Thursday, November 05, 2009

Be Prepared

I probably don't need to remind you of this, but I will. I mean, it's kind of what I do.

This very weekend, Pensacola, FL will play host to Nerd Invasion, an event that (I at least hope) is the first of in new brand series of geek culture events. Combining the music, gaming and socializing aspects of Nerdapalooza with the fast-paced, perpetual madness of an old school lock-in, the Invasion looks to tweak the accepted formula of nerdy gatherings in a manner most divine.

Helming the event is the Scrub Club family and merch man extraordinaire Jason Rockstar of But that's just the beginning.

Additional sponsors include tabletop giants Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf, Florida's own Homefield Sports and Games, California's Asahi Brewery, Bawls energy drink, sci-fi psychedelic-funk kid's show Gongafunkadine and nerdy music staple Radio KOL: a motley assortment of nerd-friendly businesses to be sure.

Add to this musical performances by Shael Riley, Schaffer the Darklord, Marc with a C, Dual Core, ZeaLouS1, Krondor Krew and the Scrub Clubbers – not to mention the final round of the Club's Versus Mode competition, which will take place live on-stage – and you've got something special.

Sadly, I won't be there myself, but my buddies Matt and GeekDad Curtis have pledged to rock shit up on my behalf. If you spot 'em in the crowd, be sure to give 'em some love. 'Cause that's what Nerd Invasion is all about.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Free Chips, No Dip

I find it odd that some people don't enjoy chiptunes. I mean, I always endeavor to be a different-strokes-for-different-folks kind of a cat, but what's not to love?

Typically, the criticisms I hear of the genre fall into one of two distinct groups. The first concerns the perception that the music itself is harsh, mechanical and unemotional. The second that it is somehow monotonous. Homogeneous. Unremarkable.

Interestingly enough, my reply to both these groups of naysayers is the same; Pixelh8.

Not only does Matthew Applegate make some of the warmest, most emotionally-laden tracks in the sub-set of electronica that we call chip music – holler at his groundbreaking 2007 release, the tellingly titled The Boy with the Digital Heart, for more info – he does so in a manner wholly unlike any other.

His new album, cleverly dubbed And the Revolution, takes the musical earmarks of The Boy with the Digital Heart to the next logical level. Songs like "The Girl from the Future" and "You Were Born to Save the World" offer as much poignancy and warmth as the best examples of more traditional forms of lyrical songwriting, while "IED" and "Computability Love" inject a brand of undeniable exhilarating dancability the likes of which I haven't heard since my first taste of Discovery-era Daft Punk.

In short, And the Revolution represents some of the best work of Pixelh8's storied and wholly eclectic career. But don't take my word for it. Pix was nice enough to provide me with an exclusive bonus track to share with my faithful readers. Even better, he also gave different exclusives to Nerdapalooza's Hex Warrior, Anthony of Game Music 4 All and none other than the Game Dame herself. Keep an eye on my esteemed colleagues for additional electronic goodness, and, in the meantime, peep the knowledge that is Pixelh8's stirring "Hunter Destroyer."

And after that, go check out And the Revolution. It's the kind of album purchase that can only be termed a wise investment.

Download: Pixelh8 - "Hunter Destroyer"