Sushi (sushimustwrite) wrote,

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Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm, The Five Spot: My Take

I left Agnes for the Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm show around 6:30 after making sure I had what I needed for the show:

* camera, to remember the show by
* ticket, to get in
* directions, to get there (Marta to Inman Park, Hurt Street, turn right onto Euclid)
* code monkey, just because

So I hopped on the Marta and got off at Inman park. I started walking, and I saw a hair salon that had an address of Hurt Street. It was on the corner of Hurt Street and some other street. Which one was actually Hurt Street, the one I needed? I wondered. After looking around and not seeing a sign, I chose a road and started walking. Then I realized that I was no longer on Hurt.

"That's okay," I told myself. "I'll just turn back and I'll hit Euclid eventually."

This part I got right. Unfortunately, I didn't turn right. And I didn't realize this until I was tripping over the sidewalk and realizing that not only was I no longer on Euclid, despite continuing to go straight, I was on Edgewood. I looked around. In the distance, a couple of Atlanta's skyscrapers, including the one I've dubbed the pencil--I'm still not sure what it actually is--were in sight.

So I turned back around, determined to stay on Euclid. Luckily, this wasn't very difficult, and I passed some very familiar territory on the way there. I arrived at the Five Spot around 7:30 and got a seat around four rows back. I looked at the stage. Not bad, I had to admit. I could get good pictures, but I wasn't right on the stage. So I waited.

puddingofevil and her roommate showed up. Eventually Minda and a friend of hers, who was in town for the weekend, also showed up. I went to see the latter two in the back, as it was getting quite crowded by this point, and there were very few seats left where I was. I told them this, and then a guy with a camera saw us. "Is that a code monkey?" he asked, noticing my code monkey.

"It is!" I said. He explained that he was filming for Yahoo! News because they were going to do a feature on JoCo. I knew that part--after all, I follow the website regularly, and he had posted on Thursday that Y! was looking for someone to film. But I was quite surprised to be interesting enough to get his attention, even with my code monkey and my epsilon greater than shirt.

He told me what he was up to, and he asked, "Do you know any code monkey jokes?"

So I started with the standard code monkey walks into a bar joke and never really got to finish it (it was a good thing, too, because I didn't have a punchline for it) because we started talking about other things. "I hope it's not too dark to see your code monkey," he said. "Maybe you should have a monkey spotlight."

I laughed. "Yeah, I should."

And he told me that my code monkey might be Internet famous, which is awesome.

So I went back to my seat, made a voice post, scribbled down a scene for my NaNo novel, and waited for the show to begin. I talked to a few people around me and realized that I might know some of the people around me through the JoCo forums, the Paul and Storm forums, the Facebook group, the JoCo LJ community, or any other place, and I may not even know it. In fact, I probably wouldn't even know it unless we asked each other, "Oh, who are you on [insert method of fan communication here]?"

Finally--finally!--the show began with Paul and Storm and "Opening Band". Then I realized the first thing I forgot.


Why panties? Because in "Opening Band", there's a line saying "And sad to say/As of today/No panties have been thrown". The natural thing to do at this line is, of course, to throw panties on the stage. And I forgot mine. How could I forget? It was on my to-bring list for weeks. Oh well.

Paul and Storm were fantastic. Seriously. They threw Moon Pies to audience members they deemed worthy (sadly, I wasn't one of them), including the parents who had brought a seven-year-old to the show. They even gave out a pack of Big League Chew gum to an especially awesome audience member who said ARRRRHOP in response to their "We're going to get pancakes 'ARRRR'" There was even an insulting prize--canned ham to someone who said "Hooray!" when everyone else said "Awww" at a sad thing. But that's not the only reason they were awesome.

If I thought their music had a lot of energy on CD, it's nothing compared to a live show. Their energy is practically boundless. Their lyrics were hilarious, they kept us laughing, and they encouraged audience participation so much. They had this great way of making us feel like we were part of the show, from counting on our fingers to saying ARRRR!.

They did "Opening Band" first, of course, and blew a lot of asses away. They also did several of my favorites, like "Your Love Is (Love Song with Metaphor)", two of my favorite Randy Newman theme songs (Lord of the Rings and Passion of the Christ), a lot of the rejected commercial jingles, The Easter Song, and some stuff from the new album, including "If They Might Be Giants were the Ice Cream Man" and other related situations, "Nugget Man" (honoring the guy who invented chicken nuggets--JoCo came on for this one), "Count to Ten", Nun Fight, The Captain's Wife's Lament, and other stuff from their new album, Gumbo Pants, which all of you should go listen to right now. Then come back and read the rest of this entry. Back now? Good.

Toward the end of their set, though, something dire happened. I saw the message on my camera. BATTERIES LOW. Now what? I thought of everything in my purse and whether anything in there had two working AA batteries. Phone? No. Dictionary? No, that's AAA, and I needed to replace those too.

At the end of Paul and Storm's set, we all cheered like crazy, started to chant for one more song, received the shorted love song in existence, and then intermission began. I asked the DJ if there was anywhere nearby that sold batteries. He told me to try to Chevron at the corner. I thanked him and ran out the door.

And boy, did I run. I forgot that Little Five's corners were rather bizarre in that their streets weren't exactly straight. Since I didn't encounter a Chevron on the way there, though, I could only deduce that the Chevron was the other way. So I went that way, entered the gas station, and started looking around. No batteries. After the last customer left, I went to the register and asked the woman if they sold any batteries. She asked what kind and what pack I needed. I told her, and she rang them up. Apparently they were behind the counter. How peculiar. I paid and ran out the door with my batteries. The DJ saw me when I got back and asked if I had gotten the batteries. I said yes and thanked him for the tip. The guy scanning our tickets asked if I had been stamped. I said yes, and showed him my code monkey--not that the code monkey had to do with anything. Luckily the intermission wasn't over yet, so I still had time to replace the batteries in my camera before JoCo came on.

And then... Jonathan Coulton appeared on the stage, and he began with "The Future Soon", one of my favorite JoCo songs.

It was amazing. Just the entire experience, seeing everyone sing along, Jonathan telling us about the loft bed he had bought for his daughter before "Ikea", our being depressed after "I Crush Everything" and Jonathan saying that we looked depressed too, and why not bring Paul and Storm back on stage? This brought on many cheers, and Paul and Storm came back on stage for a few songs, including "Baby Got Back". Yes, an acoustic version. Do you see why I love him?

We all got to act like zombies during Re: Your Brains, and he even said that while we have a lovely singing voice, we needed to act like real zombies, and boy, did we ham it up. Oh, oh! He also played "Still Alive", a song he wrote that plays during the credits of Portal (slight spoilers for the game if you haven't played it). He also brought out the Zen Drum during "Mr. Fancy Pants".

Okay, song list! I know I have the order nowhere near right except for the first one and the last two, and I may be forgetting a song or two. But here goes.

The Future Soon
Shop Vac
Re: Your Brains
Skullcrusher Mountain
I Crush Everything
A Talk With George
Baby Got Back (with Paul and Storm)
Christmas is Interesting (with Paul and Storm)
Tom Cruise Crazy (with Paul and Storm)
Code Monkey
Still Alive
Mandelbrot Set
Mr. Fancy Pants
Creepy Doll
I Feel Fantastic (with Paul and Storm)
Sweet Caroline (with Paul and Storm)

After the last song, Jonathan left the stage, and we all started chanting "One more song! One more song!" Finally, Jonathan, Paul, and Storm came back on stage and played "I Feel Fantastic" and a cover of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline". Paul wore the same shirt (the Mystery Spot shirt) Friday night.

And then the show was over, and we all scrambled to talk to JoCo and Paul and Storm and to buy shirts and such. I found Minda and her friend, and I told them that I wanted to hang around and get a Skullcrusher Mountain shirt and meet JoCo and Paul and Storm. They wondered how I'd get back--after all, didn't Marta stop running at one, and wasn't it already twelve? Minda had a point. "Oh, I have cab numbers in my purse," I said, remembering that I had actually kept that card from PartySmart first year.

So I hung around, waiting to meet JoCo. A few minutes later I found myself standing right in front of him.

"Hi!" I said, trying my hardest not to sound like a squealing fangirl. I'm standing in front of one of the people I've wanted to meet for ages! What do I say? Finally I said, "I've always thought I'd freeze up when I met a celebrity of sorts and not know what to say."

"See? I'm normal too," he replied. So we started talking about the show and the new song he's recording and how I haven't gotten to hear any of the recording sessions because of real life. (Curse you, real life!) And finally I asked for a picture, which I have here for your viewing pleasure and as a teaser for other pictures to come after I resize them to have fewer pixels than my computer screen.

Sadly, the code monkey didn't make an appearance in that picture. Alas. After that, I did talk to Paul, introduced myself, apologized for the lack of panties, and we took a picture. I do mean 'we'--Paul held the camera out and snapped the picture. Then I got my Skullcrusher Mountain shirt and a Paul and Storm button, chatted with Storm for a few minutes and got a picture (in which I look like a goon), and looked at my watch. 12:30.

I finally left, and luckily I didn't get lost on the way to the Marta station. This wouldn't have been good, as the station closes at one. I was already cutting it really close, as I arrived at the station at 12:40 and waited. And waited. Finally a train arrived at 12:50, I got on, and got back to Agnes at one.

All in all, it was amazing. I highly recommend it. Now... when's the next show?
Tags: agnesfall2007, atlanta, concerts, joco, paul and storm, pictures

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