When you think of Nerds, what do you often envision? Maybe they are wearing glasses or reading a Dungeons and Dragons manual? Maybe they are fighting over anime characters or trading comic books? Maybe they are correcting your computer problem or correcting your grammar? Or just maybe they are rocking out on stage with a guitar and a sick baseline? And if that last one surprises you, than you don’t know the world of nerd rock. Allow us to introduce you:
Tracing the history of nerd rock is a tricky business, and we are not going to do it. History is boring* and this is rock and roll. Some people can point back to bands such as Tenacious D or the king nerd himself, Weird Al, and say the trend started there, but others could find even more obscure examples, like Nerf Herder and Paul and Storm. For us, here at The NYRD, our love of nerd rock started with none other than Kirby Krackle.
Fronted by Kyle Stevens and composed of a variety of talented and nerdy musicians, Kirby Krackle, is a true mix of great music, pop culture references, and all around good-natured fun. Their lyrics have a unique ability to be funny, catchy, and still manage to convey deeper personal meaning all at the same time. A band from Seattle -because where else would they be from- they have toured around the country and around the world spreading their tunes and geeky vibes to the masses. We highly recommend you check them out, and their extensive discography.
Kirby Krackle may be where it began but our obsession with nerd rock spread far and wide to a variety of musicians, such as the party rockers H2Awesome, or the more folksy stylings of The Doubleclicks. If your tastes, however, lie more toward the world of rap we would highly recommend NYC’s own Schaffer the Darklord, and MC Frontalot. If you are looking for clever and entertaining music videos, check out YouTubers like Epic Rap Battles of History. If your tastes tend toward video games and talented re-imaginings of classic vg music than you should be checking out bands like Bitforce or Rare Candy, and if you are really looking for a video game nerd rock fix than we highly recommend that you check out a show for Bit Brigade. They are a talented five piece rock group that plays VG music while their frontman does live speed runs of classic video games for the audience.
In fact, if nerd rock or just music in general is something that you enjoy we would also highly recommend checking out MAGFest, the annual gaming and music festival that takes place every January in the National Harbor right outside Washington DC, or one of the other festivals that they put on around the country. We attend every year so that we can hang out, play some board games, check out the newest indie games, and listen to awesome nerds play awesome nerd rock.
It is also worth mentioning that we are not being paid to advertise for MAGFest or for any of the bands we mentioned here. We are simply fans and we want to spread the word that nerd rock is alive and well. If you like video games, movies, comics, or if you just want to listen to good music, we would urge you that you check out these bands. They are not wealthy Kayne West celebrities. Instead, the make their music to celebrate the things we all enjoy, and to make us laugh and smile. In our opinion, those are the types of people worth supporting. So check them out, and if you find something you like, than support that artist by buying their records, finding them on Patreon, or just using your word of mouth.
Nerd rock and nerd music can be as varied as nerds themselves. There are rockers, rappers, folk singers, heavy metal guitarists that just want to play covers of Kirby’s Dreamland, and everything else in between. There is something for everybody, but mostly nerd music is about having a good time with like-minded people, and enjoying the pop culture things that we all love. We highly recommend that you check out some of the bands that we listed here today, or just go to our new Spotify Playlist: NYRD Music, and check out a small sampling of artists and songs that we collected, which we think will tingle your inner ear and your inner nerd.
*Please not that no one at The NYRD actually believes that history is in fact boring. We love history and all its nuances and interests, but right now we are in the mood to rock.