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Path 101 Career Chat with Jonathan Coulton: An unconventional path to music

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An independent musician with the heart of a geek, Jonathan Coulton is a Yale graduate who left his day-job as a computer programmer to stay home and write songs. Between 2005 and 2006 he wrote, recorded, and published a new song every week as a free podcast project called “Thing a Week.” This year-long experiment produced 52 consistently well-written and solidly produced songs, and he soon became an internet sensation. Jonathan’s songs cover unusual topics not often heard in music and tend to make even the most jaded listeners excited about music again. Coulton's is the voice of every elementary school kid who could never quite keep his shirt tucked in or shoes tied; every lovelorn mason and mad scientist; every vengeful nerd; every one of us who has ever sat despairingly on the floor, surrounded by parts of an Ikea endtable, weeping over an allen wrench. Coulton releases all his music under a Creative Commons license that allows for legal file sharing and copying, as well as non-commercial derivative works. His worldwide community of fans has rallied around him to generate airplay on hundreds of podcasts, create a library of music videos, and arrange gigs around the United States. When not traveling the globe or using his powers for good, Jonathan Coulton resides in New York City with his wife and two children.

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