Four Letter Nerd

Tag - nashville

Google Simulates What The Solar Eclipse Will Look Like Where You Live

For the first time since 1918, North America will see a total solar eclipse from coast to coast. On August 21 people across the U.S. will see the stars shine bright in the middle of the day.

Thanks to Google and scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a simulator that allows you to watch what will happen to the sun where you live on the day.

The simulator was created to help promote the Eclipse Megamovie Project, which is an effort to crowd source data on the sun from across the country, generated from user submitted photos and videos.

In the simulator found here, you are presented with an animated timeline that allows you to input your location and then play a simulation of the eclipse.

The total solar eclipse will move across the country over the course of the day. It will encompass a band that is about 72 miles wide. The states covered by the eclipse are Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that will witness the event in person, this simulator will hold you over until August 21st. For those of you that aren’t able to make it in person, you can at least simulate it!

For more info on the Eclipse Megamovie project and the simulator, you can visit: https://eclipsemega.movie/simulator

4LN Comic Review – MARCH: Book One

There aren’t a lot of comics that you *need* to read. There are a lot of comics that you *want* to read, and love to read, but most of those comics ultimately have no genuine impact on your life other than giving you something to talk about with your comic reading friends who (surprise, surprise) also already loved them. Most of the time you’ll forget those comics within days of having read them. Rarely does a comic, or graphic novel, come along that you *need*, I mean really, for the sake of your own social and cultural betterment, NEED to read. The ones you need to read are the ones that have a lasting impact beyond briefly being mentioned in those comic Facebook groups you’re in. MARCH is one of those “need” books. In fact, and this is quite a big claim, it might be the most “need” comic/graphic novel of all-time.

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The first entry in a trilogy of graphic novels, MARCH: Book One tells the life-story of Congressman John Lewis, with a focus on his childhood and his journey to becoming a leading fighter on the front lines of the civil rights movement. The story unfolds as Rep. Lewis is telling two kids from his district about how he got to where he is, and the setting is Jan. 20th, 2009, the day President Obama was inaugurated.

The opening of the book is a depiction of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, where Lewis walked side-by-side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as about 600 other marchers, in a peaceful protest, but they were blocked by state troopers and consequently attacked and beaten. It’s important that the narrative begin here because this was an pinnacle moment in Rep. Lewis’ life, and in the civil rights movement overall. The incident in Selma was broadcast all over television and shed a national light on the type of inhumane cruelty the black community had been suffering.

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Rep. Lewis lead a fascinating life. MARCH shows us what he was like as a young man, in his own words, and how even as a young boy he had a deep, intuitive understanding of the how precious life is, and how mistreating it can’t be justified.

Also, as someone who resides in a suburb of Nashville, it was bittersweet for me to see how our city is so closely tied to the fight for civil rights. Much of this volume of the story focuses on the peaceful sit-ins that Lewis helped organize at diners right here in the Tennessee capitol. I honestly had no idea that ever happened just outside my own backyard, and I, admittedly, felt a little shame that it wasn’t taught to me when I was in school, and that I hadn’t taken the time on my own to learn about it.

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Luckily for us, we have movies like Selma and The Butler to help us understand what life was like for the people paving the way for civil rights, and what life was like during that era, but there’s only so much a 2 hour movie can show you, and then on top of that they’re being told by artists. MARCH is an opportunity for you to see and hear what was going on through the eyes and words of a man who was actually there, fighting at the forefront of the movement. Sometimes it’s hard to witness, to see what they were enduring, but it is a historical part of this great country of ours, and one we need to be reminded of.

Recently, the trilogy set of MARCH has begun to sell out, so tracking down a physical copy of that might be tough, but it looks you can get a copy of Book One, as well as Book Two & Book Three (the first comic to win a National Book Award), through Amazon, and I’m sure places like Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million might have them as well. You can also check with your local comic shop to see if they have any in stock. If you can’t get a physical copy, all three are available in Amazon’s Kindle format, and through Comixology.

I want to strongly recommend that you get this and read it, and I even urge you to consider getting it for any kid in your life (son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, etc.) from middle-school-age on. I believe it could teach them a lot about a time period in the U.S. that they may struggle to comprehend otherwise.

In addition to the crucial historical information, Rep. Lewis’ life is immensely inspiring, from his wise maturity at a young age through his firm resolve to fight for desegregation. At 76 years old he continues to be a man of strong determination and action. His story will open your eyes and give you hope. Get a hold of MARCH, by any means necessary, and let it move you, but more than that… let it motivate you.

Live Music Review – The Spill Canvas: Requestour

 

If this article could have a subtitle it would have to be, as my good friend (and photographer extraordinaire) Robbie Green suggested, “I Went To A Spill Canvas Show And All I Got Was A Hurt Back.” You see, I’m an old man of the ripe old age of 32, and I have back problems because of course I do. Literally as I was about to walk out the door and jump in the car with Robbie to head to the show I threw my back out cleaning up a mess in my 3yo’s room. I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me. This is the last thing I need right now.” It wasn’t the worst it’s ever been,  but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. But being the ever-stubborn “tough guy” I am, I downed some ibuprofen and went anyway. I wasn’t gonna miss this band I’ve been a fan of for some 12 years or so.

 

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It was a long walk from the car to the venue…

 

So this tour is called “The RequesTour” because the set-list was voted on by fans. There are few, if any, other bands that would give back to their fans that way, by letting them actually choose the songs they want to hear. It speaks volumes to the band’s credit that they would give over that responsibility. I mean, there’s a lot that goes into creating the flow of a show and, as a fan, we don’t necessarily know what’s best but, god help us, we still yell out song titles we want to hear anyway. This was kind of a brilliant way to nip that s**t in the bud.

 

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The show was at the Exit/In, and the opening band was local boys Sound & Shape. I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t heard of these guys before now but they were absolutely fantastic and you should definitely check them out.

The Spill Canvas took the stage to “Return of the Mack“, by Mark Morrison, and my actual note for this was “The band came on stage to ‘Return of the Mack.’ F**king Amazing.” Because it was.

Before opening the show with “Reckless Abandonment”, front man and Spill Canvas founder, Nick Thomas asked the audience if anyone had some gum. He said he’d follow up after the song and expected someone to deliver. The band kicked into the song and the immeasurable amount of energy they produced completely set the pace for the entire rest of the show. The exploded and rode the momentum. Nick made good on his promise and followed up with audience about that gum. He was quickly berated with what had to be at least two dozen sticks of gum, and he loved it.

 

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Even after more than a decade of playing shows, the band still clearly enjoys being on stage and you can see in their faces that they’re legitimately having fun. They’re not just phoning it in, they give 1000% of themselves and they love every second of it. It’s not just a “performance” for them.

Their authenticity is proven in how passionate the fans are. During “Polygraph, Right Now”, The band stopped for a few beats so the crowd could sing along A cappella and they probably could’ve just kept right on. You could literally hear the conviction in the choir of voices as they sang, “Fate is an elegant, cold-hearted whore. She loves salting my wounds, yes, she enjoys nothing more.” It was… kind of beautiful, actually.

 

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There’s a lot to be said for the band’s conviction too though. Nick sings with such emotional depth. You can tell that the feelings that birthed these song lyrics are ones he must relive every time he sings them again.

The band powered through a handful of songs, including gems like “Appreciation and The Bomb”, “Lust A Prima Vista”, and “The Truth.” Right before going into “This Is For Keeps”, Nick joked about how he wrote the song about a vampire boy falling in love with a human girl LONG before Twilight was even a book series. He summarizes by saying, “F**k Twilight.” To which the crowd jubilantly agrees, myself included. Cause, you know, f**k Twilight.

 

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After “This Is For Keeps”, the band brought up a girl from the crowd who was chosen at random, to come on stage and get a picture with the band. How many bands care about their fans enough to stop a show so they can take a picture with one?

 

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I also have to mention a really sincere moment that happen when Nick was on stage alone. Right before playing “Lullaby”, Nick dedicated it to his wife, and made a profoundly romantic point that all the love songs he had written hadn’t really been about anyone specific, but now they’re all about her. This got the crowd in our collective feels. Being on the receiving end of a song, and experiencing it through our own personal filter, we often fail to understand the place the writer was in when they wrote it and what it really means. This was a one of those rare moments when the curtain drops, if only briefly, and you get to see the real heart of a song and it’s writer.

 

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Overall, the show was an absolute blast. A set of complete feel-good songs; Ones you just can’t help but nod your head, tap your foot, sway back & forth, and sing along too. Even with the discomfort of back pain I still had so much fun and even forgot about the pain for a little while.

The RequesTour rolls through St. Louis tonight (10/4) and there’s still several other dates left for you to catch if they’re coming through your area. I highly recommend that you make plans to get out to one of these shows and see The Spill Canvas live, or keep an eye out for when they make it back around your way.

 

 

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(All photos by Robbie Green)

EXCLUSIVE PREMIER: Renaissance Fair’s “Southampton” Music Video + An Interview with Vocalist Nick Taylor

A few weeks ago my good friend Michael Roe, from the band Daisyhead, called me up and told me about this great new band called Renaissance Fair. I checked them out and ended up jamming their self-titled EP more times than I can even remember on repeat. I loved it. It’s a great mix of a little indie rock, some pop punk, and a little surfer vibe rock’n’roll. Then I found out that vocalist and guitarist Nick Taylor was a big fan of Game of Thrones, and time travel so I instantly knew I wanted to sit down and talk with him. We chatted about the bands writing process, Nicks favorite albums of 2015, and what Young Adult Dystopian Novel Universe he would want to be trapped in. Oh, and after the interview we have a special treat for you… the world premiere of the new Renaissance Fair music video, “Southampton”! Enjoy!

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How did Renaissance Fair get started?
NT- Wes, Branson, and Jared are all brothers, and have been playing in bands together for basically their whole lives. I met them when we were all around the age of 15 when they were a three piece that my band would open up for. We started together on this new project only about a year ago when both of our bands (The Summers and Midway) were coming to an end. It worked out, because I think we all wanted a fresh start and to do something unlike anything we had put out before.


Do you guys have a specific writing process that you follow, or do you just write when you feel inspired?
NT- Well, for me, I have to be inspired to write. There’s nothing worse then trying to force out something that’s just not ready. I love writing for RenFair because I can bring an idea to the group and we’ll jam it, and I’ll take it back to the lab and build the structure more and we’ll go back and forth on it until it’s complete. I definitely don’t have a committed process, though. For instance, we’re actually in the studio for the next few days recording two new songs, and the two were written very differently. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music, and if we’re lucky, sometimes it just all flows out naturally together. On one of the new songs, the opening lines were written probably two years ago, and the rest was mainly written when I was staying in New York last October. So you never really know when and how something will inspire your writing.


Any funny or crazy tour stories you can tell us about?
NT- Nothing legendary yet sadly, but we did get bored on a drive to Boston, and spent a good 45 minutes taking videos of me rapping Robert Frost poems over beats we found on Spotify. Hopefully we’ll have some terrible sketchy experience to tell you about after our tour with Intervention coming up.


I’ve noticed, while listening to your EP, you guys have a similar sound to Turnover and Death Cab for Cutie, it’s an awesome blend. What other bands have inspired you?
NT- Oh, well thank you. Both of those bands are awesome in their own ways, and Ben Gibbart has definitely always been an inspiration to me. Anyway I would say we listen to a lot of groovy stuff these days. We love Alabama Shakes, Toro Y Moi, Bombay Bicycle Club, Night Moves, Phoenix, Mac Demarco, but we really try not to compare ourselves to any other bands in particular. At least that has been a mindset we’ve had moving forward with writing our new material.


So, I hear you are a big fan of GoT, I’m on the second to last episode of season 3, without Spoiling anything, who is your favorite character?
NT- Oh man that show is super frustrating, but Branson and I are obsessed. I read him this question and he’s having an internal debate about his favorite right now. I’m gonna have to go with Jon Snow. Go figure…

Michael (from Daisyhead) also told me that you were a big fan of time travel. If you could travel back in time to one historical event, which would it be?
NT- Yeah, time has always been just a fascinating concept to me.  I’m not ashamed to say I’ve spent way too many late nights cringing at thoughts of eternity. Im also not ashamed to tell you I not-so-secretly have an unfinished novel that involves a bit of time travel so I’ve done my fair share of research on the subject. I would say though, if I had to choose I would have loved to see Athens during the 5th century. I’ve been studying a lot of stuff about culture and its progression over time, and I’m just really interested to know how much of ancient history was misinterpreted or catalogued with a biased opinion, but that’s just a part of the passing of time I guess. Like I said, it’s always been a fascinating concept for me.


What was your favorite album of 2015?
NT- I’m gonna have to say “What For ?” by Toro Y Moi. It was just my soundtrack to last summer and really peaked my curiosity into this new wave of psychedelic indie rock that’s coming around.

 Honorable mentions for sure would be:
 Sound and Color – Alabama Shakes
 Surf – Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
Here at 4LN we are big fans of literature, any books you read while on the road during 2015 that you want to recommend to anyone?
NT- I just finished Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It’s a fictional tale, but it is mainly all a conversation between the two main characters. There are actually two sequels, I believe, but it has a lot to do with looking at culture and civilization and what they have done to the earth. It’s actually pretty heavy. Not to give away too much but one thing it discussed was how feeding the thousands of starving people in the world is just causing them to repopulate which will cause a future generation to have double the amount of starving people. It’s the first thing I’ve ever really read in the field of spiritualism, but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know a little more about man and his part in the much larger story of existence.


What is your favorite animated series?
NT- At first I thought you said anime and I was worried I’d have to decide. Haha, just kidding, that’s not a category of nerd I know that well. Even though FLCL always drew me in when I was younger. You know, I watch the same amount of cartoons as any 22 year old. Gotta love South Park for teaching me how to check someone’s privileges.


What is your all time favorite record?
NT- You really know how to ask the tough questions… I really couldn’t begin to answer this question. I’ll give you a few that I’ve been jamming the past year a lot. “Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys, and “Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel are definitely classics for me, but more recently… “Modern Vampires In The City” by Vampire Weekend, “Oh, Inverted World” by The Shins, and really any of Bombay Bicycle Club’s albums, who sadly earlier this month announced they were taking a break. That was a sad day.


Would you rather live in the world of Hunger Games or Divergent?
NT- Which ever is not a ripoff of the other one? …but no seriously, I didn’t read divergent but I’m going to assume both would have me in a futuristic dystopian society with messed up laws where I end getting dragged into a war against a corrupt government by an equally corrupt rebellion.  Knowing me, I’d get sorted into the boring faction in divergent or die of old age in district 7 in hunger games. Ha!


Any video games you have been playing lately?
NT- Just Pokemon Fire Red on my tablet. Got my 5th badge yesterday.

What were your thoughts in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
NT- Man, I don’t like to discuss things that I don’t know a lot about, which is a main reason I’m finding it hard to get myself to vote this year. I have my choice but I don’t want to make an uneducated guess. As far as Star Wars, I’ve seen all of the movies but I really felt unattached to the new movie. I just never got super into Star Wars and I don’t want to step on the diehards’ toes. I will say JJ Abrams did a great job of creating a feel and tone for this movie that reflected so much on the original trilogy.

Before we check out your new video, can you tell us a little about it, as well as your new EP?
NT- We recorded our debut EP last year with Tate Mercer, and we’re very pleased with how it came out. We ended up throwing together a DIY music video that we shot in our living room for a song called Southampton. We have a lot of fun doing little musical projects like that on a whim.

 

I wanna send a big THANK YOU to Nick for speaking with me, and now, without further ado, check out their new video, Southampton!

You can find these rad guys on tour, with their friends in Intervention, during the month of March, so do your best to see them on the road, get some merch, and tell them 4LN sent you!

3/11: Chattanooga, TN – Elmo’s World* (No Intervention*)
3/12: Atlanta, GA – Hill St. House
3/13: Tallahassee, FL – TV Land
3/14: Jacksonville, FL – The Birdhouse
3/16: Greenville, NC – Player’s Retreat
3/17: Williamsport, PA – The Groundfloor
3/18: Winchester, VA – Hopscotch Coffee
3/20: Nashville, TN – That 70s House

Broke Nerd Wondering Again If Old Pokemon Cards Have Increased In Currency Exchange Rate

NASHVILLE, TN– In the midst of an unfortunate financial crisis, Tim McArthur desperately goes over the possibility that his Pokemon cards may now be worth some money.

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“It seems I dug myself quite a hole after purchasing a new processor for my computer,” says McArthur as he goes through a bin of old collectible nerd merchandise. “I could never give up any of my valuable Magic cards, rare Lightsaber replicas, or comic books. However, I’ve never known what else to do with this entire collection of Pokemon cards.”

McArthur goes on to describe his collection as more of something that interested him as a child and assumed it would benefit him monetarily in the future.

“Friends would always tell me that I should hold on to this card or that card because they’re going to be worth a lot more in the future,” explains McArthur as he flips through pages in his card notebook. “I though it was supposed to work like sports cards but it’s almost like these 20 Caterpie’s are going under in value.”

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After hours of going through the internet and calling various card games stores McArthur believes he’d be better off building a hat out of his old playing cards than trying to sell them.

Weeks following our conversation with Tim we caught up with him to see how he’s doing. He told us he had plans to go over to his parents house to check on his sister’s old Beanie Baby collection. “It could take another 15 years for those cards to be worth anything, but I’m starting to think now is the time to cash in on those Beanie Babies.”

Nerds in Bands: Jamie Pomeroy of Mental Collapse.

Hey punks! Nashville Tennessee has a new punk/hardcore band called Mental Collapse, and they just released their second EP, The Deceiver’s Prophecy. We sat down and talked music, superpowers and Mad Max with their vocalist Jamie.

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4LN – Your band Mental Collapse just released a new EP, The Decievers Prophecy, tell us a little bit about how this project came to be. 
 JP- We’ve been a band for about a year and a half now and this EP is our second release. It’s four songs and an interlude that we started writing after we released our demo last year.  We’ve been playing some of them live and have also held a few back for people to hear on recording first and I think we’re all very pleased with the final product we ended up with.

 

4LN – What bands or artist are your biggest influence?
 JP – As a band we all draw from a lot of different places. Our guitar player Drew loves death metal bands like Nile and Cannibal Corpse but also stuff ranging from Yngwie Malmsteen to Between the Buried and Me. He also plays in a crazy instrumental / ambient prog-rock band called Muir. Our bassist Jack probably has the widest range of bands that he has heard and is familiar with out of any of us but I know some of his favorites are Neurosis, Black Breath, & Coheed and Cambria. Josh our drummer has always been big into hip-hop (he actually was a rapper for a while) and I know lately he’s been on Earl Sweatshirt and that Illmatic by Nas is one of his favorite albums. Our old guitarist Steven who helped write 2 of the songs on the EP actually used to play in the band Overcome from Arizona and I think that sound came through with his writing, so maybe some Living Sacrifice influence there. I try not to say “we’re a band and we sound like this other band” but I also know how annoying it is when people say that their band doesn’t sound like anything else, so I try not to do that either.

 

For me, I try to always read the lyrics of bands and artists that I like. One thing that I wish more people did was buy an actual copy of an album, sit down on their bed and spin it all the way through while reading the lyric sheet. It’s 2015 and it’s easy to just save new stuff on your Spotify each week and say “oh that’s good” but never really dive into WHY that music is good (no judgement, I’m guilty of this too). I guess I just want to take the time to see what the person had to say through their lyrics. My two favorite bands overall are The Gaslight Anthem and Death Cab for Cutie, but as far as the world of music that we are in I would say All Out War, Converge, and Bitter End are three bands that have influenced my writing. Inspiration for lyrics just comes from whatever is laying heavy on me.

 

4LN – Does Mental Collapse have any touring plans on the horizon? 
 JP – As of right now we have a show November 3rd with Cult Leader and Cove here in Nashville and another in December that should be announced soon. No tour plans at this point but we are trying to do another run as soon as we can. This is my last semester of school and we plan on doing some traveling once I’m done.

 

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Stephen Andrew and I will be at this show, come hangout with us.

 

4LN – If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why? 
 JP – Without a doubt it would be the ability to teleport. The thought of never having to worry about driving/parking ever again is really nice. I would probably use it to see as much of the world as I could and also to visit my friends who live far away whenever I wanted to. Plus I mean, if you can teleport nobody is gonna be able to hit you in a fight.

 

4LN – What is the most Nerdy thing about you? 
JP – Probably the fact that whatever I get into, I dive in 100% and try to learn every little thing about it that I can.  Whether it be a sport, an album, a tv show, a video game, a movie, whatever. Right now the NFL season is in full swing so I’m pretty heavily invested in my fantasy team. I like to “nerd out” on NFL talk whenever I find someone else that likes to keep up with the NFL. I will also say that as an organization the NFL is a mess right now and has a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but I try not to let that ruin my love of football. That last sentence is proof that I’m a nerd.

 

4LN – Let’s talk football for a minute, I’m a huge Raiders fan (Editor’s note: Bill does not speak for the entirety of 4LN, we do not all support The Raiders), and we recently released an article about NFL teams and Superheroes. Jeff mentioned that The Raiders are a lot like The Fantastic Four. I know you are a Titans fan, so what comic character (or team) do they remind you of? 
 JP – I definitely enjoyed that article. First Titans player that comes to mind is Jurrell Casey as The Thing. Look up a picture of him if you aren’t familiar. Not really sure who else we’ve got that fits. Are there any Hawaiian or Samoan superheroes? If there are I would like to think that they would be Marcus Mariota. I could maybe see our former head coach (now Rams head coach) Jeff Fisher as Commissioner Jim Gordon. They look pretty similar, they’re both usually under a lot of pressure but have an answer when they are called upon. Commissioner Gordon could even be kind of like Batman’s coach? Maybe a stretch. I’m sure some guy will rip me apart in the comments for this.

 

4LN – Imagine for a minute that you are on tour. You are completely out of food, and stuck at a rest stop. If you were a hotdog, would you eat yourself? 
 JP – That is a tough call because I am not that big on hot dogs. I tend to think gas station taquitos are a lot more edible than gas station hot dogs and I’m assuming that this is a gas station hot dog if we are talking about tour. So I’m going to say that I would not eat myself if I were the hotdog, I would wait until we got rolling at the rest stop and could make it to a gas station which hopefully would have an Arby’s or KFC attached. The Tornados (taquitos) at the gas station Love’s are actually really good and good for you.

 

4LN – What is an album you think everyone should listen to once in their life? 
JP – The easy answer here would definitely be Plans by Death Cab or The ’59 Sound by Gaslight because they “changed my life” or whatever but I’m gonna have to go with Trapped In the Closet (Chapters 1-12) by R. Kelly. I really haven’t listened to any of those since around 2006 and I just read that they’re on chapter 33 now but I may give it a listen later today. I don’t really think you should listen because you will enjoy it but rather to prove to yourself that you can make it all the way through and tell someone else that you did. When I was in 6th grade I remember the radio station that I listened to playing those in the morning while I was getting ready for school which I still think is insane.

 

4LN – Now, I know you are a huge Mad Max fan, so what is your favorite film in the franchise and
why?
JP – Man, it’s always been Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior but I honestly think Fury Road might have beaten it this year. It was probably the most that I’ve enjoyed seeing a movie in the theatre since seeing Gravity in the IMAX. George Miller did a perfect job of revisiting his series with a lot of the same elements that made the first three films so special. There’s a lot of speculation as to whether the movie takes place before, after, or during the original movies and there are some pretty interesting reads out there about that.

 

4LN – And. Last but not least, how long would you and the rest of Mental Collapse last in the Thunderdome? 
 I think Me vs. Josh would be a pretty even fight, we’re about the same size but I definitely have a good 20 pounds on him so I think that would help me. Not really sure about how well Drew can fight but he did shove me really hard once in the middle of a show when I stepped on his cable so maybe he could shove someone into a spike or something. Jack is a really chill/nice person so I don’t know how good he would be at killing people in a cage but if his girlfriend Katie was in danger I know he would go for the chainsaw.

 

Be sure to pick up Mental Collapse’s The Deceiver’s Prophecy on Bandcamp, or come hangout with them at The End in Nashville on Tuesday November 3rd.

Google Fiber is Coming to Nashville

On Tuesday it was announced that Nashville, along with Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte, NC, will be getting Google Fiber. Being that we here at 4LN are based right here in the Nashville-area, this is exciting news for us.

There is still a lot of work to be done before Nashvillians can reap the benefits though.  Kevin Lo, a Google Executive said,  “We’re going to start planning the network in very great detail.  We are going to lay enough fiber in this area to go to Canada and back, and every mile of that needs to be planned out.”

But when it’s here customers customers can expect internet speeds up to 100 times that of basic broadband according to Google.  That’s really fast, as in downloads that took hours could take mere seconds with Fiber.  And more importantly, the many hospitals around the area will be able to transmit medical data way faster than before.

Although there is no official price yet, other cities have three levels of service.  Customers can access basic broadband for free for seven years, but customers who want the fastest speeds pay around $70 a month.

Google said there is no official pricing yet. In other cities, there are three levels of service. Basic broadband service is free for seven years. Customers who want the fastest gigabit service pay $70 a month. There is also a gigabit internet and TV pairing that might entice some customers to drop Comcast/Direct TV all together.

All in all, great news for Nashville.

GMX6: Geek Media Expo 2014

According to the GMX website, one can define the expo as

“The Geek Media Expo (“GMX”) is an annual exposition and social conference relating primarily to the popular arts, sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and relevant cultural/lifestyle themes, presented as an educational and multi-media entertainment showcase”.

Geek Media Expo is an annual convention that is perfect for both veterans of conventions and for the newest of new people. GMX was a great thing for the Nashville community to come together at and embrace each others different fandoms. I saw fans of pretty much every aspect of the nerdy community from G.I. Joe cosplay to people dressed up like their favorite Jedi’s. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot of the Franklin/Cool Springs Conference Center I knew we had reached out destination. In the parking lot, almost every car we saw had something related to being a nerd on their windows. Everywhere I looked there were Zelda bumper stickers, stick figure superhero families and my personal favorite, a 12-2 KDR tally marked on the side of a van, I really wish I had gotten to see who drove that I would really have loved to know the story behind that.

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GMX’s logo was awesome. I really love it.

 

When we walked into the hotel/conference center I was overwhelmed with what I was seeing. Almost everyone I saw was in some sort of cosplay outfit. When we through the doors, and looked to our left, there was an entire group in Guardians of The Galaxy cosplay, including a Groot on stilts and a Rocket Raccoon on his shoulders. Unfortunately, I did not get many pictures because I am/was not sure the correct way to go about asking for permission, I’m unfortunately a pretty shy person. But I promise you, it was some of the best Groot cosplay I have seen. Walking though the rest of the convention we saw a really awesome Iron Man cosplayer, and not being an Iron Man fan, I still thought this guy looked pretty bad ass (I think he had the best costume of the convention). While walking around the convention we got to really see how happy and comfortable in their skin everyone was. There was zero judgement and not a single person looked to be embarrassed or anything of that sort. I happened to see a couple Doctors from Dr. Who standing in front of a giant Tardis and it made me really wish I knew what the hell was going on. Listening to them talk was like hearing another language. I sadly have never seen a single episode of Dr. Who (I know, I’m sorry!). But, seeing the passion of these Whovians really made me want to get into the show.

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Dude’s Iron Man costume was on point. Awesome.

I think one of the coolest things that I saw while at GMX was actually an improve group that were quoting lines from movies but would replace one key word with “Mordor,” and the audience had to fill in the blank. A few of the questions were seriously a bit on the tricky side. With quotes from Guardians of The Galaxy to Star Wars: A New Hope, pretty much every thing in the geek film culture was covered. It was really entertaining and the dynamics between the improve group that was hosting the game was honestly pretty hilarious. I really enjoyed this and it might have even been one of my favorite events going on at the expo.

Another really cool event was the Jedi obstacle course that took place, and it even had a Lando Calrissian in full cosplay with blaster and cape. He looked spot on. This was a great little course and the kids who ran the obstacles looked to have had a lot of fun, and after all, that’s what this is all about. Speaking of Star Wars, there was an awesome set up of some Star Wars props: a giant R2-D2, a landspeeder from the moon of Endor (which was amazing and I wanted to really wish it was real so I could have ridden it everywhere around the expo), and a life-size cockpit of the Millinium Falcon. WHICH WAS ALSO AWESOME. As a Star Wars fanboy (I have a Boba Fett and Darth Vader tattoo) I was geeking out pretty hard with all the awesome Star Wars props. Besides the things listed above, there were also some pretty cool Stormtrooper helmets, and a Star Wars Black Series life size box you could get your pictures taken in.

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We may, or may not, have thought about stealing R2…

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I really think that GMX is one of the coolest cons I have ever been too, and the fact that it’s a local con makes it even that more special and intimate. The community that was in attendance really made everything even more awesome. From the game rooms (video games and table top games) to the giant floor retail area (which didn’t allow alcohol in it, unfortunately). The retail section was a really cool and interesting lot. There seemed to be a little of everything. Long boxes full of comic books for a dollar, to T-Shirts that were a hybrid of The Misfits and comic books, still bummed I didn’t get one of those.

 

With all of this being said, GMX was one of the coolest local cons I have ever been too. It really had anything that a fellow nerd would want. From video games to comic books, and enthusiast would be in paradise here. The guest panels were truly on point with the two we were able to catch, one being with Greg Grunberg of Heroes and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and my favorite panel was with The Pirates of the Caribbean and Once Upon a Time star Lee Arenberg. He shared a few hilarious stories about Johnny Depp and some stunts that went terribly wrong on the Pirates set. It was also interesting hearing how much the technology in filming changed just between the first and third movies.

As I said above, this was a wonderful local con, and we had an amazing time. We hope to make a return next year, and we hope to see you there with us!

Google Fiber is Expanding and Nashville is in Contention

Google Fiber just might be coming to Nashville.  If you are unfamiliar with Google Fiber, you are probably not alone, but if it hits Nashville it would be awesome.  Fiber promises internet speeds around 1000 Mbps, which up to 100 times faster than today’s basic broadband, crystal clear HD due to less compression, as well as other features including DVR, blazing Wi-Fi, and a terabyte of cloud storage.

Obviously the main draw of having a fiber network is the ridiculous internet speeds allowing you to browse almost instantaneously.  General Manager of Google Fiber Kevin Lo said, “People do more and more of what they love on the web when speeds are fast, and they walk away when speeds are slow.”

As of right now Fiber is currently being rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri, Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas.  However, 34 cities in 9 metropolitan areas are currently in contention to be one of the next areas of rollout.  Among those is Nashville (pleeeeease), Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Atlanta, and Portland.

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Initially Google’s plan had them installing Fiber, but after lessons from the three cities already working on installation, Google is instead having the cities themselves prepare infrastructure maps, and install basic infrastructure needed to run the fiber network.  Lo stated that, “One big push in one city can be enormously disruptive to a community that’s not ready, both for residents and city officials.”  So by having the cities themselves work on laying out infrastructure it would hopefully help Google with faster installation and implementation.

Once a city is chosen as a candidate Google will work alongside city leaders to evaluate whether it is feasible to bring Fiber to that area.  According to the Google Fiber website, Google will provide a checklist to the city so that they speed up planning and construction.  This checklist includes maps of poles, conduit, existing water, gas, and electricity lines.  They will also ask the city planners to streamline the permit process.  At the same time, Google will scope the costs and timeline for building the fiber-optic network to each area.  After this is completed, Google hopes to announce the next batch of cities that will be getting Fiber.  They plan on announcing it by the end of 2014.

So here’s to hoping when Google announces the next city in the coming year, Nashville will be one of the areas named.  That way we can all surf Facebook and look at memes on blazing-fast internet speeds.

Local Spotlight: Daisyhead

I have always been a nerd. For me, the moment I realized I was becoming a nerd was when I became obsessed with punk rock. I began to research everything about punk, from its origins in bluegrass music to the polar opposite and most loved hated musician, GG Allin. I have been around the Nashville music scene since I was a 16 year old hoodlum with green hair. I have moved on from the punk scene, to the hardcore scene that I was in during the last stages of high school, and now I embrace the pop-punk emo poser that I am today.

Here at Four Letter Nerd we like to believe everybody is nerdy about something. For some people its comic books (Stephen and I), some people are nerdy about Magic; The Gathering (Robbie), others are nerdy alcoholic drinks (please drink responsibly Cody), and some are nerdy about Star Trek (I’m looking at you Cameron). But in all reality, we can be nerdy about pretty much anything. With all of this being said, in todays Local Spotlight we are looking at Nashville band Daisyhead. Daisyhead emerged in 2012 and have made a pretty big impact on the Nashville music scene, and soon to be the entire emo/alternative scene all together.

Yesterday, 11/7/13, Daisyhead released some pretty awesome news. They are now on the record label No Sleep. This label has some of the biggest names in this scene on board, Balance and Composure, La Dispute, Touché Amore, and The Wonder Years to name a few. I was able to catch Daisyhead’s set last night at Nashville venue The End with Balance and Composure, Better Off, and Courtesy Drop. I’m just going to say Daisyhead absolutely killed it. When Michael Roe, the vocalist who occasionally strums the guitar, announced that they were signed to No Sleep, we said “It’s so f—king cool.” He has the excitement of a child unwrapping the new gaming console he’s wanted on Christmas Day.

 

(The following interview was conducted with Michael Roe about a month ago; I have been waiting for the big record news to release this.)

4LN- What makes you nerdy?
M.R. – I suppose the anti-social aspect of being a nerd is something I can relate to.  I find myself sitting in front of my television, at my computer, or playing my guitar more than going out with friends.  Haha

4LN- Who would be your favorite Superhero?
M.R. – Iron Man!

4LN- if you could have any superpower, what would it be?
M.R. – The power to be able to recollect my memories as vividly as Ted Mosby.
(As you can tell Michael is a big fan of How I Met Your Mother, so if you are ever at one of their shows, stop by and pass the breeze with him!)

4LN-  Are you more of a DC guy or a Marvel fan? And why do you think that is?
M.R. – If I had to choose, I would have to go with Marvel.  I was just more of a fan of the Marvel characters growing up.

4LN- What would be your favorite video game?
M.R.- Kingdom Hearts, by far.  Nothing else compares.(I can not tell you the countless conversations I have had with Michael about this game. I am pretty sure it has consumed his life on multiple occasions.)

4LN- Is there a comic you have read that really stuck out to you?
M.R. – I would have to say the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, “Precious Little Life.”
(I have known Michael for about 3 or 4 years now. One of the very first things we ever talked about was Lord Of The Rings, so I was pretty sure we would end up being good friends. The Following is about his love for LOtR.)

4LN: Now, I know you love Lord of The Rings so these next few questions will be about that! How did you get pulled into LOtR? Was it the movies or the books?
M. R. – The movies pulled me in.  I was pretty young when they came out, but I was hooked from the get go.

4LN- What about LOtR is it that really connects with you? Who is the character you consider to be YOU in the story line?
M.R. – I love the concept of someone as small as a hobbit going against all odds to destroy the root of evil, and the support he gets from THE COOLEST characters I’ve ever seen in a movie or read in a book.
I try my best to be like Frodo.  I don’t consider myself a hero, by any means, but I have a tendency to take a leadership role in everything I do.

4LN- Has LOtR led you to any other nerdy things?  Or did another nerdy thing lead you TO LOtR?
M.R. – I would have to say that LOtR is the first “nerdy” thing I ever got into, but it definitely opened my eyes to the world of Fantasy.  Is that sexual?  I hope that isn’t perceived as a sexual statement. Oh well!

Final Question: Has LOtR played any role in your music? Lyrically or musically? Do you have any tattoos that represent your passion for LOtR?
M.R. – None of the songs I have written have anything to do with LOtR, but we are about to write some new material, so who knows?!  I don’t have any LOtR tattoos yet, but that’s only because I have to get the perfect piece, and I haven’t decided what that will be just yet.

Check the link below to pick up some Daisyhead merch! Be on the look out for them coming to a town near you in early 2014, they will not disappoint you.

http://spartanrecords.limitedrun.com/products/518854-daisyhead-i-couldnt-face-you-7

 


 

UPDATE, 1/16/16

Our good pals in Daisyhead were the unfortunate victims of a van break-in during their tour stop in Chicago and they’ve set up a GoFundMe for anyone who might be interested in helping them out. You can also help by heading over to their merch site and picking a shirt or hoodie.