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Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-I-know-is-the-steak-tastes-better-when-I-take-my-steak-tastes-better-pill dept.

Music 48

Jonathan Coulton's song Code Monkey became an anthem for many programmers (not just ones with managers named Rob) and his success is proof that you really can become an internet rock star. Since we last talked, Coulton has became the house musician for the NPR show Ask Me Another and had one of his songs copied without permission, credit, or thanks by the show Glee, much to his chagrin. Jonathan has agreed to answer all your questions about music, internet stardom, and robots. Normal Slashdot interview rules apply.

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Ah, Ask Me Another... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484081)

The show my partner and I lovingly refer to as "Wait, Wait... Don't Bother"

We should "pirate" every episode of Glee (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#46484099)

That'll teach 'em!

Your Muse (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year ago | (#46484105)

Did you have a specific girl in mind at the office when you wrote that song?

Hodgman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484111)

What's John Hodgman REALLY like in the sack?

more karaoke tracks? (5, Interesting)

Nick Number (447026) | about a year ago | (#46484133)

Over the past five years I've taken on the mantle of karaoke nerd (I will also answer to diva), and I've really enjoyed performing the karaoke tracks [jonathancoulton.com] which I bought from your website and persuaded various KJs to import. "First of May" tends to get me some funny looks, and despite the disclaimer, I've yet to be punched in the nose after singing it./

Do you have plans to release any new karaoke tracks? Is there any chance that "Still Alive" will get one, or does Valve own those rights?

What about more sheet music?

Re:more karaoke tracks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46489995)

No shadows
Just red lights
Now I'm here to rescue you, oh oh...

Oh I'm still alive
I'm still alive
I cannot apologize, no oh oh

I loved that song they used in Mirror's Edge. You need to ask Lisa Miskovsky about that one though.

Re:more karaoke tracks? (1)

torsmo (1301691) | about 10 months ago | (#46490083)

Just move to Japan. It will cure your condition.

The Presidents (3, Interesting)

enzo_romeo (756095) | about a year ago | (#46484151)

Any plans on releasing an updated version on the internets? I've liked the additional lyrics when I hear it live. And thank you sir for your work. ~ from a fellow code monkey

Why would you steal Glee's song? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484155)

Seems kind of shady to steal Glee's song arrangement without their permission. Have you no soul? Is all you care about money?

Have you "made it" as an artist? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484223)

According to your own definition of success, have you reached that point where you feel like you've made it happen? If so, what was that point? If not, what would you like to have happen?

I've been a fan ever since I discovered Thing A Week as an undergrad. My dormmates and I discussed doing a musical theatre version of "Skullcrusher Mountain." "I'm Your Moon" was our first dance at our science-themed wedding. Keep up the awesomeness!

Dear Jonathan Coulton (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484239)

Who the fuck are you, I've never heard of you before this stupid "Slashdot Interview".

Re:Dear Jonathan Coulton (2)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#46484385)

Clueless troll is clueless. And also punctuates poorly.

Re:Dear Jonathan Coulton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484389)

He used to post on Slashdot a lot was pretty famous here. Lurk more.

Re:Dear Jonathan Coulton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46489971)

I think he's trying to be John Mayer but gayer, if that's possible.

Portal (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#46484247)

Did you finish Portal 1 and 2?

Do you ever wish you were "Tom Cruise Crazy"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484255)

Do you ever wish you were "Tom Cruise Crazy"? Did you ever get any flak from him for that song?

Valve? (2)

Jaktar (975138) | about a year ago | (#46484271)

Hi Jon. Have you been approached for Portal 3?

Also, thanks for releasing all those tracks for Ultrastar DX. My son was absolutely terrified of the Creepy Doll song and my kids love to sing RE:Your Brains (They're 6 and 5).

FTFHim (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#46484285)

Code Monkey is a douchebag
Code Monkey destroyed, the software ... industry.
Code Monkey should have got a job
Where he could be a loser without affecting me
But Code Monkey didn't
Code Money kept showing up to work
Too much of a pussy to design the product right
He sits back and writes a stupid song
And lets the project become consumed with blight

The Good Wife (4, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#46484289)

When the CBS show "The Good Wife" copied your Glee saga (in the season 5 episode titled "Goliath and David") right down to the Reddit sleuths uncovering the background noise, did you receive credit or compensation? It would be pretty hilarious if that too were blatantly reproduced without permission...

A rundown of the tech you use during a show? (4, Interesting)

Bhull (644157) | about a year ago | (#46484349)

Can you give some details about the technology you use on stage when playing live without a band?

Bitcoins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46484361)

Slashdot loves Bitcoins, do you? If so you should give them to the Animals in Distress fund. Public key 1Ce8WxgwjarzLtV6zkUGgdwmAe5yjHoPXX

How To Be JoCo? (2)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about a year ago | (#46484435)

So I'm here in my cube wondering how to reach escape velocity. I could maybe do a thing a quarter or maybe a thing a month though, and have a decent set within a year.

What are the best first steps and what was your greatest challenge in leaving the day job?

(Yes, I know, two questions. Sue me.)

Revenue? (2)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about a year ago | (#46484459)

What is your approximate breakdown of revenue annually (i.e. % from digital downloads, CDs, live shows, royalties)? How has it changed over the years?

Re:Revenue? (1)

pezpunk (205653) | about a year ago | (#46485287)

while you're at it, would you say women are usually very impressed, somewhat impressed, or not impressed at all at your tumescence?

How much do you hate Glee? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about a year ago | (#46484469)

Like...how much?

Popularity of your songs (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#46484617)

As a consumer listening to songs I find only a small percentage of work of any single artist strikes that perfect mix that makes me want to put a song on a "favorites" playlist. As you look back at your library of songs, is there a group that you think really are just meh and how many do you still really, really enjoy performing? As a followup - if the songs you perform the most get stale for you as a performer do you look to your catalog to keep things fresh or do you prefer to write new material?

Personal Question (2)

Kjuib (584451) | about a year ago | (#46484619)

Will you come sing at my birthday party, pro bono? I am old enough for this to be weird, but you are a hero of mine.

Tom Lehrer (2)

Elros (735454) | about a year ago | (#46484641)

I've heard you referred to as a modern-day Tom Lehrer. What is your take on that comparison?

Your favorite song (1)

slapout (93640) | about a year ago | (#46484883)

What's your favorite song?

When will you play a Seattle gig? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about a year ago | (#46484889)

The notice you gave via RSS for the Portland gig a few months back was way too short. Thanks for doing the Humble Music Bundle. You rock.

Tell us about your home studio... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46485109)

... and the tools at your disposal. Any FOSS stuff? Production gear you particularly like?

Was the meeting REALLY that boring? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about a year ago | (#46485123)

Rob can actually be funny sometimes, you know.

Do you shake your own head? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46485225)

How does it feel to know that this has been posted for nearly two hours, this is the 29th post and most of the others aren't real questions?

Will Flansburgh produce your next album? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 10 months ago | (#46485861)

Sorry, this is question #2, but since I know you'll be reading these and the number of questions seems light so far, I figured I'd ask. I love Artificial Heart, although the bonus tracks are a bit incongruous. "Today With Your Wife" chokes me up. Nice work.

What is your ideal Copyright system? (4, Interesting)

wertigon (1204486) | about 10 months ago | (#46485865)

Hi Jonathan!

These days it's quite popular to both bash the copyright system and sue those thieving filesharers to oblivion. I'd like to ask you what you, as an independant musician, think would be a good balance between the creator rights and the public interests? Would it be a RIAA wet dream where all the content is locked up behind paywalls and getting a copy from an unauthorized source, like say a library, would constitute a crime with a minimum of 6 months in jail? Do you believe more in the Pirate Parties vision of abolishing the monopoly on creating copies, but retaining the protection against economic abuse? Or are you more in favor of going full nuclear by abolishing the entire copyright system alltogether? Thank you for all the great songs you have produced over the years!

Re:What is your ideal Copyright system? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 10 months ago | (#46486153)

Also, your answer needs to be 300 words or less and understandable by Supreme Court justices who have never used email. You can do that for us, right, Jonathan? After all, you're a rock star.

Will you be at PAX? (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about 10 months ago | (#46485877)

My teenage son got PAX tickets before the acts were announced and he's kind of bummed that you're not on the show list.

Re:Will you be at PAX? (1)

Shados (741919) | about 10 months ago | (#46485961)

he won't be part of the shows at least, unfortunately :( (he's not there every year).

VGO will be at least, and they're AWESOME.

Encores (1)

MATTtheROGUE (606800) | about 10 months ago | (#46486503)

On one of your recent visits to Atlanta you had your merch-guy sing your encore. Is that common practice for you?

PAXEast (1)

Triv (181010) | about 10 months ago | (#46486707)

You weren't at the last PAX Prime, nor will you be at the upcoming PAX East. Any story behind that?

Any new music coming out? (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 10 months ago | (#46486809)

I think it's been a couple years since Artificial Heart came out. I know that you've been busy with Ask Me Another, touring, cruising, etc., but are you working on anything new?

Also, how do you feel about Artificial Heart compared to your earlier (do-it-yourself) albums?

Thoughts on thing a week? (1)

smaddox (928261) | about 10 months ago | (#46486929)

What are your retrospective thoughts on you're thing a week project? I'm particularly interested in if you thought it was a success (and what that might mean), and if you would suggest something similar to other artists.

Loved your music ever since i heard about you through Slashdot 6 or 7 years ago! Thanks for all the laughs and entertainment!

Ambiguous endings are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46487105)

So did the protag sleep with the town crotch?

Still Alive in SL (1)

MetaverseThetan (1548961) | about 10 months ago | (#46487157)

Hey JoCo!

Do you still log into Second Life and would you consider doing another concert there?

What's your opinion of the Oculus Rift and other advancements in three dimensional technologies, and you believe they will inspire renewed interest to virtual reality?

Many thanks

Now I Am An Arsonist (1)

para_droid (92566) | about 10 months ago | (#46489201)

Can you tell us what the song Now I Am An Arsonist is about? It's not as obvious as the title might suggest. It talks about astronauts and acrobats while arson is hardly mentioned. Did you have the backstory of some particular arsonist, real or imagined, in mind when you wrote it?

The moon, alice (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 10 months ago | (#46490073)

So, Joco, I had no idea who the hell you were when I stumbled across the PopSci podcast from the moon, which was really awesome and still what I think of when I think of your work. Not all these songs everybody else thinks of. No, for me it's a wacky but informative podcast.

So what happened? Why did they stop? How come you don't talk about them?

Some song ideas: (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 10 months ago | (#46490171)

Have you considered a female point-of-view version of your song "Better"? It'd be interesting to hear the logic behind her upgrades, and what she was after in the first place.

Also, is there any kind of correlation between "Better" and "Nobody Loves You Like Me"?

Do, please keep up the Wonderful Work! Great, insightful and thought-provoking body of work, BTW!

Has this Thread Died, or what? (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 10 months ago | (#46496711)

I thought I asked a couple of decent questions, but it seems they were toxic, and the thread has died a miserable death... Anybody still out there? Has anyone gotten any kind of answers from JoCo?

Does any body know where my BBQ Fritos went?

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