Artificial Heart discussion



  • Something like 50 being 40. It's one of the reasons I feel bad at concerts, because I feel I should buy something but in order to do so I'd have to carry more money than I'm comfortable with. I think I've made up for it now.
  • Does everyone else get a weird pause at 1:05 in The 'Stache, or is that just me/the Apple Lossless version?
  • There's a weird pause for me, but it also sounds like there's a muted note there too so I dunno.
  • What file format do you have?
  • MP3 somethingorother probably 320. I should have included that in my last post I suppose.
  • MaWMaW
    edited September 2011
    Noooo I don't like the rocky Alone At Home. Do not! I'd heard it from the Youtube videos of a gig with the band, and it just seems... wrong.

    I haven't really taken the rest of it in yet.

    (edit) Okay, that's a completely awesome version of Want You Gone. Completely awesome!
  • I don't like it as much either overall (though it'd be great for tidying up/exercising/coding frenetically [because let's face it, I never do those other things] to, while alone at home), but luckily we can still listen to the acoustic version from Artificial Artificial Heart. :) Ooh, maybe that should be updated with the live Je suis Rick Springfield.
  • I think I'm going to be the only one who prefers the album version. It just makes more sense to me than the live version but that might be because I'm picturing it wrong.
  • I actually really like the more rock version of Alone at Home, it seems to fit the lyrics better to me.
  • Did anyone save her/his page with "WHO YOU WANT TO BE" "WHO YOU REALLY ARE" and "YOUR NEMESIS"? The symbols there are all different picture files, so it seems it is actually generated according to the choices in the questions before...

    So if we all post our "Who you really are" and "Your nemesis" pictures, then we might be able to find out ;D

    And if you forgot to save it/screen cap it, just fill in the questionnaire again and just stop at that site, which comes before the actual order step.
  • Except what if you forgot your answers due to being half asleep? I'll just settle with knowing that one of you has been sworn to nemesisdom.
  • Je Suis Rick Springfield (World Premier!) video:
  • @Angelastic If I had one complaint about the album thus far, it would be that pause in The Stache. Also, I'm pretty sure it was intentional (because the keyboard plays a note in between). I really love how in the concert version they would play that really sinister and awesome main riff on it's own after the first chorus. To break that up seems really strange to me.
  • @Spektugalo Yep, saved mine. Here's hoping you turn out to be the one I was destined to destroy; from our pictures, it would seem we have suitably matching weapons for battle.

    On the Alone at Home thing, I'm honestly not thinking about them as better or worse, just different, appreciating each one for what it is. Same with Je Suis Rick Springfield; I really enjoyed the electric version at PAX, but the mellower album version is also very nice.

    One thing I am digging about this album in Jonathan's electric guitar work. As much as he talked about being somewhat afraid of the electric, you sure can't tell. Glasses in particular stands out; I love the solo in that one.
  • edited September 2011

    Well, now I feel like kind of a dick for having already tweeted at him asking about it. I listened several times and was sure it couldn't be intentional. There is a sound there (kind of like a quiet beep) but it just sounds like a glitch to me, like it just got accidentally cut in the middle of that phrase/riff/repeating tuney thing, or it's skipping. :/ It doesn't do that at similar points later in the song. 

    Mind you, I don't have the live version with me because my iPod's broken (I'm using my iPhone as an emergency backup iPod, but it can't fit much and inevitably doesn't have whichever song I particularly want to hear), so perhaps I just don't remember how it goes. Also, what do I know about music? Maybe it's a pregnant pause. Maybe it's a stroke of genius. Maybe it's Maybelline. But I will continue to dislike it to prove that I'm not a hopelessly biassed fangirl who loves whatever monkey crap is flung at me.

    ETA: If they had a sudden pause like that in concert, and Paul or Storm pulled a funny face or struck a tambourine, that would be fine. But without that context it doesn't make sense.

    EATA: If Paul and Storm could follow me around and make a funny face or strike a tambourine every time my music player skipped, that would be awesome. I'd throw them a Jaffa Cake or Nethercandy each time as a reward.

  • edited September 2011
    I get kind of weirded out by the cut in The Stache as well, but only on
    my headphones. When I play it on my stereo with the volume up, it
    actually works fine, I think, because you get that liiiiittle note there
    to tell you it's an intentional stop. It's just on headphones you can't
    always hear that, and it's like a knife in the music.

    I largely prefer the acoustic Alone at Home, too, as I think I've mentioned, but I understand why JoCo would want to go with the rock-version. The sad and passive-aggressive loneliness is firstly a very JoCo kind of thing to go with, and rocking it out takes the "passive" out of it somewhat. Secondly, with things like Today With Your Wife, Now I am an Arsonist and Nobody Loves You Like me, there's no lack of pensive quietude on the album, and my feel for the Coulton is he's very much trying not to be the guy who writes sad songs because that's what comes naturally to him.

    @Angelastic "If Paul and Storm Could Follow Me Around" is the name of my autobiography.
    Also, "maybe it's Maybelline"? Surely you mean, maybe it's MADELAINE? ;)

    EDIT: Ooooo-kaaay? I don't know why my text bunches up like that at the top. It is weird.
  • Well, it's officially intentional. There needs to be a "this space intentionally left blank" in there. I'm going to listen to it on speakers now in case that helps, although my earphones have much better sound than my speakers.
  • @Angelastic You'll need to crank the volume some. Which is horrible on bad speakers. And damaging to your ears on headphones. So you're in a conundrum.

    On the upside, the version from Artificial Artificial Heart is pause-less.
  • Whichever speakers/earphones I use, I can hear that there is a sound in that gap, but it is the sound of a malfunction that cuts into the middle of a nice rhythm for no reason that I can fathom.

    hehe… fathom rhythm fathom rhythm fathom rhythm fathom rhbeeeeep fathom rhythm fathom

    Sounds kind of funny if you say it enough times.
  • Not that it matters, but the thing in The Stache isn't really a pause, but more of a mute of most of the tracks.  It doesn't pick up where it stopped, but where it would have been if it had never stopped.  Snap along with the snare and sing the riff and you'll see what I mean.  That is one of many strange choices made on this album that will take me a few listens to form a firm opinion on.  The way Dissolve starts is another.  Like others here, though, I definitely prefer the slow version of Alone at Home, so I'm hoping we get a demo of that (if it exists) in the The Big Package of Everything.

    Overall, I LOVE this album so far.  The guest vocals are all fantastic and really work well in the context of all of the other songs.
  • I wasn't intending 'pause' in such a precise way; I just meant a gap, with no implications of where the music restarted from.

    Anyway guys, it's cool, I totally fixed it.
  • So excited! Been listening to the leak since yesterday, loving the album, just picked up Level 4. Can't wait to get all the extras, I bet our generated codes will be posted on one of the shirts, so we can go around looking for our nemeses.
  • You know, I only listened to the Artificial Artificial Heart a few times because I didn't want to form any strong opinions about the songs until after I heard the album cuts. I did download the leak, but then the album went on sale anyway. Loving what I've been hearing so far.
  • Codes on the shirts to go looking for our nemeses; the would be perfect for JCC 2! Too bad I won't be going. My nemesis will be so disappointed... which will make them loathe me all the more. Muahahaha!
  • "Nobody Loves You Like Me" is my surprise favorite from this album.
  • I forgot to mention, @Spektugalo, I saved my results as well.
  • Angelastic  Yeah, sorry, that occurred to me just after I posted.  I should know better than to try to correct somebody from this smart crowd.  My opinion about the has changed though, since there is SOMETHING to it.
  • Re: The interminable stache-pause ("The Interminable Stache" being my Queen cover-band, obviously), it sounds like everything cuts out and Jonathan does a natural or tap harmonic somewhere - which is not that uncommon a trick in music. Just perhaps not so common in snappy rock.
    I think maybe the reason it doesn't work for many people is that the harmonic is so gentle, it doesn't stand out at all against the track it's supplanting. Possibly if it was louder, and the drums had like a BAM, a beat that they terminated on, it wouldn't feel so "out of nowhere".
  • I think if I made a video of The Stache, I'd cut to black, perhaps using one of those transitions with a rapidly shrinking circle if there's time, and flash some of the Artificial Heart symbols almost too quickly to see (perhaps spelling a message for those who have cracked the code*) for the short fully silent part, and then show a fake TV test pattern for Tucson Diagnostics closed-circuit surveillance during the muted note part. 

    Then I'd go back to pictures of sinister people wearing fake moustaches.

    * if there is one.
  • I'm going to be honest, I didn't even notice the pause as anything unique. I listen to a looot of music, and I have quite a few songs that do that, so I just accept it as a thing that happens in music. It doesn't change the beat or anything, so it's not disorienting, but I can see how unexpected it would be if it were... unexpected?

    That got tautological fast.


    I didn't even know what people were talking about until I went back and listened for it. I'm not a fan of The Stache.
  • edited September 2011
    I'm not even really arguing that the pause breaks apart the tempo or feels awkward. I just kind of liked the riff as a whole being played after the chorus. That main riff in The Stache is really well written, and I loved how he played it on it's own in the live version. The break kills the momentum of the riff on it's own. I'm getting more used to it, but I'd still rather the main riff stayed intact.
  • edited September 2011
    "I didn't even know what people were talking about until I went back and listened for it."

  • The Stache is an odd closer. I still feel like it should be in the middle somewhere. Of the album, that is.
  • I'm surprised by how many people have commented on the order of the tracks. I haven't listened to albums in order (apart from live ones) since the days of cassette tapes.
  • edited September 2011
    Good thing JoCo is not Prince.
  • edited September 2011
    Anyway, it takes me a while before I will listen to an album on shuffle. I usually like to listen to an album in the order the songs were intended until I become more familiar with the songs.

    And no, I never owned a copy of Prince's Lovesexy.
  • That being said, I'm tempted to stick Nobody Loves You Like Me at the end.
  • I sometimes listen to it once in order, but the rest of the time it's shuffled, sometimes with everything, so I'll have Bach immediately followed by a funny song about genitals and an children's educational song about fractions. It keeps me from getting too sane.

    I'm also kind of surprised by the orders people suggest, though, because if I think of track ordering at all, it's in terms of concerts, and he probably wouldn't play Want You Gone or Nobody Loves You Like Me at the end of a concert. (Lately, of course, he has been playing Want You Gone before Still Alive, but that's because Want You Gone live is new to the live show and people are eager to hear it. It does make sense to have these in chronological order on the album.) But an album isn't a concert, and I have no real opinion on this anyway since it doesn't affect me. I'm just surprised, not even disagreeing. It's interesting to see what people think about something I hadn't thought about for so long.

    Anyway, sorry if I'm going on about this, but now I'm curious... those of you who didn't notice anything weird in The Stache and had to go back and listen to it, and those of you who noticed it and were weirded out by it, how much had you listened to the live version? I know that both @oddaustin and @skyen listened to it enough to create/choose Artificial Artificial Heart versions. How about those of you who didn't notice anything? I was pretty sure I expected the riff to continue because it seemed natural for it to, but it's always possible that I expected it to continue because that's what it had done in the live version, which I'd listened to six times and seen on YouTube once or twice.

  • It turns out when you have two links right next to each other, this board changes them to one big link. One of those 'Artificial's was supposed to go here.

  • edited September 2011
    So, in my random morning madness, I have put together the chorus of Je suis Rick Springfield in "English" lyrics that are phonetically similar. Indulge me a moment.

    "Jess' Wee Rick Springfield
    He sit on a bar
    She's in the city
    Gives you the guitar
    Jess sees the wiki, sees you, then she ties your knee
    A superstar"

    Laugh at it. Expand upon it. Dismiss it. Do what you will.
  • edited September 2011
    I dunno. I think "The Song That Will Haunt Your Mind For The Next Month" is such a cheery way to end the album. Maybe JoCo didn't want to depress people too much.

    The whole pause in The Stache doesn't bother me one bit, and it invites people to insert funny pictures in their own videos of the song.
  • Is anyone else here disturbed by the complete lack of songs featuring monkeys?
  • I have to admit, I was a little disturbed, and thought about how 'The One Without Any Monkeys' would be a good name for the album, if only it were a monkeyful enough album to suit such a silly title. The Artificial Heart order process reminded me very much of the Portal 2 co-op setup. It's kind of creepy and robotic.

    Well, at least we still have creepy and robotic.

  • After listening to this thing a whole lot over the past two days, it's becoming one of my favorite records ever. As much as bitched about the pause in The Stache, I do think it's a good closer track (and Sticking It to Myself is a perfect opener), it's certainly a better choice than the closer on TMBG's Join Us. Also, a note on track listings: being a guy who writes songs and is putting an album together, the track order seems to me like it's own separate art form. I think it's kind of important to listen to the album as the artists intended it.
  • Maybe I should mention that I actually have been listening to it in order quite a bit, because I'm using my phone instead of my iPod and I guess it doesn't have shuffle turned on when I'm listening to a specific album. But I haven't paid enough attention to the order to have an opinion.

    @MJPM: It's hard for me to hear the sounds without hearing the meanings (it's like a Magic Eye picture or a stealthy photobomb; hard to see, even harder to unsee) and also my accent is different from yours so I'd interpret vowel sounds differently, but here's an attempt:

    Soon they woo ya, a disk of acacia.

    A sharky pot, you grab that (comma) nom!

    Shiver dear 'Licia, egg (comma) nom, parlour Criva?

  • edited September 2011
    Don't get me wrong; on the whole, the order of the songs is kind of brilliant. I agree that The Stache is a much better song than TMBG's You Don't Like Me. It took me a while to get used to that one. 

    My MP3 collection will be collecting dust (so to speak) on iTunes because I will be playing this one for a while.

    On another note, I wonder if the new versions of Still Alive and Want You Gone will inspire fan videos that contain footage which has nothing to do with Portal. That might be interesting.
  • Who says there are no monkeys on the album? Nobody Loves You Like Me could be about someone mourning the loss of their monkey. Who says the Nemesis is not a monkey? Who says it's not a french monkey pretending to be Rick Springfield?

    The opportunities for monkeys are endless!
  • edited September 2011
    The Opportunities for Monkeys are Endless is the name of my Jonathan Coulton cover band poetry slam. (That was too easy.)
  • I've listened through a few times and I love it on the whole.  There are a lot of unexpected little things I found myself loving on just about every track.  I could do a track by track analysis but I will save everyone the giant block of text.  I'll keep it brief though...

    Sticking it to myself - This feels like the mix is a bit cluttered.  There are times where I can barely make out the vocals with everything in there.

    Artificial heart - Is that an Omnichord in the chorus?

    That's all for now.  Back to listening again!
  • edited September 2011
    On a more serious note, could Now I Am An Arsonist be about either the Columbia or Challenger Space Shuttle disasters (or both), as told from the point of view of the ship itself? Because judging by the lyrics that's the impression I get.
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