Three Things About San Francisco

By JoCo February 21, 2008

1) The Game Developers Conference is going on here this week, and Portal won Game of the Year, Best Game Design, and the Innovation Award – all well deserved. It’s an awesome game, and I’m proud to have been a small part of it. But I’m a little surprised it didn’t get Best Writing (which went to BioShock instead). As I’ve said many times, the song only works as well as it does because of the expertly constructed and subtly conveyed character of GLaDOS, who was given voice by the incredibly talented Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek. If there was a Jonathan Coulton award, they would have won that one this year, I’ll tell you what.

2) I played a short set at the Valve party last night, which closed with me playing “Still Alive” in the game Rock Band with a bunch of Harmonix folks. Yeah, it WAS awesome, you’re right. Plus I got 95% accuracy on the vocals. I guess the secret is out now – the song is going to be available for download in the game sometime in the future (don’t ask when because I don’t know).

3) I can’t remember the other thing. I’m so tired. Oh right, I was on CNET Live today and that was pretty awesome too – they even gave me burritos to eat! If you missed it when it was live, watch it here. Everyone here on the west coast is so nice and their burritos so tasty, maybe I don’t really hate California at all. Maybe I love California.

I’m not just saying that because I have a show here tomorrow night. OK, maybe I am.


Jack F says

Damn you California! Us East Coasters demand that you return JoCo to us!

T.J. says

I can't wait to get that song downloaded for Rock Band. Sheer brilliance, Harmonix!!!

I'm thrilled to see you're becoming bigger and bigger JoCo. You deserve all the success -- what a great story you have. It still pales in comparison to the stories of people overcoming multiple-hour car rides to get to the American Idol auditions my wife always talks about, but a great story nonetheless.

Get out to Phoenix, man!

Tiffany says

By God, I will check the PlayStation Store every week. (Also, hi.)

selene says


Gina says

YAY Rock Band with JoCo! I can't wait!

Gina says

A blog about #2 above:

I hope someone caught this action on video and we can watch it on youtube! I really want to see that...

Trampas says

I was excited about the DVD before watching this video. As someone who is 400 miles away from any of your concert venues, I haven't been able to see you live yet (though that's changing May 1st... a bunch of us are making the trip to Minneapolis!! WOOT!) and now after hearing Code Monkey played acoustically, I have to say I'm more excited than ever about seeing you live (in person and on DVD). I am amazed at the emotional depth you were able to bring to it.. it was beautiful. Have a great show tonight, and thank you for the music.

Hauke says

Great interview, i love your singing!
Oh, and please come to Hamburg/Germany :-)

Jake says

I liked the CNET piece. Also, can't effing wait for Still Alive on Rock Band. Any chance we could get some of your other stuff to play too? I'm a wanna be geek rocker!

Sean L. says

Can't wait for the DVD and Rock Band Song!!!

Jonathan, is the song going to be your version or the one from the end-credits of portal?

Scarybug says

Yay Rock Band!

Hey, the last 2 blog posts aren't showing up in the feedburner RSS feed. Is it normal for them to be delayed?

TheKeck says

Woot for Portal! Noticed this yesterday and think it's well deserved.

oddrat says

Pretty sure California loves you. At least the Bay Area and Central Coast bits. Come to Santa Cruz! Tacos Morenos has the Best. Burritos. Evurr.

Giggleloop says

Yay for the Rock Band news! I have been hoping for some JoCo Rock Band goodness for a while now - guess I'll have to get a new router so I can get my PS3 back on the network and check out the store. :)

*crosses fingers for a Jonathan Coulton Pack {Still Alive, Code Monkey, and Re: Your Brains, 'natch}*

Andy Baio says

I put some photos up on my site and on Flickr.

BradOFarrell says

Oh shit. The show is TOMORROW?! I'm going to be in San Fran tomorrow, I didn't know until just now. Shit. Shit. I wanna go!

And I have a DV camera and a bunch of blank tapes :(

Fred Schechter says

Can't wait to see your show tonight! (I'll be the biped in the audience) Yaay legs!

Janet says

How appropriate that pretty much all the furnishings in the gorgeous CNET office space came from IKEA. :)

Rufo Sanchez says

You can watch a video of the first minute or so of Still Alive in Rock Band here:

Credit goes to the team for posting it, but a bunch of people I know had problems with the .asx format, so I thought I'd post it to YouTube.

Mike Glavin says

Portal *should* have won best writing - I really liked pretty much everything about Bioshock, but Portal's writing was outstanding! Game of the Year in every way.

Sparky says

Eric & Chet are indeed awesome.

As are California burritos.

Crooked Wookie says

PLEASE tell me we're going to get to Rock out to "re: Your Brains." That song would be awesome in Rock Band.

Giggleloop says

BradOFarrell - email JoCo or message him on Twitter - you might still be able to be a videocam volunteer. (I don't know if he has any free tickets left, but tickets might still be on sale). (and the show is tonight, I think, isn't it?)

Brian says

Hey JoCo,
I don't think I truly appreciated just how gifted and talented a singer you are until I watched that CNet interview. Can't wait until you perform in southern California, I'll clear my calendar for that! By the way, our burritos are the best in the world!

Len says


I am so going to have to play "Still Alive" with you in RB. Me on drums. And you on guitar or vocals. It just has to happen.

Portal and RB FTW!

Jacob says

Best of luck with the live show and recording.

If you need people to purchase more songs so you can afford to produce the DVD sooner let me know and I'll call in some favours*.

(*translation: threaten to break people's thumbs.)

Hepcat says

The Kevin Sites piece turned up in the main Featured spot on Yahoo's main page this afternoon, and it was hard to get the blog to load, so it seems a lot of people were checking it out. Congrats, Jonathan!

And I hope the concert is a huge success and you and everyone in the audience have a helluva lot of fun.

Sam says

Gah! Why does the one concert that I could even get to have to be 18+ Curse you Minneapolis!

Hepcat says

@Sam: If you can possibly make it to Madison, the club's site says all ages.

Dinah Sanders says

Well that was a goddamn fantastic show.

San Francisco loves you, Jonathan. Thanks for giving us the pleasure of your company.

Now, where can I pre-order the DVD?

Jason C. Brand says

The concert tonight was absolutely awesome. Thank you for such a great show, not to mention touring with Paul & Storm. I agree with the above poster: when can I pre-order the DVD?

Guybrush Threepwood says

That settles it. I'm buying Rock Band in the morning. This was the bonus that finally pushed me over the edge.

(I'm using my tax return for that, a pocket bike, and a whole bunch of cardboard boxes since my son has more fun with those than actual toys.)

My brother, his girlfriend, and I sing JoCo in the car all the time, let's see what we score...

Kevin M. says

Well, I WAS going to wait until they released the entire Who's Next album before I bought Rock Band, but now, I think I'm going to get it with my next paycheck.

LizaLS says

Great interview on CNET! I love how your sweater matches your guitar pick matches the bamboo in the corner of the room. (I know, I'm a dork, but it was a good way to keep from just totally staring at JoCo like an obsessed mouth-breather).

Congrats on the Rock Band download! :)


Floyd Zamarripa says

Hey Jon, What difficulty were you set up for on vocals?

Andy Baio says

The Harmonix guys put him on Easy, because they were afraid ambient noise from the crowd would mess up the scoring.

Oded Sharon says

My video from the concert: