Friday, July 03, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

With each passing day, my friends, it seems my plans to attend this year's Nerdapalooza are slipping further away. Oh, the evils of the unexpected expenditure!

Still, for those of you who will be getting their geek on next weekend in Orlando, take heart! With performances by I Fight Dragons, Uncle Monsterface, The Grammar Club, Dual Core, The Scrub Club crew, Schaffer the Darklord and a cornucopia of other aural delights on deck, you will be amply entertained even in the event of my absence.

Plus, things on the other side of the stage are looking equally rosy. Fantastic fellows like my blogging brother Matt and super-supporter Data Vortex will be on hand. As will lovely ladies like Snipeyhead (AKA Miss Douchenuker 2009) and the incomparable freakapotimus.

Twill be a bumper crop of nerdlingers indeed!
  • Moonwalker: Scientific Blogging has crafted the most important piece of journalism of the modern age. Yes, a post that references both Buzz Aldrin's love of hip-hop and the Nerdcore Rising documentary. And with that, I drift further into obsolescence.
  • The Bearded Wonder: Jonathan Coulton has been everywhere this week promoting his newly released Best. Concert. Ever. He was featured over at Joystiq, in Esquire and I even think I saw him at the supermarket. Although that last one could've simply been some other bespectacled, hirsute suburbanite dad.
  • Street-level: MC Lars has finally made the first eight years of his comic 27th Street available for your perusal. In sequence to less!
  • Alter-natives: And speaking of Lars, you can peep a review of his YTCracker collab album The Digital Gangster LP in the new Alternative Press. It's got Blink-182 on the cover, but don't let that dissuade you for picking it up.
  • Community-building: You can also get your Post-punk Laptop Rap on at MC Lars's new fan forum. Be seen. Be heard.
  • Like a Box of Batman Chocolates: There's a new interview with my boy Beefy available at The Painted Man. Therein he discusses his influences, Nugget and tattoos. Check that shit out.
  • Reverend Yo-Yo: Beefy's also been getting his visual art on once again. Peep this new tribute to our beloved Doctor Popular. What a handsome devil!
  • Fine Art: Beef also hipped me to this amazing piece of fan art featuring nerdcore royalty. It's like a geeky music Justice League composed of Jesse Dangerously, Doc Pop, Beefy, Lars, Front, YT and mc chris all gathered around superfan Lance.
  • Dance, Damien, Dance!: And while you're trolling for (non-porn) images, be sure to take a look at skipmeister123's amazing shots of MC Frontalot in action at Top of the Park in Ann Arbor. Apparently the headlamp is just for show in this instance.
  • Feel the Love: mc chris recently received a nice thank you note from the Minnesota Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in appreciation of his work (and the donations of his fans) to help fight CF. Check out an image here.
  • Drag Me to Hell: Hey, did you know mc's Part 2 Part 6 is available for pre-order? That shit is totally true.
  • What is This Nerdery?: From the Dan Plus Add camp comes some HD gig footage as well as news of a new collaborative project. If you subscribed to Dan's mailing list you'd already know this. I'm just saying.
  • He's Your Critic: Captain Spalding has just dropped a new track at his MySpace. It's a misty-eyed meditation on the shitty cinema that is SUCK Films.
  • I'm Looking at You, Dave.: Sometimes I think Church is just messing with me. A contest to design D&D-themed clothing? Preposterous! And yet, somehow true!
  • Dead and Loving It: And let me congratulate Church on his honorable mention in Topless Robot's Zombie Haiku contest. He'll always be the winner in my eyes!
  • Brilliant and it Could Change the World: Ed Stockham (AKA smilinglimpet), won Chameleon Circuit's recent fan video contest with this amazing tribute to "An Awful Lot of Running." Experience its awesomeness below, and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Reintroduction

Sometimes a new album drop is exciting because it's hotly anticipated – like, for example, Epic-1's LP debut or the freshly released Southside Liquors – but other times it's really more of an unexpected surprise. Such is the case with my Australian pal Pinky's new mixtape Grandmaster Pink is Nerdier than You.

It's an eclectic sixteen-tracker that's positively packed with old school beats and new school rhymes. So much so, in fact, that I'm beginning to suspect it's somehow perpetually 1988 in the land down under. To put it another way, Pinky continues to bring nerdcore hip-hop that should ably appeal to those in both those often disparate camps.

In addition to Pink's regularly scheduled lyrical geek-outs (with ample nods to gaming, RPGs and comics) it also boasts covers of The Boondocks theme and Del's "Protoculture," an amazing foray into chip-hop and cameos from a number of my other favorites – Super Dragon X and The Ranger like whut?! It's really the perfect follow-up to 2006's impeccable Diabolikly Pink, even featuring a redux of that album's D&D anthem "Rollin' 20s." And with nods to everything from DJ Kool to the Sega Mega Drive, it's easy to love and hard to put down. Oh, and did I mention it's free?

I mean seriously, get on this shit!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 69: On the Road (Again)

What makes a good driving song? Is it all about tempo? Does everyone need to know it so as to facilitate a proper sing-along? Is it merely a thematic matter?

For me, travel music simply needs to be humorous and/or relatable. It doesn't matter if it's up-beat or laid back, a new gem or an old classic, and it doesn't even need to be remotely related to actual transit. (Suck it, Sammy Hagar!)

My roadtrip mixes typically feature songs that sound familiar even if they aren't: tracks that you can sing even without knowing the words. You won't find a whole lot of serious fare therein. Instead it's fun, lighthearted tracks punctuated by movie clips.

Not exactly cerebral, but the last thing I wanna do on a long car trip is think.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 69: On the Road (Again) [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 49.3 MB Running Time: 53:51

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy) "
A glorious travel anthem all its own!

Track 1: Fanboys dialog/ I Hate You When You're Pregnant – "Sleeveless"
Everyone's seen Fanboys by now, right? Thought so.

Z's 1st interlude: "The eternal 12-year-old."
Yes, my inner child desperately wanted to make RFH 69 a compilation of songs too filthy for even my own loose standards of decency to normally allow.

Track 2: I Fight Dragons – "Why Bother"
Why Weezer isn’t more widely covered within our community is anybody's guess.

Track 3: The Breakfast Club dialog / Selfhelp – "Mantra (feat. Def3)"
"Can you describe the ruckus, sir?"

Track 4: virt – "All Your Clothes"
I picked this one up off Twitter (via @shaelriley, perhaps). It is what we call an instant classic.

Track 5: The Princess Bride dialog / My Parents' Favorite Music – "What If"
Testing the Waters really is a giant step forward for MPFM. I will elucidate regarding this later.

Track 6: Jonathan Coulton – "I'm a Mason Now"
We desperately need a secret handshake.

Track 7: Southside – "Zip Zop (clean)"
I am crazy excited for the new Southside! It features tons of new tracks as well as a couple of remakes from their Please Southside, Don't Hurt 'Em-era material.

Track 8: Starscream – "Space Party Anthem"

Track 9: Adam Buxton vs. NWA – "Help the Police"
This honestly isn't the proper way to experience this piece. Here, just watch the video.

Z's 2nd interlude: "Nothing short of brilliant."
Buy Evil Giraffes on Mars's Cydonia. Now.

Track 10: Das Racist – "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell"
Shael and Zen Albatross first exposed me to this. Blame them.

Track 11: Treephort – "Why Do Fat Kids Like Metallica?"
Shit yeah, Treephort is back!

Track 12: Half-Baked dialog / Epic-1 – "Mary Jane (feat. Quinsis)"
I've got a full review of Epic-1's latest album due out soon, but I'll go ahead and let slip that this is my favorite track.

Track 13: Dr. Noise – "Exterminate Regenerate"
I think I may actually like this cover better than the Chameleon Circuit original. /geek blasphemy

Track 14: Bino White – "Kick Your Ass with Science (feat. Riboflava)"
Is it wrong to combine science, comedy and rap? Maybe, but I still can't help but like this one.

Z's final interlude: "Flying to Argentina."
I am contractually obligated to take the occasional jab at Mark Sanford. I'm just sayin'.

Track 15: 10,000 Spoons – "Astley Gone to Heaven" / Half-Baked dialog
Don't forget to check out Tim's video for this one at Mutant Pop.

Nerdapalooza travel plans may well impede my ability to get the next edition of RFH delivered to you in a timely manner. Instead, I plan on doing one of two things.

I am considering posting the mini-cast I cobbled together for the Parsec Awards judging committee. It's all stuff you've heard before, but it's a nice little 7-minute intro to what the show is all about, if I do say so myself. Maybe it's the kind of thing you can share with friends if they want a preliminary taste of nerdy music. Maybe not. You'll just have to be the judge.

I'm also putting the finishing touches on a new (ir)regular feature within the podcast feed. What is it? Well, I can't say right now, but I think (hope!) you'll find it humorous.

Either way, something should be up before I head down Orlando-way. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on this episode, these proposed offerings or anything else even remotely related.