Friday, July 24, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

Before we get into the meat of this week's nerd news, I have an exciting announcement. It looks as though Radio Free Hipster is a finalist for this year's Parsec Awards in the category of "Best Speculative Fiction Music Podcast!"

I am both pleased and disappointed, as the competition is stiff. I mean, me going up against shows like the FuMP podcast is akin to throwing a drunken box turtle into a dogfight, but it's nice to see my little 'cast's name there next to the big guys.

And speaking of the big guys, my pals the Brilliant Gameologists also made it to the finals for "Best Gaming Podcast;" a category which they have, in my opinion, sewn the fuck up!
  • Songs From the Blue Planet: OverClocked ReMix has just favored us with another epic release. Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption, the community's 14th project album, presents "Nobuo Uematsu's classic video game soundtrack through a musically re-imagining of the story told in a 3 act format." It is, of course, freely available from OCR.
  • Burgie's World: I just received word from Halifax – by carrier loon, no less – that a new Wordburglar CD drops today for a mere $10 American (plus shipping)! Burgie's Basement is a collection of b-sides, remixes and rarities that features top-shelf guests like More or Les, Jesse Dangerously, Toolshed, Thesis & Ghettosocks, not to mention the WB himself. Interested parties can hit Burg up at for ordering info.
  • A Farewell to Kings: Also on the new release front is a collection of b-sides, singles, and rarities from our old pal MisterB entitled Winks. B also dropped the bomb that this will be his last release using that moniker, as he will now focus on making music as "BType." Be sure to cop this piece of UK nerdcore history.
  • He Wanna Hold 'Em Like They do in Texas, Please: And speaking of B, have you seen/heard the Superpowerless cover of "Poker Face?" It is unbe-fucking-lievable.
  • Say it Ain't So: Personally, I've spent the bulk of the week up to this point listening to Pterodactyl Squad's amazing 8-bit Weezer tribute. I can't imagine the rest of you haven't snagged it yet, but if not proceed directly to its palatial estate.
  • Save Ginny Weasley: What's stranger: that Potter fans have vandalized Chi-town stop signs or the fact that Chicago's finest don't know who Voldemort is? Church says the latter.
  • Low-Hanging Fruit: And on the subject of Pottermania, Conan O'Brien managed to work a Wizard Rock joke into his opening monologue earlier this week. Check around the 3:50 mark.
  • Real American Hero: This week, mc chris is auctioning off a staggering array of G.I. Joe toys for his cystic fibrosis charity. Checkout his video introduction, and then peep the sweet eBay action.
  • Gathering if the Nerds: If you are in the vicinity of Comic-Con this weekend, be aware that everyone is playing there-abouts. You can catch Mega Ran himself Saturday at the San Diego Convention Center, Front, Lars and YT at The Casbah that same night and even mc chris tonight at the Jumping Turtle.
  • Halifax Rap Legend: For those unable to make the trip to Comic-Con, sleep well knowing that Jesse Dangerously will shortly embark on a (brief) US/Canadian tour. Dates and venues can be found at the blog of the delightful Audra.
  • A New Member Joins Your Party: Congratulations to I Fight Dragons on acquiring another amazing member: Packy Lundholm. You can experience his indubitable style via this amazing YouTube clip.
  • Fuck American Idol: Are you a new artist looking to insinuate yourself into a well established clique? Of course you are! And for you, my friend, I suggest checking out Scrub Club's "Versus Mode" competition. The Club needs more Scrubs, and, whether you’re a rocker, a rapper or an electronic noisemaker, you could be among the chosen few. Full details are available at Scrub Central.
  • Sex Times Three: Orlando songsmith Marc with a C was recently featured in an interview at Check it out for a little info on the man behind the glasses and his involvement in Universal CityWalk’s AMC Cinemas' fall showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Only a Buck: Arizona natives will be hearing a bit more of MAJA in the coming weeks, as he's been cast for his rapping skills and voiceover talent in a series of McDonald's commercials. No foolin'! Give it a listen.
  • Meow-Meow, Muthafucker!: Closing out this week is a new Dan Lamoureux-directed video for Doctor Popular's "LOLcats." View. Rate. Comment. Enjoy. And remember that the LOL cats will enslaves us awl!!!11!one!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 70: Pajama Jams

Almost by definition, all episodes of Radio Free Hipster are about underrated and under-recognized artists. Nerd music is fringe music, and with that mystique there comes a disproportionate amount of anonymity. So when I tell you that this edition is dedicated to "slept-on" acts, try not to laugh.

If the bulk of our culture's music is unknown, then a subset of it is criminally so. Ignored, more often than not, even by our own. For every mc chris that pops up when the mainstream casts an eye our way there is a Metamystiks. For every Jonathan Coulton a Glenn Case. For every Minibosses a Spheres of Chaos.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Instead, I'll let the show speak for itself.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 70: Pajama Jams [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 45.4 MB Running Time: 49:35

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy) "
You can't sleep on Baddd Spellah!

Track 1: Metamystiks Inc. – "Rock Well (feat. Baddd Spellah)"
Though not officially released, this track leaked on Navi's new mixtape. It is the hotness.

Z's 1st interlude: "Goddamn, I say!"
Not exactly my customary opening line, but MMI tends to elicit that reaction from me.

Track 2: Snake Eyes – "Stairway to Hell"
Perhaps I should've saved this one for Halloween, but I think it's a great example of what Snake does with found sound.

Track 3: The Ranger – "Soi Nana (feat. MisterB)"
As I said in-show, this one sure ain't for everyone, but it's another epic tale from the seedy side courtesy of one of my favorite Aussies. Plus, its darkness blends so well with Snake Eye's supernatural angst.

Track 4: The Red Wings – "Go K.K. Rider" / Finding Nemo dialog
"Why are you sleeping?"

Track 5: Optimus Rhyme – "Super Shiny Metal (killsaly mix)"
Matt got to me ks at Nerdapalooza. It's one of the many things I begrudge him from that weekend.

Track 6: Glenn Case – "Georgia's Hands"
Glenn falls into the same category as Shael Riley; I simultaneously adore and resent both due to their impeccable ability to pen the kinds of songs I've always wished I could.

Track 7: nYgel – "The Wanderer (feat. Conyeezy)"
Should I ever take my geeky ministry on the road, 'Yeezy will be my deacon.

Z's 2nd interlude: "Yummy goodness for your ear-holes."
Once again, I implore you to download Stratospheria.

Track 8: Whore Moans – "Don’t Feel a Thing"
My favorite thing about Moans is that he is the same person in real life that he is in verse; manic, self-absorbed and totally random. And in his case, those are all actually very endearing qualities.

Track 9: James Bernardinelli – "The Hollow Earth"
Perfect Jimmy is the one member of Uncle Monsterface I have yet to meet. But I will befriend and collect him, just as I have with all the others. A la Professor Slughorn.

Track 10: Sticks Downey – "I am Going to Destroy You."
Let it be forever known that Wockenfuss has more beats than Dwight Shrute.

Track 11: Kirby Krackle – "Ring Capacity"
This is KK's summer single. Which means it's freely available. Which means you should go sign up for their mailing list to download it. Now.

Track 12: Marian Call – "It's Good to Have Jayne by Your Side"
"Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?"

Z's final interlude: "I'll promise to listen closer if you will."
The best thing about this exercise is realizing cats that I'm sleeping on. Yep, it cuts both ways.

Track 13: Metaforce – "They Sleep"
I recently received a demo cut of the new Metaforce album Feared Science. Not sure if I like it as much as Rain City Blooze, but there's definitely some amazing stuff on there that'll make its way down the pipe soon.

Don't think me too juvenile, but the bulk of my interaction with my friends is spent in what I like to imagine as a kind of sparring. We pick on each other, razz each other, insult each other. But it's all in good fun.

And occasionally we may even slip up and say something genuinely nice.

Example: recently Matt said that Radio Free Hipster exists less to play your old favorite songs than it does to expose you to new shit you'll like.

If that's true – and despite our regular jabs at each other, Matt has proven himself to be overly complimentary in the past – then I reckon I've done my job.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

It's another Monday morning, and I am at home with the kids. One of them is under the weather, though my own diagnosis as to what ails her has been challenged. It is a day resplendent with child care and housework, so, y'know, not exactly so much with the fun. Thankfully, there are a couple of fond diversions available.

It has just been brought to my attention that the debut release from Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire, Songs from the Pit, is now available for sale to the general public in very limited quantities. It is important to note that Songs from the Pit is available neither a digital download nor as a CD, but as a cassette. Yes, you read that correctly. If you would like to hear this album but don't have access to such a quaint device as a tape player, I am apt to point you in the direction of a local bazaar that stocks such antiquities. But instead I shall simply chastise you for forgetting your musical roots.

In other news, I at last have a lead on some potential video of Blak Lotus's impromptu Nerdapalooza performance of "Munchin' on the Cooch," the mythical song to which Justin called my attention last week. Kourtney has some footage of this rare bird, and will be sending it to me shortly. I will then be more than happy to reciprocate and pass it on to all of you. Please follow @kourtn3y on Twitter to show your appreciation for her unbridled awesometude.

And speaking of awesome, here is a video tribute I received this weekend courtesy of Snipey and Beefy. I'll go on record as saying its eventual follow-up will feature Beef Thompson and myself running toward each other across a flower-strewn field. Slow-motion style.