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The top 20 glorious geek rock anthems

While the Billboard Top 40 may never be dominated by geek-centric songs that bespeak that awkward and lonely lifestyle of the unrequited Trekkie, there are entire virtual radio stations' worth of geek rock anthems out there for the listen (and pirate download). Here's the Top 20.
The debate is over: Geeks have won the culture wars, because we have subjugated popular music and bent it to our will. While the Billboard Top 40 may never be dominated by geek-centric songs that bespeak the awkward and lonely lifestyle of the unrequited Trekkie, there are entire virtual radio stations' worth of geek rock anthems out there for the listen (and pirate download). Don't believe me? Here's the top 20 geek rock anthems as ranked by me. Feel free to add, subtract, and flame-war your own geek-favorite tunes in the comments section.

  1. In The Garage - Weezer
  2. Code Monkey - Jonathan Coulton
  3. White & Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic
  4. It Is Pitch Dark (You Are Likely to be Eaten by a Grue) - MC Frontalot
  5. One Week - Barenaked Ladies
  6. Wizard Needs Food Badly - Five Iron Frenzy
  7. Boss of Me - They Might Be Giants
  8. Hail to the Geeks - Deaf Pedestrians
  9. If I Could Be A Geek - Ric Seaberg
  10. Stack the Memory - Sniper Twins
  11. Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You - Ookla the Mok
  12. She Make It So - Warp 11
  13. Geek Like Me - The Wonderstrucks
  14. The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny - Lemon Demon
  15. Rockin' the Suburbs - Ben Folds
  16. Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
  17. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup
  18. Mr. Spock - Nerf Herder
  19. Maybe In An Alternate Dimension - Ozma
  20. We Are the Opening Band - Paul & Storm

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

43 comments
pbileci
pbileci

I'll add to the Rush songs: By-Tor and the Snow Dog Xanadu Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Madrigal The Twilight Zone Red Barchetta Anagram (For Mongo) Chain Lightning The Fountain of Lamneth The Necromancer Test For Echo Force Ten As for other artists: Nightwish: Beauty and the Beast, Elvenpath, FantasMic, Astral Romance Led Zeppelin: Ramble On Voltaire: Brains, Good Night Demon Slayer, various songs about Star Trek Queensr??che: Screaming in Digital, NM 156 Duran Duran: Electric Barbarella Tool: Lataeralus

Peter Ortenzi
Peter Ortenzi

Freak of the Week - Marvelous 3 Geeks Get the Girls - American Hi-Fi Space Invaders - Uncle Vic

Vaughn
Vaughn

Heres a good one: Handlebars by Flobots

vbrucewhitehead
vbrucewhitehead

Plus, the Beach Boys should get honorable mention for "Be True to Your School". If you ever start a list of anti-Geek songs, how about "Johnny Get Angry" by Shelley Fabares? P.s. Also, I agree with the person who suggested David Bowie's "Space Oddity". One more suggestion: The Who's "Pinball Wizard"? (see the world's first rock opera, Tommy)

ay_ca
ay_ca

"Re Your Brains" by Jonathan Coulton

chris
chris

I can't believe you left off Cloak of Elvenkind by Marcy Playground. I can no longer take you seriously. Nice linkbait tho.

ozchorlton
ozchorlton

I'm surprised - you let me down! You didn't include "Star Trekin' - by The Firm" - It did get to #1 in the eighties, (in th UK, at least).

Mr Stumper
Mr Stumper

*sniff* always makes me cry. I want lightsabers at my wedding, when I'm 42. If I could only get my girlfriend to wear the femtrooper costume. Seriously though. One of the wonderstrucks has the best god D@mn radio show ever, and he's here in Stumptown. They give me my geekwatch, my peniswatch, my snuffwatch, my brittneywatch or the occasional tonyahardingwatch. Where else would I hear serious discussion about performing monkeys turning on their master, beating him with sticks? Or the never ending search for the Worst Story Ever, like the man who plucked out his own eyeball and ate it. I'm a Glorious Bastard and I'm proud. If you don't like it then all I can say is "Who died and made you Tim Riley?"

LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

What about David Bowie's "Space Oddity"? "Ground control to Major Tom..." (This probably dates me even more than my previous post. :)

webmaster
webmaster

"Blinded by Science" by Thomas Dolby anyone? Anyone at all??? Have to agree with notaneer as well, gotta be some Devo on this list.

notaneer
notaneer

WHHATT no DEVO, the ULTIMATE Geek band ?????!!! . . .are we not men ?? I too did not recognize most of the bands/songs - must be a boomer thang.

john.lang
john.lang

Gotta have "I'm So Much Cooler Online" by Brad Paisley

alg20121
alg20121

I think you forgot Working in a Coal Mine recorded by Devo for the Heavy Metal Movie soundtrack.

andrewrfisher
andrewrfisher

Many of you will have heard MJ Hibbett's Hey Hey 16K, but another of his songs is the brilliant "CTRL ALT & DELETE", and you can see a live version of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gVGkV-nvg The Lancashire Hotpots also do some great songs with a geek theme - "Me PSP", "Firewall", "ESC ALT + F4" and so on

jdclyde
jdclyde

as I can say, I don't recognize any of them except weird al and paul/storm. Oh well. Back to rock-fest.... B-)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Geek rock anthems? Well Floyd's close but not just geeky, I'd have to go with Devo-Whip it, about as geeky as you can get I think. I don't see the list as being rock "anthems" though, just a bunch of geeky rock tunes; like pretty much anything by the Beastie Boys or The Tragically Hip (it's tragic that they're hip :) ).

joethejet
joethejet

Not sure I get why "One Week" is in here. Great song, but not sure I understand the "Geek" angle. Maybe I'm not geeky enough (or too geeky!)

estcst
estcst

While Rush doesn't directly address geekdom they've laid out some tracks that have to tickle a real geeks fancy. What geek who has listened to 2112 hasn't envisioned the Temple of Syrinx? Or who hasn't seen themselves behind the wheel of the majestic Red Barchetta being chased down by some futuristic "alloy air car"?

bkinsey
bkinsey

If you really want one that dates somebody, how about Pinball Wizard? Has to be almost the original geek anthem, surely. . . .

rseaberg
rseaberg

She's tidied up and I CANT FIND ANYTHING!!!!

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

How could you forget Mr. Roboto? Or Twilight? Or Yours Truly? Styx and ELO kick butt.

GracieTraci
GracieTraci

To be fair, he did say Geek Rock Classics, Brad Paisley is a country artist. :) That song is very geeky though.

AzGeezer
AzGeezer

I didn't recognize any of the 20 either; got a chuckle from Weird Al tho. Errol's "Geek Love Song" is more my kind of music and is a knee slapper: http://www.geeklovesongs.com/

LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

As the only ones I recognize are Wierd Al & BNL, and I only know BNL because I've seen the name, not because I've ever listened to them. I'd have to agree w/ some of the other posts, that there have been some very geeky bands in the past, Devo, Styx, & ELO having been mentioned. Guess that dates me, huh.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Did you go for the black label tix?

road-dog
road-dog

I sometimes crank up a song to start a network cut-over if the customer is cool or I'm just with the guys. "Who made Who" by AC DC works to get us pumped up. It is indisputably both rock and anthem. It didn't get a lot of radio airplay but it was on the Maximum Overdrive movie soundtrack. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQDz1hbNh6A

yooper
yooper

Rush was the epitomy of geek rock along with ELO!! Check out 2095 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksZzMGTOJMUby ELO it doesn't get geeker than that! And what about 2112 "Our great computers fill the haload halls" I could go on for hours with all the nerdy stuff both bands have done, but maybe I'm too old and remember most of it. :)

Mr Stumper
Mr Stumper

While most of these songs are either parodies or odes to geekdom, the members of RUSH are proto-geeks and many of their songs reflect that. They've been on the cutting edge of music technology since their early years, in instruments, recording technology, effects, stage technology, and various gizmos that they use for reproducing their recorded music live. For example each of them have pedals or switches to kick off effect samples, both Geddy and Alex will play synth pedal with their feet while playing guitar. So it's not a question of whether or not a RUSH tune should be on this list, it's a question of which one. A few off the top of my head include. Rivendell 2112 Cygnus X-1 Natural Science Vital Signs Digital Man Countdown (ode to the space shuttles) Chemistry Distant Early Warning The Body Electric (part of the chorus is 1001001) Manhattan Project Virtuality Screw the list! I just made my own!

Shellbot
Shellbot

I might be a nerd..and never envisioned those things when listeing to Rush.. :)

jck
jck

I'm a huge geek...and never done that. I like Rush tho, but I more imagine Buggles or Thomas Dolby or Oingo Boingo being on there. Oh...and...everytime I think of "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo, I don't think of Wyatt and Gary...I think of Kelly LeBrock in that half tee and panties lol ]:)

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

I love Pinball Wizard. I would actually throw almost all of either Tommy or Quadrophenia in there.

jdclyde
jdclyde

as my boys at age 16 know and listen to those bands as well, it just shows a good musical education. We just can leave out the part of BEING there when the music was new.... ;\

jdclyde
jdclyde

but found myself laid off instead. next year.

jdclyde
jdclyde

FIRE! we selute you! :D

jck
jck

ya know at the height of my nerd-dom/geek-dom (high school), I was listening to Motley Crue and Whitesnake and Journey. I guess I was multi-faceted :^0

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Sorry, JD, I hadn't considered that; my apologies. Best of luck, and remember my tips; if you want a hand scripting an intro pitch or anything, PM me and I am happy to help you with anything you need.

Shellbot
Shellbot

me too..plus throw in Rat, Poison, GNR, etc...

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