Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 89: The Homecoming Mixtape

My first mixtape-style podcast was inspired by Wil Wheaton's 2007 PAX keynote. He managed to put into words everything I felt about gamers and geek culture, and I couldn't help but fold that into my own project.

When I heard that he was delivering the keynote for the inaugural edition of PAX East, I knew it was the perfect setup for a repeat performance on my end as well.

This time around Wil took a two-pronged approach to nerd evangelism. First, he focused on not just the joys of gaming, but on the truly inspirational force that our hobby has become. Second, he paid homage to the con itself, to the convention spirit that is at the very heart of nerd unity.

This, in turn, inspired a marathon episode that paired Wil's words with the music that we know and love, and I pray to the Geek Gods that I managed to do both elements the very vaguest of justice. At 25 songs, it's twice the size of a normal episode, but I hope that it manages to capture your attention for the duration.

It is a labor of love, and, moreover, a personal tribute to Wheaton, Penny Arcade and all the members of our global family.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 89: The Homecoming Mixtape [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 89.5 MB Running Time: 1:37:5
Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
As is tradition, I fucked with the theme song to let longtime listeners know straight-out-the-box that this wasn't an ordinary episode. 

Track 1: MC Frontalot – "Your Friend Wil"
There was really on one track that could kick this one off. 

Track 2: Shael Riley vs. R.h.oZ. – "Music Ruined Video Games"
Whenever I hear the name Jack Thompson, I inevitably think of Shael's "Music Ruined Video Games." This particular version is an obscure twist from an old Remix Fight. 

Track 3: YTCracker – "Wind Song"
And on the subject of mostly harmless geeks, we arrive at YTC. From his Chrono Nurga Vol. 1. A fine example of video game inspired music. 

Track 4: Uncle Monsterface – "I'm sorry (but your princess is in another castle)"
Another natural inclusion given Wil's choice of gamer sound bites. Plus it's hard to make a mixtape episode without the Monsterface. 

Track 5: Mega Ran and K-Murdock – "For the Gamers"
Arguably the most appropriate of all these songs. Wil's keynote was also for the gamers. 

Track 6: PK Mao – "Can't Knock the Hustle (Jay-Z vs. Animal Forest)"
PK Mao's Raptendo 64 is one of those mash-up collections that cross easily into the realm of game music. This one is a highlight, but the whole thing is well worth a listen. 

Track 7: posu yan – "purdieoldays"
And since Wil was talking about world-building, I figured I'd toss in a second Animal Crossing joint. That's a game where I spent an exorbitant amount of time crafting my own little microcosm. 

Track 8: Glenn Case – "D&D at the Public Library"
This one's from my forthcoming 20-Sided Rhymes compilation. It's become my go-to Dungeons & Dragons track, and I consider it one of Glenn's finest. 

Track 9: Sinister Six – "Master of Dice (MasDaMind's Metallica Mashup)"
A second mash-up. Another D&D track featuring the Sin Six. And Metallica. Which leads handily into… 

Track 10: The Four Eyes – "I Come Prepared"
A gamer anthem for those who understand the inherent strength in a set of polyhedral dice. 

Track 11: Marian Call – "I'll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks it's Chic"
Sometimes you need to slow shit down. Thankfully, Marian Call is there for just such an occasion. With a fantastic little ditty about "the geek tribe." 

Track 12: Skull Kid – "Gauntlet Intro"
An arcade throwback to wet your nostalgic whistle. 

Track 13: Israfel – "Pac-Man Glass Cage"
Another OverClocked ReMix. It's impossible to do a gamer-centric show without OCR. 

Track 14: Futuristic Sex Robotz – "Back in the Day"
Closing out this wistful mini-set is an iconic track from the late, great FSR. Apparently they always knew Sulu was gay. 

Track 15: XMark – "Still Alive"
I'm surprised there aren't more covers of this Jonathan Coulton classic. Still, XMark's interpretation is such a solid offering that I find it hard to bitch. 

Track 16: The Smash Brothers – "ff1town.wav/Final Fantasy I"
The Smash Brothers is sort of a who's who of the VGM community. It's an all-star outfit that includes ailsean and virt. This is from their free Bacon EP. 

Track 17: POWERLIFTER – "03.0 - Level 3 (Buffalo)"
Honestly, I've been looking for a reason to include something from electro-chip outfit POWERLIFTER for a while now. This seemed like as good a chance as any, and it actually worked well both within this movement and the show itself. Plus, there's an in-song reference to one of the standout tracks from the original Wil Wheaton mixtape.

Track 18: Dual Core – "The Hollow"
It's got to be difficult to capture the intensity of Gears of War, but int 80 and c64 pull it off. 

Track 19: MC Lars – "Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Does Not Make You Slash)"
Because no one could possibly draw genuine artistic inspiration from Guitar Hero. No… wait… 

Track 20: Mutherpluckin' B – "Air Guitar"
And on the subjects of video games and guitars, it's the Mutherpluckin' B! 

Track 21: Death*Star – "Looking for Group"
Much like the preceding Lars track, this one is obviously farcical. Still, it's an amazingly solid offering. Easily one of the best from their latest album The Fandom Menace. 

Track 22: The Advantage – "Blastermaster-Stage 2"
More epic game rock guitar! 

Track 23: Beefy – "Give Me My Gun [feat. Dr. Awkward]"
And we begin our final decent with Beefy and Doc Awkward. It's a gamer anthem that just don't stop. 

Track 24: Ultraklystron – "Five to Nine"
We change gears from game culture to con culture with an old school Ultraklystron joint. It remains one of my favorites from his entire back catalog. 

Track 25: Kirby Krackle – "Going Home"
As soon as I heard Wil's opening words, I knew there was only one way to wrap this edition up. Kirby Krackle's "Going Home" expresses in music everything Wheaton says about conventions and geek community. It's also a truly rousing way to sign off.


Justin D-Z said...

Five to Nine is solid. It was the first track I heard from him and convinced me to buy the disc.

DV said...

Today's commute is gonna be awesome.

Z. said...

I agree, Justin. It's the first UltraK track I heard as well, and it remains a fine example of his production/lyrical/rhyming style.

LOL Glad to help, Data! :)

DV said...

Finished the first half or so, so far. You've already convinced me to purchase the Marian Call album. And I see that she will be at DragonCon, w00t!

Seth said...


This podcast was amazing. Between Wheaton's inspirational words and your impeccable choice of music I was moved.

Theg nerd community could have no better herald. You rock.

Seth Phillips

DV said...

Finished the podcast this morning. Seth is 100% correct in his assessment. Fantastic show.

Just like the last mix tape, this is one I will return to again and again, and use as an exemplar when demonstrating the music or podcast to friends.

Big Jim said...

Z, my man, this is the one for me.

It's now clear to me--my flavor of Nerdcore is Game.


Z. said...

Just be sure to use my Amazon affiliate link, Data. ;)

Thank you, Seth. You are too kind!

Glad you enjoyed it, Jim. Just lemme know who you wanna hear more of and I'll gladly accommodate.

Anonymous said...

This is "the shit!" I'm gonna have to keep this episode on my iPod from being dropped. It's amazing. It's my new Summer 2010 mixtape. Thanks for the love Z!

Big Jim said...

Z, tell me more about stuff using actual game music--like The Advantage up there, or ytcracker. I already know the Minibosses...

Gimme more! (The chiptunier the better...)

Z. said...

Your first stop should be OverClocked ReMix, Jim. Tons are artists in various styles all doing music flavored with genuine video game soundtracks!

Z. said...

And I'm glad you're feeling it, anonymous stranger! :)

Vocano-Themed Bathroom said...

Regarding your complaint about the lack of "Still Alive" covers, I have five of them on my MP3 player.

Setu-Firestorm - http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/179517

missFlag - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQTQRBu0pLE

Razor Red Noise - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXD4nhNV6sU&feature=related

and my personal favorite by a Russian band called "Флора" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjIsV8oe37U

Z. said...

Hey, V-TB, thanks for hipping me to these!

Generic Eric said...

All of your shows are +1! Thanks for your time and effort.

Z. said...

Thanks, Eric! Please let me know if you ever have any song requests or show theme ideas. :)

Volcano-Themed Bathroom said...

Two more by some more well-known artists (well, at least within the nerdcore community).

Scared of Dinosaurs - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x50UyUu0a0

Chiptots - http://8bc.org/music/Chiptots/Still+Alive/

Hipster, please! Your source for nerd news and interviews... and a commenter who's maybe a bit too obsessed with Portal.