YouTubers get excited. Hank Green, one half of the Vlogbrothers, co-creator of VidCon and one of the driving sources behind some of YouTube’s most popular channels and web series such as Crash Course, Sci Show and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, is doing a music tour next month. The last stop of the tour is San Diego.
Hank will not only be performing, but acting as MC for the night. His band Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers won’t be alone on the tour. He will be joined by fellow YouTube favorites Driftless Pony Club, Rob Scallon, Andrew Huang and wizard rock band Harry and the Potters.
Hank’s music may be lesser known than some of his other endeavors, but it was his music that first skyrocketed him and his brother into a whole new level of internet fame back in 2007. Before the intense popularity the other half of the Vlogbrothers, John Green, earned by his best selling books and their successive film adaptions, the brothers found modest popularity on You Tube as they vlogged back and forth in a year long experiment of textless communication.
During the project Hank released an original song entitled Accio Deathly Hallows. He serenaded YouTube with his excitement for the soon to be released final Harry Potter book. The video made YouTube’s front page and now nine years later, VidstatsX reports that the Vlogbrothers’ videos have upwards of 605 million views. The fast talking vlogger has become a rock star of the nerd world.
Hank’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found DFTBA Records, a music label that supports him and his fellow You Tube artists’ music.
Hank has continued to release original music on You Tube and in 2008 his first studio album, So Jokes, debuted. He formed the band Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers and released an album entitled Incongruent with them in 2014.
Their songs cover a wide variety of topics such as Harry Potter, loving science, video games and the weirdness of the universe. Hank may not be musical perfection, but he’s a talented and clever artist whose infinite nerdiness has sparked a generation of loyal fans.
The San Diego show kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Irenic. Tickets are $20. Come nerd out.
Punk, indie, alternative, hard, soft, metal, classic, these pretty much cover the different rock genres right?
Search “Rock Genres” online. The result? Hundreds of genres listed one after the other. The Internet’s favorite unofficial information source (Wikipedia) lists over 200 total genres from A to Z falling under the Rock category. While it may be debatable whether all of these constitute their own genre, the list definitely has some unusual and noteworthy rock styles that stand alone.
I decided to compile a list of some of the most interesting and unique genres and delve a little deeper into what they were all about.
Here’s the eight obscure rock genres that made the list. How many have you heard of?
1. Pirate Metal
The blending of rock & roll and piracy is not a new concept. Even one of the most famous fictional pirates, Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, was inspired by Rolling StoneKeith Richards.
Pirate metal takes this to the next level. Incorporating a piracy motif into heavy metal, the genre is a mashup of electric guitars, folk instruments, screaming and pirate lingo. Popular pirate metal bands like Alestorm not only sound like pirates, they look and dress like them too. Samples lyrics include exalting the virtues of rum, making enemies walk the plank, wishing for a wench and sharing tales of the high seas.
Punk jazz is the union of punk and jazz. It’s a genre mashup of a full jazz sound with the garage band grunge. Big brass instruments come together with electric guitars and hard drum beats to create this distinctive style. Some bands sound a bit more classic jazz and others fall more towards the punk side of the scale, but they all bring a unique fusion of jazz and punk music. Lounge Lizards, Youngblood Brass Band and Jazz Punks are some great bands to check out to learn more about this underrated genre.
Gamers stop here. Nintendocore, aka Nintendo Rock, is a blend of rock and video game music. The genre features elements such as electric guitar, drums, synth, electronic music and 8-bit sound. With headbanging and screaming often involved, nintendocore is actually pretty hardcore, it just has some nerdy elements thrown in the mix. HORSE the Band and Minibosses are some of the top-notch guys in the nintendocore world.
4. Math Rock
Math Rock got its name through its unconventional use of timing and irregular beats. The mostly instrumental music genre is characterized by erratic rhythms and unusual time signatures. The limited lyrics, disjointed rhythms and constantly changing tempos make this tranquil music style stand out among the rock genres. A close cousin to progressive rock, math rock is also often known for its above average song lengths and pull away from the pop song structure. Notable math rock bands include American Football, Don Caballero and Slint.
5. Dark Cabaret
When it comes to Dark Cabaret just imagine the Phantom of the Opera was serenading Christine with an electric guitar instead of an organ. The dramatic rock genre is very theatrical in nature. It’s musical theater with an edge. It features the passionate vocals of a typical cabaret performance, but with a gothic twist. Acts often feature musicians dressed in classic goth clothing and dramatic makeup. The music brings up a romantic picture of shady night clubs, femme fatales and circus freaks. Notable acts in the Dark Cabaret genre include the Dresden Dolls, Vermillion Lillies and Johnny Hollow.
The US has a pretty strong fan base devoted to J-Pop and K-Pop. Other than Psy’sOppa Gangam Style though, Western culture pays little attention to Asian produced music. Perhaps surprising to some, but Asian music does in fact go beyond synth and Psy. Just because you don’t speak the language doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music. The J-Punk scene consists of everything from grungy ’80s punk bands like The Stalin to modern more polished acts like the pop/punk Dustbox.
7. Unblack Metal
What is Unblack Metal you ask. It is exactly what the name implies. Unblack metal is the opposite of black metal, but only in message not in style. Where black metal screams out themes of satanism and the supernatural, unblack metal counters those with Christian messages of hope and faith. Unblack Metal, alternatively Christian black metal, seeks to break misconception that metal and faith can’t mix. While they do experience criticism from both the Black Metal scene for not truly being metal and from the religious scene for not truly making Christian music, unblack metal bands like Horde and Antestor continue to create music to express their religious faith through their Black Metal Style.
8. Wizard Rock
Number eight and my personal favorite on this list is Wizard Rock. Harry Potter changed more than just the literary world. JK Rowling’s story has inspired movies, theme parks, plays, immeasurable amounts of fan fiction, music and even musicals.
Wizard Rock, aka Wrock, is a sub-genre of the nerd rock world. Rowling’s fans have joined together to create a whole sub-genre of the music world dedicated entirely to the world of Harry Potter. Geeks all over the world have joined together to lament Snape’s love for Lily, express their house pride, and recount tales of Harry’s heroism in song. With millions of YouTube hits Harry and the Potters, Ministry of Magic, Gred and Forge and Remus and the Lupins are just a few of the Wrock bands to rise to (relative) fame.
Thanks for checking out this list of weird rock genres. I hope you enjoyed the music and maybe found a new favorite rock genre.
Here’s a few honorable mentions that also have unique and interesting styles: Cowpunk, Medieval Metal, Time Lord Rock, Afro Punk, Queercore, Stoner Doom.
Click here for a comprehensive list of the hundreds of rock genres that apparently exist.
KCR College Radio: The Sound of State
KCR is an internet based radio station run by students at the San Diego State University that provides music, sports, and talk programs to the SDSU community.
KCR can be listened directly via the RadioFX and TuneIn apps. TuneIn is available on home, car, and portable devices, and works with Alexa and Google Home.