Over this last weekend, Emerald City Comicon hosted an array of fantastic nerdery. From a complete model of Hogwarts made out of Lego bricks to seas of Adventure Time cosplay, every area of nerd culture was represented in Seattle (and cheers to everyone who put on the convention for the biggest and best ECCC to date). Among all of the gaming, buying, and celebrity sightings, this year’s ECCC was a great showing of nerdy musical talent.
To kick off the convention weekend, bands Kirby Krackle, Paul and Storm, The Doubleclicks, and Nerds with Guitars took the stage at Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe for the third annual Kracklefest. At the convention itself, nerd music seemed to finally find the attention it deserves with performances, booths, and panels devoted to nerdy musicians. On Saturday, Molly Lewis, Angela and Aubrey Webber of The Doubleclicks, Marian Call, Aaron Cronan of Robot Uprise, Kyle Stevens of Kirby Krackle, and Alex James who is one half of Nerds with Guitars all sat down to discuss the “nerd rock revolution” that they are all a part of.
Naturally the panelists discussed how they became musicians and the ways their music found a nerdy perspective. What’s incredible about nerd music are the endless wells of inspiration to draw from. Even with so many leading players in nerd music on the stage, they represented just a fraction of what nerd music covers and what it can go on to include. It spans over many genres: hip hop, rap, indie, rock, folk, electric, and so much more. There are also so many places for nerd music to find inspiration, with movies, comic books, video games, television, cosplay, tabletop games, and even just the nerd lifestyle.
Finding live audiences and online fans has certainly proved to be a reality in nerd music. Shows like Kracklefest are still a rarity, but they are taking hold along with continuing W00tstock performances and music festivals like Nerdapalooza. In addition to live shows in theatres, nerd music finds its home in coffeehouse performances, house shows, and online concerts and videos.
What seems to allow for the genre (if you would call it that; there are so many things that nerd music can be that it’s hard to find means to define it as a genre) to expand is its versatility. Every musician on the panel and every musician around the world who calls themselves a nerd can be included under the nerd music category while still preserving their own unique style. There’s no question that nerd music is inclusive, and now is an incredible time for the nerd music scene. As Kyle Steven pointed out, the only way that the genre will grow is if more people get into it. There’s no need to fear competition when there are so many ways to interpret the genre in style, persona, and subjects. Plus, there are incredible models to look to with the musicians featured at the convention and, of course, people like Jonathan Coulton, They Might be Giants, and Weird Al.
So here it is, readers: go out and start a nerd band! Write about your favorite fandoms, record the songs, and put them up on Youtube or Bandcamp. Just about everything nerdy provokes a lot of feelings and inspiration. Whovians everywhere have rued a Stephen Moffat episode at least a few times. We’ve all counted down the days to summer blockbusters and waited in line for midnight showings. Gamers even take on other lives with the characters they play whether in a video game or a RPG. Being a nerd means loving the things you love with limitless passion; nerdery is about emotion just as much as music is. It’s no surprise that those two can go hand in hand so seamlessly, and finally, it seems, performers and audiences are catching onto that.