Nerdy frontmen have been overcoming their bad dance moves for years thanks to rock and roll and the recent release of Radiohead's Lotus Flower got me thinking about my favorites. This brings me to my list of nominees for the Nerd Rock Dance Off.
First up let me assume that you've been living under a rock and are not one of the 3.5 million who have already seen the new Radiohead video in which Thom York sets the new standard in freak out nerd dancing.
Secondly, when I think great moments in awkward on stage dancing I think of David Byrne during the song Life During Wartime from the Stop Making Sense tour. If you don't know this concert or these dance moves you're missing out and you need to go to your quite place with the video and practice. I have.
Next on my list is Michael Stipe alongside REM for his dance solo during the Losing My Religion video. Around 2:30 Stipe lets loose in a fluid, contorted, uncomfortable, and cool dance break. I think the secret to nerd dance success is that you have to have a good chicken wing move and the ability to look like you're made of wet noodles. Dance it out Michael Stipe.
Finally I would like to make an honorable mention to The Tragically Hip. I will always remember this 1995 SNL performance of Grace Too and Gord Howie's strange stage presence because even 11 years ago it was immediately clear to me that The Tragically Hip had somehow managed to overcome their inherent nerdiness and rock out. Nevertheless, Gord only gets an honorable mention here because his dance moves are pretty restrained all and all.
Maybe it's in the hands. All of these dancers have moments of intentional 'I don't know what to do with my hands so I'll just hold them up open palm' quality. Anyways, this is a short list of my favorites for the Nerd Rock Dance Off. Take some time this afternoon and think about your own, hit me with the feedback and let's keep the dance party alive. You dig?