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  • Geek Rock

    Geek rock is a music genre that emerged from the alternative rock scene. And though the genre has been around for a while in its own right, the term “geek rock” is actually a fairly new label. Unlike most other music genres, the actual title ‘geek rock’ is used lightly in terms of the style of the actual music itself, and is more heavily used to label the performers and the artists of the genre, due to their style of clothing and personalities that would merit the description of being a “geek”. Although, this fact aside, there are in fact quite a few different musical characteristics that many of the artists in the geek rock scene share, even though there are quite a few different artists that are not apart of the recognised standard of the geek rock sound. Many geek rock bands will use such elements as harmonic vocals, sometimes accompanied with the heavy use of a female backing the lead vocalists, the extensive use of electric keyboards and synthesizers, and even some other peculiar instrumentation like the accordion or other pieces not usually found in the alternative rock scene. A few artists that can be found in the mainstream music scene that are great examples of the genres accepted musical traits include bands like Weezer, The Aquabats!, Barenaked Ladies, They Might Be Giants, and DEVO.

    Lyrical content in the genre is something else that a lot of bands in the geek rock scene have in common as well. Lyrical themes include subject like isolation, falling in love with another, and being lonely, as well as an appeal to certain “geek” culture like video games, fantasy, comics, and science fiction. Most music of the geek rock scene even has a healthy dose of humour and irony to be found in most song lyrics. While the geek rock scene has produced close to nothing but American and Canadian bands, there are bands to be found in the scene from other countries. The German band Wir sind Helden, their name translating into “We are heroes”, is a prime example. With songs like “Nur ein Wort” and “Guten Tag” that deal with comics, dictionaries, and other “geek” pop culture, the music videos for such songs gave them a label from many as being a “German Geek Rock” band. Influences on the current genres trends can include artists for the 70s and 80s, such as Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, and XTC. Other bands whom have been labeled as apart of the geek rock genre include Ween, The Cartoon All-Stars, Heavy Vegetable, Beck, OK Go, Pixies, Grandaddy, Clyde, The Decemberists, Nada Surf, Eels, and The Young Knives, to name only a few on the list.

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