7/7/03
c. 10 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Aman has entered the room.
winnie: chat chat chatty
Aman: huzzah
fred: hey hey
andy has entered the room.
fred: how long should we wait for austin?
fred: how about 3 min?
winnie: uh, i haven't heard from him in weeks
winnie: did you ever get a response?
fred: yeah he said he'd be around tonight i think
winnie: i think he might be flitting about the greek islands.
winnie: oh really...
fred: olson twins now
http://entertainment.msn.com/photos/gallery.aspx?photo=121350&gallery=117 8#photos
Aman: what do the bylaws say about Greek Islands?
winnie: it's kosher.
winnie: or they're kosher.
winnie: but ew, the olsen twins aren't.
winnie: i'm so disturbed.
fred: hahaha
andy: billionaire babes tho
fred: yah
fred: rah rah
fred: let me double check my email
fred: hey winnie -- are you the one that sweats garlic?
andy: nice talk fred
andy: hey winnie - is it you that stinks in the sun?
winnie: that depends on what you mean by "sweat": literally/physically
or colloquially?
fred: austin sez "see you then" ... but i guess we should go
ahead
winnie: as in, am i perspiring sulfurous compounds or am i a big fan
of the allium?
winnie: okay. didn't get that email, don't think.
fred: heh. he means after you eat garlic, do you find that you
sweat it out later?
winnie: difficult to tell.
winnie: for instance, i ate a great deal of raw garlic for dinner
winnie: (minced, tossed w/ bucatini and sicilian extra virgin olive
oil, pepper & sea salt)
winnie: but the strength of the garlickiness issuing from my mouth is
enough to overpower any sort of sweaty stink i might have.
fred: funny
fred: okay so i'm going to start off by saying that nerd rock
reminds me of boy scouts ... the geeky kids in my troop, and i'm sure
every other boy scout troop across the world, was into monty python,
tmbg, dr demento, and weird al
fred: reminds as in not in a good way
andy: so . . . . is the music nerdy, or just the performers?
andy: and if it's the music, what defines nerdy-music?
winnie: wow. harsh, fred.
Aman: hmm... never was a boy scout
fred: heh heh
Aman: loved monty python/tmbg, though
fred: no i meant that as a starter ... there was only one tmbg
song
Aman: I'd put dr. demento and weird al elsewhere
winnie: and hell, i was a big fan of monty python/tmbg concurrently
fred: i like monty python also
winnie: what's dr demento?
fred: i was just saying that that's what nerd rock evokes for me
Aman: but yes, those are the nerd-markers, aren't they?
winnie: the term, or this mix?
fred: i think, and this statement applies to the realm outside of
rock as well, that there's a big diff b/t nerds and geeks
andy: Aman, is this a stand up for nerds mix?
fred: nerds have the potential to be cool, whereas geeks are
hopelessly dorky
Aman: yes, I'd say this mix encourages you to stand up for nerds
andy: or a sociological peek at the inner life of nerds?
winnie: i think his inclusion of dead milkmen, blur, wilco, & the
flaming lips would debunk that claim, fred
Aman: stand up for yourself as a nerd
andy: oh, where's aman?
fred: the claim that geeks are hopelessly dorky?
fred: aman is lennon dog
andy: ah, so what's mike?
winnie: mhall something or other
fred: mike is mhall4ac
andy: peasantwalk
winnie: he can never make it
andy: right - hi aman!
Aman: hi!
andy: are blur nerds?
fred: blur sounds like what's his name bu bu ... beck ... this
track anyway. to me
winnie: really!?!!
winnie: no way.
andy: I like this track . . it sounds so bleak
winnie: blur sounds like blur, dude.
Aman: I'm surprised I didn't put any Beck on this mix...
Aman: s'pose it wasn't rocky enough
fred: i don't know blur very well
fred: beck is nerdy? i wouldn't say so
fred: what about queen?
winnie: i lovelovelove blur
winnie: though the new album's not so hot.
Aman: I don't know blur very well, either... but the video for
this song is awesome
fred: i think this is the third cd i've heard this wilco song and
it's finally growing on me ... slowly though
Aman: rather nerdy... most of the time the image you're watching
is a strutting milk carton with a big smile on its face
winnie: queen's not nerdy either.
fred: queen's got that sort of campy nerdy thing going if you know
what i mean
winnie: you should see "i am trying to break your heart" if you
haven't yet
Aman: see the video?
winnie: if that doesn't make you love that track (not to mention the
rest of yankee hotel foxtrot), well, i dunno what.
winnie: mmm, fred, i only agree b/c of wayne's world's influence.
winnie: no, i haven't seen the vid
fred: i think nerd rock tends to favor choral vocals, spoken word,
and falsetto
Aman: Wayne's World is a great example of how nerds come to own
rock
fred: let's get down to the essence of nerd rock
fred: for ex, why isn't nerd rock cool enough to be indie?
andy: i think nerd rock is medium paced, strummed guitars,
self-conscious lyrics about inadequacies
Aman: primary factor, I'd say, is obsession
fred: that could describe indie rock
andy: yup
andy: well - if they had the energy
fred: that last statement was for andy
winnie: i think nerd rock is a very close sibling of indie rock.
andy: oh ic
fred: i think nerd rock is the picked upon younger bro of indie
rock
fred: wanting to be cool
andy: nerd rock seems 'squarer' - more boxy
fred: yeah
fred: less arty
fred: more um nosepicking
Aman: whether it's obsession with certain conventions of rock...
with some topical subject of the song... a sound... a style
andy: verse / chorus / break / verse / chorus and out
fred: (i'm listening to she don't use jelly right now, hence the
metaphor)
Aman: must be awkward
fred: it's interesting how the genre is more or less clear in our
minds, but it's hard to define
winnie: okay, just got a call from austin
andy: apart from weezer and tmbg . . .who else is
unquestionably a nerdrocker
fred: who's quintessentially nerd rock?
fred: jinx!
winnie: he just returned yesterday or today & hasn't gotten his
internet up & working yet
andy: 'nerdrocker' sounds like an oxymoron
fred: i would say tmbg, weezer, and moxy fruvous top the list
Aman: I think nerds can rock harder than anyone else without going
over that rocky edge...
andy: i don't know moxy f
fred: they're just like tmbg, but canadian
winnie: i almost want to say that nerd rock is a subgenre of indie
rock
Aman: weezer, tmbg, all the bands that came out of the weezer-wake
andy: what about the early nerds
fred: which came first?
andy: herman's hermits
Aman: (nerf herder, ozma, bunk9, etc. etc.)
andy: freddie and the dreamers
winnie: but i think indie rock tends to rely on obsessing w/ the
obscure
andy: sorry - more andy-archaeology
Aman: but I'd also say Dismemberment Plan is pretty much nerd rock
winnie: the non-mainstream. nerd rock doesn't seem too shaken by
commercial success.
Aman: despite being very indie and very cool
andy: i think it's a sensibility
fred: i think indie tends to be more arty more poetry than the
conversational vernacular of "i want you i want you real bad"
winnie: i think emo's kind of nerdy.
fred: emo is wannabe punk
fred: don't you think?
Aman: I've sorta seen emo as a subgenre of nerd-rock...
winnie: no, no no
winnie: yes, definitely, aman.
fred: what?!
Aman: almost like... an emo-rocker is too much of a loser to be
even a nerd rocker
fred: emo seems much more punk than nerd rock to me
fred: someone needs to make an emo mix for me!
winnie: no, believe me, you don't want one.
Aman: I don't think you want a mix
fred: i think i do
Aman: maybe just a song
fred: i like sunny day -- aren't they emo?
andy: why do we need so many categories?
fred: b/c then we can dress up a certain way and have friends who
look like us
Aman: exactly
andy: what does it avail us?
andy: or doth it, I guess
Aman: we need something to write on our notebooks...
Aman: or AIM profiles, or whatever
fred: and our tatoos
fred: and buttons for our bags
Aman: oh right, buttons are important
andy: I'm not convinced the categories actually exist except
as social groupings
winnie: hahaha
andy: musically most attempts to group music together seem to
topple
winnie: yes, andy, and that's critical nowadays. the groupings.
fred: i think they serve as useful shorthand when talking about a
song or new artist ... as in "they're sort of nerd-surf-rockabilly"
andy: I mean . . .blur, wilco, b-52s, black flag - i can
think of other labels which would separate them all as effectively as
nerd collects them
winnie: yes, and in fact, i don't think i'd choose to label them as
nerd rock at all.
fred: what would you label b52s? new wave?
andy: not usually . . .but on THIS mix it makes sense
andy: so perhaps the level only comes to life on a mix!
andy: sorry - 'label' not 'level'
Aman: yes... I don't think you'll ever see 'nerd-rock' signs in
the stores...
winnie: yeah, new wave would work.
andy: jeez - what are the b-52s? - they were kind of US new
wave - sort of b movie, cheezy, kitschy, camp, john waters kind of
thingy
winnie: oh yes, very john waters.
winnie: i think it must be kate's beehive.
winnie: fred, didn't i call that very first mix i gave you a nerd rock
sort of thing?
andy: but new wave also included blondie, elvis costello, the
stranglers, spandau ballet . . . . . . hmm
winnie: actually at that time, i was being labeled a nerd rocker by
more than a few people.
fred: you know, i can never take jokey music very seriously ... i
mean, it's really hard for me to listen to any tmbg song in any sort of
critical way ... actually that's not the best example, but you get my
point
Aman: really? what did you include on that mix?
winnie: particularly for listening to weezer. and the white stripes.
fred: the first mix?
winnie: maybe not the white stripes.
winnie: hmm. lemme think. actually it was all the stuff i used to play
in the coffeehouse, minus the electronica.
andy: aman - what about momus
fred: ? are you sure you made me a copy?
winnie: maybe i'm thinking of something else.
andy: I like it a lot - and it was quite different from what
I expected
andy: are they german?
Aman: I had trouble keeping the electronic off the mix... (only
serious nerds listen to serious electronic music... but no guitars!)
andy: they sound like soft german pet shop boys
Aman: momus is one scottish dude with a bank of synths and a
serious attitude
andy: ah - i hear the burr now
winnie: oh dude, you should check out ms. john soda.
winnie: maybe not yet. i'm putting them on a forthcoming mix.
winnie: but this is elecronica w/ guitars that's so so good. wait --
why can't there be guitars?
andy: oh - there can be guitars!
andy: so many rools
Aman: re: MC Escher... it's 'jokey music' that you have to take
seriously...
fred: why's that?
Aman: it's brilliant
Aman: (IMO)
winnie: you know, i take plenty of tmbg seriously as well, even if at
first it seems jokey. i think their lyrics clever beyond jokiness.
winnie: (jokeyness?)
andy: me too - it's a little tiring, but it's more than just
screwing around
andy: i want to meet hippie johnny
fred: yeah i like tmbg but i hate queen and weird al
Aman: I can see how it would be tiring... but I can't get enough
personally of anyone who drops the names of Karl Marx and Biz Markie in
the same line...
andy: oh queen are wonderful
fred: echhhh
winnie: dude, queen's not nerd rock.
winnie: it's more glam than that, i think. though i wouldn't say
straight-up glam.
fred: i think they're as cross-genre as tmbg
andy: right - fc you're way off
fred: pbbbt
fred: i think tmbg is campy in the same way
Aman: no no
andy: glam - pomp rock stuff
winnie: no, definitely not
fred: not quite so extreme, but c'mon, istanbul?
andy: plenty of queen stuff is serious
winnie: yeah, tmbg has a totally different sound as well
Aman: queen is all overblown and epic-sounding...
winnie: yes, power chords and sequined jump suits
andy: not all of it is bohemian rhapsody and joket stuff
fred: heh
Aman: tmbg is sort of diy, dorky, clever
fred: i think i'm outnumbered
winnie: i don't even think bohemian rhapsody's that jokey.
andy: yes amana- deliberately . . . they're camp
andy: why do you think they called themselves QUEEN
winnie: yes, exactly, aman. and i think that in itself is what
exemplifies nerd rock.
fred: winnie -- it's spoofing OPERA ... how much more jokey can
you get??
fred: does green day count as nerd rock?
winnie: yeah, totally
andy: that one song though Fred
Aman: no, I'd say they don't
winnie: (to your second question)
winnie: really, aman. why's that?
Aman: they fall into a crack between pop and punk ... and they
just can't climb out
winnie: and to the first: even if it's riffing on opera, i dunno. i
think there's a power to the song that makes it more than jokey. not
easily dismissable.
Aman: not self-conscious enough...
winnie: oh really? i think they're plenty self-conscious.
Aman: I agree with Win there... maybe it's just that there's craft
to their camp
fred: hmm
andy: so now we're giving a specious classification
retroactively to a dead band because of one song
fred: i don't see it, but i'll let it go. i think tmbg is as
crafted as any of queen
andy: is this what we've become
fred: hahaha
fred has left the room.
andy: we drove fred away?
winnie: :-(
andy: poor fred
fred has entered the room.
winnie: that was weird.
fred: whoopsie
fred: what happened?
andy: butter fingers
winnie: you know, i think dead milkmen falls pretty well in line with
tmbg.
fred: yeah
winnie: maybe b/c they tend to sing about not-so-serious subjects. or
sing irreveerently about everything
winnie: i'm a big fan of putting "bitchin' camaro" on mixes.
Aman: yeah... but the Milkmen were kind of a one-trick (or less)
act
fred: haven't heard it
Aman: do you edit Bitchin' Camaro?
winnie: certainly not as clever
andy: same with the four postmen?
fred: i have to say other than the bunk9 song the second fav of
mine was #17
winnie: and much more snide
Aman: I usually just leave the rocky bit and drop the swingie bit
winnie: how would i edit it?
andy: I mean - a one-trick pony?
winnie: oh, but the swingy bit is integral.
fred: the one that goes "i'm not crazy" ... the song's not that
exciting, but i like the personality of the vocalist ... even though
it's a cover so it's not really his personality
Aman: I honestly haven't listened to enough Postmen to say... just
that track and a few others... they're certainly more accomplished
musicians... less punk roots
fred: i love this dialogue "you're on drugs" "no mom i'm not!"
andy: i like the black velvet flag thing, but it sounds like laurie anderson
fred: ee no way
andy: very way
andy: bigot
fred: laurie anderson is sooo boring!!
fred: this guy sounds like a fun guy
andy: anti-andersite
fred: laurie anderson always sounds like she takes herself sooo seriously
Aman: he bothers me a great deal
fred: why?
fred: i think he's funny
andy: when he sings it sounds so loungy - it's fun
andy: it could be a wedding reception
Aman: but like I said, the lyrics are worth hearing and the originals are indecipherable
fred: why don't you like him?
andy: it's a good song I think
andy: yeah this guy is just an annoying nerd
Aman: I think there's some interesting lounge/big band/little band/medium band covers of rock songs out there... these guys go further toward the fringe... but I mean, he's a horrible singer
fred: heh i think he's fine
Aman: for instance, there's this guy, Frank Bennet
fred: his speaking voice is good in any case
Aman: Australian... covers Radiohead, Jane's Addiction, Tears for Fears... all big band
Aman: very very good covers
fred: weeeird
fred: hey aman -- you should make a covers mix
fred: speaking of which there was this solo piano cd of radiohead songs ... zzzzzzzzzz
Aman: I will
Aman: really?
Aman: I heard a string quartet version of OK computer
fred: yeah i a famous classical pianist did the arrangements himself
Aman: wait, are you talking about Mehldau?
fred: um that sounds familiar
Aman: DUDE
andy: no - it's christopher o'reilly
fred: the string quartet thing is so old now
Aman: oh
Aman: Mehldau plays two Radiohead tunes... one sole and one with the trio
Aman: they're both flooring
andy: but brad mehldau has done . . . oh right
fred: which tunes?
Aman: paranoid android
fred: is he a classicial guy?
Aman: and exit music
andy: jazz - he was on one of austn's mixes fred
Aman: he plays some classical I believe, but I've only listened to his jazz
fred: oh right
fred: i'd be interested in hearing that
fred: should we have a listening party next time la win is in town?
fred: we could have wine and cocktails and each of us could bring a stack of cds
fred: hehe
Aman: and fight over the cd player?
fred: no take turns
Aman: oh I'd much rather throw back a few and get belligerent
fred: haha
andy: start fred with a whisky sour and some queen
fred: i liked #18 also
Aman: hah
fred: although apparently that's another cover
winnie: no, i would definitely commandeer the cd player and challenge you all to thumb wrestle me for it
andy: smokey robinson
andy: no eating garlic the day before then winnie
andy: what the danged heck is that jim white thing?
winnie: haha
fred: i didn't get #21 at all ... what's so clever about "mc eric satie" or poe? am i missing something?
andy: but 21's cute
fred: i thought it was annoying, but i'm not into that whole beat poetry-esque thing
andy: nice walking bass, cocktail lounge hi-hat
andy: harpsichord + glenn miller saxes
andy: an odd little blend
fred: i don't hear the harps
andy: harpsichord f
fred: i know
fred: oh there it is
Aman: I must run
fred: heh andy looks like it's just you and me again
fred: okay we should wrap it up
andy: yargs
fred: parting shots?
Aman: I'd be happy to continue nerd-discussions via e-mail, of course
Aman: but I think my sister just got off an aeroplane
winnie: of course, of course.
fred: thanks for the mix aman
andy: interesting mix - liked lots
fred: i'm looking forward to your next mix
winnie: yes, thanks
Aman: thanks
fred: yay aman!
fred: heh
andy: and raises good thinkingses
Aman: you're welcome
winnie: and hopefully, i'll get off my ass and send mine out soon
fred: yeah winnie!
andy: likerwise
fred: and andy!
winnie: okay, i'm going to take off too
winnie: later
fred: okee dok catch you all laterrrr
andy: bye
Aman: night folkds
winnie has left the room.
andy has left the room.
Aman has left the room