28 November, 2007

Nerdcore and Geek Rock

I whole-heartedly embrace nerdiness in every facet of my life, because - like blondes - I think nerds have more fun. I can hold up my end of a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings conversation, I own a bunch of "graphic novels", and I'm a big fan of Super Mario and Tetris on the Original Nintendo (you know, the one with like four buttons). Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I'm a music geek. I'm not quite "dead-head" material, because I've never kept notebooks full of set-lists from my favorite band's shows, but I get pretty freaking excited when I find an old Hendrix clip or "discover" Tuvan throat singing (I'll save that story for another post).

It always makes me happy to hear music that embraces the fresh, free, and funky side of life where the nerds reside. Not all of us can constantly connect with the super-smooth world of Justin Timberlake and the Jonas Brothers, plus why would we always want to? I'm a fan of a world with surprises, and if every boy were super-smooth there just wouldn't be many surprises to make life exciting.

In this nerd-friendly mood, I found a happy surprise on another blog (Mainstream Isn't So Bad, Is It?) in the form of Yea Big and Kid Static. This is a nerdcore duo who create hip-hop music that can tap into the geek in anyone. The beats are good, and the lyrics range from amusing to serious, but always hold onto that geek charm that's so endearing. You should check out the Mainstream blog for a real review of the new album Yea Big and Kid Static, because I'm just here to point you in the direction of nerd-greatness. I will say that the song "We've Built A Time Machine That Runs On Beats. We Shall Only Use It For Good." makes video-game bleeps fair game for the hip-hop community.

Music geeks who want their video-game sounds separated from any other genre, should listen to "chiptunes" by artists like Bubblyfish and Sayaka Suzuki. The compilation cover album - The Music of Kraftwerk Performed on 8-bit Video Game Systems makes that annoying, blippy music very cool. "Computer Love (2007 Remastered)" by Covox is an elegant bit of beeping, computer joy. "Pink Flower" by Sayaka Suzuki achieves a sound that reminds me of pink flowers and the Mario Brothers. Chiptunes aren't just for boys!

There are different kinds of geeks, and to each their own music. One kind sits in a room with headphones on and analyzes every instrument and lyric in a single song. I know this kind of music nerd would listen to Devendra Banhart's "Lover" with some satisfaction and interest. S/he would also digest the lyrics of "Anti Love Song" by Betty Davis, while taking into account the Miles influences. These songs aren't Geek Rock per se, but they are amazing songs that lend themselves to musical deconstruction.

Join the Geek squad and have fun!

No comments: