Review: Jonathan Coulton at Club Dada

Club Dada was filled with cubicle drones who looked like they came straight from Chotchkies. I would venture to guess a lot of code went unwritten last night. The geeks gathered to see their king: Jonathan Coulton.

You’ve heard the story by now: He used to write software, quit to play music full time, produced a new song once a week for a year in his “Thing a Week” project and became the contributing troubadour for Popular Science magazine. You know, that guy.

He kicked his concert off with a song about monster robots in space. I mean, c’mon! Monster Robots…IN SPACE! It just went more techy and Star Warsy from there. At one point, there was even a shoutout to the programmers, “What kind of software do you write?” The raucous response proved the crowd appreciated the love.

Sure, it sounds like he wants you to know he’s smart, but it’s also hilarious and brilliant and warm and fuzzy at the same time. The guy wrote a song about Benoit Mandelbrot (the father of fractal geometry), in which he actually quotes theorem. Genius, I tell you!

On the song “Better,” he describes himself as “a little Darth Vader and a little Optimus Prime.” Coulton takes on keyboard life (“Code Monkey”), Swedish furniture (“Ikea”) and America’s pharmaceutical obsession (“I Feel Fantastic”). And each are really solid songs, and a minus two on the cheese scale. -- Kevin Pyle

Highlight of the night: There were actually two highlights of the night. The first occurred during “Skullcrusher Mountain,” when the pale throng at Club Dada spontaneously sang the totally whacked chorus. And later, Coulton asked for audience participation on “Re: Your Brains,” wherein zombies sing, “All we want to do is eat your brains.” He said he felt the audience needed to “zombie it up a little bit.” The result would have made George Romero proud.

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