• Hyperpop duo 100 gecs serves up Doritos and Fritos Pie at San Francisco's Outside Lands

    Last October, hyperpop artists 100 gecs delivered a tweet anxiously anticipated by their growing number of adoring fans who had fallen in love with the duo's highly-praised debut "1000 gecs" album, released in 2019, or the 2020 compilation of remixes, 1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues. That October 2020 tweet simply read: "The album will be coming early 2022."

    Titled 10,000 gecs, the album referenced by the tweet had been announced a month prior. Since then, there have been two new singles yet no new release date. "Early 2022" has come and gone. And yet the members Dylan Brady and Laura Les's dedicated cult following shows no signs of waning as we still wait for the release.

    The dedicated and excited crowd that turned up for their set at San Francisco's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival was yet another proof point. Fueled by 100 gecs' unbridled positivity, these are the relentlessly supportive fans that generously fuel the band's popularity on social media as they continue a world tour that—aside from special US dates like Outside Lands—is now on its European leg.

    Before Sunday's Outside Lands performance, Brady and Les hosted a cooking show with popular YouTuber Andrew Rea of "Binging with Babish." Together, they made a Doritos and Fritos pie in honor of 100 Gec's latest single "Doritos and Fritos." The band served chips to the large crowd's delight before taking the Twin Peaks stage.

    The fantastic 55-minute set featured material from that last album along with their latest singles and unreleased tracks. One fan inexplicably danced with Slappy the Dummy from Goosebumps, while another (inexplicably again) wielded a 1990s Talkgirl cassette recorder. Everyone danced, enjoying the intensity of the mosh pit during the chaotic songs and the communal arm-waving accompanying the slower numbers. It's fans like these—proudly waving their freak flags—who keep 100 Gecs in the public consciousness, while patiently waiting for that next album that's sure to arrive… eventually.

    image (cropped): 100 gecs publicity photo/WeAreBigBeat
  • These are the crazy industrial machines that make fireworks

    Above, a visit to a building in Liuyang, China where stacks of roman candle tubes and pop-its cover the floor. This is a fireworks machine trade show, where companies purchase contraptions for cranking out explosions of all kinds. Liuyang is commonly known as the fireworks capital of China. Above are some of the captivating machines that make (or break) July 4th and New Years Eve in the US.

    And as a bonus, here's a video of another machine that was used for manufacturing M-80s before they were outlawed in the US in 1966 (unless you have a license):

    image: Keith Homan/Shutterstock
  • This is the other Tetris theme song

    In 1989, Nintendo launched "Tetris" into the public eye. Pre-packaged with nearly every Game Boy, and selling 35 million units, now almost everyone knows the theme song. But did you know the first 25,000 copies of Nintendo's Tetris had a completely different soundtrack? Elliot of The Retro Future explains these "Minuet" copies, and was able to track down two examples to check out. If a seller knows what they have, these copies fetch around $40 on eBay. 

  • Support a new documentary about vaporwave music



    In 2009, musician Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) released a track called "Nobody Here" followed by the album "Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol.1" less than a year later. Now, that track is considered the first vaporwave song, and "Eccojams" the first vaporwave album, with one of the original 100 cassettes going for $2,000 on Discogs. Yesterday saw the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for "Nobody Here: The Story of Vaporwave," the first feature documentary about the genre, with artists on the soundtrack (and hopefully in the film) like Saint Pepsi, CatSystem Corp., Death's Dynamic Shroud, Yung Bae, Luxury Elite, and more. The Indiegogo rewards range from the soundtrack on vinyl, cassette, or MiniDisc to a Macintosh Plus signed by the artists and filmmakers. They aim to complete the film by January 2021 but right now, there's not much to do but support the project and just enjoy yourself…




  • Visiting a China trade show for fireworks manufacturing machines



    Above, a visit to a building in Liuyang, China where stacks of roman candle tubes and pop-its cover the floor. This is a fireworks machine trade show, where companies purchase contraptions for cranking out explosions of all kinds. Liuyang is commonly known as the fireworks capital of China. Here are some of the captivating machines that make (or break) July 4th and New Years Eve in the US.


    (Props to Tasick Media on YouTube)


    And as a bonus, here's a video of another machine that was used for manufacturing M-80s before they were outlawed in the US in 1966 (unless you have a license):



    (Credit goes to displayfireworks1 on YouTube)

  • Making chiptunes with a calculator



    HoustonTracker2 is free software that turns your still-overpriced Texas Instruments graphing calculator into a synth. Demo above. Now, you will not only be the nerdiest kid in algebra class, but the coolest as well.


    HoustonTracker 2 is a music editor/sequencer for Texas Instruments graphing calculators. It outputs 1-bit sound through the calculator link port. HT2 features 4 voice polyphony, tons of effects, and a simple, tracker-style interface.

  • Fantastic collection of 1980s videogame TV commercials



    Videogame commercials are practically a lost art. The 1980s was the peak of videogame advertising, especially on television. Above, a one hour collection of those fantastic commercials. No matter how silly and crazy they may be, they're still a vital part of videogame history. Don't miss: The Toys R Us (RIP) commercial featuring Atari's Pac-Man and a classic Atari rap. Have fun!