JoCo in the Media

edited February 2008 in JoCo Fame
There's an extremely fun video interview HERE that shows the tragedy of being a rock music producer (going to another room; bringing a cardboard box; opening the box; pulling out some CDs). It's also got the first external view I've ever seen of The Studio -- a converted closet, according to this piece, instead of a corner of the kitchen. Short but fun.

ETA: This will teach me to post a discussion thread before refreshing the JoCo blog. Gaaah!

[20080324: Edited by Bry to change the thread category]


  • edited February 2008
    Well, lets discuss the article here then.

    I found out two very interesting things:
    • JoCo now makes more money than when he was a code monkey, and that is great news, as that means he will never stop making music to 'return to work', and it makes me glad that he is 'being paid' for his talent.
    • The tipping point for eventful concerts is 'about 100', alas I doubt that is true for the European tour, else he would be arranging the UK tour (it's well over 100 now)
  • I imagine the expenses would be higher for a European tour.
  • You mean flights to Europe cost more than to Washington? ;)
  • He mostly gets paid in dollars, right? ;-)
  • Oh, so now you're balming the strength of the British pound. It almost makes me want the pound to weaken...almost.
  • And if he were to perform in France, he'd have to hire dancers.
  • Kerrin -- Looking at the Eventful site, I see 134 demands for London, and 99 for UK in general. Then there are about 20 cities that each show a handful of demands -- anywhere from 5 to maybe 15 people in those locations who want to attend a concert. I really don't know what the economics are of setting up music gigs, but it seems to me that you'd need more locations than just London to make such a trip worth it.

    The rest of Europe isn't high in the demand area either -- some in Berlin, some in Stockholm, but just overall very few.

    What do you Euro folks think can be done to increase the recognition and demand in enough cities so that five or six different concert venues of a decent size could be filled for a JoCo concert?
  • I wish they had not mentioned the money thing so prominently. I'm afraid it will only encourage more people to not bother giving back since "he's doing ok"
  • That's definitely true Rob, although he already gives some songs away for free I don't think it would be good to have everyone downloading his songs because "he's doing fine".
  • I have to wonder how much of his income is from "Still Alive", which is based on a completely different business model, though he almost certainly wouldn't have gotten the work without the visibility provided by his Creative Commons music.
  • edited February 2008
    Some of the issue may be attributed to the lack of awareness of Eventful, actually. I know I hadn't heard of it until I visited JoCo's website.

    I don't know that the CNET interview discussion of money will really hurt fans' desires to contribute to the cause. So much of JoCo's fanbase is 30 and over that the issue for a lot of us is a genuine desire to compensate where we feel compensation is due. Even if I'd found out the guy was a millionaire, I would still feel it was only right to pay for the music he makes.

    This isn't to say that everyone under 30 is looking for a free lunch, but artists whose fanbase is made up of primarily college students and teenagers who simply don't have a lot of money to spend are probably more likely to fall prey to the feared mentality mentioned above.
  • Did anyone read the comments at Yahoo News about that interview. So many of them were negative, either dismissive of his talent ("only been a performer since 2005") or derogatory comments about the idea of his quitting his job right when before his daughter was born. Also some had the opinion that all his fans were troglodyte geeks that had no idea about music and he was bilking us and laughing about it. Maybe I'm exaggerating there a bit but there were certainly a lot of haters there.

    There were a number of people who stuck up for him or just had positive things to say. I was tempted to provide a rebuttal but I'm of the opinion that you don't poke a rabid dog. But I'll vent here a bit, if you don't mind.

    I did notice that the Yahoo News article focused on how much money he was making and also that he "started" his career with Thing A Week. He had three albums released before that (albeit small albums) and it sounds like music has been his thing pretty much forever. He just didn't fully commit full time until then. A lot of musicians have "day jobs".

    Anyhow, I liked the CNET interview much better. Especially when he caught himself saying "Mr. Fancy Pants" and realized that he quoted himself. Adorable!
  • I think this t-shirt from diesel sweeties explains the hater mindset.
  • But you can't leave it... someone was WRONG on the Internet!
  • I'm listening to JoCo on Twit.

    I'm a little disappointed that he says that New York isn't as good as the West Coast, or Midwest, or anywhere else. :-(

    I'm in New York, and I'm a fan.
  • Bear in mind, he lives in New York and is from Connecticut. I think it's a nice reversal of the stereotypical "New York is the absolute center of the universe" mentality, and I'm not just saying that because I live in a suburb of Boston. ;-)
  • Wow. That Twit interview/podcast is the single best interview with JoCo I've ever heard. It's like he was in the room with a bunch of people who had really thought a lot about the whole context he operates in, with the added icing on the *cake* of including a subgroup who had performed in the DVD concert. Good questions, very good pickup & followup of the points he made in his answers -- apart from all the detritus at the beginning of the show, this was an A plus, in my book.

    And CoolJammer -- I'm pretty sure that JoCo wasn't talking about New York as a place; he was referring to New York audiences for his performances compared to west coast audiences. I think his point was that his most committed & engaged fans seem to be located in or near the silicon hub cities like Seattle, SF, Portland, Boston, et cetera.

    You can tell that's likely to be the case by clicking on the Eventful button on the JoCo website homepage, and looking at the level of demand for his concerts. New York itself is WAY down the list compared to what you might imagine -- most people in the NY metro area either have little interest in his kind of music, or are too busy, or simply haven't heard of him, or some combo of the above.

    It's like what they always say about prophets & their hometowns, I think.
  • I like the futuristic ring of 'silicon hub cities'. It brings to mind space cities orbiting a silicon hub.

    I think part of the problem in New York is that there is SO much to do and see.
  • I have to agree, this is an excellent interview. I'm stoked that he even made reference to my little gang of folks when he was talking about (now world famous) Andy Bates.

    Excellent interview, well worth the time.

    The actual JoCo stuff starts at about minute 16, if you don't want to hear about other tech stuff.
  • Okay, since there are many technocentric JoCo fans, there must be SOMEbody out there who knows how to (efficiently & properly) update his Wikipedia entry, which is current enough to mention "Aftermath" but which doesn't include the TWIT interview. Which seems a shame. Anybody? Bueller?
  • I'll do it.
  • There's an interesting article online about overall music sales statistics, and mentioning JoCo's business model here.
  • edited March 2008
    Awwww! I just checked the comments on the Yahoo story and found this gem:

    As your first grade teacher I should have seen this coming. I didn't smell the Geek, however, only the Wicked Cool. And cool in a totally authentic, unselfconscious way, with an open heart and willingness to stay true. Thanks for singing at my second-failed-marriage wedding ceremony. That was the best part of the whole affair. Hugs- Ms. B.

    Liz B
    POSTED TUE, MAR 11, 2008 1:11 PM PDT
  • Wow, that's pretty cool Gina.

    Perhaps you should email the link to JoCo to make sure he see's it, as he doesn't always have time to check the fora.
  • Liz Bochain. Not only 1st grade teacher, but also the head of our elementary school's gifted program.
    She was a smart hippy in a Soc/Greaser town. Ahead of the crowd in most endeavours she undertook.
  • I emailed him and he was pleased I pointed it out. Said she was his favorite teacher ever.
  • thats so cute, his teacher leaving him a message :3

    I think it's amazing just how much attention JoCo gets, when you consider he's not got an agent or a record company.
    I think it's also thanks to you guys that he gets so much attention, it's like a small army ( i say you guys because i've just started listening and posting :P.)

    i've shown my whole 3 friends his music and they all love it ^^ my girlfriend likes it but i think she's abit sick of me playing it NON-stop.
  • Actually, he has a couple of different agents ("booking" vs. "fancy Hollywood").
  • I stand Corrected ^^;

    /me wishes they had agents.
  • BryBry
    edited March 2008
    Rather than start a new thread, I'll bump this one. Here's JoCo leading off a New York Times article on collegiate a capella. In Bry news, I still have my ticket from the show where the live mp3 in the "Multimedia" section was recorded (none of it is JoCo, I hasten to add). Just in case you were curious...
  • So, British JoCo fans -- did anybody see this?
  • I linked to it in the Britfans thread, but didn't get to see it. Fortunately, it's archived here.
  • I got a MySpace friend request the other day... which took me aback because I almost never use the thing.

    It was from UCLA Radio and included the message...
    Jonathan Coulton is calling in on the show Sunday night - thought you might be interested. . . DJ Octoon from UCLA Radio
    Just thought I'd mention it.
  • What time would that be GMT approximately? I get the feeling I'll be asleep since I'm in the future, so is there any way someone could archive it for me?
  • I'm not sure... It's, like, 4 AM.
  • 8pm Pacific is about 3am Brit-time.
  • I was close (and I was guessing)! :-D

    *is proud of herself*
  • Well, you never know. Might still be up...
  • Who the heck is Ari Hest? Whoever he is, he is now doing a song a week. (JoCo gets a nod in the article.)
  • I listened to some of his music and it was good. The frustrating thing is that you can only listen to a short clip, you have to buy it to hear the whole thing. While 20 bucks isn't all that much for a years worth of music, I don't know if I'm going to want it after I've paid.
  • BryBry
    edited May 2008
    While 20 bucks isn't all that much for a years worth of music, I don't know if I'm going to want it after I've paid.
    Exactly. Well put. Like Colleen, I don't know anything about Ari Hest. So the "song every week" has served its publicity purpose for him -- I, previously entirely ignorant of him and his music, was curious enough to want to listen to what he's doing. But then I found that he makes it deliberately difficult for me to listen to what he's doing. In a way, he's saying to new people, "Look, just trust me, this is worth $20," but what assurance does a new fan have that it really is?

    [Question: Let's say, for whatever reason, he has to bail midway through -- what happens to the subscriptions?]

    Quasi-relatedly, I'm not the only one, I'm sure, who was a little put off by the column Colleen linked to -- not only does it fail to provide links to Ari Hest and Jonathan Coulton (which can't be blamed on the columnist, since he's writing for print), but my first impression was that the article is rather dismissive of JoCo.
    [W]hereas Coulton is a self-professed novice, Hest is coming from an entirely different place. He's an established musician with a pair of major label albums under his belt...
    I guess I see the point that he's trying to make -- unlike Coulton, Hest is leaving the security of a major label; he'd already achieved what is still regarded as success for an artist, and he didn't have to do the whole parachute-free jump. I'll be charitable enough to assume column length limitations prevented the writer from making the point less clumsily.

    (Interesting, actually, that there's nothing about what Hest's music actually sounds like, just a list of his credentials. 300-odd subscribers sounds, to me, surprisingly low for an "established musician" who's twelve weeks into this project -- did his fan base not carry over? If a musician I'd been following and whose albums I'd been buying offered me 52 songs for $20, I'd be inclined to give it some strong consideration, at the least. Maybe he should cover a JoCo song?)

    Here, by the way, is the columnist's previous column about JoCo. It's a good article, I think (he does accidentally call "Ikea" a Thing a Week, but I won't hold it against him).
  • lots of people are.

    mislabelling non TaW songs as TaW, that is. I think there was some article that listed 4 nonTaWs as TaWs.
  • I've "put together" a rudimentary listing of JoCo media appearances on JoCopedia, but I've not added much of any detail. I'd appreciate y'all's help in gathering the links (many of which are already in this thread, of course).
  • I know this is probably the wrong thread but i was thinking it would be pretty easy to find every mention of him ever with a simple google search. Then i discovered this weird occurrence. Search google for Jonathan Coulton you get about 448000 results. Then search google for him but not references to him on his site as there are over 1000 pages on his site that mention him. So search jonathan coulton now the number of search results spikes up to 678000 which is another half as many as the original search. I can't explain why removing a site from the search would increase number of results can anyone explain this to me?
  • I dunno, but if you add "interview" to the search, you get a pretty rich looking first page of links at least.
  • BryBry
    edited May 2008
    I have just stumbled upon this mention of JoCo from's FishbowlNY on October 11, 2005, and I have decided it is my favorite JoCo reference ever. You'll have to click the link to understand why the blogger very seriously terms JoCo an "obscure dead organist."
  • Brilliant. Nice research department over there at mediabistro~
  • Re: Ari Hest

    When I saw his name, I could have sworn I had some track of his in my iTunes. It's a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", or more accurately, it's a cover of Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah."

    Listen here if you wish.

    I don't know if it gives any clues as to what his music sounds like in general, but it's what I've got. :-P

    Random, but I collect a lot of covers. The fact that JoCo had covered Cohen was one of the things that really attracted me to him. I have 33 Cohen covers (6 of "Famous Blue Raincoat", 16 of "Hallelujah").
  • maiden name was "Ware", don't have anyone named Chris in that familiy that I know of.
  • That is a wonderful article, and I would like to echo these sentiments:

    "Jonathan Coulton, congratulations on existing, and also on apparently being a talented and funny person!"
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