Joco Looks Back
An independent musician with the heart of a geek, Jonathan Coulton is a Yale graduate who left his day-job as a computer programmer to stay home and write songs. Between 2005 and 2006 he wrote, recorded, and published a new song every week as a free podcast project called "Thing a Week." This year-long experiment produced 52 consistently well-written and solidly produced songs, and he soon became an internet sensation. Jonathan's songs cover unusual topics not often heard in music and tend to make even the most jaded listeners excited about music again. Coulton's is the voice of every elementary school kid who could never quite keep his shirt tucked in or shoes tied; every lovelorn mason and mad scientist; every vengeful nerd; every one of us who has ever sat despairingly on the floor, surrounded by parts of an Ikea endtable, weeping over an allen wrench. A number of Jonathan's songs have become full-fledged internet hits: his folk-rock cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's 'Baby Got Back" the unrequited love of a mad scientist in "Skullcrusher Mountain," and 'Code Monkey,' the anthem of software designers everywhere. The office zombie song 'Re: Your Brains' made the Dr. Demento Funny 25 countdown for 2006. But beneath the geeky comedy there is real heart. " I've always been a math (sorry, I mean "maths") and science guy, so I think about robots and fractals all the time. But on a deeper level, there's a thread running through my songs about how it feels to be a nerd - this kind of alienation, a sense of not belonging, not being accepted. And it's not just limited to actual nerds - I think we're all familiar with that feeling, no matter how popular we were in school," says Coulton. Jonathan Coulton won the 2007 Game Audio Network Guild "Song of the Year" award for his composition "Still Alive," which was featured in the critically acclaimed game Portal, the Game Developers Choice Awards "Game of the Year" for 2007. All of the songs from the Thing a Week project are now available on CD, either individually or in a packaged box set and his song "Code Monkey" is heard each week on the G4 Television program of the same name. Coulton releases all his music under a Creative Commons license that allows for legal file sharing and copying, as well as non-commercial derivative works. His worldwide community of fans has rallied around him to generate airplay on hundreds of podcasts, create a library of music videos, and arrange gigs around the United States. When not traveling the globe or using his powers for good, Jonathan Coulton resides in New York City with his wife and children.