Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nerd News in Brief

Earlier this month, Dr. Demento's weekly syndicated radio show went off the air for good. Since 1974, the good Dr. has been sharing not only parody and comedy music, but strange and nerdy recordings of all stripes with the world at large. Sadly, with the recent attempts at streamlining the failing industry, this material was deemed an ill fit for the modern radio audience.

I am of two minds regarding this. First, I find it unfortunate that a broadcasting luminary was cut loose for no better reason than the bottom line. But on the other hand, who the fuck listens to terrestrial radio anymore? It's a sinking ship, and Demento is likely much better off proceeding in the current manner, as an internet-only broadcaster.

This means you can still get your Dr. Demento fix via his web site, unfettered by the whims of mundane America.
  • Pac-Man Fever: On the continued subject of nerd history, my pal Brux passed on word of some newly revealed sketches of Toru Iwatani's original Pac-Man design. Look on and be amazed.
  • Fully Functional: Speaking of Demento, and thus by extension Weird Al, here is "White & Nerdy." Star Trek style.
  • Shat My Dad Says: Also in the Trek vein, Church points out that William Shatner will be directing a new documentary. About himself. I don't even have a joke for this one.
  • Zombies Beware: Also submitted without commentary: the axe holster.
  • Run for the Hills: Which may or may not play into the new Zombie Fit fitness program. Sadly, it includes parkour. So my ass is out.
  • Lusty Lab Coats: Church also directs us toward an interesting item for skeptical nerds. A group of science-minded UK geeks are putting together a (sanitized) pinup calendar to raise money to support libel reform. Anyone familiar with Simon Singh's recent run-in with the British Chiropractic Association surely understands the rationale behind this cause.
  • The Many Moods of Koji Kondo: NeatoRama recently put together an astounding collection of covers of the classic Legend of Zelda theme. Our friends I Fight Dragons made the cut, but nothing can hold a candle to the LoZ wedding march!
  • King of Kings: Likewise, Topless Robot kicked off the month of June with a list of the "16 Most Gloriously Nerdy Musical Acts." Among those listed were Gwar, DEVO, Stovokor and MC Frontalot.
  • The Doctor is In: Earlier this month, Toronto's The Star ran this piece on geek chic and the buying power of the nerd community. Perhaps most importantly, it includes knowledge dropped by my longtime home-skillet, Geek Studies' Dr. Jason Tocci.
  • Earth Girls are Easy: And just when you thought I'd gone and presented some genuinely compelling ideas on the current chic de geek, here's a piece from Whitney Matheson's Pop Candy about the god-awful Nerd Girls reality show. I weep for the future of television.
  • Step 1 – Annoy the Shit Out of Z.: To balance out the two, here's an explanation of the trend from How Stuff Works. The more you know!
  • For the Venn: And to return to another well-worn subject, Antisoc drew my attention to this recent xkcd. I believe it squashes the nerd vs. geek argument once and for all.
  • I Summon E. Coli!: I also have to give it up to Church for hipping me to Healing Blade, a fantasy card game rooted in real-world infectious diseases/therapeutics by the fine folks at Nerdcore Learning. Never let it be said that Magic the Gathering can't be out-geeked!
  • Charge of the (Dr.) Light Brigade: While the summer nerd music event on everyone's lips is surely Nerdapalooza, be aware that purveyors of the world's only traveling Mega Man rock opera, The Protomen, will also be on tour during the month of July. Look for them with special guests Super 8 Bit Brothers and The Adventures of Duane and Brando throughout the southern US.
  • Your Yacht Got Capsizeded: In other new music news, Frontalot has just unveiled the video for his new single "First World Problem" over at the SPIN Magazine web site. It's animated, but not in the same manner as the performer's stage presence.
  • The Dogg That Don't Bite: Not to be outdone, decidedly un-nerdcore rapper Snoop Doog has just released a video for his track "Oh Sookie." It's a musical tribute to True Blood's Sookie Stackhouse. Yeah, I'm as confused by this development as you are.
  • Heads Up, Glasses On: Also making waves with a new vid is I Fight Dragons. Their bowling alley anthem "Heads Up, Hearts Down" has gotten the Avatar treatment. Meaning, of course, that now it's overly long and wholly derivative. Wait, no; I mean now it's in 3D!
  • Trying to Unlock Your Heart: But in-amongst all these fine new specimens of video entertainment, the one that's taking us out this time around is from none other than Seattle comic book rockers Kirby Krackle. It's an animated interpretation of the song "Up, Up, Down, Down" from their debut album. It's all about nerd love, courtship and cannibalism.


funky49 said...

Dr. D was on NPR. He sounded great and turned every question into a positive. When I came into work and someone said "Your song was on the radio this morning... White & Nerdy" I knew the coworker had listened to NPR also.

Z. said...

In true Demento style, he has taken the whole thing in stride. I don't think any of us would be doing what we do without him, funk, so I can't help but think his true place is here on the internet. With all his nerdy kin.

Church said...

"the world's only traveling Mega Man rock opera"

What about The Megas?

Not as theatrical, I will grant, but definitely an epic tale told through rock music.

Z. said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but their releases don't form a single unified narrative like The Protomen's.

Church said...

You're wrong, and I'm correcting you. :P

Get Equipped is their only full-legnth 'studio' album to date, and it is indeed an epic tale of Mega Man and his various rivals. (circa MM2)

Point being, there is at least two Mega Man rock operas out there. Which is kind of mind blowing when you think about it.