Sunday, September 23, 2007

Geek concert

Jonathan Coulton's concert at the Triple Door Sunday night fell somewhere between a rock concert and a professional seminar.

It took place in the club's main performance hall, which is set up almost exactly like a seminar room, with tiers of long tables at which attendees sit facing the speaker -- er, performer. Of course, at the Triple Door the tables are curvy and black, and the attendees have candles and martinis in front of them instead of notebooks.

Well, actually, some of them had all three.

As Coulton noted from the stage, several people in the audience had game devices and smart phones with them. And I saw at least one woman with a Mac notebook open in front of her. Which might have seemed rude, except that Coulton, and the duo that opened for him and accompanied him on some songs, also had a Mac notebook on the stage. (Was it for the lightshow? a mixing board? not sure.)

I'm crazy over Coulton's online hit "Code Monkey" and all the animated versions it's spawned on You Tube. I had no idea if he could sustain an entire evening of solo entertainment, but it turned out that he could, firmly staking out a position in the pop music continuum somewhere between Warren Zevon ("All We Want to Do Is Eat Your Brains") and Tom Lehrer ("Mandelbrot Set").

The opening duo, Paul and Storm ("professional singing persons"), was screamingly hilarious, though I suspect their songs and performance are better live than on recording. Their opening number was jaw-droppingly funny, and their Borscht-belt stylings (including ad jingles and imitations of imagined Randy Newman film scores) help round out Coulton's solo performance, which can get very, very, very weird. (For a taste of Paul and Storm, scroll down this page and click to listen to "If Aaron Neville Were Waiting for a Parking Spot at the Mall, But Someone Else Snagged It." You'll find "The Opening Band" and "Randy Newman's 'Theme from The Lord of he Rings: The Return of the King'" there, too.)

The audience, 75 percent software engineers, loved it all. So did Zorg. We'll be there when Coulton is next in town, though we haven't decided if we are going to be in the Zombie contingent or the Pirate contingent.

And we'll order the Triple Split for dessert again, too. With rum raisins and brandied cherries, it was almost too entertaining to eat that while listening to Paul and Storm sing "The Easter Song." Come to think of it, it's probably too dangerous to eat anything while they're singing.

Coulton says he had a good time, too.

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