Pronounce if you dare: m-.-n
It turns out that whether the pasty white guy on stage is rocking a guitar or a Gameboy, the appropriate crowd reaction is still a fist-in-the-air augmented “Wooooooooo!” It’s not clear exactly how one plays a Gameboy, but that didn’t keep an international line-up of gamer/musicians like Sidabitball and m-.-n (your pronunciation guesses are as good as mine) from plugging in their portable consoles and pumping up the Bell House’s 8-Bit crowd. The bulk of attendees, dressed in pixelated hoodies and TMNT shirts, were gladly whipped into a Chiptuned frenzy, throbbing to a high BPM assault that could’ve easily been mistaken for a remix of the Castlevania theme.
Though some on the periphery of the Third Annual Blip Festival’s first day were engaged in their own devices (were they texting? gaming? coding?) most of the Blipsters in attendance moved their feet shyly and studied the projected visuals, which varied from heavily scrambled NES graphics (dude, just blow into the cartridge!) to grainy, stuttering fragments of talking heads.
At least the kids don’t take themselves too seriously. Sidabitball played an aggro, 1-Up fueled take on 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready For This,” while the audience supplied some of the night’s nerdy punchlines: “Time to reboot!” someone shouted when a Gameboy crashed mid-song. The geek onstage then askied if anyone had some spare AAs. “Why don’t you just do it a capella?” someone else suggested. Eventually, the system was reset, and the crowd erupted the moment that familiar, just-switched-on Gameboy tone rang out: “Ping!”–Greg Burgett