How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 3

 

Okay, let’s wrap this shit up real quick, okay? Parts 1 and 2 here and here. I’m gonna try to be more brief just so I can get this out on time for people to actually use. If you are an artist represented here, don’t worry, I love you, just sometimes I’m not good at things.

Dr. Awkward

My love for Doc Awk is well-documented. Along with the previously mentioned Kabuto the Python, Doc Awk was part of a new wave of incredibly talented nerdcore artists that shook up the scene and injected some much needed new life.

What You Should Buy:

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Ranking Dr. Awkward’s albums would be pretty tricky to do, but there is no doubt that Blank Pages has the best album art. Damn, that’s dope. Blank Pages also works as a good primer to Doc Awk, expertly balancing his nerdy raps and socially conscious raps, but without the heavy weight of finality hanging over the proceedings that is found in Last Gen. “Now Hiring (ft. Schaffer the Darklord)” is the most enjoyably geeky experience on the album, telling the story of a superhero and villain meeting up, but through the medium of Craigslist ads. Catchy and brilliantly envisioned and conceived. On the other range of the spectrum is the absolutely devastating “Alchemy“. No one in the entire nerdcore game has quite the same pen as Dr. Awkward, and when he’s on, as he is for much of this album, he is truly unbeatable.

What I’m Going To Buy

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I really can’t explain why I never heard one of my very favorite rappers do an album about fucking Zelda, but I haven’t. This shall be corrected forthwith! Let me make this clear, it’s an album of The Legend of Zelda, specifically Ocarina of Time I believe, and not necessarily about engaging in sexual intercourse with the titular character. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if that came up.

Fatty

Like most non-cis-male nerdcore artists, Fatty isn’t the most well known, but they are a force to be reckoned with.

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Aw shit, I’m just now noticing the iron throne is made of pencils. Shit, I really should look at album art up close more often. Or maybe I should get my eyes checked. My work will be giving me bennies in a couple months, and visual is part of the plan. Maybe I should have those looked at. Hmmmm.

Fuck, anyway, Old Bad Habits is an absolutely terrific album that you should buy right now. It’s short, it’s sweet, there’s no filler and it’s almost entirely killer, get it. “Sweetie Pi” incorporates the first 50-odd digits of pi into neurotic story of love won and lost – it’s truly phenomenal. “Where We Left Off” is a heartbreaking track about the loss of a brother to a mysterious disease, and it… wow. It really is something else. Shatteringly specific, but also universal in emotion. A tour de force in under 5 minutes. And “Accio (Nerdy Girls)” has some of the most clever nerdy rhymes in history, along with lines about coping with dysphoria – “My dysphoria is scary, huh? / What’s mines is yours – the Moria the merrier”. And that’s not even the most clever line in that song. It is fantastic. Buy this album.

What I Will Buy:

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I haven’t heard Daily Heroic at all yet, partly because Old Bad Habits is so good I’m kinda worried to try out Fatty’s earlier stuff. The time for such fear is over.

OldStyle

A brother-sister duo turning classical music into poppin’ chiptunes. Yes. Of course. Obviously. Nine times.

What You Should Buy:

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The eponymous and so far only album from OldStyle is six tracks of baroque music turned into modern chiptune dance hits. It’s incredible. I’m really not that qualified to say more than this shit always gets me dancing, and it’s good, and I like it, so maybe give it a buy? Yeah! I am a professional reviewer!

What I Will Buy:

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DJ Cutman is one half of OldStyle, and is a prolific chiptune artist and video game remixer. Chiptune Hero, Volume 2 is a short and sweet collection of tunes that I will be purchasing along with OldStyle, since I had previously only listened to both via streaming. Highlights include the gameboy soundfont cover of “I Need Your Love” and discovering the odd beauty of that accapella “Mmmmm Whatcha Say Song” done as a chiptune.

The Megas

I love Mega Man. You already know this. As with many things, what made me fall in love with Mega Man was the music. The Megas are somehow not the only band to make character-focused rock operas about the NES classic series, but they are the only one on bandcamp, and also, I actually like The Megas a bit more than the also superb Protomen. The Protomen have incredible musicality and epic scope in story telling, but The Megas craft more intimate, easier-to-follow stories, all set over great covers of the classic NES soundtrack original songs. These songs work great on their own, or muttering to yourself along with the music as you try to beat Quickman’s stage without the Time Stopper.

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Mega Man 2 is the best classic series Mega Man, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. Likewise, Get Equipped is the best Megas album, or at least the best one to start with, just like the game its based on. Every track is solid rock n roll fun, with lyrics that love to paint a portrait of a deeply conflicted an ironic existence for these 30-year-old characters. I’m gonna be honest – I’m running out of steam for creativity and writing today, sorry. I have many thoughts about The Megas but maybe you will get to read them some other time. The Airman song is great, the Bubbleman song is strangely moving, and the Quickman and Crashman songs are both fucking excellent. No links for you, just trust me already. Damn, probably shouldn’t have finished that week-old can of hard rootbeer at 4 in the afternoon.

I’m gonna buy this:

Here is a link fuck embedding things like a fancy person: https://themegas.bandcamp.com/album/history-repeating-blue

Wow I am really really tired sorry everyone.

Lastly if you like Electroswing go check out Odjbox. Get the free Swamp Stomp EP and buy the excellent Oak Sessions.

http://music.odjbox.com/album/swamp-stomp-e-p

http://music.odjbox.com/album/oak-sessions

goodnight

How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 2

Let’s get to it! Go buy some great music and support liberty. But not too much liberty – you should buy exactly what I tell you to.

Bowman

Picking up where we left off, Michael Guy Bowman is a Homestuck alum, and one of the most prestigious and talented alumni from the music team whose name isn’t Toby Fox. Accomplished with both instrumental tracks and singer-songwriter work, Bowman has focused on the latter in his solo career, releasing consistently good and often great albums. His music stylings range from album to album, but never drift too far from some semblance of folk and/or rock.

What You Should Buy:

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His debut album, Ithaca might not be perfect, but it’s damn, damn close. A youthful optimism infects the whole album, and it’s chock-full of toe-tapping tunes and good times. From the first song to the last, there’s a relentlessly fun driving energy, and this disc easily ranks up with Fishboy when it comes to my favorite albums to belt along to. It’s hard to recommend single tracks without recommending the whole album, but “Come With Me” has the incessantly catchy quality beholden to all great folk ditties, “Cerulean Skies” has a wonderful 70’s rock feel and is a delightfully pissed off and anarchic view of the music industry, and “Rodeo Clown” is one of those songs that captures something about yourself you always knew but could never put into words. It’s 7 bucks, I guarantee you will have a good time. Buy it.

What I’m Buying:

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Despite his more youthful appearance on the album cover, Hush is Bowman grown up, his optimism traded for a jaded sense of resignation. The music has shifted accordingly, becoming less Elton John, more David Bowie. His songs still go on weird tangents, but instead of a love song to an experimental airplane like in his debut album, there’s a song about anger from the point of view of a baby who hasn’t yet learned object permanence. Where songs would be hopeful, now they are worried; songs about relationships are now about paranoia and desperation, rather than the easy fall of first romance.

Hush is not nearly as fun of an album, but Bowman ultimately has more to say and holy fucking shit I just noticed for the first time that the hand is semi transparent and i never noticed his lips before and that is freaking me out dude

But yeah, this album has some great shit – I especially love “Synchronize” – and I’ve devoured it via streaming services, but now I’m finally gonna buy it. In fact, I’m considering just going whole hog and buying the whole discography. I already own one of the albums, but what the heck. Enough of the things I’m planning to buy are less new music and more music I am guiltily finally purchasing for reals, so might as well blind buy myself some new tunes.

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats may not be strictly nerdy, but they are kind of like a more somber, melancholy TMBG in terms of having an equally enthusiastic cult following. I also learned of them through Moral Orel, a fantastic short-lived Adult Swim show (the third season really has to be seen to be believed) created by the guy who played Starburns on Community, and writing this sentence is so nerdy I’m going to have to give myself a wedgie.

What You Should Buy:

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Beat The Champ is a concept album about professional wrestling, but this is a Mountain Goats joint, so it’s actually about death and mistakes and lost love and abusive fathers. Because Mountain Goats. And it’s absolutely wonderful. It might not have the same emotional resonance that the tightly focused arc of The Sunset Tree had, but it’s brimming with passion and ideas. Each track is a character study and a vignette, sometimes of real wrestlers, sometimes of true archetypes. There is a very cohesive sound to the music, but many different feelings are found, from the unapologetic blood luster of “Werewolf Gimmick ” to the unapologetic hero worship of “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” to the unapologetic wistful reverie of “The Ballad of Bull Ramos“. This album may not quite be stubborn and relentless, but it’s relentless stubborn in being unapologetic. This album is also

What I’m Going To Buy

I’ve devoured this album via streaming, so I’m gonna splurge and get the big fancy vinyl edition. I can’t wait to wear out my needles playing the first half of “Heel Turn 2 ” over and over, a song which, coincidentally, debuted on an episode of…

Welcome To Night Vale

While not music per se, internationally famed podcast WTNV sells recordings of their live shows through Bandcamp.

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The Debate is an essential piece of Night Vale weirdness, and not a bad place to start if you want to get a taste. While there are technically some spoilers if you intend to start from the beginning, there’s really nothing too major, and there’s not that much back story needed – there’s a strange town that is currently having an election. The candidates include a literal five-headed dragon and the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home (played by Mara Wilson, the kid who was Matilda in 199 ). Strange, sad, and funny things happen during the course of the debate. Also, the main host, Cecil, has a terrifying doppelganger who may or may not show up at some point.

It’s a great hour of radio play, and the musical interlude is one of the very best of the whole series. I’ve found that it contains just the right mix of political satire, political optimism, and pure bizarre fantasy escapism in these trying times. Also it’s literally a buck. What are you doing. It’s literally a dollar for well over an hour of great content. Just do it already, you’re making me look bad.

What I’m Buying:

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The Investigators is pretty much the only Night Vale live show I haven’t experienced yet in some way! No idea why I never got around to this one, but whateva. I have no idea if it will be good or not! But Welcome To Night Vale has such consistent quality that I’m betting it’ll be a pretty good time.

Mammoth Thunderpower

A band I accidentally found years ago when trawling through the “wizard rock” tag on Bandcamp.

What You Should Buy:

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This album has a song on it called “BONE THRONE”, and another track called “DEATH OF THE WIZARD”. In case you couldn’t guess, this is a metal band. I have said many times before that I am not nearly well-versed enough in metal to distinguish the good from the band, all I know is that the I AM THUNDER EP is cheesy goofy fun, and well worth your three bucks.

What I Will Buy:

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I may have bought this already! Or maybe my old roommate did. I don’t know. I’m gonna buy it again, because BONE THRONE. Wait, no, they have merch, okay, instead, I’m gonna buy this incredible “Death of The Wizard” t-shirt that comes with a free download of the EP, and probably never wear it in public unless I am dragged to our local satanist-themed vegan strip club again by my well-meaning friends:

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Yes, all of that is really happening.

Aaaaaand that brings about the end of Part 2. Part 3, the final part, should be up in a few hours! Go out there and get buying, my wand carriers.

How To Succeed In Supporting The ACLU Without Really Trying, Part 1

So, tomorrow/today/very-hopefully-not-yesterday, whenever I actually get this post up, Bandcamp will donate all of its proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who have quickly become one of the most important and stalwart opponents to the current President’s reign of terror. The fine people over at the Wizrocklopedia will have something up giving you some ideas on great wizard rock you can purchase on Friday, February 3rd. I originally planned on doing something similar, but if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you already have a decent idea of what I’d say.

tl;dr – pick up your classics that you haven’t gotten around to yet, like HatP, DatM, Lauren, Whompy, etc; then dip into some Deluminators or Tianna or Seven Potters. I’ll put links here when I feel like it – you have google, right? Oh and the HPA has all of its charity comps up, grab those too.

But I’m not here to talk about those today. Instead, I am going to take one of my extremely popular excursions outside the world of wizard rock, and give some recommendations of other great music to purchase on the website Bandcamp.com. Almost all of these albums are somewhere in the nerdy music sphere, and many have tangible, if tangential connections to wizard rock. For each artist, I am going to give two recommendations – firstly, the album I think YOU should buy. Secondly, I will talk briefly about the album that I am going to buy! I am a Snob that puts thon’s money where thon’s mouth is.

If you end up purchasing any of these, please let me know, I’d love to know what you think! Enjoy, and if you have the means, please take this opportunity to support independent artists and independent speech.

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