I have written about Jonathan Coulton in the past. Last Friday, I got a chance to actually see him perform live, in front of my own eyes!
First, however, the opening band had to play for a while. The band in question was “Paul and Storm,” which I like to call, “Paul and the Storm.” But apparently Storm is a human being. And it’s a guy, not the female X-Man (oxymoron?) who controls lightning. Their first song was about how they’re the opening band, and no one paid to hear them and we hope that they leave soon so Jonathan Coulton could get on stage. At least they have a good sense of humor about it! Their songs were pretty interesting for the most part. They had a way of choreographing things (Paul was always doing something with his hands) that kept it interesting and their harmonies were pretty sweet. They also gave out random prizes like an uncomfortably small Batman mask and monkey keychain that lit up and made monkey noises.
For some reason or other, today I was inspired to check out The Areas of My Expertise again, and I remembered that besides John Hodgman, there’s another John on that CD: Jonathan Coulton. He’s the musical guy behind the theme song for the audiobook, which I wish was available in a higher quality recording.
Previously, I had heard him do a cover of Baby Got Back in acoustic guitar, but I didn’t realize it was him. Only when I went to his website, which has a bunch of MP3s, did I make the connection. He also has a bunch of other really neat songs, like Skymall, which is about those catalogs you find in the airplane seats that feature gigantic crossword puzzles, and Ikea, which is about the bitchin’ furniture store that my entire family loves. I read somewhere that Sweden trusts Ikea more than their own government. Which means that either Ikea is awesome, or the Swedish government is horrible.
The coolest song I found so far (I haven’t listened to all of the MP3s yet) is a mashup of “25 or 6 to 4″, and “When I’m 64.” The vocals of the latter spliced with the background of the former makes for a really cool, melancholy sound. I like it a lot. Check it out:
[audio:http://www.hung-truong.com/files/When Im 25 or 64.mp3]
And also check out his other songs too!
So John Hodgman is quickly becoming a major internet sensation. He’s the guy who plays the PC in those “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads. He also makes me like the PC enough to keep using it.
He recently wrote a book entitled “The Areas of My Expertise” which makes a lot of nonsense. Actually, the full title is “An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled With Instructive Annotation And Arranged In Useful Order By Me, John Hodgman A Professional Writer, In The Areas of My Expertise.” It’s pretty funny, though. Actually, I’ve never read the book. Instead, I’m listening to John Hodgman read it to me, for free! The book is available free (for now) on iTunes.
Right now, he’s reading the table of contents. Apparently the book lasts hundreds of CDs, so the table of contents is really long. He’s joined by Johnathan Coulton, who sings the theme song for the audio book. Apparently, pairs of Johns are usually very entertaining.
Since this is an “annotated edition,” I’d actually think about buying the book (and reading it)! The book’s only like, $11 on amazon.com, so it wouldn’t be too difficult of a decision.