Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Winner is… Me?!

 I'm not used to winning awards. Especially those based on merit!
In case you haven't realized, this Labor Day weekend plays host to two of the absolute biggest events in nerd culture. The first is Penny Arcade Expo, a relative newcomer to the con scene but already a genuine powerhouse, and the second, of course, is Atlanta's annual Dragon*Con. Due to vested interests in the goings-on of both, I had a hard time deciding which one to attend.

PAX, though located on the opposite side of the country, was set to feature special GeekDad panel, and editor Ken Denmead specifically invited me to take part. Meanwhile, my Radio Free Hipster podcast was again a finalist in this year's Parsec Awards at Dragon*Con.

A cursory look at my finances, however, made the choice quite clear – I really couldn't afford to go to either. So instead I stayed at home with the family and did my best to keep an eye on the internet for news from both.

I was elated to hear that GeekDad's showing was extremely well received. Though, truth be told, I knew the guys would do us all proud. But I was even more ecstatic when it was revealed that my show had actually won the Parsec for Best Speculative Fiction Music Podcast!

I don't really not what to say, save holy shit! The time for acceptance speeches has come and gone, so I'll be brief and simply thank the Parsec Awards' judges panel, all of you listeners who nominated RFH and especially the other finalists Wander Radio, Wandering Geek Podcast and last year's winner the mighty FuMP.

Much love to all, and, again, thank you!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

"Don't you know there ain't no devil,there's just God when he's drunk."
I love cover songs. And, of course, the ultimate covers project has got to be the classic tribute album.

How the hell are these ramblings relevant? I'm so glad you asked!

Our friends from Game Music 4 All are assembling a tribute to cerebral troubadour Tom Waits. He's an artist with an amazingly eclectic back catalog and an army of talented fans, so I expect good things.

Though GM4A focuses heavily on chip music and VGM, word from Ant is that all contributors are welcome to submit potential tracks, regardless of style. Here's the straight poop from the message boards:

Tom Waits VG Inspired Tribute

this basically means, you can cover Tom Waits in any style you want, from chiptunes, to metal, to techno. whatever. The only thing is, you have to be a VG inspired musician. You do not have to stay within the bounds of VGM though to be part of this compilation.

There are tons of Tom Waits songs you can check out on youtube, or just contact me, I have a ton that I think would make great covers.

Anyone is free to join, but not every song will make the cut. The album is planned to only be 12-20 songs in length. Although if we have a ton of other amazing tracks, we will definitely release a part 2 after the first compilation is released.

To learn more about Tom Waits, you can check the
Tom Waits Library for his bio, and lyrics to all his songs.
You can also, of course, hear music from Tom Waits on places like youtube, pandora, and any other musical sites, or like I said, I can shoot you some of his extensive library as well.

I really believe that Tom Waits has more than enough material that everyone can find something they would enjoy rearranging.

Also, vocals are more than welcome on this album!

The roster is quickly filling out with top-shelf acts – Action Adventure World, Chiptots, Killsaly, Nagini and Random just to name a few – but there's still ample space for other interested parties. As more than a dozen songs will ultimately make the cut, I would like to encourage all Waits fans to give it a go.

So go pick your favorite gravel-throated classic and have fun with it. Though Tom himself does eschew such frivolity.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 94: Auto-Tune the N00bs

I'm always a little surprised when I go back and listen to a fully produced episode of Radio Free Hipster. Often I will discover that what I thought was a random hodge-podge of styles and artists actually has some unintentional cohesion.

This time around a few recurring motifs became apparent. The first, as the title implies, was auto-tuned vocals. The second, a heavy reliance on radio rock/pop sampling. And then there were the strange tertiary elements – a pair of references to wallhacks, for example.

I'd love to chalk this up to my own innate understanding of songs and songwriting, but mostly it's just good, old fashioned coincidence.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 94: Auto-Tune the N00bs [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 41.2 MB Running Time: 44:59
Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
I sometimes wonder if my humble podcast is worthy of such a kickass theme song.

Track 1: Mighty Mike – "Imagine a Jump (John Lennon vs. Van Halen)"
There is absolutely no reason at all for this song to speak to me on such a purely emotional level. And yet it does.

Z's 1st interlude: "We kick pop music… right in its taint"
Which might be my new tagline.

Track 2: Positive Attitude – "Electric Saturday"
Occupying an odd space equidistant from nerdcore hip-hop and the Dementia Music of the FuMP is Ohio's Positive Attitude. If you happened to miss them at Nerdapalooza, be sure to peep their 2009 release The New Fresh. It will clue you in to their unique brand of madness.

Track 3: djDOYOU – "Let the Hash Pipe Rock (Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne vs. Weezer)"
You may recognize DOYOU from his wildly popular Disney music mash-ups.

Track 4: The Oceanic Six – "Will You Be My Constant"
My pal Matt turned me on to The Oceanic Six. They are one of the acts he likes to refer to as "post-Wrock."

Track 5: MC Frontalot – "First World Problem (Mustin Mix)"
You can never go wrong with a Mustin remix.

Track 6: Brewster's Millions dialog / Inverse Phase – "(Just What I) 2A03'ded"
Of all the things I mispronounced in this episode, I feel the worst about losing the first "d" in "2A03'ded."

Track 7: 04 - YTCracker & Hairetsu – "All I Do is Win"
YT's got a brand new solo album out. Be sure to cop that shit.

Z's 2nd interlude: "He made it just for me."
Big ups to Brux for the custom BGM!

Track 8: ProjektZero – "Dream Harder"
ProjektZero told me this weekend that he's wanted to have a song of his played on RFH since 2007. I reckon that's about the nicest thing anyone's ever said about this show.

Track 9: Shammers – "Keyboard Cat"
From Shammers' Shmix Tape, featuring Left Hand. Dig it.

Track 10: Anamanaguchi – "Densmore"
Go download the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game soundtrack. Now.

Track 11: ProtoDome – "NO (resub)"
If Scribblenauts' gameplay had been as tight as the music I wouldn't have to debate whether or not to buy the sequel.

Track 12: The Killaz "Flauge Godz (ft. Ghetto Dice) (The Dirty sample Remix)"
Mutha-fuckin' flauge powers.

Z's final interlude: "There's been a lot of auto-tune in this episode."
Take that, Jay-Z!

Track 13: Tetrastar – "Rainbow in the Dark"
There have been a lot of excellent releases over the past few weeks, but Songs We Didn't Write has been in the heaviest of rotations on my end.

And so with the closing of another episode we creep ever closer to number 100. Now that I at least have a rough idea of that show's concept, I'm a bit more relaxed about this impending anniversary.

Still, before I get too excited about that, I have a lot more ground to cover.

September is Drunken Podcasting Month, so I'll be getting sloshed with Matt and Church, as is tradition. And October will see my annual Halloween Crap-Tacular. So feel free to point me toward your favorite ghoulish jams in anticipation of that.