If you’re a geek like myself, then odds are you’ve come across geekcore and nerdcore music at least once or twice in your journey across the intarwebs. I love geek music–it tends to cover far more interesting material than your average “Oh I love you, I hate you, I can see my kids in your eyes” type music that you hear on the radio. Geekcore and nerdcore music covers themes that are generally considered the domain of geeks and nerd such as anime, comics, Star Wars, Star Trek, video games, and fantasy and sci-fi books and movies. There is a hair-fine distinction between the different genres of geek and nerd music, for example geek rock tends to be an alternative music subgenre, while nerdcore (also called geeksta rap) is a generally a hip-hop subgenre.
Most geek and nerd music can be readily found across the Internet, from places such as last.fm, to MySpace, to the artist’s homepage. Here is a list (in no particular order) of ten brilliant geek- and nerdcore acts that you might enjoy. I know that music taste is subjective, so no lambasting me for “but why isn’t this artist in this list?”…I might have a reason for leaving out one artist or another, and I might not even be aware that your favorite artist exists. Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.
- Tripod – Tripod are a geek comedy group from Australia, and consist of band members Scott, Simon, and Steven. Their act is high in comic content, and they’re frequent guests at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The members of Tripod are self-confessed gaming geeks, and it shows in their music and excellent lyrics. Tripod’s music crosses several musical styles, has a strong focus on comedic content, and pokes a lot of gentle fun at geeks and gamers.
- Lemon Demon – Lemon Demon, fronted by Internet celebrity Neil Cicierega, is a geek band with a range of styles, but mostly easy to listen to. Their lyrics cover everything from kittens to Crayola, and somtimes seem quite surreal (for example the song Don’t Be Like The Sun). The lyrics don’t have much comedic bent, but the music is well written and still good listening.
Lemon Demon Website
- MC Hawking – Imagine if renowned physicist Stephen Hawking was a gangsta rapper. That’s pretty much what you get when you listen to MC Hawking. The lyrics are quite strong, so parental advisory and all that, but when you come down to it, it’s sheer brilliance. For example, from the track titled Entropy, he raps:
“Defining entropy as disorder’s not complete,
’cause disorder as a definition doesn’t cover heat.
So my first definition I would now like to withdraw,
and offer one that fits thermodynamics second law.”
MC Hawking Website
- Jonathan Coulton – Like many geekcore fans, I only heard of Jonathan Coulton after his fame with “Still Alive”, the ending song from the brilliant game Portal. Jonathan’s music is very accoustic, and his voice has a light quality that seems remniscient of Paul Simon (check out his brilliantly light rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back). Coulton’s lyrics cover a very wide range of topics, such as zombies, Tom Cruise, programmers, and creepy dolls. It’s well-written stuff that’s easy on the ears.
Jonathan Coulton Website
- They Might Be Giants – They Might Be Giants (often abbreviated to TMBG), an American geek rock band, cover themes such as the sun, metal detectors, and Istanbul (not Constantinople). You have heard TMBG’s work if you ever watched the TV show Malcolm in the Middle: TMBG did the theme song, You’re Not the Boss of Me.
They Might Be Giants Website
- MC Chris -MC Chris, with his idiosyncratic high-pitched voice, is a geeksta rapper and voice over artist. His music, with parental advisory lyrics, covers themes such as Star Wars (with the famous Boba Fett’s ‘Vette), video games, and dungeons and dragons. If you like your rap and your geek mixed up, give this a try–it’s entertaining.
MC Chris’s Website
- The Arrogant Worms – The Arrogant Worms are a Canadian group whose lyrics frequently have a comedic theme. Much of the humor is Canada-centric, such as their brilliant Last Sasketchewan Pirate and Canada is Really Big, but they do cover many themes from Dungeons and Dragons, cows, and Killer Robots from Venus.
The Arrogant Worms Website
- Dragonforce – Dragonforce are a British power-metal band who frequently use video game themes in their music. The music is fast and loud…very fast and very loud. In fact, as a point of interest, their song Through the Fire and Flames is featured as a track in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and is possibly one of the hardest tracks to play–a caveat that makes gamer geeks all the more determined to see it through, no matter what!