"jonathan coulton"

Schoolhouse Rock style cartoon about impeachment sung by Jonathan Coulton

I'm old enough to have watched Schoolhouse Rock educational cartoons when they premiered on television. Read the rest

Revisiting Jonathan Coulton's album/graphic novel "Solid State"

Lou Cabron writes, "Jonathan Coulton re-visited his album/graphic novel 'Solid State' (previously) over the weekend with new comments about how it applies to today's world. 'When I started work on Solid State, the only thing I could really think of that I wanted to say was something like, 'The internet sucks now',' Coulton said in 2017 (in an epilogue to the graphic novel). So what does he think today?" Read the rest

Jonathan Coulton is kickstarting an album of 70s soft rock covers

The marvellous Jonathan Coulton (previously) is crowdfunding for his next album, Some Guys, "An album of 70s soft rock covers that sound exactly like the originals" (America, Stephen Bishop, Gilbert O'Sullivan, 10cc, Bread, Eagles and more) -- he's raised more than $100K already with 12 days to go (I just backed him). $10 gets you a digital download, $15 adds a CD, $25 gets you a signed CD, $30 gets you vinyl, $40 gets you signed vinyl, and it goes up from there. (via Judge John Hodgman) Read the rest

Bubble, a new dystopian podcast sitcom!

The Maximum Fun podcast network (home to such shows as Judge John Hodgman (previously), Oh No Ross and Carrie (previously), and Sawbones) has just launched its most ambitious project to date: a science fiction sitcom about life in a domed city in a monster-haunted wasteland called Bubble, and it's hilarious. Read the rest

Rape Jokes: watch Cameron Esposito's standup special about sexual assault

I had the pleasure of meeting comedian Cameron Esposito earlier this year on the JoCo Cruise (a mind-blowingly fun geek cruise produced by Jonathan Coulton). She was the MC for a variety show one night on the ship, and introduced me on stage so I could tell my story about forgetting my bitcoin password. Since then, I've been a fan of her comedy, which is a blend of cultural criticism and political analysis and is funny, scary, lighthearted, and profound. She's posted a recent show on her website called Rape Jokes. It's "a standup special about sexual assault from a survivor’s perspective. Proceeds benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization." Read the rest

Jonathan Coulton's JoCo Cruise was mind-blowingly great

Because you are a Boing Boing reader, you probably know who Jonathan Coulton is. He was a computer programmer who happened to be a wonderful singer/songwriter. In 2005 he quit his coding job and became a full-time musician, writing and recording catchy songs that won the hearts of nerds around the world.

Eight years ago, Coulton invited his fans to join him on a cruise ship. His idea was to have a week-long floating "summer camp" for geeks, with lots of tabletop gaming, cosplaying, music, comedy, comic books, science fiction readings, panels, presentations, and workshops. About 375 "Sea Monkeys" took him up on his offer. It turned out to be something people loved, and so the “JoCo Cruise” became an annual event. I was invited this year as a performer (doing talks, panels, and workshops), joining 1,600 other Sea Monkeys to take over an entire cruise ship (Holland America's ms Oosterdam) for a trip from San Diego to Baja California, Mexico. It was the eighth JoCo Cruise, and Carla and my daughter Jane came with me.

This was the second cruise in my life. I’d taken one with Carla about 25 years ago. It was on a Carnival Cruise ship, a cruise line that David Foster Wallace describes in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again as the “Wal-Mart of the cruise industry, which the other lines refer to sometimes as ‘Carnivore.’” I didn’t have a great time on that earlier cruise, so I wasn’t looking especially forward to the living-on-a-boat-and-eating-crappy-food part of the trip, but as soon as we boarded the ms Oosterdam in the Port of San Diego I realized this was going to be a lot better than the Carnival Cruise. Read the rest

Solid State: Jonathan Coulton's album/graphic novel against nicey-nice fascism

Jonathan Coulton is known for a myriad of distinct accomplishments. The tech professional-turned-musician once conducted a Thing a Week experiment, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year, produced a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" infamously adopted by the Fox series Glee, regularly contributes to the NPR quiz show "Ask Me Another" as its very own one-man band, and runs his own fan cruise aptly called the JoCo Cruise.

Nerd heroes read "There's a Zombie in My Treehouse"

Len Peralta writes, "Ken Plume, John Robinson and I have been releasing different celebrity readings of our book There's A Zombie In My Treehouse just in time for Halloween. We've been releasing one track a day for the past week and a half up until Halloween. Some of the readers include Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants/Adventure Time), Billy West (Futurama), Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and the whole cast of MST3K. Upcoming celebrity readers include The Venture Brothers Doc Hammer and Jackson Public, John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton. It's a fun read and listen for Halloween." Read the rest

Listen to the new Portal song by Jonathan Coulton

While delightful on their own terms, the icing on the cake of the Portal games has always been the songs by Jonathan Coulton that play over their end credits. Read the rest

What creeps us out and why?

Knox College psychologist Frank T McAndrew was curious about the nature of creepiness so he and student Sara Koehnke surveyed 1,300 people to identify "the building blocks of creepiness." Read the rest

A kids book about princesses who save themselves

If there's a kid in your life who loves princesses, consider getting them a very different sort of children's book: The Princess Who Saved Herself.

As per the book description, it is "the story of an awesome kid who lives with her pet snake and plays rock 'n' roll all day to the huge annoyance of the classical guitarist witch who lives down the road. Hijinks, conflicts, and a fun reconciliation ensue, all showcasing determination, bravery, and understanding."

This fairy tale about a kickass and compassionate princess was scripted by comic book writer Greg Pak, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa, and based on a song by Jonathan Coulton.

"Very early in her life my daughter developed a taste for pink taffeta and princess gowns," says Coulton. "I then became much more aware of those little messages in the things she was interested in: Barbie, Disney movies, video games. So when I wrote this song, I really wanted to create a princess character that was as self-reliant and internally referenced as most kids start out, before we ruin them with our dumb ideas. When this princess encounters problems and mean people, she just rolls right over them in this practical and compassionate way. It's an attitude I aspire to instill in my own kids."

If you want a copy, grab one via Kickstarter, where the book has already been funded. Excellent princess shirts for people of all ages and genders are also available here. Read the rest

The secret to success is working on the Right Thing

Nikole Dieker explains an aptly-named project: The Right Thing.

Talking CASH Music with Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom (New Disruptors Episode 73)

Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom are the co-executive directors of CASH Music (Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) a non-profit organization that brings an open-source approach to music distribution and production. CASH focuses on educating around those ideas through online resources, stakeholder events, and face-to-face workshops, as well as offering a software platform.

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New Disruptors 64: Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves with The Doubleclicks

Angela and Aubrey Webber are the musical group The Doubleclicks, bringing geeky music to nerdy folk. The sisters never intended to form a band, but when Aubrey joined her sister Angela in Portland a few years ago, her cello coupled with Angela's singing caused enough of a stir for them to join forces and write songs about Dungeons & Dungeons, the Curiosity rover, and not dissing the geek girl. We talk about all this and their absurdly successful Kickstarter campaign that just closed.

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New Disruptors 51: I Am Super Mann, And I Can Sing Anything With Jonathan Mann

Since January 2009, Jonathan Mann has posted a song every day. Not five days a week: seven days a week. There is no rest for the wickedly productive. While he makes his living by writing and performing bespoke songs for organizations, Jonathan never stops creating for himself — and his fans.

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This episode is sponsored by The Magazine, which is crowdfunding a hardcover book, beautifully designed and illustrated, of its most powerful, funny, and quirky stories from its first year of publication. (It's also available as a DRM-free ebook.) Pledge to get a copy and more! Read the rest

New Disruptors 47: Marian Call, Alaskan Indie Chanteuse

Marian Call is an Alaskan chanteuse who found an audience after winning a Firefly-related song contest in 2007. She has run her music career as an independent grassroots effort ever since. She connects with her fans constantly and directly, both through social media and crowdfunding, and sleeping on their floors during tours and house concerts. She spends a lot of time on the road, and we talked in person (appropriately enough, in my living room) right after GeekGirlCon 2013 in Seattle in October. She lives on Twitter @mariancall and is currently on tour in Europe. (Photo by Brian Adams.)

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In a Time of Hugs and Kisses: XOXO 2013

Glenn Fleishman heads to Portland for the second XOXO festival, where a maker's heart can leave the body, be shared among kindred spirits, and know that it will be cared for.

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