pop. This track in particular boasts one of my favorite (understated) guitar solos of recent memories.

Track 4: Random Arts Project – "Tokyo"
R.A.P. features my boy id obelus, and its clever productions style takes his free-association flow to a new level.

Track 5: Selfhelp – "Zentraedi (feat. Wordburglar)"
Max Sterling is a personal her of mine. I'm just sayin'.

Track 6: Ultraklystron – "Girugamesh"
Karl’s Desu Desu Desu mixtape is a must-own. Thankfully it’s also a freebie.

Track 7: Yold – "It's Bigger than a Prayer (Dead Prez vs. Bloc Party)"
"If I feel it I feel it, if I don’t I don’t / And if it ain’t really real then I probably won’t."

Z’s 2nd interlude: "Because Japan is fucking weird."
Truthfully, Justin of Hidari (who’s the cat that put together my press kit) is American. But this does not erase the fact that Japan is fuckin’ weird.

Track 8: Beefy – "About Damn Time"
Beef Thompson is no longer a hard-boiled detective. Now he is a space man!

Track 9: D&D Podcast – "Punch Him in the Dickhole!" / Mark VII – "Spherical Rhymes"
Something new and ridiculous meets something old and infectious.

Track 10: Xoc – "Beetlejuice Town"
Xoc’s Cinema 80s collection is pure genius.

Track 11: mc chris – "IG88's 57 Chevy"
Rumor has it that every edition of the Part Six saga will feature another bounty hunter on a vehicle.

Track 12: Twin Sister – "We Don’t Serve Their Kind Here"
It’s like if Blind melon wrote songs about Star Wars.

Track 13: XMark – "Still Alive"
Everyone has their favorite cover of the Coulton classic. This is mine.

Z’s final interlude: "Sort of an odd choice, actually."
As if there is any rhyme or reason to my song selections!

The magic of the mash-up is its near alchemical gift for making gold out of lesser elements.

I’ve got a lot of residual show themes left over in my notes from last year. One in particular keeps jumping out at me every time I return to the well.

As such, May will kick off with a tribute to the female voice; it will both celebrate this unique musical instrument and focus on women’s very genuine, very important contributions to nerd culture. We exist in what is traditionally a boys club, and while there’s still some truth in that it certainly doesn’t make the ladies involved in the scene any less important.

Should you have any suggestions or requests for this gynocentric episode, don’t hesitate to hit me up with ‘em!