So... Geek Rock is a thing?
Believe it or not, it is.
Geek rock a.k.a. Nerd Rock, even has a Wikipedia page which defines the sub-genre as a form of music whose subject matter covers topics in "geek media pop culture" that includes things like gaming, comics, movies, and technology. You know, dorky stuff. But over time, the definition of geek rock, has evolved in the same way the word geek has. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about; I am thirty-three years old, when I was a kid the term "geek" was used in more of a derogatory context as a way of making fun of someone. But now, as these days are in the past, the word geek, even though sill having negative connotations, shifted its societal meaning from one of intelligence to passion and in 2017, phrases like "geeking out" are said regularly amongst our friends. So think about that when applied to music, nerd rock has gone from bands who sing extensively about TV shows and science to dressing up as your favorite Simpsons character and playing tunes inspired by his "Flander-ness".
Yes, that exists, and they are called Okily Dokily...
For those of you who have heard the term nerd rock before, your mind probably goes right to Weezer, who realistically maybe the closets thing the mainstream music industry has seen to the genre. I believe most of Weezer's nerd rock status is perpetuated by the media's perception of the band's front man Rivers Cuomo. Shorter guy, black framed glasses, Harvard education, you see what I mean? In case you didn't know, Cuomo was actually enrolled at Harvard in the early 1990's but dropped out to record Weezer's second album Pinkerton. (Begin the Blue Album v Pinkerton debate now) He later went back to finish his degree and graduated in 2008. Since then, Weezer has been on a non-stop cycle of being in the studio and on the road. I was fortunate enough to see them at this year's Forecastle Festival in Louisville KY, and I'll tell you honestly, they are the best they have ever been.
Check out this video for "Keep Fishin" off their 2002 album Maladroit...
Here at Nerdbot we like to show you the Nerd side of life, so let us show you the Nerd side of music.
Time Crash is a time lord rock group out of Chicago whose main theme is Dr. Who. Time Lord rock is an entire genre of music inspired by the famed television show. Check out the song "Oi Spaceman!" if you want proof...
Why stop at Dr. Who?
A band out of Norwood, Massachusetts called Harry And The Potters are at the forefront of the wizard rock movement. You can see them in matching Hogwart's uniforms rocking out "I am A Wizard"
How about a galaxy far far away?
Galactic Empire dresses in Cosplay and jams heavy metal versions of selections from the Star Wars franchise. Check out their cover of "The Imperial March" below...
Like Game Of Thrones?
Daenerys And The Targaryens are a punk band that is all bout them Thrones...
I'll save my favorite for last. Mac Sabbath, a McDonald's inspired Black Sabbath cover band, is by far one of the more interesting examples. Simply put, just watch the video...
Bet you never thought you'd see something like Mac Sabbath, or any of these, but they exist.
If you are looking for something a little less gimmicky with actual intelligence, I'll give you a couple examples. Coheed And Cambria, granted they walk a fine a line between emo punk and progressive rock (I know right?) but the lyrics of their music are nothing shy of a full cinematic experience that tells the story of two characters (Coheed and Cambira) and their adventures in a galaxy called Heaven's Fence. Lead signer Claudio Sanchez is in the process of re-releasing a comic series called The Armory Wars in hardcover this August beginning with the first installment called The Second Stage Turbine Blade (also a title of one of their albums)on the 15th.
You can't go wrong with Tool, except it may actually be 10,000 Days before we see their next album. (See what I did there?)
Do not under estimate Nerd Culture. You think it may be nothing more than homework and broken glasses but with superhero movies, style choices (that's for you hipsters), or even sports (Esports are more popular than ever now) nerds are slowly taking over the world.
By Adam Chmielewski
What are some of your favorite Nerd Rock bands? Have you seen Mac Sabbath live? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!