Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton‘s music has been playing pretty non-stop on my music player for the last week now. It’s great music, and the lyrics often have a perverse humour based on maths, science fiction and other geeky subjects that really appeals to me. Who else can sing about the Mandelbrot Set without sounding lame?

I’ve known about Jonathan Coulton for about two years now, after I first heard about him after a mention about his song Code Monkey on the Java Posse, and then again later on Slashdot. I though Code Monkey was a great song at the time, but I didn’t look any further then.

Recently, I heard reports of him wowing the crowd at PAX. One thing that really struck me was the description of his reaction to the size of the crowd, which was about 3000 (compared to his normal crowd of about 50-200). All of them were screaming “all we want to do is eat your brains”, which sounds grusome, but makes sense if you know that particular song. All this prompted me to check out his music again, which lead me to make my first music purchase in more than three years.

One (other) thing which makes Jonathan’s music relatively unusual is the fact that he releases it under the Creative Commons. This means that people are free to make non-commercial derivative works. As a result, there are many amateur and semi-professional videos available, most of them linked from Jonathan’s site. Spiff does some excellent machinima videos using the World of Warcraft.

Some of my favorites:

Anyway, enough gushing on about music. More technical content to follow.