Jonathan Coulton is from the Internet. While a struggling music industry fell to pieces over file sharing and shifting business models, he quietly and independently amassed a small army of techies, nerds, and dedicated superfans. His songs cover an eclectic range of subjects, from zombies and mad scientists to marriage and parenthood. In concert he moves fluidly between pathos and ridiculous fun. Seeing your first Coulton show is like walking into an insider club meeting, but one that gleefully welcomes and indoctrinates you in short order.

After leaving a perfectly good software career to pursue music full time, Jonathan embarked on a bold experiment in forced-march creativity called Thing a Week, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year. Much to his surprise, this plan worked, and he has since released many albums and toured all over the world. You may know him from many things, including the songs from Portal and Portal 2, his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” (infamously hijacked by Glee), his recap songs from the CBS series BrainDead, or his work with longtime pal John Hodgman.

He owns and runs his own fan cruise called the JoCo Cruise, as profiled in Wired magazine. Through Kickstarter, he funded a graphic novel based on his songs, and written by Greg Pak, called Code Monkey Save World. They later collaborated on a children’s book called The Princess Who Saved Herself, based on one of Jonathan’s songs. He is currently the One Man House Band for the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another.


Jonathan performs to a crowd of Zombies on his annual, eponymous fan cruise