Four Letter Nerd

Category - Music

Nerd Songs You Should Know Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

A few months ago I brought you a selection of great songs that relate to nerd culture in some direct or abstract way. If you missed it then you’ve really only hurt yourself because I’m brilliant and you would do well to listen to my opinion and adopt it as gospel.

“Worst. Blogger. Ever.”

 

Anyway… I’M BACK WITH MORE! Here are some more Nerdy Songs that you should know!

 

XBishopX – “Arkham Earth

Bishop is a mostly unknown straight-edge, hardcore band. By “unknown”, I mean that if you don’t delve into Hardcore music much, you’ve probably never heard of them. This track title is obviously a reference to everyone’s favorite caped crusader and the facility that, often poorly, quarantines his maniacal foes after he’s thwarted them. (Skip to track 11 to hear the song, or jam the whole record. It’s all pretty good.)

 

Led Zeppelin – “Ramble On”

Ah, the Gods of hard rock.  Nothing nerdy about the Zep. With lyrics like this though, “T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her…” how can you say this ISN’T nerdy? Robbie Plant’s affinity for LOTR isn’t one bit of a secret…

 

Soul Khan – “Ra’s al Ghul”

YAY for more Batman references!

Soul Khan is a rapper that you need to know. The dude just has a natural talent that is severely lacking in hip-hop nowadays. This track  is a direct reference to the man who helped train the World’s Greatest Detective to be, well, the world’s greatest detective…

 

3 Inches of Blood – “Destroy the Orcs”

YAY for more Tolkien references! (I wasn’t even really trying was I…)

I’d say the reference is pretty self-explanatory. It’s clearly a social commentary on the state of ignorance regarding the massively impoverished and the unbelievably wealthy. The Orcs represent the ugliness of our refusal to acknowledge that something must be done, and by destroying it we can fully achieve enlightenment as to what is necessary to make the world a better, more balanced place… or some crap like that.

 

Weezer – “In The Garage”

Weezer is the quintessential nerd-rock-band, and this is the quintessential nerd-rock-song. “In The Garage” is an ode to that nerd-haven you call your own… the place you can go to nerd out and not be judged. For me it’s my “Danger Room”. This would be the known to most as a “bonus room”, but that’s too pedestrian for us nerd-elite.

 

Honorable mention:

One Direction – “Teenage Dirtbag (cover)”

If Zeppelin didn’t throw you for a f—in loop, this one most certainly did. The song was original written and performed by a band called Wheatus, and they were seriously my favorite band in 2000. I wore their first album out. To this day, I consider it to be vastly underrated. “Teenage Dirtbag” was mildly popular, due to it’s association with the Acadamy Award-winning film “Loser, starring Jason “Pie F—er” Biggs and Mena Suvari. The song itself is all about being a lowly nerd who can’t seem to get the beautiful, popular girl to notice him but in the end she turns out to be just as much of a nerd as he is. It’s a “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” concept. It birthed a fantasy in me of finding out that the pretty girl in class might secretly be a nerd also, which remained exactly that… a fantasy.

You’re probably wondering, “Why not give the honorable mention to the original band then?” Well, because (1.) it’s my list and (2.) because f— you. I give it to 1D because these dudes, who were all in elementary school (or whatever the British equivalent to that is. What do I look like?! A historian?!), are the BIGGEST musical act in the WORLD, they SELL OUT STADIUMS, and they had enough of an appreciation for this song to perform it live in concert. A song that, in the grand scheme of musical accomplishment mind-you, made but a small drop in a VERY large bucket, and that very few people, outside Wheatus’ core-fanbase, will remember. I’m impressed with 1D and their desire to expose a new generation (even if it is the end of the spectrum with the most estrogen) to a song all about awkwardly navigating the uncertain waters of being a nerdy kid. Bravo gentlemen, bravo.

The Role of Hank Pym cast for Ant-Man! But you won’t believe who it is!

It’s been announced that none other than Gordon Gekko himself, Michael Douglas, will star as Hank Pym in Marvel’s Ant-Man film.

Source: Michael Douglas to Play Hank Pym in Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

 

As we reported in a previous article, Paul Rudd has been cast as the star of the film.

This development could solidify our theory that the plot will revolve around the “To Steal an Ant-Man” story and will feature Paul Rudd starring as Scott Lang.

I think I see what they’re doing here with the character, but I think my concern is that Marvel could be downplaying the value of Hank Pym to the Avengers on a long-term basis in their cinematic universe. It just seems like Mikey here may not have a whole lot of film-making years left. He’s almost 70 and there’s little chance he’s be in more than 2 or 3 MCU movies over the course of how they spread ’em out. But maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe he’ll be great. He’s not a bad actor or anything, but as a fan of Hank Pym, when I assess his personality, I don’t naturally conclude that he’s anything like Michael Douglas.

I trust you Edgar Wright. Don’t let me down bro…

 

—————UPDATE—————

There’s speculation that we may see a young Hank Pym in action on the 70’s and then Michael Douglas will (obviously) be the older version of Pym. So this leads to the question: Will ANOTHER actor be cast to play young Hank?

This would please me very much and relieve a bit of my hesitant, if it’s true. I also tried to think of who could be young Hank Pym? Who could capture the essence of the character and still pass as a young Michael Douglas? And then it hit me… Josh F—ING Holloway! (That’s not his actual middle name.)

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol Premiere December Th Josh Holloway 

I mean, It’s like perfect. He can totally pull off action and I think he’d be believable as a brilliant scientist. The thing about Hank is that his brilliance is somewhat unassuming. Unlike Bruce Banner, he’s not a nerd; and unlike Tony Stark, he’s not an arrogant prick. Plus, this project has been in the works for a long time and it was previously rumored that Josh has met with Marvel about a role in one of their movies…

This could be good casting. Marvel should totally hire me as their casting director.

Superheroes and Music: Who Does the Marvel Universe Listen To?

Yesterday my good buddy Bill (who is a —— piece of —-, and a little —– who likes to —- goats in their —–) speculated as to what real-world-music characters from the DC Comics Universe would listen to. Today, I bring you 5 characters from the Marvel Comics Universe, and the real-world-music that I think they’d enjoy. We all know that Tony Stark likes Black Sabbath and ACDC, and that the Punisher most likely prefers Megadeth, but let’s look at some characters with a tad less notoriety…

CAUTION: This man is dangerous and WANTED for crimes against animals.

 

First up on my list is none other than Hank McCoy, aka: Beast, from the X-Men. Beast has amazing strength and agility, with a brilliant mind to match. Hank is a classy fellow. I picture him lounging by a fire in his study on a cold winter night, nursing a glass of fine brandy, reading Chauser, while some well-loved classical music plays on a vintage gramophone…

Most likely Hank would enjoy composers like Bach and Beethoven, as he puffed on his smoking pipe and allowed his mind to wander to issues of Mutant equality and the dilemma of dedicating his life to protecting the humans that hate him.

But I think Chopin’s NOCTURNES would be the thing that brings him the most relaxation during these times of great thought and meditation.

 

Next on my list is Spider-Man villain, Green Goblin. The Green Goblin title has been adorned by several different people, but most famously by the father and son Osborns. In a “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” type fashion, the Osborns are both pretty arrogant and egotistical characters. Papa Osborn probably prefers The Doors, while little Osborn seems more the Babyshambles type. Recently, however, Green Goblin has been interpreted as more of a science experiment mutate, rather than a dude in a goblin mask.

So, what would a mutated goblin listen to you ask? Perhaps Tyler the Creator? Maybe… another goblin? Nekrogoblikon, to be exact. Hey, goblins gotta stick together…

 

The third character I chose for this list is someone so egomaniacal and arrogant, that he makes the previously mentioned Osborns look like saints… Someone so big-headed (literally) and cruel, that no one, heroes and villains alike, can stand to be around him… I speak of MODOK.

MODOK has a superhuman intellect and psionic abilities that, even though he’s already a monster, have allowed him to create a self-image of himself that dwarfs even the most massive of mountains. Who, in real-world-music could even come close to this kind of pompous attitude and “the world owes me something” mentality? Perhaps someone who claims to be a god? Someone like, Kanye West.

 

Fourth on my list is a character that, unless you’re a pretty dedicated comic book fan, you may not know of. Uatu the Watcher. The Watchers are an alien race that have dedicated themselves to monitoring and recording the events of the universe. Uatu is assigned to watch Earth. With very few exceptions, the Watchers do not intervene in what they witness, they merely watch it and record it for the understanding of whoever may come along after the universe ends.

So what does someone who simply watches and never interacts with what he sees listen to while he’s doing it? Well, Randy Newman seems like a fairly obvious choice due to how he was lampooned on Family Guy. But if only there were an artist who’s rumored to have written a very popular song about watching a man drown and doing nothing about it… oh wait! We’re in luck! Phil Collins did that!

 

For my final selection I wanted to choose someone who was really neither villain, nor hero. Someone who has a tab bit of moral compass, but will a cut a mother—-er’s head off in a second if need be. Someone who means business, but takes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING seriously. A mouthy “merc” so unbelievably ridiculous that you can’t help but love him. The one… the only… DEADPOOL!

And just what real-world-music would someone so absurd listen to? I mean, Deadpool is the most flippant character in all of comics, but he takes his money VERY seriously. Deadpool would obviously listen to hip-hop. But not jut any hip-hop, no. Deadpool would be a fan of the only hip-hop artist to ever be able to rival his lack of sincerity and pursuit of the almighty dollar… Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

And he’d need a song that would perfectly fit laying waste to a room full of dudes for few thousand dead presidents…

…because Deadpool is a pimp…

Superheroes and Music: Who Does the DC Universe Listen To?

dcmarvel-01

 

Stephen and I came up with an idea for a new article in which he and I work together to figure out what music Marvel and DC Universe characters would listen too. At first I thought the idea was funny and nothing more than a clever gimmick. (After all, here at 4LN, if Stephen says something we take it with a grain of sand, because most of the time there are a couple derogatory words used followed by some foul language.) In today’s article I am going to look at five DC Universe characters and figure out who or what music they would listen too. And if you come back tomorrow, which I suggest you do, you’ll get some serious laughs at the musicians that Stephen has thrown together for our friendly superpowers over at Marvel.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 8.32.45 PM

You don’t want to know what else he continued to say…

Now, I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with who would be my first superhero/villain for this article. Then it hit me… someone that most people have no clue exists. And that is one of Captain Marvel/Shazam’s corniest villains. Good ole Mr. Banjo. Yes, that’s right it’s a villain and he plays a banjo. Now, Banjo man has only appeared in two issues and I believe that’s three issues to many.  During World War II, Mr. Banjo would send the Japanese secret messages while playing the banjo, AND he would also battle Captain Marvel with nothing more than his Banjo, yeah… that sound’s like it ended well for him.

Mr Banjo

Now, I feel like Mr. Banjo would be a HUGE fan of bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs. Earl Scruggs was one of the pioneers for three-finger banjo pickin’ and played with Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys and later left Monroe’s band to start one with former band member Lester Flatt. I feel like Mr. Banjo might have been listing to The Grand Ole Opry on the radio one evening and he heard that eerie bluegrass banjo and it forever changed his life and he soon used his banjo for evil and to forever tarnish the bluegrass sound by becoming a traitor to the allied forces. Thanks a lot Mr. Banjo!

My second character for this would have to be my favorite Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. Kyle was chosen to be a lantern by Ganthet and Kyle always believed he was chosen by chance. Its very rare for the Guardians to hand pick a lantern, most of the time, the ring selects a wearer who shows great will power, but that was not the case for Kyle. At one point, Kyle was even the leader of the Corps and he has now since evolved into being one of the most powerful lanterns. No, he is not a Green, Blue, Red or Indigo Lantern, but he is now The White Lantern who can harness all powers of the emotional spectrum and no longer just one emotion at a time.

Kyle_Rayner

Now, Kyle has always had a short temper and been a little hot headed, and I think that is why I relate to him so much. I see myself in him a lot more than in any other DC characters. Based on his short temper and stubbornness, I feel like Kyle would be a major fan of Hardcore Punk. Not so much the early years of hardcore like Minor Threat, Black Flag, and The Germs. Kyle would be a fan of some of todays angrier more frustrated hardcore like Trash Talk or even Dead Swans. He’s a frustrated guy that can’t really control all of his emotions so he’s attracted to the raw pure energy that is offered by hardcore punk songs like “Explode” by Trash Talk. Just some raw relentless music that Kyle will jam as he moves from space sector to space sector.

Next up, we have one of DC’s darker characters and really one of the few anti-heroes that DC offers. His name is John Constantine, and he’s the pre-historic emo. John is a detective stationed in Liverpool and uses violence, an anti-social attitude, and he’s known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done. I can honestly say that Constantine is the hardest character on this list for me to come up with what kind of music he would listen to. I have a lot in mind that John would listen to. For example I think he would dig The Cure, Joy Division, Elliot Smith, My Bloody Valentine, or Nirvana. But, When I finally stopped to think about it, I began to realize that John would be driving around England in his beat up 1986 Toyota Corolla with a mixed tape that his high school sweet heart gave him (a few weeks before she broke his heart). On that mix tape would include the sadder songs by Joy Division (Love Will Tear Us Apart, She’s Lost Control and Shadow Play) followed by the angrier songs by Nirvana (Scentless Apprentice, In Bloom, and Dumb). But I feel like Constantine just listens to these bands in hopes that he can finally feel what his sweetheart was trying to get him to feel way back when.

Hellblazer_(1)

Doesn’t he look like a guy that would drive an ’89 Toyota and listen to sad music?

Following Constantine, my next selection of the DC Universe is the wonderful delight known as Swamp Thing. As a quick background Swamp Thing is an elemental creature that shares a connection to all of the plant life that shares a home with him hear on planet earth. He is a giant mass of plant matter and eventually absorbed the memories and personality of botanist Alec Holland. But that wasn’t the only thing he absorbed, not many know this but, The Dark Carnival festival takes place near the swamp in which Swamp Thing calls home. As sure as the night is dark, Swamp Thing soon became one of the biggest fans of Insane Clown Posse and has a few Juggalos carved into him. At each gathering you can be sure to find Swamp Thing with his face painted like a deranged Kiss fan and screaming along to “Boogie Woogie Wu” because Swamp Thing IS the Boogie Woogie Man!

Swamp_Thing

The final superhero on this list is one of DC’s biggest hitters, Arthur Curry, better known as Aquaman, King of Atlantis and one of the core members of The Justice League. Aquaman is the rightful heir to the Throne of Atlantis and struggles with his connection to Atlantians and to humans, often referred to as “surface dwellers” by those that call the sea their home. Aquaman has always struggled with who he relates to the most, is it the humans that don’t trust him and/or fear him, or does he relate to the people of Atlantis that don’t want him as a king and find him inferior for being part human. But, there is one thing Aquaman can always find comfort in and something to relate with. And, that my fiends, is the Jam rock band Phish. They are a band Aquaman and Mera can walk down the beach with it playing on their boom box, and its just some nice slow jams that Aquaman can play on repeat while he’s swimming from the Pacific to Indian Ocean to help those dolphins caught in some six pack beer plastic carriers. When you spend 98% of your time in the water, you have to be thankful for Spotify and that Life Proof iPhone Case.

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I jokingly sent Aquaman writer (at the time) Geoff Johns a tweet asking who Aquaman’s favorite band is, this was his answer.

Local Spotlight: Daisyhead

I have always been a nerd. For me, the moment I realized I was becoming a nerd was when I became obsessed with punk rock. I began to research everything about punk, from its origins in bluegrass music to the polar opposite and most loved hated musician, GG Allin. I have been around the Nashville music scene since I was a 16 year old hoodlum with green hair. I have moved on from the punk scene, to the hardcore scene that I was in during the last stages of high school, and now I embrace the pop-punk emo poser that I am today.

Here at Four Letter Nerd we like to believe everybody is nerdy about something. For some people its comic books (Stephen and I), some people are nerdy about Magic; The Gathering (Robbie), others are nerdy alcoholic drinks (please drink responsibly Cody), and some are nerdy about Star Trek (I’m looking at you Cameron). But in all reality, we can be nerdy about pretty much anything. With all of this being said, in todays Local Spotlight we are looking at Nashville band Daisyhead. Daisyhead emerged in 2012 and have made a pretty big impact on the Nashville music scene, and soon to be the entire emo/alternative scene all together.

Yesterday, 11/7/13, Daisyhead released some pretty awesome news. They are now on the record label No Sleep. This label has some of the biggest names in this scene on board, Balance and Composure, La Dispute, Touché Amore, and The Wonder Years to name a few. I was able to catch Daisyhead’s set last night at Nashville venue The End with Balance and Composure, Better Off, and Courtesy Drop. I’m just going to say Daisyhead absolutely killed it. When Michael Roe, the vocalist who occasionally strums the guitar, announced that they were signed to No Sleep, we said “It’s so f—king cool.” He has the excitement of a child unwrapping the new gaming console he’s wanted on Christmas Day.

 

(The following interview was conducted with Michael Roe about a month ago; I have been waiting for the big record news to release this.)

4LN- What makes you nerdy?
M.R. – I suppose the anti-social aspect of being a nerd is something I can relate to.  I find myself sitting in front of my television, at my computer, or playing my guitar more than going out with friends.  Haha

4LN- Who would be your favorite Superhero?
M.R. – Iron Man!

4LN- if you could have any superpower, what would it be?
M.R. – The power to be able to recollect my memories as vividly as Ted Mosby.
(As you can tell Michael is a big fan of How I Met Your Mother, so if you are ever at one of their shows, stop by and pass the breeze with him!)

4LN-  Are you more of a DC guy or a Marvel fan? And why do you think that is?
M.R. – If I had to choose, I would have to go with Marvel.  I was just more of a fan of the Marvel characters growing up.

4LN- What would be your favorite video game?
M.R.- Kingdom Hearts, by far.  Nothing else compares.(I can not tell you the countless conversations I have had with Michael about this game. I am pretty sure it has consumed his life on multiple occasions.)

4LN- Is there a comic you have read that really stuck out to you?
M.R. – I would have to say the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, “Precious Little Life.”
(I have known Michael for about 3 or 4 years now. One of the very first things we ever talked about was Lord Of The Rings, so I was pretty sure we would end up being good friends. The Following is about his love for LOtR.)

4LN: Now, I know you love Lord of The Rings so these next few questions will be about that! How did you get pulled into LOtR? Was it the movies or the books?
M. R. – The movies pulled me in.  I was pretty young when they came out, but I was hooked from the get go.

4LN- What about LOtR is it that really connects with you? Who is the character you consider to be YOU in the story line?
M.R. – I love the concept of someone as small as a hobbit going against all odds to destroy the root of evil, and the support he gets from THE COOLEST characters I’ve ever seen in a movie or read in a book.
I try my best to be like Frodo.  I don’t consider myself a hero, by any means, but I have a tendency to take a leadership role in everything I do.

4LN- Has LOtR led you to any other nerdy things?  Or did another nerdy thing lead you TO LOtR?
M.R. – I would have to say that LOtR is the first “nerdy” thing I ever got into, but it definitely opened my eyes to the world of Fantasy.  Is that sexual?  I hope that isn’t perceived as a sexual statement. Oh well!

Final Question: Has LOtR played any role in your music? Lyrically or musically? Do you have any tattoos that represent your passion for LOtR?
M.R. – None of the songs I have written have anything to do with LOtR, but we are about to write some new material, so who knows?!  I don’t have any LOtR tattoos yet, but that’s only because I have to get the perfect piece, and I haven’t decided what that will be just yet.

Check the link below to pick up some Daisyhead merch! Be on the look out for them coming to a town near you in early 2014, they will not disappoint you.

http://spartanrecords.limitedrun.com/products/518854-daisyhead-i-couldnt-face-you-7

 


 

UPDATE, 1/16/16

Our good pals in Daisyhead were the unfortunate victims of a van break-in during their tour stop in Chicago and they’ve set up a GoFundMe for anyone who might be interested in helping them out. You can also help by heading over to their merch site and picking a shirt or hoodie.

Nerd Songs You Should Know

Being a nerd means that most aspects of your life are affected by your nerdiness. When creative nerds create something, most likely they’re will be a thread of their nerdiness somewhere in it. Submitted for your listening pleasure, in no particular order, here are some creative nerds that made creatively nerdy music…

 

Some songs may contain NSFW lyrics... but that's part of  WHY we like them isn't it?!

Some songs may contain NSFW lyrics… but that’s part of WHY we like them isn’t it?!

 

Horse the Band – “Birdo”

Groovy riffs, breakdowns, and lyrics about a character from Mario… “Nintendocore” at it’s finest ladies and gentlemen.  If you aren’t familiar with HTB check out their album “The Mechanical Hand”, which this song is from.

 

mc chris – “Fette’s Vette”

mc chris is probably most famous for his track “Hoodie Ninja” (and his extensive musical contributions to Adult Swim), but this song all about the bad-ass, helmeted bounty hunter from the War of the Stars is hands down one of the best examples of hip-hop’s nerdy basement-Magic-tournament-playing cousin Nerdcore. Check out his album “mc chris is dead” for more epic, hip-hop nerdiness.

 

Emmure – “Blackheart Reigns”

Here’s one for the comic book crowd. As the title suggests this song is about Blackheart, a common foe of Ghost Rider, who is actually a featured villain in the first Ghost Rider film. Frankie Palmeri, the vocalist for Emmure, is a big comic book fan, and so most all of the songs on their 2012 album “Slave to the Game” are named to include comic book references. If you’re a comic book fan, and a metal/hardcore fan, you should at check this one out.

 

Protest the Hero – “Clarity”

Another one for the metal crowd, and the Star Wars fans, but this time we’re throwing Star Trek (and some general LARPing) in the mix. This track by these Canadian progressive metalcore-ists is about the ago-old nerd argument, “what’s better: Star Wars or Star Trek?”

 

Nerf Herder – “Lamer Than Lame”

With a band name taken straight out of Star Wars, Nerf Herder single-handedly capture exactly what it’s like to be a nerd and in love with a girl who just doesn’t notice you. I recommend their 2000 album, “How To Meet Girls”, for more awesome nerdy pop-punk songs like “Pantera Fans In Love” and “She’s A Sleestak”.

 

Honorable mention:

Wesley Willis – “I Whupped Batman’s Ass”

I have to give props to my friend Nick for making me aware of this one. The song is actually really catchy and I often find myself singing it randomly. I really don’t know how to explain how amazing it is, you just have to experience it for yourself.