Pontiac – Cleveland

By JoCo July 11, 2008

Apparently nobody actually lives in Pontiac. Paul and Storm said something like “Hello Pontiac!” and the audience was all, “We don’t live in Pontiac!” Regardless, thanks for a great show everyone, despite it being a little hot and kind of late on a school night.

Today we drive to Cleveland. Word is that the famous Len will be in attendance – see if you can spot him, and if you do, give him an enormous, terrifying bear hug without any warning (he loves that!). Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to post a link to this for a long time: Len’s image for my Paul and Storm ripoff song, Big Dick Farts a Polka. (This is pretty much what Len looks like actually.)



MitchO says

I thought Len looked like a WoW Gnome or a South Park character.

Furthermore, I most definetly would not want to give him an unexpected bear hug. Lord only knows what may come out.

SO jealous of Toronto and Pontiac for hearing Live live! The forums think you can stick some fart noises on the Zendrum to do Big Dick. :D

Paul R. Potts says

It _was_ a great show. I was surprised how late it was before Paul & Storm took the stage (it was over an hour after doors opened, and geeks are generally very punctual, so we had a long wait). We were not quite prepared to be out so late, getting back to Ann Arbor at 1 a.m., quite a bit later than we had planned with our babysitter, and on a school/work night. It was quite hot and crowded in the venue, and my 6-month-pregnant and tired wife couldn't get a chair and wound up sitting on the floor. A couple of people were smoking which was not very good for my wife.

But despite all that we really enjoyed the show. I had not heard Paul & Storm before and they were very funny and very good at getting the audience loosened up. Jonthan's set was great; I especially liked his extended "Mr. Fancy Pants" on ZenDrum (with micro-Rickroll!) and cover of "Birdhouse in your Soul." He seemed really "on" and very engaged with the audience and getting a lot of positive energy back. I think the audience response helped pull a really great performance out him.

If you were at the show, you might have noticed me in the back with a digital recorder. I cleared this with the venue in advance and I'm pretty sure JoCo allows people to distribute recordings for free. It is my plan to make some or all of it available, but I want to double-check with Paul & Storm and get 100% clear on what I can post (for example, Jonathan's cover songs, yes or no?) without stepping on anyone's toes. Also, P&S is a little less suited for just listening to -- it doesn't capture their lip-synching or dance moves! So maybe I would just post some excerpts of their stuff, given their permission.

Jmonkee says

Wow, nobody would give up their chair for a pregnant woman? That's sort of sad.

And not to speak for either JoCo or P&S, but both allow you to post free recordings of their shows on the net. Take a look on the wiki (link at the top of the page) for countless examples. Looking forward to yours!

Nick says

I've been to three concerts now up in the Pike Room and wonder why acts are booking there. Jonathan is right: NO ONE lives in Pontiac and everybody is driving at least a half hour from the Detroit area or an hour from Ann Arbor to get there. It's not a bad place for that size venue, but it just a really a hike from where most (younger?) people are. Is it cheaper to book? Are there really not good alternatives?


Matthew Henry says

Yes, Ann Arbor next time, please.

I wasn't going to go because it's a long drive to Pontiac (plus The Wife had to work that night). Finally I Monday I said, "the heck with it, I'm gonna find a babysitter and I'm goin' ". But by then it was sold out. So I wasn't goin' :-(

Paul R. Potts says

The show did wind up producing some rather strange dreams. When I woke up I had the idea for a song in my head.

You now how in the Song Fu, JoCo did a song in P&S style, and vice-versa?

This song is in the style of P&S copying the style of JoCo, if that makes any sense at all.

It still needs a first verse. CC licensed, if anyone wants to contribute, and I might wind up recording it.

It's called "Replicator Night at Jonathan's Pub." It's sung like a pirate drinking song.

The chorus goes:

Oh, Misters Coulton sit at the bar,
admiring their many reflections.
And all their admirers are lined up to chat 'em up,
in a dozen different directions.

It's replicator night at Jonathan's Pub
Pitchers are only a dime
But the buckets of Miller taste exactly like
The ones you ordered last time.

And I didn't think I'd have any fun,
I was miserable, horny, alone
But by our third drink, we were all over myselves...
I think it's time all of me went on home!


[It needs a first verse]


Peter and Meg were next in the booth
They should not have gone in together, in truth.
When they came out they looked a little unsteady.
Maybe their relationship wasn't quite ready.
He's deep in her heart, and they're joined at the hip [shouted: "literally!"]
There are three of it sharing one artichoke dip.
They've accepted this turn of events with aplomb,
Though he/she is determined to get even more bombed.
They've got fifteen arms, and eight or nine legs,
We'll all just call them all Meter and Peg.


My wife just called me on our cell phones
We can't stay here, but we can't go home
Now I'm really confused, I'm in replicant hells
I don't think I could explain ourselves [shouted: "if we tried!"]
My clones are claiming that I'm not the original
They've told me I've got to be made discon-tin-ual
They're going to stuff me back in the box...
Reverse the polarity...
Flip the big switch...
Invert my parity...
I'm starting to itch...
It's time to finish this caution-'ry story...
in fifteen seconds it's going to get gory [shouted: ewww!]


jmccance says

The show was, indeed, eighty-eight kinds of awesome. I'm so glad you guys finally made it to Michigan. Pontiac was a peculiar choice of venue, but I figured it was to make the drive less arduous for people coming from points north. Southern Michiganders sometimes forget that there's an awful lot of state hanging over their heads, and not all of its inhabitants are gun-toting recluses.

So thank you all for an excellent night! Especially since my girlfriend and I were so concerned about holding up the massive line of fellow fawners that I think we may have forgotten to properly thank you for having your picture taken with us. You are kind and generous men, Sirs Coulton, Paul, and Storm. Kind, generous, talented, and hilarious.


jmccance says

Oh, and you really do need to add "Beer Thong" to your rider. Because nothing says class like a beer in a thong. [grin]

Matt N says

It really was a fantastic show. We, like everyone else, were not from Pontiac. We came down from saginaw bay (about 90 minutes) but it was absolutely worth it and we'd go back (For Jonathan and/or P&S) in a heartbeat. As we were leaving, I was saying to my wife that the *only* possible letdown for the show was that there are so very very many ridiculously good songs in JoCo's lineup that we can't possibly hear all of them in one sitting :(

In other words, please come back soon!

Jeff says

Another vote for an Ann Arbor show, how about at The Ark ( www.theark.org ) ?

Re: the Pontiac Show - Words fail. Fantastic - all 3 of them!

I loved "Live" - it is *totally* ala JOCO!
My favorite song of the night was probably "I Crush Everything" - such a tender performance.

Paul R. Potts says

So why did JC & P&S play in Pontiac anyway?

Because Chrysler and Buick were booked solid ...

Len says

Yes, I will in fact be at this so-called "concert" in Cleveburg. I will be holding an accordion but I will be jacked full of Beano, so I should be ok.

Austin says

I can't wait till tonight in Cleveland!!

Roman V. says

I shall be there in Cleveland as well, with a few friends, or with a friend. Point is I won't be there hopelessly alone like a loser. That isn't to say that I'm not a loser, but I won't be there like a loser. I can't wait.

Michael says

Fantabulous show last night! It was great to finally see/hear JoCo live! Yes, it was hot and cramped, but I had a piece of wall to lean on so I was OK. My wife even got a chair! She was especially fond of the "Baby Got Back" cover. JoCo played all my favs and we laughed ourselves stupid with Paul and Storm. I hope all return to MI (whatever the venue) soon!

Isaac B2 says

OK, I don't live in Pontiac either. And I wasn't at the show. But today I heard "Code Monkey" for the first time.

Most. Awesome. Song. Evar.

Seriously, Jonathan -- this and Jim's Big Ego's "The Ballad of Barry Allen" are the two songs in my life that I instantly knew I would love forever on some deep, weird level.

Thank you for writing it.

Liza LS says

Hey everyone!

I've posted pictures from the Pontiac show on my Flickr site, including some background on the "Beer Thong." It actually said, "<3 from Michigan," not Michelle. Hopefully I won't be the only flinging lingerie at the next show!
Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm

I echo everyone's thanks for stopping in Michigan on your tour of world domination. Hopefully the next go round will bring a bigger venue and better pizza (maybe Pizzapapalis or Buddy's). Thanks to everyone's whose view I may have inadvertently obstructed in trying to get a shot.

@Paul Potts - I meant to grab a shot of you with your recording device, it just looked so cool. Congrats to you and your family on the newest addition, I am just sorry we didn't grab one of the stools against the wall for her to sit on. The young man with you seemed really nice and was very friendly.

Despite the heat and the crowd, I thought it was a great group to represent Michigan!


Bo says

Thanks for the flickr pics Liza. I forgot my camera and was dissapointed its nice to be able to get some pics of the concert.

MitchO says

Someone give the show its full report on JoCoepdia!! : http://www.jonathancoulton.com/wiki/index.php/Pontiac%2C_MI:_2008-07-10

Hope Dundas says

What an incredible night! I have to say I fell in love with P&S, and it was incredible seeing Jonathan live for the first time. I have to echo the praise for "Live" - I hope they record it.

I was also the lucky winner of many cool prizes, including (if I remember correctly) "Peel & Lick", which I traded for "Humpty Dumpty (Crunchies)" - thanks, Paul & Storm!

Many thanks to Jonathan and Paul and Storm also for letting me record with my geriatric iPod, which sadly lost a good portion of JoCo's opening, including *sigh!* "Baby Got Back." I was dismayed that no one got up to dance to that - I would've been, if I hadn't been babysitting the iPod!

I hope we can get the three of them out this way again soon - Ann Arbor or Royal Oak/Ferndale would be great places, and I echo that the Ark is an awesome venue. With good beer (or so I'm told), and no smoking. :)

Beth T says

Agreed - Pontiac show was awesome! Does Jonathan understand why no one in the audience was from Pontiac?

I echo everyone's requests for a return visit, but I almost regret what is sure to come -- it may be the last time any of us will see JoCo up-close-and-personal in such an intimate setting. Next time, he'll be ready for the big house and you'll need binoculars!

*sigh* At least "we'll always have Pontiac..."

Eric says

It was a great show, and I'm glad we were able to get out to see it. We drove up from Toledo to see it, so of course I'll gladly advocate for Ann Arbor as a place where you'd more likely draw a bigger crowd.

The venue definitely left something to be desired, and I hope you find a better one next time you come through.

I want a shirt that says "I got rickrolled by JoCo." And P&S definitely need a shirt that says, in big gothic letters: BËERTHØNG


Yes, P & S were fantastic and, true, live is better than recording because there is SO much expression that isn't caught strictly in audio.

I do have to point out-
Anyone calling that hot and cramped has obviously never spent time at either Clutch Cargo's (just up the road) or Saint Andrews Hall. I'd never even heard of the Crofoot before and this place was rather small (or, as the optimists would say, "intimate"), but that wasn't even close to hot and cramped.

Only Ann Arbor benefits from a gig in Ann Arbor. Pontiac's about the same, if not better, for the rest of us, especially Detroit, Flint and Saginaw. The only exception to this would be people from Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, etc. For their sake, I'd hope something would be scheduled on their side of the state to begin with.

Derek says

I thought it was hilarious (and totally unsurprising) that so few people in the audience were from Pontiac. But for Clutch Cargo's and St. Andrews, it's not exactly live music mecca to begin with.

I was glad that it was a capacity (or at least near-capacity) crowd; I've been at a couple of shows where the audience obviously isn't big enough to be making the artists enough money to cover their travel expenses and it feels terrible (even if you compensate by loading up at the merch table). I was worried this was the case for JoCo (I never imagined that there were so many other geeks out there who spent the 1980s alone in their rooms reading Omni).

The whole show was absolutely brilliant; worth every minute of the 2 1/2 hours from Grand Rapids, and every $4.19 gallon of gas. I think I can die now that I've seen a show that contained covers from TMBG and Neil Diamond Cover, a BËERTHØNG, and a Rickroll.

Derek says

PS: http://www.zendrum.com/catalog.html

Paul R. Potts says

Liza LS: the recorder is a Sony PCM-D50, which I got mostly to do live recording and environmental sounds for podcasting. It has great sound for a hand-held device. You'll hear how cool it is when I get the excerpts from the concert audio posted. Today I was out along the Huron River listening to the sound of wind and gravel crunching under traffic overpasses. This is to become background sound to feed into original music for a later podcast.

The young man with me at the show was my son Isaac. He is learning to play guitar and we are working on some JoCo songs together! I might eventually put up some amateur cover versions. My 3-year-old daughter keeps bugging me to sing "Chiron Beta Prime" with her!

Paul R. Potts says

The first three tracks from the show are up, three Paul and Storm songs, with JoCo joining in on "Nugget Man."




1. We Are the Opening Band

2. Count to Ten

3. Nugget Man (featuring Jonathan Coulton on Backing Vocals)

Enjoy! More to come soon at (see my blog).

John says

I gotta say standing for FOUR HOURS sucked major ass. I don't understand why they would oversell and leave 30 or so people to stand. Needless to say, The Crofoot won't ever see another penny from me!

That said, it was a freakin' awesome show! I brought my two teenage nephews with me (we were standing in front of the sound board) who have only been JoCo fans for a few weeks. Both enjoyed the show, and the 3 of us got our 'old' iPhones signed by JoCo and P+S (we headed to Twelve Oaks to get in line for the 3G launch on Friday morning). JoCo, PLEASE come back! You have a very big fan base here.

Paul R. Potts says

John: the standing didn't bother me that much but it did bother my wife. My only real gripe was that the show started and ran so late. But we still had a great time even though we were worried about pissing off our babysitter!

Bo says

You can't forget to add the Z somewhere in BËERTHØNG.

Paul R. Potts says

The rest of the P&S set is posted -- see here. I'll get to the Coulton tracks next, check back in a day or two.

Paul R. Potts says

Hope: I think it was "Pull & Peel," not "Peel and Lick," although yours sounds naughtier :)

Angie says

I do wish the tickets had said "Doors at 8, show starts at 9" so we could have arrived later, since we got there before the doors opened and we -still- spent the entire show sitting on the floor in front of the front row.

Pontiac is in a decline, and I didn't mind driving up to Pontiac from the show (I'm in Royal Oak) and there were a ton in my group from Ann Arbor who clearly didn't mind the drive, but I definitely think that if we're looking at doors at 8 and being there for four hours, not having enough seating for the entire crowd was ridiculous. We will not attend another show at that venue (they have a bigger ballroom, and I don't know what that's like, but the room that we were in? Never again.

The only thing that didn't bother me much was the smoking, and I am usually really sensitive to it. It seemed to stay over by the bar fairly well.

But yeah - excellent concert, but terrible venue.

Paul R. Potts says

For those following along, check my blog for a link to more tracks from the Pontiac show. I've put up 10 more tracks of JoCo (from "The Future Soon" through "My Monkey," some of them being banter-only. Hope you all enjoy them.

Paul R. Potts says

I'm looking for a volunteer with stronger HTML-fu than me to create a nice index page for Jonathan Coulton Live in Pontiac. Basically, it should be an index.html file to replace the default one generated by the server. What I'd like:

- A logo, preferably involving a microphone with a "beer thong." I could draw a rough sketch for someone more talented to run with. It should feature the word "BEERTHONG" in gothic type with a slash through the O and an umlaut inappropriately placed over the G. Add other unpronounceable Germanic-looking diacritical marks to taste.

- The list of songs (with links to files) including a place for me to add notes for the tracks.

- The CC logo/link to the right license.

I will attach the logo to the files and when the set of files is complete, make a downloadable zip file for the whole "album."

If you can help with this, please send me a note to my first name dum de dum de dum at blah blah blah the potts house (all one word) yackety yack yack dot shoo be doo org, if ya know what I mean. (Will that confuse a spam e-mail address harvester or just anyone trying to write me a message?)

Paul R. Potts says

Oh, the graphic should also say "Featuring Special Guest Paul and Storm."

Preferably there should be an excessive number of umlauts and pointless heavy-metal typography all over the whole thing :)

Jmonkee says

Paul - your recordings are awesome; thanks for sharing!

CarrieP says

You can never go wrong with "Hello Michigan!" since you probably only will get this far "up north" once every year or so, and we're all used to driving ungodly amounts for our commuting and our entertainment.

Paul R. Potts says

Jmonkee: thanks, I'm glad you like them. I did not get the last few posted yet, but they should be done soon.

Paul R. Potts says

FYI all, the rest of the files are completed and I'm uploading them all now (if you get an error, try again in a couple of hours). If you like the concert recording please give your financial support to Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm.

Liza LS says

I don't know if I can post a pic here, but I did a very very very rudimentary mock up for the beerthong logo:

Special thanks to the hubby for finding the umlaut and font.


Liza LS says

Hmmm, my "go-go gadget hyperlink" isn't working, so let's try this one instead:


Paul R. Potts says

Hi Liza,

Thanks for the link! I think the logo is covered, I got an elaborate drawing of the beerthong for the "album artwork" and a complete index page, and it will go up on my web host as soon as I get final permission from the contributor to use it under CC license. But thank you for drawing the logo and photos of the infamous beerthong!