Friday, October 30, 2009

Tricks, Treats & Terror

I am a creature of habit.

Any who regularly read Hipster, please! have no doubt come to anticipate my unique brand of consistency. Nerd News in Brief posts always start with a dash of unrelated bullshit, and each item contains a smart-ass headline. My interviews both begin and end with sweeping vignettes about the featured artists. My album reviews typically try to avoid calling themselves "reviews" (at least until I run out of synonyms). Shit like that.

Even my podcast, Radio Free Hipster, is a veritable bastion of unswerving structural anal-retentiveness.

But sadly, for things uncomfortably out of my OCD-plagued control, things change.

There was a time when holiday-themed compilations were the norm. They were legion, and I truly looked forward to their annual appearance. Unfortunately, many have fallen by the wayside, particularly with regard to Halloween comps. Thankfully, the Rhyme Torrents community continues to come through for me.

This year's effort, simply dubbed Rhyme Torrents Halloween v4, is exactly the type of eclectic mix of nerdcore hip-hop you've surely come to expect from RT. Seventeen tracks strong (plus an extra-long bonus track), it was handily produced by Conyeezy and Don Vito, which gives it an extra coat of polish.

The individual tracks themselves are a mixed bag, with a song for every taste. It kicks off with Magitek's high-energy fright fest "Killer Nocturne," and amply mixes shit up from there. Stops along this spooky musical train ride manage to hit everything from nerdy existential angst (Antisoc's "My Server is Down") to new takes on well-worn internet memes (Shamus Oddish, Mister B-Type, MC Wreckshin & Chozo Ninpo on "Three Wolves Howling at the Moon") to Halloween-flavored musical fanfic (the nigh inexplicable "Caught in the Grip of the Silent Hill Madness.")

There really are a lot of stand-outs, but I found myself coming back to a few in particular. The Antisoc industrial remix of Brad Sucks's "Thanks for the Add" is charmingly sinister, while Fanatical (who makes numerous appearances on the comp) ably reps the Doctor Girlfriend set above a clever Tales from the Crypt beat on "Sexy Supervillian." Also, while it's far from my favorite Billy the Fridge track and equally far from my favorite modern horror property, I do have to give it up for "Jigsaw" for pure intensity. Hell, even tracks that should seem out of place, specifically "Perfect White Knight," Ultraklystron's Twilight-themed love ballad that ends to album, manage instead to add interesting new levels to the project.

If you're anything like me, your Halloween playlist has always got room for a few more good tracks, so I'm gonna highly recommend that you plumb the depths of Rhyme Torrents Halloween v4 to help fill those holes. I am certain you'll find something therein to help quell your inner demons.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Favorite Monster

I try not to post album announcements. Really I do. I understand that they are unfair. Exploitative. A veritable cock-tease.

I talk about a release and how it's gonna be awesome and I get you all hot and/or bothered, but then I make you wait.

Shame on me.

Shame on me big time. 'Cause I am about to do it again.

You see, Uncle Monsterface has been teasing their forthcoming release, an EP of cover songs, for several months now, doling out information in bite-size chunks. This week, however, they let the entire cat out of the bag.

(Did mixing the "bite-size chunks" and "cat in a bag" metaphors seem unnecessarily creepy to anyone else?)

The project in question, previously known only as Jokey Jingles but now officially dubbed Jokey Jingles Ultimate Dance Party Mix, Volume 3, will contain five tracks. They are as follows:
  • "Toxic" – Britney Spears (a previously released track)
  • "Blue Rosebuds" – The Residents
  • "Little Girls" – Oingo Boingo
  • "Worms Make Dirt" – The Aquabats
  • "Like A Prayer" – Madonna (a staple song of the group's live shows)
But more important than the EP's contents is its release date: Monday, November 2nd. Yes, in less than a week you will be treated to more Monsterface-y musical goodness, not to mention the premiere of the music video for their unique interpretation of the aforementioned "Like A Prayer."

And how much would you expect to pay for such a treasure?

Guess again, taintmeat, 'cause it's free!

Well, free to subscribers of the of the band's official mailing list. So get on there. Like, now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 76: Blood for the Beast

Demons, gore and song requests: these are the things that Radio Free Hipster's 76th episode are made of.

It's got a slightly smaller-than-usual number of tracks, but that's simply because some of the songs themselves are a bit lengthy. And, hey, I can only demand so much listening time from you fine people.

All-in-all, it's an eclectic mix of rock, rap and pure evil. But mostly the evil.

'Cause, y'know, 'tis the season!

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 76: Blood for the Beast [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 43.8 MB Running Time: 47:50

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
Beefy bathes weekly in the blood of 16 virgins. It says so on his Wikipedia.

Track 1: DJ Schmolli – "Drop it Like Black Sabbath"
Kind of a weird track to start on, given its slow, plodding nature, but I think you'll feel it.

Z's 1st interlude: "A happy little ditty that also featured some Anton LaVey dialog."
Yep, the Black Pope himself.

Track 2: Americans UK – "Sons of Ba'al"
Be sure to check out A-UK's comics. Good stuff.

Track 3: The Exorcist dialog / MC Lars "Roommate from Hell (funky49 rmx)"
I love funk49's remixes. I only wish he could find the time to make more of them.

Track 4: Zombies! Organize!! – "I Like Turtles"
This one was a request by listener, Jimi, and I appear to have forgotten to include the song title/artist info in the set recap!

Track 5: Marc with a C – "Sweet Transvestite"
Be sure to catch Marc's set at next month's Nerd Invasion. He's slated to perform right before the dawn showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Track 6: Creature Feature – "A Gorey Demise"
Gotta give it up for Bonehand for turning me on to Creature Feature!

Z's 2nd interlude: "Even today's background music is a request."
Big-ups also go out to Stuart for hipping me to the Prodigy cover of The Specials' "Ghost Town."

Track 7: virt – "Once Upon a Time in Transylvania"
There really aren't words to describe how very much I enjoy the music of virt. There is only the raw emotion. And also the creepy fan mail.

Track 8: The Bloodclan – "Prey"
Providing you ignored my previous call-to-arms, go and snag The Bloodclan's Amor Sanguinis. Now.

Track 9: The Consortium of Genius – "Bucket O' Blood"
The COG are always good Halloween listening.

Track 10: Deathmobile – "Blood Buckets"
Dave the Knave requested some Deathmobile, and I thought this track made a wonderful addition.

Track 11: Schaffer the Darklord – "Buckets of Blood (feat. KABUTO THE PYTHON)"
"I know that it circulates the body in ways / that could mystify a high school science teacher for days."

Z's final interlude: "Your just gonna have to wait until next October."
Yes, this ep. closes out this year's Halloween Crap-tacular. I hope you were entertained, enlightened and maybe a little creeped out.

Track 12: Sticks Downey – "Milk Duds and Guts"
Much love to Wockenfuss of the Sticks crew for tossing this track my way just in time for this edition.

Eye-shuh mentioned in the previous round of show comments that she'd like to hear a literary-themed podcast in honor of NaNoWriMo, and I have become quite fond of that idea. I've also got a special concept in mind for November's second podcast. December will see both the annual holiday special and a year-end wrap-up, and that, as they say, will be that.

Still, if there are any tracks or artists you absolutely have to hear before the clock runs out on 2009, just give me a yell. I'll do my best to work it in there somewhere.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

Before we get into the nerdy news, just allow me a minute to dispense some heartfelt congratulations to our brother DataVortex. At this year's Fall Fest in Sister Bay, WI, Data proposed to his girlfriend – via the annual ping-pong ball drop, no less.

So please join me in wishing the happy couple much nerdy love and the best of fortune in their upcoming nuptials!
  • She's Still a Geek: Nerd-friendly songstress Marian Call has announced that she'll begin recording her new full-length album, Something Fierce, over the coming weeks. Proposed song topics include Anchorage, the International Space Station and sushi. Further details and tour dates can be found at Marian's site.
  • Fish and Chips: Chip artist Bit Shifter will be performing at Chicago's Ai Lounge this Halloween. Tickets are $20 at the door, with a nice $15 presale. And, so as to make things flow nicely from that Marian Call piece, Ai also serves sushi. There you go.
  • I'll be Your Toad: Scared of Dinosaurs dropped a new single this week, a cover of "Mario Kart Love Song." You can peep the track on The 61, and, of course, there's an accompanying video.
  • Once Upon a Time: In what is surely the wildest release news of the week, YTCracker has just unleashed Chrono Nurga Vol. 1 upon an unsuspecting world. The 7-track EP, the sum of which was created in less than 24 hours, is freely available from the DG himself.
  • Out of the Blue: In other release news, Random has at long last made the instrumentals from his Capcom-licensed Mega Ran 9 album available. Download, cover, remix and share.
  • Hip to be Square (Enix): And to complete the hat-trick of musical awesome that is this week's new nerdy albums, OverClocked ReMix has just dropped their Xenogears remix project Humans + Gears. This double-disc album is available for free from the fine folks at OCR.
  • Like a Gypsy: As an added bonus, I'll also point out the excellent new Fleetwood Mac mash-up album Fleetwood Mix at no additional charge. Because, y' know, I am all about value. And also Instamatic is my homey!
  • Playing with Power: My pal Masu was one of scores gamers thrilled earlier this week when the Surfacescapes team at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University released this video. It's a proof-of-concept for a tabletop dungeon-crawl experience using the Microsoft Surface technology. This is how our kids will game.
  • Describe to Me Immediately: There's only one man who could've possibly found a Klingon translation of the Sesame Street theme. That man, of course, is Church H. Tucker!
  • Apparently, We Rule (Again): As we all well know, an edition of NNIB isn't complete without our obligatory geek chic link, and this week Church came through with two. Both from CBS.
  • A Cool Case of Old Milwaukee: Zen Albatross was nice enough to turn me on to This Spartan Life, the world's first machinima talk show web series. It's been going strong since 2005, but is presently taking advantage of the Kickstarter program to take the show to that all-important next level. Give it a look. And maybe some scratch.
  • Stick it to You: And speaking of sharing money/support, my friend and long-time hosting solution Antisoc has some sweet new stickers. You can get 'em free just by giving his music a little publicity, which seems like a pretty fair shake.
  • Worst. Costume. Ever.: When Dave the Knave first tweeted this, I was sure it was a joke. But then I realized that, since this is the internet, it's sort of a crap shoot.
  • Accio Equality: The Harry Potter Alliance's Wrock 4 Equality project garnered some amazing press last week. More specifically, Andrew Slack wrote a great piece for HuffPo, and the event even got some attention from the Wall Street Journal!
  • I Came to Get Down: I am not familiar with Brett Domino, but after Matt Ryd mentioned this video via Twitter, it became apparent that I need to buy a Stylophone Beatbox. And also a polka dot backdrop.
  • Wu-Tang Forever: For years I've been talking about the importance of nerds in hip-hop – not just nerdcore – and nobody listened. But that was before RZA came out of the geek closet. Yes, my friends, we're closing out this edition with a video you've all most certainly seen by this point. Why? Because it's that fuckin' important! And because if I don't, Matt will clobber me.