My favorite ‘Flight of the Conchords’ songs

I first discovered “the 4th most popular folk comedy duo in New Zealand” through listening to their first studio album on repeat with a friend while we were having a long drive to a cabin trip in 2010.

I later discovered their HBO Television series, and later still, their earlier BBC radio series.


With their HBO live London concert special recently having been released, I decided to make this post, hopefully introducing yet more people to this amazingly funny band.

Here goes!



Robots (The Humans are Dead)

I have always been a big fan of science fiction, so I was pretty predisposed to liking this song.

It is also just very funny.


Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros

Rap and hip-hop are clearly not their main musical influences, but they manage to use the styles to great comedic effect in this song.


Tears of a Rapper

While they may not be rappers, don’t say it to their face.

It hurts their feelings when you say they’re not rappers!


I’m Not Crying

They’re not cying…

It’s just been raining….on their face..


The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)

This is an overly specific love song, and a great example of the band’s comedic stylings.


Feel Inside (and stuff like that)

This is one is quite different.

It was made for the New Zealand children’s health research charity Cure Kids, and features many well-known New Zealand singers.

Most interestingly, the lyrics of the song was made mainly by cherry-picking funny answers from the interview with various children that you can see in the middle of that video.


Frodo, Don’t Wear The Ring

Bret McKenzie is actually in the first ‘Lord of the Rings’ film, as the Elven escort Lindir Figwit, later to return in the third film in the series, and in the first Hobbit movie.

And Jemaine Clement voiced Sauron in The Lego Batman Movie!


Inner City Pressure

This series was one of the first things me and my girlfriend bonded over, as we were both big fans when we met.

That fact did a lot to smooth things over after The Comedy Song Debacle.


Issues (Think About It)

Someone needs to tackle the big issues, might as well be FotC.


You Don’t Have To Be A Prostitute

My girlfriend told me early in our relationship that I look a lot like Bret.

Nobody else has been able to see it, but I’ll take the compliment.


Carol Brown

This song is incredibly good, on both a musical and comedic level.

I did not number these, as that would have taken forever to decide upon, but this would have been near the top if I had.


Mutha Uckers

This song would have been very lewd, if not for the fact that the guys are continually censoring themselves as they are singing the song.

Very clever idea for a gag.


A Kiss is Not a Contract

…but it’s very nice.


We’re Both In Love With A Sexy Lady

I just like the beats and jokes in this very much.

I often get it as an earworm, and I don’t mind at all.


Rambling Through The Avenues Of Time

Just a short and sweet one to close us out.


I hope you have enjoyed this, and maybe found a new favorite.

If you liked it, you should check out their show, as it is amazing!


Ten Fun Christmas Songs

Are you tired of the same old Christmas songs on the radio?

I’ve got you covered!

 

 

Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton

This song is a cry for help Christmas letter from a family that is being held against their will protected by evil robots giant metal Santa Claus’.

 

Christmas Is Interesting – Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton also gives us this sombre look at everyone’s favorite holiday.

 

Troy & Abed’s Christmas Rap – Community

In this song from the show Community, the Jehovah’s Witness Troy Barnes (played by Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino) hatches a scheme that will let him celebrate Christmas, as it is against his religion to do so.

 

Elves Song – Futurama

In this cheery song from Futurama, all the non-unionized Neptunian elves have to work overtime in order to save Xmas, after Robot Santa gets stuck in the ice.

 

One Christmas At A Time – Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick

Just some good advice, to take one Christmas at a time.

 

That’s What Christmas Is For – Community

Abed’s friends have to save him from the evil wizard shrink by singing about all the joys of Christmas!

‘Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas’ is a very good stop-motion Christmas special in general, it deserves a viewing.

 

This Trinity’s Going To War – Futurama

Robot Santa, Kwanzaabot and The Chanukah Zombie goes to war against some nudist alien scammers who have scammed the entire planet out of the hands of the president of Earth (Richard Nixon’s head in a jar).

 

White Wine In The Sun – Tim Minchin

A sweet song about Christmas and family, made by atheist comedian Tim Minchin.

 

What’s This? – The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington (the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town) finds Christmas Town, a Holiday town very different from his own.

 

Woody Allen Jesus – Tim Minchin

Tim Minchin shows us how much the story of Jesus has in common with a the stories we tell today.

 

 

Know of any fun Christmas songs I missed?

Leave me a recommendation in the comments 🙂

 

Jonathan Coulton’s Career

jonathan coulton with guitar

Jonathan Coulton was born on the 1st of December 1970 in New Haven, Connecticut.

He had hopes of becoming a musician from a young age, so while studying for his Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University, he was part of several bands with fellow students, most notably the collegiate a capella group The Yale Whiffenpoofs.

 

After he graduated from Yale in 1993, he moved to Manhattan where he started working in the scouting department of a record label, before moving on to work at a talent and literary agency, and then as a coffeehouse barista.

 

In 1997 Coulton began working as a software programmer at a company he stayed at for eight years.

While stable work, it was not an environment that he found creatively fulfilling, something that would later inspire one of his most popular songs, Code Monkey.

 

Coulton was the electric guitarist for Supergroup between 1996 and 2001, but the band seldom performed, and broke up shortly after 9/11 2001.

 

In 2003 Coulton released his first album, ‘Smoking Monkey’.

The album was recorded over a very long time, and Coulton even moved appartements between starting and finishing it, possibly inspiring his IKEA song.

 

In a period between 2001 and 2005, while still working as a software coder, Coulton contributed to writer John Hodgman’s ‘Little Gray Book’ stage lectures, by providing live music.

The two had met as freshmen at Yale, and even moved to Manhattan at the same time, so during several of the lectures Coulton would perform one or more songs that would tie in to the topic being discussed by Hodgman, with both his own original songs and cover songs.

jonathan coulton john hodgman

Coulton also featured in the audiobook for John Hodgman’s ‘The Areas of My Expertise’, which was released in August of 2006.

Many of the songs he made for the lectures made their way onto his second album, ‘Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow’, released in 2004, one of my favorites being ‘I Crush Everything’ based on Hodgeman’s ‘The Animals: Are They Our Enemies?’ lecture.

 

In 2005 Coulton was made the Contributing Troubadour of ‘Popular Science’, a magazine that also employed John Hodgeman.

As a result, Coulton recorded a five-track downloadable EP entitled ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms’ which songs tackled several topics being discussed in one of the magazine releases, most notably ‘I Feel Fantastic’, which tackles an over reliance on pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs to modulate emotions.

 

At the start of september 2005, Coulton finally quit his job as a software coder to pursue a full-time music career.

At the advice of one of his former collages, he started a one-year long project of recording and releasing one new song each week.

He called the project Thing-A-Week, and released the songs as free downloads on his website.

thing-a-week cd collection all one two three four jonathan coulton steel box set

Thing-A-Week was a massive success.

By the time Coulton had wrapped up the project in september of 2006, 52 songs later, an enormous number of fan-made music videos had been produced, made in several various styles, using everything from live-action footage to ‘World Of Warcraft’ gameplay to present the stories in Coulton’s songs.

Coulton also dropped four albums between late August 2006 and December 2006, containing all Thing-A-Week songs between them, and they sold extremely well for a self-employed artist without studio backing.

The internet had fallen in love with Jonathan Coulton and his geeky oeuvre.

 

In 2006, Coulton started touring with the comedic musical duo Paul & Storm.

jonathan coulton paul and storm

The three share a lot of the same styles and sensibilities, and often helps each other out by singing backup vocals during each others performances.

Paul & Storm usually opens for Coulton, and the three of them have been touring regularly from that point onward.

 

2007 brought Coulton a lot opportunities as a result of the success of Thing-A-Week.

JoCo appeared on popular YouTuber Ze Frank’s ‘The Show’, and performed short covers of Ze Frank’s own songs, and the G4 animated show ‘Code Monkeys’ received permission to use Coulton’s ‘Code Monkey’ as their theme song.

But while those two events both helped Coulton reach an even larger audience, his biggest win that year was the inclusion of his music in the massively popular Valve video game ‘Portal’.

portal 2

The song ‘Still Alive’ was written and composed by Coulton, but performed by voice actress and opera singer Ellen McLain, in character as ‘Portal’s evil artificial intelligence GLaDOS.

The song plays over the game’s credits, and gives a deeper insight into the antagonists personality than what is revealed during the game itself.

 

 

Between 2007 and 2009 Coulton recorded ten songs that he at that point intended to be part of his follow-up album to Thing-A-Week, then entitled ‘The Aftermath’.

But after being convinced to start recording in a professional studio by John Flansburgh of ‘They Might Be Giants’ fame, Coulton decided to scrap the project in favor of starting over.

‘The Aftermath’ was only released for download on Coulton’s website, never getting the full album treatment.

 

In 2010, Coulton contributed the song ‘The Princess Who Saved Herself’ to the collaborative album ‘Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti’, a benefit CD released as a respons to the devastating earthquake that hit the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12th of the same year.

 

In January 2011, Coulton hosted the first ‘JoCo Cruise Crazy’, a yearly cruise with entertainment provided by Coulton himself, but also featuring many other entertainers from the geekosphere.

Adam Savage, Patrick Rothfuss, Greg Benson, Molly Lewis, Rhea Butcher, Wil Wheaton, and many more have taken part in the ‘JoCo Cruise’ at some point.

The name of the cruise is a reference to the Thing-A-Week song ‘Tom Cruise Crazy’.

 

Later in 2011, the second Portal game was released.

It featured a follow-up song to the song in the first game, titled ‘Want You Gone’, again written and composed by Coulton and performed by Ellen McLain.

 

In the fall of 2011, Coulton finally released his followup album to ‘Thing-A-Week’.

The eighteen-track album ‘Artificial Heart’ was received exceptionally well, and became the first Jonathan Coulton album to chart.

 

In 2012 Coulton became the in-house musician for NPR’s ongoing radio quiz-show ‘Ask Me Another’.

ama_npr_1010__118-copy

The show is hosted by Ophira Eisenberg, who is assisted by Coulton and various “Puzzle Gurus” during particular segments of the show.

During the course of the show, Coulton plays short versions of both his own songs and covers of other well-known songs.

 

Coulton also also wrote the song ‘Redshirt’ for the novel ‘Redshirts’ written by John Scalzi, released in 2012.

 

In late 2012, Coulton released a collaborative Christmas-album with John Roderick.

Roderick had previously performed lead vocals on the ‘Artificial Heart’ song ‘Nemesis’, so this would be the second time the two worked together on an album.

one christmas at a time jonathan coulton john roderick

 

In January 2013, the hit musical show ‘Glee’ stole Coulton’s original arrangement for his heavily altered cover of the Sir Mix-a-Lot song ‘Baby Got Back’, and attempted to pass it off as their own cover.

This sparked a massive backlash against ‘Glee’ online, and the event even inspired an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ that would be released a year later.

 

Later in 2013, a graphic novel based on the song ‘Code Monkey’ was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter.

‘Code Monkey Save World’ was written by Greg Pak, drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa, colored by Jessica Kholinne, and had lettering done by Simon Bowland.

It integrated the story of several Jonathan Coulton songs into the narrative, and Coulton even released an album with acoustic versions of the songs that inspired the comic.

Code-Monkey-Save-World-Unplugged-2014-comic-cd-graphic-novel-music

 

The comic was so successfull that in March 2015 they sucessfully kickstarted an illustrated children’s book based on Coulton’s 2010 song ‘The Princess Who Saved Herself’.

The Princess Who Saved Herself

 

In 2015 the video game ‘Lego Dimensions’ was released, and GLaDOS from the portal series appeared in it, alongside Batman, Gandalf, The Doctor, and several other pop-culture icons.

Since Jonathan Coulton composed songs performed by Ellen McLain has been so linked with GLaDOS’ character, the two once again worked together, making ‘You Wouldn’t Know’ the third entry in Coulton’s trilogy of GLaDOS songs.

 

In 2016, a musical based on the ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ animated television show was released, and Coulton was one of several different artists who contributed a song to it, Coulton’s song ‘Bikini Bottom Day‘ being the opening number.

 

In 2016 Coulton featured on the television show ‘BrainDead’, created by Robert and Michelle King, the creators of ‘The Good Wife’.

BrainDead 2016 Logo

Coulton appeared in the beginning of each episode, singing a humorous song as a way to recap the events of previous episodes.

jonathan coulton on braindead series singing playing episode recap songs song

 

At the end of March 2017, the musician Aimee Mann released her new album ‘Mental Illness’, which featured Coulton on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

Amiee-Mann-Jonathan-Coulton-mental-illness

The two also co-wrote the songs ‘Good For Me’, ‘Patient Zero’ and ‘Rollercoaster’, which all featured on that album, and Mann also lent her voice to several songs on Coulton’s next album, which were released just under one month later.

 

In late April 2017 Coulton dropped his ninth album, ‘Solid State’.

The album is a concept piece with an ongoing story revolving around a dystopic future world, and was released alongside a comic written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Albert Monteys.

 

Earlier this year, in 2018, Coulton contributed a song called ‘Nobody’s Above The Law’ to the television show ‘The Good Fight’, another show made by the creators of ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘BrainDead’.

This is the latest Jonathan Coulton song to be released at this point.

 

In the fall of 2018, the team behind ‘Code Monkey Save World’ and ‘The Princess Who Saved Herself’ succesfully crowdfunded ‘The Princess Who Saved Her Friends’, a sequel to ‘The Princess Who Saved Herself’.

The Princess Who Saved Her Friends comic graphic novel joco jonathan coulton

 

Considering his journey so far, I can’t wait to see what Jonathan Coulton will do next!

 

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I started writing this article after trying to do research for a completely different post.

There are a lot of good sources of information about Jonathan Coulton, but the things I found interesting were scattered all over the web, so I decided to gather all that info into a comprehensive timeline of his work.

 

That being said, I could not have written this without all these wonderful sources:

JoCo’s own website, Wikipedia, JoCopedia, and the ‘Best. Concert. Ever.’ DVD.

If you still want to know more about Jonathan Coulton, that will be where you’ll find it.