Thing a Week Redux

By JoCo September 27, 2010

Five years ago this month I was newly unemployed and had just started Thing a Week. An awful lot has happened since then, and it feels very strange to go back and look at what I was writing and remember how I felt. I get a lot of credit now for figuring out how to do the internet musician thing, but as I keep telling everyone, I’ve never really had any idea what I was doing. Over the course of that year there were a lot of successes and failures and mood swings and it felt like the greatest idea in the world and at the same time it felt like I was making a terrible mistake.

Five years later here I am, going into a studio to work on an album with one of my heroes that I never imagined I would meet, let alone work with. And it turns out I have to write a lot of songs very quickly again. It feels harder now, there’s a lot more to live up to than there was when most of my web traffic came from my Mom. But it’s instructive to remember what it was like to just write and not care because nobody was listening – good stuff comes from those circumstances. So I’m doing my best to continue not caring.

Anyway, I’m re-running Thing a Week in real time if you’d like to ride that roller coaster again. I have set up a Tumblr for this purpose. So far two weeks have gone by in secret, I hope the 9 followers who somehow found it have been enjoying it.

Go look:


Gle3nn says

Wow! It's been five years. Lot's of good songs and good memories. This will be fun to relive with the new commentary too.

QnA site for developers says

I'm one and half. That's life.

robgonzo says

This is awesome! I became a fan shortly after TAW was completed so it's nice to be able to relive it again for the first time.
The "Present Day JoCo Sez" feature is going to be a big hit. Keep that up!

Paul says

I'm still waiing for a re-done 'space race is over' by Billy Bragg, or a song about all the things we should be doing now, but aren't - Space hotels (no the ISS doesn't count), flying cars, rocket ships etc.

I hope that you will enjoy going back to your roots JoCo - I'll enjoy following you anyway, and I'm glad the experiment worked out.


Danny Walker says

JoCo, your music is just brilliant.
No matter what you write there will be people that will love it.
This will be just the same, people will fall in love with the music and enjoy it.

Keep at it.

JoCo says

I broke comments somehow, but I think I have fixed them. Rookie mistake, what is this, 2005?

Danny Walker says

Perhaps Code Monkey decided to slack and done somthing by mistake.

Lame joke ¬_¬

Devin Russell says

Well, Rob did say "your code not functional nor Elegant."

Danny Walker says

Code Monkey was busy offering her a soda, bring her cup, bring her ice.

Ken says

The pressures of expectation can certainly hamper the creative process by causing you to overthink. One effective tool, I have found, is sleep deprivation - to be used sparingly, of course, and only when necessary.

Lawrence says

Nice work Joco good thing you quit your day job, eh!
speaking of studios do you know the ETA of these new songs?
just like to know.
also is there any new songs that you didn't play at the concerts.
which i watched on youtube
because i couldn't watch it live
because i live in australia


Anna Henchman says

jonathan i still keep thinking about a song you once wrote called my new favorite song i think--in the early 90s. can you record it? do you remember what i am talking about. i loved it and it's still going through my head 20 years later which seems like a good sign. anna henchman

JoCo says

@Anna: that was actually a song written by John Hodgman, but it was a catchy one for sure. I will leave it to him to decide whether or not it will ever be heard again.

@Lawrence: I wish I knew - just working until it's done at this point. There are a bunch of new songs aside from what we did at the Northampton and Somerville shows, but they are not yet fit to be heard by human ears.

Jeremie Landers says

JoCo, just a quick thanks for re-running yourself. You're syndicated! Woot!

Sadly I did miss it the first time around, but I'm glad to be part of it this time.


Jace says

This is fun. I'm loving the new commentary. Whoo!

bAT L. says

When I first read the news post, I thought you were doing another Thing-A-Week and was really excited to get 52 new songs, but then I clicked the link and was confused to hear Shopvac just as I remember it. I'm not really disappointed, though, since this is awesome in its own right! It's always great to get new insight on your existing stuff and I also missed TAW when it was happening the first time.

That said, we would love if you somehow made 52 new songs.

bonbonbonbons says

It's been 5 years‽ Holy crap. And reading those old posts is filling me with nostalgia (although I discovered you a couple of weeks after this I think).

Johnny says

I'm glad everything's worked out and I wish you as much good luck as I can on the new songs! The fans will always love new material, I'm sure. At least, I know my friends and I will. Also, apparently a physics teacher I know played "I'm Your Moon" and Paul and Storm's "Nun Fight" to a class. Just a bit of interesting information.

Hoping to see you again whenever you come back to the Philadelphia area! (I'm the kid who drew you that portrait.)

Bronze Walk6 says and rock so do u well i see u didnt post aq stuff on this website u rock tho.

Lawrence says

Hey Joco interesting thought,
would you come to australia if you didn't have to pay for your plane ticket?

bobfard says

shit i thought you would re-record the songs and release them :( you should do that!

Hedgeek says

I thought for sure you would have done a TAW countdown causing not only the 5 year time shift but also a time reversal that would then result in a temporal distortion only Wil Wheaton could stop using some modified tech he stole from the Borg.

R. Kevin Hill says

I don't recall if Mandelbrot Set was a Thing or not, but I thought you'd all like to know that Mandelbrot is indeed in heaven.

Demetrius says

Just heard about Benoit Mandelbrot. May He Rest In Peace!

Jonathan says

Mandlebrots in Heaven! :'( What will i do if I ever lose my way now?

cheryl says

Here's a nice tribute to Dr. Mandelbrot, and a nod to the song as well:

Ben N says

Now that Mandelbrot is in heaven, are we going to get a patch to the lyrics? I'd feel kinda odd singing the song in its original form now.

RJ says

Maybe the first thing a week will be a redux/tribute to Mandelbrot? I tried to explain who he was to friends and when I got blank stares I played Mandelbrot Set for them instead. Now my friends think Im an idiot because I couldnt explain using plain words and the song could do it to a tune and with rhymes. =)