Jonathan Coulton’s Thing-A-Week

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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!

 

My First Trip to Paris

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In 1995, when I was five years old, I traveled to Paris with my mother, father and baby sister.

We were going there to participate in a family member’s wedding, but I barely remember anything about that event.

 

But I do remember some other minor stuff, like experiencing cola in a can for the first time, and probably having way to much, getting rather hyper in the process.

And while I don’t actually remember it, I found a picture of me experiencing a moving walkway for the first time, and absolutely loving it!

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I recall that Paris is where I got my panda teddy-bear, which I promptly named Pandabear.

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There were a lot of panda souvenirs in Paris at the time, probably modeled after Paris’ then resident panda Yen Yen.

Pandabear and Lars The Doll were my two favorite toys when I was really young, and I still have them to this day, although I’m not sure in which moving-box.

 

I also remember going to Disneyland Paris.

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What I remember most is how the rocket on the outside of Space Mountain towered over the park.

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I can’t remember if I was too young or too scared to go on it, but I did not, which I regret now.

I do remember going in the ‘Beauty and The Beast’ teacups, and getting motion-sickness.

 

I remember that my father tried to get me to go with him to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but I only dared going to the middle part.

For some reason I started dropping coins down to the ground, but I was soon stopped, and told that if they hit anyone they would get severely hurt.

I have later learned that this is thankfully not very accurate.

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But I do find it interesting that I was afraid to go to the top of the tower even back then.

Makes we wonder if I was just born with a fear of heights, or if something happened to trigger it even earlier than this.

 

Sunshine Blogger Award 2: Electric Boogaloo

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I would like to thank BeardedGamer82 for my second Sunshine Blogger Award!

 

These blogger awards work as a sort of chain-letter interview, with the recipients nominating a new group and asking new questions at the end of their own post.

While I did that for my first Sunshine Blogger Award, I have started to just leave participation open to anyone who would like to answer these same questions, as picking nominees and questions takes more out of me than writing the post itself.

That said, let’s get to answering! 😀

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1. What is your goal for your blog? Do you feel you have met it yet?

I started the blog to build interest in a card game I made in the hope that I could eventually crowdfund it on Kickstarter, but I quickly put that project on ice.

My current plan is for this to be the main outlet and archive for my upcoming comic, and all other future projects I’ll have.

Since I have yet to launch any big projects like that here, I do not think I can say I have met my goals yet, but I have found value in blogging in itself, and I have started many smaller projects that are worth something to myself because of it.

 

2. If you were given a free all expenses paid trip, where would you go?

I genuinely don’t know.

I love travel, but my favorite place is sitting on the couch with my girlfriend.

I guess we would just try to find the most crazy expensive holiday possible, since that would be our only chance to ever experience it.

 

3. Last book you have read?

I read ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ aloud for my girlfriend.

We read more adult fare separately, but it was kind of cosy reading a book from our childhood together.

 

4. Your favorite console of choice. PlayStation, Xbox , or Nintendo?

I started with a Nintendo 64, then got a Playstation 2, then a Xbox 360, then a Playstation 4, and now we also have a Switch and SNES.

I feel like I picked the best options for each generation.

At the moment we still have the PS3, PS4, Switch and the SNES, and I sometimes use a 3DS and my laptop and mobile for gaming.

 

5. Do you think Nintendo will ever just make games and skip producing consoles?

I feel like their pride will prevent this.

They see themselves as toy makers, not game producers.

 

6. With the success of the Switch do you think there is a market for a Xbox or PlayStation handheld?

Sure, if they are as good.

 

7. What’s the hardest thing about blogging to you?

I have put a scheadual of three posts each week on myself, each monday, wednesday and friday, and sometimes I am more tempted to skip a day than other times.

But I know that if i did not follow this schedule, I would never write, certanly not nearly as much as I have written because of it.

I have some great posts that would never have existed without that schedual, but probably some subpar ones aswell.

 

8. What is one movie you can watch over and over again?

Hot Fuzz – The Best Movie

 

9. Are you a cat or dog person?

I like cats more but, according to my girlfriend, I act more like a dog.

In that I am eager, easily exited and faithful, not in the derogatory way of calling someone a dog.

 

10. You just dived back into Pokémon Red/Blue. Who is your starting Pokémon?

Charmander, so that I can get Charizard! Dragon yo!

But Squirtle is a good bet aswell, I think that was my go-to when I was little. Blastoise is pretty cool, can’t beat that turtle/tank combo!

Poor Bulbasaur…  Still cute though 🙂