Friday, October 29, 2010

Stage Announcements - 10/29/10

I'm a little backlogged on this since I was still on vacation and away from my computer last Friday (in case you've been wondering, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios is well worth it!).

Here we have a review of the shows in Port Washington from the Port Washington Patch which includes some pictures:

And a review of the Morristown shows from the Morristown Patch with some cute shots of the pint size audience:

Then in more recent news, we have this interview with Linnell from New Times discussing tomorrow's shows in Fairfield, writing music for children and the upcoming album:

That's it for this week. I'll see a bunch of you tomorrow in Fairfield. Don't forget to say hi :-) Happy Halloween to the rest of you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/27/10

This is another one from Jamie. There is one particular lyric she was shooting for but after some discussion there are at least two others that would probably also apply. See if you can get all three!


"I lay out in the sun too long and burned off all of my skin" - Rest Awhile - They Might Be Giants

Please send submissions to

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Tale of Accordion John and Dinosaur John

October 17, 2010 - Mayo Center - Morristown, NJ - Family Shows

Second double header of this weekend, this time both family shows. I'm going to recap them together because the setlists were identical, thus the shows were pretty similar. Apologies if I mix up what happened at which show. The only thing I can use to tell them apart in my head is where I was sitting, otherwise they are blended together.

Very nice theater, all velvet lined with a large orchestra section and a balcony set far back in the room. Our friends were all scattered around the room as the shows had ticketed seats and we hadn't bought together. At the early show, the boyfriend and I were in Row S which was almost at the back of the room. I have no idea how I ended up with seats so far back as I bought them really early. I realized part way through the show, I was sitting only two rows in front of where Iggy and Vince were stationed. I don't think I have been that far back in a non-outdoor venue since my balcony seat in Boston last summer. The view of the stage wasn't actually that bad, just very distant.

I noticed while we were waiting for the show to start that they had the confetti cannons mounted up in what used to be some old theater boxes, way up in the wall, to the left and right of the stage. I figured that was guaranteed to surprise everyone since know one would see the confetti coming.

I don't have pictures from the first show because I gave my camera to Megan since she was way up front and had a much better view. You can see her pictures here:

The setlist for both shows: Bed Bed Bed - I Never Go to Work - Doctor Worm - Pirate Girls Nine - Particle Man - The Famous Polka - Nonagon - High Five! - Roy G. Biv - Meet the Elements - Older - Seven - What is a Shooting Star? - Clap Your Hands - I Am A Paleontologist - Cowtown - Istanbul - Alphabet of Nations   Encore - Stalk of Wheat - 813 Mile Car Trip

The band came out and Flans introduced everyone. He made some jokes about it being very early in the morning for them and they would usually just be getting up. They did Bed Bed Bed. Flans was wandering around the stage with his guitar. At the line "practiced my guitar" he stopped right in front of the keyboard and faced the audience and gave a nice twang on the guitar which was very funny. They launched the very high in the air confetti cannons on "go" and two giants clumps of confetti flew out into the crowd. One of them hit a small child sitting in front of us right on the top of the head. He was fine, just startled and it was pretty funny.

Flans said a favorite theme in their songs is laziness and then introduced Stan for I Never Go to Work. He said the song described what they do everyday. Linnell introduced Doctor Worm as a song about a worm. Many people cheered.

Flans gave us some counting instructions for Pirate Girls but then kept berating us for counting poorly. He eventually decided we had done well enough to do the song. We got some clapping instructions for Particle Man. Linnell had some great ad lib in the bridge. "Minor key. Minor key. It's sad. Triangle Man. Triangle Man. Triangle Man hates Person Man. That's why it's sad."

They slammed right into The Famous Polka. Flans missed doing his kick at the beginning so Dan did it more him. Then Linnell and Danny kicked out in unison on the other side. It was cute.

Flans did some more schtick about New Wave and asymmetrical hairdos introducing Nonagon, this time talking about digging out your congealed tube of some French hair gel from the 80s that I wasn't familiar with from your garage.

Flans gave Marty the most awkward introduction for High Five! that I have ever heard. It was like he was distracted by something and couldn't remember what he was trying to say. He was talking about Marty taking us back to 2000 and 1999 when he was in the boy band "Color Me......Marty." It was painfully funny. Marty had his wireless mic back so he got to properly run around the stage. His first pass on high fiving the audience, there was no one there and he substituted "no five" for "low five." Flans did a lovely chant of "Mr. Marty Beller, Mr. Marty Beller" while Marty was dancing. It was marvelous.

Flans tried to introduce Roy G. Biv, saying it was a mnemonic device but he said mnematic device by mistake and Linnell made fun of him. Iggy has set up a great light show in Marty's clear drums changing them all the different colors of the rainbow while he played. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole show.

Before Meet the Elements Flans yelled "I say periodic table, you say periodic table" and led the not very successful call and repeat for a minute. Then he yelled, "Well, that didn't work. That's the last time we do that in this show."

Flans had a great time with the kids playing his guitar and they did a massive confetti blizzard during Older. Not much of that confetti got back to where we were sitting but we did get a little.

They did Seven and Flans was copying all of Linnell's hand movements at the back of the stage. So funny. The faces and tone of voice Dan uses while doing his lines in the song have become a favorite thing in our group. I think someone is getting a "It's the green house at the end of the block" tattoo.

Then they pulled out the puppets. There was some talk of the soul patch.  They talked about James Cameron but pronounced it "Cam-er-on" and one of them made fun of the other saying that was how it was really pronounced. They did a 3D demonstration and talked about their song that had been cut from the film. I think it was the Love Song of the Na'vi or something like that. They did a lot of "sea of hands." They did eventually get around to singing Shooting Star. I can't remember which show it was but at one of them Dan's guitar wasn't turned of when he went to do the intro and Blue Avatar had to introduce him twice. Meg Ryan said hello as they were departing.

We all stood up for Clap Your Hands. That was the point at which I finally turned around and realized Iggy and Vince were right behind me. Hi, guys! We remained standing for our favorite song Paleontologist.

Flans introduced the two clarinets of Mr. Linnell and Mr. Harrison for Cowtown. Dan did the intro for Istanbul, showing off what happens when you practice your guitar everyday. I am sorry to say that I think his acoustic was every so slightly out of tune for this one. It didn't sound as good as it usually does.

They did the Graveyard band intro. Flans briefly had us actually chant "Danny, Danny, Danny" which I quite enjoyed. I toned down my screaming for Marty a bit since there were very small children near me.

They did an even more ridiculous confetti launch at the end of the song. Confetti everywhere. Then they closed out the set with Alphabet of Nations.

They came back for the encore straight into the Avatars. Green Avatar posed with Meg Ryan, then Meg basically took over the bit. Linnell picked her up (she's on a little stick) and brought her around in front of the camera with the puppets. Blue Avatar commented on her wireless mic that she is holding in the picture. He asked her how things were going and she said she was talking improv classes at the UCB. Linnell started doing this ridiculous voice for her that made her sound like an old TV host and she started thanking the puppets for coming on her show and talking about how she had gotten them their start in show business. The whole thing was hilariously bizarre and awkward. And somewhere in their they did Stalk of Wheat too.

They finished the first show with 813 Mile Car Trip. Story of my life.

We went to go get ice cream between shows. We did end up with a setlist but only because TDK was very nice and gave me the one he had gotten from Iggy. I went back into the theater before everyone else for the second show to use the bathroom and then got caught in the lobby talking to this strange older woman who claimed to be a childhood friend of Linnell's from Lincoln who was completely unfamiliar with their music and was asking all sorts of questions about it but then not waiting for the answers. Very odd.

We had much better seats for the second show, something like the fifth row. But all the seats in front of us were down in a little section in front of the stage, a little lower from where we were and there was a large aisle in front of us, so my view was practically perfect. And I got an absolute ton of pictures.

I'm just going to run down the stuff that was different at the second show.

Flans did his little guitar pose in front of Linnell again during Bed Bed Bed. I hope he does that forever now because it was one of my favorite parts.

Flans mentioned Stan coming down from his ice cream castle for I Never Go to Work. We wondered if he lived in the castle with Curt since that is usually Flans' line for Curt.

TMBG 10/17/10 #3

When Linnell went to get his accordion for Doctor Worm, Flans and Linnell exchanged some of the world's best banter.

Flans: "It's Accordion John, ladies and gentlemen."

Linnell: "You know when my parents named me Accordion John they had no idea I'd grow up to be an accordion player. It's quite a coincidence."

Flans: "When my parents named me Dinosaur John, they had no idea..."

Linnell: "...that you'd be a dinosaur."

Flans: "Exactly. So, what's the next song about?"

Linnell: "It's about a doctor. I mean, it's about a worm who wishes this song were about a doctor but it's actually about a worm."

Flans: "What's it called?"

Linnell: "Dinosaur John."

And they crash into the song. I laughed so hard. I am still laughing.

TMBG 10/17/10 #4

More counting. Flans said something funny about us following Linnell and Dan instead of him because he does not actually count in the song but I don't fully recall what it was. He also mentioned the thumb in his eye but did not actually demonstrate so it was all out of context.

Flans started giving clapping instructions for Particle Man but just kept saying to clap on the back beat without demonstrating so the audience wasn't really getting it. So Danny started clapping above his head at the back of the stage to help everybody out. Linnell mentioned the sad minor key again.

The bass wasn't turned on properly for Famous Polka so Danny could not properly do his solo part. He made an attempt but only about every fourth note was audible and he was shaking his head at Flans and Dan afterward like, well that didn't work.

Linnell did his first crazy run of accordion notes and then blew on his hand like it was smoking. I got an awesome picture of it completely by accident because I was trying to get a picture of him playing and wasn't fast enough but ended up with this instead. I also got a great one of Flans and Dan where Flans is really into his part and Dan is all perplexed about what is wrong with the bass.

TMBG 10/17/10 #15

TMBG 10/17/10 #16

Flans mentioned French hair gel again, introducing Nonagon, talking about ordering it online. He had Marty do the electric drum demo and was talking about you waking up in the middle of the night wondering what that noise was outside and then hearing the police siren and realizing you didn't have to worry. "It's just Marty Beller breaking in to steal your electronic drums." Here are Dan and Danny laughing at this.

TMBG 10/17/10 #18

Flans gave Marty a more cohesive introduction for High Five! this time and Marty went kind of nuts on the dancing. When he ran around to smack hands with all the guys at the end, he missed on Danny and smacked his wrist and Danny kept standing there with his hand up waiting for his proper high five. Marty ended the song on a screeching yell and then tripped backward over some part of Flans' pedal arrangement. Whatever he tripped on messed up something on Flans' guitar which Flans and David were then trying to correct for the next song or two.

TMBG 10/17/10 #21

Iggy didn't turn on the light show in the drums at first for Roy G. Biv but he got it going eventually which made me very happy. It's the little things.

TMBG 10/17/10 #22

Meet the Elements. Older. Lots of tiny guitar players. When they launched the blizzard cannon this time we got buried. I've never been seated right under the thing before, only standing and I didn't take into account how much confetti can accumulate in your lap when you are sitting down.

TMBG 10/17/10 #25

When they did Seven, Flans was standing at the back of the stage with his arms raised in the air for the whole beginning of the song, until he finally got to his line. My boyfriend said it looked like he had arrived and the party and seen there was cake and he really wanted some but he thought it would be rude to ask. So he was just waiting for someone to offer him some and when they finally did he was a little over enthusiastic about it. It was pretty adorable.

TMBG 10/17/10 #34

The puppets returned. Blue Avatar asked Green Avatar if he was back in school. Green Avatar said yes, and Blue Avatar asked what kind of school he was in. Green Avatar said puppet school and that he was practicing his frown. He then made his sad little squashed up frown face. Green Avatar posed with Meg Ryan and she said he was dreamy. We did lots more "sea of hands." Blue Avatar stuck his eyeball in the lens again and showed off his hat and soul patch. They sand Shooting Star. It was all good.

TMBG 10/17/10 #37

We got up and clapped and stomped for Clap Your Hands. We stayed up for Paleontologist because Danny said that his friend Flans liked everyone to stand up and rock to his favorite song or something of that nature. Linnell ad libbed something like, "Is it a stegosaurus? I really don't know what this fossil is." I sang along like a groupie. Danny grinned at me. It rocked.

TMBG 10/17/10 #43

When they pulled out the clarinets for Cowtown, Flans said that the industry standard was now three clarinets on stage. He said they had two but they would be getting a third clarinet in the future even if it was just sitting on the stage and not being played. Linnell chimed in: "Ladies and gentlemen, the 2010 Blue Book on rock shows has come out and it stipulates two clarinets on stage at every show." Linnell was cradling his clarinet in his arms when he wasn't playing it in a fashion that made it look like he was strumming it like a guitar.

TMBG 10/17/10 #47

Stan did the Istanbul intro at the second show at I got a slew of good pictures of him doing it. They launched the blizzard cannon again, this time waving it around so the confetti went everywhere. I had confetti on every part of me.

TMBG 10/17/10 #56

There was a little girl, about one and a half, who was walking down our aisle picking up little piles of confetti and dropping them on each person's lap like a gift. She got to the little boy about her age sitting one seat over for me and fell in love with him. She just kept bringing more and more and more confetti over to drop on him, going all the way down to the end of the row to collect it and bring it back to him even though there was plenty right in front of him. By the end of the show, the little boy's lap was barely visible under all the confetti and he had it all over his head too. It was pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen. She even came back to give him more during the encore. Awwww.

Flans did the "They say we have to go, but we don't want to go" thing at the end of Istanbul to get another fake ending out of it and it was pretty hysterical because he looked crazed.

They did band intros and we did a more traditional "The bass is Danny Weinkauf" chant and I screamed good and proper for Marty who wrecked some excellent shit on his glowing drums. Then they finished out with Alphabet of Nations again.

TMBG 10/17/10 #59

The encore puppet segment was all about Meg Ryan. Linnell brought her straight to the front and was entirely voicing her in the silly male TV announcer voice (think a kind of Ed Sullivan sort of thing) going on and on about how she had gotten the puppets their start in show biz and her TV show and the improv classes she was talking. He switched voices slightly part way through. Flans was trying so hard not to completely lose it and mostly failing. He was actually laughing to the point where he started talking in his normal voice instead of the puppet voice toward the end because he couldn't keep it up while laughing. Blue Avatar brought out one of the bumper stickers and said they had meant to print 500 but ended up with 500,000 so everyone was going to get one after the show. They did eventually get around to Stalk of Wheat but Flans had to reign Linnell in from his Meg Ryan schtick to do it. The whole thing was so awkward and so over the heads of the small children but so incredibly funny.

They ended on 813 Mile Car Trip once more and that was it for the four show weekend. Flans tried to get everyone to move across the stage for stickers from left to right so it would be organized but a few people didn't listen and we got caught moving against the flow of people moving down for stickers when we were moving out because we have more than enough already.

Only two more shows this year, both this Saturday in Connecticut. Then for the first time since I started following the band, I don't know when my next show is. Just thinking about it puts me in a panic. The next time I know they are performing is in March. That is an awfully long way away. I am sure as hell going to make the most of this weekend.

There are a bunch more pictures on Flickr. As I said, I took a ton.

Monday, October 25, 2010

High School Auditorium Flashbacks

October 16, 2010 - Landmark on Main Street - Port Washington, NY - Rock Show

This show started off a polite, subdued affair at least on the part of the audience. After milling about outside (where we saw Iggy zip by on a razor scooter) and in the lobby (where Marty passed through with his family) we all filed into our seats. We fully expected Flans to invite everyone to the front of the stage immediately when the show started and were ready to bolt but no one made a move when the band hit the stage and it looked to be that very rarest of beasts, a seated rock show where everyone kept their seats.

As they have at the last few rock shows, the band started with She's an Angel and all it's funky weird intro music/noises.

After, Flans introduced Stan and said he had two words for us seldom heard on a rock stage: "two clarinets". Cowtown! I think this was the show where Linnell had a little bit of issue with the initial notes but it's also possible it was the next day. Whenever, I laughed.

Linnell commented that he was having flashbacks to his high school auditorium. The room did have a very school feel to it but the acoustics weren't bad. Flans said in was great to play in Port Washington and not just because it was so close to where they live. I think I forgot to mention from the earlier show, that when Flans had introduced Danny for Paleontologist, he said that he was from Long Island and had only had to drive about ten minutes to get here. Danny had to point out that he was a south shore guy (and we were on the north shore).

Flans started talking about what great shopping opportunities Port Washington offered in it's local malls and how he had just purchased the shirt he was wearing at the Gap. He said it made him feel more connected to the audience to know that he was wearing the same shirt that some of us had also bought even though he couldn't see us. It would have been cool if someone there actually had had the shirt on but I didn't see anyone.

TMBG 10/16/10b #2

They led straight into two songs that are both on my list of songs I'm getting a little tired off: Memo to Human Resources and Dead. Both great songs that I could just use a break from.

The Johns started talking about how the next song was from their new album that they were working on which would be out as soon as the people finished with it. They then started joking that the people weren't them, that they had farmed out the production of the album to sweatshops and that those people were hard at work finishing it while they got to sit back and do nothing. Linnell said the next song was written by one of the people in those sweatshops and that it was apparently called Canajoharie. I've heard this a few times now and this wasn't the best version of it, Linnell kept kind of fudging the words. But it is one of my new favorite songs. I did get a video of it for audio purposes only (the visual is absolute crap) to try to help decipher the last few missing lyrics but the lines in question are virtually unintelligible. Hopefully, I can try again next weekend.

They did a rousing rendition of New York City, which always sounds better in New York in my personal opinion.

Flans made some more jokes about new wave and asymmetrical haircuts as Marty went to the electric kit for Nonagon. He started to play but they quickly stopped as Linnell had missed his cue and the pick-up was all wrong. They tried again and it still wasn't working but Linnell said "Keep going, wrong and strong!" They called a halt anyway. Danny started saying "celebration" in the background which Linnell picked up on and said that was their word for situations like this. They finally got it going on the third try and successfully made it through the song without too much more incident.

Flans told us that Here Comes Science has made the pre-nomination rounds for this year's Grammy Awards and that their competition is weak. He asked that any current members of NARAS please show their support and said that if your membership had lapsed it was very easy to re-enroll. Linnell contributed something about record executives being forgiven that I didn't quite get. Then they played Meet the Elements. This actually answered a lot of questions for me about what was going on with HCS and the Grammys since I had thought it was technically eligible for last year's awards thanks to that day early iTunes release but it didn't get submitted. I was wondering if they were saving it for this year or just not going for it at all and this answered that question. Woohoo! Something else for me to be excited about. I hope.

They played We Live in a Dump, which I barely recall and Whistling in the Dark which I think I spent the entirety off watching the lights on Marty's drums. They are very transfixing.

The Avatars came out for their first appearance and did some pretty typical schtick. Blue Avatar is still very proud of his soul patch. They sang Shooting Star, again with some typical ad-libbing at the end. It was definitely their second appearance at this show which was the stand out. After the song, they left the camera pointed out at the audience for the rest of the show.

Then Flans asked everyone to stand up for Clap Your Hands and FINALLY invited everyone down to the front of the stage, including the balcony. We made the mad dash from our sixth row seats and ended up right in front of Dan. This was an excellent position to view the rest of the show from, but it did also mean that the camera on the drum was displaying our every move to the entire audience for the remainder of the show. Oh well. I couldn't see it through Dan most of the time anyway and the view of the stage was spectacular. I think I was actually a little dumb struck at the sudden improvement of my view and I stopped taking pictures for a while to just enjoy the music.

They blew through Birdhouse, a superb rendition of The Guitar and Withered Hope. Somewhere in there, I think at the end of Withered Hope though it might have been earlier, Flans kind of wrecked the shit out of his guitar. He had taken it off to hold it in a funny position and the strap came unhooked on one end and was dragging all the sound stuff attached to the strap on the floor. At the end of the song David appeared at the side of the stage with his red guitar to exchange with him but then they couldn't seem to get that one hooked up to play. They were both frantically plugging things in and twisting this knob and that, without much success. The rest of the band started Doctor Worm without him, whether by design or because they didn't realize he was having trouble, I don't know, but it was a Flans-less version. You could tell Flans was desperately trying to get the guitar working by the time his solo hit in the song, but it rapidly became obvious that they weren't going to make it. Danny covered it for him quite nicely, with a brief "crap, they are not ready for this" look over his shoulder at Flans and David beforehand and you could see Linnell look around for a second as the solo started as if realizing for the first time that Flans wasn't there.

Flans finally got his guitar working and went to start Damn Good Times, only to find that his mic was no longer on so the band had to keep playing the intro until it got fixed and he could actually sing. At some point in the evening, and I really don't remember where, Dan was also having some guitar issues which caused a delayed start to a song which I only recall because I heard Danny talking to a friend about it after the show. Not a good night for guitars apparently. (If you look at the side of this picture of Flans, just above where Meg Ryan is poking her head into the video screen, you can see all of us on screen and me taking the picture. Weird.)

TMBG 10/16/10b #5

They did Ana Ng, skipping Take Out the Trash, which was on the setlist, which made me sad because I do not see that one very often and I really enjoy it. But I also love Ana Ng, especially live because the bass part sounds so extremely kick ass.

Flans did the traditional old Graveyard version of band intros instead of the new version. He did the "The bass, the bass, the bass is Danny Weinkauf" chant with the amusing exclamation that he could only hear the shy people. I can't remember at what point in the show it was, but Flans at one point yelled at someone in the balcony saying "what are you, writing a review of the concert?" I think it was while he was once again encouraging people upstairs to come down to the front. The funny thing was, the person really WAS writing a review which got posted a day or two later with some pictures. Hehe.

They closed the initial set with Istanbul with Stan doing the intro. Lots of confetti. Lots and lots.

For the first encore they did Drink!, "drink, drink," and Alphabet of Nations with some excellent silly arm movements from Linnell. I think he looks like he is trying to take flight in this picture.

TMBG 10/16/10b #8

They came back for the second encore, straight into the return of the Avatars. Blue Avatar announced that they were going to be performing the next song in the nude. He said they were provocateurs and then Flans reached up and started stripping the puppet off his hand as if he was undressing. I think I just about died laughing. They did Stalk of Wheat, then Meg Ryan made a brief appearance, actually on the puppet side of the camera this time, and said hello to everyone in a lovely high pitched voice.

Flans told Linnell that he had a great idea for a riff to do with the puppets and Linnell wanted to know what it was but Flans wouldn't tell him because he said it wouldn't work without working out some details first. I hope he remembers to do it someday.

TMBG 10/16/10b #11

They played Where Your Eyes Don't Go, then finished the night off with the rock version of Why Does the Sun Shine? which I haven't heard in quite a while. I thought it was funny that almost as soon as they released the rock version on Science they went back to playing the slow version (or the pirate/celebrity impression version) at shows. Flans did the nuclear reactions and I do not recall at all what they were because they were either words he made up or which I had never heard before.

After the show, it actually seemed like David was purposefully collecting up all the setlists on stage to bring to the back just so no one could have them. Not cool dude. He tossed a guitar pick out into the crowd which people were then digging for in the mountains of confetti.

Fun show all around. I feel like I was stage side for the rockin'-est portion of the show which was awesome. And I got to see a lot of my friends that I don't see outside New York which was very cool. There are a few more pictures on Flickr but not many.

Next up, the double header kids shows in Morristown. I might do those together in one post. We'll see.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chaos Thy Name Is This Family Show

October 16, 2010 - Landmark on Main Street - Port Washington, NY - Family Show

Back on the road again and in Long Island for a double bill of family and rock shows. Landmark on Main Street is a community center built in an old school. The theater was about the size of a postage stamp and the band kept making jokes about having flashbacks to their high school auditorium. We were seated on the left side of the room for the family show but there couldn't have been a bad seat in the house as the place was so small.

When the band came out, Flans introduced everyone first. I particularly liked, "Over there, tuning his bass for the last time in this show, Danny Weinkauf." They started with Bed and set off the small confetti cannons. But the confetti shot up and hit the ceiling and then all dropped down into the open area before the front row of seats so only the first couple of rows got any.

Flans introduced Stan, the only horn player they brought for this jaunt, claiming that he was the laziest member of the band. They played I Never Go to Work with "saxophone" substituted for trumpet.

TMBG 10/16/10a #4

Then Flans had everybody stand up and come down to the front for Clap Your Hands and it started getting chaotic. Most of the theater behind us emptied into the front of the stage and the aisles. Flans kept telling the people in the balcony to come down and get a better view but I don't know how many of them did. Not very many people were jumping in the air for the song though. They led straight into Kids Go! and for once everyone remained standing for the whole song.

Flans said they were going to show us the result of really practicing your guitar every day and brought Dan down for the intro to Istanbul. Flans kept making little comments at him while he was playing, something about him running out of fingers. Then they set off the blizzard cannon at the end of the song and lost most of the kids for the rest of the show.

After that point there was constantly confetti being thrown into the air by the kids and they were running around and so completely not paying attention to the stage. It was definitely the most chaos I have ever seen in an audience even at a kids show. Most of the parents in the front ended up sitting down on the floor for a good portion of the show after that so at least we regained our view of the stage without having to stand.

Linnell had a funny intro to Doctor Worm which I mostly forget. They followed with The Famous Polka.

TMBG 10/16/10a #8

Flans introduced Marty and his love of boy bands for High Five! He had some mic trouble partway through his introduction and stopped mid-sentence to go grab a different mic then picked up where he had left off. Meanwhile, Marty was hanging behind the drum kit waiting for his big entrance. The mic troubles continued as the new one wasn't wireless or turned on quite right. Marty, at one point during the song, tried to take Flans' mic but Flans wouldn't let him, though that one wasn't wireless either so it wouldn't have been any better. Marty ended up putting his mic down on the stage to dance then running to pick it back up. And the mic cut out at one point so Linnell filled in one of the lines in the song. Marty did his best to still run back and forth to high five kids but he was definitely hampered by the wire. And it seemed like he almost forgot to high five all the guys at the end except they were all standing there with their hands up for him. After the song, Flans commented that the extra clarinet mic they had bought was already paying for itself. Then later a wireless mic was finally brought out from backstage and Marty looked a little like "you couldn't have brought that out earlier?"

TMBG 10/16/10a #9

Flans said he needed to ask us a rhetorical question, " How many of you can count to nine?" Lots of kids shouted that they could. Flans then asked, "How many of you know what the word rhetorical means?" He started to lead the counting then said we obviously weren't expecting it to be that fast. Then he tried to lead the balcony in counting but messed them up with a wonky start and had them do it again. I think we ran through it five or six times before they finally started Pirate Girls.

After the song, Flans started in on this whole story about how you could tell how old a pirate is by cutting them in half and counting the rings. Linnell then said the next song was about facts, unlike cutting a pirate open to count the rings. They introduced Meet the Elements and said it was too late to leave if you didn't want to hear a song about the periodic table because they had locked the doors.

The other slightly odd thing that added to the chaos of the audience was that the merch stand, which was just to the left of the stage, was lit and doing business throughout the show. There was a steady stream of people going over to buy t-shirts and CDs while the band was playing which wouldn't have been so weird if the merch hadn't been so close to the front. Flans even encouraged people to go visit Anna, the merch gal, at any point during the show. The band actually seemed to almost be enjoying the chaos in the crowd.

I am sorry but I don't remember anything unique about the Avatar segment from this show. I have a real mental block when it comes to the Avatars lately. They did the typical stuff, I think. Meg Ryan made a brief appearance. They sang Shooting Star. It was funny whatever else they did. It's always funny.

TMBG 10/16/10a #15

Particularly excellent performance of Seven. The look on Flansburgh's face as he said "I would like some cake" was so sincere it was hilarous.

TMBG 10/16/10a #17

Danny came down to do Paleontologist and said that he thought the kids had all had a few too many s'mores before bed the night before and they were all still a little sleepy. He told us he was emotionally unavailable and he needed all the kids to stand up to help him rock. And we did.

TMBG 10/16/10a #19

Flans had a great time with the little kids playing his guitar at the beginning of Older then drowned them all in confetti once again. Once again, there were chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the venue that got loaded with confetti.

TMBG 10/16/10a #22

Flans introduced Stan and Linnell and their clarinets saying it was probably the only time kids would hear two clarinets at a rock show. Cowtown seems like a logical choice for a kids show. I'm surprised I haven't seen it at a family show before.

TMBG 10/16/10a #24

Then Flans directed Marty to the electric kit, saying that most bands are content with three drum kits but they settle for two. Flans made some jokes about New Wave and asymetrical hairdos and Marty gave a little drum demo and they took Nonagon out for another stroll. It's a short song but an excellent one.

They did the new style band intros on the electric kit then closed with Alphabet of Nations. There was a cute little kid next to us who knew all the words and was singing them with his dad. Awwww.

They barely left the stage before they returned for the encore. I think maybe they were worried the crowd wouldn't stick around since they were already in such disarray. They did 813 Mile Car Trip which never fails to make me rock.

They attempted to do another puppet segment but the screen wouldn't come down so they bagged it after a minute or so. Flans said they were going to do a really slow song instead. At some point he also mentioned stickers though I'm not sure when. They closed with Sleepwalkers which was wonderful but incongruous with the chaos in the crowd. So many kids playing with confetti.

The sticker distribution only continued the chaos and made setlist obtaining absolutely impossible. Oh well.

TMBG 10/16/10a #16

EDIT: I completely forgot the part that goes with the above picture. The lights were shining far too brightly in the guys faces and Flans and Stan and I think Linnell were all shielding their eyes. Flans joked that it looked like they were hiding some disturbingly disfiguring eye condition or something of the like. Haha.

There will be more recaps to follow when ever I get more time. And I'll be back from vacation on Saturday night and I'll make pictures my first priority.

Apologies for the lack of detail in this recap. Combination of too much time lag and too many shows from the weekend blurring my memory.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/20/10

"With a flathead screwdriver, I could remove my apartment buzzer and I know underneath that five would be a six" - Now Is Strange - They Might Be Giants

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Stage Announcements - 10/15/10

Well, I already shared my biggest news for this week. Look, here it is again in case you missed it (which you didn't because I posted it EVERYWHERE).

There was also this little interview with Linnell (and isn't it odd that most of the interviews that have been coming out lately are with Linnell?).

I thought the funniest thing about that one was Linnell, once again mentioning the soundtrack to Urinetown. I guess he hasn't listened to anything else in the last year because I was just re-listening to an interview from this time last year where he mentioned it as well. You can try listening to that interview/performance at the following link but at the moment it doesn't seem to be working.

And lastly, it seems that former TMBG drummer Brian Doherty is penning his memoirs, including a section on his time with TMBG. He plans on releasing excerpts from that section on his blog and has posted the first one. I am honestly not sure how I feel about this. Part of me is eager for a behind the scenes look but part of me would like to avoid the tell-all nature of his narrative. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

I will be on vacation next week and away from my computer. I will do my best to get recaps of the four shows I am attending this weekend up via my phone. That is going to be in lieu of Audience Participation again. I'll try to get a picture for Wednesday ready before I go but no promises (unless any of you has something you'd like to submit?). And Stage Announcements will depend on what kind of news there is for the week. Any pictures from this weekend will be up next weekend when I return. I'll see many of you tomorrow in Port Washington!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/13/10


"I heard I'm an orangutan" - Broke in Two - They Might Be Giants

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Happy They Day everyone!

Please allow me a few moments at the beginning of this entry to totally squee.

A few weeks ago, Danny sent me a message on Facebook asking permission to use one of the photos I had taken of him in an upcoming newspaper interview he was giving about the band's Long Island show this coming weekend. I, of course, said yes (and engaged in a moderate amount of fangirlish freakout).

I didn't say anything about it here at the time because I wasn't sure anything would come of it. But, sure enough, the interview appeared in today's issue of the Port Washington Patch online, complete with not just one but two pictures by yours truly.

I will admit that the photo quality isn't great, especially on the second one, (I did offer to send him higher resolution versions than the ones on Facebook but I never heard back and I didn't know which ones he wanted to use) but that is greatly overshadowed by the thrill of seeing my photos in print (so to speak).

I was especially curious to see which picture he chose and was very pleased that he selected one of my favorites for the primary picture. I've always loved that shot of Danny hypnotizing the audience with the spiraling purple lighting and it is one of my very earliest shots of the band in a collection that now includes thousands. It's a nice contrast to the other very recent picture from the Life is Good Festival a few weeks ago (which really is a much nicer picture than that version would lead you to believe).

I am extremely flattered that Danny chose to use my pictures out of all the gadgillions of photos of him that are out there in the world. He really is just the nicest guy on Earth :-)

If you're interested here is a better quality version of the second photo included with the interview. Also, I couldn't help thinking, while reading the part where he says that people who attend both the family and rock shows are usually in the front rows, "yup, that's me!"

TMBG 9/12/10 #5

Since I have photography on the brain tonight, I'm using that as the basis for Audience Participation as well. What are some of your favorite pictures you have taken of the band? Hunting down live concert photos after a show is one of my favorite past times and I know I've looked on shots many of you have produced in awe. My very favorite concert shots were all taken by other people, many of whom I know are reading this. But I'm curious which ones you are particularly proud of? Posting links in the comments seems to work best for photo sharing.

If you want to participate but don't have any pictures of your own, I'd be very interested to see which of my photos are your favorites. I know which ones I prefer but I am always curious to see what appeals to others.

I've probably shared these a million times already, but these are a few of my favorite moments I've captured.

This is the shot I discussed above. It really is one of my long time favorites.

1/31/09b #3

There is something about the expression in this one.

5/30/09 #37

Curt, looking blown away as he blows us away.

6/12/09 #14

Ralph may have only been with the band for one tour but he was a great subject.

TMBG 10/8/09 #57

I have so few really good pictures of Marty and the resolution on this one is crummy but I do enjoy it.

TMBG 10/10a #9

One of my rare shots of multiple band members.

TMBG 10/10/09b #33

This is one of my two all time favorite Linnell pictures. I really like the lighting.

TMBG 3/7/10 #2

Seems fitting that one of my favorite shots of Danny is from the show I got to meet him.

TMBG 3/11/10 #21

This one never fails to make me giggle.

TMBG 5/23/10a #2

I think as it stands, this may be my second all time favorite picture.

TMBG 6/11/10 #4

This is the other Linnell shot, as much for the story as for the picture.

TMBG 6/12/10 #4

I don't know why it always turns out that all my best pictures are of Flans.

TMBG 9/12/10 #3

I actually kind of adore this one and I don't know why.

TMBG 9/12/10 #23

I only have 15 bazillion pictures of Danny from this show but this was the winner.

TMBG 9/25/10 #2

The most recent of the bunch where Flans puts his thumb in his eye.

TMBG 9/26/10b #1

And this will probably remain, forever more, the best picture I have ever taken.

5/30/09 #55

I have a life goal to get what I consider a "perfect" shot of each member of the band. I've already nailed Flans and Dan. I've come close with Linnell and Danny but I know I can do better. And Marty, I'll probably be working on for years to come.

I look forward to seeing your favorites.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stage Announcements - 10/8/10

Just one new interview to share today, though if you are a photo lover like myself, it would be worth your while to do a search for They Might Be Giants on Flickr. There have been several nice sets from last weekend's Kennedy Center concert posted as well as a stunning set from the Life is Good Festival. All are copyrighted so I don't want to link here without permission but they shouldn't be hard to find.

As for the interview, it's a Linnell one with Brightest Young Things conducted in advance of the Kennedy Center gig.

Also, if you haven't watched it yet (and I know you all have) said Kennedy Center gig is available to watch at the following link. Twas, a fantastic show and is well worth watching. Let me know if you can decipher the last couple of missing lines of Canajoharie from this performance ;-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/6/10

My friend Christopher (who is a pretty damn fine photographer, don't you think?) took this picture which I have repurposed, with permission, for today's entry. Enjoy! And thanks, Christopher, for letting me use the picture :-) You can see more of his photographs here:

"'Cause it's just a hummingbird moth who's acting like a bird that thinks it's a bee" - Bee of the Bird of the Moth - They Might Be Giants

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Bucket List

Back to my regularly scheduled blog entries for a few weeks until the next show weekend.

One of the highlights of the shows last weekend was finally crossing off Purple Toupee from my list of songs I've never heard live. Partly, because it is a great song and I did really want to hear it, and partly because I knew that hearing it was one of my friend Stacy's life goals. To date, I can't remember ever being so excited when they started playing a song (of course there was some horror in there too, since Stacy wasn't there the first night they played it but that was rectified the next day).

With that song off the list, it got me thinking about songs that are still on it. Mind you, I will always be excited to hear ANY song I have never heard before. It is becoming a rarer occurrence with every show. And I can hardly complain because I've heard 156 different songs played live which I know is more than most fans get in a life time. But there are a few songs that are still on my bucket list of favorites that I would like a shot at before my time is through.

I don't bother hoping for songs they've never played live before. I prefer to keep my dreams slightly tangible. Though I can make an convincing argument for how cute Nine Bowls of Soup would be live.

So here it is. My Bucket List of Songs I'd Love to Hear Live Before I Drop Dead.

10. (She Was A) Hotel Detective - Preferably with Linnell on sax. Chalk this one up to "Never gonna happen" but I can dream.

9. Bangs - This is really just another step in my pursuit of eventually hearing all of the songs on the Dial-A-Song collection live. Which will of course ultimately be thwarted by Stormy Pinkness and Dr. Evil.

8. AKA Driver - One of my favorite songs from John Henry that I never talk about. Actually a John Henry show would be pretty much the best possible scenario for me.

7. Certain People I Could Name - The topic of Dream Setlists came up on the forum and this was on my list. I'm not sure why I picked it but I'm sticking with it.

6. Working Undercover for the Man - I just want the chance to sing "Sha-la-la-la-la"

5. A Self Called Nowhere - This would be so spectacular live. With horns.

4. Rhythm Section Want Ad - I just want to see Linnell tackle this one. And I LOVE the song.

3. Destination Moon - This is one of my most favorite songs that I haven't heard live. There are very, very few from my Top 25 list left and this is one of them.

2. They'll Need a Crane - Again, put this in the "highly unlikely" category. But seriously, They'll Need a Crane!

1. And finally, and you all knew this was coming, I would give up ever hearing another new song live, not to mention my right arm, MY ACTUAL RIGHT ARM, the one I write with and everything,  for the chance to hear:


If the band ever hears my plea and plays that song, I will audibly scream, gape wilding at them while they play and then probably pass out from the shock. That, right there, would be the best gift they could ever give me. Sadly, though, I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Dan!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy birthday to Mr. Dan Miller, perhaps the finest electric guitar player in They Might Be Giants.

I have spent many of my favorite shows standing at this man's feet and having him rock my face off with that guitar. He is a truly phenomenal musician, funny, humble, multi-talented and a pretty damn nice guy. I hope he has a seriously kick-ass birthday.

To celebrate, please enjoy this 2005 interview with Dan conducted by the people at Gibson guitars.

And a few of my best pictures of the man himself.

5/30/09 #60

5/30/09 #25

TMBG 7/11/09 #34

TMBG 10/8/09 #53

TMBG 10/10/09b #33

TMBG 11/27/09 #19

TMBG 3/7/10 #1

TMBG 3/7/10 #14

TMBG 3/12/10 #8

TMBG 4/22/10 #45

TMBG 6/11/10 #4

TMBG #53

TMBG 9/12/10 #41

TMBG 9/24/10 #12

Happy Birthday, Dan! From all of us out here in TMBG land :-)