Princess Leia: You're nothing but a no-good, stuck up, scruffy looking...Nerf herder!

Han Solo: Who's scruffy looking?

Empire Strikes Back, in the medical bay of the rebel base on Hoth, shortly after Luke Skywalker is rescued, and shortly before the rockin' Battle of Hoth. God I'm a nerd

Thanks to asterphage for the correction on Leia's line

A band formed in 1994. Some people label the band as nerd core (I've never even heard of that before). They wrote the theme song for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the tv series). They got a lot of play with a song called Van Halen. Their new song Courtney (about Courtney Love) is pretty good. An MP3 of Courtney can be found on along with another song. They are a great band. I think they sound like a cross between Weezer and Blink 182. Plus the songs about Metal and 80s music in general slay me.

American Cheese
How To Meet Girls
The band:
Parry Gripp - vocals & guitar
Charlie Dennis - bass (out)
Justin Fisher - bass (in)
Dave Ehrlich - guitar (in)
Steve Sherlock - drummer, vocals

I guess they must have booked the venue late or something, but for whatever reason, Nerf Herder played at a no-name venue called The Gallery when they came through San Jose this year. It was the last stop on their tour, so it was probably an afterthought. I heard about the concert through a friend of mine in the punk scene and I figured for 10 bucks, how could I go wrong. I've never been a big fan of punk rock but I have always liked the brutal honesty of Nerf Herder's songs. In short, they are a band that doesn't take themselves that seriously, but rocks anyway. So, we headed down to the venue expecting... well, we weren't really sure what to expect. But at any rate, we paid 10 bucks to some guys at a card table and walked in to what was essentially a warehouse with some artwork on the walls (hence the name The Gallery, I suppose) and a makeshift stage at the back. After sitting through a couple of entertaining opening acts and the boring Ultimate Fakebook we got up to get a good spot for the main act. Not as if this was necessary, though, given that there were only about 150 people there.

So on to the stage walks the band, and after the usual setup procedures, etc., lead singer Parry (outfitted in a quite dorky maroon vest and pleated pants) announces to the crowd: "We've been drinking on tour for five weeks, so that may explain our drunkenness." The band then kicked into a faux-metal interlude, followed by Parry screaming out "HELLO SAN JOSE!!! All the way from Daly City and Menlo Park (note: cities about and hour and 20 minutes away, respectively), we are... NERF HERDER!" This was met with a cheer about as loud as 150 people can get.

The band then got into the set, with rather hilarious commentary from Parry in between songs.
Parry: "Anyone from Burlingame? No Burlingame? OK, fuck Burlingame then."
Some dude: "OAKLAND!!!"
Parry: "Uh-oh. Watch out for this guy."

The fair city of Burlingame was in for a long night, let me tell you. At some points Parry would simply make up words for the songs, making references to Burlingame, people in the crowd, or the beer they were going to offer to a girl who had a birthday that night. But the real highlights of the night were to ensue towards the end of the set, when the drunkenness of the band became more and more apparent. I don't know how familiar you may be with Nerf Herder's music, but one of their more popular songs is called "Love Sandwich," a song with the hook "and you/and me/and Steve/makes three/and David's got the video/and David's got the video." So Parry asks for a little reenactment of this, er, scene, and gets a guy and two girls to come up on stage. The band starts playing the song, and things start to get a little crazy. The guys from Ultimate Fakebook come on stage and get in on the mock-orgy, jump up on the speakers, and one guy starts to wrap a roll of duct tape around Parry, leaving him rather immobile. At this point a few more people have come on stage to join the melee, and I guess the people in charge of the concert weren't too keen on this. A tech guy comes on and slowly starts to turn off the amps and microphones, but the band plays on. The lead guitarist keeps on stroking the strings even though there's obviously no sound coming out. The drummer stands up to beat on his snare drum as it is carted off backstage. And up front, Parry (who has been able to break free of his bonds of duct tape) continues to sing with the crowd. There's probably 15 people on the stage, and this is a very small stage, the sort that you might have had at a high school dance or something. He invites everyone up front to come backstage for beer, or what's left of it.

Needless to say, it was well worth the 10 bucks.

In 2000, Nerf Herder played at the Lowlands festival in the Netherlands. Playing in front of a few thousand people who just woke up, in the morning, on a sunny field... not easy. No-one knew who they were, no-one knew any songs, no-one knew what "nerf herder" means...("nurfhurduh? what was that?")

So why do I still remember them? They do that thing mendigol said above everywhere they go:


(they play a song about ways to commit suicide, pretty funny)


(they play "Sorry", which is funny)


And so on for the entirety of the set. I've never heard a band advertise themselves so blatantly.

And advertising works! When I came home I started up Napster and downloaded all their songs. I had forgotten the other cool bands I saw at the festival by then...

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