Welcome to Geekdom 089: Thor: Ragnarok

Welcome To Geekdom

Welcome to Geekdom is back this week with an episode on Thor: Ragnarok. Mike Comite joins to talk about what made the comedy work in this movie, the new characters, and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.

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Interview: If Walls Could Talk Discuss New Album, Detroit, and More

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk released a deluxe edition of What Would They Say? recently. Tony Burke and Nick DiStefano took some time to chat with us about the band, the Detroit music scene, and more. Check out the full interview below.

When the band started in 2013, what were your expectations?

Tony: Well, we like to set our expectations pretty high. Not to mention, all of us are in it for the long run. So, our short term goals were simple like playing with well established local acts, creating our first professional EP, and putting together an entertaining live set. But, in the back of our minds, I’m pretty sure all of us have been just waiting to play at Soldier Field with Coldplay one day.

Have you met or exceeded them so far?

Tony: Now that I think about it, we’ve been pretty consistent with both meeting and exceeding our goals. Not only do we have our first EP out, but we have a deluxe version coming out.

How did the Detroit music scene impact your sound?

Nick: I feel that the Detroit music scene is prominently pop punk and alternative. I know for a few of us here, we started playing making pop punk music originally. I know that has seriously influenced my music personally, and you’ll see a lot of that in Static. Lots of octaves and power chords!

What is the local scene like there?

Tony: If I had one word to describe the local scene in Detroit, I would way it’s definitely a community. Everyone knows each other and is very engaged in the scene. It doesn’t really feel like bands are competing with each other. Everyone just wants to see the other band succeed at whatever they are doing.

What has been the most challenging thing about building up a local following for the band and then having it expand beyond Detroit?

Nick: At first it was just about getting in front of the right audience. In Detroit, we’ve expanded greatly and have now sold out multiple shows here. There have been a few markets that we’ve broken into well, like Grand Rapids and Chicago. However, we’re still getting our foot in the door in others more east of Detroit.

When did you know you wanted to release a deluxe edition of ‘What Would They Say?’ and what does it include?

Nick: We grew so much from the release of the initial EP, and we had so much more content we wanted to share with everyone. This includes music videos, songs, and renditions of songs. So when we started talking about our next steps, it felt so natural to end this cycle of our band with a deluxe version.

What is the band focusing on next?

Nick: Right now, it’s writing. We want to be able to improve our live show so much, but also really make our music stand out on a recorded track too.

Outside of the band, do you have any other hobbies?

Tony: I’m a lover of the arts. Outside of music, I like creative writing and even dancing. Most people probably don’t know this about me, but I’m actually a professional ballroom dancer.

Thank you for your time! Where can our readers keep up with the band?

Nick: It’s our pleasure! You can find us really anywhere. Here are a few links:

https://www.ifwallscouldtalk.band
https://www.facebook.com/ifwallscouldtalkband
https://www.twitter.com/iftalkingwalls
https://www.instagram.com/ifwallscouldtalkband
Snapchat: iwctband

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Welcome to Geekdom 088: A Quiet Place

Welcome To Geekdom

Welcome to Geekdom returns with a discussion on A Quiet Place with Murjani Rawls. We discuss what we thought worked best in the movie and talk about the state of horror movies in general. This week’s episode is sponsored by Justin Mabee Design.

You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.

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Review: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Word is Murder

Anthony Horowitz has been writing books for a few decades now. Despite that, I hadn’t read any of his work until I wound up with a review copy of The Word is Murder. The book was released in the U.K. last year, but it’s just now making its way to the U.S. Magpie Murders caught my attention, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it just yet. This felt like the perfect opportunity to dive into a book by Horowitz.

The Word is Murder is a Sherlockian novel where we see that the author inserts himself into as one of the main characters. He’s a writer who follows a former police detective, Daniel Hawthorne, as he solves a mysterious murder. Putting himself in the book is one of the most meta things that Horowitz could do and it works so well.

I found myself not wanting to put the book down because it was such a compelling story. It wasn’t until semi-recently that I binged my way through Sherlock, and this book captured a similar essence that the show did even without Sherlock being in it.

Just when you think you know who committed murder, the story takes a turn and everything you thought was wrong. There are also moments when you’re reading it and your thinking is in line with that of Horowitz in the story. You read this from his perspective, so naturally you might find yourself agreeing with his version of what happened.

The book is clever and fascinating. It’s not often that I fall in love with an author immediately after reading a single book by them, but that’s what happened here. Thanks to The Word is Murder, I’ll be going back and reading previous books from Horowitz. His attention to detail and ability to create an intriguing story make the mystery work so well.

Grab a copy of The Word is Murder via Amazon.

Welcome to Geekdom 086: Get Out

Welcome To Geekdom

Meghin Moore returns to Welcome to Geekdom this week to discuss Get Out. We discuss what made the movie unique, the casting, and more.You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.

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SoCal Spotlight: Swerve

Swerve

Swerve is the latest SoCal band to grab our attention. They’re playing The Bootleg on June 26th with support from TEST to celebrate their EP release. Check out more information about the band and how they got their start.

Hometown: Los Angeles
When the band formed: 2015
Members:
Greg Mahdesian – Vocals, guitar
Ryan Berti – Guitar, vocals
Brandon Duncan – Bass, vocals, production
Mark Garner – Drums, jokes

When did you first know you wanted to be in a band?

GM: I think I’ve always wanted to be in a band, but didn’t know how to put myself out there until a few years ago. I started off doing solo stuff with my acoustic guitar and then it kind of organically became a band once we started playing live. It’s more fun that way and the music is better, and no one ever asks “who’s your favorite solo artist?”. It’s always “what’s your favorite band?”.

RB: I’ve always thought that music sounded better when there was some synergy between the people making it, and figured that’d be the goal.

BD: Wait, I’m in a band?

MG: When Titanic came out, I saw it and thought, “man, I never want to be on a boat like that” and bought a drum set. The rest is history.

How did the current lineup come to be?

RB: Greg asked if I played guitar, and if I could show up on-time to practice, and I said yes to both.

GM: Brandon produced the first EP and since he knew the songs so well I asked if he could play bass while I put together a live outfit, and he’s been in it ever since. Ryan and I were buddies from school and he asked if he could join the band after several margaritas at Las Perlas in downtown. Mark just kind of showed up one day.

MG: Greg said he had dirt on me, and I didn’t really want to take the risk.

BD: I’m pretty sure it was all an accident.

With all the little pockets of music scenes in SoCal, how do you go about checking out the local scene and finding new bands to listen to or even perform with?

GM: Friends will invite us out to check out their band or their friends’ bands- it’s like a way less lame version of corporate networking. We get asked to support some bands and then we do the same, and hopefully you like each other and become fans of one another and make a connection.

BD: I just wait for the youngsters in the band to tell me what’s cool, and also where to show up for gigs and when.

MG: I don’t know anyone outside of the music scene so it’s basically all I do.

RB: All of the local bands seem to have some network of friend-bands, so it’s just a matter of going to shows and learning what’s going on outside of your own friend-band-network.

What’s your favorite thing about the SoCal scene? What’s one thing you wish you could change about it?

RB: The number of great local/national/international bands that play in Los Angeles on any given night of the week is crazy. I wouldn’t change a thing.

GM: I like how surprisingly welcoming it is. We kind of showed up late to the party and have still found a home, made friends and all that. It’s probably a little too dispersed to really feel like a proper scene though- there’s a lot of micro-scenes. I don’t really have anything else to compare it to, but I like it.

There’s no doubt that this is a crowded place. So do you ever find it difficult to build up even just a solid local following? How does the band go about doing that?

GM: The competition probably forces you to be better. There’s a million different things going on every night, so it’s always easier for someone not to see you than to check you out. Maybe it forces you to think too career oriented as well, and you can end up getting myopic and thinking that LA is all that there is. I mostly think that if you show up and play well, get better and be open to new ideas without sacrificing what you are, and put in the hustle, you’ll at least bring people to shows.

BD: Greg asks me that same question every other week….

How do you handle the band’s social media presence? Where can the readers follow you?

RB: It’s usually an amalgamation of our individual pictures and videos, and we have friends that help us find a common theme/color in that mess.

MG: I try to really take the reigns and approach everything with a hands-off, but controlling vibe.

GM: We know who we are, so we try to just be ourselves when we post and interact with others online…with help from people that know how to post and interact with others.

BD: Also leave that up to the youngsters. But after all, we are a band, so what we’re really interested in are listeners!

Do you have a favorite SoCal spot to play? What makes it your favorite?

GM: Playing the Troubadour was an amazing experience, and I’m stoked to be headlining the Bootleg for our EP release show. I’ve always wanted to play there and to be the main attraction feels good.

What is the band working on right now?

GM: Tons of new music. We’re expanding our sound, going heavier and also prettier. Headlining the Bootleg June 26th, and then getting out of LA to see what we’ve been missing.

BD: Mostly I’m trying to galvanize these youngsters’ livers so that when we go out on the road they can keep up with the old geezer!

MG: I’m not entirely sure… there’s a ballad in there though. And experimenting with feedback.

RB: Fuckin’ bangers.