Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Nerd Up the 90s

Cover image by @wesleykhall 
I typically describe Twitter as "where the internet goes to try too hard," though maybe that’s just my experience. I use the service constantly, and most days it’s me and my friends (both far and near) simply trying to shock, amaze and/or enlighten each other in 140 characters or less.

But it’s also the place where weird ideas take flight.

You see, I didn't actually plan to do this compilation. It was just a passing thought, a half-hearted concept I put out there without really thinking about it. As is the case with so many things in life, I blame Mick Jones.

Stuck in traffic one morning, B.A.D. II’s "The Globe" came on in shuffle play. With nothing to do but drink coffee and think while frozen in gridlock, I started ruminating on the sound(s) of the 1990s. I thought about that strange decade in which I came of age, and, moreover, my 90s listening experience – the music that shaped me during those formative years.

So I posted something, and some other people responded back. And before I knew it, Nerd Up the 90s had become a thing.

I guess I had some vague notions about what a collection of 90s-era covers by some of my favorite geeky artists would be, what it would sound like. Oddly enough the finished product is totally different than I imagined. It is, like the decade that inspired it, quirky, eclectic and artistically enlightened in spite of itself.

You won’t hear any Pearl Jam, but Miscast grunges up The Cardigans. There’s no Arrested Development, but r_garcia slays a Beasties classic. Without fail the acts that approached me to contribute and the source material they drew from surprised as much as they delighted. And in the end I realized that my 1990s really were the same as everyone else’s: incredibly strange and positively fraught with the unexpected.

Please check out Nerd Up the 90s – 11 songs by my extended internet family, one truly inspired piece of cover art by new homie Wesley Hall and a some liner notes from little old me – below. Hopefully you’ll find brand new takes on some of your old favorites, or, better yet, a newfound appreciation for some long-forgotten earworms.

Featuring the talents of:
Marc with a C – "Turn it On"
Untested Methods – "Hey Man, Nice Shot (feat. illuminerdi)"
r_garcia – "The Maestro"
Brux Callison and The Entangled Photons – "I Robot Touch My Robot Self"
Fiction – "Lay My Love"
Dual Core – "Natural Boom Boom for You"
Miscast – "My Favorite Game"
Black Cat Hit Squad – "God"
Glenn Case – "The Best Things"
The Various Artists – "The Sign (feat. Camila Melodia)"
John Anealio – "Good"

Thanks to all the contributors, and extra special thanks to the great and powerful Wesley, who nailed the album cover art!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Geeks Rule the World

So maybe you, like me, couldn't attend last weekend's Nerdapalooza festival. Hell, maybe you even missed the event's livestream, but thanks to the boundless magics of the internet you can still relive the set by my Florida fam Sci-Fried in its entirety.

From their opening medley to their stirring tribute tracks – one of which also doubled as their annual Nerdapalooza cover – it's a half-hour of geek rock (and geek sweat) created by Sci-Fried and lovingly recorded by my homie Michael Melchor.