Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

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GoogaMooga
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Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 22 Aug 2019, 22:29

Geek rock, a resilient substrata of rock. When did it begin? Who is for real and who is putting on an act? What has it achieved and where is it going?

We need to list, in true geek fashion.

Deliberately geeky:

Devo (are we not men/we are devo/are we not men/we are devo...)
Weezer

Geeky for real:

Gorillaz
Rush
Cars
Gary Numan
Pavement
The Residents
Elvis Costello and the Attractions
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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bobzilla77
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby bobzilla77 » 22 Aug 2019, 23:24

You think Devo is a put on? Inauthentic? I guess I see it differently. Their aesthetic is reactive against cliche ideas about rock and roll cool. But so is the Residents. Si is Numan. And all happening at about the same time.

Weezer are cultivating a certain look, informed by self conscious nerd culture, that's fair to say.
Jimbo wrote:I guess I am over Graham Nash's politics. Hopelessly naive by the standards I've molded for myself these days.

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GoogaMooga
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 23 Aug 2019, 01:44

bobzilla77 wrote:You think Devo is a put on? Inauthentic? I guess I see it differently. Their aesthetic is reactive against cliche ideas about rock and roll cool. But so is the Residents. Si is Numan. And all happening at about the same time.

Weezer are cultivating a certain look, informed by self conscious nerd culture, that's fair to say.


Aren't you agreeing about Devo, though, when you write that "their aesthetic is reactive against" - isn't that deliberate in itself? I have tried to list them according to how forced their aesthetic appears to be. The Devo schtick is so strong, it is not by accident. That is what they are about, their whole raison d'être. My second list, the acts there aim for something more, the geekiness is more like a byproduct.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby Fonz » 23 Aug 2019, 06:09

GoogaMooga wrote:
bobzilla77 wrote:You think Devo is a put on? Inauthentic? I guess I see it differently. Their aesthetic is reactive against cliche ideas about rock and roll cool. But so is the Residents. Si is Numan. And all happening at about the same time.

Weezer are cultivating a certain look, informed by self conscious nerd culture, that's fair to say.


Aren't you agreeing about Devo, though, when you write that "their aesthetic is reactive against" - isn't that deliberate in itself? I have tried to list them according to how forced their aesthetic appears to be. The Devo schtick is so strong, it is not by accident. That is what they are about, their whole raison d'être. My second list, the acts there aim for something more, the geekiness is more like a byproduct.



Both seem about right.
But, why would you (ie Devo) bother. Surely the best way of reacting against ‘rock’ is just to ignore it completely, rather than produce some sort of diluted anti-Rock.
And don’t get me started on the hats...
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 23 Aug 2019, 06:38

The Devo vocal style was at least in part influenced by David Byrne's nervous yelping, I think. It was most apparent on the first album, "Are We Not Men?" When that album scored a minor hit with "Mongoloid", they got the taste of money, and that led to the hat album and a more dancefloor oriented smash hit in "Whip it". In that way, one could argue that they had already abandoned their anti-rock message by the time of the stupid hats.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby Nolamike » 23 Aug 2019, 15:32

GoogaMooga wrote:The Devo vocal style was at least in part influenced by David Byrne's nervous yelping, I think.


Devo formed a few years before Talking Heads, and had already performed in an award-winning short film before Talking Heads had released any music.
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 23 Aug 2019, 16:49

Nolamike wrote:Devo formed a few years before Talking Heads, and had already performed in an award-winning short film before Talking Heads had released any music.


Thanks, should have checked.
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby trans-chigley express » 24 Aug 2019, 04:33

I'd add Thomas Dolby to the list, it doesn't come much more geeky than She Blinded Me With Science and many of his other songs have a very geeky feel too :ugeek:


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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 24 Aug 2019, 15:42

Thomas Dolby is a good call - I'd have added him myself if only I knew his music better.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby bobzilla77 » 02 Sep 2019, 17:33

Revenge of the Nerds takes some ideas from Devo, not the other way around.

They were humorous but also deadly serious. The idea of humanity de evolving into a primitive state grew out of their experience as Kent State students, Jerry Casale was witness to his his friends getting shot for protesting the war. It produced this disgusted horrified reaction against consumer society.
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2019, 19:25

Lydon always said during the PIL days (and probably the Pistols era, if memory serves) that they were against 'rock' and all of that, but so much of what they recorded could comfortably fit within that genre. Don't know why I'm posting this here, I guess because of what Bob wrote about Devo's ideas regarding rock 'cool.'

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 02 Sep 2019, 19:30

bobzilla77 wrote:Revenge of the Nerds takes some ideas from Devo, not the other way around.

They were humorous but also deadly serious. The idea of humanity de evolving into a primitive state grew out of their experience as Kent State students, Jerry Casale was witness to his his friends getting shot for protesting the war. It produced this disgusted horrified reaction against consumer society.


I did not know their background story, very interesting.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby bobzilla77 » 03 Sep 2019, 05:39

Matt Wilson wrote:Lydon always said during the PIL days (and probably the Pistols era, if memory serves) that they were against 'rock' and all of that, but so much of what they recorded could comfortably fit within that genre. Don't know why I'm posting this here, I guess because of what Bob wrote about Devo's ideas regarding rock 'cool.'


There was a point where they , pil, were getting real extreme, around the time of Flowers of Romance, they did a NY show performed from behind a screen and got bottled.
But then, Album and Happy? have a Led Zeppelin quality about them.
Jimbo wrote:I guess I am over Graham Nash's politics. Hopelessly naive by the standards I've molded for myself these days.

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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby Jimbo » 03 Sep 2019, 14:24

Image

Plain ol' style.
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Re: Deliberately geeky or just plain ol' geeky

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Sep 2019, 17:35

Jimbo wrote:Image

Plain ol' style.


He did a lot of good for geeks, showed they could get birds, too.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck