In the absence of any serious nerd news, I was going to post about how I’ve been blissing out on mc chris’s latest album “dungeon master of ceremonies.” But then I recalled a dream I had in which Joan of Arc told me I’d never be one of the Elect if I didn’t post more top 10 lists. So I’ma go that way instead.
Herewith: the top 10 all-time nerd pop songs. You will notice that some artists are represented multiple times, which is a reflection of a) my personal bias, b) my personal ignorance, which I expect commenters will gently relieve me of, and c) the flowering of nerd music culture over the past few years. There’s simply more and better nerd-pop and nerdcore out there than there ever has been.
OK. Less talk, more synthohol. The list, in no particular order. All lyrics quoted from memory.
1. Nerf Herder, “Mr. Spock.” A beleaguered boyfriend reflects on how his girlfriend wants “someone more than human…to come to your wasteland, and destroy the robot.” I think “destroy the robot” is the best euphemism for sex ever created. Plus: reference to Diet Dr. Pepper, a beverage I’m drinking even as I blog.
2. Kraftwerk, “Pocket Calculator.” YouTube has it, straight outta Utrecht.
3. Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science.” The one time I saw Bowie live, Dolby was in the audience, two rows in front of me. My eyes were riveted to his beret.
4. The Lords of the Rhymes, “The Lords of the Rhymes.” This was my first exposure to nerdcore hip-hop, and I wore that MP3 out (you can get it here). If anybody knows where they pulled that setting of “Rivendell Greeting” from, hit me back.
5. Nerf Herder, “Sorry.” Sorry I wanted only to kiss you…
6. mc chris, “Fett’s Vette.” You want the Baddd Spellah remix, if you can find it. This track sent me down the rabbit hole of mc chris fandom, even if some of the Fett stuff is no longer quite canon since the prequels came out. Why did it take Western Civilization so long to produce a rap from Boba Fett’s point of view? And why isn’t mc chris on a major label? With a little promotion behind him he’d be the 300 of hip-hop….
7. mc chris, “Geek.” Look, I could have filled this list with mc chris tracks, so a mere two is an act of severe self-discipline. “Canâ€™t seem to catch a ride, canâ€™t ever get a date./But in my mind 7 of 9 thinks Iâ€™m great.”
8. MC Frontalot, “Penny Arcade Theme.” I love Frontalot. He was the first nerdcore artist I ever got deeply into, and he’s being promoted, in Newsweek and elsewhere, as the face of nerdcore. And a comely face he is. But to me he’s sort of more of a court jester — his songs are always clever, but they lack the anthemic reach and vocal virtuosity of mc chris’s stuff. Whatever, he’s still awesome. “You’ve got more game than Wil Wheaton…”
9. Frontalot, Jesse Dangerously, MC Hawking, “Nerdcore Rising.” “We compile the assembler; we’d each make a respectable/Egon Spengler.” Plus, a bitchin’ cameo by a dalek!
10. Jonathan Coulton, “Code Monkey.” He does like those Fritos. “Some day he have everything, even pretty girl like you…” Stream it here.
Yeah, that’s right, no MC Lars, no Optimus Rhyme, no Hawking. What can I say, I have but two ears and one iPod. (OK, 3 iPods, but still.) Give it to me: who should I be listening to?