Thursday, December 10, 2009

Terra Obscura

Have you ever noticed that the same half-dozen videogame soundtracks get covered and remixed over and over again? You know the usual suspects: Super Mario Bros., Mega Man II and those age-old motifs from the Castlevania and Legend of Zelda series.

Well, to quote the late Michael Jackson, you are not alone.

My comrades from The Nerdy Show have not only marked the same trend, but are actively taking steps to remedy it. Specifically, they have recently unveiled a project called the Rare Game Remix Challenge. It's a contest. The kind of contest that offers the requisite fabulous prizes.

The first in this ongoing series of month-long game music remix contests centers on indie rapper Astronautalis and his love of the greatest variation-on-a-theme-puzzler of all time Tetris Attack.

What's the true skinny, you say? Why I've loving copy/pasted it below:

Create a hip hop instrumental sampling from the score of Tetris Attack… BECAUSE ASTRONAUTALIS IS GOING TO RAP OVER IT! You choose the style, you set pace, just make an exceptional track that makes Astro’s heart swell with puzzle tile explosions and he’ll bless it with his expert wordsmithery. But that’s not all… second and third place winning beats will receive rhymes from two mystery nerdcore rappers. Be creative, if you want to re-orchestrate a track - do it, got nuts. Do what must be done in the name of awesomeness.
DOWNLOAD this month's audio collection and let the fun begin!


All Tetris Attack hip hop instrumentals must sample predominantly from the score to Tetris Attack (called “Panel De Pon” in Japan). Tracks should be no longer than 4 minutes and of a quality of at least 128kbps. In your submission e-mail you must list every Tetris Attack track you sampled from, as well as any additional samples. Nerdy Show will judge your track on its overall quality, concept and execution to decide how it stacks up. Contact with any questions.


1st Place: Astronautalis raps over your track. You become a legend.

2nd Place: Masurao of Krondor Krew raps over your track. Your girlfriend still loves you.

3rd Place: MC Coolwhip raps over your track. You find your pet dog.

Winning tracks (with and without vocals) as well as noteworthy runners-up will be hosted on for listening/ downloading and 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place will be played on a forthcoming episode of Nerdy Show.


All contest submissions must be original works composed for this contest. Submissions found to have been previously existing will be disqualified.


Multiple submissions from a single entrant are allowed, BUT only one of the entrant’s submissions will be chosen. Submitting multiple submissions will not increase your chances of winning, so be sure to only submit your best.


The entire month of December! All entries must be sent in by 11:59pm EST December 31st 2009. Judging will commence immediately thereafter and winners will be announced shortly.


Submit your contest entry to (again, must be recieved by 11:59pm EST December 31st 2009)

Be sure to put either “remix contest” or “tetris attack contest” in the subject heading so we know what you’re submitting for. In the body of the e-mail tell us your name/ handle and every game and track you sampled from. Be sure that the e-mail address you send from is your primary address as it’s where we’ll contact you.


Nerdy Show claims no ownership of the provided tracks. We celebrate this amazing and seldom-heard music and hope that this contest will raise awareness of its existence as well as the great work of its composers. Please contact with any legal concerns.
Now that you know the rules, I suggest you download the remix kit and get to poppin'. As a number of my favorite producers/remixers are regular readers of Hipster, please!, I can't help but think that several of y'all are easily up to the task.

Plus, the better the response to this first outing, the more interesting each subsequent Nerdy Show contest will surely be.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Nerd News in Brief

I am pleased to report that Church, Matt, Jason and I have finally unraveled one of life's great mysteries. We have concluded, after weeks of preliminary testing, that Google Wave exists solely to aid in the creation of my regular Nerd News in Brief segment.

Now you know.

And speaking of, I've still got a bunch of Wave invites if anybody needs one. Maybe you can use it to write your own Nerd News in Brief.

'Cause that's what it's for!
  • In-See-Four-Elle on Dee-Vee-Dee: At long last the DVD release of Nerdcore For Life has finally been announced! In addition to shopping the feature around for a European cable release, London's Journeyman Pictures has agreed to help release the film to the all-important home viewing audience. The nerdcore faithful should be able to order their copies mid-month.
  • Tis the Season: Wrockers Dawlish and the Archies have favored the Wizarding World with the first ever Wizard Rock Advent Calendar. Peep Wrock the Advent throughout the month of December for a new free tune every day.
  • Old Dominion: Also on the WRocking side of nerd culture, longtime friend and supporter Snidget has decided to set up her own festival in Virginia. Hit up the official web presence of Sonorus 2010 for further details and a current list of performers. Big ups to Matt for keeping me in the loop!
  • When You Were Young: Harry and the Potters fans looking to expand into the Wizard Rock periphery will be interested to hear that the guys have just reissued Good is Dumb by Ed and the Refrigerators. In celebration of that album's 10 year anniversary it has been recast in its original CDr format, in an expanded 2-disc, deluxe edition with nearly 60 bonus tracks. But wait; there's more! In addition to live shows and demos, you'll also get a linocut-printed patch, extensive liner notes and a certificate of authenticity. Snazzy!
  • All His Drug Use is Accidental: And speaking of 10 year anniversaries, Orlando geeky guitar-slinger Marc with a C has just celebrated his with the release of the RetroLowFi: 10 Years of Marc with a C collection. Get the full scoop (and the exhaustive track-list) via this interview at
  • Shortayyyy: As Mega Ran recently pointed out, The Lonely Island has just been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category for their T-Pain collab "On a Boat." Muthufuckers.
  • Really Rad: From Antisoc comes this link to Asylum's "History of Horrible Rap Music." Unfortunately, as it eschews the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps," I am afraid I must declare said list invalid.
  • The Blastmaster: As announced via Twitter last week, MC Lars is currently in talks with the great KRS-One regarding a future collaboration. If there is a word to express my delight concerning this development, it is surely "squee."
  • Shocking: Thanks go out to my Twitter pal Taloas for hipping me to this amazing sight. It's Dr. Zeus & the Masters of Lightning using Tesla Coils to set balloons on fire. All to the tune of The Legend of Zelda theme.
  • Is it Live?: Jarod of Alienbobz has released his proposed recording list for the month of December. Check out this post for the full list, which includes a number of notable nerdcore gigs.
  • Yo, Yo-Yo: My southern brother Doctor Popular has just launched a brand new site redesign. It's the same Doc you've always loved in a shiny new package!
  • A Renewed Challenger: Also on the recent redesign tip is my boy Anthony and the Game Music 4 All crew. Along with this relaunch comes such delightful amenities as forums and a dedicated netlabel. Way to make the rest of us look bad, guys! ;)
  • Sea-Town: Meanwhile, a brand new project is brewing from Thunderball of Southside/Metaforce fame. Peep his newly unveiled blog Seattle Hip-Hop to stay abreast of all the crazy-ass shit that comes from the Emerald City.
  • True Neutral: If you've ever secretly hoped to see the varying personalities of your favorite Time Lords classified D&D style, then you are in luck. You are also a very special kind of nerd.
  • Don You Cloak: Church ran across this piece on LARPing at, of all places, the web site for the Salt Lake City Community College Globe. For the record, the part I found most interesting was that only 62% of the LARPers in question believe they're nerds.
  • Obligatory: Also from Church comes our regularly scheduled geek chic round-up. First, a dose of nerd superiority from Eunice Beatrice H. Braga of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Next, stare into the hipster abyss with Chicago Now's Will Braggadocio. And lastly, there's whatever the hell this is.
  • Get Up, Get Coffee: Last week saw the birthdays of many prominent nerds. MC Frontalot and Hex Warrior both turned a year older, as did Jonathan Coulton. With that in mind, enjoy this phenomenal AMV of his track "Code Monkey."