Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jonathan Coulton Steps up to The New Mic

Jonathan Coulton has becomes famous over the last year by releasing a song each week through his free Thing A Week podcast (which he now sells for $50). Last week I saw the NY Times story on him and it made me think about how much things have changed for musicians. A decade or so ago, to get your music heard you didn’t have many swim lanes to choose from. It usually meant a tough lifestyle with not-so-nice people surrounding you.

Today you have this huge channel on the web to make connections with people with your story and your music. Jonathan’s song ‘Code Monkey’ became an online viral hit. People created their own versions and posted videos of them on YouTube. There are versions of it with Sims 2, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, anime, Flickr slideshows, karaoke, and Matrix and Clockwork Orange mashups. It becomes ‘ours’ quickly. It must be amazing to watch something you created get reinvented over and over.

Jonathan looks like a regular guy with a stable life, Apple laptop and pet kitty in his nice apartment. Most of the musicians I knew back-in-the-day weren’t like this. It was a struggle to get your stuff heard. I’m glad to see that this is changing, and that the new mic is the web.

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