This weekend: Nerdapalooza gets it on like 8-bit Donkey Kong
Let's get one thing straight: Nerdapalooza is NOT the biggest nerd party of the year in Orlando.
The biggest nerd party of 2010 is Star Wars Celebration V on Aug. 12-15 at the Orange County Convention Center, featuring appearances by Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and the ultimate Big Swinging Lightsaber, George Lucas himself. (Also, for some reason, Jon Stewart will be there, which adds a completely different layer of nerdity to the proceedings.)
But if it wasn't for Celebration V, Nerdapalooza would DEFINITELY be the geekiest party of 2010, hands down.
The fourth annual Nerdapalooza, a celebration of all things related to the nerdcore lifestyle -- Linux, ASCII, having an opinion on who was the best Doctor Who -- will take place Saturday and Sunday in Orlando, with headliners MC Frontalot, the Protomen, Schaffer the Darklord and so many more. There's wizard rock, chiptune, statistically significant gangsta rap and more.
Here's a primer on nerdcore, for those of you who have skipped the last three Nerdapaloozas. Basically, if you put hip-hop, video games, Battlestar Galactica fan fic, wizard beards and a box full of mad computer skillz into a blender, you'd get nerdcore (and also the world's most disgusting smoothie).
Over the past few years, Nerdapalooza has turned into one of the must-geek-out-about events on Orlando's social calendar. The two-day fest features so many costumed events, video game contests and feats of brazen YouTubery that it's hard to know where to turn to get the most bang for your Linden Dollars.
As usual in these instances, we turned to Tampa's premier nerdcore rapper, Steve "funky49" Rush, for insight. Funky49's band, Emergency Pizza Party, has joined forces with Scrub Club Records to release a new record called Shine Avenue. Click here to download it for free. Emergency Pizza Party will perform at 12:10 p.m. Sunday on the Scion Stage at Nerdapalooza.
Here's what funky49 recommends for Nerdapalooza n00bz:"IMO, newcomers need to see Schaffer the Darklord, Killer Robots, MC Frontalot and the Scrub Club Records showcase. Favoritism for Scrub Club? Yes, and only because their set follows ours and they're our label mates, but also because you can see a block of diverse talent all in one set. Personally I'm most interested in seeing the Epic Win Burlesque show, MegaRan, Schaffer, Killer Robots and Zealous1 and the Bossfights."
Seriously: There are so many concerts, parties and events connected to Nerdapalooza that you'll just have to dive in and start nerding, and see what suits you best. Wired's Geekdad Blog has a good roundup. All we'll say is that it's headquartered at the Orlando Airport Marriott, and tickets are $30 for the weekend and $20 each day.
All other details can be found here. May the force be with you, homey.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*