It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing this column for a little over three years. My first real introduction to writing about geek music was Nerdapalooza 2010. My first column under the “Geek Music” banner was published just before NAP (I did publish a list of the best genre musicals that got some buzz on Whedonesque before the column, although it wasn’t under that name), but the event was the impetus for starting the column. I missed 2011 because it conflicted with The Amaz!ng Meeting (as I said before, I wasn’t about to miss Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye!), but I came back in 2012 and this year as well (report coming soon!). The Nerdapaloozas have without doubt been the highlights of the past few years, but there have been plenty of other milestones along the way. Join me, if you will, on my reflection of the last few years in geek music. I think rather than try to do this in any kind of chronological order, I’m going to break it up into categories. First up are some of the columns that go beyond just the normal reviews that I usually write. The two that I’m most proud of would be my attempt to define what, exactly, constitutes “Geek Music” (a definition that still fits what I write about), and my commentary on what’s been called “New Patronage” (which was commented on by Neil Gaiman!). The latter I have actually used with my high school students to get them to think differently about paying for music. I’m not sure if I changed their minds, but I do believe it made them think.
Also in that first category would be my introduction to nerdcore. I posted a couple of lists about nerd girls, but I have to wonder if maybe that might have been a bit sexist, so I also wrote up a list celebrating all geeks and nerds. I intended to start a set of columns pitting artists against each other à la Duel of the Fates, but I only ever got around to writing about Mr. B and Professor Elemental (plus I couldn’t quite create fake categories about real, actual people). I did start writing about geeky cover songs, but I think my favorite from that list was my April Fools’ version about “dream cover songs” (and, also, as a side note, Paul and Storm did a Meatloaf style parody for Learning Town. Coincidence? Yeah, it probably is…).
And of course I showed my love of all things Whedon in lists about Buffy and Firefly. A second category that I’d like to revisit would be my various holiday lists. If you’re looking for geeky music for your next holiday playlist, these lists are a great place to start. And I’m going to go ahead and consider my “best of” the year lists as “holidays” since they come out on or near New Year’s. These are probably easiest just to list by themselves rather than try to narrate them, so here they are:
- Halloween 2010
- Halloween 2011
- Halloween 2012
- Christmas 2010
- Christmas 2011
- Christmas 2012
- Valentine’s Day 2011
- Top Releases for 2011
- Top Releases for 2012
- International Talk Like a Pirate Day
At this point, I should probably mention the reviews I’ve done since so many of my columns fall into that category. Rather than delve into that rather long list, however, I thought I’d write about my philosophy when writing reviews since it’s something I’ve never really written about before. I tend to think of myself as a promoter of music rather than necessarily a critic. I love to love music, and given that I can generally choose what I review, I pretty much write about the music that I enjoy. If I don’t like something, I’m not likely to write about it. Now, don’t think that that means that if I don’t write about it, I don’t like it. Sometimes I just miss things, and sometimes I just never get around to writing about things even though I enjoy them. I also tend to focus mostly on the lyrics and the stories of songs and albums rather than on the music which precludes some good chiptunes stuff. I know a little bit about music, but not quite enough to feel comfortable saying something intelligent about it. Plus I feel like writing about the lyrics fits better with a website called Fandomania which is, obviously, about fandom.
Finally, I’ll end with something that may not necessarily be of interest to others, but exemplifies one of the reasons I love writing this column. Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet / correspond with / interview many of the artists that I admire. I’m not a great interviewer, but I’ve email interviewed MC Frontalot and Free Dominguez of Kidneythieves. I’ve shown how terrible I am at interviewing on the Fandomania podcast with Captain Dan as well as how much better my wife is at interviewing in our (well, mostly her) interview with George Hrab. I won’t bore you with a long list of all the people that I’ve met as a result of writing this column, but suffice it to say I do find it gratifying to get some feedback on what I write on occasion. So there we go. A little over three years’ worth of writing this column condensed into just a few paragraphs. Very tidy (and handy as an introduction for future readers)!