Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 10, 2010

Geek’s Greatest Hits (Top 10 Geek Anthems)

Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy” – first runner-up

(Stolen wholesale from CNN… I don’t have time today to do my own list, but we can certainly discuss what they left off, in your opinion. Only two samples provided below from their list. Click thru to CNN for rest of their list, including my favorite geek-rockers They Might Be Giants!) 

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Geeks rock.

When Buddy Holly jerked onstage as a bespectacled counterpoint to the pelvis-swiveling cool of Elvis, it carved out a spot in rock and pop music for the kids more inclined to admire Stephen Hawking than Steven Tyler or Bill Gates than Billy Idol.

The South by Southwest Interactive conference kicks off Friday in Austin, Texas, offering up as pure a convergence of geek and rock sensibilities as you’re apt to find. Started in 1987 to showcase Austin’s burgeoning alt-rock scene, South by Southwest added interactive and film gatherings in 1994. Now, more than 17,000 people attend those two events, and South by Southwest is becoming as well-known for launching digital game-changers like Twitter as for musical acts like Beck.

All that is as good an excuse as any to round up our list of the top 10 geek anthems of all time.

From love songs about writing HTML code to synth-fueled denunciations of the cool kids, these odes to geekery are as good as it gets.

Which tunes did we leave out? This list could easily have been a Top 20. Click the player at CNN to hear samples of their 10 songs, then join the conversation in the Sound Off section [or at the Marking Time comments area below] and make your case for your fave.

The CNN choices:

1. “She Blinded Me With Science,” Thomas Dolby

One of the greatest one-hit wonders in a decade known for them, Dolby [a stage named cribbed from Dolby Laboratories] brought geek to the Top 40 in 1982.

To this day, the chorus’ one-word interjection — “Science!” — is a universally recognized exclamation whenever geeks gather.  Dolby also walks the walk. He has helped invent the RMF file format, written music for video games and, since 2001, has acted as the musical director for the tech-intensive TED conference.

Geek essentials: Science, social awkwardness, being hit with technology.

2. “Dare to Be Stupid,” Weird Al Yankovic

“White and Nerdy” or “All About the Pentiums” would also have been obvious choices here from an artist with probably as loyal a geek following as anyone.


Responses

  1. For those of an older generation: Think Frank Zappa’s “Please Don’t Eat That Yellow Snow”, plus anything by Allen Sherman and/or Spike Jones (the original… not the music video mogul)


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