I absolutely love creating and listening to music. Despite frequently wearing ear plugs at shows and concerts, my hearing has degraded somewhat over time, and I’m sure that at some point in the future I will need some assistance to be able to hear correctly.
Fortunately medical science has progressed significantly over the past several decades and we now have options like hearing aids and cochlear implants to help our non-robot bodies. Unfortunately some people cannot undergo a cochlear implant for various reasons. Our awesome friend Great Scott has been working on sensory augmentation for his PhD. His advisor recently gave an outstanding TED Talk:
Improving our lives through technology and the intersection of the virtual and physical worlds have always been interesting subjects to me. This research, along with the aforementioned improvements in medical science, makes me so excited for how we will make life better for future generations. The additional benefit of learning more about how we learn is such a cool bonus multiplier. Science is great.
For a more direct Dual Core music tie-in, I’ll leave you with an embed of our song Painting Pictures. Have an awesome weekend!
This past week I had the privilege of getting unbanned from Facebook AND playing three shows during SXSW in Austin, Texas. This was our fourth year playing at SXSW, and each experience has been unique and unparalleled in furthering my appreciation for hip hop. Since this is a #TBT post, my intent is to reflect on our first year at SXSW: 2011.
Before I could jump into the SXSW artist showcase full force, I had the good fortune of making a few extra appearances. Upon arriving in Austin, I learned that BSidesAustin was under way and was invited to stop by. Arriving toward the end of the event, the staff — including Snipe, @diami03, and Jayson Street — hooked up a PA in the back and an impromptu Dual Core show got under way.
After BSides we crashed attended the icanhazcheezburger/Bing party where Microsoft unknowingly gave us VIP access, repeatedly. Social Engineering ftw! It was an unexpected and fun start to the event; which is not unlike most trips I’ve taken.
I had another scheduled show with C|NET prior to the proper Artist Showcase. This show had everything: free tacos, open bar, Felicia Day, and a fantastic audience. At the top of the excitement list was rapping; with meeting Felicia Day being a close second. The show went really well and was tons of fun, then after us the hosts had Ms. Day for an interview. Once the interview concluded, she came upstairs to the “green room” area to hang out.
I remember trying to work up some sort of introduction that was at least half-way clever without being randomly weird… then getting nervous as I was drawing a blank… then just standing there and doing nothing. Eventually Felicia Day left and I didn’t even get to meet her because I clammed up. It was such a strange feeling. I had met famous people before — no problem. I had just shared my rap music with a crowd of complete strangers — no problem. The previous night I had snuck walked into a Microsoft party uninvited — no problem. At that point, I resolved to not let myself be intimidated by someone’s status/persona and to just meet the people I wanted to meet. It’s not always the easiest thing, but that specific experience drives me to be more personable in overcoming the introverted aspect of me that loves to sit at my desk all day.
2011 was a highpoint of collaboration for us with other nerdcore artists. We were on For The Gamers with MegaRan and Schaffer, All The Coins with The ThoughtCriminals, and Zero Day with MC Frontalot and ytcracker (above) just to name a few. At this point I felt confidently established in the nerdcore scene, but still had something to prove with it being my first appearance at SXSW.
I honestly don’t remember everything about my show in the Artist Showcase (lots of shows, it happens); but one thing I do remember is getting to rap in almost everyone else’s set. Collaboration among my contemporaries in nerdcore had been commonplace since the release of Zero One in 2007. Sharing the stage repeatedly with everyone in 2011 really cemented how ingrained I was in the nerdcore scene. It was a pretty fantastic realization.
Thanks to ytcracker’s friend Rory, I also got to meet and interview one of my favorite rappers: Pharoahe Monch. While the interview was mainly about Monch’s (at the time) upcoming album, We Are Renegades, he did ask me about my cinci2600 t-shirt and hacking, which was pretty cool. I had a photo of this but now I can’t find it
Each year at SXSW has been its own set of bonus rounds in that I enter the week of SXSW feeling like I’ve got everything under wraps, only to leave the week of SXSW with a whole new slew of influences and music to check out. Obligatory + voluntary shoutout to Lynda who makes SXSW happen for all us nerd rappers each year. I would have missed out on all these experiences without her <3
You can keep up on our current experiences, SXSW or otherwise, via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (assuming I’m not banned again).
Not specifically music-related but we got a shout-out in the AltSci Concepts Computer Journal. The piece by Javantea, titled Enumerating DNSSEC NSEC and NSEC3 Records, starts with a quote from our song All The Things. Pretty cool and possibly helpful when doing recon on your next pentest