22 June 2008

Go JoCo Go!

Months after first hearing about Jonathan Coulton on TWIT podcast, I ended up at a live show by JoCo himself. The wonder of the Internet. Through his web site, I registered with Eventful to be kept informed of when the JoCo would perform in the New York metro area. He is famous now and is demanded all over the U.S. and in London too. Never mind the fact he and I both live in Brooklyn. The notice came, I almost instantly bought 3 tickets for my family, although I am sure Wife would only come along to keep company. My Son has a few JoCo favorites of his own, even if he doesn't get all the jokes.

The show overall was great. The Highline Ballroom is easily accessible by subway. There is even a subway entrance on 16th street so you just need to walk west a few avenues. The line to get into the place is in two pieces, one in front of the Ballroom and another past its neighbor Western Beef. I suppose Western Beef doesn't want Ballroom's customers blocking their entrance. At first I thought that the Ballroom took Beef's place but they just didn't have time to replace the signage.

Paul & Storm were the opening acts for JoCo, but really did more than that. They actually performed half of the show, from the beginning to intermission. They came back to add more flavor to JoCo's performance, too, with singing, tambourine, etc. A gal named Tristan Shea took part in the show with her ukulele off and on. Sorry, Tristan, I'll have to do some research to get your name right, but I can't do that lest I derail my train of thought. There was also a whole army of ukulele players at times, supposedly JoCo fans who were given the honor to participate. Very interesting!

Given the fact that JoCo is pretty cool about fans making things out of his music, I thought it would do no harm to also share part of the performance. Photos probably won't come out right as the lighting is set just to ruin any photos taken. Video recording looked promising and I managed to record a few songs. While recording Still Alive, some security guard told me to stop and I complied. I wonder if it's no video recording at all at Ballroom or just that song. JoCo wrote the song for the game Portal, whose copyright is held by Valve Software. My Son kept asking when JoCo would sing Re: Your Brains and the man finally sang it near the very end. I don't know if he had a second encore, but after JoCo, Paul & Storm, Tristan and her ukulele players came out to bow, we rushed out the door. It was already 10:30ish.

The subway ride home was scary. At one stop a bunch of teenagers hopped on and started to horseplay. They didn't actually physically touched anyone but they turned the subway car into their own playground. The group, consisting of boys and girls, was hooting loudly and cavorting about as their hormones raged unchecked. At the next stop, we went to the next car along with many other passengers. The next stop, those same "kids" followed their scared victims. Again they didn't physically harm anyone although some would remark about the passengers' clothes and appearances. One of them came up close to two Chinese women and made faces at them. All the while I couldn't help thinking about Bernhard Goetz. There will be no peace in this world with these unruly "kids" roaming freely. They are so unaware that their actions are not seen as representative of them, but of their whole race. It does not take much effort from threatening people to actually robbing them, especially when they travel in packs.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the show. Sorry to hear about your experience on the subway. I love NYC but the incident you mentioned was just one of the ugly dark spots that visitors or people in general would always associate with NYC. The incident confirmed that the City is a dangerous place because of some uncivilized and unruly youngsters. Do their parents know or even care what the children do?

  2. Anonymous10:11 AM

    Yep, that kind of thing puts you in a tough spot. do you say somthing and get in a fight with a bunch of kids? Do you just move away and do nothing and try to lay low knowing they will feed on that and continue to harass individuals... there is no easy answer.. so lets say you go nuts on them and beat them all to a pulp, next thing you know you are in jail for "doing the needful" its a losing situation... My first trip to NYC I was in the middle of two familys fighting over a child one had stepped upon supposedly.. I was like wow these people are animals.. not a place for a southern gentelman like myself..

    on the flip side I was looking at a map when a lady stopped to help us unsolicited and was super helpful, so there is still good out there.

    My wallet was missing after she left, but she did help us out with directions, so there u go!

    Just kidding!