Posts tagged “Jonathan Coulton”

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Jonathan Coulton: The (Almost) Complete Concert!

Last Friday (back when it was still February) evening I went to a concert with @jayseman, @gendlec, and my brother. We went and saw Jonathan Coulton at the Moore Theater in Seattle, with special guests Paul and Storm and Molly Lewis (aka sweetafton23).

It was a good show. And now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch (almost) the entire thing here. Not all of Paul & Storm’s act was put online, so I had to take some of their songs from the Portland show they did around the same time. But they did the same stuff, so IT’S OKAY.

Anyhoo, here is good musics for you to enjoy. A playlist with a whopping 30 videos in it:

A funny side note: @gendlec didn’t know that Molly was going to be in the show, and she’s a huge fan of Molly. So when Molly came out on stage @gendlec went NUTZ with excitement.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Life, Music, Videos.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Mix CD Mania

One thing you might not know about me is that I don’t listen to a lot of music, by which I mean I tend to focus on a small selection of music and then listen to it over and over and over again.

One of the things I do is I make Mix CDs that I listen to while I’m driving around—to and from work, to and from Fools Play, etc. Thing is, I only make one Mix CD about every three months and that’ll be pretty much all that I’ll listen to until I make another one.

Traditionally I go iTunes and organize my music by most recently added, then start pulling the best songs over to a new playlist as I work my way back in time through my music collection. This way my Mix CDs tend to have a handful of songs that I’ve acquired recently. I also try not to put in too many songs that were in my previous Mix CD. But I don’t add much music to my collection very often, so doing it that way only fills up a portion of the CD. So then I delve into my list of all-time most listenable songs. Y’know, the songs that I don’t really ever get tired of listening to (the playlist that I call “Ultimate Flawless Victory” in iTunes) and toss in a few of those. Then I look at all of the songs in my collection that I’ve given four or five stars and toss in a few of those.

These Mix CDs are both reflective and projective. I try to incorporate how my musical tastes have changed over the past three months while at the same time trying to predict what I’ll want to listen to for the next three months.

Here are the last two CDs I created:

August 2009:

  1. Always Been There Anyway – Julia Massey
  2. Around the Bend – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
  3. Brain Problem Situation – They Might Be Giants
  4. Buddy Holly – Weezer
  5. Cellars by Starlight – Kay Hanley
  6. Golden Blunders – The Posies
  7. Good Fish – Julia Massey
  8. Have a F*****g Baby – Three Ninjas
  9. Headphones on Your Heart – Leeni
  10. House of Mayors – John linnell
  11. The Last Thing On Your Mind – Lights
  12. Little Fighter X – Fighter X
  13. Lollipop – Mika
  14. Lovebite – Order of the Crimson Wizard
  15. Me + Yr Daughter – Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
  16. Over and Over – Leeni
  17. Red Underwears – Three Ninjas
  18. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
  19. Shut Up and Let Me Go – The Ting Tings
  20. Soft Rocked By Me – Jonathan Coulton
  21. Somewhere on This Couch – The Crazy Boy Floyds
  22. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
  23. You Don’t Know Me – Ben Folds (featuring Regina Spektor)

November 2009 (there is one repeat song from the August CD—see if you can spot it)

  1. Dance, Dance, Dance – Lykke Li
  2. Dirt Bike – They Might Be Giants
  3. Doll Partz – Order of the Crimson Wizard
  4. Heading Out at Dawn – Terrapin Productions
  5. Jenny Towner – Julia Massey
  6. Los Angeles – They Might Be Giants
  7. Mario’s Café – Saint Etienne
  8. Powers – Three Ninjas
  9. Pride & Strawberry Wine – The Wastelanders
  10. A Quiet Room – Tangentbot
  11. Secret Skin – Busdriver
  12. Spin Around – Josie & The Pussycats
  13. Stairs – Locust Street Taxi
  14. Starry Eyed Surprise – Oakenfold
  15. Stop – Spice Girls
  16. Sun Shower – Busdriver
  17. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
  18. Theme from “Greatest American Hero” – Joey Scarbury
  19. True Affection – The Blow
  20. Ugly Girl – Fleming & John
  21. Vancouver – They Might Be Giants
  22. Veronica – Elvis Costello
  23. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
  24. What’s Golden – Jurassic 5
  25. Your Love Is a Drug – Puffy AmiYumi

I have no idea what these songs say about me, so feel free to psychoanalyze me to your hearts’ content based solely on the content of these lists. Enjoy!

Categories: Music.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Three Birthdays and a Concert

This post spans two Fridays and one Saturday. Let’s begin.

Friday, 23 January 2009

This was kind of my Christmas present from Carrie. She had the day off, so in the afternoon after I got off work and we had lunch and all that, we drove up to downtown Seattle and spent an hour or so wandering around the fancy shops near Pacific Place and Westlake Center. Carrie didn’t end up getting anything. I know! Not a durned thing. But I ended up getting a Super Mario Bros. 3 T-shirt at Hot Topic, and some musical birthday cards at Daiso. We heart Daiso.

After that we had dinner reservations at The Dahlia Lounge. It’s a nice place, with dark mood lighting. Every meal includes an amuse-bouche, whatever the cook happens to whip up. For us it was tiny li’l open-faced pastrami sandwiches. They were very tasty, and had lots of complex flavors that opened in sequence. For our meals I got potato/leek ravioli in a smoked onion & sage butter sauce, topped with frisée, which was in turn topped with crème fraîche. Carrie got the crab cakes with cracked green olives and a romesco sauce. Both dishes were excellent, and we switched plates when we were each half-finished. For dessert we got freshly-made doughnut holes that were brought out to the table, then placed in a brown paper bag full of cinnamon and sugar and shaken up right in front of us. Our server then cut the top half off the bag so we wouldn’t have to reach down through all that sugar to get to the holes. They came with a jam and a vanilla mascarpone dipping sauces. I also had a really good cocktail made with blueberry vodka and something else, with a float of sparkling wine. Carrie had a margarita on the rocks. It was good and fancy stuff.

After dinner we walked over to The Moore to see a Jonathan Coulton concert.

The opening act was a comedy/musical duo called Paul and Storm. They were very likable geeks, and I thought they did a good job of being funny. My favorite bits were the commercial jingles and the conditional impressions. By that I mean they did impressions of musicians who influenced them growing up, but then they added arbitrary conditions, like “Bob Dylan… in a well” or “James Taylor… on fire.” You could tell that they were honestly awed by the size and intensity of the crowd. It sure seemed like it was the largest audience they’d ever played in front of, and they were very excited. They completely underestimated the Seattle audience, though. Watch as they try to get through a very simple song:

Then it was time for Jonathan Coulton to perform. He did a bunch of songs solo and a bunch of songs with Paul & Storm as backup, as well as Molly, who is famous on teh intarwebs as SweetAfton23. I took all the videos I could find on YouTube of this show and made a handy playlist for you to enjoy. So enjoy:

Molly got to do a solo number, and she did a cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” on the ukulele, which I, as a fellow ukulele-player, appreciated a whole bunches.

At the show we ran into Jack, aka “John Hippogriff” from Under the Mailbox Theater. Hadn’t seen him in years, and he looks exactly the same. He came and saw Fools Play the very next day, so it was cool to hang out with him.

Friday, 30 January 2009

This was the day of the triple-birthday party for (using their internet names) HeartFeltRobots, TeezyWeezy, and Jeff the Fish. They were all born in the span of the same week, so they decided to make it easy on all of us and have their birthday parties at the same time and place.

Now, I couldn’t go to their party without bringing them presents, could I? COULD I? I… think… NOT. So I made HeartFeltRobots and TeezyWeezy necklaces. TeezyWeezy likes ghosts, so I made her a Ghostie pendant:

Ghostie is a happy ghost!

I dangled a teardrop black bead from the bottom of the pendant and strung it on black cording.

For HeartFeltRobots I made a double-sided pendant so she could wear it with any outfit.  On one side: TAKO!

tako

And on the other side: IKA!

ika

Tako being, of course, the Japanese word for “octopus,” and ika being the Japanese word for “squid.”  Anyhoo, I strung this double-sided pendant on black cord as well, but couldn’t find a bead I liked amongst Carrie’s copious collection.  So I went down to The Bead Factory to get one and, man, that place was hoppin’!  Being a nice guy, I let everyone checkout before I made my $2.10 purchase.  I found a small lampwork bead with dots all over it that looked kinda like a sliced-up tentacle with suckers on it.  Poifect!

For Jeff the Fish I made a plush narwhal.  I don’t have any pictures of it because I’m an IDIOT and forgot to take any.  I’m bugging Jeff the Fish to take a photo and upload it to his site or something.  When he does that I’ll add it to this post as kind of a retcon.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

This was TeezyWeezy’s ACTUAL, REAL-LIFE birthday, and at Fools Play we always do a special format whenever a Fool’s birthday lands on a performance date: “Fools Play Birthday Party!”

This format includes a part where the other Fools give the birthday person some funny presents that somehow lead to a funny bit or are introduced by a funny bit or something like that.  I’d already given TeezyWeezy that awesome pendant on Friday, so I decided to do something simple.  It, of course, didn’t end up being simple.

There were two parts to my present.  First, since I know she gets lonely way out there in Wenatchee, and I know she likes ghosts, I made her a ghost finger puppet to keep her company.  But wouldn’t it be better if you couldn’t not only see the ghost, but also TALK WITH the ghost?  So I recorded myself saying a whole bunch of random things in a ghostly voice, with enough space in between so that one could have a “conversation” with the ghostly voice.  I then chopped up each phrase into its own MP3 file, which I burned onto an audio CD so that she could put it on shuffle and it’d be like having a new conversation EVERY TIME!  There ended up being over seven minutes total of ghostly phrases.  Here are a couple of examples:

  1. taishas-ghost-08
  2. taishas-ghost-18
  3. taishas-ghost-28

leiapico came to Fools Play, which was awexome.  I hadn’t seen her in months because now she’s a big-wig science teacher and is too important to hang out with lowly improvisers like me.  *sniff*

Anyway, that’s my story of three birthdays and a concert.  I enjoyed it much more than Four Weddings and a Funeral, mainly because I didn’t have to sit through an Andie MacDowell performance.  Yech.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Life, Links, Music, Restaurants, Round-up, Shopping, Videos.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

JoCo and JoHo at ToHoSeo (Stop That)


(photo by photophonic)

Recently my wife and I went out on a date (gasp) up to Seattle to see a very fine show: John Hodgman’s (JoHo) new book tour, co-starring Jonathan Coulton (JoCo) at Town Hall Seattle (ToHoSeo (stop it)).

We had no idea what to expect from this show, but it turned out to be a fantastic night of comedy and music. And comedic music. But not a musical comedy. Kind of. Basically the show consisted of John Hodgman talking about something, then Jonathan Coulton would sing a song that was somehow connected to what John Hodgman had talked about. For example: early in the evening Hodgman talked briefly about the recent election, then Coulton sang this updated version of his Presidents song:

But the show was so much more than that! The show was fantastic because it actually had a plot.

Here it is: Hodgman & Coulton came out, and Coultan sang the theme song that he’d written for Hodgman, which consisted mostly of how Hodgman was a “computer salesman” and sold computers. Hodgman took issues with this and said that just because he was the PC in the Mac vs PC commercials didn’t mean that he actually sold computers.

For the first half of the show, Hodgman kept on referring to Coulton as his “feral mountain man.” Coulton took issue with this, saying that he wasn’t actually feral, and he really wasn’t even technically a mountain man. He just had a kind of bushy beard and long-ish hair. Eventually as the night grew on Coulton became more and more disgruntled, until Hodgman revealed that he thought this day may come, and therefore he had a back-up feral mountain man waiting in the wings.John Roderick is FERAL

That man turned out to be John Roderick (right) of The Long Winters and Harvey Danger. He came out and sang a couple of his songs, including “Prom Night at Hater High.”

Then Johnathan Coulton said that he also figured that this day might come, and he also had his own back-up tweedy nerd-type.

This turned out to be Sean Nelson, also of The Long Winters and Harvey Danger. He was dressed in a tweedy suit like Hodgman. He played a Monkees cover on a big grand piano:

Then to prove that they worked well together, Nelson and Coulton performed a great cover of Billy Joel’s “Don’t Ask Me Why”

After that, John Roderick got into the spirit of things, and he and Sean Nelson ended up performing a really, really wonderful cover of “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon et Garfunkle. I can’t find any video of that, which is a shame. At any rate, the two of them playing together helped them to “reconcile,” and the left together, leaving Coulton and Hodgman alone on the stage. With both of their backups gone they were forced to also reconcile.

Hodgman then told a great story of going to the Battlestar Galactica ride at Universal Studios when he was a kid, and how he actually now has an cameo in an upcoming epsidoe of Battlestar Galactica. Coulton then played the old BSG theme song and included lyrics that he wrote for it (which included a section about how the robots were now “erotic” and the show was much better for it).

Towards the end Hodgman had a Q&A session. A handful of people went up to the microphone provided. Hodgman asked the first woman her name, then asked if she had a question. She said she did. Hodgman then said that he knew she did, because he had prepared her question for her. He then handed her a piece of paper with a question on it and had her read it. He did this with a couple of people before letting them ask real questions.

Eventually the night wound down and Coulton played a couple of his crowd-pleasers like “Code Monkey” and “Re: Your Brains.” Then as a final farewell to the crowd, Hodgman surprised everybody by pulling out a ukulele. Then this happened:

It was a fantastic ending to a fantastic show.

I wanted to get a couple of things signed (I had Venue Songs for Hodgman), but neither Carrie nor I felt at all like waiting in a long, long line (must have been 150 people or more), so we went on home instead. Good date.

Categories: Life, Music, Pictures, Videos.