Public Appeal from Jimmy Whales

November 30th, 2011

No no no, not the founder of Wikipedia, this is a public appeal from an actual whale named Jimmy. He lives in the ocean and eats krill and he really wants to make sure you don’t miss out on JoCo Cruise Crazy. Here’s what he looks like.

This is to let you know that we’re getting down to our last few reserved cabins. We’ve been shuffling things around to keep as wide a distribution of cabin types as possible, but the ship itself is getting pretty full, and many stateroom categories are completely sold out. After December 6th we’re going to have to stop shuffling and begin to either sell through or give back all our rooms. So if you’ve been on the fence about going, or if you have friends who are dillying and dallying, now is a good time to pull the trigger. Not to say that nobody can book after December 6th, just that we’ll have a lot less flexibility than we do now.

This is also the time when I personally stop worrying about all the things I need to do to make the cruise happen and start to just look forward to it in a big way. We’ve got the last minute addition of John Flansburgh (who will be DJing a couple of dance parties for us), plus the already superbad array of fantastic performers and fun people. For the record, the complete list includes me, Paul and Storm, John Hodgman, Wil Wheaton, Vi Hart, John Roderick, MC Frontalot, Marian Call, David Rees, Paul F. Tompkins, and DJ John Flansburgh. We will have fruity cocktails together. We will all get horribly sunburned. We will wear fake mustaches. We will order club sandwiches delivered to our staterooms at 2 in the morning and it will cost us nothing.

THERE WILL BE BAKED ALASKA.

So if you like those things and don’t want to make Jimmy Whales cry (because everyone knows, whales and sea creatures in general LOVE cruise ships), then book now.

New Video – Down Today

November 17th, 2011

Me and the uke:

New Video – Today With Your Wife

November 15th, 2011

Do you guys like harp? I sure do. The fellow playing the harp in this video is named Park Stickney and he’s, you know, pretty good.

Video: Nobody Loves You Like Me

November 11th, 2011

As promised, here’s the next installment of the Jonathan Coulton video explosion, the official video for Nobody Loves You Like Me.

I’ve described this before, but since I’m sure people will ask, I’m singing into an audio plugin called The Mouth. I don’t know specifically what this particular setting is doing to my vocal, but it sounds to me like it’s interpreting the frequency content of the input and mapping that to a spread across several different octaves of the same note. So it creates an accompanying voice in multiple octaves of a single note. I control what that note is via midi, in this case using my monome (using it in the most boring way possible, to play midi notes, which is SHAMEFUL, but it sure does have pretty lights).

The red cowboy shirt does not affect the audio in any way.

So Many Things

November 8th, 2011

It’s awfully quiet here on this blog, but only because I’ve had my head down doing stuff. I barely have time to leverage social media platforms to enhance my brand! Here are some things I think you should know:

NUMBER ONE
Today, November 8th, is the official release date for the Artificial Heart CD. It should be available now at Amazon and at other CD-buying places (I actually don’t know where those places are – “stores” maybe?). I have noticed that the title is misspelled on Amazon, which is GREAT. They’re fixing it.

NUMBER TWO
You brave and generous souls who pre-ordered the signed CD (Level Two Participants) should receive your CDs very soon, as in, this week (unless you’re in a far away country in which case it might take a bit longer). The warehouse monkeys tell me that they started sending them out yesterday. My hand is tired from signing them, but my heart is full of your love. Thank you.

Level Three will go out as soon as the shirts are done, looking like a couple weeks. Level Four will go out as soon as everything is done, still looking like early December. Thank you all for your patience.

NUMBER THREE
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.

NUMBER FOUR
As sad as I am to not be traveling with my friend John Hodgman on his book tour, I’m delighted to be out on the road again with They Might Be Giants. We’re west coasting it now, Vancouver tonight, Seattle, Portland, you know the rest. Come on out and see us – check my schedule for details.

NUMBER FIVE
And by the way, Hodgman’s new book is absolutely fantastic and you should all buy it and read it. I don’t know anything about an audio book version, though I suspect and hope that he’ll do one and invite me to participate. If you get the chance you should really go out and see one of his readings – and calling them readings fails to fully prepare you for the fact that they are entertainment spectaculars. Honestly, he’s at the top of his game these days, and probably the descent into booze and pills is just around the corner. So don’t miss it.

NUMBER SIX
Rock Band versions of a few select songs from Artificial Heart are coming.

NUMBER SEVEN
The cruise is still happening, in spite of all the other things that would satisfy any normal human as Enough Things Happening Already. It’s going to be great. If you’re still on the fence about joining us, you should know that the ship is filling up fast, and we’re running out of our allotment of rooms. So don’t sit on the fence for too long, or you will fall into the ocean!

I think that’s all. Is that everything?