There are plenty of freaks and geeks at Comic-Con, but to Matt Sernaker, who has been to every Comic-Con since he was three, the fantasy convention always comes up short in one area.
...by Random Gibberish
“I never understood why music wasn’t celebrated at Comic-Con. The closest they ever got was when Jack Black and Tenacious D showed up one year. That show had a huge influence on us.”
Sernaker fronts Random Gibberish. For 12 years the singer/guitarist/keyboardist and his songwriting partner singer Erin Hatch have turned out four albums of music that specifically celebrates pop culture.
“We try and incorporate geek and nerd culture into our writing.” Random Gibberish doesn’t do love songs. Just conceptual lyrics about superheroes, TV sitcoms, and video games — think They Might Be Giants mixed with the action-figure geekiness of the Aquabats.
One of their songs, “You Lied To Me,” is a riposte to the Jetsons whose blueprint for the future “never came along... Where’s my jetpack? Where’s my flying car?/ Where’s my robot? There’s no life in the stars/ Fuck the Jetson’s, they lied to me/ I want the future, I saw on TV.”
“Saturday,” which appears on their fifth album, The Moon Show (due out in October), laments the fact that X-Men and G.I. Joe disappeared when major TV networks dropped the Saturday morning cartoons — “A piece of all our childhoods has left and gone away.”
This weekend Random Gibberish play a local festival that seems tailor made for their brand of geek rock. Nerd-Con makes its debut Saturday at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Nerd-Con has the costumes, panels, and simulated battles of Comic-Con. But it also has music. It follows the precedent of the BAMF (Bad Ass Music Festival) held downtown last month, which also mixed geek rock with nerd culture.
“BAMF mostly focused on the music. Nerd-con has the music but it also has the spirit of early Comic-Con. Nerd-Con is more focused on the culture and less on the movie studios.”
Sernaker and Hatch have known each other since they both attended Lewis Middle School in Allied Gardens. Drummer Jon St. John has been to plenty of geek fests. “He is the voice of [popular video game character] Duke Nukem,” Sernaker tells the Reader. “We met Jon when we were all stuck in an elevator at another convention.”
Random Gibberish, Green Jello, and Doll Skin appear Saturday at Nerd-Con.