Much like the insufferable word "hipster," "music nerd" is a loaded term. Not that obsessing over vinyl, headphones, tour dates and obscure 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 unless you never leave the safe, weirdo-beardo confines of your similar-minded friends, admitting your love for epic doom metal, chiptune, '80s college rock or avant-guarde free jazz can result in a lot of eye rolls from the normies.
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 subgenres. Let's flip through them together, shall we?
The Vinyl-Or-Die Nerd
This guy (or girl) has a vast record collection, and 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 the next three hours of your day. To the Vinyl Nerd, if it hasn't been pressed into a wax cylinder, then you might 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 word "Sennheiser," he'd give his left foot for an EAR Disc Master Turntable, and most of his conversation topics consist of amps, arguing over setup techniques and best practices for un-muddying the sound.
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 Metal Nerd
He'll introduce you to obscure metal bands like Warfare and Saxon; he'll introduce you to their friends as "their hipster friend." He probably knows how to party, though, so that is a plus. Just for fun, tell 'em you don't like Black Sabbath, and watch his head explode, but be prepared for an impassioned and lengthy conversation to follow.
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