Posts Tagged ‘Ninja Sex Party’

Ninja Sex Party

April 16, 2018

Over two years ago, I started to fool around with YouTube. The platform is really great for people to self-publish. With less time and money to actually play a lot of video games, I discovered that I could watch others play them on YouTube via Let’s Play videos. Among the content creators I found, I still watch the Game Grumps (Arin Hanson and Danny Avidan). When I found out that Danny was also in a band, I had to check it out. At the time, he was the singer and one half of a band called Ninja Sex Party. All of their music videos were on YouTube so I could easily see what they were all about. I was an instant fan. Part of that was who the members of the band were.

Leigh Daniel Avidan was always a weird, fun-loving guy. At least, that is what I take away from all of the stories I have heard from him. He loved music from an early age and it shows. While he never had that much formal training, he grew up wanting to do something with music. His parents nurtured that creativity and joyous spirit and Danny first joined The Northern Hues and then later Skyhill as a singer. Both were serious music acts. After he left Skyhill, he searched for a new band to sing for. In the meantime, he started to take classes from Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in New York. While he was there, he met Brian (more on him later) and realized that comedy and music could be his path forward. While Danny seems like a kind soul, the character he portrays is definitely not while still being a fun-loving guy. While in NSP, he dubbed himself “Danny Sexbang”. He is a character who is at once arrogant and pathetic. He brags of how awesome he is but the reality quickly reveals how wrong he is. His character practically begs for sex, gets in trouble for his big mouth, and just ends up being comically bad at everything (except singing, of course). His stage outfit was originally based on Owen Hart’s Blue Blazer persona.

The other half of Ninja Sex Party is Brian Wecht. Brian was a geeky and brilliant guy as he grew up. He was a constant valedictorian who had a wicked sense of humor. He had formal training in music in college but he also really got into quantum physics and eventually got a PhD in particle physics. It was around this time that he met Danny while doing some comedy music gigs and working as a postdoc. While he started NSP with Danny, he was also starting a family and searching for teaching positions. He eventually became a professor in England, a position he eventually quit so he could do NSP full-time. His comedy comes from a sarcastic, dry place as he is well known for playing pranks and taking the piss out of his friends. He is NSP’s keyboardist and chief composer. The character he created is “Ninja Brian”, a silent ninja who covers his face and tends to enjoy murdering people as much as he likes playing music. His silent act is a great contrast to Danny’s loud and boisterous nature kind of like famous acts like Penn and Teller or The Marx Brothers.

The duo started as a comedy music act and they took gigs wherever they could. Eventually, they started writing songs to release on an album. Being friends with a lot of people on YouTube, they made a lot of connections and started to put out music videos. At the beginning, it was just the two of them. Brian was on keyboard and a lot of his sound was similar to stuff being done in Chiptune genre. The music was bouncy and fun. Danny’s vocals are great because he has a really rich voice and at some point he developed a process of doubling his voice by recording multiple tracks. In a time when everybody was being autotuned, he came up with a different method to stand out a bit. Their songs were written together, often with them spitballing song titles or lyrics at each other to see what made them laugh the most. Their songs were full of purposefully juvenile humor, songs about sex from characters who have never had it and were also full of cartoon violence. Their music videos are colorful and often as nonsensical and weird as their songs.


Take on Me

In late 2015, they were really growing their brand. They had three albums out and their style was really evolving and they were gaining legions of fans. I went and saw them in their first official concert at Magfest where they had their biggest crowd yet. At the time, they were just releasing an album of covers of music from the seventies and eighties. In order to do so, they decided to team up with another band named Tupperware Remix Party to provide more to their sound. This added drums, guitar, bass guitar, and a second keyboard to their sound along with background vocals. This added so many new layers to their sound and having a few non-comedy songs to sing at gigs did not hurt either. Their relationship with TWRP only grew and the two bands became intertwined with Danny providing vocals on some of TWRP’s songs. For the first time, the two groups were regularly touring together and that grew their audience even more.


Cool Patrol

Some might look at a band like Ninja Sex Party and roll their eyes and dismiss the band as juvenile. I see them as two guys who love to have fun and put out a kind of humor that is highly accessible. I look at their chief inspirations, Weird Al Yankovich and Tenacious D. While Weird Al wrote clean lyrics, both bands have silly and crazy lyrics. Also, both bands have developed larger than life characters that they play instead of being exaggerated versions of themselves. Their lyrics are clever and the humor behind them is a great example of self-deprecation. Both Danny and Brian are inspired by bands like Lonely Island, Flight of the Conchords, Weird Al, Tenacious D, but also non-comedy bands like Rush. The band continues to work toward getting better and better and it shows with each new release. They have further integrated TWRP as their touring band and they have really stepped up their songwriting. It is clear that Brian and Danny are both ambitious. They recently released a new cover album and are set to release their fourth album of original songs. So go out and check them out. If they are not your jam, then at least let me thank you for allowing me to gush about them a bit.

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100 Questions to Ask Each Other #4

June 13, 2016

I have worked on this lovely list of questions from Half a 1000 Miles three times before.  You can find parts one, two and three on this blog or at the links to the left of these words.  There will be one more after this one for a total of five.

62. If your friends described you, would they be more likely to talk about things you did OR things that happened to you?

I would think that they would be more likely to talk about things that I have done. Friends at work know me for the kind of work that I put in and the kind of guy I am. Friends outside of work are right beside me usually when I am doing awesome stuff. I have had a lot of great times with friends and I hope that they would remember that. I know that as an introvert, I kind of float into the background but I have still done plenty of things in my life. College, Theater, the Circus, the Campaign, this Blog and so many other adventures. Though, a few of my friends tend to live forever on the story about me being chased by an evil dog. I’ll have to tell that on this blog at some point.

63. If you got mad at your partner and went to sleep on the couch, would you be doing so because you wanted to get away from them OR to deprive them of your company?

I have a problem with anger sometimes and I tend to retreat instead of confronting people. The only time I come close to confrontation is if it is forced as I hate the way that situation feels. When I get angry, I definitely want to get away and either be by myself or at least away from the target of my anger. As for depriving people of my company, I do not think that highly of myself. When I walk away angry, I do not think that person misses me at all. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s honestly more about reaching a safe distance to vent my anger than some delusion of grandeur.

64. Is there any circumstance where you would speak up at a wedding when they asked if anyone knows why the couple should not get married?

The last thing I ever want to do is interfere in anyone’s love life. If couples keep secrets from each other, I do not want to be the one to get involved because people get hurt. It is not my place to reveal things or interfere with people unless I somehow knew that one of them was using a false identity. The only other reason I might interfere with a marriage is if I had strong feelings for one of the participants. If I honestly could not bear the thought of them getting married I would have to tell them or somebody. However, all of this does not matter as there is no way I would interrupt a marriage ceremony. The stage fright issues would be off the charts.

65. If the mail carrier accidentally left your neighbor’s mail in your box and it didn’t look important, would you just throw it away?

No, I would not just throw away my neighbor’s mail. My neighbors are all pretty much all less than a block away as I live in a very small area. Returning their mail to them is extremely easy since I don’t really know them or want to know them, I would just place it on their porch or in their mail box. I know what it’s like to not get a piece of mail or for a missing piece of mail to cause a lot of trouble. Who am I to judge what is and isn’t important? Of course, I do sometimes get mail from people who used to live in the house and I have absolutely thrown that away because I have no idea where they are. Apparently the United States Postal Service does not know where they are either so into the trash it goes. Sorry, whatever your name is, I don’t know what else to do.

66. How do you feel about the fact that you will get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt when there are no seatbelts on school buses?

They are separate issues to me. Wearing your seatbelt is an incredibly important thing that you have to do because it is the law. If it were not the law, it is still something you have to do in order to make sure that you make it out of a crash alive. If anybody rides in my car, they have to wear their seatbelt or they do not ride with me. I have never lost anybody in my life to a car crash but that is not going to change on my watch. As for school buses, I am always astonished that they and charter buses do not have seatbelts. As somebody who has been in a bus crash, I get really nervous when I notice that there are no seatbelts. I don’t want to imagine the kind of pinball that goes on when a school bus gets into a crash. Either somebody needs to explain this to me or they need to attach some seat belts to buses.

67. Would you speak up if all your friends kept telling you how incredibly lucky you were to have something, and you had sacrificed huge amounts of time, money, and energy acquiring that thing?

Yes.  I would definitely speak up. I definitely do not have an arrogance problem. I am very humble about my accomplishments and I am the last person to brag about anything that I have done. However, if my friends were to crap all over the hard work I did to get something done the humility would be set aside. Luck is one thing and it is a great thing to have. You get things for nothing and then you work hard to deserve them after the fact. However, if I work hard to get something that is more important than whatever I acquired. However, I am more than ready to let others have all of the credit for getting something if it helps them out.

68. Which of these phrases do you prefer? a) The Lord helps those who help themselves, OR b) God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into their nest?

Neither, really. I believe that God does nothing and is nothing but people are free to believe what they want. So let’s address the concepts by themselves. I do believe that people who work are more likely to get ahead in life. If you work, people respect that and they are more willing to help you. If you cannot find a job and you try, people are more willing to help you. We should still work to help those who cannot help themselves, though. And by that, I mean those who are unable to help themselves through no fault of their own.

69. Do you think most genuine apologies should be followed by a promise never to do it again?

Now that depends on whether or not you are apologizing for something that was wrong to do. If I dented your car and I apologized, I would also sincerely promise to never do it again. Would I do it again? Maybe, but it would not be for lack of trying. If you wrong somebody, you should promise never to do it again and mean it. Part of being sorry for something is trying to redress the emotional damage you did as well as the physical damage. However, if the promise is not sincere then you shouldn’t even bother. On the other hand, if you asked me to keep a precious secret and that secret was dangerous? I would tell and I would apologize but I would never promise to never do it again.

70. Have you ever asked for someone’s help as a favor to them?

Yes. There have been several times where somebody really wanted to help me out and would not take no as answer. I have asked for temporary work in order to make them feel better and it ended up benefitting me as well. Even to this day I will ask somebody to help me in order for them to feel better about themselves.

71. Have you ever been a failure when you tried your hardest, and a success when you did nothing at all?

Yes. I have to admit I failed as a government employee. I tried my hardest but they still let me go and that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I worked hard to get that job, worked myself crazy trying to be the guy and it just was not enough. Even now I wake up sometimes and sweat about having to go back there and I am happy that chapter of my life ended. As for the second part, sometimes I feel that way when family helps me out with something. I gain things and victories and I feel like I am

reaping

somebody else’s benefits. Still, if they are offering, I will accept. I will try hard to make the most of it and try not to make them sorry for helping me.

72. Do you undervalue what you are, and overvalue what you are not?

Yes but I think everybody is guilty of that. I am my own worst critic so unless there is empirical evidence that I am good at something, I honestly cannot tell whether I am good at something or not. I definitely routinely undervalue what I am and overvalue what I am not. I am working on it, though. As I get older and prove myself I am gaining more and more confidence. That confidence gives me the power to be a better person in all parts of my life. I am not perfect but I will never be perfect. I can only be perfect.

73. On a show such as American Idol, would you vote for someone simply because they were from your hometown when you didn’t feel they were actually the best singer?

Yes, I have to say I would. For me, talent in singing is one thing but there is another deeper element called heart which is way more important to me. If somebody is singing their heart out, that’s more important to me than technical mastery. That being said, I am a diehard supporter of Baltimore. It is where I was born and raised and pretty much the only place I want to be if I have my way. In the past, I have supported people like Ed Norton, Stacy Keibler, Detective Munch (he’s real to me, damn it!) and (to a point) Anna Faris. I have incredible hometown pride. Besides, anybody of worth finds their footing in the industry whether they win or lose.

74. If you owned the restaurant, who would eat for free?

My mother would always eat free regardless of her protests. Family and my close friends could eat free but within reason. However, I don’t think my family or friends would abuse the power of a free meal and they always have my back anyway. Beyond that, I guess I would give a free meal to anybody it was advantageous to comp. If I could wow somebody and the returns were worth it, dinner would be on me.

75. Have you ever been mad at someone for something they did in a dream?

No, I have not. Most people I know are not in my dreams and when they are, they are usually their kind selves. The people I do not care for often do not make it into my dreams or nightmares. I have woken up from a dream, swearing that I heard somebody I know call out to me. I have run to the window, checked the front door and they were not there. Then I get mad at myself because I was so silly to believe a voice from my dream.

76. Would you rather have someone very smart extremely mad at you OR someone very stupid extremely mad at you?

I would rather have somebody very stupid extremely mad at me. Stupid people are predictable and their revenge can often be seen a million miles away and I can mitigate the damage before it happens. Back in Middle School I got into a few fights that I am not proud of but some of them were against bullies and although they got their licks in, I was too small and scrappy to really put down. Smart people tend to know just how to really make it hurt. They attack you physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. They can even attack your reputation and cut you off from people who could have helped you. They can make it so you never know it was them. The slow pain is the worst of all.

77. Can reputations be built on what you say you are going to do?

Sure, people do it all the time. I am not completely familiar but that seems to be how stocks work. The initial Facebook stock price was built on false promises, dreams and duct tape. Of course, if you keep promising and never deliver then you will build a reputation. It will be a bad reputation but some people are fine with that as long as you get them talking.

78. Name three things worth waiting in line for.

Anything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In fact, I stood in the rain to see Captain America: Civil War at 9:30 am so that I would get half price on a 3D IMAX viewing. It’s so fun to see all the heroes who I spent my allowance on gracing the silver screen with all of the action, drama and comedy.

Ninja Sex Party
I stood in one spot for two hours in order to get ten rows back from the stage at the MAGFest 2016 performance of TWRP/NSP. By the end of the night, my legs were more tired than they ever were in the opera days or coming home from the gym. The next day I stood in line for five hours to get an autograph from them but the line was cut off before I could get in. I told the whole story earlier this year.

Meeting one of my personal heroes
While I have not had the chance yet, I have many guys that I would wait a whole day to meet if possible. Kevin Smith, Mick Foley, Neil Gaiman, Adam Savage, Kate Leth, Guillermo Del Toro and the list goes on. I hope someday to meet one of my heroes.

79. If character is what one is, and reputation is what others think one is, do you know both people with a good reputation and a bad character AND people with a good character and a bad reputation?

Yes, I really do. There are plenty of political examples and personal examples but I really do not wish to call people out and get myself in trouble. Both are definitely extremely possible.

80. If you had an unexpected day off, would you look forward more to relaxing OR getting shit done?

I would look forward to relaxing. I would kick back and watch some stuff, take a nap and probably get a little stuff done for the blog since I don’t lump that in with work. The last part of my Meyers-Briggs is J and that means I tend to schedule things and I do not respond well to changes. Sure, I can pull it together and respond to unexpected obstacles and threats but I would rather not if given the choice. A little decompression can go a long way toward mental health and future productivity. You need to take care of yourself when the opportunities arise. I am a strong believer in taking care of myself.

81. Have you ever Googled yourself?

Yes, I have googled myself. It’s how I know how deep my blog is in the results and what others will see when they google me as part of a vetting process. I have never seen anything negative but I have not done it in a while. Honestly, I am getting the itch to do it again right now.

Magfest 2016

February 21, 2016

So for the past two days I attended Magfest 2016 down at National Harbor, MD in the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. This was my first time going to Magfest and I was really excited to be on a little adventure, something I could not have done a few years ago. I listened to Welcome to Night Vale, Ninja Sex Party and TWRP on the way down and I was pumped. I knew I would have to keep a head of steam up until at least midnight if I was going to accomplish everything I wanted to do. The National Harbor was as beautiful as I had been led to believe and when I stepped into the Gaylord I was blown away with how huge and beautiful it was.

The fandom factor was in full effect as it looked like the entire hotel had been taken over by fictional characters of every description. The cosplay was one of my favorite parts of attending the con. People put so much effort and skill into good cosplay and it was really cool to see. At times that I was tired or overwhelmed, I saw a character I enjoyed walking around and I smiled. That sort of thing has such a powerful effect. Here’s a short list of great stuff I saw: Mojo Bubbles, The Kingdom Hearts Cast, The Undertale Cast several times over, Carmen Sandiego, Waldo, Classic Harley Quinn, Mario Maker, Artemis and this gaggle of Ricks right here.

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The con had a huge arcade that I went to the first day over and over.  It was loud and heavily populated so it would become overwhelming.  I played Bad Dudes, Fist of the North Star, Galaga 3, Killer Instinct 2, Wild Gunman, Tron, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Street Smart and Metal Slug for the first time.  Arcade games are so much fun even though they all are pretty much super short on story.  The gameplay usually makes up for it and it’s just easy enough to want to continue when you fail.  In this arcade, the games were free so I could try over and over until somebody looked like they wanted the machine.  Ten year old me internally high fived 33 year old me.  I also visited the Museum of Computers and got to play Dragonfire on Intellivision, a game system that was obsolete by my  second birthday.

I had a lot of fun hanging out and people watching and just enjoying the convention for what it was. I never once attended a panel but that was not what I was there for. I loved the energy of the convention. While waiting on a meet up with Barry Kramer, I got to chat briefly with some Game Grumps fans. Then Barry arrived and was promptly swarmed by us, the poor guy. I got his autograph and I was able to tell him how much I liked his work on Table Flip and Game Grumps.

Now it was time for the main event. I had come to the convention with several objectives but the number one mission was always attending the Ninja Sex Party/Tupperware Remix Party concert. So I went into the concert hall and watched the One Ups and they had a great set that was very chill but enjoyable. After that, I stayed put near the stage and chatted with NSP fans for a full hour. When I looked behind me at that point the place was mobbed and I was lucky to be about five people from the stage. I felt so lucky even though I was short and knew I would still have trouble seeing everything.

We flipped off Brian Wecht during the sound check and happily chanted at him as he and TWRP did their thing. TWRP hit the stage and, although I wasn’t as familiar with them, their mini set was absolutely electric. I need to pay more attention to them. Then NSP hit the stage and one of the loudest reactions I have ever heard nearly blew the roof off the place. NSP joined TWRP on stage for “The Decision” and “If We Were Gay” and we all sang along. Then they started in on there upcoming cover album with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Take On Me”. Finally they jammed out to “The Hit“, the first TWRP song that featured NSP.  At some point in the evening, Danny informed us that 5000 people were in attendance. It was so awesome. I stumbled out of the concert hall like I had achieved victory and limped off and drove to my hotel room.

I relaxed a little the next morning in my hotel room wih some free breakfast, the first real meal I had had in a while. I slide back over to the convention and did some more people watching and exploring as I thought about the day before. I started to wait outside the autograph area for Danny and Brian to show up for autographs. While I was waiting there, the Game Grumps fanart I was carrying attracted some interest. I got into a great discussion with a girl with pink hair and two Grump/NSP fans from Puerto Rico. We reminisced over great moments in Grump history and the concert the night before. After three and a half hours of waiting, they opened and closed the line and I did not get an autograph. It was disappointing but there were thousands of people who were also disappointed so I sucked it up.

I ate a big meal at a sports bar inside the hotel and rested my poor tortured feet and legs for a bit. Then I went and sat in a hallway and did some writing for the blog and played Pocket Mortys for a while. More people watching happened. Finally I rolled on over to the Commander Holly tweetheart meet up and I had a lot of fun. I met Kati Schwartz and let her know that she inspired me because she is a writer and I am a writer too. I met Kati’s friend PattNardz I chatted with some tweethearts and then guess what happened? Ninja Brian himself wandered into the meetup and graciously signed my poster. That was the perfect topper for the weekend and I drove back to Baltimore to crash in my own home.

Here is the Game Grumps poster with the three signatures I was able to get. There’s Barry’s signature, Brian’s signature and Kati’s signature hiding down near the bottom.  Thanks to @OnstaMonster for the art!

y.

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Media Update 6/4/2015

June 4, 2015


Ninja Sex Party

 

I kind of hesitated to talk about this here because I try to keep this blog mostly clear of things that are NSFW. This is why I will probably never promote Steel Panther on this blog (wink). The thing is, NSP has lately burned itself into my brain and I’ve been playing the above video plenty of times this last week. The group is comprised of Ninja Brian and Danny Sexbang who are two internet musicians. The energy of Brian’s music combines really well with Danny’s infectious joy on the mic. This is probably the happiest music I’ve ever heard. Don’t worry about the NSFW stuff (unless your uncomfortable about sexy stuff which is totally cool)

 


Dead Like Me

 

I watched the entirety of Dead Like Me while I lived in New Jersey during a time where I was suffering major depression on and off. This show definitely resonated with me and it definitely lifted me from some dark days. I am not going to lie, this is a dark show but there’s a lot of comedy as well. It’s mostly about the personal journey of a young woman who dies and is tasked with taking the souls of the living just before their body dies so they can be escorted to the afterlife. It’s also about how we handle grief and how we learn to be ourselves as the ground shifts beneath our feet. It also has Mandy Patinkin in it.

 


Cinema Sins

 

This is actually a series that I really like but it also makes me nervous. See, Cinema Sins is a series of Youtube shorts that takes the piss out of movies. It goes moment by moment through a movie and points out plotholes, weird bits and annoying moments. Part of the joke is that they legitimately point out crappy parts of movies. The other part of the joke is they go beyond that and nitpick too much. All of this is hilarious until they make fun of movies I really love which is of course half the point of their videos.

 


Garfunkel and Oates

 

I just watched the first episode of this show on Netflix and it’s good. I first became acquainted with the Garfunkel and Oates because of Scrubs which was a favorite show of mine. Kate Miccuci was a reocurring guest star in the later seasons and was known as The Gooch. She played ukelele and sang which is what she does with her comedy music partner Riki Lindhome. The show (which is a sitcom sort of) follows the unique style of their music in that it is upbeat, awkward and funny all at once. It definitely caught me off guard with how good it was.


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