Nerdapalooza!

This past weekend I went to Nerdapalooza, mostly to beat up nerds, score with hot cheerleaders, and show off my varsity letters. Also to listen to some nerd music. It was two days of musical performances, and as somebody who once enthusiastically drove three hours each way to see The Arrogant Worms play at a library, you can bet that I was going to drive one hour and forty-five minutes each way for two solid days of this kind of stuff.

Nerdapalooza had a great setup, with the action taking place in a large ballroom with stages at each side, so that when one act ended you’d rush to the other side and the next one would begin, keeping things moving at a nice pace, except for the occasional (okay, frequent) bit of technical difficulties! Not every act was of high quality, or even quality, and I only watched about half of them, but there were several that I really enjoyed, starting with…

Devo Spice. “Nerdcore Comedy Hip-Hop,” according to his website. I’m not really a hip-hop kinda guy, but there’s no question that he’s a talented performer, and the songs were catchy and funny. Lest you think that the “nerd” part was inaccurate, one of the songs is about the frustrating life of being an IT guy, with a line that ridicules dumb people who don’t know the difference between an ethernet port and a USB cable. This is nerdy stuff, kids. And it gets into your head…and doesn’t leave…and I may start shouting “Google it yourself!” at people, which can’t be healthy…

George Hrab. Probably the most musically polished act I saw. Very funny songs, but it was the bits between the songs (a hilarious series of political ads about odd and even numbers) which take this into extreme nerd territory. My favorite song was “When I Was Your Age,” even though I don’t like songs about old people where I relate to the old people.

Kirby Krackle. I think that Kirby Krackle is officially a duo, but this was just one guy. I knew his song “Zombie Apocalypse,” (somebody shouted out a request for it, but tragically he didn’t have his ukulele, and you can’t play “Zombie Apocalypse” without a ukulele) but I didn’t know his other work. I would have to classify him as more “geeky” than “nerdy,” but it was a very entertaining show.

Schaffer the Darklord. A dorky little white guy rapping about geeky stuff. The crowd freaking loved him.

Worm Quartet. My favorite show of the weekend. A big, crazed-looking, heavily perspiring gentleman with unruly hair, his lyrics fly by so quickly that you can’t even catch them all, but his songs were the most genuinely funny and most demented of the bunch. I loved them all, but particularly “Great Idea For A Song,” which includes lyrics like “But if only your name rhymed with twisted psychotic slut, I’d have a great idea for a song.” I bought one of his CDs while I was there, but I’ll probably go on an iTunes downloading spree in the near future. (Actually, like Kirby Krackle, I think Worm Quartet is a band who only had one representative at Nerdapalooza, so this was just Worm Solo.)

The only performer whose music I actually owned before the show was The Great Luke Ski, a parody artist much like “Weird Al” Yankovic, who I’m going to see in concert on Sunday (JEALOUS???). Nerd music, of course, is mostly about the references to nerdy stuff, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica or Dr. Who, so his songs based on those shows kind of went over my head. But a song about Disney acquiring the Marvel characters (accompanied by a video with drawings by Luke Ski himself) was laugh-out-loud funny.

And he provided the most hilarious moment of the entire weekend, with a song about being a kid on Christmas morning and the unbearable anticipation of waiting to open your presents because you know–you just know–that there’s an Atari 2600 under the tree! The song, whose refrain is delivered in sheer horror, is “My Parents Bought Me Intellivision!” The song of my own experience would be “My Parents Bought Me Odyssey 2!” but the experience was the same, although the Great Luke Ski, during the course of the song, eventually realizes that his parents were right, and that Intellivision was a superior gaming system to the Atari 2600, whereas there was no such realization with the Odyssey 2, because the Odyssey 2 really sucked.

(Which did not stop me from playing 83,719 hours of Odyssey 2 until we eventually upgraded to ColecoVision.)

Overall, it was a lot of fun, and I’ll almost certainly go back next year. To beat up more nerds.

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