Friday, February 05, 2010

Nerd News in Brief

Last night I finally got around to watching the complete 47-hour Lost premiere. Thankfully, I'm still as clueless as to the island's skewed mythology as the show's own writers.

Which is good. We wouldn't wanna go ruining a good ride with clearly discernible subtext.

I'm actually kind of wondering if, even at the series' end, I'll know what the fuck is going on. If not, I'll just have to follow up with the videogame adaptation.
  • Helping Hands: Congratulations are in order to the Harry Potter Alliance for their amazing "Helping Haiti Heal" multi-fandom Livestream event. With the help of the WRock community, actors from The Wire and Heroes and geeks worldwide, more than $97k was raised to help those affected by the earthquake that ravaged Haiti last month. This is me. Astounded! (UPDATE VIA SNIDGET: The HHH charity auction is still going on until midnight on Feb 6.)
  • The Big Time: Easily the biggest musical news in recent history comes from I Fight Dragons, those amazing Chicago chip-rocker who were just signed to Photo Finish/Atlantic Records! Photo Finish, also the home of street-level acts like 3OH!3, seems like a great fit for IFD, so please join me in wishing them the best of luck in this exciting new endeavor.
  • The More Things Change…: And while Atlantic was embracing vibrant new artists, EMI was totally shitting the proverbial bed. Despite being the home of viral video darlings OK Go, EMI has taken steps to prevent fans from sharing exactly the kinds of YouTube vids that made the band in the first place. How delightfully droll.
  • The More You Know: For those in the market for some nice, nerdy interviews, be sure and peep the MC Frontalot piece over at Remixed Magazine. And learn more about the Burg via his new FirmMag interview. Both will be covered on next week's chapter quiz.
  • Space, Man: Game Music 4 All Records has favored us with their second release, also, as it turns out, from a Chicagoan. Doug Leinen's chilled out space rocker Songs to Sing in Space is presently available for free download.
  • Bring a Towel: Are you an interstellar traveler that's lost his bearings? Then why not consult this handy map, brought to you by the fine folks at the Milky Way Transit Authority.
  • Nerdysomething: MSN recently posted an article from Marie Claire's Maura Kelly entitled "10 Ways to Flirt with a Nerd." And we lose the word "nerd" just like we lost "geek" in 3… 2… 1.
  • Tabletop: Need help identifying which geek archetypes are present in your gaming group? Check out this guide from The Argonaut. If you don't know who's "The Unimaginative One" is, chances are you’re him!
  • Double D&Ds: And I'd be remiss if, while on the subject of RPGs, I didn't share this little jewel unearthed by my boy Church H. Tucker. It's a blog entitled Playing D&D with Porn Stars. In addition to being a really interesting play journal, this site also gets bonus points for the wholly appropriate title.
  • Nerd Ink – Special Shout-out Edition: Let me pause here to give it up for nerd girl extraordinaire Lo Tech. LT has joined me in the Cult of the Indelible D20. Roll on, little sister!
  • Bigger on the Inside: In other geeky tattoo news: This. Is. Awesome.
  • Get Those Hearts Pumping: And while we're talking 'bout The Doctor, Church recently found a blogger with a novel weight loss routine. This blogger postulates that it's impossible not to lose weight if one exercises while attempting to watch every episode of the Doctor Who series. Seems sound enough to me.
  • You Like Lists, Right?: 'Course you do! So how about the Phoenix New Times' list of the "Top 5 Geeky Fashion Trends of the Decade?" Still not enough? Bam! Here's Pop Ten's "Top Ten Geek Anthems" at no extra charge!
  • An Honor Just to be Nominated: Church, always one to keep me on my toes, points out that Hipster, please! is not the only place that honors a "Nerd of the Year." The University of Missouri similarly recognizes excellence in dorkitude.
  • And My Bow: As this edition of NNIB has been especially Dungeons & Dragons-centered, it seems only appropriate to wrap it up with a little fantasy-flavored sing-along by AND MY AXE. On a school night.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Nerdcore: The Music: The Videogame

Nerdcore hip-hop and videogames go together like… like… two things that are… intrinsically... related…

Aw hell, y'all know what I mean!

Aside from drawing a sizable portion of its thematic inspiration from digital entertainment, nerdcore has even made a number of notable appearances in videogames and game-related projects. The music of MC Frontalot has popped up in not one, but two different titles: Roxor's In the Groove and, more recently, EA/Harmonix's Rock Band. Random's wildly successful Mega Ran (not to mention its follow-up Mega Ran 9) was fully embraced by Capcom itself. And let's not forget The Grammar Club's excellent contribution to the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix soundtrack.

Still, nerdcore as a style has remained relatively untapped by game makers and largely unknown by gamers. Scottish iPhone publisher and developer Tag Games, however, appears to be taking strides to reverse this trend.

Late last month, Tag revealed details concerning a new rhythm game entitled B-Boy Beats. Set in New York in the 1980s, players use the iPhone touch screen and their own nimble fingers to execute break dance-inspired moves to an underground hip-hop soundtrack. And that's where shit get really geeky. The game features 17 tracks from an interesting (if era-inappropriate) array of independent rappers including Front, the late Optimus Rhyme, id obelus, Ultraklystron, Rai and Magitek.

While this is a move that will surely piss off hardcore heads, it's really a great opportunity for the nerdcore community. The concept certainly has legs – no pun intended – and hopefully the gameplay will live up to this potential.

B-Boy Beats is slated for a February 14th release at the incredibly competitive price of $2.99. So this one might well prove a wise purchase for the all-important nerdcore aficionado/iPhone owner crossover bracket.