Friday, November 11, 2011

This is Muggle Tap

Today is both Veterans Day and Nigel Tufnel Day. Not to mention the wedding day of my good friend DataVortex. (Congrats, Larry!)

As if that wasn't enough merriment for a single weekend, tomorrow marks the first day of the 2011 Quidditch World Cup.

100+ colleges, 2,000+ athletes and 10,000+ rowdy New Yawkas will descend on Randall's Island to celebrate the sport of wizards and witches alongside a dozen bands, circus performers, face-painters, owls and, I can only imagine, the occasional confused passerby. Tickets are still available to this family-friendly (not to mention nerd-friendly) event starting as low as $5. And since this is a Potter-centric affair, those champions of justice from the Harry Potter Alliance will also be on hand with new merch and helpful information about how to leverage fandom for global good.

If you're in the greater metropolitan area and haven't made plans yet, you're gonna wanna make it out to see this one, folks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Now We're Older

While sifting through my inbox this morning I realized that I'd been sitting on the new I Fight Dragons video for a month now, and I couldn't quite figure out why. And then I remembered: ah yes, my dogged adherence to the concept of a month-long Halloween!

It's an appropriately lo-fi accompaniment to the debut single from the proper major label debut KABOOM! Truth be told, the chorus sentiment is a little played out – "The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth" is sort of low-hanging fruit, and I reckon we've all made that particular joke before. Still, Mazzaferri and Co. come through with some amazing dork-pop sensibilities that make it a suitable anthem for the era.

Give it a gander.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

You're Anti, You're Antisocial

Over the weekend I wrote a letter to my 11-year-old self. It read as follows:

Hey, Zack.

Things are good. You've got a wife and kids now, and sometimes you get to write stuff for money. You did alright.


PS: You just saw Anthrax, and it was fuckin' awesome!

Believe it or not, that last part is important. In every life there is an undeniable catalyst – some experience or idea or individual – that provides for you, intentionally or otherwise, this overwhelming sense of relief. The knowledge that things are alright. That you are alright.

For most normal folks that role is likely filled by a friend or family member, but for me it was music. Music was the thing that told me things were gonna work out, and I believed it.

Anthrax, specifically, was a band that made me realize that it was okay to like punk and metal and hip-hop and skateboarding and comic books, even though several of those items may appear mutually exclusive upon first glance. In essence, their music made me realize not only that it was alright to be me, but that there were others out there like me.

That simple realization proved incredibly powerful over the years.

Now at 35 I can say that I've seen the band live, and that in itself is an important rite of passage for a music fan. Like me the guys are a lot older now. (Joey Belladonna, for example, appeared to be held together by little more than spit and Band-Aids, but the fucker could still hit those high notes!) Still, when the lights went down everyone in the venue was magically transformed into a crazy-ass adolescent again. If only for the duration of the set.

I guess the thesis of this oddly personal and only vaguely nerdy missive is as follows: don't be afraid to reconnect with your younger self. He was a good kid, and he'd likely wanna know all the amazing shit you're doing now in grown-up land.