Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bumper Stickers, Pokemon, Podcasts & You

Earlier this year I talked a bit about trying to bring a stronger visual element to Hipster, please!, to include more images and videos and eye candy to help mellow the acerbic cocktail that is my writing. And while this is all well and good, it occurs to me that I also need to expand in another direction.

I'm talking community here, people. Interactivity.

You nerds have been supporting me for at least as long I've been supporting you, so I'm desperately trying to, y'know, put myself out there. To kick our little exchanges up a notch.

To that end I have a trio of (hopefully) interesting points I'd like to touch on. If, of course, you'll be so kind as to indulge me.

Who Wants Stuff?

First and foremost, I have – at the urgings of at least a couple of you – ordered some more bumper stickers. I don't really do merch, as such. I find it a little distasteful for someone who provides such a paltry service as me to pimp wares, but I know some of y'all like this stuff, so here it is.

This time around, the "Nerd music. Nerd culture. Nerd life." has instead been replaced with my newest semi-ironic battle cry "Geek is something you do. Nerd is something you live."

Does this mean that I've given up my previous position on the geek = nerd argument? Not in the slightest. It simply means that, as my buddy Glenn pointed out, I love to bastardize quotes from the great KRS-One.

You may procure some of these stickers in the traditional manner: just use the Paypal donate button to your right to send me as much or as little scratch as you feel led to take the sting out of shipping and/or support the site. (And, as I am never one to overlook the downtrodden, if you're too broke to donate feel free to holler at me anyway.)

And just like last time, once these things are gone, they're gone. I might eventually print more stickers, but they won't boast this particular smart-ass phrasing.

Defeat Your Inner Snorlax

With the shilling out of the way, I'd also like to invite those of you with a freshly opened copy of Pokemon HeartGold or SoulSilver to participate in a little fitness experiment with me.

The Pokewalker Fitness Challenge is a crazy idea I had while following John Kovalic's #geekestloser Twitter trend, but rather than attempt to motivate nerds to lose weight it is instead focused on forcing us to get out of our cubes and do a little bit of walking.

Using the Pokewalker's pedometer function, the PFC challenges participants to clock in a certain number of steps per day. This number grows gradually over a course of weeks until all but one player has grown to weary (or bored) to continue. What will this champion of locomotion win? Not sure. If the participants are willing, maybe everyone will throw 5 or 6 bucks in a pot to go to our final winner. Otherwise there's, y'know, bragging rights.

The Challenge will begin in earnest next week, when players will be asked to establish their base level of activity (i.e.: just see how much they walk around over the course of an average week.) We'll move on from there, and hopefully manage to have a fun time doing it.

Do My Job for Me

Lastly, I can't help but notice that April is just around the corner. With that in mind, I'm hoping to bring last April Fools' Day Podswap back for another round. For those who missed it, the Podswap encourages podcasters to switch shit up in their shows, to let someone unexpected host.

Last year the idea was to trade episodes with a fellow podcasting crew – I presented a primer episode of Brilliant Gameologists and they shared a Radio Free Hipster highlight show – but this year I'm thinking of maybe just letting someone else record and assemble an ep. of RFH outright.

I've already had offers from Selfhelp, funky49, int eighty, Beefy and my boy Church (and his lady friend the GF) to host in my stead, but I'm still totally open for ideas.

Is there a reader, fan or artist you'd love to hear helm a special edition of Radio Free Hipster?

Is there another podcast you'd like to hear me host?

Is this just a horrible idea that I should put to bed?

Just lemme know, okay? It's all about the sharing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 85: The Wilder World

This edition of Radio Free Hipster was created by committee. Okay, so maybe that's not wholly accurate, but it's theme was chosen democratically.

So, y'know, this shit is your fault. ;)

In all honesty, I think this episode came out pretty well, and I do appreciate the listener input.

It always serves to liven up the proceedings.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 85: The Wilder World [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 40.1 MB Running Time: 43:47

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
They are not animals; they are human beings!

Track 1: Unleashed dialog / The Reborn Identity – "Shake Doggy Shake"

Go and check out Britpop Rebooted. Now.

Z's 1st interlude: "Democracy is a muthafucker."

For those who missed the audience poll that fathered this particular edition, I used a little application called Poll Everywhere. And I think I'll be using it again in the future.

Track 2: MC Frontalot – "Fresh Dog"

I swear I've played this track before, but damned if I (or Google) can remember when!

Track 3: mc chris – "Robot Dog"

MC Frontalot's real dog > mc chris's robot pooch.

Track 4: Tullycraft – "Fangs on Bats"

Thanks again to Matt for turning me on to Tullycraft.

Track 5: Big Bang Theory dialog / Glenn Case – "My Singing Bird"

Another jewel from the Glenn Case songbook.

Track 6: Jonathan Coulton – "Furry Old Lobster"

The story behind this track is fuckin' hilarious. Read it here.

Track 7: Uncle Monsterface – "Lobster Building"


Track 8: Mazedude – "Safari"

K.K. Setlist is another freebie that would make an excellent addition to your collection.

Z's 2nd interlude: "One of my favorite games of all times."

This podcast took a swift, relatively early turn toward the realm of Animal Crossing. I honestly consider it one of the most compelling series of all time.

Track 9: Fourteen Year Old Girls – "Animal Forest"

From way the fuck back in RFH #2!

Track 10: My Parents' Favorite Music – "When Animals Cross"

And again I lament the loss of MPFM. :(

Track 11: Comptroller – "Crossover Dragon"

Comptroller was nice enough to hip me to the release of this new self-titled LP, and I will now direct your attention toward it as well.

Track 12: Order of the Phoenix dialog / The Whomping Willows – "I Believe in Nargles"

Fact: Luna Lovegood is the shit.

Track 13: Americans UK – "I, Ape-Man"

Haven't played AUK in a bit, and I felt like this one fit so very well.

Track 14: 8 Bit Weapon – "M.U.L.E. (Bitblaster Mix)"

Same goes for 8BW. I can never get enough of their stuff!

Track 15: The J. Arthur Keenes Band – "Catfish Lagoon"

I have yet to hear a track from J. Arthur Keenes that isn't gold.

Z's final interlude: "Also known as Blak Lotus."

For those who don't know, while not seeing to his duties as MC Frontalot's bassist, Brandon is an indie rock superhero.

Track 16: Brandon Patton – "Coelacanth"

Yes, coelacanth is also a reference to Animal Crossing. And big thanks to Snipe for turning me on to this track!

I can't help but notice that my voice-overs come through a little strong in this one. Sorry for any temporary deafness that may happen as a result.

I actually had a really good time pulling this one together, so expect more audience polls. I've been working a lot with what are often termed "audience response systems" at my day job, and this seemed like a cool way to leverage such technology.

Expect the next episode of Radio Free Hipster to be all free-form and stuff. I've had a lot of new tracks come into my possession that require your attention, with not a common thread between them.

But don't fret; I'll work that Star Trek themed episode up in the near future.