Posts Tagged ‘Shael Riley’
It feels like yesterday that I had the pleasure of meeting Shael Riley and Ty Guenley, the masterminds behind the 8-bit indie rock band Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire and their newly-released album Ultimate Songs from the Pit. They had been visiting NYC to get the album mastered a year ago, thus bringing Shael and Ty in proximity to me and each other. This came not long after the Backfire’s success in funding the mastering through a Kickstarter, which gained nearly twice as much monetary pledges as the initial goal. The cash certainly didn’t go to waste: even songs from the band’s previous EP Songs from the Pit feel refreshed and immediate due to Drew Lavyne’s mastering and Ty’s mixing.
Although the process of finalizing and mass-duplicating the CD was long, Shael and Ty were hardly at rest in their music making. As incentive for the Kickstarter, the band recorded cover versions of songs commissioned by those who made large pledges; one such cover, a remake of Shael’s Castlevania homage “Juese Belmont” was posted at OverClocked ReMix. The Double Ice Backfire also contributed to albums that covered “Weird Al” Yankovic and They Might Be Giants. My favorite song from Ultimate Songs from the Pit, “Hobby Model” almost seems like a cover itself, with its refrain resembling that of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”.
Genius loves company, and so the album has a fair number of guests. Fellow chip rocker Brian Mazzaferri of I Fight Dragons shares lead vocal duties on “Bootstraps” while Schaffer the Darklord drops lines into “Publishing Rights”. Additional rhyme-spitting comes courtesy of Mega Ran on “Area Dolls” and Billy the Fridge in “Rarest of Elements”. Ricky Henry, the ‘third-ice’ in the band’s live shows, was responsible for the album artwork. Ultimate Songs from the Pit is available now at Bandcamp for streaming and as a paid download, with the lead track “How to Fire a Gun” as a free single.
As you should all know by now, I have been a huge fan of Shael Riley since quite some time ago. Well ever since then he has started an amazing band known as the Double Ice Backfire who released an impressive album of nerdery and musicianship last year to high praises (like mine). Well they are all set to unveil their first full length album, once again in reference to a certain fighting franchise, Ultimate Songs From The Pit and they need our help to get there.
Now you must be wondering how exactly you can help. Well looks like Shael Riley and band have created a Kickstarter page to help raise the funds to get the album professionally mastered, pressed, and more. As with all kickstarter programs, DIB is offering some amazing incentives for donations, including the power to commission them to cover any song of your choosing (If I had the money I would probably request the likes of Tom Waits, or La Roux at this moment, so if you have the cash, just a suggestion).
The group has already released some amazing covers thanks to this program, so be sure to check out their renditions of Radiohead’s Creep, as well as The Wallflowers’ One Headlight over at the newly revamped shaelriley.com.
A new album has been released by the almighty Nerdcore artist Beefy! “With Sprinkles” is nothing but epic. It’s cluttered with various tracks to please our inner nerd. Beefy has been one of Nerdcore’s higher standing rappers. With his rockin 2008 album “Rolling Doubles” and being part of the band The Grammar Club (Along with Shael Riley and DJ Snyder/KASPAROV) Beefy does nothing but conquer and win. His name is well known in the Nerdcore community and one of the few to even been known outside of it.
In his new album “With Sprinkles” you get assorted topics any nerd or geek can relate to. He shows that his geek swag is still intact and he isn’t afraid to show it. Featuring artists such as Schaffer the Darklord, Epic-1, MC Lars, Dual Core, YTCracker, and Dr. Awkward, this whole album will knock you out of seat and have you hit replay in an instant. With Beefy being one of my very top favorite Nerdcore artists it’s hard to choose a few favorites because they’re all so good! But I did narrow it down and I have to say my top faves go to “Join My Guild”, “Press Start” and “Geek Out”. Now I won’t lie, “Join My Guild” tickled my fancy because I love the MMO World of Warcraft (and the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV!) and I’m a huge fan of the show “The Guild” which this track has a lot of references to! Whether you’re a thief, an orc, an elf, or a druid…you’ll love this song! “Press Start” is just all around bad-ass! Featuring Dual Core, these guys go at it challenging each other in various games whether the genre is Fighting or Shooters. With a legit beat and these two combine, it definitely became an instant favorite. And lastly, my number one goes to “Geek Out”. Going through all the daily quirks geeks typically endure and having a great chorus that will have you yelling GEEK OUT in reply, this track I expect will have high play counts.
There is no reason to not get this album! With so many awesome tracks with awesome artists rapping about awesome things, don’t you want to be an awesome fan? Show Beefy some love and buy this album now for $10 bucks (or $9.99 to download) and let it be known that Beefy is “bestestist”!
Breaking news! Well it would have been if I had gotten this post up earlier, but cut me some slack, it’s Christmas! Anyway, an all star cast of Nerdcore’s finest is out and in the holiday spirit they have released the brand new holiday EP Come Down the Chimney! The cast of this Christmas special includes Billy the Fridge, I Fight Dragons, Schaffer the Darklord, Uncle Monsterface, and Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire.
Be sure to download the free EP before the day is through. Also help out by joining in on the twitter campaign for this album and tweet a link to the download page.
Track listing after the break
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A few days ago was the nerdcore VGM rock virtuoso Shael Riley’s birthday. As I am a huge fan of Shael Riley I figure this is a good time to take a small look back at an album that was released before this site first started, and give it some much deserved recognition. I, of course, speak of Shael Riley’s 2005 release Toybox.
Thirteen tracks of various moods and subjects all told via catchy melodies, synths, great singing, and the worlds worst drum programming. Covering many nerdy topics from sucky jobs, chicks from the internet, to DnD. Also Shael’s foray into more esoteric territory with songs like Rock the House and Revenge of the Mullet. Not to mention what should be nerdy anthems like Down With Bane and Arguing on the Internet.
There isn’t too much to say about this album except that for me, it stands out as what I feel will be considered a classic nerdcore album. After catching up and hearing it in 2007 it quickly shot to the top of my list of favorite albums ever, VG inspired or not. After four more years that have continued to see the evolution and progression of nerdcore and VGIM there is still nothing quite like this album. Download it for yourself free from the appropriate page on Shael Riley’s website.
Also be sure to check out the first song I ever heard from Shael Riley, over on OCReMix, If you have never heard it I think you will find it quite enjoyable. And if you want to wish Shael a late happy birthday catch him on Twitter or dig a few of his tracks on Thesixtyone.
A few months ago an amazing event was brewing and has finally exploded to the surface like an incredible volcano which rather than lava, seems to rain down some sort of nerdy type of liquid…Bawls possibly? Anyway, with the failing of that analogy I would like to introduce you fine folks to the coming invasion. Nerd Invasion.
Now before I go and make more terrible analogies to aliens and social awkwardness or what have you, I will just hand things over to the Nerd Invasion press release.
Start Time: Friday, November 6, 2009 at 7:00pm
End Time: Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 12:00pm
Silver Screen Entertainment Complex
7280 Plantation Road
This is Nerd Invasion. And it’s going down November 6th – 7th, 2009, in Pensacola, Florida! THIS IS AN ALL-AGES EVENT!
Proceeds go towards the “Open Source Rhymes Project,” which is a charity organization that helps underdog Nerdcore artists with musical instruction, performance assistance, and purchasing of equipment to less fortunate musicians. It will also put on many more events just like this!
Confirmed so far (much more to be added!):
Schaffer The Darklord
Marc With a C
The finalists of Scrub Club’s Versus Mode competition
(Scrub Club artists making an appearance / performing: MadHatter, Dr. Awkward, Kabuto The Python, Benjamin Bear, Chester, Kasparov, and DJ CutterJ… so far)
Scrub Club Records
Wizards of the Coast
White Wolf Games
Homefield Sports and Games
Magic: The Gathering tournament
Versus System tournament
8Bit Conflict: A classic NES tournament
Rocky Horror Picture Show at dawn
Panels with musicians, gamers, and others
Miss Poindexter ’09
The Secret Thirteen
World premiere of George Clinton’s “Gongafunkadine”
Nerdcore music video showcase
Full bar / restaurant open 24 hours
8 hotels within walking distance
That’s right, only 14 years after being released on the Super NES, I have began, played through, and finished Earthbound. IT WAS AMAZING! I finally get what everyone was talking about and now Earthbound sits on my list of greatest games I have ever played (not to mention one of the, if not THE greatest final battle of all time in gaming).
Well what does this have to do with anything really? Well I wanted to quickly highlight some of the amazing music related tributes to Earthbound and more from over the years.
First up is the amazing Earthbound tribute album Bound Together from many of the amazing musicians from The Shizz Minibosses Boards, VGMix, and OCReMix. The album includes greats like Shael Riley, Temp Sound Solutions, Mustin, and so many more incredible artists all remixing nearly the entire Earthbound soundtrack in as just a whimsical, amazing, and sometimes very strange way as the original music to the game. Bound Together is an amazing aural achievement in it’s ability to balance the catchiness of the Earthbound music right alongside the jarring and disturbing tones the game also provided. Those who played the game will surely have a nostalgic trip down the lane of those 16 bit memories, while those who have not had a chance to play through Earthbound (what the hell, get on that!) will be able to listen to a breathtaking and diverse arrangement of tunes, and get a small glimpse of just one of the many brilliant aspects that is Earthbound.
Another thing I would like to mention, which makes an incredible supplement to both the game, as well as the aforementioned remix compilation is Kenley and his incredible Into the Score podcast 24 – Live at the Chaos Theatre… The Runaway Five! which takes an academic look at the games soundtrack, the two amazing composers, as well as the history of the game and even jazz bands. This is all wrapped up as well with an interview with the amazing Canada based VG jazz ensemble The Runaway Five. A listen to this podcast can not be recommended enough to anyone who is a fan of Earthbound and the music within. Listening to this adds an interesting inside look at the game, which in turn makes you feel as if you got even more out of it.
Finally, not music related, but still Earthbound related, if you have, or when you finish the game, be sure to read this article, “The Literature of the Moment” A Critique of Mother 2 by Tim Rogers. A lengthy but very very interesting and well written look back on Earthbound for one gamer.
For those who have not played Earthbound yet, I now join the many many gamers who once harangued me about not playing it, and implore you to do so as soon as possible. It is an experience that is more than worth the time invested. The game is an experience unmatched even by fifteen years of games and several consoles hence. I would like to personally thank my best friend, who herself forced me to finally sit down and play through the entire game. From the first town to the final battle it is a game that will proudly stand among my list of the most incredible games of my life.
Listening to Shael Riley isn’t like listening to most nerdcore (there is no rapping, for one). The songs, perspectives, and themes he speaks on can apply to a good cross section of nerdcore, yet are not topics often tackled by other artists. Then there is the way in which Shael approaches these topics, from what seems like a very first hand experience on the subjects of love, laziness, and self loathing. Of course mixed in what seems like some heavy handed topics Shael adds a signature dose of nerdy references and a kind of passive aggressive ridiculousness to his songwriting. His first person style of lyric writing can place him into many situations and as many characters. In this album he goes from your enemy, to your conscience, to your favorite game character, seemingly with great ease.
Songs From the Pit is an album that has to be heard to be believed. The layers in the album are something that is hard to sum up in a review (especially with my sometimes limited collection of words). Also I was quickly beaten to the punch when Z of Hipster, Please! posted a great review, so I have to tread lightly, lest I plagiarize one of my heroes to discuss another. Anyway, enough of my excuses, I have to write a great review, and a great review shall be written! Let’s get right into it.
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That’s an unusually shaped album cover…wait! It’s because Shael Riley has released his latest effort on a cassette tape! Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire (comprised of Shael Riley, Ricky Henry, Ty Guenly with appearances by Shaffer the Darklord and Jon Titterington) have released Songs from the Pit, and for now it is exclusively available via cassette tape (available via bitpopshop). The album is a rock oriented album covering everything from being a small time musician to an outcast nerd to a Chinese ninja warrior. With catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics and a heavy dose of rocking live instruments this album takes a strong step back into something more reminiscent of 90s rock. A small loss of $4 will get you 1 of 100 numbered limited edition cassette tapes. I have gotten an advance copy of the album and will say that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Just get your old boombox or walkman out and crank that dial, the volume dial, and enjoy!
I will be having a full review of the album soon for those on the fence about purchasing this highly catchy and enjoyable album, so keep an eye out for that as well! Also word on the interstreets has it that some of the songs available on the cassette tape will not be available once the album is available for download or pressed to CD. so keep that one in mind when considering your purchase!
Just this past weekend musician extraordinaire Shael Riley, along with sgtrama and ThaSauce hosted a one of a kind event in the Doubles’ Dash compo. The contest included Nerdcore and VG remixing’s finest in Shael Riley, ProjektZero, injury, Jiggin Jon T, sgtrama, and Suzumebachi all breaking into teams of two and having only three hours to write an entire song together. You can grab the tracks for listening from the recent ThaSauce post about the compo. I will let Shael recount how the competition went down.
Holy shit! I just hosted the second teams-of-two three-hour pop song writing party/contest, and the results were absolutely impressive. I encourage you to check these three songs out.
DJ Projekt Zero as Team Super Sloppy Double Dare – Shael’s Going to Fuck Me Up the Ass With No Lube and It’s Going to Hurt
You have to hand it to DJ Projekt Zero, whose partner petered out halfway through the contest, leaving him with half the time and half the manpower to finish his song. Zero drew titular inspiration from a threat made following his partner’s forfeiture midway through the contest, regarding what would happen were he to not finish his track.
Shael Riley and Jiggin Jon T as Team Taking a Year Off to Travel – Pros and Cons
Just like I said I would be, after wearing the producer hat last time, I’m in the lyricist/vocalist role on this collaboration with JJT, who produced an excellent instrumental. When I produced Injury, I wrote a melody for her to write words to, but Jon just gave me a chord structure, leaving me to write the melody too; that was cool, because it gave me some wiggle room with my lyrics. Drawing inspiration from a conversation I had with tracerbullet earlier in the day, I decided to write a song in-character, taking a tip from the Randy Newman school of songwriting.
Injury, Sgt Rama, and Suzumebachi as Team Bisquick – Percent Caret Open Parenthesis
These motherfuckers. Not only did they cheat, by secretly adding Doug “Sgt. Rama” Arely to their team, but they parodied Snow Love and Sludge, the undisputed worst song off of my first solo album. Fuck you, cocksuckers. You are not invited to my contests anymore.
Actually, they did a really good job. Starla’s T-pain’d vox are stunningly hooky.
So there you have it! three new awesome songs brought to you in three hours by some awesome talent! Be sure to check out the songs and stay tuned for future ass kicking compo’s out of these fine folks!