By: Rachel Brodsky
Much like the dreaded hipster, "music nerd" is a loaded term. Not that obsessing over vinyl, headphones, tour dates, and Dutch tape music will get you stuffed in a metaphorical locker, or anything–nowadays, nerds are embraced as society's cool kids (see: the San Francisco tech boom, the North Brooklyn music explosion, the mainstreaming of Comic Con, Game Of Thrones, etc). But being a hardcore music nerd? Unless you never leave the safe, weirdo beardo confines of Brooklyn, admitting your love for epic doom metal, chiptune, '80s college rock, or avant-guarde free jazz could result in a lot of side-eyeing (depending on your audience and attitude, of course).
Anyway, music nerds: Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them, maybe you ARE one. Whatever your relationship with these dollar bin dumpster divers, however, chances are you've met a few already. And, much like a music nerd's record collection, the very term itself can be divided into myriad sub-genres. Let's flip through them together, shall we?
The Vinyl-Or-Die Nerd
This guy (or girl) has a vast record collection. Where they go, it goes. Are they moving cross-country? You know they're gonna shell out a few extra Benjamins to get that wide load on the moving van. Are you heading outdoors with Mr. Vinyl? Do yourself a favor and steer them away from the local record store. Once one creeps into their peripheral vision, you'll lose next three hours of your day. To the Vinyl Nerd, if it hasn't been pressed into a wax cylinder, then you may as well not even own it.
This guy isn't too far removed from the Vinyl Nerd, but instead of spending any disposable income on records, the Audiophile invests in only the highest sound quality listening devices. His mouth waters when he hears the words "Bose" or "Sennheiser," he'd give his left foot for an EAR Disc Master Turntable, most of his conversation topics consist of amps, arguing over setup techniques, and best practices for un-muddying the sound.
The I-Only-Like-Their-Live-Stuff Nerd
Other likes: jam bands, Bonnaroo, fraternities, baseball caps, 20-minute songs, and inhaling nitrogen balloons.
Did you see Broken Social Scene in 2006? WELL, the One-Upper saw Broken Social scene in 2005. AND Feist opened. Did you see LCD Soundsystem's last show at Madison Square Garden? Um, the One-Upper was front-row center, AND probably hung out backstage. Point is, whatever you've got, he's got one better.
The I'm-Married-To-My-Band Nerd
This nerd's IN a band, and he doesn't talk about anything else.
The Metal Nerd
They'll introduce you to crossover metal bands like Baroness and Opeth (circa Damnation), they'll introduce you to their friends as "their hipster friend," they'll sit you down for Metalocalypse screenings, and they'll refuse to wear anything form-fitting… You know, lest it look like they care.