This is Jonathan Coulton performing at the High Line this past April. He is the uncrowned king of the nerdy novelty song. My iTunes informs me that his genre is “Unclassifiable” which I think is an unusual misspelling of “Awesome.” My personal favorites are Code Monkey, a love song for J. Alfred Programmer; Skullcrusher Mountain, in which a lovelorn mad scientist asks isn’t it enough that I ruined a pony, making a gift for you?; and Shop Vac, a tale of suburban disaffection and despair with a catchy sing-along chorus. I’m also really very fond of his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back. Those last two might not be all that nerdy but they are a whole lot of fun.
The next song on my list of favorites, MMO RPG by Alex Greenwald (Mark Ronson and the Business Intl., Phantom Planet) – truly a piece of digital ephemera, as it is, for now, only available on YouTube – explores some of the philosophical complexities of on-line gaming:
I will confess I’m not actually all that into computer games – the graphics tend to give me vertigo, and I prefer the low-tech joys of running around in the woods with capes and fake swords and the adrenaline rush when the elves come out of hiding in the middle of an otherwise routine trade conversation – but the song still fills me with glee. I am only sad that the “P” in the middle defeats my attempts to chair-dance to it YMCA-style.
Finally, there’s the song made by a band full of nerds that, on first hearing, I thought was a novelty song, but wasn’t: Teenagers , by My Chemical Romance. The video won’t embed, but you can listen to it here:
A breather amid the heavier themes of the The Black Parade, this one is for anyone who has ever been baffled or a little scared by their high-schooler, or had the urge to tell anyone to shut up, get off their lawn, and pull up their pants. I enjoy it tremendously, and all y’all should check it out.