Jonathan Coulton

In the tradition of They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton—a former programmer turned musician—began his career by posting one song per week on his website in the mid-2000s. And like TMBG, the songs were poppy, smart, clever, and extremely nerdy. Where most singer-songwriters dabble in love and politics, Coulton waxes lyrically on sci-fi, math, and video games—subjects that pluck the heartstrings of cube dwellers everywhere. He quickly developed a rabid fanbase and has since gone on to collaborate with fellow hipster-nerd John Hodgman and receive masthead status as “Contributing Troubadour” in Popular Science magazine. To some, Coulton is gimmicky. But when his songs turn personal (“You Ruined Everything,” about his newborn daughter), he’s at his best, displaying an ironic wit that echoes Shel Silverstein and an intuitive sense of melody rarely heard outside of XTC records. BRIAN J. BARR

Sun., Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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