Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Event - The Doubleclicks at ThinkGeek, June 13th, 2013

Last Thursday I got to go see The Doubleclicks, one of the best nerd folk acts in existence, when they came to perform at the ThinkGeek offices in Fairfax, Virginia as part of their Velociraptour. Made up of sisters Angela (on ukulele, guitar, and keyboard cat) and Aubrey Webber (on cello), the band sings about things like Dungeons & Dragons, grammar, Jane Austen, superpowers, and convention cosplayers.

We arrived early, and due to what seems to have been a little bit of confusion, were admitted to the venue a little bit ahead of schedule. This didn't seem to derail anything, but it did mean that we noticed that Greg Benson and Kim Evey were in attendance, as was Storm DiConstanzo of Paul & Storm. Greg and Kim were busy with the two women of The Doubleclicks working on a project that I won't go into except to say that I have discovered that I should never be allowed to speak on camera. Ever. Seriously, I am bad at it.

Fortunately, everyone who had shown up early was offered a tour of the ThinkGeek offices, an offer we gladly accepted. Anyone who frequents this blog who is unfamiliar with ThinkGeek should go and check them out. Your inner nerd will love you for it, although your bank account will probably hate you. The company markets dozens of nerdy items both original (such as their adorable monkey mascot Timmy) to licensed products from a wide array of sources including Star Wars, Marvel, Minecraft, Portal, and so on. If you are a geek and you love toys, then you should check out ThinkGeek if you have not already.

The tour itself showed that the ThinkGeek offices are exactly the kind of nerdvana that one would expect: Every work space was filled with a collection of superhero figures, Portal guns, and other geek oriented items. The walls were plastered with Death Stars, Mario decals, and other nerdish decorations. In the company board room sits a shelf covered with stuffed "Timmy" dolls that had been dressed in a variety of genre-related costumes ranging from the Vault Kid from Fallout (complete with a functioning pip boy) to Firefly's Kaylee in her dress from Shindig. In short, ThinkGeek is a company that caters to geeks that is populated by geeks. Lest one think that working at ThinkGeek is all fun and games, when our tour guide was asked how one would best position themselves for a job at the company, he said to become an accountant. Because people with accounting skills are what the company needs most.

After the tour, it was time for The Doubleclicks. Following a brief and humorous introduction by Storm, who apologized that Paul & Storm couldn't be present to open the show, and that instead he, Jon Coulton would do so, he turned the stage over to the headliners, and they proceeded to put on an excellent show. Their set list was made up of the highlights of their repertoire, including Oh, Mr. Darcy, Spock Impersonator, Apostrophe, No Easy Way, Don't You Love Me?, Will They or Won't They?, Uncle Geek's House, Worst Superpower Ever, Clever Girl, and, of course, This Fantasy World.  They threw in some songs from their soon to be released CD Lasers and Feelings, and showed that their song writing is getting better and their sound is getting cleaner, performing the title track Lasers and Feelings about a love affair between a super villain and the woman who loves him, The Guy Who Yelled Freebird, which they dedicated to Greg Benson, and Nothing to Prove, a brilliant and defiant rebuttal to the "Fake Geek Girl" meme that has infected fan community. Angela set aside lead vocal duties for a couple songs, as Aubrey took the microphone for A Lullaby for Mr. Bear and Something Else.

Interspersed between the sometimes sweetly funny, and sometimes bitterly satirical songs, the two sisters engaged in actually witty banter (as opposed to most bands' clumsy attempts at witty banter), including a hilarious interjection by Aubrey in the middle of Spock Impersonator, and an adorable use of musical meows by Angela during Something Else. After the show, and encore, the pair stuck around to sign autographs and take pictures, resulting in my having one CD decorated with Aubrey as Mr. Bear and Angela as a velociraptor and another decorated with my Doubleclique serial number 11-0002 accompanied by what seems to be a drawing of me as a velociraptor, which I have to say are quite possibly the best possible autographs I could have imagined.

With a brilliant concert full of wit and brilliance, The Doubleclicks cemented themselves as the reigning queens of nerd folk music, at least as far as I'm concerned. If you can go see The Doubleclicks, you should definitely do so. If you can't, you should at least get their CDs and enjoy their silly, happy, nerdy, and humorous songs.

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