Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Geek Chic?

It's come to my attention that in the last couple of years, not only has being a nerd become a bit more socially acceptable, it's fashionable??? Ok, well that's strange. A big part of me thinks that this is an awesome development for a number of reasons. First and foremost, kids won't have to be bullied and tormented for being open about the geeky stuff they're in to. When I was a younglin', a big part of my hatred for school was do in part to the crap I dealt with on a daily basis. Crap from everyone who called me a nerd and picked on me because I was unwilling to hide my love for X-Men, Star Wars, Mel Brooks movies, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, video games, reading, cartoons, etc. But now, it's cool to be a nerd?! Alright.

But a BIG part of me is irritated by this whole "geek chic" thing. Most of these people who are claiming the title of "geek" and "nerd" are just part of yet another trend. Riding the wave of whatever is popular at the moment. Hey "nerds", I've got news for you, YOU ARE NOT A NERD and I'll prove it to you.

The thing about being a nerd that the Pop Culture machine missed is that being a nerd or a geek for or about something is by no means a casual affair. Being a nerd or a geek means that you can deliver up the most obscure trivia at will and on command. That the interest you have for whatever you're into borders on obsession. That you've given up not only a part of your life in it's cause, that you've given up a piece of who and what you are. That your irrational interest in this thing has alienated you from your friends and family, turning you into a nerd-rage filled hermit. THAT is what makes you a nerd. Not your plebeian interest in the Harry Potter movies, or your Pokemon t-shirt. Oh no. You've got to earn the title of geek. One does not simply claim it, it claims you.

Of course, there is a certain degree of sarcasm in the previous paragraphs. You don't need to have had your social life decimated by your interests in order to claim the title of Nerd. It certainly helps to beef up your geek-cred though.

I'll end this with a quote from the indomitable Simon Pegg that sums up the view I've always held about Geekdom. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Go Team Venture!!!

If you've never seen The Venture Bros, where the hell have you been the last decade? If you're a geek of any kind, especially one with an open mind and a dark sense of humor, why are you not watching this show? This is easily one of my most favorite things in the universe. No hyperbole here. The Venture Bros warms my icy lil' heart.

Imagine Johnny Quest with a sick sense of humor, existing in a universe where pretty much all of your favorite cartoons, toys and comic book characters are all either real or parodied. The story line is one of the most ridiculously complicated of any tv series I've ever watched, but it only adds to the creepy-neighbor charm of this show. Action, adventure, thrills, chills, mystery, intrigue, blue humor, dark humor, drama, satire, a metric ton of Pop Culture references ranging from the obvious to the obscure and down right esoteric. Women that sound like men, clones that want to be Batman, hydro-cephalic boy geniuses with albino-goth hetero life-mates, Super Villains that may or may not be David Bowie, The Big Bopper or Buddy Holly. Washed up super heroes, Swedish murder machines, intergalactic "watchers", bombastic Necromancers and inept Arch Nemeses and inappropriate behavior. You name it, it's got it! This show does it all. The Venture Bros is like a bad touch you don't want to stop.

In this video clip, series co-creator Doc Hammer (as "Gary", formerly "Henchman 21") recaps the Venture-verse from season 1 to season 4.

Because after a two and a half year wait, the show makes a triumphant return to Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" for its 5th season on June 2nd at midnight. Watch this clip, be intrigued, obtain the entire series, and strap in for what is sure to be one helluva an hour long premier. IGNORE ME!!!

UPDATE: Season 5 of The Venture Bros has apparently been split in two for reasons unknown to me. I'm assuming because of production costs and the fact that this show takes forever to get made. In any case, as soon as I hear that the 2nd half of the season is poised to destroy your sense of right and wrong, I'll make sure you know it too! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Re-Inventing the Wheel

Writing professionally has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I've recently been given the opportunity to take the first step in doing so. Mike Alexander of Rod Authority gave me the chance to write an article about the history of wheels in the Hot Rod and Custom world. Head on over to Rod Authority and show some love to a bitchin' magazine! With any luck, you'll be reading more from me at RA!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wheels and Headers

My buddy Mark (Wheels are Everything) was nice enough to create this awesome new header for the blog. Thanks Mark!

Make sure to pay WaE a visit and dig on Mark's amazing pics & photo-chops!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Top 5 "Metal" Vocalists of All Time

I placed "Metal" in parenthesis because even though all of these singers (and the bands they front for) are pretty heavy, they are also very Progressive. There are no boundaries for these people. In any case, these are the singers who have inspired me the most over the last 15 years.

Maynard James Keenan

Mikael Ã…kerfeldt

Devin Townsend

Greg Puciato

Tommy Rogers

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Dillinger Escape Plan

The first time I ever saw this band live was also the first time that I ever heard them. September 27th, 2005, I was at a local show here in Lancaster, CA and ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in quite a while.

After catching up, he asked who I was there to see and I responded with "Unearth." He nodded sagely and said, "Right on, man. Just make sure you don't miss Dillinger." I had heard the name a few times but still hadn't heard them. Something about the crazed look on his face when warning me not to miss them made me make a mental note, marked "High Priority"...

When they were ready to get started, I found a good spot in the front row and settled in. They opened with this:

To this day, I don't know how I kept my face from melting off. Not only was their stage presence like a nuclear bomb going off, their music was the most intense, technically proficient, skull-crushingly brutal and refreshingly original stuff I had ever heard. I was instantly a convert and judging by the slack jawed faces of others in the crowd that night, I was certainly not the only one.

"I like to approach singing the way a guy like Daniel Day Lewis approaches acting. You’ve gotta really fucking think about what you’re singing about and get that emotion fresh again in your brain. Be pissed as if you’re screaming. If you were fucking yelling at your friend or fighting with your girlfriend. You wouldn’t be standing still with your hands at your sides and screaming at the top of your lungs."- Greg Puciato

This is exactly how I've always felt in regards to being a metal vocalist, or any kind of vocalist really. The best singers can rip open emotional scars at will and share that experience with you, or open up their heart and show you their love, the way Otis Redding could.

When Greg opens up, he really bares his soul and shows you just how pissed off he is, or just how vulnerable he can be. Whether he's shredding his vocal chords or singing a beautiful melody, this guy is arguably one of the best vocalists music has ever heard. And needless to say, he has the stage presence of a wild animal, set free of its' cage for a little while.

The Dillinger Escape Plan as a whole, are without a doubt, one of the most groundbreaking and talented acts to hit the extreme music world.
Their range of style, technique and sheer disregard for things as seemingly trivial as genre, tradition or even theory go a long way towards creating their truly unique sound. All of that coupled with a truly amazing live performance makes DEP one of the most explosive acts you will ever experience. No hyperbole here.

And with a new album getting ready to drop, you can rest assured that we haven't heard the last of these crazy bastards.

If you've never listened to the Dillinger Escape Plan, any attempt I could make at accurately trying to describe it would be useless. Instead, here's a sampling of my favorite DEP tracks. Enjoy.

Be sure to pay them a visit on facebook or at their website: