Put Your Damn Phone Down and Go Laugh with Nerd Folk Duo The Doubleclicks

Performing June 24 at Know Theatre, the chart-topping comedy twosome offers a hilarious escape hatch from today's maddening online hellscape

click to enlarge The Doubleclicks - Photo: Kim Newmoney
Photo: Kim Newmoney
The Doubleclicks
In our age of internet hellscapery and unending options for instant gratification, music still provides one of the greatest escapes. Sometimes it’s a centering place to commiserate and feel not so alone. Sometimes it can be empowering, giving you something to rage along with. And sometimes it can be a hilarious haven of silliness — because what better way to get some relief from the weight of everyday existence than by laughing? If you can laugh to some catchy, well-constructed songs, all the better.

The music of The Doubleclicks is that medicine, and it goes down smooth, though their out-of-nowhere zingers might just make you guffaw enough that it shoots out of your nose.

Based on the West Coast, The Doubleclicks are a sibling comedy/music duo featuring Laser Malena-Webber and Aubrey Turner, who deliver their clever Indie Folk Pop (they proudly identify as “Nerd Folk”) with a musical base of cello, ukulele, acoustic guitar and a meowing toy keyboard (with guests filling in on other instruments on their recordings). They began in 2011 with a weekly songwriting exercise posted to YouTube (something they still indulge in) and an animated video for their song about Dungeons & Dragons. Since then they’ve written songs about Star Trek, The Hobbit, how dinosaurs are just big chickens, the Mars Curiosity Rover, obscure Marvel Universe resident Agent Coulson and cats — they have lots of songs about cats.

The twosome’s sound is a remarkably charming mix of kids’ music innocence and Freak Folk weirdness — like Garfunkel and Oates performing on Yo Gabba Gabba! with Kimya Dawson — and it has drawn an ever-increasing fanbase that has helped their albums reach the upper echelon of the Billboard comedy charts. In fact, their latest album, The Book Was Better, recently reached the No. 1 spot.

According to the description on The Doubleclicks Bandcamp page, The Book Was Better is a reaction to the aforementioned online fuckery: “We spend too much time yelling on the Internet, and we should all try something else. Certainly we can’t stop using the Internet, that would be ridiculous. But just a tiny break sometimes, yeah — that’s probably good. Go to a museum. Go roller skating and break your arm. Try to throw a birthday party and don’t cancel it when you get overwhelmed at the very idea of human interaction.”

The album includes “The Ballad of Millie Rosa Jane,” a song about the freedom (and time reclaimed) that comes with quitting social media, presented in the style of a hero’s-epic Folk song, and “Clifford is Not Too Big,” which a sly body-positivity anthem that features lines like “Shut up the voices that tell you that you’re the wrong size.” The Doubleclicks are all about getting laughs, but they’re also good at slipping in some righteous messaging about serious topics. The new album’s “I’m Winning” is about video games and non-binary gender identity (Malena-Webber is non-binary and uses the pronouns they/their). The duo hired a collective of non-binary and genderqueer artists from across the country to make the music video for the song.

Catch The Doubleclicks this Monday (June 24) at Know Theatre. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.