Jonathan Coulton’s Thing-A-Week

Thing_a_Week_One_Two_Three_Four album albums cover covers jonathan coulton

Between September 2005 and September 2006, singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton produced and released one song each week, in an attempt to keep himself occupied after having quit his job as a software programmer to focus on his music career.

This lead to 52 tracks released for free on his website, which he distributed onto four albums that he released between August and December of 2006.

Each album is linked with the season it was recorded, the first one featuring fall songs, the second winter songs, the third spring songs, and the fourth summer songs.

Here are three of my favorite songs from each album:

 

One: Fall

My Monkey

This song features a narrator who tries to explain his feelings to their significant other, but projects his emotions onto a monkey.

The version being performed by Coulton, Paul & Storm and Molly Lewis in the video above changes the words “my monkey” into “Wil Wheaton”, a fellow geek icon in the audience.

 

Shop Vac

A song about suburban angst, expressed through vacuum cleaners.

 

Furry Old Lobster

A musical tribute to the fictional original lobster (a type of sea otter) from the book ‘Areas of My Expertise’ written by longtime Coulton collaborator John Hodgman.

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Two: Winter

Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance

This song was based on John Hodgman’s ‘How to Lead a Double Life (or Death)’ lecture, and the NPR morning anchor Soterios Johnson.

 

Curl

A song about the skipper (team captain) of a Minnesotan curling club, serving as an anthem for curlers from Minnesota.

 

A Talk With George

A song about the journalist and author George Plimpton, with a message of living life to its fullest.

The song won the Plimpton Project’s 2006 song contest.

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Three: Spring

Tom Cruise Crazy

A song lamenting the societal strains that are put on the insanely famous.

This performance features backing vocals by Paul and Storm, with Kristen Shirts on ukulele.

 

Not About You

A song not about the narrator’s ex-girlfriend.

 

Drinking With You

A romantic proposal to go out drinking with a colleague.

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Four: Summer

Sky Mall

A musical tribute to airline shopping catalogs.

 

Big Bad World One

A song about being overwhelmed by a constant feeling of failure, as performed in American sign language by Stephen Torrence.

 

I’m Your Moon

A love song to the planet Pluto, “performed by” Pluto’s moon Charon following Pluto’s demotion to a dwarf planet.

Charon and Pluto are much closer in size than the average moon and planet, causing the two to revolve around each other, something which is quite romantic.

 

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I am saving a few of my other favorite songs from this project for a Halloween songs post and a Christmas songs post, so stay posted!

 

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