Wednesday 16 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Nerdcore's 'Rising' brings a...

Nerdcore's 'Rising' brings a rabid fan base to the genre's geeky, uneasy godfather, MC Frontalot

Eric Webb April 15th, 2010

MC Frontalot with the Doppelgangstas and Brandon Patton9 p.m. MondayThe Conservatory8911 N. Westernwww.conservatoryOKC.com879-9778$8Nerdcore might sound pretty niche, but on his new album, "Zero Day,"...

MC Frontalot with the Doppelgangstas and Brandon Patton
9 p.m. Monday
The Conservatory
8911 N. Western

Nerdcore might sound pretty niche, but on his new album, "Zero Day," MC Frontalot once again tackles a wide range of subjects, including the screwed-up priorities of the first world, software vulnerability, self-scrutiny, gaming, disaster movies and the perverse use of calculators for sex humor.

Frontalot himself coined the term "nerdcore" a decade ago, but still has some reservations about being referred to as its godfather.

"Aren't godfathers people who never have youngsters of their own?" he asked. "It's like being the spinster uncle of nerdcore."

Despite his misgivings, there's no question that Frontalot " born Damian Hess " has led the charge of a new group of musicians tackling topics like technology, which truly define modern life, especially for younger listeners. Frontalot suggested that he and his like-minded ilk have found a frontier because technology just isn't "cool" yet.

"To people who still make decisions about pop-music production and distribution, it still seems like geeky loner fare," he said.

Frontalot, who hails from San Francisco, no longer remembers exactly what inspired him to want to rap, but Will Smith might be to blame.

"I remember being intensely excited when I discovered rap music. And by 'discovered,' I mean found out about alongside many millions of teenagers, all those to whom 'Parents Just Don't Understand' was a moment of awakening," he said. "That was the first time I got obsessed with a rap song, learned the whole lyric, understood about how rap songs are so goddamn motherfucking awesome."

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince quickly led Frontalot to N.W.A., 3rd Bass, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.

"There was enough amazing music happening when I was that age that I should rightly have been a listener to nothing but hip-hop," he said. "Instead, I had long hair and was in love with Axl Rose in 1989."

Hair-metal exterior aside, Frontalot started writing raps in high school along with his longtime friend and musical collaborator Gaby Alter, who's known onstage by his minor chord moniker, Gm7.

Frontalot was widely exposed to digital audiences on the Web site, where he sparked attention from the guys behind the hit Web comic "Penny Arcade."

"I had a massive stroke of good luck in that the fan base found my songs before I had to think hard about having a band and being a full-time musician. I did always try to have an awesome Web page, but I don't think I did many of the things that bands who are trying to get noticed work really hard on," said Frontalot. "I don't mean to point out that I'm so awesome that ears simply gravitate in my direction."

He's since become a huge draw at comic and gaming conventions, and has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, Spin and The Wall Street Journal, and was the focus of the 2008 documentary "Nerdcore Rising," a festival fave now available on DVD.

"'Nerdcore Rising' has exposed me to lots of folks, and for that, I'm very thankful," he said. "It came out as the best possible introduction to the band and the idea of nerdcore."

But in many ways, he said that very little has changed since the film was shot in 2006.

"We still play to a lot of small crowds, though they are always groups of real fans and shows are constantly satisfying for us as a band," Frontalot said. "That's enough for me to keep working on it full-time, but we're not getting rich on touring."

On the other hand, each year brings bigger crowds and larger stages.

"It's not like we're positioned to become the next big thing," he said, adding that the most important thing is that his act is better now than ever before. "We've been working on it for four years, I promise."

Keeping things in perspective, Frontalot's modest goals for the "Zero Day" tour include defeating capitalism.

"The new socialist America will support the arts for sure," he said. "Then my kindly fans won't have to waste their discretionary cash at my album and T-shirt vending kiosks."

Broadening the scope of the tour to include first-time towns like Oklahoma City is another goal.
 "If this show goes swimmingly, we will be back on every single national tour," he said. "So if folks might ever want to see us, they should come by and check it out on the inaugural visit, to buoy our spirits."

As for what the future holds, Frontalot declared, "Uncertainty! And yet, the inevitable." "Eric Webb
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