Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roots of Nerd Rock

There are a set of bands that are comprised of and have music aimed at nerds. Go to see Moxy Fruvous, They Might Be Giants, or Weezer and you'll be comfortably in the company of nerds galore. How far back does this movement go? Who are the founding fathers of it? Talking Heads would be an earlier case. One might argue that Steely Dan is a place where it splits of from art rock. There were a number of Dr. Demento type novelty records back in the 50s and Spike Jones in the 40s, but might be more parody than nerd fare. Lord Buckley in the late 40s/early 50s put out albums of verbal performance art set to music, but I'm not sure one could draw a straight line from one to the other. So, where would you put the roots of nerd rock and whose work belongs in the genre?

A little Lord Buckley: