There was a time when I was known to gobble up all of the music that I could get my hands on. Whether it was new bands, old bands, in bands, weird eclectic bands… you get the picture. I loved them all (most of the time, except for the very crappy ones and there were a few of those). What does all this mean? I am a collector of awesome, nerdy music that happens to be sung or led by female musicians. Since it’s Music Week I wanted to share some of my favorite nerdy musicians with you!
Ugh… why are you just picking out the girl bands? Because I can. Bam. There. I said it! Muwah ha ha ha! Honestly it’s because I’m more well-versed in a wider range of nerdy, lady musicians and my nerd guy bands tend to lead more towards Nerdcore.
1) Marian Call:
This lady is the queen of ‘lady-led, nerd music’ in my book. She’s from Alaska and makes music with a typewriter. That’s what I said. A freakin’ typewriter! When I first started down my fem-nerdy-music journey, Miss Call was at the top of my list – and for good reason. She is frakkin’ AMAZING!!! If she was a spirit animal, she’d be MY spirit animal.
Joss Whedon and several other members of the Firefly cast LOVE the album that Call was inspired to create from the series. The album is called “Got To Fly” and it is one of my favorite albums of all time.
In 2008 Quantum Mechanix, purveyors of artisan geekstuff for lovers of spaceships and storytelling, commissioned the fan album Got to Fly. She delivered sweet, sincere songs dedicated to Firefly/Serenity and Battlestar Galactica that continue to inspire fandom today. -www.mariancall.com
Speaking of albums from Marian, she just released a brand new album, and I really think you should check it out. One of my favorites is a cover from Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements.” She even does an excellent rendition of Reading Rainbow!
Below is one of my all-time favorites:
These two lovely ladies have a direct line to my funny bone. Several of their songs are NSFW but they’re perfect when you have a bad day. Or need a laugh. Their songs are always on our roadtrip playlists. They’re basically the female version of Flight of the Concords when it comes to their songs’ absurdity.
You probably recognize both of these ladies as they tend to show up in various TV shows as extras. Remember Raj’s shy girlfriend from TBBT? That’s the duo’s ukulele player, Kate Micucci. The other half of G&O is guitarist, Riki Lindhome (who has also appeared in TBBT). Apparently they now have a new, self-titled TV show that first aired on August 7th, via the IFC channel. So, that’s cool!
Other favorites from Garfunkel and Oats include: F*** You (which is obviously NSFW, unless your boss is really cool and into that sort of music), Pregnant Women are Smug (since it seems like EVERYONE and their mom is having babies right now.), and last but not least I Don’t Know Who You Are (again, NSFW but completely hilarious and true).
They get the trophy of my guilty pleasure when it comes to nerd music.
3) Molly Lewis:
She is one of the originators of awesome ukulele covers and nerdy songs. A bona fide veteran of YouTube (which is how I found her all those years ago), Molly isn’t as active on YouTube like she once was but her stuff is still amazing and wonderful and all that jazz. Heck, she wrote a letter (via song) to Stephen Fry and it’s awesome:
These ladies are quirky and pretty cool. Sisters Angela and Aubrey Webber are owners of some massive nerd-cred and their songs are both epically nerdy and lovingly whimsical. They are similar in style to Garfunkel and Oats in that they’re both two female duos who like the ukulele and love to sing about what really matters in life… nerd culture.
They are currently on tour so if you’re anywhere close to their touring cities, I highly suggest checking them out. Oh, and they just released a new album back in June called Dimetrodon.
Pomplamoose means grapefruit in French, but this duo is so much more! Like so many others on this list, Natalie and Jack got their start on YouTube and have since been in commercials, on tours, and even more crazy adventures. While both have their own solo careers, when they come together they make beautiful music babies about life, the universe, and everything. I’m fairly sure that Jack can play any instrument in the universe… even some items that aren’t even considered instruments.
They do mostly covers but their videos are AWESOME and highly entertaining.
6) Mo Mo O’Brien:
She channels the great Weird Al and rocks lovely, bright red locks of hair. Her territory is definitely more nerd-covers based but she does throw some awesome original works into the mix every once in a while.
Nicole Dieker is more than your average freelance writer, she is an epic geek musician. She has a whole EP dedicated to Firefly, too!
It’s a blast from the past but they were in my top 10 bands during the early 2000s. I found them via the first musical video games: Frequency and Amplitude. I would blast Science Genius Girl out of my crappy speakers from my car in the park lot of my school … after school of course. I did this because I was awesome and thought that that song was the jam. When I found out that Harmonix added their tracks to Rockband, you better believe that I downloaded them, memorized them, and could play them all on the hardest level I could.
I don’t have a problem… I can quit any time I want.
In related news, Harmonix has plans to update Amplitude for PS3 and PS4. I am beyond thrilled for this.
As far as their music goes, Freezepop tends to stay in the electric/techno-ish territory but I think they have a place in the geek-music aisle as well. I will admit, their tunes are pretty similar as far as sound/style goes… and sometimes that’s okay.
9) Jean Grae:
Stepping away from the bouncy, whimsicalness and turning an ear more towards the Nerdcore section of things, I’d like to give a big shout out to Jean Grae. She’s been dubbed the Fem Fatale of Hip Hop… She has performed with the master of Nerdcore himself, MC Frontalot… which is awesome. Her music is jammed full of awesome lyrics (several are NSFW, like the one featured below) and I’m a huge fan of her voice.
Her bandcamp page is full of quirky story-songs and the one below cracks me up… because I’ve been there.
This next one has a little bit of Macy Gray in vibe and voice… still good, though.
10) Felicia Day:
I’m not sure if she technically counts in this list but whatever… it’s my list. She’s been deemed the Princess of Nerddom so I figure she has a place. Before she reigned over Geek and Sundry she wrote this catchy tune, maybe you’ve heard of it:
She’s even recorded a song with nerd-king, Jonathan Coulton.
Obviously there are several others that could have been included on this list. (People like Lindsey Stirling, Imogen Heap, etc…) Hopefully this list has inspired you to expand your lady-nerd ear-palettes a little wider and include a few of my favorites into your own repertoire.