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Music / The Doubleclicks

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The Doubleclicks are a nerd-folk musical duo based in Portland, Oregon, consisting of siblings Laser Malena-Webber (guitar, ukulele, and cat keyboard) and Aubrey Turner (cello). They first became known for performing nerd-friendly comedy music, including songs about Dungeons & Dragons, dinosaurs, and other geeky themes. While their later songs retain those elements, they have increasingly focused on feminist and other social issues on one side and more personal themes on the other. (Laser identifies as non-binary, and one or two of their songs refer to this.) Basically, they make use of very geeky metaphors, because those are their points of reference, but use them to quite cutting efect, to make serious points or depict relationships with serious issues.

Amazingly enough, the band has a Web site.

’Cause We’ve Got Tropes and We’ve Got Netflix...

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • "Oh, Mr. Darcy" is about someone trying to overcome this tendency, having been all too inspired by early exposure to the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
    • In "Lasers and Feelings," the "bad boy" is an actual supervillain.
    • “Internet Troll” updates the idea to the computer age. The troll is a stupid bully with no self-control, but he has passion, probably knows how to fix a computer, and does wonders for the singer’s self-esteem by comparison.
  • Anti-Love Song: Even when they sing what seem like conventional Silly Love Songs, the duo add enough humor and irony to bring the actual meaning into question. For example, see the examples given for All Girls Want Bad Boys above, all of which show serious problems with the idea. Likewise, "Will They or Won't They" pulls the old romantic trick of comparing the couple to famous romantic pairings — but uses the comparisons to show the guy as a jerkass, and the answer to the title question is "They Won't". And "Ironically" is the sad tale of a woman who discovers that her boyfriend is a hipster who only loves her geekiness "ironically".
  • April Fools' Day: On April 1, 2013, they released the EP Meowsic To Your Ears, consisting of four versions of their original songs rearranged for the "cat keyboard" mentioned earlier, which is a toy keyboard that produces melodic meowing.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: "Will They or Won't They" pulls this trick repeatedly, comparing the narrator and some guy to various fictional couples, all in ways that are both very insulting to the guy and surprisingly accurate to the source material:
    You and I are kinda like Romeo and Juliet
    In that I'm romantic and sweet and you're invokedan immature loser with friends who are unreasonably violent.
    You and I are kinda like Spike and Buffy
    In that you have a terrible accent and my house is full of weapons.
  • Be Yourself:
    • "Dimetrodon" admonishes...
      Be yourself
      Count on your inner strength
      Find your people
      Hunt the weak
    • "Clever Girl" is about not judging oneself by Hollywood's unrealistic depictions... taking Velociraptors as a case in point.
  • Bowdlerise: The Worst Superpower Ever EP is specifically aimed at a younger audience than their usual albums, so it features "kids versions" of previously released songs: This usually just entails toning down objectionable language (especially in "This Fantasy World"), but "A Lullaby For Mr. Bear" is a special case — while the version on Chainmail And Cello develops into a Rousing Lullaby, exhorting the listener to be vigilant of monsters that "feed on dreams" and "are coming for your soul", the Worst Super Power Ever version replaces that entire verse with a cello solo. However, both versions were released simultaneously, and the Chainmail version is labeled the "adult version", so it's possible they did a Darker and Edgier version of a kids song, not a Lighter and Softer version of an adult song.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: See the example from "Dimetrodon" under Be Yourself above.
  • Break Up Song: The duo cover the full range of relationship moments... For example, "Ironically" is about breaking up with a hopeless hipster.
  • Hipster: The ill-chosen boyfriend of the narrator of "Ironically" turns out only to love her geekiness “Ironically”.
  • Iconic Song Request: "The Guy Who Yelled Freebird" is about how annoyed they are about hearing that particular request, though they've claimed writing the song only made it worse. Eventually, they would cover "Free Bird" as a reward for fans crowdfunding an album.
  • The Noun and the Noun: Two of the duo’s albums are called Chainmail and Cello and Lasers and Feelings.
  • Pluralses: "Extra Gin" uses "catses" to provide a rhyme for "taxes".
  • Silly Love Songs:
    • The duo usually deliver these with humor that adds a lot of irony. See, for example, “Internet Troll”.
    • The first verse of "Where Did You Go?" suggests that it is an over-dramatic but sincere ballad about missing a friend or romantic partner who left with no explanation. Then, though, the chorus and subsequent verses make it clear that the first-person figure is a pet dog, whose owner probably just went to work for the day and returned.
    • Irony notwithstanding, though, they can occasionally express sincere love in a nerdy context, as in "This Fantasy World", the song of a woman who quite likes playing Dungeons & Dragons with one particular guy, but isn't too happy about his friends and environment, and would like to get him away for an actual romantic relationship.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: The duo’s version of "The Middle", originally by Jimmy Eat World, turns it from an uptempo emo/pop-punk song to a folk-pop ballad based around acoustic guitar and cello. This is intended to make the Pep-Talk Song lyrics seem more poignant.
  • Take That!: Quite a few Doubleclicks lyrics incorporate very effective put-downs, often of jerkass guys; see, for example, the Bait-and-Switch Comparison example above.
  • Troll: “Internet Troll” is, of all things, a silly love song addressed to a troll (and by the sounds of it, not a very clever or subtle one). The singer is fully aware that the troll is a horrible person, but All Girls Want Bad Boys somehow kicks in.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: "Worst Superpower Ever" explores powers such as the ability to create an invisible chair or predict people's choice of clothes.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Tabletop Games" features a rap verse by Adam WarRock.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Invoked; the duo have a song called "Will They or Won't They", comparing the narrator and some guy to multiple fictional couples. The joke is that she always looks good in the comparison, while he comes across as a Jerkass, and as to the titular question — they won’t.