If you haven’t heard the brilliant, fanboy-friendly work of singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton, it’s time to educate yourself. He’s the literary troubadour for one of the great authors of our time. He wrote the most beautiful song to ever show its face in a video game. Plus, he’s super Internet popular.
On Oct. 10, Jonathan Coulton will be playing Park West in Chicago. It’s a big night for Chicago. In addition to the aforementioned Dead Milkmen show at Metro, They Might Be Giants will be at the Vic Theatre playing their epochal album Flood in its entirety.
But Coulton is undaunted. To match the awesome showmanship of the Johns, Coulton is adding a third, makeshift “Jon” to the party. That’s right, Coulton said he will also be playing Flood, along with tourmates Paul and Storm. If one of his recent tweets is to be believed, he’s probably serious: “@jonathancoulton Open tweet to John Linnell: TOO MANY CHORDS MR. CHORDY!”
Jonathan Coulton – “First Of May” (from Smoking Monkey)
So before you decide which rendition of Flood you want to hear, here’s a list from Jonathan Coulton.
1) Guster – “Lightning Rod” (from Ganging Up On The Sun) – “I’m a sucker for starting an album with something quiet and atmospheric like this. There’s something really simple and satisfying about the melody, there are yummy ahs and hmms dripping all over the place, plus spooky squeezebox – a little something for everybody.”
2) Jim Boggia – “Listening to NRBQ” (from Misadventures In Stereo) – “Boggia writes stuff that is catchy enough to make me angry – a lot of his songs seem to come pre-listened somehow, like they’ve been running around inside your head for years and he’s just letting them out. Yeah, I’m still pretty angry about this one.”
3) Tally Hall – “Greener” (from Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum) – “I love this whole record, but it’s the ones that are a little sad and sweet that tend to get caught in my brain. And love songs about stupid arguments are right up my alley, in fact if you’re not having stupid arguments you’re probably doing it wrong.”
4) Long Winters – “The Commander Thinks Aloud” (from Ultimatum) – “This one kills me every time. I asked John Roderick how he got the drums to sound that way and he told me, the fool! Bonus points for using ‘Yeah’ (or perhaps ‘Yay?’) as a lyric in a sad song, but anyway it’s already a victory because it’s about astronauts falling out of the sky.”
5) Mike Viola – “Clusterfuck” (from Just After Dark) – “My favorite kind of lyricist: very raw and personal-sounding imagery, who knows what he’s talking about EXACTLY but in the end it doesn’t matter because I’m right there with him. To me this one’s about getting older and somehow being OK with it, almost reveling in that achy, bruised feeling that means you’re a grownup. Ouch.”