I’m very excited to make this secret project public today: I have a new album called Some Guys and it is covers of 70s soft rock songs that sound exactly like the originals. This is maybe not what anyone would have guessed was my next thing, especially me. But I really love it.
You can pre-order on Kickstarter RIGHT NOW!
In the 70s, I was sensitive kid who liked soft rock (both of those things are still true). These were some of the first songs that I remember really connecting to. I was always pretty sure that this was not a thing that made me cool, but now that I’m in my late 40s, I feel like it’s safe to come out as a soft rock lover. (Hello, I’m Jonathan, and I like Dan Fogelberg.) Lately, I’ve been listening to this kind of music a lot, rediscovering all my old friends, and I couldn’t shake the idea that it would be a lot of fun to just kind of make them again. I didn’t want to do new versions, I wanted to just rebuild the originals from the ground up. I wanted to live inside these songs for a while. I can tell you it felt very warm and cozy in there.
The album was produced by Solid State producer Christian Cassan, and I have to say, it sounds amazing. Most of the instruments are played by him and me, but we brought a few friends in for the stuff that was too hard. The rules: same keys, same tempos, same arrangements (as best we could manage). We hired real strings and real horns. We engineered and mixed in a way that we felt was faithful, but not slavish, to the original recordings, so the effect is this thrilling combination of old and new. I hope you like it as much as I do.
The release date is yet to be determined, but probably late March. Right now I’m running a Kickstarter to cover the cost of printing CDs and some really beautiful vinyl, designed by Gail Marowitz and Ed Sherman, who also created the grammy-nominated design for Solid State:
I mean: yum. More details are on the Kickstarter page, including a complete track list, and a pretty great video that explains the project and lets you hear a snippet of each song. As ever, I am grateful to all of you for supporting me in a way that lets me do things like this. I have the greatest job in the world. Thank you.
Stay soft everybody!
Do you feel that? There’s a slight chill in the air. Crisp autumn leaves crunch underfoot. That’s right, it’s time for New York Comic Con! Here’s where I’ll be and when and why.
Thursday Oct 5
NYCC Geek Rock Block
3-3:15 PM, NYCC Live Stage, booth #174
Check out live interviews with some of the top names in Geek Rock including Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, and Nerf Herder
NYCC Thursday badge required
Loot Crate Geek Rock Block Meet & Greet with Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm & Nerf Herder
3:30-4:30 PM, Loot Crate booth #536
Loot Crate brings you an hour of geeking out with the biggest names in Geek Rock: Nerf Herder (Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme), Jonathan Coulton aka “JoCo” (Portal) and musical comedy duo Paul & Storm. Come meet everyone, have something signed AND sign up for your chance to win 2 tickets to Nerf Herder in Brooklyn on 10/5 and 2 tickets to JoCo and Paul & Storm in Brooklyn on 10/6. (both 21+) Merch will also be available for sale.
NYCC Thursday badge required
Friday Oct 6
Jonathan Coulton with Paul & Storm and “Friends”
7-9 PM, Bell House, Brooklyn
Join Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm and their friends (if they have any, which they don’t) for a night of music, hilarity and general nerdery.
NYCC badge not required
Acker and Blacker’s Star Wars Party
10-??? PM, Bell House, Brooklyn
Saturday Oct 7
Telling Stories with Pat Rothfuss, Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, Maureen Johnson, Jean Grae & Travis McElroy
2:45-3:45 PM, Room 1A06 at Javits Center
Bestselling authors Patrick Rothfuss and Maureen Johnson; singer-songwriters Jonathan Coulton and Jean Grae; comedy/music duo Paul and Storm; and podcaster Travis McElroy discuss their strategies for storytelling, creating characters, and moving from good idea to finished thing.
NYCC Saturday badge required
Sunday Oct 8
Solid State with Jonathan Coulton – hosted by Image Comics
3-3:50 PM, Image Comics booth #1444
Celebrate the recent album release of Solid State by Jonathan Coulton and its companion graphic novel by Jonathan Coulton and Matt Fraction from Image Comics by meeting JoCo himself. Exclusive hardcover graphic novels and vinyl will be available for sale. Don’t miss your chance to meet the man behind the music and the graphic novel – and to have them both signed!
NYCC Sunday badge required
We Got This with Mark and Hal, LIVE!
6-8 PM, Hudson Mercantile (500 W 36th St at 10th Ave)
We Got This with Mark and Hal is returning to NYCC for the third consecutive year, recording a live episode of their popular Maximum Fun podcast in which they settle the topics you never knew you cared so much about, like whether ketchup belongs on hot dogs, what the best classic board game is, Star Wars vs Star Trek, and the best Batman of all time! Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin (Drunk History, Venture Bros, Welcome to Night Vale, The Thrilling Adventure Hour) will be joined by special guest, Jonathan Coulton, as they tackle another of the most important debates of all time: the best game show of all time!
New York Comic Con badge not required.
Because it is a FAQ, here are the credits/liner notes for Solid State:
All words and music by Jonathan Coulton
All vocals by Jonathan Coulton
All instruments and noises by Jonathan Coulton and Christian Cassan except:
Background and harmony vocals tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9,13 and 15
Slide guitar and guitar solo track 5
Electric guitars and guitar solo track 11
Piano tracks 1, 6 and 7
Pedal steel guitar tracks 2, 3, 6, 13 and 14
Accordion track 6
Kenneth H. Rampton
Trumpet and flugelhorn track 11
Ball and Chain horns arrangement by Christian Cassan
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Christian Cassan at The Secret Garden
Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters
Solid State – Now In Paperback!
Thanks to all of you who have let me know how much you’re enjoying Solid State, especially those of you who have let me know that it makes you cry. You guys are my favorite, because boy, ME TOO. It’s feeling a little rough and unfriendly out there these days, and if you listen to this album and cry, that probably means you are hearing some of the heavier thoughts and feelings I hoped to express in there. That is maybe the best feeling I get to feel, so thank you.
The album and the graphic novel work just fine by themselves, but I think they work even better together. You can still buy the hardcover edition directly from me, but as of today you can also buy the paperback version (smaller and less awesome) and the digital (infinitely small (in terms of physical space)). The music can be got wherever music can be got: you know what to do.
If you haven’t listened and/or read at this point, honestly, I question your judgment. If you have, and you enjoyed it, please let your friends and enormous social media circles know about it. I think it’s the most personal and meaningful thing I’ve ever made, and I’m very proud of it. If I could, I would put the damned thing on my tombstone. For now, I will have to make do with AS MANY PEOPLE LISTENING TO IT AS POSSIBLE.
JoCo Cruise – Initial Performer Lineup!
We’ve announced the initial lineup of performers for JoCo Cruise 2018. Those of you who think it’s not enough just to be a nerd on a boat with a bunch of nerds, well, I don’t understand you, but here’s the goldarn famous people you’ve been waiting for:
Maria Bamford, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Cory Doctorow, Matt Fraction, Mark Frauenfelder, Jean Grae, John Hodgman, N.K. Jemisin, Jackie Kashian, Ted Leo, Molly Lewis, Aimee Mann, Open Mike Eagle, Paul and Storm, Riz Rollins, Patrick Rothfuss, John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton.
Plenty more to come: some new folks, some old favorites. We’ll announce more as we’re able to confirm between now and when we sail, but it’s ALREADY AWESOME. Cabins are still available, and I know it’s Summer right now, and I know the world is falling apart and everything, but you might just want to be on a cruise ship come February.
As for Me
Well, I’m on vacation. It’s sunny and warm and there’s a beach and mostly I eat and have cocktails and read. Oh, except I’m writing some lyrics for the Spongebob musical here and there, which you will be able to see on Broadway November 6. And I wrote this email I guess. And I had a couple of conference calls. And crap, I have to go to the post office today but first I have to find a place to print a shipping label. Vacation is so stressful.
Wherever you are, on vacation or not, I hope you’re holding up ok, and that nobody is trying to take away your healthcare.