How long have you been listening to JoCo?

edited April 2006 in JoCo Fame
How long have you been listening to our dearest Mr. Coulton, and where did you first hear about him?

Me: 3 years or so, that popular science article that quoted Ikea. "Norsemen" and "divorced men" -- I still chuckle occasionally when I think of it.


  • About a year and a half or so. I first heard about him on a blog game someone was playing where they posted single lines of songs and people would guess the song in the comments section. One of them was "badass fucking fractal," from Mandelbrot Set. That amused me, so I ran a search and now I'm a fan.
  • I'm a newbie. Only for about six months or so. Since I heard the songs on the Delta Park Project.
  • Saw John Hodgman on the Daily Show promoting Areas Of My Expertise last year. I googled his name and came across the Little Gray Books Lectures, and downloaded the podcasts. That was how I heard of him.
  • Maybe a year ago, I can't really remember. But it was in the album he did for Popular Science. I loved Todd, and I ended up tracking down this website.
  • I'm relativly new to JoCo, I found him after hearing Ikea on Adam Curry's DSC in December.
  • I was introduced to JoCo last Thanksgiving. I was at a group dinner, and the host pulled me to the computer because there was this song I had to hear. (Skullcrusher Mountain, of course!) It was all she wrote, after that.
  • A friend sent me a link to "Baby Got Back" several months ago. I downloaded the song and let some friends listen to it and it was always a big hit. Anyway, it had been on my computer with my wife and I listening to it a lot and I came back to look and see if I could find a CD with that song on it (we like to have legal copies of all our music). When I came back all the songs were organized and you could listen to them and buy them one at a time. So I spent a day at work listening to all the songs and bought quite a few.....

    Uh, that was wordy.
  • I actually have, technically, listened to JoCo for almost a year now. About 9 months ago, I googled his name to figure out who he was. Before that, I found Little Gray Books while browsing the podcast library. And by the way, JoCo, you should contact Hodgman with his ultrabusy life (Doesn't he work at the Daily Show?) and podcast more Lectures. They are pretty cool, and just passed the 9 month "not updated" mark.
  • A few years ago, someone posted a link to “Ikea” in the comments on some blog...I played the song over and over again while my husband and I assembled our new Ikea kitchen (60-some flatpack boxes!). The kitchen came out great, but I don’t ever want to see another Ikea assembly-instruction sheet as long as I live.

    Since then, I have enjoyed all of his other music, but the path to Jonathan Coulton was indeed paved with thousands of tiny proprietary hex wrenches.
  • I first heard Jonathan on the Delta Park project about 4 months ago, when I heard Ikea. I then checked out his site, but never really found out anything more about him. Then they kept playing his stuff on DPP, and after I heard "Take Care Of Me" (I know, really recent), I decided to get into his music really bad, and get all his "Thing a Week's".

    I love the way I can just slip into a conversation " I found this song about Furry Lobsters, by the way."
  • My friend sent me "Baby Got Back" and "A Laptop Like You" last week and I enjoyed them. I then listened to "Scullcrusher Mountain" and was hooked. I purchased all the songs I could through itunes and got some from JoCo's website and have thoroughly enjoyed them so far.
  • Since high school. He was in a band named after a music theory class. Theory 812? was the name.
  • I'm a newbie--just a couple months. I found him on CD Baby in the Quirky Pop section. "Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow" was in the $5 bin, and I couldn't resist anyone who had a song called Mandelbrot Set. I loved the CD from the first second. That was the best 5 bucks I've ever spent!!

    Around the same time I saw John Hodgman on the Daily Show for the first time. He made me laugh my ass off. Then a few weeks later I went to his website and realized JoCo did the music for his Little Gray Books series. How weird is this world, that I came across these 2 within just a few weeks of each other, with no idea they were connected?
  • They Might be Giants related podcast where they interviewd JoCo and heard Chrison Beta Prime and was hooked.
  • edited April 2006

    2 days. I guess that makes me a newbie...

    My buddy Dave sent me Code Monkey, and now I'm hooked.

    -- Jerry

  • Over a year now.
    My buddy played me Skullcrusher Mountain and Ikea and A Laptop Like You and I was hooked. I sent Jon money the very next week, right after downloading absolutely everything I could from his site. (Anybody that can get -3- new songs stuck in my head is well worthy of my sparse coinage.)
  • Since wwdn linked to Baby Got Back. Sooo, according to Google… six months.
  • I just started listening yesterday. I was reading a blog on meebo. They were reffering themselves as code monkeys and they had a link to this site.
  • Actually, about 2 weeks now. My boyfriend found it on Slashdot, and introduced it to practically everyone at Xythos Software, a software company in San Francisco. They all seem to really like Code Monkey, and Skullcrusher Mountain.

    He was even goint to work one day from the ferry and humming "Code Monkey" and an Audio guy who rides the boat with him recognized it, "Hey isn't that Code Monkey?"
  • Just discovered him saturday, I was googling Tom Lehrer songs and it took me to a math page with a link to the Mandelbrot Set, I've been hooked since.
  • I can't wait until I can go Pitchfork Media on somebody who discovered him after his (inevitable) SNL appearance...
  • I've been a fan since late Feb. when I heard him interviewed on the They Might Be Giants fan podcast, TheyNow. They played Skullcrusher Mountain, That Spells DNA, and Chiron Beta Prime. I was absolutely hooked. Then I discovered his version of Baby Got Back on Coverville.

    I now am obsessed with everything Coulton, and get my fill between and JawBone Radio's relentless promotion of him (go Len!). Only now am I delving into his work with John Hodgman.
  • Mid-October 2005: Brian Ibbott included "Baby Got Back" in Coverville #139. I had heard about Sir Mix-a-Lot's version, but had never heard it; nonetheless I knew immediately that JC had done something alchemical to it. Many moons later I heard the original--i.e., no melody whatever--and I'm still amazed at the transmutation.
  • Several years ago, I read Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and thought it was fantastic. Looking additional material/latest project by him led me to McSweeney's, whose website is actually more interesting than the magazine--although the magazine breaks a lot of ground.

    During the time I was reading McSweeney's (website) on a semi-regular basis (this may have been seven-eight years ago), one of its regular features was John Hodgman's "Ask a Former Professional Literary Agent." I submitted a question to Mr. Hodgman to this effect:

    "I'm writing a novel about a man in prison who gets routinely beat up because he smokes Virginia Slims. When he gets out, he sues the tobacco companies. Is the legal thriller dead?"

    Hodgman never responded, but I did get put on a mailing list, where (over the next several years) I was informed of Hodgman's ongoing Little Gray Books lectures in Brooklyn, and his book Areas of My Expertise.

    A year or so ago, Little Gray Books started a podcast of its greatest hits. I think it had an eye towards making the series into a radio show. The podcast was introduced with Hodgman and and the series musical director, one Jonathan Coulton, who'd occasionally sing an into to the show, or a song within it.

    Then, last October, Boing Boing linked to Coulton's cover of "Baby Got Back." The voice sounded familiar--and when I added up the pieces I remembered the Little Gray Book singer. I listened to some other stuff, and was hooked--catchy pop tunes, and lyrics about cyborgs and evil geniuses.

    There you have it.
  • Had to post on this one, since I seem to be one of the old timers. I remember when there were less than half a dozen songs on his website, way back in (hold on!) 2003!

    I remember downloading the famous "FutureDemo.mp3" and "MandelbrotDemo.mp3" files.

    Oh, and there was the small thing about seeing him live on stage in, of all places, Camden Maine. I mean, just WTH was he doing there? Good times... good times...

    Even better was meeting him in the green room. I'm pretty sure he thought I was moderately psychotic.

    So, been listening and posting links to his songs page for years. Friends blogs about a new laptop? Laptop Like You. First of May? Yep. Someone posts about some mathematical things? Mandelbrot. Problems being a new homeowner? ShopVac. Oh yeah, plenty of things to share with others.
  • About two weeks ago my brother came over to help me mock up a new brochure for my business. He played "Re Your Brains" for me, which I thought was hysterical and brilliant. I spent the next two days listening to everything on the web site, purchased a bunch of songs (even the ones that were free) and burned myself a disk. It's great driving music, especially "I Feel Fantastic" and "Shop Vac" I've hooked all my family members and friends. We're all walking around singing "code monkey get up get coffee..." and 'first of May!" Stop me now before I eat your brains.
  • Last year baby got back was posted on It was much better than Richard Cheeses version so I found JoCos website listened to everything, loved everything, downloaded everything and when the opportunity finally arose, paid for everything. Actually because of my stupid ipod I have repurchased everything twice more now. I still feel like I should pay more to keep JoCo able to keep going this way.
  • About two weeks ago or so.

    SOmeone, whom I cannot remember, sent me Skullcrusher Mountain.

    Needless to say this amused the hell outta me, and I then proceeded to look him up.

    What I discovered was more than I had imagined.

    There's noting like that warm fuzzy feeling you get when a new obsession grabs hold.
  • A couple of years ago I heard First of May on a recreationally run internet radio station, and confused him with this John Mayer person my sister raved about. That was not the case.

    A few days ago I delved more into Jonathan's connection to John Hodgman, of who I am a big fan. And now I am a fan of Coulton too. I just bought The Old Furry Lobster song a few minutes ago since I have a few bucks postively balanced on my credit card.
  • It's been about six months. I was reading about a role-playing game ("My Life With Master"), and they linked to Skullcrusher Mountain as being a kind of unofficial theme tune for it...

    My Life With Master link:
  • looking at my watch I would say for about 2 days. Some one linked 1 song that were incorporated into World of Warcraft. Next thing I know there are 2 more, Creepy Doll, and Long as me. The first song was Re Your Brains. I cannot beleive I never heard of Joco before. I am looking forward to buying all the songs, so I can listen to them on my future deployment to the Gulf.
  • OK...I can't's been somewhere in the range of 15 years. I guess that makes us both old JC.
  • Ded: shhh. Don't tell anyone.
  • So does that mean there is a huge back catalogue of Jonathan Coulton songs that only a few people have heard? I'm sure some of these will have become a TAW?
  • Yes, Madelaine is an old one. You Could Be Her is also from that earlier life. And then there are the ones I wrote in high school and college that you will never hear... :P
  • That just makes me want to hear them all the more. I bet there is a gem or two in there, at least a glimmer of a gem.
  • 18 months plus. I'm not exactly sure when. I know that there was some time between when I first heard one of his songs and when I started avidly listening.

    First time I heard him? I remember one of my friends sending me Baby Got Back. I remember a different friend sending me Skullcrusher Mountain. I don't remember which one was first. But I remember not putting the guy who did Baby Got Back together with the guy who did Skullcrusher Mountain until later. I think it was when I put it together that it all clicked and I started avidly listening.
  • Just discovered JoCo a month or two ago when the lads of Penny Arcade linked him on their page. Code Monkey was the 1st song I heard & I have been hooked ever since!
  • Also about 15-16 (?) years. I'll never forget the first time I heard him sing his lunchlady song (not to be confused with Adam Sandler's lunchlady song - Jon's predates and eclipses it) and realizing he had this wry, mellow muse tucked away. With the laid-back charisma and voice, his calling was obvious. At some point I dragged a reluctant Mr. Coulton to a Jonathan Richman show, sort of my way of saying, "If he can do it, you can." We lost touch and later I heard he was writing software. Kinda made me sad. But one day watching The Daily Show, I was stunned to see John Hodgman (he and Jon were joined at the hip when I knew them) doing his Resident Expert bit. Fired up Google to investigate and eventually found my way here. I listened to every one of his songs that day -- it was one of those moments when you just crack a big smile and revel in the fact that something is exactly as it should be. And Jon - I still have my copy of your "Greatest Hits" cassette with the lunchlady song on it.
  • Only a few days back; ever since, I've been kicking myself for not looking him up as soon as I first heard his name over a year back. And I feel bad for not paying him anything for his amazing contribution to, I don't know, the world. Except I'm a minor and haven't any sort of credit card with which I can send funds online, and I don't think my parents would take too kindly to my mailing him large envelopes of cash, although I would totally do so otherwise. Next year. I will get a job and buy all the CDs. Or possibly sooner. We'll see.
  • Lunchlady song! I want to hear this song. And all the others off the greatest hits tape for that matter.
  • Just had to jump in here. I'm on my 4th year of listening to JoCo. I just stumbled upon the demo of Future Soon and was hooked. Listening to it made me finally go get a guitar and start learning. It took me almost three years, but I finally was able to learn that song 'cause tabs weren't around for it yet so it was my first big adventure in learning by ear. I didn't have the help of friends because I'm out in Montana and my friends were all worried about the latest and coolest thing on the radio.... too bad they didn't know what they were missing. Thanks for the wonderful 4 years JoCo!!!
  • It looks like I fall into the small group who first hear Jon about 16 years ago back in high school. I don't recall the Lunch Lady song (how could I not remember that?) but do remember Theory 812 that awry1 mentioned. I think Matt from was the drummer in that band.

    For Present-Day-Coulton, I've been listening for maybe a week. If that long. I came across his Wikipedia entry by accident and now I'm hooked.

    Keep up the great work Jon!
  • Rich A., I presume.
    Go Bobcats.
    awry1 is Josh D.
    Try [email protected] for further contact.
  • It has been 4 days since a friend at work told me about this "cool zombie song" that I would love. I looked it up that night since my co-worker has a pretty good knowledge of the kind've music I like. 4 days ago.
    Since then, like many of you, I have proceeded to digest the entire works of Jonathan Coulton. I have to quote and completely agree with Catatonik when he stated
    "What I discovered was more than I had imagined.
    There's nothing like that warm fuzzy feeling you get when a new obsession grabs hold"

    This is exactly what I went through when I first heard Re:Your Brains. followed by Creepy Doll, Skullcrusher Mountain, Chiron Beta Prime, Codemonkey, De-Evolving and all the rest.
    4 days and at this point, it's 24/7 still with no end in sight for me. I have to turn down the radio in the car because there are at least 3 songs fighting for frontal control in my brain at all times.
    I'm trying to memorize all 6 songs at once which is a lot for me as I don't take much to "learning" these days.
    Another co-worker accused me of making love to the computer at work because my ear was to the panel(our work computers don't have external speakers) as I hugged the other side and tapped foot and finger with partially swaying head. I told him I would if I could.
    I spend my time away from the music singing the music and thinking about how I would make videos for each song if I knew how to make videos.
    4 days and I'm a confirmed JoCoholic - I'm so happy. :)
  • edited January 2007
    I'm pretty new--TAW was just ending when a friend played me Chiron Beta Prime and Code Monkey on her Ipod. I got sucked into his robotic monkey world by way of the website, and then my friend asked me what the other good songs were, because she hadn't had time to listen to them all. I had to do it for her.

    I am so happy that I managed to catch the Hodgman reading in SF, because it was only about 2 weeks later! I met JoCo, I shook his hand, he looked at my Coultonmania badge and said "Isn't that kind of crazy?"
  • I guess it's been about 6 months for me. My good friend Kerry sent me an email with the subject line: "Never say I didn't do anything for you," and the body of the message linked me to re: Your Brains and JoCo's myspace page. None of you know me, but I'm a big horror fan, specifically zombies. I was so pleased by the song that I listened to it three or four times in a row, nearly crying from laughing so hard. The perfect zombie song. I kept finding new things to enjoy about it every time I listened. (it doesn't hurt that my favorite band of all time is TMBG either, and while JoCo is different, there is a certain aesthetic that carries crossover appeal)

    So I started looking into JoCo some more. I joined his friendslist on myspace, listened to those songs, found this site, downloaded everything I could.

    You have to understand... I was unemployed at the time (and was for 7 months total), could barely pay my mortgage and bills (actually there were lots of bills I didn't pay), and certainly couldn't afford music. . But here was someone that I enjoyed who was literally giving it away! I did what I could... I put JoCo songs on mixed CDs, made people listen to him in my car, put re: Your Brains up on my myspace page, linked the songs and WoW videos to my WoW guild, anything I could think of to spread the word.

    Recently I've become a code monkey myself (yay! unemployment has ended), and I purchased the box set of CDs. I can finally afford to pay you back for keeping me entertained for the last few months.

    Dig it!
  • Hey Josh. Yes, Rich A is right, although I'm the one from '90 and not '89.
    Thanks - I'll email you.
  • Since October 06. Ran across IKEA on YouTube, started sending it to people, and every once in awhile would check out another video showing up in the search. Finally made it to the website and bingo -- another addict.
  • Cool, you are the 1st person to list one of my videos as their 1st JoCo contact. I can die happy.
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