Archive for August, 2013

Raw Cuts With Kuma Special: BRKFest 2K13

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Hey guys!  Welcome back to Raw Cuts!  This time around, we have a very special edition of RC, as I took the time to sit down with three very special people to reflect on the event everyone is still buzzing about: BRKFest 2K13!  So without further ado, here’s my interview with Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood, Erin “Chip Mama” McQuisten, and Rob Remy “AutoRemi-PK” Pease about the event everyone is calling “The New Blipfest”!
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Kuma:  So, it’s been a while since we’ve all been together. 8 months, in fact.  Jeeze can you believe that?  I haven’t seen ya’ll in 8 months?

AutoRemi-PK (Remy):  That’s nine months too long.

President Hoodie (Hoodie): DEFINITELY way too long.

Kuma:  You guys on the other hand though: ya’ll got to go to BRKFest, which looked awesome from what I saw on Clipstream!

Hoodie:  YES. YES IT WAS.  It seriously felt like a mini-Blipfest, no lie.

Kuma:  That’s actually what I wanted to ask you guys!  You’ve all been to a lot of fests. Blip, PAX, MAG, Nerda.  How did BRK compare to those?

Chip Mama (Mama):  Well it was my first all chip show.  I’d seen a bunch of good chip acts at MAG, Nerda, and PAX, but the amount of awesome at BRK was overwhelming.

Hoodie:  Yeah.  I love Blipfest (or at least the one that I made it to in 2011! haha), but BRK definitely felt like a smaller, more tightly knit Blip.  It was endless good times! And dickbutts.  Lots and lots of dickbutts.

Actually, that’s my one regret: I didn’t get to draw a dickbutt on anything. :*(  Tommy (Thunderfox) brought a shirt that everyone signed and Tony (monotony) had his cast up for inking.

Remy:  BRK is a lot smaller but a lot more closely-knit.

Mama:  I agree with Remy: it seemed like everyone there knew each other either from in person or on the tubes.

Kuma:  Wait really?  That was your first all chip show?  I find that hard to believe considering you’re Chip Mama!

Mama:  I consider myself home-schooled in chiptune by one of the best.

Hoodie:  HAHAHA!

Remy:  Brandon isn’t the president we need but he’s the one we deserve.

hoodie batman hero
Kuma:  I’d hope so!  I think it’d be a disservice to all of us if you were just on the side while Brandon did all this fun shit!

Hoodie:  Real talk: BRK = only my second “all” chip show!

Kuma:  What? Brandon you too! You’re our President!  watrudoin!

Hoodie:  Sure, I’ve been to a handful of MAGs, Nerdas, PAXs, etc., but not too many *JUST* chip shows.  I wholly blame my location for that: BF, Arkansas. >_>
Working on that, tho…

Kuma:  You’d better.  Remy, the close knit feel at BRK, did it feel like 8static?

Remy:  It felt like 8static with southern hospitality. I can safely say that the best bar and the best coffee joint I’ve been to were literally right across the street from one another.

Kuma:  Yo seriously, what was up with that place you guys all went to eat at!  All the pictures of the food from there look like waffle house x9000!

Hoodie:  DAMN. NO KIDDING. Al’s bar & that coffee & donut joint = QUALITY.

Mama:  Oh my lord, the food and the coffee joint were AMAZING.

Remy:  The Institute in Philly is a TOUGH spot to top but Al’s Bar in Lexington really won my heart.

Mama:  Al’s was full of really nice people and a lot of first timers hearing chip that DUG IT and left with stickers and CDs and everything.

Hoodie:  Everyone was talking about the grub from Al’s last year. I expected decent pub grub at best, which would’ve been cool. Not the case, though. FANTASTIC EATS.

Mama:  One random guy even ended up crowd surfing during Trey Frey’s set.

Remy:  Yeah, the food at Al’s Bar puts most dining establishments- forget bars- to shame.

al's bar burger daniel davis

Photo courtesy of Daniel Davis (an0va).

Hoodie:  Damn, I could sure go for one of those Apple Jacks donuts at that coffee shop right about now…

Kuma:  What!  Strangers crowd surfing to chip and a bar that beats out The Institute?  Now I have to make it next year!

Mama:  Hell yes you do!  One of the bouncers went home with ChipWIN CDs!  And the bartenders had a stack!  The music was beyond what I expected!

Hoodie:  More real talk: BRK turned out *EVEN BETTER* than I expected.  The music, the people (locals included!), the food, EVERYTHING = WIN.

Kuma:  Damn it, I really have to do this next year! But, damn: so many things to go to next year!  That being said, you guys have any crazy fun stories you want to share? I’d love to hear about random after party nonsense or travel stories that you may have!

Mama:  Can we talk about the mustache dude that crowd surfed for a second?  cuz WOW!!!

Hoodie:  Hahahahahaha YES!

Remy:  Yes we can.

Kuma:  Mustached dude?

Hoodie:  I totes thought he was a creeper at first. hahaha.

Kuma:  God that alone sounds like half of chiptune!

Mama:  He’d never even HEARD of chiptune before.  I thought he was a creeper at first cuz he was taking pictures, but when folks started talking to him he was totally enthusiastic.

Remy:  Because if anything embodies what makes this collective scene great, it’s the reception he gave all of us that night and the one he got in turn.

Hoodie:  By mustache dude, we mean some random local who came to Al’s to grab a few beers and encountered chiptune for the first time in his life and HAD A DAMN BLAST.

Mama:  Wanted to be able to show his friends “the future of electronic music”

Hoodie:  CUTTING EDGE.

mark thomas the cutting edge

Kuma:  OMG that’s so damn cool!  Was he an older cat?  He sounds like an older cat!

Hoodie:  Totes an older cat.  Leather motorcycle jacket and everything.

Kuma:  NICE!

Mama:  40s – 50s, I’d say.

Hoodie:  Wearing a mustache competition t-shirt. hahaha

Remy:  He actually crowd surfed during Trey Frey‘s set!

mark thomas crowd surf

Photo courtesy of Shane Banegas (shanebro).

Kuma:  WAT!!! We got a possibly 50 year old chiptune fan out there because of you guys! that’s so freaking amazing!

Hoodie:  Seriously, that whole incident finished off the final night PERFECTLY.

Remy:  He won best mustache, both at BRK and in our hearts.

Mama:  He’s friended a bunch of us on FB and wrote a really awesome thank you note on the BRKfest FB page.

Hoodie:  “The Mustache of Our Hearts” <– ALBUM TITLE

Mama:  LOL.  You’re totally right, Remy.

Kuma:  Now I gotta ask, cause Dan Park hasn’t finished uploading all the video to YouTube yet, and I could catch all the sets on Clipstream, but for real: was trey’s set that godly?

Remy:  Yes.

Hoodie:  It was damn fantastic.

Remy:  Plain and simple yes.

Mama:  He got stage rushed on the second song, if that says anything!

Kuma:  D= NO WAI!

Remy:  Solarbear had us bumrush the stage and you don’t say no to that man and his beard.

curtis ware and his beard

Photo courtesy Curtis Ware (solarbear) and Chris de Pew (Storm Blooper).

Kuma:  DOOD, EVEN AUXCIDE AND SHANEBRO DIDN’T GET A SECOND SONG BUMRUSH!

Hoodie:  And I’ll own up to this here too: I’ve always enjoyed Trey Frey’s music, but never caught him live before.  And honestly, just never *quite* understood why people freak out about him *SO* much.

*NOW* I get it. *EXCELLENT* music.  And just an all around quality dude, too.  Super chill, super nice.

Kuma:  Now I gotta hear this!

Remy:  Trey Frey is as great a person as he is a musician, and that’s saying a LOT.

Hoodie:  Agreed 1000% Remy.  You can just tell that with some people.  Just by interacting with them, watching them interact with other people, talking to them a bit.

Kuma:  Yo, speaking of super chill, super nice, that final SMILETRON set, man.  I didn’t catch all of BRK, but that set man…I felt the feels through the stream, man.

Hoodie:  EXTREME amount of feels. Feels overload. 34987sadf654asdf654345.  Almost solemn even.  When the hell does *THAT* adjective come into play for a chipshow? Appropriate though.

smiletron chiptography

Photo courtesy Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Mama:  There were tears and sniffles.  At least from me.

Hoodie:  I held it in.  Just barely.

Mama:  SMILETRON is significant for me, since it was one of the first artists Bran and I listened to on some long car trips.

Hoodie:  Erin almost screwed that up for me.

Mama:  Sorry, babe.

Hoodie:  Ay.  He was one of the first artists I introduced her to in the chipworld, and just one of our favorites in general.

Kuma:  God, I can only imagine how you two must have felt seeing him. How bittersweet.

Mama:  Just watching his face during the set, it was almost like he was saying goodbye…

smiletron chiptography bittersweet

Photo courtesy Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Hoodie:  A bit sad to see him close up that chapter in his musical life, but at the same time major props to him for doing that when it feels right vs. continuing to drag it out beyond what is proper.

Remy:  I want to say that Casshern and S.P.R.Y. in particular did such an amazing job keeping that stream going and it is with no disrespect that I say no video could hope to capture the energy in that room.

Hoodie:  Like I said, some solemn heavy stuff, man. But in a *GOOD* way.

Remy:  Very much so.  It was cathartic.

Hoodie:  Agreed. Speaking of those cats, though, + the live sound guy & various visualists, AMAZING ZOMBOFURKIN JOB on *ALL* their parts!

Kuma:  Definitely on both accounts.  That was a solemn show if I ever saw one, but man, did SPRY and Dan kick ass for us at home!  I really wanna do something for them to thank them for all the hard work they did.

Hoodie:  
He did an *EXCELLENT* job, no doubt.  Hell, I didn’t think there even *WAS* gonna be a Clipstream until within the last weekend.  Glenntai stepped up to rock that, and then when he had to bow out because of illness Dan volunteered to take it over.  And he certainly did.

dan park chiptography

Photo courtesy Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Mama:  I think I gave them cookies. If I didn’t, they deserve some!

Kuma:
  Yeah, the visualists were awesome, too!  I definitely recognized ohhinaifu and datacats work there!  Who else was running viz for BRK?

Remy:  I have endless respect for datacats, both for all that he did to help me get out there, and the hard work he put in on visuals and his (TWO!) performances.  There was a PIXELSEED video used, which is always awesome, and I believe andaruGO stepped up for visuals for a couple of sets!

Hoodie:  And somebody else too, I believe.

Kuma:  Wow, andaru does visuals?  I know he does graphic design and illustration, but I didnt know he does live visuals, too.  Also, I agree: PIXELSEED is the man.

Remy:  PIXELSEED wasn’t there in person, but he very generously puts his work out there to be used by artists, which is very respectable.  I want to say there was one more, too, but the person eludes me.

Hoodie:  Part of what makes chiptune live shows so damn immersive is the excellent visualizations that accompany the music.  And that was there 110% at BRK, for *DAMN* sure!!

Kuma:  Seriously, that timing of Glenn’s pneumonia was unfathomable to me, especially considering all the work and build up he was doing to get there with Lora and Remy!  I’m just glad you managed to make it down there, Remy! Although not without trouble, it seems.

Mama:  Remy’s Great Adventure!

the adventure of remi
Hoodie:  Man oh man, poor Remy’s Great Adventure indeed! XD   ANOTHER ALBUM TITLE!!!

Remy:  Hahaha, when you’re on a long trip like that it’s never smooth sailing.  datacats came through for me in a huge way and I can’t possibly thank him enough.  He’s a paragon of selflessness.  Hahahaha!  Yeah, it really seemed like the universe did NOT want me to go to BRK.

Hoodie:  TAKE THAT UNIVERSE!  You sure showed it!

Kuma:  Dood, at least Remy’s adventure ended happily, unlike Starpilot‘s “Tales Of Being Treated Like A Border Crossing Mexican!”.

Hoodie:  DAMN THAT.  I was *SO* pissed about that shit!!! -flips all the border dickbutts-

Remy:  I’ve got 99 problems and fascism is most of them.

Mama:  Hahaha!

Kuma:  All that spiritual ascension, and yet he himself couldn’t levitate past airport securitah.

star pilot live
Hoodie:  I was so looking forward to meeting him and catching him live too!!  Another time, though, I suppose.  Regardless, he was definitely missed at BRK.  What a bucketload of rotten dickbutts, man.  Ew.

Kuma:  Seriously: that was a load of bs ever heard any, and I work in a public hospital: bullshit is my dayjob.  That being said, you guys did manage to luck out with BSK!  I can’t believe he came all the way from Japan to play at BRK!

Mama:  He melted faces.

Hoodie:  NO KIDDING, MAN.  That… just… I DON’T EVEN

Kuma:  No…no you have to clarify this for me because that was one of the sets I unfortunately missed.

Mama:  I was thinking about crowd surfing up until that point, and then he made the energy in the room go SO HIGH.  I decided that I had to go up.

Kuma:  On a scale of 1 to Killer Instinct, how many faces did he melt!

Hoodie:  Outside of Ralp at Blip 2011, I haven’t had much exposure to Japanese chip (especially live). [writers note: Ralp is from Spain {Hoodie note: OOPS! :3} ].  In general, it has a completely different kind of energy/feel.  So frenetic & hyper & AWESOME.

Mama:  People talk about 4 to the floor, that man was all 8 out the GATE.  As in all 8 cylinders (Bran was looking at me askance from across the room)

Kuma:  D=

Remy:  BSK did Mario at a rave.

Hoodie:  Hahahahaha!

Kuma:  DAN FINISH UPLOADING THE VIDEOS ALREADY!

bsk breaking it down

Photo courtesy of Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Hoodie:  Even as awesome as he was, I can’t call it my favorite performance of BRK. Mostly because I’m not sure I *CAN* pick a favorite. Everything was SOOOO GOOOOOOD~  And that sounds generic & lame BUT GORRAMIT IT’S TRUE!!!!

Kuma:  No.   No I’m not giving you that excuse.  Serious question time!  Pick a favorite performance!

Hoodie:  I’M THINKING.

Kuma:  DO IT NOW!

Hoodie:  IT’S HARD.

Mama:  HNGGG!

Hoodie:  I TRY NOT TO DO IT TOO OFTEN.

Remy:  No, it really is true.  A lot of BRKFest consisted of once-in-a-lifetime performances, things you just COULD NOT miss.

Hoodie:  HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Mama:  Can I do a top 3?

Kuma:  No.  While I believe all of you on how amazing these performances are, that doesn’t make you exempt from the question.

Hoodie:  Auxcide.

Something about his music that just *REALLY* resonates with me. And his energy live. Just… DAMN.

Auxcide chiptography

Photo courtesy of Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Kuma:  Nice.

Hoodie:  THAT WAS HARD!  DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME PICK!

Kuma:  Your turn rynamom!

Mama:  Since Bran picked Auxcide (and therefore our parental obligation is filled), I’m gonna probably pick SMILETRON, cuz of the feels.  I’m all about the feels.

Remy:  SMILETRON Plays the Feels

Hoodie:  Yeah.  He’d be my favorite for that reason.  I HAVE DIFFERENT FAVORITES FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.  SUCK ON IT.

Kuma:  Remy, that’s a bad album cover waiting to happen, no matter how true it is.  Btw, it’s your turn!

Hoodie:  C’mon Remy.  Man up.  CHOOSE.

Remy:  I really wish I could back my way out of this, hahaha.

Hoodie:  NOPE.  Time for you to pick and have that pick made public for all the world to see.

Kuma:  Here, I’ll help.  Of the performances I did see, I think the one I liked most was andaruGO!  Andrew’s a sweet heart and I love his energy on stage. I just wish he played MACHINDER during his set.  Other than that, he pretty much played his new album live before releasing it was awesome

Hoodie:  HE WAS AWESOME.  His energy was NUTS!!!!  But that’s andaruGO for you hahaha!  Meeting him was great, too.  Meeting *EVERYONE* was so damn great!!!

And yeah, it’s (his new album) gonna be KILLER.

Kuma:  Nice.  Okay, Remy: it’s your turn.

Remy:  I would say Solarbear, because his performance drove home the fact that, holy shit, I was at BRK.  It happened.  How, I do not know.  Plus east coast chip is just so much better than west coast.  Really, I don’t know what meds people are on to think otherwise.

Mama:  Oh jeez

Kuma:  Very true.  On all accounts. Besides, its not like crashfaster is worth half the music they make.  (just kidding, I love Morgan and crew.)

Mama:  DON’T TALK BAD ABOUT MY CRASHFASTER!  Long live chip with words!

Hoodie:  Other favorites: Roboctopus really got me dancing, an0va was amazeballs (my first time to see *JUST* him live vs. w/ Cheap Dinosaurs), SMILETRON (again), Protoflight (he’s 15!!!), SSD Engage (I EXPLODED WHEN THEY PLAYED 1973!!!), shanebro, & Trey Frey.  And everyone else. Because yeah.

AND THE DATATHRASH PRESHOW AS WELL!!!

Remy:  Yeah, I’ll probably take a lot of flak for joking about east/west chip but whatever. Solarbear is ok.  He doesn’t drag us down TOO much.

Hoodie:  …I missed Solarbear’s set…. ;___;

Mama:  I’d like to tip my proverbial hat to Protoflight. Cuz he’s only 15 and ohmigosh he was amazing.

Remy:  Yeah, Yung Cunni’s got mad skillz

Hoodie:  But then again, SOLARBEAR SUX SO WHO CARES.

Kuma:  Dood that preshow!  I feel like the Datathrash crew doesn’t get the love they deserve! how was that?  Did EGR himself play?

ERG datathrash

Photo courtesy Marjorie Becker (Chiptography).

Hoodie:  IT WAS GREAT!!! Having to get up early enough to be there at noon after night one was kinda rough, though.  hahah Coffee shop across the road saved the day once again.  What was that one random band with the drummer that I’d never heard of before (that played the preshow)?

Mama:  Sludge Metal Ice Cream Truck.

Hoodie:  SLUDGE METAL ICE CREAM TRUCK!!  They were badass!!

The hour long open mic they (The Preshow) opened with was pretty sweet too!

Kuma:  I think that’s the most badass name I’eve ever heard for anything ever

Hoodie:  hahaha Yeah, they had me on name alone.

Remy:  The Datathrash show kicked off pretty early and was less hyped comparably but I can guarantee you that everyone gave 100% up there.  Whether you’re playing to ten people or one hundred in that capacity is irrelevant, everyone who took that stage was impressive in their own right.

Hoodie:  ^ THAT.  Remy busted out a couple of jams on the spot for the open mic, too.  IT WAS AWESOME.

Remy:  Plus, The Dutchess’ tore the fucking roof down with his Wish cover, and that was with about twenty people around the stage.

Hoodie:  HOLY SHIT!  I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE THE DUTCHESS WAS GLENN UNTIL BRK!  HE WAS AWESOME!!!

Kuma:  And that’s the thing I love most about chip: no matter what the skill level, everyone gives what they can and everyone supports with all their heart in return. I love it.  Also, yeah, Glenn Bauer busts out some crazy stuff!  But that’s what happens when you make music around guys like an0va and skgb!

Hoodie:  Haha GOOD POINT.

Remy:  Nothing but love for Philly chip.

Hoodie:  Introducing Dobbins (and a handful of others) to the majesty that is Sam Adams Cherry Wheat on the final night was a highlight, as well.  I apologize to all of you in advance for the alcoholism this is sure to cause.  And props to one of my roomies, Jason Doss aka Square Therapy for bringing that!  Prevented me from being sad once I discovered they didn’t have it at the bar.

Remy:  Pff, you can’t get drunk off Cherry Wheat.

Mama:  Yes you can, I’ve seen it.

Hoodie:  OH YES YOU CAN.

Remy:  Grow a liver.

Kuma:  I think Hoodie’s liver is specifically designed to get drunk off cherry wheat

Remy:  Hahahahaha!

Mama:  And Jason brought goodies from Starbucks! Breakfast bar because of him.

Hoodie:  TRUTH.

Kuma:  But to be fair, a lot of us got drunk off poor man anger juice at blip and you don’t see us complaining.  “Poor man’s anger juice” being Pabst Blue Ribbon.

pabst blue ribbon

Hoodie:  POOR MAN ANGER JUICE LOLOLOLOL!  THOSE WERE ON SPECIAL AT THE BAR.  I drank a few.  They’re still fucking awful.

And Dustin, well… he didn’t really bring anything except himself.  BUT THAT’S OKAY. *BUTT*DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWG~  hahahhahahhahha!

Kuma:  Wait, what about his sax?

Hoodie:  No, he forgot.  NEXT TIME.

Kuma:  Oh, that sucks.  But yeah, Pabst is terrible.  Glenntai and I came to the conclusion that Pabst is armpit juice, cause that’s exactly what it smells like

Remy:  At Blip ’12, 99% of us paid 1% prices for 5% alcohol by volume

Hoodie:  Seriously: good beer has ruined my ability to drink shittastic lager.  At least until I run out of money, and then I can still destroy some Bud Light. XD

Kuma:  Oh man Bud Light!  I can’t remember the last time I had a beer that wasn’t Pabst, a Sam Adams specialty flavor or Brooklyn brewery!  Fuck, now I gotta pick some up!

Mama:  Beer is gross. I found some amazing ginger ale at the bar.  And made it “special” for myself.

Remy:  Hoodie showed me some good picks at Al’s, too. He’s very adventurous with his beer drinking.

hoodie and his beerHoodie:  Yeah, I’m all about tastier brews nowadays. Cheap shitty lager still works in a pinch, though.

Remy:  Beer is SO gross. Fuckin’ love it.

Hoodie:  HAHAHAH YES!

Mama:
Hahaha!

Hoodie:  There were a few local brews that were tasty, but I think that Country Boy Cougar Bait was my fav.

Mama:  I had some peach gin, one of the tiny bottles, and I put it in a big glass of that Ale 8-1. It was divine.

Remy:  The Cougar Bait was hella rad.

Hoodie:  And those nachos.

Mama:  Went great with my bison burger with balsamic and grilled green apples.  The nachos!  Home made tortilla chips!

Hoodie:  Fuck me, man!  If we lived in Lexington, I’m pretty sure we’d all be going to Al’s to grab nachos and beer after this interview. hahahaha!

Remy:  Not even kidding, I could live in that bar.

Mama:  We three would have a booth.  It would have our name on it!

Hoodie:  I mean, seriously, that’s one of those joints that makes a place worth living at. haha!

Remy:  Fuck it Hoodie, let’s just do it anyway.  Let’s go right now.

Remy:  LET’S GO.

Kuma:  Remy, you had Institute tots: how do those nachos compare to loaded tots?

the institute tots

Remy:  Damn, that’s a hard question.  I would have to say the nachos win this round but I’m gonna have to eat that Institute jawn again, doe.

Hoodie:  Yeah, I’m definitely going to have to eat something after this interview. XD  I miss Al’s.

Kuma:  Same, man. I might go to the Mexican spot down the street and get some nachos, myself.

Hoodie:  I think it’s a testament to Al’s greatness that we’ve spent about as much time talking about the bar as we have BRKFest. hahahhaa

Remy:  Spot on, Brandon.

Hoodie:  AND EVERYONE THERE WOULD AGREE THAT IT’S DESERVING.

Kuma:  That being said, BRK sounds like it was incredible in every single way imaginable. So now I gotta ask: what’s next for you guys?

Hoodie:  GOOD TIMES.  Also *VERY* nice to have a chiptune festival that’s in driving distance of where I live. hahaha

Mama:  Next adventure is Nerdapalooza!  Or is it Nashville, Bran?

Hoodie:  Working with some folk on a few smaller local shows, but nothing quite like BRK yet.  NASHVILLE.  That’s one of the shows. hahaha

Mama: Yay! Only 4 hours!

Kuma:  Wait, wait hold up for a second.  Nashville…you wouldn’t be talking about the first of the semi regular show series Roboctopus is looking to host out there, would you?

Hoodie:  YUP!  THAT’S THE ONE!

Kuma:  HNNNNNNNNNNNNNG!!!!!

Hoodie:  He, I, Arnie of Datathrash and a few other cool dudes are making this a thing.  It’s taken awhile (we’ve been brainstorming it since earlier this year??), but it’s gonna be worth it. I’m already sure of that.

Kuma:  YES!  You guys totally need it to be a thing! The Midwest suffers of terrible under representation!  I know kloudygirl tried to do street busks and such in Texas and a few others tried to do the same here and there, but damn you guys need an 8static.

Mama:  Yes it does!  And we’ve got really talented folks in this region.

Hoodie:  MAN OH MAN DO WE EVER!!!

Kuma:  I’m so glad this is finally happening for you guys

Hoodie:  With a little time and effort and WORK, maybe this’ll turn into that.  Time will tell.

Kuma:  I hope so.  Even if its not strictly chip, I know you guys can make something wonderful happen there…as long as you have Amanda Lepre doing everything…which she’s already doing, so it’s gonna be a okay.

amanda lepre

Hoodie:  HAHAHAHAHA!  Her and Danimal do indeed do *ALL THE THINGS*.

Remy:   Yeah, no kidding.

Hoodie: I do enough of the things.  That’s good enough for me.

Kuma:  Seriously. I love what I do in the scene, but I can’t do what they do, let alone what you do, and god help me if I try to do what Kilpatrick does, cause I dunno how he does it.

andrew kilpatrick

Mama:  AK is cray cray

Hoodie:  Fuck that guy. He’s an asshole. ♥

Kuma:  I only know one asshole in this scene, and just like Bigfoot, his existence is questionable at best.

Mama:  ^Thats how Brandon expresses his man-love.

Hoodie:  I put a ♥ after that statement. That clears it all up.

Mama:  Of course, sweetie

Kuma:  What about you, Remy?  What can we expect of you in the next few months?  Same for you, Erin.  I know you and Bran are joined at the hip, but can we expect more Ryn vox?  Also, when can I expect mah cookehs?

Remy:  It’s always up in the air, man.  I never know what events I’ll make it out to or when I’ll have a release so I try not to make a big deal out of anything.

Hoodie:  DEFINITELY!  She’s in the midst of working on some more collab goodness as we speak!  As far as cookies, that’s up to her.  I try to eat all of those I can.  Y’all can get your own damn cookies!!!

Mama:  There is more Ryn vox in the works!  Princesses in Another Castle is working on getting a few songs together, and I’m in the early stages of a 5 track EP in collaboration with NickelPUNK. I’m super excited

Kuma:  Eh its all good, Remy.  I know nothing’s set in stone but it makes me happy that you’re doing your thing. And more Ryn vocals yay!

Remy:  I’m just keeping relaxed and focusing on having some modicum of output. I’m not going to release a Teaching Machine or an Information Chase my first time around and that’s okay.

Kuma:  Like wise: I don’t expect any EP I put out to sound amzing, but I’m happy my newer stuff sounds a little more Decktonic as of late.  I think that about wraps up everything here.  Thanks a lot guys!  This was fun!  We should definitely do it again!

Mama:  Thank YOU. I hope you can make something coherent out of our rambling

Kuma:  Oh, I definitely will

Remy:  If you put an egg in your shoe and beat it, it’ll glue everything right back together.

Hoodie:  Thank you! This was pretty damn fun!  Next BRK? YOU BETTER BE THERE!
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Thanks for tuning for this special edition of RC!  Don’t forget to follow BRKFest on Facebook to keep up with the lastest shenanigans, as well as updates on media uploads pertaining to it!  Special Thanks go out to Hoodie, Ryn and Remy for this interview, as well as the many numerous artists who contributed to BRKFest, to Clipstream for making this a global experience for those who couldn’t make it in person, and to Chiptography for use of her immaculate photos in this article, as well as generally continuing to chronograph the awesomeness that is the chiptune scene!  Peace!

\m|♥|m/

BRKFest:
BRKfest.org | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter |

Clipstream:
Facebook | Twitter | Ustream

Chiptography:
Facebook | Chiptography.com

Hoodie:
Facebook | Twitter

Ryn:
Facebook | Twitter | Chip Mom

Remy:
Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Chip Mom’s Kitchen #3: Do-it-yourself Cookie Cutters!

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Welcome back to Chip Mom‘s Kitchen – come my young’ins and gather ’round! Some of you may have seen my Rabite cookies on the Chip Mom facebook page.

Well I didn’t use a traditional cookie cutter for this project, I made my own.  And soon, you will be able to do the same!  I present to you for your consideration:

Cookie Cutters

Difficulty level:

Newb        |        Apprentice        |          Journeyman          |          Master

Pretty much anyone can do this with enough patience.

Quest Items:IMAG1614

Scissors
Aluminium foil
Pencil
Paper
Stapler with staples

 

Illustrated Guide:

You start your project by making a sketch of your shape on the piece of paper, paying close attention to your outside edges.  Try to keep in mind that you’ll have to bend something into this shape in a minute.  Because of its high level of potential adorableness, I chose a Mario mushroom for this time around.  It also helps that the outer shape is pretty straight forward.

IMAG1605

 

 

 

I also like to fill in some basic details to give me an idea of the finished product, but ultimately its the edge that’s the most important.  When you’re finished, go ahead and set this aside, because its aluminium foil time!

 

 

 

Cut a sheet of aluminum foil off the roll that’s about a foot long.  Just like folding paper, the more folds you put in the aluminum foil, the more sturdy your cutter ends up being.  Feel free to spend the extra buck or two for heavy duty (/snicker – “duty”… sorry, I just watched Wreck-it Ralph).

IMAG1607

Fold up about two inches from the bottom, then fold that in half so you have about a 1″ fold. Continue to keep wrapping and folding until you have a sturdy, 1″ length of foil. You then start to mold the foil around the outside of your sketch.  I used the edge of my scissors to help me get sharp 90* corners, and my pencil to help me shape curves.

IMAG1608

IMAG1609

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’ll take some trial and error and some patience to get it matched up with your drawing, but when you’ve got it the way you want it you’re pretty much done! And its so pretty! Staple the ends together and cut off the excess aluminium foil.

IMAG1611

IMAG1612

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you can use your cookie cutters to create nerdy cookies of your own design. Inspiration can come from any game, any song, any comic, any fandom.

IMAG1613

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you make your own cookies, go ahead and post them to the Chip Mom facebook page! Mama wants to see what you worked so hard to create. :) Until next mission!

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Raw Cuts With Kuma #13: Square Therapy

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Hey everyone!  Welcome back to Raw Cuts!  Before we get started, last time I know that I promised you all that I’d be dropping a Solarbear interview next time I posted!  That baby is still on its way, but due to conflicting schedules surrounding BRKFest, that interview’s been postponed to a later date.  That being said, I’ve got an awesome interview for you with a rising star from Virginia!  Taking a cue from Danimal Cannon, this dude combines sweet guitar skills with precise LSDJ composition and is definitely someone you should pay attention to you!  Without further ado, I present my interview with Jason Doss aka Square Therapy!

square therapy

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Kuma:  So tell me, Jason: I don’t know everything about you, but what I do know is that you’ve been making music for quite a while.  Furthermore, you’ve shown yourself to be quite an eclectic artist.  What first brought you to chiptune and how long have you been musician in the first place?

Square Therapy (ST):  Well, if we’re getting technical, I started playing piano around three or four.  My mom and her side of the family have always been musicians so I kind of fell into it by default; but, as far as chiptune/8 bit music goes, a lot longer than I make it out to be. I remember when I was about 10, I asked for this specific keyboard for Christmas because it had a “square wave” tone on it.  I would sit and “write” what I thought to be music for my own little video game for hours.  Though it wasn’t much more than me playing simple chords that I knew at the time haha.

Kuma:  That’s rather cute, actually.  I can see little you on a Casio just playing simple stuff at that age.  That being said, your “own little video game”?  Was it something imaginary you were doing or were you at the time planning on making a game?  Do you still feel like that sometimes when you’re making music?  Do you still approach it with that sense of childlike wonder?

ST:  Haha It was a Casio, actually!  And well, my dream ever since I was a kid was to write and compose music for video games!  Which is also still a goal that I will continue to push for the rest of my life.  In every little solo project I’ve done it has always contained a sense of chiptune, even before I knew what chiptune actually was.

teclado-casio-pt-1-fusia
Kuma:  Have you had any luck pursuing that dream so far?  I know guys like Jay Tholen, James Therrien of Br1ght Pr1mate and virt seem to have found success, or at least opportunities, in making music for games.  Have any come up your way yet?

ST:  Actually yes! Nothing major, but I’ve written for some college students that needed music for their projects and other small indie developers just for fun.  It’s nothing I ever really plan on making money off of. Just a passion I really want to pursue.

Kuma:  I’m actually glad you mentioned money, because money is always an issue that comes up eventually when it comes to music, or any form or artistic expression.  When it comes to your music, your craft, are you passionate enough about it that you don’t care about making money off it or is it something you’d love to make your life professionally?

ST:  Well, I will never charge for my music.  I will stand by that no matter what.  Every album that I produce will always be free for a digital download.  Always.  Now, for other formats such as vinyl and tape, then yes: that’s something I would charge for.  And as far as writing music for someone else, I would say you would be paying more for my time than my actual work.  Everything I write comes from my heart, and it’s something that I feel I’m just thankful for someone to listen to, money or not.

As far as shows go, a little gas and food cash never hurt anyone, but playing in front of a crowd is like a drug to me.  Every time I get on stage it’s like getting a fix.  So if I have to dish out cash for that fix, I would be willing to do that if it meant getting to play for people.

Kuma: Thats friggin beautiful, man.  I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone describe their music making or performing experience in that way in my interviews.  Its quite touching.

That being said, you’ve been making music for a long time, and I remember you’ve been in a few bands before, particularly Zatsesuken (am I spelling that right?): a djenty, sorta metal band you were a vocalist for that was pretty damn awesome.  Is making and performing chip compared to, say, metal like comparing a happy drug like E to a hard drug like Coke? Is each musical genre like a different high for you?  And is there one high you prefer more than any, if so?

Coca-Cola_Logo_Script

ST:  Zantetsuken! ;D and actually yes!  I’ve played/toured with metal bands more than anything else I’ve done, so it really is a different world and emotion.  Playing metal is much more aggressive and anger focused, which is really not me at all.  But then again, I have metal influenced songs that I write as Square Therapy, as well, so I guess I still go back to my roots from time to time.  I never try to limit myself to any specific genre, though, which is why I love electronic music so much. I can do anything I want to with it.

In fact, I’ve already started working on my second EP which will contain many different genres.  Some of what you’ll hear will include orchestral, rock, and ambient electronica, as well as singing in most songs.  I’ve always felt that limiting yourself as a musician is one of the worst things you could do to yourself.  It would be like living off nothing but pizza.  Sure, I fucking adore pizza, but if I had to eat it every day and night, my body would hate me, as I would hate myself for never knowing anything other than pizza.

Kuma:  It certainly would; although, if it were space pizza, I think I might be able to get by for centuries!

ST: Touchè!

space pizza

Kuma:  Speaking of space pizza, let’s talk about your track you submitted for ChipWIN! First off, congrats for being one of the chosen artists to be represented on our second volume!  How did it feel knowing you got selected out of nearly 150 entries?

ST:  I can honestly say it was extremely rewarding.  And after hearing the other tracks, I feel even more fortunate.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with a collection of artists before.  So many different influences and styles as well as production.  You can really hear a lot of personality in each song and I feel thankful to be a part of it!  Also, on a side note of the whole Chiptunes = WIN community, I’ve never felt more welcomed in my life!  A lot of music “nerds” can really come down heavy on you as a newbie to a community, but not at ChipWIN.  I felt like everyone was instantly a friend, and it’s awesome to be a part of such a welcoming community, even if we are nothing but a bunch of shitty dickbutts!

Kuma:
  Hey hey hey!  Dickbutts are not shitty!  Butt tacos are!  And they’re delicious!!!

butt-taco
ST:  Okay, okay! I’m sorry!  You’re completely right

Kuma:
  You’re forgiven…but I won’t forget. *salutes* I’ll never forget…

ST:
  It’s okay Kuma: I could never forget you, either!  Not after MAG XI at least…

Kuma:
  Shhhhhh!  Those are things people must never find out about!

ST: 
AND THEY NEVER WILL!

Kuma:  Getting back on topic, though: the song you contributed was definitely full of energy and wasn’t anywhere near the angry or aggreissive energy you had with your metal at all.  If anything, a lot of us were joking and complimenting at how Anamanaguchi the song sounded!  Was that what you were going for at the time or was this just based on a fun, happy feeling inside and you decide to let it spill forth?

ST:  Haha Well, even though I am a fan of the older Anamanaguchi, I wouldn’t say that was really a focus while writing the song.  That song changed so much through out the writing process that I honestly don’t even know where the original idea came from.  I wanted to bring out a lot of my personal feelings with 8 bit, as well as my love for other styles like post rock, as well.  Which in all honestly, I probably listen to post rock and emo more than anything else.  That and video game OST’s. But I am very pleased with the way the song turned out.  I really wish I could go back and add guitar to it, which there is guitar on all the tracks in my upcoming EP except for an interlude.  But I put a video up on YouTube of that song with guitar so I feel a little more content now. haha.

Kuma:  Oh did you? I’ll definitely have to check it out!  That being said, lets talk about your newest album, shall we?  How long have you been working on this baby?

ST:  That’s a funny question, actually.  This EP is really some songs that I’ve written in the past 2 years and just brought back and added to.  I was tired of releasing song by song and not having an actual product out there for people to download and listen to.  But since I’ve decided to make it a release, I would say a couple months.

I’m also lucky to have been able to make the songs flow as well as they did with each other.  I’m a firm believer in writing an album/EP as an entire piece or work rather than random songs on a track list, which is why I also feel that I will never release a full LP.  I am extremely A.D.D., and find myself getting bored with my own work at times.  So I figured the best thing for me is to just constantly release 3-5 song EP’s, each being a nice piece in its own.  It will help me stay involved with my own music, and hopefully some listeners as well.

Kuma:  Of what I’ve heard so far, I think its a good gamble.  You know yourself well enough to keep yourself going and when to stop, and both are important.  I must say, I do appreciate your view of wanting to make albums that flow and have a shared meaning to them, even if its not a concept album.  That means a lot to the listener, and I think of what I just heard, not only have you done that well, but your post rock influences definitely shine brilliantly in this EP.  Is there anything you, in putting this together, felt was a maybe or an almost you’d still like to put out there, but just weren’t ready to do yet?

ST:  I think this EP is a great kick off to whats going to be an awesome chapter in my life. I’m very happy with this release, but I know there is a lot more that I am capable of on a personal level that will be featured in future EP’s.  As I mentioned before, my next one contains a lot more elements than just chip and guitar.  I also plan on doing a few remix EP’s, as well.  I love to cover material as much as I love writing my own.  It’s a lot of fun to take someone elses mind of music and turn it into your own little creation.

Kuma:  Speaking of covers, should I take your love of chip and guitar as a hint at a possible Danimal Cannon cover?  Huh?  Hmmmm?

ST:  Haha as much as I would love to do that, I don’t think I could ever be as satisfied with recreating something as awesome as he does.  It’s funny you mention him actually, because I would honestly like to extend a shout out his way.  Danimal Cannon has probably been one of my biggest inspirations in not only chiptune, but music in general.  A lot of chiptune tends to run together for me, as I am not particularly a fan of dance; so when I happened to stumble upon him, I was blown away.  He made me want to do what I do now: play guitar over chiptune and make it sound fucking bad ass.  I still see him as a huge inspiration and look up to him very much. I’m a Danimal fanboy all the way.  Consider him my chiptune Justin Beiber.  In fact, I think my biggest goal for this ep would be to hear his personal feedback on it haha.

Danimal+Cannon+98027

Kuma:  Hopefully he gets around to reading this and is able to let you know.  That being said, regardless of what comes of this album, I know we can expect great things from you. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers in closing?

ST:  First off, thank you!  Thank you thank you thank you!  If you ever decide to listen to even one minute to any of my songs, thank you!  On that note, my new, self titled EP is out now!  Name your price on Bandcamp and all that jazz. (EDIT: Scroll to the bottom of this interview to listen to it! =D ). This will also be followed by a livestream show I am having on 08.16.13 for my birthday!!  It’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun and I hope everyone tunes in for the party!

Kuma:  I hope they do, too! Jason, Square Therapy, it was a pleasure getting to interview you, my friend!  I hope we get to do this again sometime!  Peace!
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Thanks again for tuning in with us here on ChipWIN!  Don’t forget to keep up with Square Therapy on your preferred method of social media, as well as listening to his tunes on either Bandcamp or Soundcloud!  Tune in next time as I provide you guys with a very special post BRKFest interview with some very cool people you all know! Ciao!

\m|♥|m/

Relevant Links:
Facebook | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter

Chiptunes = WIN & Pxl-Bot presents: PXL-WIN!!!

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Remember back in April when I made that goofy Volume 2 announcement Youtube vid, wherein I mentioned plans for some sort of post-Vol.2 overflow album? Well…

TADA!!! ^_^

Original Vol.2 artwork by Nate Horsfall; Pxl-Win revision by Alex Kelly.

 

Introducing the joint efforts of Pxl-Bot & Chiptunes = WIN, Volume 2’s companion compilation: PXL-WIN!!!

Featuring 15 of the 146 Volume 2 submissions + 2 special guests (17 tracks total), revised album artwork, & mastering from Cincinnati’s S.P.R.Y, this release’ll be another one guaranteed to please your chiploving earholes!

PXL-WIN releases next Saturday, August 17th on the Pxl-Bot Bandcamp after the 7pm EST Nerd Rock Radio listening party on 8bitx.com!

Because 51 tracks is NEVER, EVAR enough. 8)

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Pxl-Bot:
Pxl-Bot.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

PXL-WIN Listening Party Fb Event

S.P.R.Y.:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Nerd Rock Radio on 8bitx.com.

Edit: Album is LIVE!!! Check it out below:

Andrew Kilpatrick Talks: The J. Arthur Keenes Band’s Mighty Social Lion

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The three EPs Canadian Dan McLay, aka, The J Arthur Keenes Band, released thus far have been collectively revered by the scene as pinnacles in chiptune composition. However, TJAKB seemed to be adrift in a sea of influences; each release encompassed a different approach to a similar sound, though none cohesively linked to the next part of his canon. That is until ‘Mighty Social Lion’. Acting as a collision catalyst for most of his previous reference points, ‘Mighty…’ also signals a further expansion; this time into the realms of 90s alternative and britpop nuance.

‘Mighty Social Lion’ also marks a significant dip in the reliance on chiptune. This isn’t a bad thing, as whilst these elements are understated, this lends the release an undeniable maturity, where chips are an instrument rather than a gimmick, undeniably aesthetic rather than foolishly crowd-pleasing (not that Keenes has ever practiced this).  In ‘Cardboard Box’, chiptune only comes to the forefront after a drawn out tease, marking the track’s shift from confined tension to bombastic euphoria. Chiptune carries the early 90s Radiohead ambiance of ‘Dumb Jokes’, every staccato arp complimenting the scaling guitars and swooning voices.

Maturity is also prevalent in the composition, with songs feeling less like the work of a teenage Robbie Shakespeare and more like that of a mature Win Butler. ‘Trials’ focuses on slightly sinister undertones, with staccato guitar and piano accenting the Beta Band vibe flowing throughout. ‘Worth Keeping’ keeps restrained in the first half and then lyrically whimsical in its closing. Elsewhere, Wild West themed ‘Old Dusty’ manages to traverse around the edges of tortuous superfluity and instead plants itself somewhere between emotionally immediate and musically ingenious. Also, the line “You gave me dirty looks” seems destined to become as iconographic as “This ain’t your home”.

Arthur also harks back to the grapefruits of old; single ‘Congratulations’ has an instantaneous hook, baring its sugar coated fangs and sinking in early, and ‘Under Construction’, is a welcome return to hook-laden abrupt bubblegum sweetness, sounding like a cut from ‘The World’s Smallest Violin’. It’s hard to point out real negatives on this release, though, apart from the odd moment of lyrical cringe (see ‘Cardboard Box’ and ‘Mr. Radiator’ for the worst offences). In fact, ‘Mr. Radiator’ is the only track that really misses the mark, featuring both the album’s worst lyrics and most uninspired music. It’s not a terrible song, it’s just a rock in an ocean of diamonds is incredibly hard to ignore.

Overall? Well, the final track, ‘The Doors’, aptly explains the release as a whole. This track is epilogical in almost every sense; it encompasses almost all previous sounds on the album, forming a six minute dash of irresistible baroque pop chip with more hooks than a fisherman’s cloakroom. It jumps from sweet and pop-heavy to drawn out and controlled affection, winding its way to a grandiose finale. If last year’s EP turned you off J Arthur’s new direction, ‘Mighty Social Lion’ won’t amend your position. However, by featuring sublime maturity alongside emotional cognizance, J Arthur has never sounded better.

thejarthurkeenesband.com | Bandcamp | Facebook