Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trilogy Of The Nerds

I know I’m hardly writing anymore. Hell, I can’t claim to be active in most senses of the word. But even I can’t ignore three significant releases all in the span of a week. (Okay, one’s a pre-release to those that went in on Mega Ran Random’s Kickstarter, but still...)

Firstly, the Nerdapalooza 2011 Live Recordings are here! It's a great bit of timing because Nerdapalooza 2012 was recently announced for August 3-5...right here, in downtown Orlando! (TM Mick Foley) It's about that time to get hyped for this year's installment, so this works out pretty damn well.

Now, if you’ve ever been here before, you’re familiar with Nerdapalooza. I don’t have to explain what that is right? Excellent. So, know then that the Recordings are single songs taken from each set at last year’s festival.

There’s a pretty good mix of well-known songs and some that are just good to have recorded that may not have been expected. Seeing Brentafloss’s “Tetris With Lyrics” and the patented Illbotz set opener “Illbotz Rock The Spot and Go Crazy” feel like a given, but they’re cool to have right on hand to relive. Bonus points for including a couple personal favorites in Soup Or Villainz’s “Game to Play” (which turned me into a fan of these guys) and Marc with a C’s “Motherfuckers Be Bullshittin’” which was given a whole new life due to the backing of Sci-Fried, captured here in great detail. On top of that, tracks I almost forgot about and fell in love with all over again, such as My Parents Favorite Music "Coffee" are here as well, and all of it sounds excellent. Hats off to the audio crew that busted their asses at the show, especially to turn out a crystal clear result like this.

All in all, it’s 36 tracks of live goodness with some great acts for only $7 on Bandcamp. For that price, you may as well be stealing it, so piracy’s not even a concern.

Not to be outdone, Adam WarRock turns his Nerdcore sights dead on a classic. Neo-Tokyo is a 7-song collection about Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira - a movie that makes my short list of favorites. (If I still did the C3C1 5, it would probably make the cut, but that faded out quick. Kinda like the rest of the site. But I digress.)

I will well, fully, and freely admit that the first time I heard this, I didn’t like it. That bothered me, because WarRock normally slaps it out of the park every time - or at the very least bounces it from the outfield over the wall for a ground-rule double. A baseball reference? Seriously? I mean, he was in fine form as the verses were straight dominant, but the production almost threatened to drown him out. Not in a “Rock the Bells” kind of way, but that the mood didn’t fit his style.

Then it hit me - maybe that’s kind of the point. The production creates a mood all its own that fits the bleak devastation of the Neo-Tokyo setting. WarRock kind of tones down his usual bluster in favor of relaying the hope-in-a-hopeless-place (no Rihanna references, please) story of kaneda, Tetsuo, and the inhabitants of the titular city. Admittedly it may take a few listens to fully embrace, but once the deliberate departure is realized, it’s worth every bit of its $5 purchase price and then some.

And finally, the aforementioned Random’s newest effort, Language Arts: Vol 01, which I remember he and I talking about when I interviewed him for “Revenge of the Nerds” for Substream Pres--

Wait. Whaddya mean, “it’s no longer there”?? The piece I spent five friggin’ months working on is gone?! You know what, that’s fine. Hunky Dory. Nerdapalooza’s coming up...I need to do my part to hype it...and that article seriously needs a home. I’ll have it reprinted here with in the week. And with all the formatting in the right place, too!

Okay, that bit of business out of the way. Sorry for the distraction. Language Arts. The album - and video game, and comic - are set for release on May 22 but can be pre-ordered now. Upon pre-order, you can download three tracks before the official release. Or, if you want a free single, ”Wake Up (feat. MC Frontalot)” is available for free.

However, I’ve already heard the whole thing. And it’s pretty damn cool. There’s a little of the video game-vibe here, but this more harkens back to The Call rather than having much in common with the Mega Ran and Black Materia (Hah! That one’s still there!). Language Arts: Vol 01 is a nice hybrid of the more serious, introspective work Mega Ran excels at along with some of the digital rush of the gamer material.

The best news? This is Vol 01 of three! Next chapter is due in August, and the final part of the trilogy in November. Plenty of time to enjoy what should be one of the best runs of Mega Ran music in a long time.

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