Wednesday, March 24, 2010

POP CULTURE: Garfunkel and Oates - Not a couple of old guys.

Some time last Fall, I was driving someplace with my friends Kevin (@kezdawg) and Matt, and they introduced me to Dear Deer by Kate Micucci (@katemicucci). Then they played Mister Moon, and by the end of the car ride, I was hooked. Later that night, like a nerd, I scoured the internet for other songs, and discovered a wonderful little piece of music about Sex with Ducks. And that's when I found out that Garfunkel and Oates are awesome.

Together, as Garfunkel and Oates, (@garfunkeloates) Riki "Garfunkel" Lindhome (@rikilindhome) and the aforementioned Kate "Oates" Micucci write songs that appeal to nerds. Their music is about awkwardness, dating-related awkwardness, and the awkwardness associated with things that nerds find annoying. Did I mention awkwardness? Believe me, you will relate. You may not want to, but you definitely will. Somehow through all the awkwardness and snark, something magical happens. Your heart swells up a few sizes, all Grinch-like. Even if that sucker was already normal sized. They will sing you a cheerful-sounding song about something insane and heartbreaking that has also happened to you. But somehow, you'll feel better about it. Garfunkel and Oates are tall and short, light and dark happy pills that you take with your ears.

These first two pictures came from a weeknight show last year. I took my friend Clair (@crunchysunshine) to see them, without her knowing anything about them beforehand. Seconds into the first song, she was sold. Despite essentially being a musical act, Garfunkel and Oates tend to book shows at comedy clubs, and it works for them. Sitting down at a comedy club seems to make more sense to me than standing up in a music hall would. You're far more likely to laugh your face off than dance your ass off, but that's what you're going for. Kate and Riki are amazing musicians and singers, but they're also comedic geniuses with a healthy dose of acting talent (Check them out on! You've totally seen them in stuff before.). They know exactly the right muppet-like facial expression that will sell you a joke, as if the joke itself wasn't already great, which it was. They have just the right combination of goofy on-stage insecurity and talent that makes comedy really happen.

This is @rikilindhome, me and @katemicucci after their March 20 show at @comixny. (I'm not sure who or what that guy is pointing at. Maybe he likes knees.) Closing their eyes and smiling way too big for photos is something they do, so I joined them after first goofily asking permission. It's both funny and practical as it ensures you never have to check to see if anyone's eyes were closed.

Musical comedy is a nerd medium. Kate and Riki are nerds. You can hear it in the music and taste it in the often deliciously bitter lyrics. They are our people, and as such it is our responsibility to support them. It is worth your time and effort. If they are playing a show near you, definitely get tickets. Happiness can often be difficult for nerds, so we should learn to take it where we can get it. At a Garfunkel and Oates show, I promise you will get happy. And you might get to meet them. They are awesome. They hang around after their sets to personally sell you a copy of their CD (featuring more closed-eye smiles on the cover), chat with you, and take pictures.

You already enjoy musical acts like They Might Be Giants, Weird Al and Jonathan Coulton. You will also enjoy Garfunkel and Oates.

@nerdsherpa, fan of criminally hilarious not-old-guys.


  1. I recently discovered them. Love, love. So funny.

  2. Great article, we love G&O too.

  3. Aha! I thought I recognized her. Riki was in a great ep. of the Big Bang Theory. Thanks for pointing these two out.