imputor? Press Clippings

imputor? :: Geek Night

2002-04-01
Tekbug Online
http://tekbug.net/


Thereís something subversive lurking in the basement of the Alibi Room on Thursday nights. No, itís not a private party of Drama grad students and itís not the trendy overflow from the main bar. Instead, itís Geek Night, a semi-regular meeting of folks addicted to creating and playing music with computers.

What is Geek Night? Well, itís hard to say exactly what Geek Night is. Itís also hard to nail down exactly when Geek Night is held. In the recent past it was a bi-weekly "event" held every other Thursday in the basement of the Alibi Room. It was hosted by Sientific American and/or Plastiq Phantom, and was designed to educate laptop-friendly fellow geeks in the ways of creating, editing, tweaking and playing music with, and through, laptop computers. So, what is Geek Night now? Thatís the good news.

Geek Night is poised to make a bold return in mid-March, and Plastiq Phantom promises to include some, if not all, of the following elements: software displays via overhead projector, visual and auditory tutorials of music software such as P.D., Reaktor, Fruity Loops, and Reason, headsets, laser pointers, IMAX movies and maybe even a lesson on sequencing with a palm pilot.

Having lost Sientific American to loftier and more lucrative peaks of the geeky stratosphere, Plastiq Phantom has been forced to go it alone. But instead of dwelling on the loss of a limb, he has done what any vengeful, self-respecting geek would do: heís gone bionic, adding greater amounts of technology to an already impressive cache. He has reprogrammed - bigger, faster, stronger, more memory. "I am a true geek," he says.

Luckily this is not the first time that the Phantom has had to embrace technology. On a recent visit to the nerdy sub-basement of the Alibi Room, the turntables sat motionless as the DJ (although at this point he can hardly be called a disc jockey, for he is jockeying around parcels of digitized information within the computer) sat at the bar and talked to... a girl. Having pre-programmed his song list, he was able to hit an occasional key on the laptop, thereby setting in motion wicked mutations of Destinyís Childís "Bootylicious". Instead of working up a sweat "on the wheels", he had simply substituted automation.

In recent weeks Geek Night has been shrouded in mystery. Akin to the calm before the storm, or perhaps the hesitation that precedes downloading web-based software, Plastiq Phantom has been tight-lipped. With a knowing smile, he hints that the upcoming Geek Night may involve networked computers. Rumors have been spreading about the possible appearance of Johnny Kawasaki and his Chihuahua, also named Johnny Kawasaki. Regardless, Plastiq Phantom is hoping that pocket protectors will adorn the chests of those attending. "I hope that people wear pocket protectors. I hope they bring their laptops, geek out, and arenít ashamed of it." But more importantly, he wants to see like-minded people that are ready to learn about, and participate in, the expanding relationship between computers and music. While sipping cocktails, of course.

* Plastiq Phantomís world is on display at www.imputor.com.

* The Alibi Room is located at 85 Pike Street (Pike Alley), underneath the pig at Pike Place Market.