Artificial Heart discussion

edited August 2011 in JoCo Music
hey guys-

figured i'd make this thread so the joco in the media thread can go back to its usual self. i don't have the album yet ( :( ) like a lot of you don't, but even pre-listening discussion can be had here!

related: i forgot to post this when i made it a couple weeks ago. thought some of you might like it. it's not perfect but it works great as background material!

(gigantic version here)


  • Nice job!
  • Album sounds great so far.  More complete thoughts after I listen to the whole thing a few times through.  I will say though that the Still Alive and Want You Gone remixes were pretty cool.
  • John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants wants to know....
  • So, is the album going to be available online the same day as the release concert?
  • For anyone who's got the PAX-y Preview (name of my indie nerdcore rap-group, obviously), how're the album-versions as compared to how he does 'em live? Good Morning, Tucson and Nemeses are pretty close, obviously, but how are the others?

    For one thing, does Alone at Home carry the heavy rock-tempo? How's Down Today? DETAILS, people, DETAILS. I can't get my fix of JoCo 'till September and I'm jonesing here!
  • Here's a review from the Untyteld blog
  • Not much review there, unfortunately.

    On the other hand, I've always had a tough time taking music-reviews seriously because it's so incredibly subjective, more so than almost any other art-form.
  • edited August 2011
    True, but it's a positive review, so that's something. Anything to help garner new fans.

    UPDATE: Scratch that. It's a re-edited version of the press release from I thought it seemed familiar.
  • this doesn't count as a review (yet, still working on that, hopefully by the weekend), but it is a thing i wrote for my new blogsitething that some of you may enjoy. i hope this doesn't sound like advertising. hard to make it seem like advertising when there is literally nothing else on the site. ha! just figured this was a good place to finally put something.

  • edited August 2011
    So, I've heard the album from a friend who lives in Seattle and went to PAX (Who I resent whenever this sort of thing happens).

    Note: Spoilers below, but if you're even in this thread then you probably don't care that much.

    To answer the question about similarity between live and album tracks, a lot of them are pretty similar. In a very stream-of-consciousness continuation: The video of PAX Je Suis Rick Springfield sounds pretty different. Nobody Loves You Like Me is exactly the same. Like, exactly. The version of Alone at Home is the faster rock one, which disappointed me slightly because I liked the acoustic one. Today With Your Wife sounds most different, it's played on piano. The new Still Alive is pretty incredible, I must say. JoCo Want You Gone is basically identical to the game one, except he's singing, and it's missing that weird percussion at the beginning. Artificial Heart itself is softer than the live one, which I found to be a bit of a relief. The duet with Suzanne Vega in Now I Am an Arsonist sounds pretty sweet, especially because I've always loved her stuff. Sticking it to Myself has had some brass added to it, which tickles my fancies. Could've had a bit more, but whatever. Down Today is almost exactly like on the cruise.

    The not-played live songs, Fraud and The World Belongs to You, are both pretty good. I prefer Fraud of the two, and it's one of my favorites on the album, honestly.

    So, the best: Still Alive, Good Morning Tuscon, Fraud, Today With Your Wife, Now I am an Arsonist
    Worst: The Stache. I just don't like that song, no matter how I try to listen to it. I'm glad it's the last on the album, so I can skip it more easily. Not-quite-worst is I'm just not a huge fan of the faster Alone at Home. I'm keeping the acoustic one from Artificial Artificial Heart as my definitive version, personally.

    And that's most of what I have to say about that. Need to listen to it more, especially Fraud and The World Belongs to You. Need to see if the novelty wears off.

    EDIT: I would also like to point out the one single thing on the album that makes me cringe: The pronunciation of "suis" and "celuis" in Je Suis Rick Springfield. This is more my problem than a general one, though, since I speak French without living in a French area, resulting in my never actually being exposed to anyone with an accent, resulting in my inability to cope with it in my mind.
  • I was disappointed that Alone at Home was the faster version, too. I prefer the slower version that they played live the first few times. The old one had a nice passive aggressive feeling of annoyance, like it was about to snap. Now it's just loud and angry and totally ruins the feel of the song for me.

    The new Still Alive is pretty sweet. The reason it's so long is because it has a huge theremin intro. I like it. Want You Gone is cool and it's essentially the original backing track with Jonathan singing. It has a few differences in the mix.

    My favorites: Dissolve, Sucker Punch, The World Belongs to You, Glasses, Je Suis Rick Springfield, The Stache.
  • Well, I guess he's saving the slow Alone at Home for his acoustic shows. Still, it's a pity. I liked it better slow as well - you get more of that quiet resignation and desperation. Plus the chorus builds much better at the end, I think. On the other hand, that is EXACTLY the JoCo thing to do, and my feeling is he wanted to severely mix it up.

    @weirdojace I've been chain-listening the live renditions, and the couple numbers he's released already, since the first time he started playing any of them live, and the novelty is holding for me.
    Well, actually, it might be more accurate to say that the novelty trans-substantiated directly into love. I rather suspect it'll be a lasting album for most Coultonists :)

    @BeatlesLover Thanks for the info. It only fuels my jealousy of anyone who's had the pleasure of listening already, of course, but any third-hand exposure to Artificial Heart I can get at this point is ambrosia :P

    Still, I've yet to have those MP3s myself. I shall reserve judgment.
  • "the novelty trans-substantiated directly into love"

    I will call it 'lovelty'.

  • edited August 2011
    My brain is still on PAX time so I can't seem to sleep. Didn't see
    this edited to remove a faulty link to Good Morning Tucson video created via iPhone posted here, & replaced with arrow pointing at @Spektugalo's post

     but forgive me if I missed a reference to it.
  • edited August 2011
    Oh my god, we have something like a real music video now, number two if you also count Monkey Shines. A music video to Good Morning Tucson :D

    I love the little scene where he sits in the restaurant, lip-syncing to his iPod, looking slightly awkward :D

    Also, I just listened to the new version of Still Alive on Youtube, it's different, but I still got the feeling of the original, I like it :)

    Though the new version got me thinking: Does it mean that we can expect a Theremin on stage soon? As another special instrument besides the Zendrum? :D
  • @spektugalo - Jonathan has always had bits of theramin in his songs but I don't believe he thinks he's very good at it (I've heard that it's quite difficult to play well.) The theramin solo on the album was performed by Dorit Chrysler.

    Speaking of the Zendrum though: has anybody mentioned that at the Saturday PAX concert Jonathan segued from Mr Fancy Pants right into Want You Gone on the Zendrum? He's finally found another song to use it for!
  • Any idea if this album is being released under a Creative Commons license? I want to know how bad I need to feel about finding a leaked version of the MP3s, and whether I should post the link here. I fully intend to buy the biggest JoCo bundle regardless.
  • I don't see why it wouldn't be...
  • Oh, what the hell:

    Bry, feel free to delete this if you'd rather I not be posting it.
  • edited August 2011
    For those who saw @Spektugalo's link but haven't noticed the blog post, I should point out that you can download that video for the next few weeks only. Let the remixes begin*! (Today's the last day of summer according to some definitions. Maybe some of the scenes could be shoehorned into a Summer's Over video.)

    * assuming the video is CC-licensed.

    ETA: I forgot to ask @BeatlesLover: Do you mean you're a native speaker of French? Is it actually correct to say 'Je suis celui qui suis aux États-unis: un superstar' or should it be 'Je suis celui qui est aux États-unis: un superstar' (or would it be interpreted as suit as in suivre? Or maybe that's what he meant? I know that I sometimes follow a certain superstar…) I know that it's correct to say 'c'est moi qui suis' rather than (as an English speaker would intuitively think) 'c'est moi qui est' but I don't think that works for 'je suis celui qui suis' unless perhaps you're God, and even if you're God it could be okay or not, depending on who you ask. Of course, if you're trying to convince somebody that you're Rick Springfield, it's probably best not to speak French too well. Anyway, ignoring the accent, how does that line sound to you?
  • edited August 2011
    What I needed to know is "almost" like F5-almost-time or Jococruisecrazy-almost-time? (Not to be confused with soon!)
  • It's a bit complicated; My mom is from Québec and is a native speaker, and only spoke French around the house when I was little, and I've spent almost two years total over the last 20 at my grandparents' in Québec, but I've never actually learned French in school, so I can hold a conversation in French but make a ton of little mistakes while still being understandable, but apparently I have the accent down. So imagine if someone was talking to you with a perfect American accent but talked wrong. Apparently it is very disorienting.

    But anyway that sentence sounds off to me, I'm not entirely sure what he's trying to say, and I'm not sure how to correct it.

    So yeah not especially helpful. Sorry. :/
  • It's up!

    And the site's down!

  • I pretty much just wanted to know if it sounded off to you, so thanks for answering that. I guess he wants to say 'I'm the one who's a superstar in the USA'. Maybe I should ask the people on the French JoCo forum what they think of it, but I rarely go there and can't remember where it is.

    I guess it would be weird to hear someone with a perfect accent who gets so much else wrong. Though the few times I've heard people from Québec speaking French, their accents made me think they were native English speakers, not native French speakers. And somebody (either French or Swiss, I can't remember) once told me I had a québecois accent in French (and I am a native English speaker.) So if there really is a similarity between the two accents, maybe somebody from France would not be so disoriented because they'd think you had an anglophone accent to go with your little mistakes.
  • I suppose it depends on the region of Québec as well. My mom is from the Estrie region, which has a rather bland and generic dialect compared to rest of the province (think Midwestern English compared to generic American accent). I've only spoken French to people from there, so I'm not sure how someone from France or associated areas would respond. Since the accent is definitely different, they'd probably assume Anglophone Canadian or something. I don't know.

    But yeah album is out now! And the site is down! Annoying!
  • I wonder whether this crashed the site worse than the opening of the cruise registration.
  • Just ordered. Google Checkout confirmation. Woot!
  • edited August 2011
    I may or may not have bought myself an early Christmas gift of a lot of stuff. I was going to wait until tomorrow to listen to the album since I'm practically asleep at my desk but I can't help myself... So far it's sounding pretty good, though I may also check out Artificial Artificial Heart (assuming of course I can find my way around the newly laid out site and re-find it) and see if I agree with previous people (and inevitably tell no one about it)

  • Well, that was cathartic. My credit card burns with an awesome power!

    Wonder who my Nemesis is?
  • I can hear the TMBG influence very heavily in Sticking it to Myself.

    I think the song it reminds me of is "Saphire Bullets of Pure Love."

    I am digging it. Wonderful so far.
  • There was a thunderstorm keeping me awake (I wasn't staying awake from excitement, honest!) so I got up again and found my download had finally succeeded. Listening to Sara Quin singing Still Alive now (it's nice when artists I find out about through completely unrelated channels end up collaborating); I like it! That's quite some theremingling/thereminising

    Heh. And the next song to come up randomly in iTunes is called 'Try To Sleep' (not by JoCo.) Alright. I'll try. But not before listening to a couple of the other collaborative tunes.
  • Sucker Punch has a guitar riff from Ikea, I think.

    Alone at Home is easily one of my favorite JoCo songs already.
  • He changed 'so I can show you' to 'and that will show you' in Nobody Loves You Like Me. I'd update the wiki but I should have gone to sleep four hours ago. Goodnight!
  • Any idea of when I need to get the big package of everything ordered by? I'd assume just by the release, but you never know.
  • @MisterN: Apparently you have at least until @chicazul gets an internet connection.

    Okay, *now* I will go to bed.
  • edited August 2011
    "If your participation includes physical items, they will be shipped to you at a future date, hopefully sometime in October."

    I just hope that being involved with Valve Games, JoCo did not get a bad case of the Valve Time disease.

    I really like the album so far, really love the new Still Alive version.
    Though I must admit I was quite surprised when I heard the album version of Dissolve for the first time, I got so used to the calm start of the live version...

    At first I had second thoughts about level four, but now brain and stomach agree that it was the right decision!

    Oh, by the way:
    After some struggle with Firefox and the Internet Explorer (huge surprise, right?), I was able to order the level four
    package through the game overlay web browser of Steam, while Portal 2 was running in the background :D

  • edited August 2011
    @Angelastic Just updated that for you.

    As a general aside; to those who bought Level 4: was there a brief moment where you worried that you might fail the test? Maybe it's just me being insecure after my brother's better exam results...
  • 1) Sara Quin has a neat voice.

    2) OH MY GOD. Falsetto Coulton in the Want You Gone remix is the best thing.
  • So good so good so good so good so good so good so good. 

    Since I do not see in this thread a link to the actual place to go give Jonathan actual dollars in exchange for his actual music and other awesomeness. Here. 

  • Jonathan Coulton has finally tempted me to buy one of his albums...  twice.
  • edited August 2011
    Those three days where only I and a box full of people had the album... it felt good.  It feels even better now that you are able to hear the JoCo-ey goodness too.

    ETA: Just realized I should have edited my post instead of double posting... meh.
  • I had no problems ordering using Chrome, just in case anyone needs to know.
  • Yeah, I tweeted (I hate that word) that Chrome works.  Both IE and Firefox failed me though.
  • Who else got the fourth level package thing?

    I hope when he said demos would be included in the new USB port that he means stuff for all this album and any other demos from the pre-studio records he might have made. Also, it'd be neat to include a full instrumental copy of AH on there.
  • So, who here is my Nemesis? Do you even know my name? Well played!
  • This is the best thing I've ever woken up to. Period.
  • edited September 2011
    @oddaustin: In this thread, I suspect the question is 'who didn't get the fourth level package thing?' As far as I know the browser problems only matter for that package. I sure hope all these people clamouring to give him money don't make JoCo go Tom Cruise Crazy. 

    @aliceandstuff was kind enough to get me a signed album at PAX, but I wanted the other stuff because I am (celui qui est ?) a superfan, so the signed album that comes with the package will go to my sister. :D

    I want to be JoCo's nemesis, so that his fans (whom I've always liked) will encourage him to sing a song about me all the time.

    I really like Suzanne Vega's performance. She has a nice voice which I was not familiar with, and I almost wish I'd gone to see her in concert when a friend of mine randomly invited me to one at an inconvenient time/location.
  • I too, if it wasn't clear, went for the level four. I mean when you think about it, a USB, three copies of an album, three T-shirts, posters and other doodads for less than £70 is a no brainer. The only thing I think that's getting in the way for people is that it's a large investment at once. I'm just hoping customs charges aren't through the roof again.  And that I forget I've ordered anything, so one day the post will come with a massive package for me.
  • It's true, especially if you're paying in pounds, considering the fact that at concerts he sells merch at the same price whether it's in dollars, pounds or euros, so the people in the UK get the worst deal (20 pounds per shirt, IIRC, something like 50 for the USB.) And right now the Swiss franc is particularly strong against your puny US dollars. I'm not sure I even like the other T-shirt designs (I hope they say something on the back) but it's still a good deal. (They don't call me 'good, obedient merchandise-buying minion' for nothing!)

    I love getting packages when I've forgotten I've ordered anything.

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