Friday, June 26, 2009

More Nerd News in Brief

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen: is it racist tripe or a groundbreaking assault on the senses?

Honestly, I find it hard to give a shit either way. Shia makes a good enough loserly everyman and Megan Fox is hot in that sort of sweaty, truckstop hooker way, but I don't need no ham-fisted human drama or squishy hyper-sexuality in my robot movies. I need robots.

Big robots I can actually see during the fight scenes. (Although my pal LogicOne assures me that the on-screen carnage is better framed this go-round.)

I rarely hit up the theater, and I'm not sure I'm willing to blow my cinematic wad on RotF when we have another Potter movie just around the bend. Not after the disaster that was… well, pretty much everything else Michael Bay has ever directed.
  • He Would Eat Candy: The Wizrocklopedia is presently promoting the What Would Dumbledore Do? campaign of the HP Alliance. The easiest way to participate is to share the lessons learned from the wizened old wizard via Twitter using the accompanying #Dumbledore hashtag. Spread the magic.
  • Who Now?: And thanks to my buddy tk4257, I am now wholly preoccupied with thoughts of the forthcoming multiple Doctor one-shot. That's a bunch of Time Lords!
  • Sonic Screwdriver +1: Nigh simultaneously, Seattle Geekly mentioned this piece about a new Doctor Who RPG. Having never played its predecessors, I don't exactly know what to expect, but I know I need my own TARDIS. Desperately.
  • An Awful Lot of Vlogging: Chameleon Circuit, who are currently celebrating the triumphant release of their debut album, have posted a new YouTube video talking a bit more about the band and Trock in general. And by "a bit," I mean quite literally a small piece. But the important thing is it shines a light on the new album which is available both physically and electronically.
  • The Lineup: Am I the only person having trouble with Nerdapalooza's official site? Sometimes it seems the old gal just ain't there. Thankfully, Ant has mirrored their handy-dandy event schedule at GM4A. Do you see? Can you feel its awesomeness? Let it envelope you like a warm blanket. Or maybe just an envelope.
  • Get Your Vote On: My boys from Rivercrest Yacht Club are up for a Fort Worth Weekly Music Award. (In the best hip-hop/r&b category, naturally). If you feel so inclined, drop by and cast a vote for your fellow nerds.
  • Call Him Michael eBay: mc chris is eBaying a veritable shit ton of robots for his CF charity. Some are Transformers. Some are Gundam. Some are robo-dogs. If you like robots and helping sick kids (and maybe dogs), you oughta bid.
  • Complementary Perspectives: Three of my favorite things – podcasts, hip-hop and Canadians – have finally come together under a single banner. Of course I'm talking about the new show from Backburner. What, you didn't know?
  • Both Brilliant and Gamey: And on the subject of podcasts, my friends the Brilliant Gameologists have just released a teaser for the forthcoming third season of their regular offering. What wonders will this new season hold? Will Meg talk about dogs? Will Josh be snarky? Will Zeke sing? There's only one way to find out.
  • All Grown Up: This April, the Nintendo Gameboy turned 20. To celebrate this blessed achievement, Zen Albatross has posted a fitting tribute at RacketBoy. Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Gameboy line, but were simply too intimidated by its 2-bit color palette to ask.
  • What the Ftagn?: Church sent me a link to this vid last week. I was both fascinated and appalled. You will be too.
  • Laughing on the Inside: Also courtesy of Church comes this piece from Slate. It's about nerdcore. Well, it thinks it's about nerdcore. Really it seems to be more about lumping all rap artists that are A) white, B) nerdy or C) both of the above in together as all parties to a single bad joke. And yet it concludes by celebrating the rapping prowess of Andy Sandberg… a comedian. Go figure.
  • "Just Another name for Autism:" And one final nugget from Mr. Church concerns the perceived link between nerdery and autism. It's an interesting read to say the least.
  • Doin' his Own Little Thang: And on a lighter note, everyone knows I love weird covers. Why, here comes one now! It's Matt Ryd celebrating all the single ladies. Now get your hands up!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hex's Home Invasion

Let it be known that this is an accurate representation of Nerdapalooza. It is exciting, dangerous, unpredictable and occasionally shaky (because of the beers.) There are also ninjas.

Orlando is a weird and wonderful place.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mid-Week Awesome

Next week, most of us Yanks get some time off to celebrate our independence, wherein we will grill things, get real drunk and play with explosives. The following weekend is Nerdapalooza, wherein we will… well, do pretty much the same things. But this week? Well, this week we are stuck in the dreaded doldrums.

But rather than look at this as dead space or down time, I prefer to see it as the calm before the storm. As a veritable prelude to awesomeness.

Yet even in that frame of mind I can't help but be antsy. So I have done what I always do when I find myself need of spontaneous mood-elevation; I've turned to my friends.

If you, like me, are trying to make this week into something a bit more enjoyable than simply biding time, I humbly suggest the following delightful distractions:

Kicking Back:
Remember that Next Level leak I got to hear from int eighty a couple of weekends back? Well, Dual Core has now favored the entire Interwebz with a sneak peak at the new album. More specifically, eighty talks some about the project and previews "Kick Back," which is shaping up to my new favorite song.

Who You Gonna Call?:
After another brief hiatus, Beefy and Jones are back with a new episode of Just Another Lazy Podcast. I found this one is particularly amusing, and not just because there's a lengthy segment about me. The boys talk Ghostbusters, new phones and part-time models. I dare you not to be amused.

Band on the Run:
For those of us who missed Schaffer the Darklord's debut with his new backing band The Darklords, take heart! STD has got your YouTube hook-up. I have recently fallen in love with their reinterpretation of old school Schaffer classic "Your Band." Oldsters like me will notice that the song's lead-in is actually a cover of Twisted Sister's "Burn in Hell," as made famous in Pee-wee's Big Adventure. But it's equally important to note that lovely bassist Dr. Darklord is actually Scaff's wife. (Yes, she is a real doctor!)

And lastly, Seattle hip-hop institution Southside will shortly be releasing the follow-up to Radio Free Hipster staple Please Southside, Don't Hurt 'Em. I've been fortunate enough to spend the last week listening to a pre-release version of the new album, but everyone gets a chance to score the Southside Liquors promo EP. I can't seem to get it to unzip, but perhaps you'll have better luck. (EDIT: It wasn't just me; the zip was corrupt. Thankfully, Southside is re-uploading as I type this. A new link is forthcoming.) New link is here!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

Any outlet can promise you tomorrow's news today, but what about yesterday's news?

If no news is good news, then what about old news? Isn't that still newsworthy?

I am of the opinion that just because you already know it doesn't mean it's no longer important. As such, here is last week's Nerd News in Brief.

Take that, traditional journalism!
  • Shtick to It: MC Lars's This Gigantic Robot Kills received a favorable review from AllMusic, which aptly pegged the release as having some of his "catchiest songs yet." But then again, you already knew that.
  • The Cropduster: Shael Riley is rocking the Chester A. Arthur. If this means nothing to you, you are deficient in your knowledge of American presidents. And you also obviously don't follow our Twitter exchanges closely enough.
  • Styrofoam Peanuts: Recently, nerd rock luminary Weird Al Yankovic dropped a new Doors-flavored single called "Craigslist." My only complaint? No allusions to prostitution.
  • Wizards & Warriors: I typically characterize our Wizard Rocking brothers and sisters as the most civil of our kind, but let there be no mistakin'; they too can let the claws out. For example, last week Dinah wrote a piece about the evolution of The Parselmouths, which culminated in a suggestion that perhaps the band should change their name to reflect their new style. At that point, shit got real. Thankfully, it looks as though the community has managed to work things out amicably.
  • Smarten up Your Playlist: GeekDad Brian recently turned me on to the Skeptic's Mix Tape 2009, a collection of delightfully geeky tracks about science, skepticism and critical thinking that are kid-friendly, catchy as hell and also free. And no, "Origin of the Species" did not make the cut.
  • Taking it Back: Meanwhile, GeekMom Natania passed on this jewel. It's a piece from artist Erik Stell about our tenuous ownership of the word "geek." I was pleased to find that Eric seemingly takes a similar stance as me with regard to the essence of nerd culture, and I especially like his parallel of surviving abuse as "paying one's dues." Well said, my brother.
  • You're Gonna Like the Way You Look: And on the subject of "geek chic," Church sends in this abomination. As a nerd, I am offended by this dissection of our apparent "style." As a fan of fashion, I am equally offended that the AP quotes some dude from Men’s Wearhouse.
  • A Woman Scorned: The Geek Girl Diva got some props last week from NewsARama for her scathing criticism of the LA Time's wholly insulting "Girls’ Guide to Comic Con." Go ahead and read the whole thing. It's totally worth it.
  • He's Feeling Numb: Also from Church comes this link to an audiobook version of William Gibson's Neuromancer. It's read by Gibson and includes music by U2. I imagine listening to it will somehow alleviate Third World debt. Probably through clever manipulation of the Matrix.
  • BattleStarTrektica: It's a summer of glorious performances of sci-fi music as far as the eye can see! Assuming, of course, that your eyes only see SoCal and Texas.
  • 1.21 Gigawatts: Also on the road this summer is your boy Random. Capcom has sponsored Ran's "Back to the Future Tour," which will be bringing videogame-based hip-hop to the nation. Look, some dates! June 22, 2009 @ The Cavern, Dallas, TX; June 25, 2009 @ CafĂ© Coco, Nashville, TN; June 26, 2009 @ Tacony Billiards Club, Philadelphia, PA; July 3, 2009 @ Dubland Underground, Rochester, NY; July 9, 2009 @ Midtown Tavern, Harrisburg, PA; July 17-18, 2009 @ Otakon (Baltimore Conv Center), Baltimore, MD; July 25, 2009 @ Comic-Con (San Diego Conv Center), SD, CA; August 15, 2009 @ San-Japan, San Antonio, TX.
  • Because You Demanded It: You look sad. Are none of the aforementioned events near your locality? Then why not use Eventful to request Chicago's chip-rocking powerhouse I Fight Dragons hit up your zip code? It's super easy.
  • Giving the Devil His Due: mc chris's latest EP, Part 1 Part 6 is now available on iTunes. As iTunes is inherently evil, it's really a nice match.
  • Shameful: Meanwhile, the venerable MC Frontalot has released a new single from his latest Final Boss. "Shame of the Otaku" is available for download right the fuck here. He's also made a couple of commission pieces available over here.
  • Corny Elmo T-shirts: At their recent Hot Topic in-house, funky49 , Krondor Krew's Shinobi Onibocho and EPP's MC Wreckshin covered MC Lar's "Hot Topic (is Not Punk Rock)." And funk read the lyrics off his phone. Which is also not punk rock.