Nerd Rock

Nerd rock is on the rise. I don’t know if nerd rock is the proper term, but that is what I am going to call it. Entire songs or even genres of music dedicated to specific aspects of pop culture. For example, the latest YouTube hit by The Lonely Island:

Wizard Rock is an extremely popular genre about Harry Potter which probably started with two brothers known as Harry and the Potters, around the release of the Order of the Phoenix. This is the first song I ever heard about Harry Potter:

Harry and the Potters actually helped to co-found one of my favorite organizations, the Harry Potter Alliance.

Some other examples of Wrock:
Ministry of Magic, “Don’t Leave Me”

The Parselmouths, “What Kind of Name is Hermione?”

The Moaning Myrtles, “And Then I Died”

I have mentioned it before, but there are also two full-length musicals posted on YouTube about Harry Potter. The musicals were performed by the University of Michigan-based theater group, Starkid. The music was mostly written by Darren Criss, who is now known as Blaine on the TV show Glee. You can find them both here.

There are even more nerd rock subgenres, about things like…

Star Wars:
Skyway Flyer, “Ready for Anything”

Kristina Horner, “What Would Buffy Do?”

The Hunger Games:
Alex Carpenter, “Reaping Day”

Video Games:
Alex Day, “Pok√©mon, What Happened to You?”

Trock, or music about the TV show Dr. Who:
Charlie McDonnell, “Exterminate Regenerate” (written for his band, Chameleon Circuit)

YouTube is, for lack of a better term, a breeding ground for this kind of music. With thousands of internet savvy young people sharing these videos, nerd rock has gone viral. An entire record label, DFTBA records, was created by YouTubers Hank Green and Alan Lastufka, and exclusively signs YouTube artists. Many of the above artists have released albums with DFTBA.

Do you have another other examples of nerd rock to share?

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3 thoughts on “Nerd Rock

  1. It was also one of my first introductions to what would become one of my favorite kinds of music nerd rock…Last week I caught Brooklyn-based rockers They Might Be Giants perform their 1990 nerd rock masterpiece Flood in its entirety. Plus I like that they get their biggest hit Not Constantinople out of the way early in the set making way for more surprises during the non-Flood portion of the concert. ..But what exactly is nerd rock?..Theres no fixed definition no real standard bearer in the way that basically defines piano rock my other favorite sub-genre.

  2. Yes!

    For main stream Nerd Rockers look to Jonathan Coulton, They Might Be Giants, and Paul and Storm. (and Hank Green who gets more and more popular) I’ve seen JoCo and P&S at W00tstock and they were soooo freaking fantastic!!!

    There’s also the strange wide world of Filk… but let’s not go there.

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