Laptop Deathmatch (n.): Laptop artists use one laptop and one external device to create electronic music in a "friendly-single elimination tournament." A panel of judges rate contestants on creativity, technique and stage presence during three-minute performances. Up to 16 contestants compete in the first round, then eight, and so on until a winner is declared.
Last night's Laptop Deathmatch at the Double Wide saw a great deal more folks than usual--and a sudden surge in what can only be called "nerd rape" jokes, thanks to emcee Joseph Butcher. The hulking mike-checker and Polyphonic Spree'r made totally inappropriate and totally hilarious jokes in between setups for such laptop DJs as Kidko, Sir Rawly, Frogboy, DJ Sexcidillionaire, Cygnis, DJ Wild Bull and the lone femme competitor, Lady Malice. If you missed Butcher's awesome recounting of 8-year-old Joe's sexual fantasy involving a "hiking accident" with Burt Reynolds, we pity you.
Now, as a judge for the event (along with four others, some of whom were past competitors), the scoring was sometimes difficult, as many of the contestants have drastically different styles, from remix to ambient to "I Heart Autechre." The fourth round brought it to the final two contestants: DJ Sexcidillionaire and DJ Wild Bull. For the first time in LD history, all five judges weighed in at a tie, so at approximately 12:45 a.m. a face-off began to determine the official winner. Sexi went first and was met with a wash of applause. Wild Bull faced some technical difficulties but came blazing out of the gate with a showstopping guitar-laden (yeah, you read that right) performance that won him the match. Joe Butcher, however, was the sentimental favorite. The Laptop Deathmatch kicks it again the last Sunday in May. Be there, or who knows what Joe Butcher will do to a nerd. --Merritt Martin