The Dunce Cap: June 7, 2010

The geeks of Wet Hot American Summer

I hope it’s not jumbo shrimp, because I’m allergic to oxymorons!

The Dunce Cap, Vol. 11: So many foreign worlds, so ready for us. (mix via 8tracks)

1. “Close to Home” – The Get Up Kids
2. “Laid” – James
3. “No Diggity” – Klaxons
4. “Silvia” – Miike Snow
5. “Be My Baby” – The Ronettes
6. “Britney” – I’m From Barcelona
7. “Creature Fear” – Bon Iver
8. “Happiness” – Jonsi and Alex
9. “For Real” – Okkervil River
10. “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” – The National

*BONUS TRACK: “The Geeks Get the Girls” – American Hi-Fi

The 2000s were, undeniably, the decade of the nerd. Sure, Duckie, Long Duk Dong and any character played by Anthony Michael Hall in a John Hughes flick had their fifteen minutes of fame, fortune and genuine female attention, but the aughts saw an unprecedented rise in the triumph of wallflowers in popular culture. There was the gang from Freaks and Geeks, led by John Francis Daley of Bones, who closed out the ’90s; Ugly Betty, Napoleon Dynamite, Seth Cohen and Ted Mosby (yes, the real Ted Mosby) all had their spots in the space-time continuum of geek lead triumph, but no ragtag troupe of amateur nerdlings captured my heart like the geeks of Wet Hot American Summer.

This is a mix inspired by these gems, by the caped kid cradling his 20-sided die, by The Cure Girl (called so in the credits of the film), by David Hyde Pierce‘s caustic Henry and all of the other kids who “like science.” They “save” their summer camp by diverting a rogue piece of Skylab, but the most earnest and touching part is that they discover friendship (this would warrant a trite vomit if it weren’t so hilariously choreographed by David Wain and Michaels Ian Black and Showalter). They form li’l bond to beat the summer camp blues, stargazing, plotting, commiserating and running from dodgeball. Together.

These are songs about unrequited love, homesickness, fear, Britney Spears and, of course, geeks. It’s dedicated to those freaks, geeks and Otis Redding-belting nerds who stole my heart and let me be their friend.

For now – I am jetsetting to the exotic town of Snellville, Ga., on Monday, but fret not – The Dunce Cap will prevail! I know I haven’t done June Book Club yet, so look out for that soon.

Now finish up them taters; I’m gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Happy listening.

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