Jonathan Coulton, geek singer/songwriter, joins us to talk about music, video games, and becoming an internet rock star. Dave and John discuss music for geeks.
0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:38 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: Jonathan Coulton
01:34 Interview begins
01:50 Jonathan’s geeky interests growing up
03:15 On computer programming, and the indisputable fact that the client is always wrong
04:10 Fake it ’til you make it: Pretending to be a full-time musician and how it paid off
05:26 Eventful.com: how you can get JoCo to play a show in your town
06:54 Mad Scientists vs. Zombies
07:39 Regarding Dr. Horrible and making art without a net
08:29 Jonathan’s zombie contingency plan: a speedy death
09:28 Working with Valve on Portal
10:35 Jonathan’s songs are available in Rock Band! Also Jonathan proves his corporate geek past by using the term “core competency” in relation to rock music
13:02 Jonathan’s move from core to casual gaming (there are kids and family involved, who’d have guessed?) and a few recommendations
16:00 On being in the zone
16:59 Re: being mentioned by people he admires on the internet
20:52 Performing at the Penny Arcade Expo
21:47 Playing at cons vs. music venues
24:41 End of interview
Dave and John talk about metal, nerdcore, and speculative fiction with musical themes
24:47 How Dave was traumatized by Aerosmith, and also is possibly an alien here to study our culture
29:13 John establishes metal’s geek cred and defends the continued existence of MySpace
33:25 The difficulty in being a fan on the fringe
34:27 John expands on fantasy themes in metal
37:03 Dave explores the idea of changing themes in popular music, and John recommends Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
42:56 Stephen King’s “The Raft,” writers in bands, and the science fiction/rock-and-roll cross-over
44:54 More fiction with rock-and-roll themes: The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin; Lucius Shepard’s “Stars Seen Through Stone”; Michael Moorcock’s “A Dead Singer”
48:24 How the fictional band is incredibly useful for writers, and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist
50:15 The advantages that music has over prose fiction
54:05 Young authors, and how defining youth differs in fiction from pretty much anything else
56:25 Dave and John explore the different ways we respond to fiction and music
01:01:34 Other geek icons in the geek music scene, MC Chris and MC Frontalot; for your viewing pleasure, documentaries Nerdcore Rising and Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey; combining metal with animation (very geeky!) is Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse
01:03:21 Show wrap-up
Next week: Bestseller Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series!
Thanks for listening!
John Joseph Adams (www.johnjosephadams.com) is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. He is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientistís Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and is currently the fiction editor of Lightspeed Magazine, which launches in June 2010.
David Barr Kirtley (www.davidbarrkirtley.com) is a writer living in New York who has been called “one of the newest and freshest voices in sf.” His short fiction appears in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and in anthologies such as The Living Dead, New Voices in Science Fiction, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition.