Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Spotlight: Jonathan Coulton

If you recall my PAX East 2010 Recap, you know that, at least in one point in my life, geek musician Jonathan Coulton was a name to be spoken with disgust. Despite an agreeable musical style and clever lyrics about mad scientists and Swedish furniture stores, I found too many of his fun-loving songs to have undertones a little too dark or depressing for my tastes...but more importantly, his music had been completely ruined for me by venomous hecklers who, in my mind, were indicative of who Jonathan Coulton was and what kind of fans he attracted.

In other words, I wanted to have nothing to do with him or his music. Except "Mr. Fancy Pants." That song was awesome.

I owe much of my current tastes in music to what Pandora has introduced to me, and once again, I have Pandora to blame (or thank; I'm not sure yet) for reintroducing me to Coulton's music in a way that neither made me angry nor caused me to look down on him as a person because of the way I had been introduced. A few of his songs came up on my playlist here and there, and Pandora's vast knowledge of the kinds of songs I do and don't like were supremely helpful in picking out all the tunes in his repertoire that are up my alley. Not the zombie song; not anything that's fun on the surface but makes you feel bad about the human condition if you think about it too hard--all the songs that made me laugh, smile, and want to sing along the way Paul and Storm did at their part of the PAX East concert.

In other words, I gradually found myself liking Jonathan Coulton. Whoa. I still wouldn't call myself a fan, but I like enough of his songs now to not be an anti-fan. So there's that.

For your entertainment, here's a sampling of his music if you're unfamiliar with it (or just want to listen to it again):

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