In 2008 Insane Ian, a comedian and videogame enthusiast from Baltimore, Maryland, released a parody of the classic rock tune by Foreigner, “Juke Box Hero”, about the nation’s most popular rhythm based video game series. “Guitar Hero” went on to become the 11th most requested song for 2008 on the syndicated Dr. Demento radio show (the very same radio show that gave “Weird Al” Yankovic his start). Now, Insane Ian has released a full length CD featuring that song and more, entitled “n3rds0ngs”.
“[The] production is great...interesting subject matter. ...One of very few people in comedy music who can get up there into Robert Plant territory." – Dr. Demento, speaking on the subject of Insane Ian and “n3rds0ngs”.
“n3rds0ngs”, features 17 tracks (both originals and parodies) ranging in geeky subject matter from video games, the internet, and Sci-Fi film and television shows, to more “relatable” themes such as Narcolepsy and unhealthy obsessions with the Moon, celebrity Christina Ricci, and Zombies.
As “Guitar Hero” became popular on the radio and internet, more songs began pouring out of Ian’s mind. From the underlying love story between Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley from the “Harry Potter” books (“Hey There, Hermione”), to the first season summarization of the TV Show Heroes (“Saving The World As We Know It (Mondays At Nine)”) no subject was too far-fetched for I.I. to tackle.
Ian even entered a competition in order to hone his skills in both song writing and comedy. “The Masters of Song Fu” at QuickStopEntertainment.com pitted him against other comedians and musicians, such as Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm. This venture yielded two efforts, “Luna, See?” and “The Gigawatt”.
So the Insane one wrote more, and since he had no real musical skill of his own to speak of, he recruited the help of his friends and family. Michael S. and Benjamin Stahl of the local Baltimore band, Scoundrel, assisted in music production and performance, and Ian even got both his fiancée and his mother to sing on the album.
Many of the songs on “n3rds0ngs” were released throughout 2008 on The Funny Music Project, also known as The FuMP or www.thefump.com. The FuMP releases two free songs per week under a Creative Commons license by various comedy acts. It also features a “Sideshow” where acts who are not part of the Core membership can share their funny ideas and songs, which is just how Insane Ian released his. Ian contacted many of the artists who appear on the site (as well as multi-platinum recording artist Chris Ballew of the band The Presidents of the United States of America) to come together for the common Zombie cause in “There’s Something About A Zombie”, the ZombAid benefit song inspired by both the film Shaun of the Dead and 80’s artist benefits such as USA for Africa’s “We Are The World”. Core members and founders, the great Luke Ski and Tom “Devo Spice” Rockwell, (who encouraged Ian to contribute to the FuMP Sideshow) each had this to say about Double I’s recent release:
“’n3rds0ngs’ is a great collection of comedy music for geeky pop-culture addicts like myself. Insane Ian is really making a name for himself in the underground niche genre of funny music.” – the great Luke Ski.
“…Really nifty geeky-type music!” – Devo Spice.
The great Luke Ski also encouraged I.I. to travel to Marscon, a multimedia convention in Bloomington, MN with a large comedy music track (organized by Luke) where he could meet and perform with other comedy musicians and fans. “n3rds0ngs” was released that weekend to much critical success, and members of the internet radio community of DementiaRadio.org took notice of Ian’s CD and performances right away.
“After seeing Insane Ian perform at Marscon 2009, I decided to get his first full length album, n3rds0ngs. I know of at least 8 tracks from the CD which will definitely be played on my show sometime in the near future.” –Ken “Madman On The Loose” Sherlock, DementiaRadio DJ.