5 Greatest Geek Rock Acts

A 'geek' rubber duck - side view
A ‘geek’ rubber duck – side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t think of myself as a geek-but I do watch the science channel and history channel more than the others and if they ever come out with a Stephen Hawking action figure; I may be tempted to add it to my collection. The cold hard fact is that when I think of any scenario and how a geek would act compared to a regular well-adjusted  person…….aaahhhhhhh….I would take the geek way—Ergo I must be a geek. So here is music about my people for my people… Forgive me this is difficult….kind of like when Luke finds out Darth Vader is his Dad…aaaahhhh…I did it again.

Note: Most of this is written from outside the geek world as I have just “come out” and  have not be officially welcomed by other geeks as one of their own. I mean no disrespect to my new brethren. This is still new to me. Enjoy!

5. Gwar

For the militant geek..You know that guy…if someone takes his seat in math class -he will laugh about it and then not let it go. This guy is in serious need of an outlet. A show by this band is just what the doctor ordered to let him have a bit of fun-(while getting sprayed with all manner of fake bodily fluids) and get all that rage out. Shock Rock dressed like game characters that rail against the evil system sounds like militant geek to me…think of them as a more unlikeable Kiss…I know… did not think it was possible to be more unlikeable than Gene Simmons? It is!!..Rage on geeks…rage on.

4.Weird Al Yankovic

He has taken the art of parody and turned it into science. He is the no-one that becomes everyone. Awkward at first glance- brilliant under the surface. The frog that says to the princess that tries to kiss him…”Whatever sweetie…got look for someone else to smooch…I am weird Al and I will rain my fury upon the entire music industry” White and Nerdy is geek brilliance shining so bright, it is almost cool.

3. They might be Giants

I once found myself at the acclaimed bastion of geekness called R.P.I  in order to find the room that these guys were playing in. Two guys that make a lot of noise in order to elevate the words of wonder that spill out from them as they preach to the converted followers of quirkiness. I love a band that relentlessly follows their vision through the hits and misses. You don’t have to suffer from full blown nerdness to enjoy them, but you do require some part of that disease running through your veins.

2.Devo

These guys started the revolution. They gave all geeks, nerds and social rejects a place to rally to. You can like computers and learn more than a few opening moves of chess(you never know when a surprise chess smack-down can happen) and still be O.K. It is alright to come out of the closet and admit that making your brain do some work might be some benefit to you and the world around you. And these dudes with the red plastic hats are laying down some funky beats…we can dance geeks…we can dance! Oh the joy and celebration! You think the iPhone would have been invented without the surge that these guys gave to the geek community? No way!

1.Weezer

The hard days of the geek revolution are in the past. Technology runs the world and those that control and maintain this technology are living on the good side of the good towns. Basically…the geeks are running the world. So here is the emerged butterfly band of geekness flapping its wings in the bright sunshine of this new age. Put some of this music on as you lean back in the soft recliner and kick off those expensive slippers and bask in the delight that you have created. Take a drink of whatever you guys drink and enjoy it. We all call you Sir Geeks now!

5 perfect rock songs

"The moonlit knight" Genesis, Massey...
“The moonlit knight” Genesis, Massey Hall, Toronto, Oct. 1974 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you lived in some alien universe and happen to crash land your U.F.O in my back yard. I would make you a good cup of tea and play these 5 for you as prime examples of this thing called rock.

5. Yellow-Coldplay

Coldplay is like a quality lager….bright and satisfying. I don’t care if they have taken over the world; they are still producing a quality product that is very drinkable. This is a great song that music fans all over the world will crank up loud when it hits the radio or Pandora or iPod (whether they admit to it or not)

4. Cortez the Killer- Neil Young

My personal favorite is from “Live Rust” and this is a masterpiece. We know the story of Cortez and Montezuma. We know it as history but this track converts that historical angst to emotion. So many rock songs are about “women does man wrong” or “man does women wrong” – but this- Conquistador does a civilization wrong by removing it from the face of the earth is an elegant twist.

3. Go your own way- Fleetwood Mac

 Lindsey Buckingham is kind of underrated as a song writer and guitar player. Most songs about unrequited love are kind of depressing and bring you down. This one has a kick to it. Like soaking those cooked chicken wings of despair in a hot tangy buffalo sauce and taking a big bite.

 2. Smells like Teen Spirit- Nirvana

The timing on this makes it perfect.  In 1991 hip hop was taking over in a big way…Rock was stale- the charts were full of reheated leftovers and half-hearted efforts by big stars. Rock had lost its edge. This song was a kick to the balls that Rock Music needed in a big way. When you heard it…it knocked you over.

Just for fun kids-Let’s look at a couple reheats and stale artists from 1991 –

“Live and Let Die” Guns and Roses- really Axel and Slash? You had to cover this? You guys couldn’t find other ways to pay for all the hotel rooms you trashed…how about working at the hotel instead of this reheat?

Kiss- God gave Rock and Roll to you– Yes, he gave it to us to help us make sense of this world…he did not  mean for us to add water and boil a novelty song by Argent for a movie soundtrack so Gene Simmons could buy more jewelry for his girlfriends.

As far as the half hearted attempts go…Bryan Adams and Genesis (The “hey, let’s try to sound like Motown, only with weaker songs- Phil Collins version of Genesis…instead of the “hey, let’s be like Pink Floyd, only more theatrical and pretentious- Genesis with Peter Gabriel*”) both had multiple hits that year.

My apologies to Metallica as Enter Sandman was released this same year…I won’t call it perfect but I would not argue against it.

1. Hotel California- The Eagles

Is this about heaven or hell or drugs or being seduced by desert women? I don’t know- but book me a room here.  It’s full of references to some kind of unavoidable trap that we all fall for even though we should know better. This took the Eagles from country rock to cool as a fresh breaker from the Pacific Ocean. Joe Walsh added just enough to put this over the top. This is what a title track and an album cover should be. Rock songs should take you somewhere- give your brain a bit of a work over and let you find your own way back.  Perfect.

*Disclaimer- I love Peter Gabriel…The New Blood show of 2011 is the single best concert I ever attended!