Short Story in a Song— “Mr. Spock”

Yesterday I wrote about The Mr. T Experience song “Sorry For Freaking Out On The Phone Last Night.” Since MTX is playing shows with Nerf Herder soon, I decided to tackle one of my favorite songs by this Santa Barbara pop punk outfit fronted by mad musical genius, Parry Gripp. I’ve watched over the years as Nerf Herder has created an impressive catalog of music that effortlessly waffles (see what I did there?) from tongue-in-cheek to heart-on-your-sleeve without missing a beat. “Mr. Spock” is a solid song with great hooks, setting the stage for the band’s transformation into nerd rock superheroes.

Our narrator knows he’ll never be enough for his girlfriend. From money to personality to style, she’s always looking for Mr. Right. So our hero does the complicated calculus, concluding that what she wants is highly illogical. With his fanboy feet firmly planted beneath him, our protagonist goes deeper into Star Trek references to make his point as the song chugs along. In the end, his frustration is so palpable that it’s hard to know if it’s him or her wearing the red shirt.

Read the full lyrics for Nerf Herder’s “Mr. Spock” right HERE.

Like Santa Barbara punk? Here I am talking books with musicians:

More Short Story in a Song posts:

Short Story in a Song— “Sorry For Freaking Out…”

I saw that The Mr. T Experience is playing a few shows with my pals in Nerf Herder soon, including a stop at The Troubadour in LA. It got me thinking about this perfect piece of jangly pop confection. It’s like Stephin Merritt is fronting a country band that plays Grant Hart songs at an English pub in the 60s. The chorus is hooky and the punk psychedelia of the bridge is a brief refuge from the bouncy melody. But it’s the unique lyrics that bring it all together.

Our narrator is in a never-ending loop of overreaction and regret. The title seems tongue-in-cheek, but it encapsulates the petty spats that can potentially topple uncertain relationships. Couples get into ruts and we hurt the ones we love, so we’re left to apologize and try to figure out why we’re so quick to anger. Given all the things that can undermine something so fragile, there’s no better advice than this: “Let’s keep the freaking out to a minimum.”

Read the full lyrics for “Sorry For Freaking Out…” by MTX right HERE.

More Short Story in a Song posts:

“Books on the Bus”—Complete Podcast Mini-Series

Rock and reading have long been two of my biggest obsessions, but I’ve discovered a third in the last few years—podcasts. A combination of all those influences led me to create Books on the Bus, a five-part podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading.

Each episode features a musician sharing about their favorite books and authors, how books inspire their lyrics, the best rock biographies, and what they like to read on the road. I originally posted them over the course of a week in January, but have collected all five episodes here. Enjoy.


S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 4

For the fourth episode of this podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading, we’re hitting the road with Marko DeSantis.

He’s probably best known as the lead guitarist for Sugarcult, but Marko has also played with Bad Astronaut, The Ataris and Nerf Herder. These days your likely to catch him DJing at a club in LA or Tokyo, or find him lecturing about the entertainment industry at a handful of Los Angeles music colleges.

This episode features discussions about everything from PLEASE KILL ME and HAMMER OF THE GODS, to THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway, FOREVER by Judy Blume and OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO by Dr. Seuss. Buckle your seat belts because we cover a lot of highway with this one.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 4:

Follow Marko on Twitter HERE. And on Instagram HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday, and Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump on Wednesday. I’m posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Our final guest on Friday is Jim Lindberg from Pennywise.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.