“Tonight: the nerds will rock!” declares the banner on the Nerdapalooza web site. And rock we did. For two days, July 17 and 18, 2010, approximately 30 geeky bands and solo artists rocked two stages at the Orlando, FL, Airport Marriott.
It had a feel similar to a small con, complete with a few vendors in the middle of the conference hall. Not quite as many costumes, although there were several pirates (presumably fans of Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew), ninjas (fans of the Krondor Krew), and Mega Man characters (there were actually three Mega Man bands at Nerdapalooza: MegaRan, The Protomen, and The Megas. I had no idea the Mega Man series was so popular!). Oh, and how could I forget the scantily clad women running around advertising for Schäffer the Darklord’s Epic Win Burlesque show that night? Sadly, that was a little late for me due to performances running late during the day.
(Some videos may contain language that is NSFW)
On Saturday, I arrived too late to catch the Krondor Krew, a ninja rap band. I was a little disappointed, but consoled myself with the knowledge that they didn’t have a long set anyway. The first band I caught was Random Encounter, who perform rock versions of video game music. I appreciated their music, but I didn’t know most of the songs they performed so it wasn’t quite the same experience. Honestly, I didn’t see all of the acts on either day for basically the same reason — I wasn’t necessarily interested in the content. Perhaps I missed some great music (actually, reading reviews from others I’m quite certain I did), but I certainly saw what I came to see!
The highlights for me on Saturday included the aforementioned Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew, Devo Spice, Schäffer the Darklord, and George Hrab. Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew perform pirate hip hop. As in, they dress as pirates and rap about such topics as smoking weed (that would be sea weed, of course), sea monsters (“We’re gonna kill ’em and grill ’em, we be the nautical mobsters!”), and flintlock glocks (“I love musket balls in my flintlock glock!”). Great stuff!
Devo Spice, along with the great Luke Ski who performed on Sunday, is part of the FuMP, the Funny Music Project. Every week they put out new songs similar to those on the Dr. Demento show. I particularly enjoyed the PC vs. Mac song performed with the great Luke Ski (apparently the “great,” no caps, is part of his performing name since it appears that way everywhere I’ve seen it). Very funny, and the surprise guest near the end that unites the two was a nice touch (I’m sure you can guess which operating system the surprise guest represented).
Schäffer the Darklord is a nerdcore rapper from New York who raps about such topics as cats (“My cat people throw your paws in the air, go, ‘Meow, meow!'”), definitions of his music (he’s not a rapper, he’s a rappist. Yes, I’m sure he’s aware of the irony of the spelling), and nerdy girls (“Let me see you shake it… shake your inhaler, baby! Freaks and geeks you make me crazy!”). He was one of the acts I was most looking forward to seeing (although I’d just discovered his music because of Nerdapalooza), and he did not disappoint.
George Hrab is an artist I’ve been familiar with for several years now. I could go on and on about his set and how much I enjoyed interviewing him for the Fandomania podcast and just hanging out with him and several other like-minded fans of his, but I’ll stop myself from doing so. In his set, he performed several songs appropriate to the venue: “When I Was Your Age,” the title of which pretty well sums it up; “Far,” the theme song from the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast; and “Brainsbodyboth,” about the types of women he appreciates. He performed the latter song in a style completely different from any other version I’ve heard before, which was very cool.
The crowd really responded to the music, and I was glad to see that his performance of “God Is Not Great” didn’t seem to lose too many in the audience. In between songs he played several “political” ads in which even and odd numbers make the case for why they are better. Then there was a third choice to try to break the monopoly of “the big two” — irrational numbers. I understand he’s done something similar on his podcast so I’ll have to check them out at some point. As a side note, however, he did lose his iPhone on which he played the tracks. He says it won’t deter him from returning to FL, though, so hopefully that’ll be soon!
I’ll have Sunday’s report in my next column or this would run awfully long! I’ll also have more actual pictures that I took — I didn’t think to take pictures for this report until Sunday. Silly me!