According to some of the less savory corners of the Internet, today’s date is synonymous with certain mind-altering substances that make it easier to appreciate unconventional music. While we here at Geekend do not condone these implied activities — the universe is crazy and wonderful enough without actively impairing your faculties — we can recommend some geek-worthy music to enhance your daily experience.
Thus, we present the top 10 nerd-rock artists recording today.
10. John Anealio BIO: The official guitar teacher of Wired‘s GeekDad nerd-instructional empire, he gives away more awesomely geektastic music than most wannabe nerdcore artists and trumped up filk-fest sellouts ever dream of even writing. He’s the underground folk-rock balladeer of the geek era. (Disclosure: John’s a friend and fellow podcaster.) STYLE: James Taylor as teleporter-fused with the blog of Wil Wheaton. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: “The GeekDad Podcast Theme Song” SIGNATURE TRACK: “I Should Be Writing”
9. Ookla the Mok BIO: The ultimate incarnation of sci-fi convention filkdom, this deceptively goofball ensemble offers a surprising range of musical styles and talents — which they use to convert every idle argument you’ve overheard in a comic book shop into a catchy two-minute burst of audio pop. STYLE: Coffee shop acoustic rock meets Kevin Smith’s PG-rated id. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD THEM: Dr. Demento’s Basement Tapes #7 Compilation SIGNATURE TRACK: “My Secret Identity”
8. Kirby Krackle BIO: A couple of guys who actually know the nickname for a signature style of illustrating comic book energy blasts — but who also want to be mainstream alt-rockers. Apparently, the Seattle music scene is broad and deep enough to have its own geek subset. STYLE: Fountains of Wayne as produced by The Simpsons‘ Comic Book Guy. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD THEM: Rock Band (the game) SIGNATURE TRACK: “Up, Up, Down, Down”
7. MC Chris BIO: The in-house rap artist for Williams Street Studios, which produces Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim animation lineup. When he’s not cutting gangsta-geek rhymes, he’s a scriptwriter for those bizarre nerd-centric cartoons you’re sure are aimed explicitly at college stoners. STYLE: The Beastie Boys gene-spliced with Patton Oswalt. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: Aqua Teen Hunger Force, where he was the artist behind MC Pee Pants SIGNATURE TRACK: “Fett’s Vette”
6. Marian Call BIO: She’s the classically trained Stanford vocal major who made the mistake of listening to the director’s commentaries on a Firefly DVD box set. No, seriously. She now makes a living as a serious indie recording artist treating geek culture with respect. STYLE: Ingrid Michaelson if she was raised by Joss Whedon. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HER: The 49>50 Tour, which took Call to every U.S. state (and then some) SIGNATURE TRACK: “I’ll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks It’s Chic” Find out which geek rock artists I rank five through one.
5. Adam WarRock
BIO: An ex-attorney who helps ghostwrite the Fake AP Stylebook on Twitter, he’s exactly the sort of Death Row Records-style nerdcore emcee you’d never expect. STYLE: Eminem if he was a supporting character in Scott Pilgrim. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: Public Radio International (no, really) SIGNATURE TRACK: “Objects In Space”
4. Paul and Storm BIO: The token sci-fi nerds of the Bob & Tom Show‘s regular rotation of musical comedians, these guys are the Tim Wilson and Heywood Banks of the geek universe. STYLE: Comedy club performance pop meets Fark.com. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD THEM: w00tstock SIGNATURE TRACK: “The Captain’s Wife’s Lament”
3. MC Frontalot BIO: The foremost nerdcore rap star on the planet, which is far less ridiculous than it sounds. He’s the living incarnation of the nerdier side of Brooklyn hip hop. STYLE: Kanye West meets Penny Arcade. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: Penny Arcade, where he’s the rapper laureate SIGNATURE TRACK: “It Is Pitch Dark (You Are Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue)”
2. Weird Al BIO: He didn’t invent the parody-pop genre, but Weird Al brought it into the music video age. And when YouTube took over, his reign only prospered. He is the Elvis Presley of nerd rock. STYLE: Any and every genre, only funnier WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: MTV (they used to play music) SIGNATURE TRACK: “White & Nerdy” or “It’s All About the Pentiums” or “Amish Paradise” or “Fat” or I give up you pick one.
1. Jonathan Coulton BIO: A former Yale Whiffenpoof who tried to make an honest living as a software engineer before the allure of geek-pop derailed his muggle career. He’s now the unofficial soundtrack artist of gamer subculture. STYLE: Jason Mraz by way of the Kotaku forums. WHERE YOU (MAYBE) HEARD HIM: You beat Portal SIGNATURE TRACK: “Code Monkey”
Think we missed (or misranked) a worthy nerdsound artist? You can scribble in the liner notes we call a comments section.