Archive for the ‘particulars’ Category

Love at first Byte

The world’s acceptance of chip music — that is, music made using antiquated video game and computer hardware — has changed drastically since I got into it. Which was, holy crap, over twelve years ago now. The focus has shifted from single dudes sitting alone in dark rooms and rocking out to large crowds sitting together in dark rooms and rocking out.  Chip music has become more performance oriented and regular concert events are popping up all over the country. New York has Pulsewave, Philadelphia has 8static… it was only a matter of time before Baltimore got it’s own chip event.  I’m proud to be one of the musicians asked to perform at the first ever BYTE NYTE.  Here are the details!

  • Saturday, June 4th, at the Hour Haus in Baltimore, MD.  Doors open at 7PM and tickets are $8 at the door (or $5 if you pre-order)
  • Music by Starscream (NYC), Bear & Walrus (that’s me!), Trey Frey (WV), Kedromelon (MD) and Dauragon (DC).  Live visuals by Pixelseed.  Live!
  • Everyone who attends gets a free CD featuring music from all five bands.  This is a seriously amazing idea, especially in a college town like Baltimore where not everyone can afford to buy CDs at shows. I was so excited by this that I did a fresh remix of a Bear & Walrus song specifically for the CD, and it’s never going to be released anywhere else.  So it’s sort of like a location exclusive track, which I think is a cool idea.

It’s going to be an awesome time. Here’s the thing: in order for Byte Nyte to be a regular thing, the word needs to spread.  It’s hard to kick off a new event out of nowhere. So if you have any friends in the Baltimore area… tell them to come!  The more people that come to Byte Nyte, the more money the organizers can put towards booking awesome artists.  I really want to see this explode the way Pulsewave has and become a monthly event.  Baltimore needs a something solid like this.

I’ll leave you with a video of Bear & Walrus performing at 8static a few months ago. It was a great show. Byte Nyte will probably be exactly like this, at least in terms of wardrobe, because I only have, like, two t-shirts (and they’re both Lady Gaga related).

 

Mother’s love grows by giving

Guys, Mother’s Day is this Sunday.  If you’re trying to find a last minute gift, I humbly submit to you YO MOMMA SO EXTRAORDINARY. My best friend and I sat down and wrote a bunch of ridiculous yo momma jokes and they’ve been collected into this book. When I say “ridiculous,” I mean in the sense that these don’t function as yo momma jokes typically should: they aren’t insulting in any way. They’re complimentary! Because my best friend’s mom is awesome and I would never disrespect her. So it’s got stuff like “Yo momma got such a green thumb that plants talk to her!” and “Yo momma so insightful I sometimes wonder if she’s quoting NPR, or NPR’s quoting her.” And the art direction is done in a Yo!-MTV-Raps-meets-90s-suburbia style with lots of great pictures. This book was a ton of fun to write and I think it came out really well. So buy it for your moms… it’s only $10!

We also made a website, Love Yo Momma, where you can submit your own yo momma compliments. Some of them have been amazing: “Yo momma so micro-gastronomical she freebases salami.” That joke alone gives me such an immense sense of fulfillment, like how Mother Teresa must have felt when she saved her first orphan (or whatever it was Mother Teresa did).

 

You can’t control what you can’t measure

The Controller, a new art and culture magazine from Cory Schmitz, is now available for purchase from Attract Mode. Go buy it! I wrote an article for the magazine titled “Why Games Can Not Be Taught.” It’s a riff on everything I learned in art school and touches on a lot of different ideas, but mainly it’s about the absurdity of institutional theory in the age of the internet. If that sounds too wordy: it’s about Bomberman and stuff. I’m very proud of my contribution, and the book as a whole. Cory did an amazing job with the art direction, to the point where I feel confident that anyone with an interest in art or video games will enjoy it.

This is a huge personal milestone for me, as it marks the first time my prose has been printed. I’ve been published before, but mostly academic works, never anything this personal. I’m really partial to my Murderblog voice — mostly humor and anecdotes fashioned to make a statement about new media — and it’s awesome to see something in the same style make it into print. If you’ve already read The Controller, please let me know what you think. And if you haven’t read it… please do!

 

Spoiler: Austin will be 73 degrees all week

I’m leaving for South By Southwest tomorrow! My awesome job is sending me there for the interactive portion of the festival. It will basically be a week of listening to people talk about the internet, drinking with colleagues and playing video games (there’s an arcade!). Expect a post on the future of comics when I return.

A few items I wanted to mention, since I’m terrified of flying and wanted to cement some sort of legacy in case the plane explodes:

  • I released a new album last month! It’s called Lake Poems. My brother and I wrote and recorded the whole thing during the month of February for the RPM Challenge. It’s almost like chiptune music mixed with baroque era instruments. I dig it, and we’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback, so please check it out. You can download the entire album for free. If you like it and want to stay updated on music we do (there’s another release coming at the end of March), consider our Facebook fan page. Because I haven’t gotten around to setting up a real website yet.
  • I got a book deal! Quirk Books, known for the insanely awesome Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, will be releasing a book I’ve been writing with my best friend. It should be available at your local bookstore in May of 2011. I can’t say much about it, but I promise that it will be absolutely hilarious. Also: my editor said that I’m the youngest author ever signed to Quirk, which gave me +10 to Ego.
  • I got into a fight with my mom this morning! And I feel really bad. Sorry, mom.

If you’re attending SXSW and want to meet up, I’ll be there from March 12th to March 16th. As with any convention, you can spot me by my Virgin of Guadeloupe pin I got from Attract Mode last year.

attractmode05

This thing has become a wardrobe staple. It’s sort of integral to defining my look: dirty hobo wearing a Virgin of Guadeloupe pin. Otherwise known as Derelicte.

 
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