March 24th, 2011
Thing a Week 26: Re:Your Brains
If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that being trapped in a mall surrounded by a million zombies would be really troublesome. But how much more annoying would it be if the head zombie used to be your co-worker, and he was kind of a prick even before he got infected? And now he’s right outside and he just keeps talking and talking – still the same jackass, only now he wants to eat your brains?
Also, for those of you who only see this feed, I should alert you that there is now an option to purchase a subscription for Thing a Week if you like. Click here for details: http://www.jonathancoulton.com/subscription
PRESENT DAY JOCO SAYS: Friday is no good for me, how is Wednesday? Oh God, it’s THURSDAY?!
I would call it a tie between this and Code Monkey for the most enduring and well-known song from Thing a Week. And here it is right at the halfway point. This one came to me pretty easily - I was walking around my neighborhood, running errands or something, and the line “All we want to do is eat your brains” just popped into my head. I could already imagine the character, a zombie who’s just trying to explain and really, what is the big deal? The rest of it fell in line around that very clear and obvious (to me) character. Of course it has now become my semi-official closing song, with the singalong, and the screaming. And zombies continue to have their moment in popular culture, which is lucky for me.
You’ll notice this is where I tried the subscription model (the link is no longer active). It was a buck a week through Paypal, and it did not contribute too much toward the bottom line. I can see the plan evolving over all these posts as I tried one thing after another, waiting to find the magical formula for turning music into money. The truth is, nothing ever worked as well as selling mp3s. Donations were always paltry, the subscription thing maybe had 50 people by the end, I really just think people are more comfortable with the “buy this thing” kind of transaction. Though of course that was only at this point just beginning to get into respectable numbers. Somewhere around here was where I started earning enough from mp3 sales to pay for the babysitter who was watching my child while I pretended to work, and it felt like a huge victory.
This was also when I first met Paul and Storm, when I opened for them at their show in New York. I was surprised and delighted to discover that many people in the audience had come to see me. I started thinking about doing more live shows after that, and Paul and Storm would eventually teach me everything they knew about touring. They connected me with their booking agent, who would become my booking agent later. They continue to be an essential resource to me for all sorts of things in both the business and personal realms (which in robot language means that they’re trusted colleagues and close friends).
People often ask me when did I feel like I had “made it.” The answer is never - I continue to feel like there’s more I should be doing, and I can always find someone to envy. But somewhere in here is where I began to see a rough outline of a viable career, if I could just turn the volume up in a couple of places. Here was where it started to feel like my software career suicide at least had not been a terrible mistake.