Spotlight: Through Being Cool

 image credit:  Paper Anchor Co
image credit: Paper Anchor Co

 Welcome to “Spotlight” where we highlight awesome events in different cities. This month we set our sights on San Diego and “Through Being Cool” the brain child of Derek Hubbard and Steven Perez Oira. Through Being Cool is a 21+ event that features emo and alt rock songs played with live DJ’s Derek Hubbard and Steven Perez spinning the tracks. This month they’re at Blonde Bar in San Diego. I was lucky enough to have Derek answer a few questions about Through Being Cool.

Dinosuar SpaceshipHow did Through Being Cool come about? Who’s idea was it and how did you get involved?

Derek Hubbard: It was interesting actually, Steven approached me knowing I had done some DJ’ing before and asked if I wanted to help him set up a night at a bar where we could hear the songs we listened to when we were younger. And I said sure sounds fun, thinking we were gonna be setting up a playlist and sorta let it play as background music at a bar. However both Steven and I have previous music experience so we decided to take a different approach to it and set it up as a stage. The response we got from the first night was bananas so we decided to keep doing it.

DS: Who came up with using the name “Through Being Cool”? Did someone just really like “Saves the Day” or what was the inspiration behind it?

DH: So we definitely brainstormed on this for a while, we went through many variations for the name, and when that name came up on the list it just made sense with the image we were trying to create. Because our nights are not about whether a song is “emo” or not or whether your taste in music is better than mine. We are sort of whatever dudes and wanted the night to be about that, a place where people can just be themselves and not be judged. I believe Through Being Cool speaks to that. 

DS: Where are you currently playing?

DH: We are currently at “The Office” in North Park, and we will have our first night at San Diego’s hot new joint “Bar Blonde” this weekend.

DS: Who chooses the music?

DH: Both Steven and I get together and discuss a list of songs that we must play before the show, we split the set to where we can each take breaks and we tend to feed of the crowd and change accordingly. We also had our boy Sean Coyne play an intro set during our last event and it was fire.

DS: What are the goals for Through Being Cool?

DH: We would just like to keep it going, and make sure it continues to be fun. We have some ideas lined up that will change up the night in fun ways. This is a night for our friends and people who love these genres.

DS: How can fans contact you and or suggest songs?

DH: You can usually submit requests to our event pages on Facebook, as well as tweet us at @tbcsandiego.

 image credit: Through Being Cool
image credit: Through Being Cool

DS: How often is Through Being Cool performing? Monthly? Bi-monthly? 

DH: Right now since I am away from San Diego and can only fly back a limited amount of times we are doing monthly. We have plans in the future to perhaps move to bi monthly. 

DS: Ok so one more question, and it’s kind of deep so prepare yourself. Do you think the revival of emo music in the past years has helped fuel your own nostalgia for the genre and contributed to its following and do you see this type of music sticking around like The Beatles and other classics?

DH: I don’t know about The Beatles, but I do know that our generation will never forget this music. This is music that we relate to, it hit us at the right moment in our lives. It brings back memories of being in love or heartbroken, or just hating everything. As for favorite band that’s a hard question but I’m going to have to say that this was either Taking Back Sunday or Paramore. These were the two bands that were there for me on a personal level when I was younger. Now I’m mostly all about pop punk and you can find me listening to The Story So Far and Neck Deep. 

DS: Anything cool about this upcoming show or anything else you want to mention?

DH: Yes, we have an awesome act, Pop Punk Mayhem opening up the set and it’s at a brand new bar for us to party at. We are also raffling the album “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” by My Chemical Romance on vinyl, so make sure you arrive before 10pm for your chance to win. 

I also wanted to shout out Desiree Perez @PaperAnchorCo for designing a dope flyer for us, Sean Coyne, Liam Lawlor, Jonas Bautista and Allen at Bar Blonde. </3

If you’re in the San Diego area be sure to check out Through Being Cool August 27th at Blonde Bar and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Below is a handy map to Bar Blonde. 


Hands On Preview: Recore

 Image Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship
Image Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship

With only weeks till release Recore to many is an amalgam. Its debut last year at E3 was filled with fancy CGI that gave no hint to what the game was about. This past E3 Microsoft delivered about a 60 second sizzle reel that showed some of its mechanics but not much; combined with a $40 price tag people are concerned about the quality of the game. After hands on time with Recore at Nerd HQ the game showed signs of promise but revealed very little again.

In Recore you play as Joule Adams awoken from cryo sleep on a planet Far Eden that was to be the new home for humans. Something has gone wrong, most of the “corebots” that were supposed to be helping terraform the planet are instead hostile. From there, your journey begins. Recore at its heart is part platformer and part shooter. The demo I had hands on time with was low on the platformer side and heavy on the shooting side. 

The shooting mechanics were enjoyable with more to it than just holding down the trigger. Different types of robots need different types of ammo to effectively take down. The ammo was mapped to your a,b,x, and y buttons. This provided a nice change of pace then simply blasting everything in sight with little or no thought. The platforming pieces came into play when I needed to scale a wall. Thanks to a jet pack Joule can double jump and one of her trusty corebots can help sling her against walls and carry her higher up. In the demo there was a male voice giving Joule directions so perhaps she is not alone on the planet or it is an AI of some type. The demo did not make this part clear. Hopefully Microsoft will release more information on Recore before it is available to get a better feel for what the game actually is. The Gamescom demo  did not show much more than what had already been seen with the exception of a couple more core mechanics. These core mechanics gave a hint to the upgrade system of the corebots adding new abilities. 

Though my time was enjoyable I could see myself growing weary of all the jumping and shooting. The world needs to be rich and enticing in order for me to keep going back. Microsoft and the developer have held back talking about any more of the story and world behind Recore. Hopefully that choice was made to preserve the experience when playing the game for the first time and not because there’s not much more to talk about. 



Comic Con: Nerd HQ Recap

 Image Source: NerdHq Wiki
Image Source: NerdHq Wiki

The Nerd Machine made an appearance in San Diego alongside San Diego Comic Con in the form of Nerd HQ. The brain child of Zachary Levi features what they call “Conversations with a cause”; live panels with actors, musicians etc… Those who wished to attend could purchase a ticket to a panel for 20 dollars, of which the proceeds were donated to Operation Smile. This year Nerd HQ was held at the New Children’s Museum and unlike the panels was free of charge with registration. Nerd HQ had a variety of things to check out besides panels including video games like Gears Of War 4, Battlefield 1, Recore and much more. 

If you were in attendance at Nerd HQ you’re familiar with the event. For those that are planning to go to comic con in the future it is definitely a place worthy of your time. The lines are shorter, panels are easier to get into and it won’t cost you anything to attend the event itself (albeit not panels). I was able to get hands on time with a multiplayer match of Gears of War 4 much easier than anything possible at Comic Con. Nerd HQ also has signings from folks in the industry. The highlight for myself was getting to play 20 minutes of Recore. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on Recore in an upcoming preview to give you an idea if it’s worth your time. Also on display were the Xbox One S and the customer Gears of War 4 Xbox One S. Both consoles looked incredible and if you purchase one you’ll be pleased with it’s aesthetics. It is a huge improvement over the original Xbox One design. If you’re in town for Comic Con next year make sure you take a detour to Nerd HQ. It’s not always granted to return so the support of fans attending will ensure its future. 

Comic Con: South Park 20th Anniversary Experience

 Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship
Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship

South Park had a strong presence at San Diego comic con celebrating the shows 20th anniversary. Across the street from the convention center Comedy Central hosted the South Park experience. Fans were treated to high quality cut outs of their favorite characters and also featuring famous scenes from the show. From Professor Chaos to Satan to towelie fans could find their favorites among all the cut outs. 

Being a casual fan some of the references alluded me but my colleague a big South Park fan was in her own heaven, taking pictures with all the characters. Each section had a different famous scene and perfectly set up to take pictures. Comedy Central was kind enough to hire staff that would take pictures for you with your camera to get a better shot. At the end of the experience was a tent dedicated to the upcoming game South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The days were hot so it wasn’t quite the immaculate recreation of the fictitious snowy South Park, Colorado; but was still a great way to honor the 20th anniversary of the show.