Friday, July 16, 2010

Nerdiest City in the South? You Decide. THIS WEEKEND!!

One of the reasons I like Orlando so much is that it is, arguably, the nerdiest city in the South.  Sure, there are other pockets of nerdiness spread across the Deep South, and Florida is not really a part of the Truly Deep South, but seeing that Orlando is home to lots and lots of programming centers, Disney, and the country's 3rd largest university (with its three Engineering buildings), not to mention NASA a short distance away, there is plenty of industry to attract nerds to the area.  Far more than say, Alabama, Mississippi, or South Carolina.

And what about those smart kids who start off in Intro to Engineering and decide that, despite their nerdy personas and their or their parents' wishes for them to make lots of money, a career at Lockheed Martin is not for them?  Well, the non-NASA nerds in Central Florida have built up quite a culture, too.  And that culture hits its zenith this weekend at Orlando's very own festival, Nerdapalooza.

In its fourth year (begun in 2007), Nerdapalooza has claimed its own place in both Central Florida culture and nerdcore culture in its own right.  Moving from living rooms to Taste restaurant in College Park to the Orlando Airport Marriott (so its audience feels right at home, as if they're attending some sort of -con), the festival includes local acts as well as nationally touted nerdcore legends.  On Saturday, George Hrab (of Philadelphia Funk Authority, and someone please, write this man a wikipedia entry!!) will play and on Sunday, MC Frontalot, the rapper who allegedly coined the term "nerdcore" will play.

I won't be there, but alas, I will say that I think although I don't love every bit of nerdcore I've ever heard, I generally enjoy the company.  I am too old and too peaceful to hang with the punks, too adverse to cigarette smoke to hang with the rockabillies, not drunk enough to hang with the alt-country crowd, too enthusiastic to hang out with jazzers, too weird to hang out with the classical crowd for longer than rehearsal time - if I had to pick a musical crew to call my own, it'd be the nerds.  I may not own enough black hoodies to be in Emergency Pizza Party, but alas.

There are a million podcasts, websites, all that geeky stuff I could point you to, but instead, I'll just link you to the official Nerdapalooza site, the excellent blog Hipster, Please!, and give a big shout-out to two friends (or two acts that include friends of mine) who are playing on Sunday!!

Marc with a C

You'll almost certainly hear this song during Marc's set during Nerapalooza, due to popular demand, but you should also check the rest of his illustrious catalog because he's got so much else to offer.

 Zombies! Organize!!

Admittedly the Z!O!! clip is not particularly typical of their performances - the girls rap a lot more - but the sound is fairly clear and the subject matter is right on tap.

And in more tribute to nerd music, my favorite all-time band of nerds.  (And dare I say, the concert crowd in which I have always felt the most comfortable.)

Happy Nerdapalooza!!

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