Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

This week I managed to surpass 1000 Twitter followers. Not exactly sure that's newsworthy, but it does bring up an important question. Namely, why the fuck are there 1000+ people interested in what I had for lunch and what manner of t-shirt I am wearing daily?

I mean, even allowing for bots and PR people, that's still, like, a couple dozen actual followers.

Of course, I reckon the fact that I had funky49 unwittingly campaigning on my behalf probably didn't hurt matters.

Now, with that aside, on to Nerd News in Brief.
  • Wrock Meets Wrap: It's kind of short notice, but Harry and the Potters will be playing a free show with Wiz Rapper extraordinaire MC Kreacher today at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Main Branch. Show starts at 3:00 PM, so get a move on!
  • Just Like Spinal Tap: In other Potters news, the band is currently in the market for a new drummer. New England-area percussionists are encouraged to jump on this shit.
  • Subtle, Like a Knife: Matt was also quick to tell me that Wrockers Lauren Myrtle and Whompy have started a new band called Armoured Bearcub, the music of which will center on Pullman's His Dark Materials. Check out the duo's MySpace for a taste.
  • All About NEETs: Word from the house of Olson is that Ultraklystron has "pulled a Random" and released a stripped-down freebie version of his recent full-length The Fourth Estate. Karl also entered a track into the Nerdcore Rising Song Fight! competition, which you can find linked from his site.
  • Pssssst! Over here!: I heard a rumor that Dual Core's got some t-shirts on the way. Seriously, man, peep the action shot! When will they be available? How much will they cost? Beats me, but I'll share details as they I learn them.
  • Flavor is in the Tongue of the Beholder: Krondor Krew's Masu was nice enough to hip me to several new limited edition flavors of Jones Soda. Themed around D&D, if you can believe it!
  • Cityspeak: Thanks to my boy Brooks for restoring my faith in technology. Yes, Nissan engineers are working to make their electronic cars sound like the spinners featured in Blade Runner. In related news, Carlos Ghosn is a replicant.
  • Play the Game: And, of course, Church sent me my requisite "geek chic" story. Let's see here… thick eyeglasses… comic books… reference to Revenge of the Nerds… sweater vests… BINGO! I got geek chic BINGO!
  • Do Not Feed After Midnight: This week, mc chris finally released a full set of dates for his fall Gremlins Tour. Now the only question is, do I catch him and I Fight Dragons in nearby Columbia, SC, or do I make the drive to the ATL?
  • Wait... Maybe They Are: Much nerd love to my friend and provider of bandwidth Antisoc for giving me lots to write about this week. In the past few days he's not only released an excellent chiptune remix of MC Lars's "White Kids Are Hyphy," but also an appropriately hyper video for his track "Caffeine Trip" and his own drunken podcast. It's the Antisoc hat trick!
  • Party Like a Rockstar: Jason Rockstar also jumped on this year's Drunken Podcasting Month festivities by putting together his own drunkcast. It features a new track from Schaffer the Darklord, and also lots and lots of slurring.
  • In Living Color: And while you're out there downloading things, promise me you'll snag AlienBobz new live sets from Beefy, Southside and People Within. They are all freely available at Now promise me!
  • Bleep on the Street: And last but not least, big ups to Zen Albatross for sharing the Crunchy Co Records video recap of the Lo-Tek Resistance chiptune guerilla concert from this year's PAX. It closes out this week's NNIB on a high note.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paper or Plastic?

The time has come for a meeting of the Hipster, please! Board of Directors. Yeah, that means you. Typically, I make decisions unilaterally – not to mention arbitrarily – but I figured I'd toss this one out there into the ether and see what came back.

It's a matter of swag, dear readers, so it requires your input.

As I've said numerous times before, Hipster, please! is not exactly a revenue generating endeavor. Of course, it isn't exactly a costly project either. Still, in addition to sapping my free time, it does require the occasional investment to maintain the domain, keep my laptop in a functional state and (rarely) upgrade my podcasting rig.

Thankfully, many of you, through the magic of the Paypal "donate" button, have been more than willing to chip in to help me keep the ship afloat. I don't exactly feel comfortable asking you guys for money, and it's certainly not expected. Still, it's a heartwarming gesture, and though I still don't know if the site warrants merch, as such, I do like to keep some chotskies on hand to send out the folks who donate.

potential stickersThink of me as public television; if you send me a donation, I respond with a (totally undervalued) incentive.

But unlike public TV, I don't hand out the same lame shit year after year. No, my lame shit is limited edition.

Originally, I was slinging "nerd music. nerd culture. nerd life." stickers, but, after a year, those are no more. I was prepared to simply put in an order for an alternate design – see the above image for a pair of possible candidates – but then it occurred to me that y'all might wanna have a say in this.

As I said, my first inclination was to order stickers. I mean, people like stickers, right? You can stick them to stuff for fuck's sake! How awesome is that? That being said, the old design is gone forever. Like your childhood pet or your late uncle. And it ain't never comin' back. But the potential follow-up designs are endless.

pinback button mock-upOr I could kick shit even more punk rock and get some pinbacks made. If so, they would probably incorporate the Radio Free Hipster logo. Because it is awesome. And also perfectly-sized to fit on a 1" button.

There's also the possibility that I could employ Jason Rockstar to help me work up some sort of patch, a la his merit badges, for the site. I don't have a mock-up for that, as it's just some crazy idea he and I had kicked around at some point, and I just realized I never followed up on it... Because I am a consummate professional.

So, back to the question at hand, what kinda swag would you guys like to see?

Speak up, now. Don't be shy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Membership Has its Privileges

You know that weird thing that happens when sometimes I tell you guys to do something and you, y'know, do it? Yeah, I'm a little uncomfortable with that. Still, as I endeavor to use my powers for good, I figure I'll submit the following for your perusal.

There exists an organization called the Entertainment Consumers Association. They are a non-profit, nonpartisan group that primarily exists to act as an advocate for gamers. Not the game industry, mind you, as they are well represented by groups like the ESA, but you and me, the actual consumers.

Though you might not know them by name, you'll likely remember their response to the Mass Effect "sex scandal" propagated by FOX News and various other outlets. In addition to standing up to the mischaracterization of games and gamers by the media, the group also acts to motivate our sometimes slothful demographic to combat modern ills like anti-gaming legislation and to support progressive principles like network neutrality. In short, they are the one body working in the political realm with the interests of the American gamer in mind.

To that end, the ECA sells yearly memberships. For $20 a year, not only do you get the satisfaction of supporting our culture, but also daily emails about goings-on in gamer advocacy, new developments within the gamer community and special deals. And speaking of deals, with your membership you also get access to coupon codes to help you save on game purchases from Amazon, Direct2Drive and other online retailers, as well as discounted admission to events like NY ComiCon and PAX.

Now before anyone bites my head off about trying to get you folks to drink the Kool-Aid and buy into some pie-in-the-sky special interest, let me point out that you can currently pick up a membership absolutely free. Check out this thread from Cheap Ass Gamer to score a code from this month's Game Informer and details on how to join for a year at no cost to you. That'll give you a full 12 months to try 'em out and make sure their mission is tonic to your views on the issues while still taking full advantage of all the organization's touted benefits.

If you dig it, maybe you'll re-up this time next year and support the ESA with your hard-earned scratch. If you find it not to your liking, you haven't given them a dime.

Sounds like a win-win to me.