Thursday, May 26, 2011

Return of the Merch

For those who missed my flurry of tweets concerning this late last week, I ordered some new Hipster, please! swag. More specifically, I ordered some 1" buttons… or badges… or pinbacks depending upon your personal preference and country of origin.

I actually sprung for 50 each of two different designs. The first combines the tattoo flash my friend Denika put together for me "back in the day" – the one that is even now, in a slightly altered form, etched into my arm flesh – and the TSR-style logo Dave the Knave used on the 20-Sided Rhymes album art. The second is a takeoff on the old school DC Comics logo. I made this one myself. Which means it took exponentially longer than it rightly should've.

I've already had a couple of folks ask what I plan to do with them. I have responded to these queries by shrugging my shoulders and knitting my eyebrows together comically.

The original idea was to take them to Nerdapalooza, and that was about as far as I got in my dastardly plan. Once there I suppose I'll give 'em away. Or sell 'em. Or maybe try and trade 'em for beer. I seriously have no idea.

In the meantime, though, if you aren't gonna be all up ins NAP 2011 and simply must have a set, just let me know. I am sure we can work something out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take the Wheel

If you missed the triumphant first episode of the new Beefy/Shael Riley project Captain Podcast – in which case shame the fuck all over you – then you likely missed the demo for a new Beefy joint featuring the great Adam WarRock entitled "Shots." It was produced by my brother Klopfenpop using a beat cribbed from Gnarls Barkley. Oh, and it is, perhaps unsurprisingly, about drinking. So, y'know, there's really a lot to love.

Earlier this week Beef posted a more polished iteration of the track up on the YouTubes. It's not a music video, per se, but it does boast an amazing illustration from Rusty Shackles so as to give your eyeballs something to do while your earholes are treated to the musical sweetness.

I have embedded it below so as to share its subtle glory with the rest of the nerd world. And also because if you're spending time on YouTube today it is likely just to rip chiptune plagiarist oncewewererobots a new one.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Re: Your Brains

May really is a workhorse of a month when it comes to dubious holidays. In addition to containing the well-meaning but thickly commercialized Mother's Day it has also been recently minted Zombie Awareness Month. Oh, and this year it likewise played host to Not-Quite-the-End-of-the-World Day, which I think we can agree is a nice touch. To commemorate two of these three delightful fauxlidays – and the third as well if you're willing to stretch a bit – the Zombie Research Society has released a fun new book that has been described as "a cautionary tale that teaches kids how to recognize a zombie outbreak in its earliest stage."

Written by the Matt Mogk, head of the ZRS, and colorfully illustrated by Aja Wells, That's Not Your Mommy Anymore is what could easily be called a children's book for adults. Falling somewhere between the classic Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book and the currently buzz-worthy Go the Fuck to Sleep, it's a simple, lyrical anti-bedtime story that explains with childlike wonder the warning signs of early-onset zombism.

Combining nods to touchstones like Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead and Zombi 2 with a certain skewed Seussian sensibility, it's really little more than horror film fan service. But that's enough for me.

Written with tongue firmly in cheek, That's Not Your Mommy Anymore doesn't bother to step outside its kiddie book shtick, and it doesn't have to. At 32 pages, it never overstays its welcome, and, though neither the art style nor the simple sing-song narrative are exactly ground-breaking, both are competently managed and play extremely well together.

A mere 8 bones at Amazon That's Not Your Mommy Anymore is what I would term an easy recommendation. Leave a copy around your den, office or dorm room to shock and amuse unsuspecting guests, or maybe snap one up for the new geekparent in your life.

And while I'm making this solitary sojourn into the Hipster, please! Undead Book Club, let me also shine my own gritty light on 2010 Philip K. Dick Award nominee The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell, a book I picked up on the good word of Seattle Geekly. The first real grown-up book I've managed to read this year, this novel runs the typical zombie apocalypse survival story through the filter of naturalism, both philosophical and literary.

While properties like The Walking Dead tend to project the arc of the zombie holocaust to a fairly linear mid-point, Bell takes a different approach. His tale of adolescent protagonist Temple, a girl who's lived her entire life in a world populated by ravenous meatskins, takes place after the hysteria and the looting and roving bands of gangs vying for control of meager resources.

It is instead a world that has at last achieved an odd equilibrium, a land of scarce reconstruction where hope for the future is tempered by a measured acceptance of its present reality. Beautifully penned in the voice of a hardened southern illiterate who, despite both her own flaws and those of the world around her, still manages to see the beauty and order of nature's machinery, The Reapers Are the Angels is a tale that begs to be experienced.

And thus concludes what appear to be reviews of two books. As opposed to, y'know, albums. Which are more firmly in my wheelhouse.

I hope that the shock of this unlikely missive hasn't driven anyone to an early grave. But if it has, I reckon we can all agree that's an oddly appropriate outcome.