I wrote this & thought I'd posted it...


Set 8 2007, 3:06

...but it didn't actually post. I'm not totally sure what happened. Anyway, it was written on September 3rd, but I'm actually posting it today (September 8th). Weird.

Yeah, I went to Bumbershoot yesterday -- it's a 3 day music and arts festival in Seattle. I go every year, it's just a matter of figuring out the best day or days to go. Anyway, I mostly went to see Andrew Bird, and he was phenomenal, which he always is.

But as I was going over the list of acts on Friday, I noticed that Jonathan Coulton was playing on the Comedy stage, which I hadn't noticed before because 1) why would I look for a musician on the Comedy stage? and 2) his name was in tiny print because he was scheduled in with 2 standup comedians during the same time slot. So I didn't make a big deal of it, since I wasn't even sure what he was going to be doing with these other comedians. But I planned to go.

So Miranda and I went to The Cody Rivers Show, which was brilliant and hilarious, and the line was endless -- we barely got in. So I decided to get in line early for the Jo-Co show. If you haven't been to one of these festivals, basically there are at least 5 or 6 shows going on simultaneously all day long from noon till 11 PM. You really have to choose what you want to see and then prepare to be disappointed in case you end up not getting into the venue in time.

The comedy stage was a smallish (400 seat) theatre called the Intiman. I got in line over an hour before the show was scheduled, and there were still about 60 or 70 people in line ahead of me. When the doors finally opened, it was pretty much festival seating, but luckily I was there by myself. I ended up sitting in the front row, dead center, about 6 feet away from the stage. It's a real advantage in festival seating being by yourself: you can just scan the area for that one empty seat between groups of people. It's great.

Anyway, it turned out that they had a 60 minute slot and each performer was given 20 minutes. This makes sense for standup -- you don't really want to listen to an hour of it unless it's someone you're familiar with. The two comedians were both very funny, but it was kind of odd when Jonathan came out with a guitar. There were several people who were there to see him, though, judging by the applause he got.

He opened with Future Soon, which went over well. I had never heard it, but I'm going to need to get a copy from his website. It's a great song. Then came the audiovisual part of the program, as he did Flickr and showed the video with it. If you haven't seen it, it's very funny and cute. He played his amazing cover of Baby Got Back next, introducing it by talking about his "Thing A Week" project.

"So I decided to do a different song every week, but by week 5 I had run out of new ideas, so I had to do a cover."

People LOVED this one, partly because we're in Seattle, home of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and partly because it was kind of a rowdy, standup comedy crowd who got into the nastiness of the song. Then he played Tom Cruise Crazy, which is a great song, but not a real funny/ha ha song. It was weird because there was this whole "make me laugh" vibe b/c it was a comedy show, so even though the song rocked, people seemed disappointed. He closed with First of May, which is pretty hilarious, really. Before he played it he said, "If there are any kids in the audience, and your parents are here, this would be the time to make a quick exit. This song will embarrass both of you." People really dug it, though.

And that was it. Five songs, not really even a concert. He seemed a little tired, and on his blog I noticed he had played in Chicago the night before, which had to be difficult. Still, it was very cool to see him live, having only recently discovered his music (thanks to jadeybeans). I hope I get to see him again in a more musically-enhancing setting.


  • jadeybeans

    Frig, I kept putting off responding to that letter.. haha, it practically was a journal entry :D I think it still sounds like a cool show, though it is a little unfair to stick Jonathan in with the comedians. And as for Tom Cruise Crazy, that songs actually makes me feel pretty sad, normally I wouldn't sympathize for Tom Cruise, but it changed my opinion. Still sounds like it would have been awesome to be there, I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous. Just another artist to add to my people to see before I die list, and considering I haven't seen any of these people, it's getting pretty long :D

    Set 8 2007, 4:18
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