We did a lot of yard work this evening, and while picking music to play on my iPhone as we worked, I was thinking about geeky bands. Side note, the iPhone playing music like a speaker is one of my favorite things.
I tried to think of a list that did not include bands that are just built on and in geek culture, so this rules out bands like The Black Mages (who are amazing). I also didn’t want to include bands that are just beloved by geek culture, like Daft Punk, the stars of Tron: Legacy.
So, here are five geeky bands. For some of these decisions, the music videos help. Enjoy!
The band that brought us Knight of Cydonia solidly makes the list of geeky bands. With an album about an uprising (meaning football rioting); an album about the entropy and the laws of thermodynamics; and a live album named for a research facility that’s also part of a conspiracy theory… Muse makes music that is far more thematic than just about their love life or the other stuff that makes up so much of music.
If you don’t know Muse, the album to start with is probably Black Holes and Revelations. Once you like that, go to Absolution, and you might just have a favorite band or at least a new favorite album. With songs like Apocalypse Please and Butterflies and Hurricanes, I am going to have to say, solidly geeky.
The song that finally got me into the Decemberists, after they had been recommended to me a few times? The Mariner’s Revenge Song, about a boy who gets revenge on the rake who killed his mother through STDs, after an epic chase on the ocean, and being swallowed by a whale. It paints a picture of just who the Decemberists are and what they do.
If you don’t know the Decemberists and are looking for somewhere to start, Picaresque, home of The Mariner’s Revenge Song, is a good place to start. From there, if you like concept albums, check out The Hazards of Love. I still to this day can’t tell you what actually happens in this album – but there’s shapeshifting, magic, ghosts, and music helps build the characters. From there, really just keep going: their whole discography is great, although I still kind of find their most recent offering, The King is Dead, kind of forgettable.
Possibly Holly and my favorite band, or at least our favorite band as a couple (if that’s a thing?), Ludo was the band that we remember dancing to at our wedding. Yep, we’re geeks. On their most recent album, Prepare the Preparations, Ludo has songs about pirates, robots, skeletons, cyborgs, and the amazing geek love anthem Anything for You.
However, it’s their album You’re Awful, I Love You that really shines. The Horror of Our Love is one of our favorites. The thought behind In Space (that he always wanted to be an astronaut, and by the time he was one, he just missed his love), is geeky awesome. And the Lovecraftian Horror of Lake Pontchartrain makes me never want to go to Louisiana.
Geeky probably before we would have thought to use the term to describe, Rush was creating or synthesizing mythology and turning it into amazing storytelling music back long enough for a Rush song to actually be one of my earliest memories. The Body Electric, about the survival instincts of an android, and with a very memorable chorus, is a great song. But there are so many more to choose from, like the dive into a poetic mythology in Xanadu, or the journey through a black hole to Olympus in Cygnus X-1.
This means if I want to recommend a Rush album – or really, two, since there’s actually a cliffhanger between the two – it would be A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres. But much of their discography can get into geeky territory, like the famous 2112, or with songs ranging from the invented, like By-Tor and the Snow Dogs, to the incredibly thoughtful, like Natural Science. Even up to their most recent stuff, Rush gets my geeky vote: Clockwork Angels not only explores the deist idea of the clockwork god, it has a novel written by Kevin J. Anderson to go along with it.
Yep, I have that book. Need to read that.
Alright, so I’m more out on a limb with this one. Their name is geeky, and their album artwork has been kind of as well. Their music maybe isn’t quite at geeky, but it’s close. They could be going there. I could see it.
They were fantastic in concert, as well, and I’m glad we caught them. Good new band, if you want someone to listen to. However, there’s one thing in particular I want to submit both as recommendation and my argument for the geekiness of this band.
You’ve probably heard the song Radioactive. It’s been all over. It’s pretty excellent. It was awesome in concert – they wheel out a huge drum that the main singer uses to accentuate the song. But that’s still not as good as the music video.
Check it out, and be amazed.