First, some notes on the event itself: Nerdapalooza is a gathering of bands featuring geek rock, wizard rock, game music, nerdcore hip-hop, and other acts along these lines. Z. explains on the Wired Geekdads blog: “Boasting a roster of more than 30 bands, the event is uniquely positioned to bridge the (sub)cultural gap that exists between various forms of geek music.” Moreover, proceeds go to Child’s Play, a charity started by Penny Arcade which puts games and toys into children’s hospitals.
Speaking of Z., I would next like to draw your attention to the “Nerdapalooza Bound” episode of the Radio Free Hipster podcast. It features a number of bands who will be at the event, and guest commentary by organizers. I let Z.’s podcasts keep me company the other day during a nine-hour train ride, and I thought that this one offered a particularly nice scope of the range of interests and attitudes we think of as “geek culture.” This array includes a song about lecherous pirates, a song about preferring nerdy ladies over more mainstream hotties, a song about whiney, depressed fifteen-year-olds on Livejournal, and various expressions of general playfulness and zaniness, among others. The commentary by Hex and mCRT (which name-checks Weird Al as an early influence in developing taste in geek music) also offers a quick glimpse at how this whole phenomenon of geek music has been developing. Next time I talk to someone who seems confused by the idea that ‘geek’ could be anything but an insult, I may just point them to this podcast.
And finally, to close, I’d like to link to Nerdapaloozers, a series of comics by Anthony of Game Music 4 All. As a sort of promotion or bonus celebration of Nerdapalooza, Anthony has replaced the captions from a bunch of old transformers comics with stuff referencing geeky musicians and members of the community at large. I sort of think of this as the Fenslerfilm G.I. Joe of the geek music world.