Artificial Heart discussion



  • Sadly enough, the ghostwriting of pop songs is nothing new. Randy Newman confesses as much 45 seconds into "My Life Is Good."
  • Oh boy! I got my Artificial Heart email too! My nemesis' name is "Rubicon."

    What an odd name.

    I won't let you down, Joco. I'll try my very best to cross him!
  • edited October 2011
    The Tuscon Diagnostics website has a horrible score from Web of Trust
  • HA! JoCo was hinting so obviously about Tuscon Diagnostics that I finally gave the website a proper review. Did anyone else find the key to the meaning of the Artificial Heart symbols?

    I'm sorry, Jonathan, for not having the time to be obsessive about this earlier.
  • Yes, @elliomeg even decoded the symbols on the tracklisting. And although someone mentioned tucsdiag on Twitter back then, when I finally followed it yesterday, it had only 20 followers.
  • I got an email from Scarface less than 2 hours ago about the T-shirt sizing chart, saying 'I'm still waiting for the link from the guy. Check back on the confirm data page tomorrow--hopefully I'll have it by then.'
  • @Angelastic I'd even seen @elliomeg's list but didn't remember it was the same one!

    I still think it's different looking for the graphical key. (:
  • I didn't really examine it, but I assumed that @elliomeg created the list using the key from the website.

    The text of the links down the side is amusing. :)
  • Aaaand the sizing links are up!
  • Sooooo... Good Morning, Tucson is about a guy who commits arson, and then the next track is
    Now I Am an Arsonist.  

  • And ... Now I Am an Arsonist describes melting wings, and then the next track is Down Today!
  • And Nemeses describes an adversarial relationship - two people fighting over something, and next up is The World Belongs To You - which sounds a heck of a lot like the prize for a neme-- for a nemasarial-- for a fight between nemeses.
  • edited November 2011
    Hello, I'm new.

    Also, I'm surprised that no one seems to have mentioned I just searched for it after noticing the title of Tucson Diagnostics was "Tucson Industries"

    They seem to be French. It's interesting seeing a French company based in Arizona. (Also, UPLDR\gogo.php in the source makes me think someone was waiting to notice someone coming to the page.)
  • Looks like a Spanish 'in construction' sign to me, and the domain is registered to someone in Argentina. How do you get French and Arizona?
  • Angelastic >> Tax-evasion?
  • Because I was tired and made the jump from Je Suis Rick Springfield to the language must be french.

    I also didn't think to check the WHOIS. Welp.
  • edited November 2011
    I don't know if anybody posted this, but the Artificial Heart CD is up at, Best Buy, and J&R with a November 8th release date.

  • This is interesting:

    "More than fans, they are his champions and patrons. Orders of
    Artificial Heart on his website have already surpassed $100,000 with
    hundreds of fans purchasing "The Big Package of Everything"; which
    includes the album, three shirts, vinyl, demos, live recordings, and USB
    of his complete works and more."

  • edited November 2011
    Something I've noticed since I've been making videos to some of the songs from Artificial Heart is that the Tortoise and the Hare themed video I edited for Nemeses is far and away the most popular video I've made so far, garnering a lot of hits on YouTube (when compared to the other videos I've edited). I don't know if that's because there just isn't enough footage of cute animals on the internet or (much more likely) it's a really great song and Jonathan was smart to release it as the first single. I'm really interested to see how this album will fare with the general public beyond his fan base.
  • From the review @kate ;linked:

    during 2006, the singer recorded and released one song every seven days for his “Thing a Week” project and this seems to have instilled in him a lack of self-editing which Flansburgh has not entirely curtailed.

    (emph. added)

    Huh. (Should I bother mentioning I disagree?)

    Also, guy doesn't seem to like "Today with Your Wife" much. Funny, judging from his writing style in the part where he's describing that song, I would've thought he liked leaden clunkers -- not to mention lacks of self-editing.

  • JoCo is nothing BUT self-editing. The man's primary problem is that he doesn't know when to STOP.

    I also kind of boggled at the dislike of Today With Your Wife - when a song requires you to peel back so many layers of potential meanings and stories, I feel like criticizing the genre of the music is rather like giving an elephant a hard time for being big. It's rather missing the point.

    Still, the thing that is and has always been true is that music-reviews are entirely useless as a source of any other knowledge than "what did this reviewer think of this record?"
    It only very rarely imparts any information on the objective quality of music, because music is so completely and utterly individual. A reviewer is only potentially useful to those readers who share his specific taste in music.
  • I agree about music reviews being of dubious value.  It's so funny the way music preference works for me.  I adore JoCo.  I love TMBG.  I would assume that anyone else who also loves these guys would share a lot more in common with me, musical-taste-wise.

    However, what I find instead is that even when another person adores an artist that I adore, we like very different songs out of them.

    I have always wondered if I am a freak, or if music reviews work for the "normal" people out there, just not me.  If that's the case, I'm not sure I'd put anyone reading these boards in the normal category of people, either.  And I love you all for that =)
  • edited November 2011
    I want to bring up Dissolve again.

    I am annoying and literal, and I'm sure that's a large part of my problem.

    Kate and joelr - At first I was thinking along the broken heart lines as well, but the broken heart thing bothers me for one main reason - why would he ever like a broken heart? 

    Also, I struggle to see why he would want to pass on the heartbreak.  Perhaps I have never experienced the bitterness for the opposite sex that a bad break-up might inspire.

    My impression was that the thing in the box was a good thing that was bad for you, like drugs. 

    So I have decided that this song makes total sense as not a break-up song, but a song from the perspective of someone involved with a happy drug addict who ODs, then becomes hooked himself (and involved with someone else), then leaves the stash (not the 'stache!) to the girl he hooked up with afterward.  The drugs were bad for them, but worth dying for because they were so good.


    If it's not something like this, the "But I liked it" line keeps me up at night.  Grrr!
  • edited November 2011
    The two new official videos have surfaced on Jonathan's YouTube channel.


    Still Alive
  • Apparently today is the official release date, level 2 participants should be receiving their signed albums very soon, there will be many more videos, and there's plenty of other interesting news in the email he just sent out to his mailing list; are you all on it? Because you should be.

  • From the another review @kate links:

    Thankfully, “Nobody Loves You Like Me” provides some brief relief from the pessimistic vibes.

  • edited November 2011
    @Bry Nothing like relieves me from my pessimistic vibes quite like drinking alone in some bar and "drowning the man that I used to be."  :)

    Here's a review from Allmusic Guide.
  • edited November 2011
    Say, here's a thing. If you're not on the JoCo mailing-list, SHAME ON YOU first of all. Second of all:
    "One of the things that has been keeping me so busy is that I have been
    making music videos. This isn't like me at all - I couldn't even
    remember how to log into my YouTube channel. Flansburgh and I made a
    bunch of them at once, and I think they all came out pretty great. Today
    I posted one for Nemeses that features John Roderick singing next to me
    on an iPhone:

    And also one for Still Alive, the new version on Artificial Heart that's sung by the delightful Sara Quin:

    Yesterday Hodgman posted one of the two of us doing our classic
    ukulele/guitar duet of Tonight You Belong to Me (not on the album, but
    you know, what the hey):

    And there are plenty more coming. With the exception of Still Alive,
    which was done months ago when we were recording the album, all these
    videos are also brand new live recordings of the songs, simple
    arrangements done as we were shooting. So eventually you'll see videos
    of ALL NEW LIVE versions of Today with Your Wife, Sticking It to Myself,
    Nobody Loves You Like Me, Down Today, and Je Suis Rick Springfield."
    (emphasis mine)

  • edited November 2011
  • I can't wait to hear those other recordings. I've been enjoying everything I've heard so far.

    I just completed my last video (for a while, anyway) for the song Dissolve. You can check it out on this thread.
  • kate >> ... and it's gone. Was it an official one? Maybe he put it out there by accident... Oh well :(
  • He's done that before hasn't he?  Someone needs to teach this man how to 'Tube.
  • @skyen It looked like it was official, although the title did not include (Official)
  • @skyen: Since he said (as you quoted above) that there would be a video for Sticking It To Myself, I can only presume he accidentally made it public too early. If he'd forgotten how to log in to YouTube I'm not surprised he's a little rusty with setting things up. (:
  • edited November 2011
    Rather creepy new video for Nobody Loves You Like Me.
  • I noticed he shortened the 'you's and lengthened the 'cov'. That would take some getting used to, if it were something I could easily listen to enough times to get used to. Does he do that in concert now, too?
  • edited November 2011
    chiazul >> There's Creepy Jonathan, that always follows you - he's got a pair of shades that look so hipster. There's Creepy Jonathan, that always follows you - he's got a pretty voice, to sing you nightmares.

    Srsly, that sort of thing on a big projector on some wall during a good Halloween-party and no-one will sleep again ever.
  • By the by, my level 2 physical CD for Artifical Heart just arrived. :)
  • Rick Springfield's response to Coulton's new song:

    It may have been one of those fans who sent Springfield a link to a
    YouTube video of his latest bit of odd fame, Jonathan Coulton performing
    his new song "Je Suis Rick Springfield," a song sung entirely in French
    that Coulton describes as being about a man trying to pick up two
    French girls in a bar by trying to convince them he's Rick Springfield.
    The man may or may not be Springfield.

    "Someone sent that to me.
    It's bizarre," Springfield said. "I don't know what to think of it. It's
    funny. I think his introduction is hilarious."

    Entire story, here.
  • Today with Your Wife

  • Is somebody pulling the audio off all these videos to make some manner of Alternate Acoustic Artificial Heart album? These arrangements are gorgeous.
  • For some reason the double negative in "If you're not listening then don't nod your head" is really confusing me. It means "If you are listening, then nod your head", right?
  • Holy DAMN why was it not on harp on the album?

    @ReverendgB You bet I am!

    @aliceandstuff Well, what he's saying is "stop nodding if you're not listening," so I don't think it's a double negative. I mean, if it said "if you're not listening, then nod your head," he'd be saying the opposite.
  • Agree with skyen.  I think I like the acoustic harp version of Today With Your Wife better than what's on the album.

    Actually, scratch that, I'm SURE I like it better.
  • @skyen ; Do you also have Still Alive and Nobody Loves You Like Me? :)
  • @aliceandstuff: I interpreted it as a deliberately obtuse way of saying "If you are listening, then nod your head" followed by a pause too short for people to figure out the double negative, followed by "I thought so…" because you didn't nod your head, so clearly you're not listening. I intend to nod my head at that moment if I see that song in concert. But @skyen's explanation makes sense too; I'd never thought of it that way.

    @kate, Doesn't the Still Alive video have the same audio as the album version?
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