Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nerd Rock for Nerds

Today in Music History:

In 1974 'Apostrophe,' Frank Zappa's highest-charting album, is released. It reaches #10 and becomes Zappa's second consecutive gold album.
Nerd CatI mean nerd in the nicest way possible of course. As I am a registered member of the nerd class. As a young fella I was in band, read science fiction books, watched Star Trek incessantly and saw Star Wars about 25 times at the theater. Yet in high school I wasn't quite nerdy enough to belong to that crowd, I certainly wasn't in the cool crowd, and the stoners wouldn't have me either. I think I belonged in the loner crowd with 3 other cats. While I likey the rock and roll, I also like the nerdier forms of rock. In fact here of late I have been overindulging in Gary Numan synth pop. I have to do it in secret as homercat's better half can't stand him. When I'm feeling particularly geeky, I really get into his science fiction-orientated lyrics and synthesizer-based rhythms. His album The Pleasure Principle brought us the classic, Cars, in late 1979. I had already been a fan when I heard his prior album, Replicas. His fat synthesizer sound and occasionally nihilistic lyrics had a major impact on the goth rock and industrial acts that came to prominence in the mid-nineties such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor has even said that while recording Pretty Hate Machine, he listened to Numan's Telekon album every day. While The Pleasure Principle is arguably his best selling album, I prefer almost every other album in his catalog, except for maybe Warriors. After years of ridicule in the press and by critics, Numan has found himself cited as "the godfather of electronic music" and an artist respected by his peers. In 1994 Numan re-evaluated his career and went in a harsher, more industrial direction with his songwriting on the album Sacrifice; for the first time, he played almost all the instruments himself. The move was critically well-received and several of his albums since have been praised by critics. So here's a couple of my favorites that I highly recommend, especially I Can't Breathe, killer industrial track. Long Live Geek Rock.

The Aircrash Bureau by Gary Numan (sorry it's a rapidshare link) 1980
Buy It

I, Assassin by Gary Numan 1982
Buy It

An Alien Cure by Gary Numan 1998
Buy It

I Can't Breathe
by Gary Numan 2000
Buy It

You Are In My Vision
by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army 1979
Buy It

Funny Toon