44FLOOD is a brand new publishing project comprised of Menton3 (Silent Hill, Monocyte), Kasra Ghanbari (Monocyte), Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse) and Nick Idell (Owner of Alley Cat Comics, Chicago). It’s a true creator owned company, committed to bringing readers top notch material. The first thing 44FLOOD has planned is a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of an amazing collaborative art publication called TOME.
TOME will be an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using comic book, painting, and music mediums. The first theme of TOME is vampirism. TOME will gather together a huge lineup of artists presenting their unique interpretations of vampirism in whatever form they choose, including artist to artist interviews. The Kickstarter launches today. If you love art, comics and everything they could be, when given the right medium and environment to grow, you must get in on this.
Not only will you have the opportunity to be part of the beginning of a huge creation that will packed to the hilt with super talent, you’ll get endless chances to be rewarded with some truly incredible, limited edition swag. I’m not bullshitting you when I say every donation to this Kickstarter will get you something brag worthy.
44FLOOD is a great group of guys with outstanding talent and I promise you that whatever these guys produce will blow you away. Please jump on the Kickstarter page, check out the details and consider supporting TOME. I damn sure will be!
Kickstarter (search for TOME)
As many of you may know by now (mostly if you have read some of my other posts), I am a metal girl with a soft spot for punk, and throw in a few British pop bands from time to time. I do enjoy a bit of folk music sometimes if my it fits my mood. But on the whole its Prog Rock and Metal for this lady! That’s why I am so surprised that I cannot stop listening to Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars from the Hunger Games soundtrack. I most definitely would not have given this song a chance if it weren’t for its association with a movie that I am eagerly awaiting. But now that I have, there is no turning back. I’ve added The Civil Wars to my Spotify rotation and I’ve even been YouTubing (don’t want to mess with my last.fm stats!) some Taylor Swift songs to see if this is a one off thing or if I could possibly add her to my rotation.
Check it out:
I’ve been raving about Monocyte since issue #1 came out back in October. See exhibit 1: Monocyte #1 review. And exhibit 2: Monocyte #2 review. I’ve also mentioned in each review that Menton3 was planning to release a musical accompaniment to Monocyte, under his music project Saltillo. The time has come, ladies and gents. I was honored to be given the chance to preview this album and share my thoughts with Nerds in Babeland readers; I was not disappointed.
Back when I reviewed Monocyte #1, I read about Menton’s musical project, Saltillo, and looked it up. I bought the first album, Ganglion, because I was immediately taken by the gorgeous, orchestral violins it featured. Therefore, I had a little bit of an idea of what to expect from Saltillo; I did not expect to have most of my expectations blown to bits with Monocyte.
Monocyte starts out haunting, feverish, anxious. There is a sense of something very heavy and dark going on, but it’s exhilarating and urgent, like a thick fog rushing over your ears. That all sounds so dramatic, I know, but it fits, trust me. Reading Monocyte the comic, if you had asked me what that world sounds like, I could not imagine how to answer. This album really is perfect in portraying the story of Monocyte and the warring, immortal races he has been appointed to end forever. It’s a landscape of brutality, a deep, dark sort that we all like to pretend doesn’t exist in our world. It’s also fragile, sick and boiling over with fear. The album Monocyte acts like a tour guide through this place and does it gracefully.
I admit, I have very little experience with ‘industrial’ music beyond a lot of Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, so I can’t throw out any comparisons for you. Honestly, I don’t think there are any, as this album has a special purpose and definitely one the most unique things I’ve heard. Soft, melodic violins and cello battle for space with powerful beats, beautifully pained female vocals and sophisticated sound bites that seem to come from windows in time.
There aren’t many albums or bands I can listen to while writing, most tend to be distracting or disruptive to my thought process. Monocyte by Saltillo became my go-to sound for writing because it is the exact opposite; this album is both intense and soothing at the same time, creating a seamless flow of mood from song to song. It’s an excellent album that I’ll go back to again and again, probably each time I read the Monocyte comic to remind me of what it all can be together, and every time I need something ‘just right’ to find my creative mojo.
Saltillo is available on Storming the Base, from Artoffact Records.
Back in June we did an interview with Liz Manashil about the music video for “You’re So Pony”. It may have taken longer than we would’ve liked, but here is part two of that, with artist Beth Thornley.
1) How long have you been working as a musician?
I took piano lessons as a kid, so it feels like I’ve been working as a musician my whole life. Even if I was making a living as a waitress, music was always a part of my life. But, regarding making a living as only a musician, that’s only happened in the past 3-4 years as I’ve been able to get songs licensed to TV/film.
2) Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
Everyday life and people watching; sometimes love relationships, but mostly just general life.
3) What was it like working with Liz for the video? Did you collaborate much or mostly follow her vision for what the video should be like?
Working with Liz was great because she was always available to listen to my thoughts and concerns. She had the vision about the overall concept so she took the lead. I had confidence in her and in her ideas.
4) What are your plans for the future? Any new projects we can look forward to?
I am recording an EP and hope to have it ready for release soon. There will be 4 songs on it. I thought it would take less time to get an EP recorded (as opposed to a full length LP), but alas, it seems to take nearly the same amount of time!
Thanks to both Liz and Beth for agreeing to do these interviews. You can find the video for “You’re So Pony” here.
The evening began with producer Eiji Aonuma addressing the audience, with the help of Nintendo’s translator, for he doesn’t speak very much English. He was very exuberant and excited that we were there to enjoy the evening, and that when they had had their first concert in Toyko, many people cried. So, he wished us to have a good time and hoped that we would cry as well; he wanted us all to have the same experience. He pointed to the screen behind him, mentioning how they’d be showing clips from the games, but there was ‘spoiler’ material in the clips, so if we hadn’t played the game, he was sorry. The audience had a hearty laugh at that. He said his farewell, and then left the stage.
When the conductor walked out onto the stage, I was ecstatic. It was a woman. Her name is Eimear Noone, and she’s amazing. It’s not very often that you see a woman conductor in front of an orchestra. Yes, there are women conductors in the choral field, but for every one woman conductor there are twenty men. Being the music geek that I am, this concert was already amazing, and the orchestra had yet to play a single note.
Ms. Noone had quite the stage presence. She introduced each piece to us, telling us where we would be going on our journey for the evening. What I found very fascinating was that the orchestra members all wore headsets. They were filming the concert for Nintendo to use for a variety of reasons.
The concert began with Hyrule’s Castle Theme from A Link to the Past. A lot of people consider this game to be one of the best Zelda’s games, as was made clear by the audience whenever a montage from that game would come up on the screen. Next, the orchestra played a beautiful rendition of Princess Zelda’s Theme from A Link to the Past as well. The next movement was what I had be most looking forward to, as it is the first Zelda game I ever played through its entirety – the symphonic suite for Wind Waker. One of my favorite pieces of music is ‘The Great Sea‘, and to hear it live had me openly weeping. It was amazing watching Link sail across the sea, hearing the music performed live. This is why I had waned to attend this concert so badly; this moment is what made it special.
Next, Ms. Noone took us through the entire orchestra, showcasing each section off by playing snippets of music from Ocarina of Time. Did you know that there are 19 ocarina melodies, but each of them use only the five notes of ‘Re-Fa-La-Ti-Re’? I didn’t. But I do now, thanks to the show’s program. After introducing each section, they brought it all together by the entire orchestra playing ‘Saria’s Song’, another one of my absolute favorites. Heck, it used to be a ringtone on my phone. The arrangement of the piece was wonderful, and everyone in the audience was tapping their foot along to the beat.
The orchestra then played Boss Battle Medley, which took various boss battle music from four of the Zelda games, while each boss fight was shown on the screen. Everyone cheered when each boss made an appearance. They then played The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley to end the first half of the concert.
The second half began with everyone’s favorite villain – Ganondorf. The orchestra played Ganondorf’s Theme from Ocarina of Time. What was really cool about this particular piece is that they used an organ (albeit through a keyboard, but hey, what can you do?), which brought chills to my body. Seeing Ganondorf play the organ on the screen, remembering how it sounded through my TV as I played on the Nintendo 64, then to hear it live? A fangirl’s dream come true.
The next piece was simply titled The Legend of Zelda: Selected Shorts Suite, where they played as many songs as they could from all the games. The piece that followed was one that I was praying they would play. The two pieces I had wanted to hear live were The Great Sea and then Gerudo’s Valley from Ocarina of Time. The arrangement for ‘Gerudo’s Valley’ was, simply put, astounding. I love the 64-bit version, as well as the string version that was produced a few years ago. But this? This was icing on the cake. To hear the horns blast the melody, as the orchestra accompanied them brought tears to my eyes. Again. Mr. Aonuma would be proud.
Hyrule Field from Ocarina of Time followed. On the screen behind the orchestra they showed Link as he traveled across the fields of Hyrule upon Epona’s — Link’s horse— back. Hearing the trumpets shine was a ton of fun. Ms. Noone then introduced us to the two harpists that sat on either side of her, as they began to play the Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme from A Link to the Past. The two women that played made the music sing, hearing them go back and forth was very cool. And no, they didn’t show anything of the Great Fairy fountain.
Having not played the game since it was released; it was a real joy to watch scenes from Twilight Princess for the next piece – Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement. The music in the game was incredible, as was the game itself. It was like I was remembering all over what a wonderful game it was just by the music. It’s funny how we can associate music from certain things (video games, movies, etc). Ms. Noone actually talked about that in one of her segues between pieces. As I listened to the medley, I remembered my reactions to certain parts.
The evening’s scheduled program ended with The Legend of Zelda Main Theme Medley. The audience cheered and hollered, asking for more. No one wanted to say goodbye to the orchestra just yet. Our hollers were heard, and then, the biggest surprise of the evening happened.
Koji Kondo, the composer of the Zelda music, came out on the stage. Everyone screamed, applauding loudly. He sat down at the piano and played Grandma’s Theme from Wind Waker. Watching his hands travel across the keys, knowing that this man was responsible for some of my favorite music in the world (video game or otherwise), made me cry. Again. Lots of tears left my eyes that night. As the song concluded everyone in the audience jumped to their feet. He then thanked everyone, in English, for coming to the concert. He quietly exited the stage, and Mr. Aonuma came back out and said that he had wished he could speak English like Koji, again making the audience laugh. He then informed us that we would be hearing the main theme from Skyway Sword, the Zelda game that is set for release on the 20th of November.
It was an amazing night. I am so thankful for being able to experience it. I know that when Skyway Sword is released, there will be a music cd to accompany it for the 25th anniversary. I’m hoping that this music cd will be what I got to hear live so all of you can listen to it. If you are a lover of video game music, it will be a must-have for your collection. This night will be something I will never forget.
The Nerds in Babeland resident music nerd (that’s me!) recently had a chance to interview Emii, star of the music video for Mr. Romeo feat. Snoop Dogg! The video intrigues me because of the obvious video game influence (plus it’s damn catchy, if I do say so myself). We talked to Emii about martial arts, working with Snoop Dogg, and general nerdiness. Hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.
1) I hear you’re trained in martial arts. What type are you trained in and how long have you been doing it for?
It’s been about thirteen years since I began, but I’ve definitely taken breaks since music has always been #1. I’ve taken Wing Chun, Northern Shaolin, American Kenpo, and Tae Kwon Do. I am currently training in Muay Thai and Boxing and would love to try Brazilian Jiujitsu when I can make the time for it. I’ve always had a passion for training and learning about different martial arts styles.
Some videos of my current training:
1) …up with the sun, there’s no school like old school.
2) Even early mornings can be fun.
2) You also used to work in a comic shop. What was that experience like for you? How have you found it connects to your music, if at all?
When I worked at the comic book shop in NYC, I would work all day, go to the studio to write and record all night, and then I would head straight back to work at the comic book shop the next morning. Comic books were a huge source of inspiration for me when I was young, and they still influence me positively today.
3) You worked on the music video for “Mr. Romeo” with the legendary Snoop Dogg, Can you tell us how that came to be and what it was like? Any good stories from working with him?
After writing “Mr. Romeo”, my producer and I were tossing around the idea of someone adding a bit of magic to it. Snoop’s name had come up, but really… how the hell do you get in touch with Snoop Dogg? Well, insanely enough, the day I was recording master vocals for the song, the owner of the recording studio came in and he loved the vibe. He happened to have Snoop’s manager’s number in his phone. From there, Snoop heard the track, loved it, and here we are today. Snoop was a pleasure to work with and the coolest cat I’ve met in music so far.
4) The video was designed to look like the Final Fantasy video game series. I will admit not knowing much about hip-hop, but I would imagine this is quite unusual. Whose idea was that and how easy was it to implement?
Actually, much of my fashion sense is influenced heavily by Final Fantasy, Assassin’s Creed, and other similarly-styled video game / science fiction creations. The music video itself was vaguely aesthetically inspired by the 1986 fantasy film “Legend”. I wanted to create a music video that not only told the story of “Mr. Romeo”, but reflected on my own personality and interests. Thankfully, my team is also extremely creative and together we were able to create something that I am proud to share with my beautiful fans.
5) I heard you once held the Hammer of Thor during a tour of Marvel Headquarters. Can you tell us anything about the tour or how the experience felt?
For one, I really did not want to let go of that hammer! Never in my entire life had I imagined that I would get that experience, and I was in grateful awe the entire time I was there. Agent M showed me around and introduced me to some amazing people, and at the conclusion of the tour my publicist looked at me and said, “That was a highlight of your career, wasn’t it?”. Yes, yes it was.
6) I like to end every interview with this last question – Here at Nerds in Babeland we like to nerd-out about things. What is something you like to nerd-out about?
ANYTHING Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek, video games (mostly old-school Nintendo/PS2/PS3/XBox 360), sci-fi/fantasy/horror novels, anything martial arts related, and most definitely anything technology. I think that covers the basics for me.
Remember when I interviewed this band [ghost this] and we talked about music and nerd things? Well, the boys are taking Comic Con by storm and planning an after show/party on Friday, Oct 14th at Connolly’s on West 45th St. It promises to be a night of nerdy fun times. Go check out Facebook for more details and to confirm your attendance.
Official Press Release
Kick off your GeekGirlCon weekend at the GeekGirlCONcert starring nerd-chanteuse Marian Call! Also on the bill are the Seattle ukulele prodigy, Molly Lewis, and nerd-folk singers from Portland, The Doubleclicks. Plus special performances by a few GeekGirlCon ladies.
So join us at The Great Hall at Green Lake (7220 Woodlawn Avenue NE in Seattle) on Friday, October 7th at 7:30 p.m.
General admission tickets are $15 at the door or $10 with student ID or proof of purchase of a GeekGirlCon pass. General admission tickets are limited seating available, first come, first serve. Otherwise, standing room ONLY. If you need special assistance and/or a reserved chair, please contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$25 for VIP tickets. This show is all ages, but VIP tickets are for 21 and older only. VIP tickets guarantee seating close to stage and access to VIP area with a wine and beer cash bar.
Buy tickets online here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/198810
GeekGirlCon passes, student ID’s, and ID’s will be checked at the door.
Marian Call marked her place in the geek pantheon when she released the Firefly and Battlestar Galactica themed CD, Got to Fly, for geek purveyors Quantum Mechanix. Marian will also be at GeekGirlCon on October 8th and 9th. Stay tuned to geekgirlcon.com for details.
Molly Lewis plays the ukulele and sings, and then she posts videos of herself playing the ukulele and singing to YouTube. Her songs about Stephen Fry and Abe Lincoln are instant classics.
The Doubleclicks are two sisters, Aubrey and Angela, who sing and beatbox their way to nerd fame. Their new EP Blatant Pandering has songs about D&D, superpowers, Jurassic Park, Cthulu, and cosplay–all things Geek Girls love.
Don’t rely on mp3s and the youtubes, here’s your opportunity to see these performers live and in-person at the GeekGirlCONcert!
Direct link to this post: www.geekgirlcon.com/geekgirlconcert
Our story today comes to us from the folks at “Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave”. They had a bit of a contest back in June where listeners were given a set of lyrics written by Walt Flannagan and challenged to write a song based on them. I know this was awhile ago by Internet standards, but this music writer was busy finishing school and moving. The old cliche tells us “better late than never,” however, so let’s do this.
While the contest itself was interesting to us, the real focus here is one entry in particular done by “Courage My Love,” twin sisters from Canada who now have one damn good song and a video on YouTube to go with it. Musically their version of the song sounds a bit like Paramore, which is fine by me since I am a fan of their music as well. The video for it has the girls selling comics on the street, lemonade stand style. The table is strewn with comics and a sign that says “I Sell Comics”. It tells the story of how they make comics desirable to their audience. I found it to be a good use of the base they were given and the materials they had on hand to create something fun and unique. Below you will find the video in question, as well as a copy of the lyrics they had to work with.
I SELL COMICS
What manner of creature stands behind this counter
Man or machine is the big mystery
and with every transaction I cement my place in history.
My fingers dance over the register keys leaving your mouth agape
and it’s not ’cause I make King Kong look like just another ape
but it’s just another sale to this comics-selling alpha male.
I could sell comics to a blind man
a Wednesday warrior through and through
and you’ll buy everything I tell you to.
I sell comics baby. Comics baby. Comics baby. Oooooooo…..Yeahhhhhhhh
In WW two the allies kicked nazi ass and Hitler sobbed nein, nein, nein
Just like my competition when they hang that going out of business sign.
Song ends with register sounds, drawer opening/closing
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite local musicians, Alyson Greenfield. The interview took place the same day as her performance at the Hillstock Festival in Brooklyn, NY. The following video is audio from our interview with photos I took during her performance at the festival. Editing of all materials was done with the help of Steven Wagenheim.
And here is a bonus question we did at the end.
If you live in/near the area, please come to her EP Release on July 18th at Mercury Lounge. A free copy of the EP is included with purchase of admission if you tell the door person you are there to see Alyson Greenfield. As a preview, here is a video I took of Uncharted Places, which is the song mentioned during our interview.
Thank you to Alyson for agreeing to the interview, and thanks to Steven for his editing skills.