Jonathan Coulton: Decoding ‘Code Monkey’
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I’m Your Moon
Coulton quit his job as a computer programmer in September of 2005 and became a full-time singer and songwriter. He set a yeoman’s goal for himself: for the next year, he would write and record a song each week, posting each one to his blog. “It was a sort of forced-march approach to creativity,” he’s admitted. He’d always wanted to be a full-time musician, and he figured the only way to prove to himself he could do it was with a drastic challenge. “I learned that it is possible to squeeze a song out of just about anything,” he said. “But it’s not always an easy or pleasant process.”
Given the self-imposed time constraints, the “Thing a Week” songs are, well, liked by a number of people. Coulton tends to create geeky, semi-amusing pop tunes: one song, “Tom Cruise Crazy,” is a sympathetic ode to that fame-crazed star, while “Code Monkey” is a lament about dead-end computer programming jobs. By the middle of last year, Coulton’s project had begun to attract a sizable audience. More than 3,000 people, on average, were visiting his site every day, and his most popular songs were being downloaded as many as 500,000 times. He was making what he described as a reasonable middle-class living, between $3,000 and $5,000 a month, by selling CDs and digital downloads of his work on iTunes and on his own site.
You can read more about Jonathan Coulter as a musical celebrity on the internet here.