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Smells Like iGENERATION: MC Lars 

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What is "post-punk laptop rap"? Rolling Stone calls it "low-fi hip-hop, emo-guitar samples and a nerd sensibility." Apparently, it's also the road to musical success for Andrew Nielson, a Stanford grad getting a lot of buzz for music promoting the younger generation's infatuation with technology. Their ethos is nailed on Nielson's anthem "iGeneration."

After experimenting with sound recording and computers since grade school, Nielson's style received a nod during his study abroad stint at Oxford. While playing local coffeehouses and open mics, he was noticed by Paul Bonham of UK indie label Truck Records. "There quite simply hasn't been anyone quite like him," said Bonham in a press release. Truck released Nielson's debut, Radio Pet Fencing, in 2003. He opted to record as MC Lars, a tag picked up from a Disney movie.

The mainstream beckoned a year later with the release of The Laptop EP, an album made entirely on a laptop in his Stanford dorm room. MC Lars was on his way to empowering nerds everywhere, like "nerd-tor" "Weird" Al Yankovic who made a career parodying the work of '80s pop stars. Check out "Straight Outta Stockholm," Nielson's clever spoof of NWA's "Straight Outta Compton." He raps: "Comin' straight outta Stockholm, a fun boy named Lars/Survived Loma Prieta, Mad Cow and SARS/I hit you with these flows like your name is Nancy Kerrigan/Here and back and there again, atypical American."

Nielson previewed his entire new CD, The Graduate, on Myspace.com this past January, followed by a presale on iTunes. Released on his own Horris Records, it's already spawning hits like "Download This Song," which expounds on the future of the music industry, and "Signing Emo," a satire on the industry's push to sell the next big thing. Currently, Nielson's on tour with the Matches, Forgive Durden and Whole Wheat Bread. An Australian run with Butterfingers begins this summer.

MC Lars performs with the Matches, Forgive Durden and Whole Wheat Bread at Tremont Music Hall; May 10, 7pm. Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 at the door.

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