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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:43 pm 
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TSOYA favorites Jonathan Coulton and John Flansburgh -- together!

For Jonathan Coulton, success as a musician has come with recording music himself, releasing individual songs online one-at-a-time, and even selling his catalog on a USB drive. So in a way, his new album Artificial Heart is a terrifying turn to the traditional, and a creative risk. It was produced with They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh in a studio with a full band, the old-fashioned way. Jonathan and John talk to us about that process.

Discuss!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:04 pm 
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I remember listening to that particular Planet Money podcast and nearly having a ragestroke in the middle of a crowded grocery store. Not necessarily at the geek thing -- fine, call me a geek -- but because, when asked several times if the fact that JoCo made a pretty decent living off of his music and found his fan base (niche or not) thanks to the internet proved that the internet was a good thing for musicians (and the announcer specifically said musicians, not the music business), the commentators kept saying no... and their only reason was that Coulton didn't go the traditional route. They kept clinging to this idea that success in music meant going the traditional route and/or finding someone in the corporate world of music who can sell you en masse to the public, instead of finding an audience that liked you and appreciated you, and finding a way to keep creative control. They were so obtuse, and I don't know how much of it had to do with the fact that they were contemptuous of Coulton because he wrote "silly songs" about giant squids and evil geniuses. It frustrated the hell out of me because it sounded like they were saying that the internet was bad for the future of music because it takes the decision of who can make a living off of their art out of the hands of corporate tastemakers and puts it into the hands of the artists and fans (it was especially funny a few months later when I listened to the episode about manufacturing the hit of of the summer. I don't want to turn this into the Planet Money thread, so I just advise y'all to listen to that episode if you get the chance).

Anywho. It was nice to have kind of a "debrief" on that situation. And I need to scrabble some of my fun-cash together for that album, as all the songs sounded pretty fantastic (I especially liked Nemesis).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:55 pm 
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The album is remarkably good, it's been on pretty constant play since I bought it.

The best way for me to describe the artistic growth I think is that Coulton's previous stuff made me really happy as a nerd, but the new album makes me really happy as a rock nerd, specifically. The man's been eating his Power-Pop Wheaties for sure (who's on the box this month, Alex Chilton or Matthew Sweet?)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Nice interview! I also enjoyed the rich audio bubble bath of three dudes all in their own lush home studios.


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