Monday, February 28, 2011

The TV Is In Esperanto

I've been racking my brain, trying to come up with topics that I haven't yet covered in Audience Participation and it suddenly occurred to me that I haven't done a post on Their best television appearances yet. So without further ado, here is my selection of favorite TMBG TV appearances (in no particular order).

Dan Hickey just cracks me up in this one, the way he is bouncing on his stool.

What on earth is Dan Miller wearing? He's got like a nerd/cowboy thing going on. I LOVE it!

There are many things I enjoy about this video but I just can't quite get over the disaster that is Danny's hair. But it is from the brief period of time post-Danny but pre-Dan which makes it historically important. Also, I have seen Dan Levine perform in that shirt 12 years later.

Oh god, the facial expressions. Can you imagine how many people who are not familiar with the band were watching this and just thinking "what the fuck?"

Check out this super early Marty appearance a good six months before he first performed live with the band. My favorite part is the shot of him sitting their playing drums with the slide whistle in his mouth at the end of the song.

Older - They Might Be Giants from They Might Be Giants on Vimeo.

So serious. But I love the look on Dan's face at the end (and his hair) and that funky thing Linnell does with his hands when he starts singing.

I admit I am actually kind of terrified of this video but I love that it exists.

This is here for sentimental reasons because it's Their first TV appearance I actually watched after hopping aboard the fandom train. I would actually have more to say about their performance of this song on Conan two years later because I am amused by the disparity between all their outfits in that one, but I'm pretty sure Dan is wearing the same shirt in both appearances so I can tie in that comment to this video.

There you go. Enjoy some video watching (sorry about the crappy quality on some). Don't get lost in the YouTubes and forget to come back to post your favorites. Cheers!

Song of the Day - Day 105

Today's song is...

Lazyhead and Sleepybones

This one makes me sleepy. Such a lovely dreamy tone to it. I love that instead of going with opposites, the song focuses on synonyms. It's such an annoying little brother thing to do, which is how I picture the two characters. Flans' voice sounds particularly good here and I like the harmony on the chorus. And that is some nice slide guitar, Dan. Nap time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 104

Today's song is...

Pictures of Pandas Painting

Oooo, the alliteration. Funny and cute but somehow doesn't live up to it's potential. I want it to be a better song than it is. It does give Dan an opportunity to try out some atypical (for TMBG anyway) stylings on his axe. I heard Flans use this as an example multiple times in interviews, when he was talking about how freeing writing children's music was in terms of musical styles.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 103

Today's song is...

Museum of Idiots

It is apparently that time. I should have known considering that yesterday, when I turned on my car, this song was cued up on my CD player and then when I got home and turned off the car it was also playing on a completely different CD.

I'm going to tell you a story about my very personal interpretation of this song. Apologies to those of you who already heard it on Tumblr because I'm mostly just reposting it rather than re-typing it all. This will probably be the longest Song of the Day entry you will ever read.

My boyfriend, Gary, and I have been together for almost five years, and we were really close friends for another three years before that. We met at work. He was one of the first people I was introduced to on my initial tour of the store. I remember the manager that was giving me the tour, telling me that Gary didn’t talk much but that they were working on trying to get him to come out of his shell. I vividly remember thinking, “I can do that.” It took at least a good six months of working at him, but I did finally get him to start talking to me. And somewhere in that time, I also remember looking at him one day, before I had even really gotten to know him and thinking, “He is probably the love of my life.” I’m not sure what gave me that feeling. It was one of those things I just… knew.

But somewhere in there, I had also found out that he was already with someone and had been for a long time. Didn’t stop me from wanting to be friends and over the next year we became quite close. But then the trouble started. We were reprimanded at work for being too social. So we toned it down, started hanging out more outside work. Then we started having trouble with his girlfriend. Sometimes she and I got along fine, then others she would be convinced that I was trying to steal him from her, that my behavior wasn’t appropriate between friends. She’d give him curfews, call him with accusations when we were out with friends or at work, and send me jealous, accusatory messages telling me to back off which she would then retract and apologize for when she had calmed down.

Meanwhile, our boss at work seemed to have some sort of grudge against him. She had us reprimanded again for visiting at work on a night when I had been at home, no where near the store. Then, I got promoted and after a few weeks she sat me down and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I would be demoted and he would be transfered if we didn’t cease all contact at work entirely. I wasn’t even allowed to speak to him in a work capacity. The assistant manager at the time told me that, unless I intended to marry him, our relationship wasn’t worth messing up my career over. And we weren’t even dating. We were just friends.

What does all of this have to do with this song you ask? Well, in the midst of all this, Gary gave me a mix CD he'd made to take on a vacation with me because I was getting bored with the music I had been listening to. Included on it, was Museum of Idiots. The song seemed to perfectly capture everything that had been going on. The fact that we were having to fight against everyone, just to remain friends.

A couple of years later, after he had broken up with his girlfriend and we started dating, but had to hide this fact from everyone we worked with, the song seemed to ring even more true.

“They built this whole neighborhood out of wood, out of wood, I guess I’ll still be around when they burn, burn it down.” 

This was our sense that we were stuck in our jobs at a place we had grown more and more dissatisfied with. In the Museum of Idiots.

 “Honey, I’m there when you need me, please believe me, please believe me. I’ll be right where you left me, if you manage to forget me. Where we met is where you may forget, here in the museum of idiots.” 

Through all the awfulness we remained there for each other. Still stuck in the same foolish environment where we had met.

“If you and I had any brains, we wouldn’t be in this place.”

If we had had any brains at all we would have left our jobs, which grew increasingly dissatisfying, and probably just given up on trying to be friends because it just made everything more difficult.

“Chop me up in to pieces, if it pleases, if it pleases. And when the chopping is through, every piece will say “I love you,” here in the museum of idiots.” 

Everyone and everything was trying to chop us apart and we stuck together. And we are still together eight years later, after five years as a couple. And yet, we are still stuck in the museum of idiots. It’s impossible to escape from. Something always seems to keep us there. People say this is a really sad, depressing song. For me, it’s about love in the face of madness and opposition. And if we ever get married, which I hope we will, this will probably be our wedding song. Both because of it’s personal meaning and because our mutual love of TMBG has only brought us closer together.

(P.S. If you've ever wondered why I never refer to my boyfriend by name on my blog, this story is why. But I've just been promoted to a different store in the company, so we no longer work together directly, and thus I am loosening up a little. After five years living in the dark, it is time to shine some light. It feels good.)

And lastly, MY GOD, I love this song. The bass line. Oh my god, that bass line. And the horns. Those bombastic horns. And the crash of the cymbals. Damn.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 102

Today's song is...

Flansy Stays In The Picture

Reasonably certain I have never actually heard this. I had the best intentions of sticking in my Gigantic DVD today to listen to it before I posted this but I haven't yet gotten around to it and the day is almost over so I figured I should just proceed. I don't know if this even qualifies as a song. Does it?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 101

Today's song is...

Stormy Pinkness

"I can hear the women shouting but I can't hear any of the men."

It was a very long time before I ever heard any version of this song other than the "Love Version" so I pretty much had no idea what the lyrics were because you can't really hear them over all the people shouting "Love." But, oh, I am quite fond of that version. Even if it is one of the songs that will keep me from every reaching my goal of hearing every song on the Dial-A-Song collection live.

I also like the instrumentation of the traditional version. It's got kind of a dreamy quality to it. Waltz time. "Choose your partner."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 100

I have reached the 100th song. We should probably celebrate like 100 day in kindergarten where everyone brings in 100 of something. I volunteer to bring 100 pieces of confetti of assorted types and colors. If I had planned a little better this might have also been the 300th post on this blog, but as it is it's two posts shy. I wanted to choose a song for today (rather than going random) that was appropriately epic for a 100th song. Something that everyone would look at and go "oh yes, that's PERFECT" without feeling like it was too obvious. And I've hemmed and hawed over it a lot. I want something that really captures what I love about the band and something that I really love. Thinking about it, what I really love most, and the whole reason this blog came to be in the first place, is the live show experience. So I've selected a song that I believe embodies that experience and is honestly, one of my favorite parts of every show. And I do mean every show. Hopefully, no one is too disappointed with my selection. Ready? Here we go!

Today's song is...

Clap Your Hands

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for They Might Be Giants national anthem! Introducing on the drums the next lieutenant governor of New York state and 2012's American Idol, Mr. Marty Beller. Clap you hands. Come on, clap your hands. People, clap your hands. AW, SHIT, CLAP YOUR HANDS!"

I have seen 66 shows and I've seen this performed 60 times. The only song I've seen more is Istanbul. This, to me, epitomizes the TMBG show. It does not feel like a proper show until I have clapped and stomped and jumped in the air like a fool. So often, this is the song that gets everyone on their feet and gets the show moving. This is the song that causes the stage rush in the seated venues. There is nothing about this I don't love. I love Flans' introductions to it and the crazy light show and Flans swearing in the middle of a song off a children's record (I'm still waiting for him to accidentally yell, "Aww shit" at a kids show). I love watching Linnell stomp and jump up and down. I am continually amused by Danny's half hearted participation as if he had done the stomping thing just a few too many times. I used to blow my throat out doing "Everybody scream" at the end before Flans replaced it with more clapping. Besides the fact that I just really enjoy the music of the song itself.

I have 2 favorite Clap Your Hands memories. The first was Flans yelling out "Barnes & Noble, clap your hands!" at the in-store in December of '09 which wouldn't have been funny if the show hadn't been at a Borders. The second was at Mohengan Sun in September, when I accidentally made eye contact with Danny while I was jumping up and down at the end of the song and he started laughing at me. Because really we must all look ridiculous from the stage.

One of the most comforting things about TMBG shows is the routine. No matter what changes in my life (and man there has been a LOT of change the last few weeks) I can go to a show and feel like I belong and I know what my role is: it's to clap my hands, stomp my feet, jump in the air like a loon with everyone else in the room and enjoy every single minute of it. And I'm damn good at it too :-)

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 2/23/11

This is another of Jamie's that I have yet to decipher (have a mentioned how bad I am at my own game?), so you shall have to rely on her to tell you when you guess right.


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 99

Today's song is...

Kiss Me Son of God

Oh the harmonies. I think I like my old recordings of this better, when it's just Flans and Linnell and the accordion without all the strings and the sax. Gary got to hear OK Go covering this which I would have liked to see. Alas.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You Guys Must Be In To The Eurhythmics

As promised here is my playlist, with video links. They aren't in any particular order and they aren't necessarily my favorite songs by these artists. Particularly, this was not the Dave Mallett song I wanted to include but I wanted one with a video and there were very few. Kudos to anyone who actually makes it through this list. It is way longer than I intended. I got carried away. Maybe I should have bolded all the ones I really care about.

Brandy - Looking Glass

Dancing Queen - ABBA

I Drove All Night - Roy Orbison

Time to Pretend - MGMT

Baba O'Riley - The Who

Wisdom - The Guggenheim Grotto

Piano Man - Billy Joel

Ikea - Jonathan Coulton

Never Tear Us Apart - INXS

Hey Jude - The Beatles

Walkin' On Sunshine - KC and the Sunshine Band

This Too Shall Pass - OK Go

21 Guns - Green Day

Band on the Run - Wings

Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

Online - Brad Paisley

God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon

Spirit - John Denver

The Garden Song - Dave Mallett

Under Pressure - Queen

Break On Through - The Doors

Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan

I've Gotta Get A Message to You

Let the River Run - Carly Simon

Prisoners of Their Hairdos - Christine Lavin

Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight and the Pips

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2

Tiny Dancer - Elton John

Girls in Their Summer Clothes - Bruce Springsteen

Faithfully - Journey

We're All Light - XTC

If You Dig Menudo Or MDC We Salute You

Inspired by my recent 1,227 mile trip to see Jonathan Coulton for the 9th and 10th times (a trip I would, under normal circumstances, probably not have made to see any band but TMBG, but desperate musical times call for desperate travel measures, plus he had Marty with him), I have been meaning to do an Audience Participation entry on other bands and musicians that inspire your love and dedication.

Then John suggested putting together a playlist or "mix-tape" of completely non-TMBG (or related projects) songs for each other to share other musical interests and see where else we overlap, or don't as the case may be. And I thought that was a pretty great idea too. So I am going to do both. And at the same time too, to make up for all the recent weeks without Audience Participation entries. It'll be in two parts, the first now and the second when I finish work today.

So, first off, my list of other artists who have even come close to inspiring TMBG levels of dedication. Although really, only one of the artists on this list can even begin to compare (though I think there is another one or two heading in that direction).

Brad Paisley - I am not a country music fan. Repeat: I am NOT a country music fan. But I am however, a Brad Paisley fan. Go figure. His funny songs are just too damn funny and his romancey type songs are really sweet and damn, that guy can play a guitar. I credit my dad for turning me on to him a few years back. He does have the occasional song that is just a little too country for me, but how can you not appreciate a guy with a whole song about how the best gift you can give a woman is to put the toilet seat down?

Paul Simon - I have been a Paul Simon fan for pretty much as long as I can remember. Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints played in my house from the time my parents bought their first CD player. There is one track on Rhythm of the Saints with this really killer drum solo that my dad used to blast out of the stereo to wake me up for breakfast on Sunday mornings (when he didn't use the 1812 Overture). Then at some point in high school my grandparents gave my mother a boxed set of Simon & Garfunkel CDs for some occasion and I pretty much stole it until I left for college. I just adore his song writing. And the music. When I was still playing piano regularly (read: when I still had a piano instead of my sad, doesn't-even-have-88-keys keyboard) I would sit around pounding out Sounds of Silence from memory. I've seen him live twice. The first time was a concert when he was on tour for his album You're The One. I went with my parents but we could only get single seats in the theater so we didn't get to sit together. It was kind of insane but wonderful. The second time was a reunion tour of Simon & Garfunkel at the Fleet Center with my roommate at the time. We could barely see but it didn't matter because it was so amazing seeing them perform together. Excuse me a moment. I need to go pull out my keyboard and play Sounds of Silence again for old times sake. (Note: Wow, I am terribly out of practice.)

John Denver - This is another one I got from my parents. I have been listening to JD, literally, all my life. My parents went to a concert when my mother was about eight months pregnant with me. When I was little I loved the song Grandma's Feather Bed. Then I got into my tween years and got super into musicals and didn't listen to much else for quite a while. But I remember quite vividly the morning in high school when my mother woke me up and told me that John had been killed in a plane crash. I remember going to school and trying to talk about this with my friends and being absolutely horrified that most of them didn't even know who he was. That was definitely the turning point for me. I did my own personal tribute to him, performing A Baby Just Like You at the Christmas chorus concert that year, partly for myself and partly to begin to educate my classmates about his music. And in the process fell back in love with his music myself. I did Annie's Song for an audition (which I didn't get) and both Montana Sky and Friends With You for my senior recital (the later with all my girlfriends on stage with me singing back-up). I think one of my biggest regrets will always be that I never got to see him perform live.

Queen - I discovered Queen in such a bizarre way. For the most part, if an artist was not either someone my parents listened to or someone who was played on the Oldies or Soft Rock radio stations I listened to throughout my youth, I was completely unfamiliar with them. For years and years, all I knew of Queen was Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You. Then I went to work in London after college and saw a lot of theater because I didn't have much else to do after work. One of the shows I saw was a musical based around the music of Queen (ala Mamma Mia/ABBA) called We Will Rock You. It was a wonderfully bizarre, campy, futuristic sci-fi story and I just got addicted to the music. I bought the soundtrack and a big 3 disc box set of Queen music and listened to virtually nothing else for several months following. It hit me right at a time when I was craving something harder rocking than the folk music and oldies I had been listening to but wasn't sure where to go. Queen hit the spot perfectly.

OK Go - Like TMBG, this is one I got from my boyfriend. I'm pretty sure he discovered them as a TMBG opener. I know he played their CDs when I was around a number of times but it was, of course, the treadmill video he showed me that made more of an impression. I finally started calling myself a fan right about the time their most recent album came out. It was a combination of the album, the Rube Goldberg video and the first time I saw them live. Those guys sure know how to put on a show. And they make the best music videos I have ever seen. I've seen them thrice more since that first time, putting them in fifth position on the list of bands I've seen most frequently.

The Guggenheim Grotto - I've talked about these guys a lot on this blog. Mostly because I discovered them while we were following TMBG on tour in the fall of '09. They opened for seven of the shows on our fifteen shows in eighteen days extravaganza. And they are good. Really, really good. Folk rock with some of the most beautiful lyrics. And Mick's voice is probably the most beautiful male vocal I have ever heard. I especially love their latest album because the mixing allows his vocals to come through so much more richly. I've seen them three times on their own since that tour, tying them for third place on that most seen list. They are one of a very few number of bands that I will see EVERY time they come around.

Jonathan Coulton - Again, no surprises here. I started following JoCo on Twitter before I ever listened to any of his music because both John Hodgman and Neil Gaiman mentioned him so much in their feeds that I had to figure out who they were talking about. I finally listened to a few tracks on his website and loved them and spontaneously decided to drag Gary to a show right before our big '09 road trip. Excellent decision. LOVED it. No turning back after that. Four shows opening for TMBG in '10, then the epic PAX East show. The first two band shows with Marty and Chris in July and the next two in January have tied him with TGG for third place. But the next PAX East show in three weeks will break that tie... for about a month until my next TGG show :-)

David Mallett - I could probably safely bet money on the fact that none of you have ever heard of Dave unless you've heard me mention him before. He's a folk singer that has been a presence in my life since my toddler years listening to him on the record player. He's a bit of a legend in Maine but hasn't gained much acclaim outside folk music circles in the rest of the world despite a career spanning over 30 years. If you've ever heard any of his songs the most likely is The Garden Song. "Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow." It's been recorded by everyone from John Denver to the Muppets. I saw my first Dave Mallet concert when I was maybe seven or eight, and sporadically over the years after that. But for a period of about ten years from the middle of high school to my first few years living in Massachusetts, I followed him like a groupie. I coerced friends into driving me to shows in college and dragged them to Cambridge to see him at Club Passim. I spent my days off from the summer camp I worked at trekking around Maine to shows. I got to be friends with his soundman Tom and with Dave himself. He did a tour in England while I was studying abroad there and I took a bus into the middle of nowhere England to see him perform. I sat at a table with his wife and kids and toured around the town with them the next morning before my bus came. For a while I didn't have to pay for his new albums any more because Tom gave them all to me for free. If you want to know where I learned to be a TMBG groupie look no further than right here. Admittedly, I pretty much stopped following Dave when I started following TMBG and I haven't been to one of his shows in a couple of years, but that doesn't mean I love his music any less. His songs are timeless and I return to them whenever I need something a little quieter or I'm just feeling homesick. I lost track of how many times I saw him live but it was something in the twenties so while TMBG passed it long ago, it'll be a while before anyone steals the number two spot on my list.

When I get out of work today (first day at the new store... little nervous) I'll put up my playlist of non-TMBG songs including tracks from all the above artists and then some. Stay tuned!

Song of the Day - Day 98

Today's song is...


Until I started listening to so many live show recordings I had no idea how often the band has played this song live over the years. I knew I'd heard it a lot, but I also went to a lot of Flood shows so I figured I was getting it by default. But did you know it's been played more often than Ana Ng and Don't Let's Start? A quick search only produces a half dozen songs that have been performed more often. This kind of blew my mind a little. Because I don't think of it as being that much of a signature song. To be honest, I've grown a little tired of it. It certainly does rock live, but I don't find it to be one of their strongest songs lyrically, though it does have a few zingers. It's just not a song I think about much. But the band obviously enjoys it or they wouldn't play it so often. Because it's not like Particle Man or Birdhouse or Istanbul where they keep playing them because the audience demands it. This seems like one they keep playing because they want to. Something to think about.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 97

Today's song is...

Snowball In Hell

There is something about the drum machine in this song that I really enjoy. That and the accordion/melodica but mostly the drum machine. And the lyric, "If it wasn't for disappointment I wouldn't have any appointments" is one of the most brilliant Flansburgh penned lines in existence. (I'm assuming Flans wrote this one I guess, though I don't have any actual proof of that. It just sounds like him.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 96

Today's song is...

Feel Good Sublet

Yet another song that I hadn't yet heard until it popped up here and I went hunting for it. Of course, there it was sitting in my magic folder of Dial-A-Song tunes on my desktop that I have barely cracked the surface of. It's a very simple, funny little tune. I sort of get the impression that Flans wrote it out of personal experience though that might just be me. Either way it gets my stamp of approval.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 95

Today's song is...

Come On And Wreck My Car

I love the way Flans screams this sometimes when they do it live. And I quite like the harmonies on the recorded version. But today I would not like someone to wreck my car as I just bought a second one and my insurance bill already went up enough, thank you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 94

Today's song is...


I feel like that should have said today's song is... very late. I have had a very busy and expensive day in Masshole-achusetts.

I wonder if the random song generator is done spitting out band intro music yet? I have this great recorded version of this one where Flans goes through introducing the band and then introduces Dan Miller playing an excerpt of Hot For Teacher. And he does. With Flans joining him for a bit of the lyrics. And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I love this band.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 93

Today's song is...

Pet Name

Today is my dear friend and Road Crew partner in crime, Megan's, birthday. Therefore today's song of the day is her favorite song in the catalog. So after you have finished wishing her a happy birthday, turn off all the lights, sit alone in the dark room and listen to Pet Name in the manner in which it was intended, in her honor.

I can't say this is my favorite song, or that it would even make my top 50, but I do have quite a lot of affection for the bass and keyboard parts and it all comes together quite nicely. And I have fond memories of listening to it live in the total darkness of LPR (not so much at Mohegan Sun, since there was too much ambient light coming in from the casino ).

I think somehow this song speaks to why Megan and I compliment each other so well as fans, the Flans-girl and the Linnell-girl meet in the middle with a mutual appreciation of the entire body of work. And we don't have to fight over the guys in the car on the way back to the hotel.

Happy Birthday, Megan!!

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 2/16/11

Rebecca and company team up for a particularly adorable entry :-)


Please sent submissions to

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 92

Today's song is...

Our Cannibal Friends

Hey, check out the nifty video, TDK recorded. Why haven't they recorded this song? They really should. Someone should suggest it for the next album.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 91

Today's song is...

I Am A Grocery Bag

This makes me hungry. And I shall always have mental associations between this and Dead. Mmmmm, pudding.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 90

Today's song is...

Yeh Yeh

I find it interesting that TMBG chooses to cover so many songs on subjects that are completely opposite to those they usually sing about. Have you ever noticed that almost all of their "happy love songs" are covers? What makes them choose these songs to cover when they avoid writing on these themes themselves?

I like this one fine as a cover. It's kind of sweet. And also a not so subtle euphemism about sex. But still, kind of sweet. Maybe I should have saved this one for tomorrow ;-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 89

Today's song is...

Instrument Tour

Is that a banjo? That makes me smile for some reason.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 88

Today's song is...

Certain People I Could Name

This has the best piano part. I would LOVE some sheet music for this. Great bass part too and the guitar is lovely but it's really the piano that makes me love this song so much. This is really high on my list of songs I would like to hear live, even though I think it's more unlikely than most of the other things on that list. Also, in the one live recording I have of it, they've completely changed the arrangement and it's just not as good so maybe it's best if I don't hear it.

I also love the subject matter. It's basically about watching a movie or TV or whatever and having one of the characters remind you of someone you know. And really who hasn't had that happen? But Linnell manages to use his lyrical brilliance to make a whole song about it. I think the songs that take everyday situations and turn them into beautiful, lyrical pieces of music are usually among my favorites.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 87

Today's song is...

We've Got A World That Swings

This has always seemed like an unusual choice for the band to cover. It's too straight sentimental love song for their usual taste. That being said I kind of adore it. It's nice to have a cute, sentimental love song for a change. And I quite like the way Linnell's voice sounds on the recording. Plus I love that toy piano sound.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 86

Today's song is...

Taste The Bass

I think I can honestly say I have no particular feelings on this one. It's a little trippy.

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 2/9/11

Jamie keeps up her winning streak this week.


Please send submissions to

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 85

Today's song is...


Oh, Gloria. Don't you wonder what ever happened to her? I do.

I love Linnell's story about thinking he heard her in a bookstore. Can you imagine that encounter? "Ah, hey, any chance you called a number in the Village Voice about fifteen years ago and left a really bizarre message about my band? No?"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 84

Today's song is...

Lullaby to Nightmares

Sorry, just couldn't force myself to spell it wrong like it is on LTW. Have you guys all heard the original Hello The Band recording of this sung by Joshua Fried? Because, except for the horn arrangement on the LTW version, which I quite enjoy, I think I prefer the original. The LTW version has a very late 60s sound to it, what with all the "bup-bup-bup-bup-baaas" and the horns. The original sounds a little... creepier (not sure if that's the word I am looking for) which I think fits the tone of the song better.

Also, completely unrelated to the song itself, I went to listen to both versions on my iPod before writing this so I could make an accurate comparison, and I had it set to just play songs in alphabetical order (which I never do or I would just end up listening to Istanbul for 4 hours straight due to the 45 different versions that are in there). I was doing something else and let it run after the second version played and the next song in the list was Lumberjack, one of the more ridiculous (in my opinion) offerings from Marty's band Meow. So I got a good accidental chuckle out of preparing this entry. Bonus!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 83

Today's song is...


"A cell knows what it has to do to grow into a some moss or a shrew, algae or a kangaroo, bug or a sunflower, Dwight David Eisenhower"

That is one of my very favorite lines in the repertoire. The inclusion of Eisenhower just makes the whole thing. I was so exited to play this for people when it came out just because I was so sure that line was gold. Kudos, Mr. Linnell. Job well done.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 82

Today's song is...

Jazz Waltz in C

What is this, band intro music week? Well, I guess this is really more crowd appreciation music. I have a number of recordings of Flans doing this bit which always amuse me. I like his habit of thanking the short women standing behind the tall men for coming to the show. I heard them do this once or twice somewhat recently. I think at the end of our spring tour, but I'm not sure they used the same music. I imagine it's quite a thrill to be picked as one of the folks in the crowd to get a personal thanks for attending.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 81

Today's song is...

I Don't Understand You

I debated the merits of including Fingertips tracks individually or all together and decided on individually with a vote from Erin. I love the ad libs that evolve from this bit live. And the staccato pronunciation Linnell sometimes uses. Good stuff.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 80

Today's song is...

The End of the Tour

Oh dear, sometimes the random song selector has a freaky way of choosing songs that fit my mood on a particular day.

This was the song that was almost ruined for me by reading interpretations on the wiki. Suddenly I couldn't listen to it without thinking about someone else's interpretation. I quickly learned not to read them any more. And fortunately, I've gotten past my hang-up on this one.

For whatever reason, in my mind, this song is always paired with Museum of Idiots. They just kind of go together. Not sure if it's because I heard them both live for the first time at the same show or what.

For me anyway, this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs in the catalog. Sometimes I listen to it and it's so profound it shocks me. Today is one of those days.

Also, I believe Megan and I have agreed that if the band does not play this as the last song of their last show before they retire we shall never forgive them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 2/2/11 Bonus!!

Here you go, John! Apparently the Lego Master takes requests!

2/2/11 Bonus

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 2/2/11

Here we have another of my boyfriend's Lego creations. Someday we might actually finish the Lego version of the band that we've been creating.


Please send submissions to

Song of the Day - Day 79

Today's song is...


Once again, not sure this totally qualifies as a song, but I'm going with it. I know there have been a lot of versions of band introduction music over the years but until very, very recently this was the only one I'd ever known, so it is rather near and dear to my heart. And yet it always makes me a little sad because it means the show is almost over.

Does it make me weird that I really love the band introduction portion of the show? I think it has to do with the ritual of the thing. Whooping for Dan Miller and perpetually feeling bad for him because he doesn't have his own intro gimmick thing like the other two guys and only ever gets a short little solo (I've always assumed this was because he gets so many solos throughout the show). Chanting "The bass, the bass, the bass is Danny Weinkauf" over and over and laughing at the crowds that mumble off the end of the chant because they aren't all that confident of his last name. And I love that little, "I can't hear you" hand to the ear thing Danny tends to do. And my favorite part, screaming my bloody head off for Marty while he attempts to wreck his one good drum kit. There have been nights where I went home with a sore throat after that part and wasn't a bit sorry. And I have, in fact, seen Marty nearly destroy his kit, standing on it and kicking the crap out of the thing while he played. Damn good times.

So yeah. I'm quite fond of this song thing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 78

Today's song is...

Cyclops Rock

One of the more hard rockin' songs. This has never been a particular favorite of mine but I do enjoy that this is one of the earliest songs I know of that Dan and Danny helped write. The guitar solo in the middle is entirely of their creation and I according to one interview with Flans, he brought Danny in to help him concoct the guitar riffs that would become the backbone of the song.