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Down and Nerdy: Dr. Demento and Andrew W.K.'s "Gundam Rock"

IN WHICH a certain very good doctor is justly celebrated, and the king of balls-out piano rock meets giant robots.

Briana's pick: Dr. Demento!

Radio. Ever heard of it? Well, if you’ve been listening since the 1970’s then surely you’ve come across one of radio’s most celebrated weirdos, Dr. Demento. Believe it or not, Dr. Demento has been broadcasting his “festival of mad music and crazy comedy” for almost 40 years now; first on free-form Los Angeles radio station KPPC-FM then on KMET-FM.

The Dr. Demento show is a mish-mash of odd and/or underappreciated music (think “Purple People Eater” or “Monster Mash”), original compositions by unconventional artists and bands (gotta love “Fish Heads”), or hey, ever heard of “Weird Al” Yankovic? Well, he was introduced to the world on the Dr. Demento Show. In between the music you’ll find out-there comedy skits from regular and visiting guests. Dr. Demento has also hosted many a famous folk on his show, from Spike Jones and Monty Python to Frank Zappa.

My first exposure to the show was via my older brother. I could hear him taping the show on his cassette player late at night. It was sort of his little secret; I can’t remember him ever really sharing the show with me. But I did have this nifty way of going through his stuff when he wasn’t looking (which he was known to reciprocate while I was away).

You can still hear Dr. Demento today on radio stations around the country or by downloading episodes on his site at drdemento.com. His compilation and original recordings are also available for purchase online, at your local book or record store.

James' pick: Andrew W.K. and giant robots!

Two very exciting things for anime buffs this week. First and foremost, the film "Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone" opens this weekend at Village 8. This is the first part of a multi-film remake of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," one of the best and most influential anime series of all time.

If you're never explored anime and are even remotely curious, this is a perfect place to start – doubly so because it's on the big screen, and for most people their entire anime experience is limited to DVDs. So there you go.

Also, the long-running anime series of series/films/games/etc Gundam just turned 30, and to celebrate, one of rock and roll's great nerds has done an album of music from the Gundam universe … Andrew W.K.! Here's a video of the song "Fly, Gundam." You know I don't like to exaggerate, but this is the single greatest thing in the history of human creative expression.

[podcast]http://archive.wfpk.org/Podcasts/20090918-nerdy.mp3[/podcast]