The Incomparable

98: Obscure References and Sadness

 

  I i should tell you the title of this [TS]

  episode is going to be obscure [TS]

  references and sadness because allah [TS]

  says that's that's your stock and trade [TS]

  apparently but it's absolutely true [TS]

  absolutely good the incomparable Todd [TS]

  test number 98 july 2012 [TS]

  hi there I'm Lex Friedman i'm joined by [TS]

  three very very cool people and they are [TS]

  in no particular order [TS]

  John siracusa likes Scott McNulty hello [TS]

  and Greg moss either [TS]

  hello and tonight we are all talking [TS]

  together about Jonathan Coulton the man [TS]

  the myth the internet legend who I guess [TS]

  in most of the press I seabed jonathan [TS]

  coulton or joko to his fans these days [TS]

  they sort of describe him as a geek [TS]

  rocker [TS]

  I don't know if you guys would accept [TS]

  that label or not but I'm seeing it [TS]

  applied to him more and more but we're [TS]

  going to talk about his music and his [TS]

  over and some of our favorite Colton [TS]

  songs and why we like him so much [TS]

  so why don't we just to sort of get [TS]

  things started [TS]

  kick off by discussing how you first [TS]

  became aware of Jonathan cold what your [TS]

  introduction to him was and I pic Scott [TS]

  McNulty to go first [TS]

  ah alright i have prepared this because [TS]

  i knew that i had blogged about when i [TS]

  first heard about Jonathan Coulton so i [TS]

  googled myself and jonathan coulton and [TS]

  read my blog post so i could remember [TS]

  what how is this show is so he did a [TS]

  cover of a baby got back [TS]

  as we all may remember and so someone [TS]

  linked that on their blog and a so this [TS]

  was what in 2006 i guess so that's when [TS]

  he first came across my radar and then [TS]

  he started doing a bunch of other things [TS]

  that got more attention and he did the [TS]

  thing weak stuff and then he did the [TS]

  portal song and got very popular and and [TS]

  so that's my story and I'm sticking to [TS]

  it [TS]

  excellent job not surprisingly my first [TS]

  encounter with him was also the baby got [TS]

  back song and I don't even remember [TS]

  where I got it from was one of those [TS]

  things you get floating around the [TS]

  internet and I'd I didn't make any [TS]

  connection of an artist with it because [TS]

  you know when you get songs on the [TS]

  internet and I go hey listen to this one [TS]

  song let's do you like an yeah it's nice [TS]

  I and then you forget about it all right [TS]

  but just one for whatever reason like I [TS]

  did basically forget about it and they [TS]

  were like oh there's this guy doing this [TS]

  thing where he's going to record a song [TS]

  every week and his name is not say Frank [TS]

  although you might get them confused [TS]

  initially a micro yeah i think i saw the [TS]

  guys didn't even notice guys doing music [TS]

  and it's like a new one every weekend [TS]

  starts up i want to his website and I [TS]

  said hey that's the guy who did the baby [TS]

  got back think so he went from a one-hit [TS]

  internet wonder immediately to a guy [TS]

  whose name I should remember and watch [TS]

  for and I watched thing week with [TS]

  varying levels of interest because it [TS]

  still is still at that point I'm like [TS]

  alright so we did this cute cover and [TS]

  he's trying to these songs with some of [TS]

  them are kind of crazy but you know I [TS]

  you know I might come together but [TS]

  probably he's doomed to failure but as [TS]

  we all know he did not fail and he just [TS]

  continued to grow in stature and I'm I [TS]

  following of him became more and more [TS]

  rabbit overtime culminating in today [TS]

  great was baby got back your [TS]

  introduction as well I it might have [TS]

  been but the only the first conscious [TS]

  memory I have Jonathan Coulton is code [TS]

  monkey i bet there was a period where [TS]

  people sensitive singer-songwriters were [TS]

  recording various rap songs i have and i [TS]

  don't remember her name but she's a [TS]

  sensitive singer-songwriter who recorded [TS]

  straight outta compton and I really like [TS]

  that and so I remember looking for [TS]

  others and finding a couple and I maybe [TS]

  baby got back was among those but the [TS]

  first time I remember the name jonathan [TS]

  coulton was codemonkey late comer [TS]

  understood you know I for me was not it [TS]

  wasn't code monkey and it wasn't baby [TS]

  got back but it was during I i had a [TS]

  friend a longtime friend and [TS]

  collaborator who i would write songs [TS]

  with Goofy songs with all the time and [TS]

  it was the week but it is baby got back [TS]

  was part of thing a week 1 which I guess [TS]

  we could talk a little bit about more [TS]

  than a couple minutes but the week [TS]

  before baby got back was released [TS]

  release the song called shop vac and it [TS]

  was my friend Seth sent me links to look [TS]

  at this guy he's trying to do a song [TS]

  every week for a year [TS]

  why didn't we think of that that's [TS]

  certainly we don't have the talent or [TS]

  musicianship or even you know any of the [TS]

  the brilliant sensibilities that that [TS]

  Colton has but so I heard that song shot [TS]

  back and I had to go back and listen to [TS]

  the first couple of songs that he had [TS]

  done and then I was listening every week [TS]

  and you know they're at at one point at [TS]

  first I was just going to his blog where [TS]

  he was posting these songs as you record [TS]

  them each week and then I would at some [TS]

  point he put made them available for [TS]

  purchase on his website and when he made [TS]

  them available for purchase [TS]

  he had go to the website and such a way [TS]

  that was very easy to get all the songs [TS]

  without paying for them which I did and [TS]

  then felt terribly about and then I went [TS]

  and paypal him and his amnesty program [TS]

  to make up for my wrongdoing and i still [TS]

  feel bad about it which is why I'm [TS]

  admitting to it publicly now you're a [TS]

  disappointment to us all [TS]

  yeah well so I i asked everybody to come [TS]

  prepared with their three favorite [TS]

  jonathan coulton songs with it was for [TS]

  me that was a very difficult decision [TS]

  was I think probably even harder than [TS]

  sophie's choice but she's never there [TS]

  was some there was some debate before [TS]

  the show about whether this was going to [TS]

  be draft style meeting each long curly [TS]

  picked will be picked once or not and I [TS]

  have made the executive decision that [TS]

  multiple people can pick the same songs [TS]

  because I want them to be true to their [TS]

  three favorites and because he [TS]

  disapproves of that approach [TS]

  I'll let Jonathan siracusa go first [TS]

  Jonathan they tell us your first of your [TS]

  three favorite songs that need not be in [TS]

  any particular order a call me Jonathan [TS]

  because it's jonathan coulton reference [TS]

  because you think my name is actually [TS]

  Jonathan I guess was because i was [TS]

  thinking of cold and I was looking at my [TS]

  Jonathan cold notes inside all right [TS]

  well you know job just pretend to [TS]

  Google's I i we had this is an ordered [TS]

  list or unordered this is unordered list [TS]

  this is ul alright i guess i'm going to [TS]

  start with probably indeed takes the [TS]

  throne for all time favorite but it [TS]

  wasn't my original favorite so it's kind [TS]

  of like my current favorite but i think [TS]

  it will be tough to knock off of this [TS]

  person that it's not a particularly [TS]

  unique or interesting favorite and about [TS]

  other people have picked it but there [TS]

  you have it [TS]

  it is the future soon which is a song [TS]

  that's about as straightforward as a [TS]

  gentleman called the song can be it's [TS]

  about a disaffected nerdy youth and [TS]

  robots and cyborgs and all those sorts [TS]

  of things you would imagine a parody [TS]

  jonathan coulton song will be about [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  last guy no llores it said I love you [TS]

  signed anonymous friend turns out modern [TS]

  that thought [TS]

  she knows [TS]

  now the whole [TS]

  do and [TS]

  game on [TS]

  double skate [TS]

  she died [TS]

  but I know [TS]

  what happened [TS]

  don't know [TS]

  the way things that maybe [TS]

  just and the reason i like it took a [TS]

  while to grow on me because a lot of the [TS]

  songs first listening to him i tend to [TS]

  listen to music listening for the music [TS]

  first and lyrics second and so I didn't [TS]

  really listen to what the lyrics are [TS]

  about my god just kind of like a [TS]

  mid-tempo rocky kind of song whatever I [TS]

  and then as I listened to it a couple [TS]

  more times I actually listened to the [TS]

  lyrics with sound strange talking about [TS]

  Jonathan Coulton song I listen to lyrics [TS]

  but it's just the way things tend to [TS]

  grow on me and the thing I love so much [TS]

  about the story is that it starts out as [TS]

  a kind of clich├ęd like oh I'm a nerd [TS]

  and you know I have a crush on a girl [TS]

  but she doesn't like me and I'm sad [TS]

  right you know that that's not going [TS]

  anywhere right but it quickly turns into [TS]

  a story about all right well that's my [TS]

  life now but things will get better [TS]

  later because i will use my big nerdy [TS]

  brain to do these awesome things and [TS]

  maybe i'll work on my own you know race [TS]

  of a robot android army that might [TS]

  destroy the world and then i'll go and [TS]

  talk to her and you know we'll finally [TS]

  get together potential realize I'm the [TS]

  guy who destroyed the entire rent so [TS]

  it's it it's an elaborate fantasy spun [TS]

  out by this nerdy guy and it doesn't end [TS]

  and hey i will have this elaborate [TS]

  fantasy and in the end of my fantasy I [TS]

  will get the girl and I'll show them all [TS]

  it ends in a self-destructive conclusion [TS]

  where despite his best efforts or [TS]

  because of his best efforts he ends up [TS]

  you know destroying the things that he [TS]

  loves totally consumed by bitterness and [TS]

  enslaving this girl that he's after so [TS]

  it's I loved it so much because it's it [TS]

  nicely captures the feeling of when [TS]

  you're you know a nerdy kid that even in [TS]

  your fantasy scenarios things and [TS]

  horribly for you and it's all because [TS]

  it's all because of your own instincts [TS]

  and you're like you know like this the [TS]

  sentiment underlying it all that you [TS]

  know all these awkward things about me [TS]

  we'll go in the future and I'll be [TS]

  better but this the realization that you [TS]

  know wherever you go there you are like [TS]

  I'm gonna have to become okay with [TS]

  myself otherwise things are going to [TS]

  turn out nicely in the end and that that [TS]

  kind of bittersweet pessimistic [TS]

  optimistic you know cliche but counter [TS]

  cliche thing is like the perfect the [TS]

  perfect formula for that Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton in my mind that's that's my [TS]

  favorite [TS]

  it's you know and for me one thing i [TS]

  like about that one specifically is just [TS]

  the the phrasing of the the title and [TS]

  thus the course you know that I just [TS]

  feel like the that term that is going to [TS]

  be the future soon as a a clever way of [TS]

  phrasing that conceit yeah i mean that [TS]

  the title is a little he's very good [TS]

  with the word play like his songs are [TS]

  like the most straightforward like [TS]

  they're not too clever but they're just [TS]

  a little bit off and he's just very [TS]

  tight and very concise with with the [TS]

  music and the lyrics it's his is a great [TS]

  songwriter I'm really surprised that you [TS]

  listen to the music before you listen to [TS]

  the words just in general [TS]

  well like you know just knowing you're [TS]

  auditioning songs like especially when i [TS]

  was doing things a week it's like let's [TS]

  see what he's got this week and you [TS]

  listen to it's like some of them like [TS]

  the music production quality is not [TS]

  great and and some of the things a week [TS]

  things and you never know which one is [TS]

  going to come out and like he has really [TS]

  good pop sensibilities with hooks but [TS]

  sometimes the one with the best hooks [TS]

  have the least interesting lyrics you [TS]

  know and and it was one every single [TS]

  week and i was paying you know kind of [TS]

  tangential attention so that's that's [TS]

  how i came to this and I circle back [TS]

  around eventually and and and the future [TS]

  soon you know when to the top of verses [TS]

  my second choice which I listened to the [TS]

  lyrics right off for some reason and [TS]

  that was my old favorite so we'll get to [TS]

  that next you know I just want to ask [TS]

  have you ever heard John the i fight [TS]

  dragons cover of the future soon i [TS]

  probably have at this point i've heard [TS]

  many covers of many developing called [TS]

  songs but I don't recognize the the [TS]

  artist [TS]

  it's aight i didn't know the artist [TS]

  before that cover but it sort of I don't [TS]

  know that if the writers like a chip to [TS]

  notice it's got a video game sound ya to [TS]

  it it's very well done anyway i Fight [TS]

  Dragons the cover the future student if [TS]

  the future soon is like a robot [TS]

  apocalypse version of an it gets better [TS]

  video right but doesn't get better right [TS]

  it gets worse it gets better the says [TS]

  that he does get to destroy the world [TS]

  and no one else did but he still doesn't [TS]

  get what he wanted [TS]

  there's nowhere you can hide yeah yeah [TS]

  yeah that that is going to be a theme i [TS]

  think of this discussion but you can't [TS]

  always get what you want but if you try [TS]

  sometimes you just might find that you [TS]

  fail anyway [TS]

  yeah I think that's right in my [TS]

  introduction colon remains my favorite [TS]

  which is code monkey going to get up.get [TS]

  copy good monkey go to job code monkey a [TS]

  boring meeting boring manager Rob very [TS]

  diligent but its output this elegant [TS]

  good monkey fake [TS]

  because I it's a song that of course is [TS]

  about a nerdy guy who can't get the girl [TS]

  which has a particular relevance to my [TS]

  life prior to my marriage but there's [TS]

  also it was the first song that my kids [TS]

  really took to that wasn't the kids song [TS]

  you know they listened to a whole bunch [TS]

  of crap that was aimed at them that was [TS]

  marketed at them you know that was [TS]

  designed for five-year-olds and code [TS]

  monkey was the first song that we they [TS]

  didn't I listen to that they asked to [TS]

  have played and like my eldest son he [TS]

  would take a sheet of eight and a half [TS]

  by 11 paper and he latched onto the line [TS]

  big fuzzy secret heart and he drew a [TS]

  heart the size of the page [TS]

  Andrew very fine hairs around the [TS]

  outside of it and put a classified stamp [TS]

  over it and hang it on the fridge and so [TS]

  because i have very literal-minded [TS]

  children so it'sit's I associate the [TS]

  song not only with really enjoying it [TS]

  and it having relevance to me but also [TS]

  that Mike kids came into an age when [TS]

  they started growing up when they [TS]

  stopped being kids and they started [TS]

  looking at a wider world and finding [TS]

  things that that I could enjoy that they [TS]

  could also enjoy the same time it's the [TS]

  very transitional phase and it will [TS]

  always stick with me because of that you [TS]

  know what I think of that song I think [TS]

  of him sitting was I don't even remember [TS]

  that was a thing of weeks on but all the [TS]

  songs i think of him sitting there and [TS]

  saying okay I gotta write a song so we [TS]

  got our song always need a reason so [TS]

  come meet me an idea i come to the idea [TS]

  of you know okay you ready i can't get [TS]

  the girl kinda to that already but hit [TS]

  the idea that makes them go you know now [TS]

  I got it is that ok I'm going to the [TS]

  lyrics like in like monkey speak right [TS]

  now so it's so it's you know it's double [TS]

  like I could just do this is a [TS]

  straight-ahead song but i'm also going [TS]

  to do them you know codemonkey get up [TS]

  get coffee like and caveman speak and [TS]

  that's it that once you have the idea [TS]

  then it's off to the races and that that [TS]

  is a great idea and it adds like a an [TS]

  extra you know level of difficulty to [TS]

  undo the song but the challenge myself [TS]

  since I've done these nerdy songs i'm [TS]

  gonna do it as a monkey and it makes it [TS]

  10 * better i also think it works on two [TS]

  levels both as monkey speak and as [TS]

  pseudo code [TS]

  yep that works well and it was thinking [TS]

  we could stay a week 3 what I always [TS]

  think about with code monkey is [TS]

  you know Jonathan Colton's job before he [TS]

  decided I'm gonna quit and start doing [TS]

  this thing a weakling photo year it was [TS]

  a coder and he's you know he said that [TS]

  this song is not exactly he said that [TS]

  the boss part is how to fire a graphical [TS]

  but the the pining after the specific [TS]

  woman was not but I mean I was once a [TS]

  code monkey and I just I hated I mean [TS]

  there's things about programming that i [TS]

  like but doing programming where [TS]

  specifically doing one of the persons [TS]

  building and you can flex any creative [TS]

  muscle i understand that monkey [TS]

  mentality and not wanting to be the [TS]

  monkey [TS]

  I don't know that that's always what I [TS]

  think about him working in that job and [TS]

  not loving it [TS]

  there's also the my children really [TS]

  adoring the line goddamn login page they [TS]

  took particular delight in that just [TS]

  singing the song dad that's interesting [TS]

  that he's able to communicate like I you [TS]

  know I don't know if I knew he was a [TS]

  programmer at the time I listen to that [TS]

  but I said he is using the correct [TS]

  vocabulary modified by the monkey speak [TS]

  / pseudocode to express a sin to make [TS]

  with the correct language like I a [TS]

  counterexample this would be kind of [TS]

  like a weird al's all about the Pentiums [TS]

  which you can tell we're down two tons [TS]

  of good research to get his lyrics to be [TS]

  technically accurate but you could also [TS]

  tell that weird al is not a programmer [TS]

  right i mean whereas in this one he [TS]

  there are very few technical words in it [TS]

  all but the monkey speak yet you know [TS]

  right god damn log in page himself [TS]

  that's how managers would talk about [TS]

  things we need to login page on this [TS]

  like if you were working on the web as a [TS]

  programmer during that time that lingo [TS]

  coming from bosses talk to you know [TS]

  spitting it back at them you know rings [TS]

  true and I think I feel like even the [TS]

  the tab mountain dew work and the other [TS]

  that they wouldn't necessarily be it i [TS]

  don't know that that weird i would have [TS]

  gone to tab mountain dew [TS]

  I mean I really like we don't feel like [TS]

  that's but that's that's that's an [TS]

  insider knowledge not those are Insider [TS]

  E sodas but just to know that that that [TS]

  level of caffeine is what's important to [TS]

  certain app code monkeys i think is good [TS]

  all right Scott hit us with your first [TS]

  choice [TS]

  okay well I i am a person who does not [TS]

  enjoy Christmas generally but i do enjoy [TS]

  Christmas songs and i also enjoy [TS]

  Christmas socks that are mostly [TS]

  inappropriate for Christmas and so [TS]

  Jonathan has a number of these songs in [TS]

  him and my favorite is a chiron beta [TS]

  prime this here is there a crazy party [TS]

  and you Mary [TS]

  it's in trouble [TS]

  here the council had a Spanish [TS]

  right that has [TS]

  No [TS]

  red time [TS]

  merry Christmas from chyron beta pride [TS]

  where we were [TS]

  which tells the story of a family who [TS]

  has been captured or sent to a planet [TS]

  where they are mining things and you [TS]

  know being punished and they don't they [TS]

  can only tell it's Christmas because [TS]

  they have scrawled in their cell the [TS]

  number of days it has been since they [TS]

  were captured and so they they're [TS]

  singing they sing the song to uh as a [TS]

  christmas greeting to their friends and [TS]

  then they try to slip in a plea for help [TS]

  but then Jon Coulton cleverly put in a [TS]

  robot voice that says message redacted [TS]

  so you don't hear that part of the song [TS]

  and so it just lights me to play the [TS]

  song during christmas so that i can ruin [TS]

  everyone else's Christmas when you're [TS]

  the guy who kept voting for grandma got [TS]

  run over by a reindeer on dr. Demento [TS]

  where yeah that was but yes you know I i [TS]

  had chiron beta prime on my backup list [TS]

  you know since I couldn't live with [TS]

  myself 23 at first but I i will say and [TS]

  I really really like the song i have i [TS]

  have complaints I know [TS]

  here are my complaints and i have put [TS]

  two number one first I think you know [TS]

  the first verses i think are very [TS]

  brilliantly know the lyrics are really [TS]

  brilliantly done you know that you know [TS]

  that the the hardships their enduring [TS]

  having undermine their holiday cheer and [TS]

  you know did I say overlords I mean [TS]

  protectors i really like when singers [TS]

  correct themselves during a song you [TS]

  know because it's as if the song is [TS]

  happening right then live you know I [TS]

  like that but my two problems are one [TS]

  with that message rejected line which is [TS]

  a great joke the whole thing is a song [TS]

  and its it all Rhymes and I cannot come [TS]

  up with a realistic line that could have [TS]

  gone there that would have run before [TS]

  they rejected the message and I don't [TS]

  like that i want to know what they're [TS]

  going to say and then to is just two [TS]

  lines later he makes the Soylent Green [TS]

  joke and i think that the Soylent Green [TS]

  joke is below beneath him and beneath [TS]

  the song i like good soil green joke so [TS]

  i will allow it I only can criticize the [TS]

  song because of how much i love I the [TS]

  this doesn't to track for my overall [TS]

  enjoyment of the song but because I have [TS]

  such you know fandom for it I feel like [TS]

  it's important for me to voice these two [TS]

  can separate it you've done a service [TS]

  for the world likes don't worry anybody [TS]

  else want to weigh in on chiron beta [TS]

  prime this is I think the first time [TS]

  we've mentioned it's not from being a [TS]

  week directly right well maybe it was [TS]

  never my number on it from think a week [TS]

  to my nokia cool i know nothing i'm [TS]

  curious to see if anybody pics anything [TS]

  from artificial heart i have two [TS]

  selections from artificial heart people [TS]

  into the onion on your main list on your [TS]

  mind on my main list i have my have one [TS]

  from artificial heart as well so my [TS]

  first pick is not from artificial heart [TS]

  and it is one of the few songs i think [TS]

  that I could say that I love that has a [TS]

  colon in the title and that is read your [TS]

  brains [TS]

  hey Tom it's bob from the office down [TS]

  all [TS]

  good to see you buddy have you been [TS]

  things have been ok for me except that [TS]

  i'm a zombie now really wish you [TS]

  the guys big for all of us [TS]

  going to say I understand [TS]

  y-you my desert submit to our [TS]

  here's why [TS]

  you are [TS]

  where [TS]

  I mean no [TS]

  we haven't discussed yet you know how [TS]

  you would classify jonathan coulton you [TS]

  know I think that too many people he's [TS]

  you know a human musician a comic [TS]

  musician and I think you know some [TS]

  people he might even they might even [TS]

  apply the novelty label to him I i don't [TS]

  think any of those really apply I think [TS]

  he's a musician who happens to also be [TS]

  very funny and to inject many of his [TS]

  songs with humor but i enjoy some of his [TS]

  seriousness as much as i enjoy the [TS]

  humerus ones rear brains is I is pretty [TS]

  much a straight comedy song which i [TS]

  think is an exception for him overall [TS]

  but i really like it [TS]

  read your brains is told in the form of [TS]

  sort of that a memo or a series of memos [TS]

  from one co-worker to another and [TS]

  clearly these workers who didn't get get [TS]

  along well before the zombie apocalypse [TS]

  and now that one of them is hiding [TS]

  inside a ball and the other is the [TS]

  zombie and the dictator of the letter [TS]

  expressing his his desire to get inside [TS]

  and eat his former colleagues brain and [TS]

  his inability to do so yet but i really [TS]

  i think this song is it's funny because [TS]

  it like we mentioned earlier you know [TS]

  John you said that you always like to [TS]

  listen to the music first and then you [TS]

  go to lyrics I'm very much the opposite [TS]

  with all the music i listen to for me if [TS]

  I don't like the lyrics than the song is [TS]

  of no interest to me I think that your [TS]

  brains uniquely has a very I don't know [TS]

  the best work for compelling is that it [TS]

  but very cleverly implemented chord [TS]

  structure and I think the lyrics are [TS]

  also just really i think they concede [TS]

  there can only be as far as I'm [TS]

  concerned they're going to be one song [TS]

  told from the perspective of a still [TS]

  very coherent zombie and jonathan [TS]

  coulton wrote it and owns it and I just [TS]

  I think it's excellent that the [TS]

  brilliant thing about the song is that [TS]

  like like his other songs that he's he's [TS]

  got an idea like a letter from a zombie [TS]

  right but that the entire song is a a no [TS]

  parodied statement against office [TS]

  culture for is in a way that's not so [TS]

  distant from actual office culture you [TS]

  know like but with the zombies you know [TS]

  your colleagues who uses stupid business [TS]

  speak are like one centimeter we removed [TS]

  from being zombies so to see them as [TS]

  zombies it's like not that much of a [TS]

  stretch and the things they say that [TS]

  things they say are you know with the [TS]

  exception of the part about eating [TS]

  brains every other word in this song [TS]

  could believe [TS]

  they come out of their mouths in the [TS]

  course of a normal office day because [TS]

  they're just crazy [TS]

  sociopaths that you have to work with [TS]

  and then they just finally admit you [TS]

  know I'm not a monster Tom well okay [TS]

  technically I am [TS]

  that's one of his strengths is that he [TS]

  takes solid I mean all the songs we've [TS]

  mentioned so far have been really high [TS]

  concept there's something in the title [TS]

  that tells you what the song is going to [TS]

  be about but the song itself isn't just [TS]

  that joke repeated over and over and [TS]

  over there again more layers to it [TS]

  that's it that's definitely right [TS]

  the title is not the only joke and it's [TS]

  not the only meaning promise isn't the [TS]

  only joke lyrics like everything [TS]

  everything builds on itself and most of [TS]

  his songs kind of like Bruce Springsteen [TS]

  most of his songs like go somewhere you [TS]

  know like a story and you know it's it's [TS]

  interesting because you know i mentioned [TS]

  that i i'm i'm a big fan of Al Yankovic [TS]

  when you talk about that song like it's [TS]

  all about the Pentiums he has a tendency [TS]

  to do what he even classifies as a list [TS]

  song you know here's my funny concept [TS]

  and i'm going to give funny example [TS]

  after fun example and I think that great [TS]

  you nailed it that is not the approach [TS]

  that that's not the approach to that [TS]

  Colton takes he definitely tries to [TS]

  build and to not just build on jokes if [TS]

  it's a funny song but you know to build [TS]

  somewhere and just that the actual [TS]

  office speak that he puts in that song [TS]

  and that fits so naturally coming out of [TS]

  the zombies mouth is just so perfect [TS]

  night table table this for now I'm sure [TS]

  we get the common ground [TS]

  you know you've heard these in any [TS]

  anybody who's ever worked in corporate [TS]

  America has or these terms and I i enjoy [TS]

  the part where they are trying to talk [TS]

  about of the lock himself in a room [TS]

  writing is like who [TS]

  no one's going to eat your eyes to worry [TS]

  we know that this want to bring a great [TS]

  for like they're supposed to be you know [TS]

  using their smooth business speak but [TS]

  they just they just matter-of-factly say [TS]

  why don't you will come to a decision [TS]

  are compromised will be you open the [TS]

  door welcome and then we'll eat your [TS]

  brains and I didn't realize their you [TS]

  know this that there the zombies is [TS]

  taking over there just coming right out [TS]

  and saying what they wanted trying to [TS]

  get some really hot i don't know how [TS]

  many of you that I know that John has I [TS]

  don't have any of you seen Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton live but when he performs [TS]

  rearrange live the first thing before [TS]

  the song starts as hell and he'll ask [TS]

  the audience to practicing the course he [TS]

  wants the audience to perform the zombie [TS]

  portion of the chorus and generally [TS]

  speaking the audience will sing it well [TS]

  and then he'll correct them afterward [TS]

  say no no remember you are the undead [TS]

  you want [TS]

  Tommy's you must sing it much worse than [TS]

  that and that he encourages the audience [TS]

  to sing it much more horribly instead I [TS]

  always enjoyed that experience this is [TS]

  the one public forum in which my singing [TS]

  abilities are valued and appreciated [TS]

  finally finally I have a reason a [TS]

  command to sing very badly and yes I can [TS]

  do that [TS]

  yes I've seen my many times all the [TS]

  times I am yelling at the top of my [TS]

  lungs and horrible totally off-key [TS]

  zombie saying it was like god that guy [TS]

  is so good at this army thing [TS]

  yeah give us a sample no thank you [TS]

  what happened we're not Jonathan Coulton [TS]

  and I am NOT a giant audience right but [TS]

  yes you should go to show so you two can [TS]

  participate in this ritual i have i've [TS]

  been lucky enough to go so let's go [TS]

  around to John you got to start round [TS]

  one so you get to start round two as [TS]

  well so this was my original favorite [TS]

  jonathan coulton song and it is kind of [TS]

  like you know the beginners fisher price [TS]

  my first jonathan coulton song because [TS]

  if you don't know who he is and you're [TS]

  not sure you write this type of thing [TS]

  you get the song and it will introduce [TS]

  you in a gentle way to what he's all [TS]

  about its i crush everything like to [TS]

  swim getting dizzy in your way getting [TS]

  close [TS]

  have to touch you [TS]

  man [TS]

  bringing down [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  more [TS]

  for baby [TS]

  because [TS]

  crush [TS]

  so the premise of the song is not [TS]

  apparent on first listening this is kind [TS]

  of a nice thing and you know i crush [TS]

  everything is kind of like Oh what was [TS]

  me everything I touch gets destroyed or [TS]

  whatever and that's what you think the [TS]

  first 12 times you listen to it because [TS]

  you just like our least if you're like [TS]

  me you're like la-di-da fine whatever [TS]

  but then if you actually listen to the [TS]

  lyrics that it's like they don't seem to [TS]

  be making any sense of what the heck are [TS]

  they talking about [TS]

  I very little if you pay just the [TS]

  smallest bit of attention what this song [TS]

  is about will reveal itself to you know [TS]

  deep thought required no deep cultural [TS]

  knowledge of anything it's about a giant [TS]

  squid and what he does is he can't help [TS]

  himself but pole shifts down and you [TS]

  know to destroy them because that's what [TS]

  giant squids do is stereotypically and [TS]

  he feels bad about it and every lyric in [TS]

  the song is like I'm going to you know [TS]

  this is this look seems like a simple [TS]

  song listen to for a second it's about [TS]

  giant squid and it's not obscurely about [TS]

  giant squid it's straightforwardly about [TS]

  giant squid like you know doesn't say [TS]

  hey I'm a giant squid but it does [TS]

  everything but I and I love the [TS]

  sentiment of you know sort of a nice [TS]

  kind of a self tonight and I can't [TS]

  believe we have to pick three songs i [TS]

  can pick up a hundred songs but it's [TS]

  kind of like it yeah it was me kind of [TS]

  song like in a big bad world one or [TS]

  something like that [TS]

  I very simple and straightforward but [TS]

  the fact that it's about a giant squid [TS]

  just tickles me and turns the song on [TS]

  it's a year and that was that was my [TS]

  favorite before the future soon [TS]

  surpassed it i've said this once before [TS]

  and been wrong but I can now say with [TS]

  conviction this is the first song we've [TS]

  selected that is not a thing of weeks on [TS]

  this was from his his album where [TS]

  tradition meets tomorrow it'll just flow [TS]

  that wasn't the future soon also from [TS]

  that was that [TS]

  yeah attractions near our house the [TS]

  future soon and I crush everything [TS]

  well I never said I was good at all [TS]

  right you guys still remember what songs [TS]

  come from what albums i don't know why [TS]

  I've been looking on the wikipedia page [TS]

  i actually bought physical kind of kelly [TS]

  cds and they came and they are but [TS]

  they're just jumbled into a random [TS]

  shuffle and I told her I never even [TS]

  opened because i had the songs before [TS]

  that that's the thing about like I i [TS]

  crush everything you do it anytime i'm [TS]

  introduced to a new subculture new [TS]

  artist i assume that the song [TS]

  sure about giant squids and then usually [TS]

  I'm disappointed but it's all these [TS]

  songs that I've heard people say that [TS]

  about Jonathan Coulton is you can tell [TS]

  how experienced the listener is by [TS]

  whether they laugh or whether they're [TS]

  sad because the songs i'll start out [TS]

  with jokes i mean there are definite [TS]

  jokes here but as you get deeper into [TS]

  the sentiment of the song there's real [TS]

  profound sadness at the core of a lot of [TS]

  them yet or like or ironic poking at [TS]

  your own sadness again big bad world one [TS]

  you know where it's it's it's that we [TS]

  should get this when we get to more [TS]

  general comments about John Caldwell [TS]

  saver [TS]

  okay well if we're gonna have we're [TS]

  gonna get to those that i will move us [TS]

  along at a slightly more rapid clip Greg [TS]

  your second song my my second is going [TS]

  to be Skullcrusher mountain and i know [TS]

  its high concept and I know there's a [TS]

  lot of jokes in there but i just-i i [TS]

  adore the pony verse this have money at [TS]

  monkey monster to please you [TS]

  like it what's with [TS]

  all screaming you like my be like me [TS]

  so much any I [TS]

  is too [TS]

  he's isn't [TS]

  No [TS]

  honey [TS]

  and it just specifically one line or he [TS]

  says what's with all the screaming that [TS]

  that reaction is so perfect and so I [TS]

  mean again it's following the same [TS]

  template as future soon and code monkey [TS]

  is your sad little man wants the girl [TS]

  but the the setting of the song and then [TS]

  of course when you're in love with [TS]

  somebody and they don't reciprocate [TS]

  you're going to build them a half pony [TS]

  half monkey monster [TS]

  I mean that just makes sense and then [TS]

  when wench the she has the normal [TS]

  reaction the deed [TS]

  what's with all the screaming I don't [TS]

  understand why you would react that way [TS]

  I always and maybe this is my own lack [TS]

  of imagination but I always listen to [TS]

  school crusher mountain is being the [TS]

  future realized by the title character [TS]

  in the future for the best for the [TS]

  future soon hopefully this this is what [TS]

  he has done [TS]

  I think it's more gothic less [TS]

  science-fictiony that's fair i was [TS]

  thinking i was like the James Bond [TS]

  villain in the volcano lair [TS]

  yeah I don't think yes this is another [TS]

  song we're like the song doesn't come [TS]

  out and say hey I'm dr. evil i'm in my [TS]

  volcano lair but just straightforwardly [TS]

  this is even less obscured then i crush [TS]

  everything we're remember if you listen [TS]

  to anything lyrics as alright well this [TS]

  is obviously some kind of super villain [TS]

  and here's what the supervillain wants [TS]

  and he behaves in the way the [TS]

  supervillain does who is acclimated to [TS]

  being a supervillain surrounded by yes [TS]

  men who and doesn't understand the way [TS]

  you operate in polite society of you [TS]

  notice that genuinely surprised and that [TS]

  turns the turns of phrase or anything [TS]

  like maybe I used too many monkeys like [TS]

  it's just an ingredient uses in his [TS]

  normal it isn't it enough that Hebrew [TS]

  and a pony making a gift that's it's the [TS]

  thought that counts as far as that he [TS]

  will he will mix in sentiments from [TS]

  adult relationships again from his life [TS]

  I've imagined this time we kill me kill [TS]

  you to be civil like that I've been [TS]

  patient I've been gracious it's a line [TS]

  right out of you know typical you know [TS]

  cutting to adulthood relationships and [TS]

  marriage or whatever just only was in at [TS]

  that time just mixed in you know like [TS]

  that he has is having the same squabble [TS]

  the women the woman is abject terror but [TS]

  he thinks he's in a domestic you [TS]

  well that's did in that verse splits it [TS]

  exactly in half reading from the lyrics [TS]

  you know it isn't easy living here on [TS]

  skull crusher mountain maybe you could [TS]

  cut me just a little slack [TS]

  would it kill you to be civil I've been [TS]

  patient I've been gracious and then [TS]

  and this mountain is covered with Wolves [TS]

  to hear them howling my hungry children [TS]

  get switches right back into and that [TS]

  that's the way I spoke to my game yeah [TS]

  right i like how he tries to calm her [TS]

  down by saying listen the voices inside [TS]

  my head that control me tell me I [TS]

  shouldn't kill you yet [TS]

  yeah that's love is what you know when I [TS]

  was speaking about the recorded version [TS]

  of that song I never heard that yet and [TS]

  of course live you hear that yet because [TS]

  you know he's singing and he can [TS]

  enunciated i think i like to better [TS]

  without that yet saying the voice in my [TS]

  head said I shouldn't kill you as if [TS]

  that's reassuring like the fact that [TS]

  you're listening to the voices in your [TS]

  head that they're advising on who you [TS]

  should or shouldn't kill is disturbing [TS]

  enough that you don't need to yet i [TS]

  think we get your right is very subtle [TS]

  in the record so what side it's a [TS]

  falsetto the note that rises at the end [TS]

  right [TS]

  yep that John would you perform their [TS]

  fruits that is not yeah my duty as a job [TS]

  audience Scott Scott share with us your [TS]

  second song i am going to pick some a [TS]

  fairly straightforward song that perhaps [TS]

  many people would not pick but i am an [TS]

  odd fellow so i'm going to pick the [TS]

  presidents Washington came first news [TS]

  John and skips out with friends [TS]

  Jefferson me to Louisiana [TS]

  Madison chicken British in hand changing [TS]

  role [TS]

  they could [TS]

  Quincy and the very straightforward song [TS]

  wow it is he just sings about the [TS]

  president's a little fact about them i [TS]

  enjoy a couple things about this song a [TS]

  I like history and songs about history [TS]

  so there you go [TS]

  I'm a junkie I enjoy the fact that he [TS]

  uses a toy instruments in it [TS]

  yes that amuses me greatly and I like [TS]

  the fact that so it was written in 2005 [TS]

  so he gets to the end and of course [TS]

  George W Bush is the president then he [TS]

  wasn't there i should say might get my [TS]

  texts correct and so he's talking about [TS]

  george w bush and he says he goes [TS]

  through you know the countries in a bad [TS]

  position and nobody knows what's [TS]

  happening and I don't like to make [TS]

  political statements and then there are [TS]

  a couple of beats there so he just [TS]

  doesn't say anything and then it goes [TS]

  back to the the verse and chorus i [TS]

  should say so it just amuses me greatly [TS]

  it's a very straightforward song not [TS]

  that deep or layered but sometimes you [TS]

  just want a song that lists all the [TS]

  president's give you a fact about them [TS]

  after after codemonkey might buy made a [TS]

  Colton playlist for my kids and they [TS]

  really enjoyed the president's but then [TS]

  I started asking questions particularly [TS]

  about the Clinton cigar line we gave an [TS]

  internal cigar right yeah and I left [TS]

  first of May off that list as well and i [TS]

  like that the the fact that he chooses [TS]

  to say about some of the president's [TS]

  like you know grover cleveland serve [TS]

  another term so there you go that's all [TS]

  good and at this is that we write some [TS]

  of the descriptions are you know fairly [TS]

  accurate and it's hard to get a full [TS]

  history of a president a single lyric [TS]

  you know but saying Jefferson made the [TS]

  Louisiana Purchase is good and then you [TS]

  get like Nixon was a filthy dirty liar [TS]

  you take this is also fairly adequate [TS]

  description it I i do like the [TS]

  juxtaposition of the or I think my my [TS]

  favorite lyric I do like that that pause [TS]

  that you reference got but Lincoln save [TS]

  the Union that he died i like sex is [TS]

  like that that's the history of lincoln [TS]

  as you say the Union and they're dead [TS]

  i laughs I laughs at Lincoln said that [TS]

  every time and that [TS]

  suit suit laughs well my my second [TS]

  selection does come from artificial [TS]

  heart and I think it's okay if we if we [TS]

  take a parallel track here because I i [TS]

  think my inference here is the greg koss [TS]

  is not necessarily as a narrative [TS]

  artificial heart as you might be the [TS]

  rest of the cold and cannon I'm not [TS]

  putting your words your mouth so you [TS]

  will have a chance to prove me wrong I'm [TS]

  disagree you know it i'm disappointed in [TS]

  myself that I don't like it more I don't [TS]

  want to box him in as an artist and I [TS]

  realize he's he's reaching here he's [TS]

  extending but unlike some of the [TS]

  experimental stuff like bacteria I can't [TS]

  stand but I am disappointed that i don't [TS]

  like it because I know what he's trying [TS]

  to do and I don't want him to keep doing [TS]

  the same thing for the next 20 years but [TS]

  I it just it's not the same for me [TS]

  should give it a chance because I kind [TS]

  of felt the same way when I first got [TS]

  the album but it is totally like some of [TS]

  them are it's kinda like thing week [TS]

  where some of them are just forgettable [TS]

  and you're like okay that didn't work [TS]

  but other ones are real growers as they [TS]

  call them and they have really easy up [TS]

  several these could have made my top [TS]

  three lies adjusted there's so much back [TS]

  catalogue history we move the other [TS]

  songs that none of these have been in my [TS]

  in my heart long enough to crack the top [TS]

  three for you so just for the [TS]

  uninitiated uninitiated artificial heart [TS]

  is Jonathan Colton's first full band [TS]

  down produced by John Flansburg they [TS]

  might be giants and it's you know it's [TS]

  every other song that he had released [TS]

  essentially had been done by him at home [TS]

  generally with his acoustic guitar and [TS]

  electronic drums in whatever keyboards [TS]

  he could finagle and so this is you know [TS]

  full band playing with him and so the [TS]

  first of my 22 artificial hearts [TS]

  elections is alone at home i am glad [TS]

  shopping here I will kill you first [TS]

  I won't [TS]

  shopping [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  which is another one where I think it's [TS]

  it gets extra credit for being great to [TS]

  me in both the lyrical sense and in the [TS]

  you know just the the music itself I [TS]

  think is excellently arranged but I her [TS]

  loaded home live when Colton was opening [TS]

  for they might be giants at the stone [TS]

  pony in New Jersey and then you know [TS]

  that because the the album only launched [TS]

  two days later them and I don't know if [TS]

  that added to my affection for the song [TS]

  because hearing it unveiling live to me [TS]

  for the first time was exciting but this [TS]

  song is a song is very that the singer [TS]

  is very angry and hateful toward his [TS]

  wife or significant other in my view and [TS]

  you know first easy the first verse [TS]

  you know it's kind of gig already and as [TS]

  we said you know it's it's another one [TS]

  where it kind of keeps building things [TS]

  you know where I'm going to sit here on [TS]

  this chair while you're shopping and [TS]

  I'll watch your person I'll take care of [TS]

  it while you do your thing and it's fine [TS]

  because i'm alone at home and I you know [TS]

  much of the lyrics of the song i think [TS]

  are straightforward i feel like the [TS]

  chorus is open to interpretation what he [TS]

  exactly means my saying he's alone at [TS]

  home i think is up for debate but I [TS]

  don't know that as that song builds and [TS]

  he says he'll make room for your stuff [TS]

  when you buy stuff the canvas or and [TS]

  that he'll pretend to be nice to your [TS]

  parents when you visit them you know [TS]

  it's he clearly has fallen out of love [TS]

  and I i think that whole thing I think [TS]

  it's a hilarious thing to write a song [TS]

  about at least in the way that he did [TS]

  and the cryptic chorus keeps me coming [TS]

  back and i really like the the the the [TS]

  way he sings the chorus very energetic [TS]

  and then and catchy i think yes I think [TS]

  he has nice access again as a by this [TS]

  time Mary person nice access to the [TS]

  kinds of small things that can magnify [TS]

  in a marriage to get on your nerves and [TS]

  the you know he has a limited number [TS]

  words in these verses so he's got the [TS]

  chosen very carefully and this is what I [TS]

  think makes him a brilliant as a linear [TS]

  system connecting with people like me [TS]

  particulars were that bit where he says [TS]

  we can talk about plans for your [TS]

  cousin's birthday if you haven't been [TS]

  married married no sense [TS]

  how is that how [TS]

  was that you know something that you're [TS]

  bitter or angry about but sometimes like [TS]

  you just you know your your wife will be [TS]

  way more interested in talking about [TS]

  plans for cousins birthday then you are [TS]

  and the fact that she's interviewed want [TS]

  to talk about it will be annoying to you [TS]

  and that's something that you you know [TS]

  you wouldn't have had access to if you [TS]

  weren't in that situation yourself and [TS]

  couldn't relate to it that that's good [TS]

  lyric ready [TS]

  I think it's a mystery John that you [TS]

  said sometimes your wife is more [TS]

  interested in your mind is always were [TS]

  just talking about those kind of terms [TS]

  of the most compelling lyric that you [TS]

  know and John you made the point a [TS]

  couple times that it feels like it's [TS]

  coming from his real-world experience is [TS]

  the entirety of the bridge [TS]

  you know I don't want you to make it up [TS]

  to me I just wanted everyone to see the [TS]

  way we are over this way can we just not [TS]

  make this a thing all of which feels [TS]

  like pulled from maybe I I mean not [TS]

  every conversation I've had with my wife [TS]

  but yeah it was magnified like he's [TS]

  actually has access to those feelings [TS]

  he's not actually in that situation but [TS]

  he can take that and say I know that [TS]

  exists now map it onto this character in [TS]

  this song because it's coming from a [TS]

  real place it's not not autobiographical [TS]

  he's doing a great songwriters do you [TS]

  don't have to live through this horrible [TS]

  experiences you just have to understand [TS]

  how they could come to be and so now I i [TS]

  can write something that's true about [TS]

  people who are in this situation [TS]

  well let's do a the third and final [TS]

  round before we get to our broader [TS]

  Colton discussion [TS]

  Jon you're up again yeah it's a tough [TS]

  choice because again just limited to [TS]

  three is killing me and i'm already [TS]

  sneeze making it mentions of other ones [TS]

  but i'm going to pick this one because [TS]

  it's the least like the other ones it's [TS]

  a very simple song that i really started [TS]

  to like the first time I heard him live [TS]

  and he played it I guess I figured you [TS]

  know he likes this song so much he [TS]

  decides to pull out live and it's fairly [TS]

  obscure maybe I should give it another [TS]

  listen and and I didn't have definitely [TS]

  grown me it's I'm your moon [TS]

  invented reason that's why it stings [TS]

  they don't think you mad [TS]

  because you don't have to keep telling [TS]

  you I don't care [TS]

  I [TS]

  one [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  which is a very straightforward not [TS]

  funny at all song that doesn't have to [TS]

  be about anything other than what it [TS]

  seems to be about which is like a [TS]

  relationship with the moon analogy but [TS]

  is actually about Pluto and its moon [TS]

  that is almost the same size as Pluto [TS]

  and that little extra geeky twist makes [TS]

  its i like i like how it's nice and [TS]

  calming and it's fun to listen to [TS]

  but knowing that it's also about Pluto [TS]

  and its moon you at it gives it that [TS]

  extra twist that that again tickles me [TS]

  while I listen to it and i can i can if [TS]

  i could appreciate strap even if it [TS]

  wasn't about Pluto but that extra bit [TS]

  puts it over the top [TS]

  I think that's a great choice that would [TS]

  have been my fourth choice i might might [TS]

  my third choices along the same lines [TS]

  it's very straightforward and it's sweet [TS]

  is you ruined everything [TS]

  I was fine the pull myself together [TS]

  just-in-time throw myself away one my [TS]

  perfect world was gone I and [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  Francis way [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  and my kids were little older when I [TS]

  first heard this song but I'd never [TS]

  found a song that expressed the kind of [TS]

  I was terrified of having children [TS]

  it was this giant that undoable decision [TS]

  and it apparently so far it's worked out [TS]

  but there's this notion of it I am [TS]

  irrevocably changing my life right now [TS]

  and I'm happy it happened I I dearly [TS]

  love my children but there's also a part [TS]

  of me that I sacrificed for that and [TS]

  sometimes I didn't miss it [TS]

  that's kind of the thing they don't tell [TS]

  you about parenthood like before you're [TS]

  becoming a parent people only one ever [TS]

  tell you oh you're gonna love it so much [TS]

  you can love your kids so much all which [TS]

  is true but no one will tell you like [TS]

  because I guess it makes them to see you [TS]

  seem like a bad person if you go up to [TS]

  someone and say listen and you have a [TS]

  kid let me tell you all the bad things [TS]

  about it and you ruined everything again [TS]

  must have been written by someone who [TS]

  has actually had kids and said ready [TS]

  tell you right there are so many great [TS]

  things about it and the heart of the [TS]

  song is sweet but part of you dies at [TS]

  the lyric that gets me every time is [TS]

  what he says I can't think of who I was [TS]

  before you ruined everything in the [TS]

  nicest way and that's the that's the [TS]

  thought that echoes to me the most often [TS]

  you know I i could I thought we had one [TS]

  kid I thought what the hell did i do [TS]

  before i had this kid we had to what the [TS]

  hell do I said 1-3 what the hell that I [TS]

  don't I said to and at neck that lyric I [TS]

  really speaks to me in a very poignant [TS]

  level [TS]

  have you guys ever like after kids were [TS]

  born you know six months nine months [TS]

  after you're born you ever find yourself [TS]

  like driving to work and staring at [TS]

  studio apartments as you went by doesn't [TS]

  have the medium that has the makings of [TS]

  a good Jonathan Coulton song i could get [TS]

  so much done [TS]

  yes I need a futon an internet [TS]

  connection that's the name of your album [TS]

  be telling edit a connection that's it [TS]

  that's the suites on [TS]

  I like that yeah all right Scott your [TS]

  third and final selection i am going to [TS]

  choose a song from artificial heart [TS]

  final selection nemec's run fast [TS]

  promise me [TS]

  me [TS]

  first of all your enemy [TS]

  friend to me [TS]

  that will be [TS]

  joy it's about a never see his midst of [TS]

  a pretty straightforward so I think [TS]

  about the idea that it is from the [TS]

  vantage point of the viewpoint of one [TS]

  person who is the Nemesis or at least [TS]

  suggesting to another person that they [TS]

  should be in embassies so that they will [TS]

  fulfill each other's lives basically [TS]

  because I wouldn't i won't seem as crazy [TS]

  you won't see him as crazy if we are [TS]

  competing with each other and trying to [TS]

  you know kill each other basically and i [TS]

  will constantly be following you lurking [TS]

  in the shadows trying to support you but [TS]

  it will all make sense because we're in [TS]

  embassies so that will we will complete [TS]

  each up so it's an interesting kind of [TS]

  strange song I think and I i enjoy [TS]

  collecting embassies myself so it speaks [TS]

  to me [TS]

  there can only be one bearded [TS]

  singer-songwriter on the Internet [TS]

  well this is this situation where [TS]

  someone has wants to be someone else's [TS]

  nemesis I and perhaps the other person [TS]

  doesn't know that that person really [TS]

  wants to be their nemesis so badly [TS]

  yes you're pretending you don't even [TS]

  know my name well played all part of an [TS]

  all-party am right nut [TS]

  it's another foil love song isn't it and [TS]

  it's a duet with John Roderick whose is [TS]

  whose great this was my introduction to [TS]

  him as a singer and it's very [TS]

  interesting mix of voice sounds that do [TS]

  it and that's actually interesting [TS]

  element of artificial heart is that [TS]

  there are is it three tracks for tracks [TS]

  where Jonathan Coulton is not the lead [TS]

  vocalist which is kind of unusual when [TS]

  you buy a an album from someone you [TS]

  think they're going to sing all the [TS]

  songs and never cease [TS]

  now i'm an arsonist the third version of [TS]

  stay up still alive [TS]

  yeah but he makes up for it work with [TS]

  nobody loves you like me where Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton at nine times so for my last [TS]

  song it like i said it does come from [TS]

  artificial heart night I far be it for [TS]

  me to casualty list of songs that didn't [TS]

  make the cut but they were very close [TS]

  like curl not about you blew sunny day [TS]

  today with your wife and good morning to [TS]

  sign but the song that i picked was it's [TS]

  it's I guess like Scott's caveat i'll [TS]

  say you know it's it is cut [TS]

  a very superficial song but i think it's [TS]

  so brilliantly crafted and unlike any [TS]

  song i had heard previously and yet so [TS]

  obvious that this kind of song should [TS]

  exist when you hear it and that is just [TS]

  sweet Rick Springfield neighborhood [TS]

  he's got back yet [TS]

  share the quad coming no share hey rama [TS]

  nam provide just explain [TS]

  it's very very simple very simple melody [TS]

  and really a relatively simple concept [TS]

  all although still with a little bit of [TS]

  ambiguity where the singer is the singer [TS]

  either claims to be or is in fact Rick [TS]

  Springfield and apparently in France or [TS]

  in some other french-speaking location [TS]

  reminding people about his greatness and [TS]

  assuring them he that he is indeed Rick [TS]

  Springfield but doing it all in French [TS]

  and then even questioning his own [TS]

  friends I guess it kind of goes back to [TS]

  one thing that I like this you know [TS]

  where he's correcting himself or he's [TS]

  trying to verify that he was pronouncing [TS]

  the French words or phrases the French [TS]

  words correctly in song and i like that [TS]

  i like when singers second-guess [TS]

  themselves in within a song and I don't [TS]

  know something about that song i can't [TS]

  help but rock out to it in the car no [TS]

  matter who's looking in the windows and [TS]

  it's i don't know i think it's great [TS]

  yeah that the nice thing about just [TS]

  rework Springfield for me is that I'd [TS]

  the language i took in high school was [TS]

  french so i could actually more or less [TS]

  understand the lyrics the first time I [TS]

  heard the song and that's the case where [TS]

  I was training very hard to understand [TS]

  it because when I when I saw this I saw [TS]

  him he was auditioning the artificial [TS]

  heart songs in Boston he came up and did [TS]

  a small show with the band was the first [TS]

  time I'd seem to the band was way before [TS]

  the element come out and one of his [TS]

  instructions like hey here's an [TS]

  excellent off the new album was not [TS]

  released yet and it's all in French it's [TS]

  like okay let me get out my high school [TS]

  French listening years and that made me [TS]

  listen listen to the words straight and [TS]

  it's it is very kind of high school [TS]

  French structured you don't it's not [TS]

  sophisticated french i think he was [TS]

  using his high school French to right [TS]

  thing and so that that was interesting [TS]

  and also now when he doesn't like he has [TS]

  a middle section where he does a little [TS]

  bit of Jessie's Girl which blends nicely [TS]

  into the song very cool so let's let's [TS]

  go a little bit broader in the time [TS]

  we've been permitted for me i would say [TS]

  the jonathan coulton is very much in [TS]

  keeping with other artists listen to you [TS]

  know my other favorite bands are bands [TS]

  like they might be giants and Al [TS]

  Yankovic and I don't know Moxie frutos [TS]

  or barenaked ladies all of which I think [TS]

  have that other people might define [TS]

  their commonality differently for me but [TS]

  what is what i like about it is [TS]

  but they all appear to take what they do [TS]

  take their craft very seriously but not [TS]

  take themselves very seriously and then [TS]

  let that show in in the kind of music [TS]

  they create which I really appreciate [TS]

  whatever reason he speaks to me so i [TS]

  would say that he's you know old news is [TS]

  one of that genre and in keeping from me [TS]

  but my I throw the equation everyone did [TS]

  you feel that this is he typically the [TS]

  kind of music you listen to [TS]

  i would say no for me he is up i had a [TS]

  little bit of they might be giants [TS]

  mostly for the kids [TS]

  I was never really particularly into [TS]

  them except for the few low you know [TS]

  breakthroughs like you know a triangle [TS]

  man or whatever that was on MTV when I [TS]

  was a kid but I was no never really into [TS]

  that weird out i had very few weird al [TS]

  songs you know thrown into my collection [TS]

  but never bought any of his albums was [TS]

  never into it and I think the reason he [TS]

  broke through for me is no it's kind of [TS]

  the same way [TS]

  why nerds get obsessed with other things [TS]

  made by nerds like you know firefly or [TS]

  other series on television that are you [TS]

  know the JJ Abrams stop using that are [TS]

  clearly made by nerds who we relate to [TS]

  because with music as for the bands that [TS]

  I like and I like totally generic [TS]

  run-of-the-mill bands anyone my age like [TS]

  oh you like Bruce Springsteen you to REM [TS]

  and radiohead well that's novel right so [TS]

  you know everyone likes their [TS]

  middle-of-the-road bands but you have [TS]

  the sneaking suspicion that the people [TS]

  these famous people who make this music [TS]

  that you love and I really do love those [TS]

  bands as cliche as they are for me to [TS]

  like them you have the suspicion that if [TS]

  you were to hang out with them you would [TS]

  have nothing in common because they're [TS]

  not like they're not your people I there [TS]

  they're not into the things you're into [TS]

  they wouldn't they wouldn't understand [TS]

  your humor they wouldn't have the same [TS]

  cynical view of the world they're just [TS]

  they're just different and you love the [TS]

  music they make [TS]

  partially because it's different they [TS]

  can talk about things that you don't [TS]

  experience but when Jonathan Coulton [TS]

  came along he was here love joy here is [TS]

  this person to you felt like there's no [TS]

  way that this person could know this [TS]

  stuff about my secret heart if he didn't [TS]

  also experienced some of these things [TS]

  and so I think he appeals because his [TS]

  two major touch points are obscure [TS]

  references and sadness [TS]

  yeah well it's not just that like it's [TS]

  not that's the thing that's I think [TS]

  about him I think of another artist came [TS]

  out and they did these similar songs so [TS]

  these every one of these songs could [TS]

  take up [TS]

  bad turn for example you I you ruined [TS]

  everything that song would not be a good [TS]

  song it was like a song like oh these [TS]

  kids they ruin everything that's not [TS]

  what the song is about at its heart it's [TS]

  it's sweet you know what i mean and so [TS]

  many on something on a Razors Edge of [TS]

  being crappy versions of themselves and [TS]

  he never goes there and so all these [TS]

  songs like finally yes this person he [TS]

  under you know he seems to understand me [TS]

  and I felt like I hang out with this [TS]

  person then we would have something to [TS]

  talk about it it's it's almost 11 of us [TS]

  broke through like a nerd was made who [TS]

  actually have musical talent who [TS]

  understood lyrics pop music you know [TS]

  hooks and enough music manship to to get [TS]

  through and it's like yeah one of ours [TS]

  made it in the same way that there's [TS]

  much more of those making movies and [TS]

  television out in the music around there [TS]

  so so few that might be giants probably [TS]

  qualifies but they never quite broke [TS]

  through to me but around the Colton's [TS]

  lyrics and music where such a connection [TS]

  with like what's deep down inside of me [TS]

  that I just immediately latched on it [TS]

  you know it's that that last point for [TS]

  me i think is is really good i like I've [TS]

  said repeatedly now i'm a big fan of [TS]

  weird al's but you know one of his i [TS]

  think one of his highest charting songs [TS]

  of all time was white and nerdy apparent [TS]

  song ridin by chamillionaire which I [TS]

  would imagine most people who like weird [TS]

  i had never heard of before he parried [TS]

  it but it you know he's constantly made [TS]

  reference to with white nerdy it was a [TS]

  song i was doing research for my whole [TS]

  life but he's not the same kind of nerd [TS]

  that I think you're referring to you and [TS]

  you know he's making relatively try [TS]

  jokes about you know Star Trek and [TS]

  pocket protectors and and stuff they're [TS]

  editing Wikipedia there's not a core of [TS]

  emotion that is in colton songs i think [TS]

  that's exactly right i think that's [TS]

  what's that I think that's the [TS]

  difference is that he doesn't you know [TS]

  he knows about it but he doesn't feel [TS]

  connected to it but it i mean where I [TS]

  like we're down but we're doubt tells [TS]

  jokes Colton has the lyrics and the the [TS]

  humor reflect the core of emotion and [TS]

  without that core of emotion you're not [TS]

  going to have the same kind of wordplay [TS]

  the same kind of twists the same kind of [TS]

  little you know knife under the rib to [TS]

  the to the lyrics that you do when [TS]

  you're just making javascript jokes it's [TS]

  kind of like is like an SAS like if he [TS]

  was just thinking that no musical talent [TS]

  however and didn't write songs he could [TS]

  be a very clever effort SAS for like you [TS]

  know suck com or something if we want to [TS]

  go back in time to you know or the onion [TS]

  or something like that right and this is [TS]

  gonna sound terrible and I was kind of [TS]

  getting it this and my other analogies [TS]

  but I figure my soldiers bring it out in [TS]

  sound terrible because why not because [TS]

  these people aren't gonna find me and [TS]

  yell at me you it's it's the feeling you [TS]

  have as a disaffected nerdy youth that [TS]

  it's not fair that you're smarter than [TS]

  everyone else but nobody likes you [TS]

  anyway right like that being smart is [TS]

  not worth anything and you know I've [TS]

  never met any famous musicians but you [TS]

  get the feeling that you know Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton is smarter than bono Jonathan [TS]

  culture and Colton is smarter than Bruce [TS]

  Springsteen right eye and its and I [TS]

  think it shows in his writing because [TS]

  his writing is smarter is it better [TS]

  writing doesn't make for better music is [TS]

  jonathan coulton better than Bruce [TS]

  Springsteen I don't think that's [TS]

  necessarily the case but it speaks to me [TS]

  in a way that like that that that here's [TS]

  a guy who's using his brain in the same [TS]

  way that I felt like I would use my [TS]

  brain if I had any time whatsoever for [TS]

  writing music or lyrics like yes that me [TS]

  that's what I'm you know it's just it's [TS]

  such an incredible connection and that [TS]

  strange to me because i think does that [TS]

  prevent him from ever connecting with [TS]

  like the rest of the world the normals [TS]

  you know because he everything he writes [TS]

  is so unashamedly it's not just like pop [TS]

  culture references and stuff it's like [TS]

  insight and cynicism and and sentiment [TS]

  all mixed together in the same soup in [TS]

  the same way that it is inside you know [TS]

  their brains how many mainstream pop [TS]

  songs have actually sent required that [TS]

  you go look something up it or taught [TS]

  you anything because because because [TS]

  love to learn new things so he will [TS]

  understand medley make parts of the song [TS]

  educational but its side [TS]

  I when I read you know the entire [TS]

  wikipedia entry for serious Johnson [TS]

  because i had no idea who he is because [TS]

  i live on the west coast or the you know [TS]

  he put the formula for when I got a [TS]

  wrong no but that's ok it's the Julia [TS]

  set but but he had the formula for a [TS]

  fractal in a song [TS]

  well that's what I was going to put that [TS]

  would have been another on my list of [TS]

  like top 10 or whatever because I so [TS]

  he's got a song about fractals so what [TS]

  like that so you know it's cute and tell [TS]

  some history and a little bit [TS]

  educational but that the brilliant thing [TS]

  about him is that he's not going to [TS]

  settle for that i'm not going to write a [TS]

  cute little song about fractals that's a [TS]

  little bit educational isn't it [TS]

  and find the song about fractals and I [TS]

  curse he has decided he's thought about [TS]

  it and decided there's something [TS]

  significant about fractals and he puts [TS]

  it in the course change the world in a [TS]

  tiny way they did that little thing [TS]

  change the world not in a big way but [TS]

  some smart person use their brain and [TS]

  change the world in a tiny tiny way [TS]

  through and I enjoyed that song because [TS]

  i went to see Mandelbrot to give a [TS]

  lecture once [TS]

  lecture once [TS]

  when I was in college and I had no idea [TS]

  what he's talking about about he [TS]

  introduced himself and that was at the [TS]

  after that I had no idea what he's [TS]

  talking about but it was great to see [TS]

  because he had so much passion and I [TS]

  think that Jonathan Coulton also has a [TS]

  lot of passionate about his his [TS]

  craftsmanship and I what he's doing and [TS]

  that shows through and i also like as [TS]

  you know sometimes creative person [TS]

  myself hopefully I the the idea of the [TS]

  the thing a week really spoke to me [TS]

  about how he forced himself every week [TS]

  to write a new song and whether it was [TS]

  good or bad he would do it and release [TS]

  it and that is something that I aspire [TS]

  to myself I don't actually do it but I [TS]

  think about maybe getting something like [TS]

  that but that's another that's [TS]

  definitely a nerd thing to do like nerds [TS]

  like I'm gonna lose weight so what I'm [TS]

  gonna do is only eat you know this [TS]

  amount of food and i'm going to blog the [TS]

  entire experience and recorded and I'm [TS]

  going to keep a journal and like the [TS]

  scientific approach the obsessive [TS]

  scientific approach to everything so he [TS]

  said I want to be a recording artist I [TS]

  do i do this i will do this you know [TS]

  very structured and very you know like [TS]

  you know he's keeping a notebook and [TS]

  keeping track it you know that's that's [TS]

  just a nerdy way to go about becoming a [TS]

  nerdy musician and so I i think i know [TS]

  the answer but I don't know the that [TS]

  greg and scott way in which you say that [TS]

  that cold is in keeping with the kind of [TS]

  music you generally listen to i think [TS]

  the commonality for me is that I'm a [TS]

  lyrics first guy and so if the lyrics [TS]

  surprise me or I find them elegant I [TS]

  don't care all that much with the music [TS]

  is like i enjoy particular genres of [TS]

  music more than others but if if if [TS]

  they're good lyrics it's a good song and [TS]

  that that goes across pretty much every [TS]

  band i listen to i can't think of a band [TS]

  that i listen to that's just kind of [TS]

  dumb rhythm driven fun i'm great at a [TS]

  party [TS]

  let me tell you because what John [TS]

  listens to what I mean I i tend to [TS]

  eventually reject the songs that don't [TS]

  have anything interesting in them [TS]

  lyrically but I definitely I'm music [TS]

  first kind of personal some jonathan [TS]

  coulton as long as I i don't i can't [TS]

  really i'm not a music person so I can [TS]

  gauge how good of a musician he is [TS]

  but I I feel like his some of his songs [TS]

  work musically really well and if you [TS]

  took the lyrics away entirely you've got [TS]

  a solid pop song they're you know like [TS]

  dad that's Ted absolutely true but the [TS]

  reason he's he's at the top of the list [TS]

  is because of his lyrical abilities [TS]

  yes it is obviously everybody like I [TS]

  think I think he gets under I think he [TS]

  gets under appreciated as as a musician [TS]

  at least as far as I'm concerned because [TS]

  I you know I don't know if he could make [TS]

  it traditionally because his brain would [TS]

  prevent him from writing a traditional [TS]

  song but I i also feel like I'm much [TS]

  more qualified to judge lyrics and I am [TS]

  to judge music along the same lines [TS]

  right but I mean it's easy to tell what [TS]

  you like I like a lot of I mean open it [TS]

  Radiohead the flaming lips are very [TS]

  strange musically and I know what I like [TS]

  I just don't know if that's like good [TS]

  music bad music that's just you know [TS]

  what friends are actually closed there [TS]

  is that they're they're somewhat nerdy [TS]

  to a little bit or maybe they're just [TS]

  crazy it's very difficult to tell [TS]

  sometimes who I well he fits in very [TS]

  nicely with what i listen to generally [TS]

  although i listen to a very strange mix [TS]

  of things but certainly I enjoy clever [TS]

  kind of happy songs that when you listen [TS]

  to the lyrics you realize this is not a [TS]

  happy song at all but it's so it sounds [TS]

  so happy but this person is so sad [TS]

  actually you know it's come to think of [TS]

  it there is one John music they listen [TS]

  to the jonathan coulton does fit into [TS]

  and a large amount of music that was two [TS]

  when i'm working doesn't have any lyrics [TS]

  and it's video game music whether 8-bit [TS]

  or orchestral or versions of it or [TS]

  remixes a videogame music and what kind [TS]

  of person listens to video game music [TS]

  someone who's played a lot of video [TS]

  games so what kind of person has played [TS]

  a lot of video games someone who is you [TS]

  know is a disaffected night you know so [TS]

  all can expect the Colton but i dont [TS]

  even list that like what kind of music [TS]

  you like him and people ask what kind of [TS]

  bands i don't list like you know that [TS]

  the art of the artists that make a [TS]

  shooters artist to make music for video [TS]

  game soundtracks but that that is if you [TS]

  look at like most recently played and [TS]

  like my itunes collection you'll be like [TS]

  wow fifty percent of music you listen to [TS]

  his video game soundtracks and jonathan [TS]

  coulton [TS]

  what's what's amazing to me is how house [TS]

  quickly and successfully he's ended up [TS]

  becoming one of the dominant artists i [TS]

  listened to in itunes because i was [TS]

  looking at the playlist numbers and [TS]

  things and you know its most of the [TS]

  artists that i still listen to today [TS]

  I've listened to for you know since my [TS]

  childhood and he came around in the for [TS]

  me and I guess in the early mid 2000s [TS]

  and he's he's as prominent Miley you [TS]

  know in every playlist that i generate [TS]

  as something like they might be giants [TS]

  and I think that's very impressive [TS]

  because this there aren't I don't know [TS]

  if it's diminishing returns or what but [TS]

  it doesn't feel like today there are as [TS]

  many artists coming up who are in that [TS]

  sort of nerdy geeky zone who are [TS]

  interested you are interested in singing [TS]

  smartmusic and I'm glad that he's there [TS]

  to it it's hard to believe he's been [TS]

  releasing songs for almost 10 years [TS]

  right [TS]

  he's very productive like the number it [TS]

  seems like the number of since he didn't [TS]

  stick to the album every three or four [TS]

  years traditional band format like he [TS]

  just kept spewing out songs and that [TS]

  like that a part of the reason they come [TS]

  up so often in my little you know rated [TS]

  three-plus random playlist i listen to [TS]

  is because there's just so many of them [TS]

  and when I look at my itunes usage [TS]

  history it you know it's video game [TS]

  music jonathan coulton and like the next [TS]

  highest traditional band i was surprised [TS]

  but as myself because I had to list them [TS]

  in terms of my favorites i wouldn't have [TS]

  listed this right next to that I was REM [TS]

  which is like the proto nerd band right [TS]

  where they were they were nerdy kind of [TS]

  before we really knew what nerds were [TS]

  about and their music was kind of nerdy [TS]

  before energy music was popular that [TS]

  that's like the number three after video [TS]

  games and John they called and also [TS]

  because i have been alive every album [TS]

  that made they have a big catalog to [TS]

  their you know so tends to just come up [TS]

  a lot art school nerds [TS]

  yeah there's all different all different [TS]

  varieties of nerds are finally jonathan [TS]

  coulton found the exact exact species [TS]

  that I've longed to minus the musical [TS]

  talent portion i will i will say that [TS]

  none of the songs that people picked out [TS]

  tonight you know shock to me whatever [TS]

  like how did you pick that clunker [TS]

  because i don't think we hurt anyone but [TS]

  the thing that surprises me the the [TS]

  thing that'll be left ruminating on is [TS]

  John Syracuse's saying you know that [TS]

  he's he's not into something like they [TS]

  might be giants which I think has just [TS]

  tremendous audience and stylistic [TS]

  overlap but likes cold so now i don't [TS]

  know i was thinking how can i how can we [TS]

  wrap up [TS]

  what happened we say you know so if you [TS]

  know if you like this then you like this [TS]

  that what I can't really say that [TS]

  basically said now I feel like it's [TS]

  really you know if you like the [TS]

  incomparable there's a decent chance [TS]

  that you like Jonathan Coulton music but [TS]

  i can't go to a specific artist if if [TS]

  John doesn't consider himself with [TS]

  aliens I've tried to introduce people to [TS]

  jonathan coulton and it almost never [TS]

  takes like I think you have to if you [TS]

  haven't found to contain yourself by now [TS]

  it's may not be may not be for you right [TS]

  now because i'll show it to people and [TS]

  I'll just I'll just be amazed that like [TS]

  art your your kind of smart nerdy to [TS]

  like how can you not appreciate that [TS]

  some people just aren't interested in [TS]

  music because it's too boring for them [TS]

  and they can't get past that or they're [TS]

  you know it's too tiring to listen to [TS]

  the lyrics or it takes [TS]

  they just you know it bounces off but i [TS]

  find that kind of said that like I don't [TS]

  want him to be a cultivated I think he [TS]

  deserves even more success than he has [TS]

  no see I think he's I think he's passed [TS]

  cultus well do you think so but we're [TS]

  less because we're all on the cult-like [TS]

  try you know try picking a person [TS]

  experiencing a have you heard round the [TS]

  cold and the answer is obviously know [TS]

  and be hey travels into the song what do [TS]

  you think they gonna be like no it's not [TS]

  you know it unless they're like portal [TS]

  players right well even even that like [TS]

  the people who are into video games i go [TS]

  that song was kind of cute but they [TS]

  don't ya [TS]

  don't you feel it I i think it's still a [TS]

  culty kind of thing because it as big as [TS]

  he is like I saw him into paradise a [TS]

  couple weeks ago and that that's a room [TS]

  like not even as big as my house he's [TS]

  not selling out stadiums right or even [TS]

  arenas are and are any big indoor venue [TS]

  just a little tiny clubs and you can get [TS]

  tickets you know up to a couple days [TS]

  before no big deal it's definitely still [TS]

  cold i think i will say that the thing [TS]

  that one thing that surprised me was [TS]

  just this week [TS]

  jonathan coulton tweeted a link to an [TS]

  interview he had done and in this intro [TS]

  in this piece that he links to where it [TS]

  made reference to his earning five [TS]

  hundred thousand dollars a year now from [TS]

  his music and i'm not saying he's like [TS]

  is a popular I mean that is a measure of [TS]

  success [TS]

  yeah now it's it it's fine like I'm he [TS]

  said that he said that an NPR interview [TS]

  when he was being interviewed on NPR [TS]

  like last year or so it was planet money [TS]

  and the MSM him he regretted that he had [TS]

  said anything about how much your inbred [TS]

  but like they got it out of him and he [TS]

  disappointed in an interview and so was [TS]

  I because they kept saying internet [TS]

  musician jonathan coulton this one hit [TS]

  wonder if Luke that well he got lucky [TS]

  and related big on the internet and this [TS]

  is not a sustained like the jonathan [TS]

  coulton business model and that whole [TS]

  thing that's like all the podcast we [TS]

  could do you know about making money [TS]

  online sexual property of stuff but [TS]

  financially I don't feel like bad for [TS]

  him that he's not successfully thing is [TS]

  just that like he's self-limiting [TS]

  through what he does that he's never [TS]

  going to have the broad appeal and [TS]

  abroad and I don't think like he [TS]

  deserves the broad appeal because it [TS]

  needs to be fabulously wealthy more than [TS]

  he is but just because like you know I [TS]

  guess the same reason you think it's [TS]

  unfair that people you think are so [TS]

  clever and and artistically like that [TS]

  artistic insight and cleverness and you [TS]

  know at such such a great package and [TS]

  just not appreciated by the vast [TS]

  majority of the population but the [TS]

  reason he's so deeply appreciated by a [TS]

  minority of the population is because he [TS]

  is specifically who he is the same thing [TS]

  that limits his broad appeal is what [TS]

  inspires the deep appeal [TS]

  maybe we wouldn't be doing a podcast on [TS]

  him if if he worked deluded enough to be [TS]

  hugely popular well that that's the [TS]

  thing is like is it because like it's [TS]

  impossible to appeal but that's that's [TS]

  the weird thing about his music and a [TS]

  couple other things as compared to a TV [TS]

  or movies because you can make [TS]

  television or movies that speaks [TS]

  directly to us nerds and we love it and [TS]

  we just think it's so awesome [TS]

  interesting and it's not dumb down at [TS]

  all and yet also has broad appeal also [TS]

  is critically acclaimed also like [TS]

  crosses over right [TS]

  I but with me but it's taking a long [TS]

  time to get there and enhance but like [TS]

  music is not very comic book movies [TS]

  weren't big releases 20 years ago that [TS]

  wouldn't be the example I would use but [TS]

  i would say like yeah well I [TS]

  specifically picked the Avengers because [TS]

  of you [TS]

  area i think i think the general culture [TS]

  is moving more in his direction but he's [TS]

  way out and yes and they could they [TS]

  could catch up to him but I've got that [TS]

  would be a great day for the general [TS]

  culture I think when you talk about [TS]

  somebody who's crossed over it would be [TS]

  like parchment who is of course closely [TS]

  related to call out i mean his college [TS]

  roommate y le yeah like you he was on [TS]

  those apple and that's how people know [TS]

  him and he is on the daily show but the [TS]

  daily show and the books have been very [TS]

  popular i mean i think that sound is [TS]

  nerds is popular for book means is much [TS]

  lower bar that commitment you know they [TS]

  sell a couple hundred thousand copies of [TS]

  a book but also popular for a musician [TS]

  is the same as popular for authors and I [TS]

  mean you have Stephen King and you have [TS]

  REM but you know Justin Justin Bieber is [TS]

  a popular lady gaga is popular but this [TS]

  in so it's stephen king but that's not [TS]

  every author whose I guess making an [TS]

  impact on the culture but I see Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton so I love justin bieber's books [TS]

  but so i guess i guess my response to [TS]

  John would be that I think you're I [TS]

  think you're right that you can't say [TS]

  cold does not qualify as a a mainstream [TS]

  successful artist you know he you're [TS]

  right the most people don't know who he [TS]

  is you know my wife might pick out my [TS]

  wife who does not fit into you know our [TS]

  culture would not you know she might be [TS]

  able to pick out you know a dozen or [TS]

  maybe fewer Colton songs that really [TS]

  speak to her but she's shy but she's [TS]

  certainly not a fan but i think that the [TS]

  second point and the I think maybe even [TS]

  part of Greg's point is that it doesn't [TS]

  matter you know and that's wonderful you [TS]

  know the fact that he can be successful [TS]

  and make a an excellent living and [TS]

  entertain those who are willing and [TS]

  eager to be entertained by him [TS]

  regardless the fact that he's not huge I [TS]

  think its gravity should write a song [TS]

  about John at the person named like [TS]

  Jonathan Coulton like you know Thomas [TS]

  molten being born 400 years in the past [TS]

  and nobody knows about him because he [TS]

  has no way to make every I had no way to [TS]

  make a living there's no internet is no [TS]

  way that he can harness his obvious [TS]

  talents and and spread his his art to [TS]

  the people who would appreciate it and [TS]

  so we just didn't he works like a [TS]

  blacksmith and dies [TS]

  jonathan coulton has a long tail and I'm [TS]

  i will make this incomparable promise if [TS]

  jonathan coulton hears this and record [TS]

  that song John siracusa will record a [TS]

  cover of it i would actually do that I [TS]

  will probably do anything that Jonathan [TS]

  Coulton ever asked me that little bit of [TS]

  a man crush I i understand i share that [TS]

  may crush everything [TS]

  well I want to say thank you to [TS]

  everybody for putting up with me but be [TS]

  for a very interesting talk about [TS]

  Jonathan Coulton so thank you John Scott [TS]

  and Greg thank you thank you x [TS]

  Thank You legs sure and that's it [TS]

  I don't know how jason has these things [TS]

  hey guys i happen to have the man [TS]

  himself jonathan coulton right here with [TS]

  me and he has something that you'd like [TS]

  to say to you I heard what you were [TS]

  saying you know nothing of my work I [TS]

  mean how you got to record a podcast [TS]

  about anything is totally amazing how if [TS]

  only real life worked like this [TS]

  this was a triumph i'm making a note [TS]

  here you success it's hard to overstate [TS]

  my satisfaction [TS]

  [Music] [TS]

  thank you for doing this i really [TS]

  appreciate it you sure I'm flattered [TS]

  that you guys did it did a whole show [TS]

  about maybe it's very you know it's [TS]

  flattering creepy by I was gonna say [TS]

  it's you got for geeky people spending [TS]

  an hour talking about you [TS]

  I'm not sure whether that's something [TS]

  that maybe happens to every day on the [TS]

  internet I don't know I guess I it may I [TS]

  you know I don't hear about it most of [TS]

  the time I think but nobody's very very [TS]

  very kind of you [TS]

  very kind of you they said very nice [TS]

  things about you oh good i prefer if i [TS]

  responded would have asked was this is [TS]

  there is a flame flame episode because [TS]

  that's right i don't contribute to that [TS]

  it really it was what's wrong with [TS]

  jonathan coulton with where'd he go [TS]

  wrong this backlash it's starting the [TS]

  backlash [TS]

  well somebody's got to do it you know [TS]

  obviously I'm not insecure podcast [TS]

  nobody knows about [TS]

  i I just had this vision when they said [TS]

  well we're gonna record the jonathan [TS]

  coulton episode I said you know what [TS]

  would be really funny as if he appeared [TS]

  and said well as bad as if Woody Allen [TS]

  drag him over you people know nothing [TS]

  about what I do and I don't even know [TS]

  why you're here but no I think I think I [TS]

  guess is probably funniest I mean that [TS]

  because you can get kind of could go two [TS]

  ways you know you can either just like [TS]

  directly quote Marshall McLuhan from [TS]

  that movie in the hopes that people will [TS]

  get the reference or you could have a [TS]

  completely off the conversation but I [TS]

  think it's better to to actually do the [TS]

  the reference and Martin actually just [TS]

  ask me every blast in and say say those [TS]

  lines alright alright i can I i don't [TS]

  know i mean it's it's your podcast you [TS]

  tell know let's let's go let's give that [TS]

  a try [TS]

  why not alright let's give that a try [TS]

  and see if it works I mean you're [TS]

  Marshall McLuhan acting briefly I know [TS]

  mark it's not what he was most known for [TS]

  not not real actually sometimes I wonder [TS]

  if maybe he's more I was a comm major [TS]

  right I did whole classes about Marshall [TS]

  McLuhan but most people probably think [TS]

  movie maybe long terminated my the thing [TS]

  that is most remembered for us that that [TS]

  little camera out [TS]

  sad and me too when they look back on [TS]

  the history of the world and they see [TS]

  the st. John picoult use the game ended [TS]

  that Marshall McLuhan reference on that [TS]

  podcast right but that would be the [TS]

  other way to go i was going to think you [TS]

  know I don't know he was he wasn't he [TS]

  was singing a song and the video game [TS]

  didn't sing a song in a video game but [TS]

  it's not era it's also funny the guys on [TS]

  the podcast almost to a man said that [TS]

  they first heard about you from from [TS]

  baby got back [TS]

  no kidding and I thought wow I that and [TS]

  that's not true for me at all [TS]

  I i think it's a mighty my wife sent me [TS]

  an mp3 is of skull crusher mountain when [TS]

  it was posted and she thought that I [TS]

  would think it was funny but they all [TS]

  were there at the start [TS]

  well you got sculpture mountain is that [TS]

  that's very early [TS]

  that's but that's before that's before I [TS]

  didn't quit my job so I think you win [TS]

  the prize Wow whenever they were much [TS]

  hardcore i actually I bought your ipod [TS]

  artificial heart after i saw you open [TS]

  for they might be giants when you're in [TS]

  san francisco earlier this year [TS]

  hopefully last year and now I of course [TS]

  have dug back into the back catalogue [TS]

  oh good oh that's interesting thing i've [TS]

  got a stream jr. you're going backwards [TS]

  I came around the backside yeah I'm like [TS]

  the Benjamin Button of jonathan coulton [TS]

  not a thing I don't know [TS]

  yeah i think so is alright but i can't [TS]

  wait to like it too baby got back but [TS]

  didn't that'll be that [TS]

  so I think the people who get the [TS]

  reference you're really going to enjoy [TS]

  that I all five of them people who [TS]

  remember I I one of the things you've [TS]

  got a second which was just too i want [TS]

  to list it so the idea is they did this [TS]

  essentially is a jonathan coulton draft [TS]

  where everybody got to pick a 33 rounds [TS]

  of favorite songs and I want to run by [TS]

  you just to see if any of them struck [TS]

  you as being particularly odd i mean i [TS]

  think you're at your favorites that the [TS]

  fans like and I think that's pretty [TS]

  pretty natural but just to run through [TS]

  them alone at home coach that my Mary [TS]

  person pick that huh [TS]

  chiron beta prime code monkey [TS]

  i crush everything I'm your I'm your [TS]

  moon regarding your brains [TS]

  which I think we've clearly establishes [TS]

  read your brains now [TS]

  yes Skullcrusher mountain the future [TS]

  soon the precedence [TS]

  wow you ruined everything [TS]

  nemec's and it's just we were explaining [TS]

  field and if you out of the president I [TS]

  the president's uh I feels like an [TS]

  unusual one for me to pick as a as a [TS]

  favorite only because it's me you know i [TS]

  mean it's what it's one of the sillier [TS]

  ones musically it's a little a little [TS]

  goofball one of our one of our panelists [TS]

  pointed out that his kids he made a [TS]

  playlist of more kid-friendly jonathan [TS]

  coulton songs for his sons after after [TS]

  they loved code monkey and one of his [TS]

  sons drew a picture of a warm fuzzy [TS]

  heart and then stamp intensified on it [TS]

  so it was a warm fuzzy secret heart but [TS]

  when they get to the president's they [TS]

  asked what Bill Clinton did with the [TS]

  cigar and then there was an awkward [TS]

  silence you even when their kid friendly [TS]

  they're not really not only so much that [TS]

  someone is certified alone at home [TS]

  I mean I like that one a lot too but [TS]

  that feels like one that I'm surprised [TS]

  somebody picked as one of their [TS]

  favorites [TS]

  not that it's not good it's a attacks [TS]

  into some something painfully true for a [TS]

  lot of people i think that it's a that's [TS]

  basically what they said is that is that [TS]

  you have those I mean exaggerated to a [TS]

  to surgery with those moments of [TS]

  frustration and in going i was read that [TS]

  as being a little bit of going to your [TS]

  happy place [TS]

  it's I'm not really i'm not really i [TS]

  remember i actually brought back too [TS]

  many memories of going shopping with my [TS]

  mom to the mall and and she would drag [TS]

  me around shopping and I would say I you [TS]

  there's a bench here i'm going to just [TS]

  sit here and stare just yes because I'd [TS]

  rather do that [TS]

  yeah yeah it's funny you mention that [TS]

  because i actually was mostly thinking [TS]

  about my mom once when i started writing [TS]

  that [TS]

  because i have the same thing I was [TS]

  always being dragged around and my wife [TS]

  has never once dragged me around the [TS]

  mall and made me hold her purse she [TS]

  knows better than that [TS]

  and the only reason I got away with [TS]

  actually writing and releasing that song [TS]

  is because she she knows that she has [TS]

  never made me do that couldn't couldn't [TS]

  possibly be about her but with your mom [TS]

  you're powerless but I pray you cannot [TS]

  sorry Superman yeah well no I'm not yeah [TS]

  well exactly but you can't exactly say [TS]

  especially if you're a kid and you can't [TS]

  even drive and you're you know you'd go [TS]

  to the mall and it's like okay you're [TS]

  gonna my multi-tool live downtown with [TS]

  the mall so we were like an hour's drive [TS]

  from also I nobody i knew was there i [TS]

  would literally just there's a fountain [TS]

  with a bench [TS]

  I'm gonna go sit over there yeah and [TS]

  hopefully i went to the bookstore before [TS]

  we got to the department store so I can [TS]

  have a book with me too and you you [TS]

  often find a number of other shopping [TS]

  orphans you know you see other people [TS]

  and even that you see husband sitting in [TS]

  benches and in women's clothing stores [TS]

  it's always the saddest thing in the [TS]

  world could you know you know exactly [TS]

  what they're going through my wife is a [TS]

  knitter and the Knitting stories have [TS]

  got this down they have they have soft [TS]

  chairs and magazines it's like a waiting [TS]

  room 444 husbands and children because [TS]

  they know that that's exactly what [TS]

  happens and and so we were just on [TS]

  vacation and my wife likes to go to yarn [TS]

  stores when she's on vacation and [TS]

  they're always the good yarn shops have [TS]

  appt little place for the husband's to [TS]

  go said your wife and my wife should [TS]

  maybe get together and do some knitting [TS]

  knitting my wife is also also a nigger [TS]

  and a yarn shopper I I don't mind I [TS]

  thought I find the yarn shops very [TS]

  pleasant there's just not really [TS]

  anything for me to do because I its yarn [TS]

  I'm not that excited about the yarn but [TS]

  they can do anything with you [TS]

  they should have when they when they [TS]

  make it yet they should have a yarn [TS]

  store that also has a bar in a ferment [TS]

  and that's it that's going to some a lot [TS]

  of them have tea which is not bad but [TS]

  the yarn the urine bar is a great idea i [TS]

  was thinking either yarn or they should [TS]

  comment like have a combination like [TS]

  yarn and I'm not like comic book store [TS]

  or something just like completely just [TS]

  together with one of those little doors [TS]

  between them connecting doors [TS]

  yeah you could do a lot worse yeah yeah [TS]

  I do [TS]

  for that alright so alone at home and [TS]

  and and the president surprises this is [TS]

  surprising the other ones the other ones [TS]

  definitely feel like you know ones that [TS]

  i would clear included on a list of the [TS]

  most most beloved by me and my fans [TS]

  yeah but there's this dude is to feel [TS]

  like slightly like outliers to me but [TS]

  there were gasps when the president was [TS]

  brought up in the podcast i will say [TS]

  that i know i'm shocked but it's great [TS]

  having everybody I not not to be funding [TS]

  suck-up interview guy but everybody did [TS]

  say that one of the things I really like [TS]

  about your music is that there's a it [TS]

  could very easily be really really nasty [TS]

  and cynical and it's not that there's a [TS]

  real a real genuine heart at the at the [TS]

  center of things and a a song like you [TS]

  ruined everything could very easily be [TS]

  pointed a little bit off-kilter and [TS]

  instead [TS]

  despite you know the subject matter it's [TS]

  very clearly a loving story of life [TS]

  rumination which we all which all [TS]

  parents have gone through write some [TS]

  yeah yeah and I bet it's nice that you [TS]

  know my my favorite thing is when people [TS]

  appreciate that aspect of what I do [TS]

  because it's you know I tried to write [TS]

  you know it's very hard to write a love [TS]

  song in general and for me the only way [TS]

  i can write a love song is to write a [TS]

  love song that is as complicated as [TS]

  actual love is which is to say that it's [TS]

  never it's never just it's never as [TS]

  sunny and bright as as most songs would [TS]

  have you believe it's always it's always [TS]

  kind of twisted and sad but i love the [TS]

  rough the rough edges or give it the [TS]

  definition right exactly something like [TS]

  that yeah well I one last question and [TS]

  then i'll let you go and thank you again [TS]

  so much for doing this and that that is [TS]

  a personal question and you probably [TS]

  don't have an answer but I have debated [TS]

  with myself literally every time I [TS]

  listen to today with your wife i change [TS]

  my opinion about what it's about and [TS]

  perhaps it's just intentionally I feel [TS]

  like you'll be asking you to spoil it [TS]

  now even if there is a defensive end I [TS]

  like to believe that it's a very sad [TS]

  song about somebody who who died but [TS]

  then then I listen to it again I think [TS]

  we only it doesn't you know he might not [TS]

  be dead he could be gone [TS]

  or just a on inattentive or he you know [TS]

  he he went out and never came back [TS]

  but for whatever reason I think I wanted [TS]

  to be just a super sad sweepy song about [TS]

  the tragic aftermath of the of the [TS]

  father of these kids in this husband of [TS]

  this wife dying [TS]

  yeah do you have a specific meaning or [TS]

  is it really good [TS]

  however you interpret it uh you know I I [TS]

  think I geez it's complicated [TS]

  you know I when I when I wrote that one [TS]

  I was thinking about what i think is my [TS]

  favorite song in the world which is a [TS]

  song called famous blue raincoat by [TS]

  letter telling which describes a love [TS]

  triangle it's actually a letter [TS]

  it's a letter read aloud and those are [TS]

  the lyrics of the song and it's a [TS]

  sensitive person writing to somebody who [TS]

  has wronged him [TS]

  there's some sort of love triangle its [TS]

  never fully explained what happened [TS]

  things are alluded to but he the person [TS]

  is writing to he he clearly loved and [TS]

  also hated and it's it's just a [TS]

  beautiful piece of storytelling and so [TS]

  when I the colonel for the idea of this [TS]

  song was that i actually was out [TS]

  somewhere and it was raining and i [TS]

  stopped under an awning and there was a [TS]

  friend's wife with her kids and I'm [TS]

  she's also my friend and we chatted for [TS]

  a little while and then the rain let up [TS]

  and we went home and I was thinking as I [TS]

  was leaving I was thinking about how the [TS]

  next time I saw my friend i would say in [TS]

  that joking leering way you know ahead [TS]

  of had a fantastic time with your wife [TS]

  this afternoon and then as I was as I [TS]

  was imagining myself saying that to him [TS]

  it occurred to me that in my circle of [TS]

  friends which includes a few people who [TS]

  have had their relationships and [TS]

  marriages splinter apart in recent years [TS]

  that's not really a funny joke anymore [TS]

  and so then you know that was that was [TS]

  the beginning of be writing that song [TS]

  was using that using that line as a way [TS]

  of pivoting into this area of incredible [TS]

  sadness and the complications of adult [TS]

  relationships but I also as I was [TS]

  writing it was thinking a lot about the [TS]

  Leonard Cohen song and wanting to keep [TS]

  it I i noticed that there was the that [TS]

  sort of that unclear subject was there [TS]

  from the beginning and I wanted to keep [TS]

  it as ambiguous as possible and as [TS]

  secret and mysterious as possible in the [TS]

  same with the Leonard Cohen song is you [TS]

  your overhearing somebody taught they're [TS]

  not talking to you at all you just [TS]

  happen to be eavesdropping on something [TS]

  and so i wanted i wanted to have that [TS]

  that feel well I'd well don't answer is [TS]

  I don't know I don't know what it's [TS]

  truly about because I wrote I wrote [TS]

  around it but I do know that it's [TS]

  incredibly sad [TS]

  yes oh yeah definitely I think that's [TS]

  why I wanted to be about somebody who's [TS]

  died because if it's not then it's [TS]

  really sad for tuesday really sad if [TS]

  they if they're all still out there and [TS]

  then these lines yeah going on like this [TS]

  but yeah well well well done it is [TS]

  definitely i love that I mean I i want [TS]

  to watch a movie if I if I just sort of [TS]

  nod and say that was fun I leave and I [TS]

  never think about it again I'd almost [TS]

  rather have a movie that I end up [TS]

  thinking about for a week and deciding I [TS]

  didn't like like Inception i ended up [TS]

  thinking about for a weekend in the end [TS]

  I was like you know I don't think I [TS]

  liked it but i'm so happy that i saw it [TS]

  because I thought about it and it's sort [TS]

  of you have a song like that where every [TS]

  time I listen I think well now I know it [TS]

  sounds different and it's the same track [TS]

  over and over but it yet it it yeah [TS]

  there's a different meeting every time I [TS]

  listen [TS]

  so that was definitely my experience [TS]

  with that with that Leonard Cohen song [TS]

  is for years i have i have listened to [TS]

  that song and thought about it when I [TS]

  wasn't listening to it and try to [TS]

  unravel the story and I you know I i [TS]

  have built up in my head all this [TS]

  complicated backstory about what went on [TS]

  based on that song and i think that's [TS]

  that's that's an amazing thing for song [TS]

  to do so [TS]

  yeah that's it thank you that's nice of [TS]

  you that's great that's great i love to [TS]

  listen to it and ponder so yeah well [TS]

  thank you so much for doing this i [TS]

  really appreciate you [TS]

  taking some time to be on our random [TS]

  podcast and not have to listen to an [TS]

  hour of people talking about you could [TS]

  be awkward [TS]

  well as I said very appreciative of the [TS]

  of your attention is very very kind of [TS]

  you thank you again you very well it's [TS]

  just all right don't get by [TS]