Monday, October 31, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 350

Today's song is...


I LOVE this video. This is quite possibly my favorite video from HCS. That little bug in the top hat is my favorite. And the line "Photosynthesis does not involve a camera or a synthesizer, although that's interesting too" is one of my all time favs. It's clever and funny and too many syllables crammed into not enough space. And I really love the rhythm track of the song, especially during the outro. Sooo good.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 349

Today's song is...

Poison Flowers

I am not sure what this reminds me of, but it reminds me of something. Something that is not Mono Puff. This is one of the songs where Mono Puff really doesn't sound like TMBG at all, and let's face it, a lot of the Mono Puff tracks have a definite TMBG flavor. But I really like this one, because it's different. And I especially like the piano jam at the end. Good song.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 348

Today's song is...

My Name Is Kingof Socks

I have such vivid memories of doing the lyrics for this one for the wiki, with my ear pressed to the computer speaker as I listened to the premiere on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. I really love the arrangement of this one. Fantastic drums and percussion and keyboard. The music is so rich. And then those cute, silly lyrics. And I also really like the effect on Flans' voice. A+.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 347

Today's song is...

I'm Def

This is one of my go-to examples of a WTF song. I think this is another example of Flans just playing around with sonics and the audience reaping the very odd rewards. And I love that stuff like this gets released. With so many bands, goof-around tracks like this would never see the light of day. And we get bunches of them. Yay, for us!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 346

Today's song is...

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes

Oh, the dissonance! This track is amusing but sometimes the dissonance gets to me. But I love the lyric about "ape town." It makes me giggle.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 345

Today's song is...

If I Wasn't Shy

I really like the introductory riff in this song. I could kind of take or leave the rest of it, but I do like that riff. It also has a pretty nice bass part. And the lyric "I'd ask you if you don't mind, to kiss you a hundred times" is really beautiful. Sad and romantic at the same time. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 344

Today's song is...

Number Three

I really appreciate the humor of this song being the third song on the album. It is little things like this that make me love these guys. This is a song I love as a whole package. Clever lyrics, clever concept, great guitar and sax and drum machine. This is what I think of as a quintessential TMBG song.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 343

Today's song is...


Never one of my particular favorite venue songs. It's entertaining enough but there are others that didn't make the recorded-in-a-studio-with-an-official-video cut that I like better. I do like how the "e" stands out at the end when they are spelling "garage." It makes it sound sort of like an afterthought, like, "oh yeah, there's an "e" on this word."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 342

Today's song is...

Untitled Remix

Oh Gloria, even sillier when set to music.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 341

Today's song is...

Go for G

I really love the piano part in this song. Like, really, really love it. And also the drums in the bridge. But my very favorite thing about the whole song is the way Flans says "gyroscopes." Because a) what little kid knows what a gyroscope is? And b) the word is too long to fit properly into that spot in the song and he crams it in there anyway and it makes me giggle every single time.

At my very first show, there was a dad with a little boy in front of me and the dad kept trying to get his son to shout out a request for this song the entire show. It was obviously the child's favorite but he was too shy to make the request. Which is probably just as well considering the song has never been in their live repertoire, but I remember thinking it was really cute at the time.

They Might Be Giants After Dark

September 28, 2011 - The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC

Oh dear. I managed to get so behind on show recaps I couldn't catch up. Heading into the last week of the tour with Chicago incomplete was my undoing. But the good news is, I only have to pull this one and Richmond out of my memory then I have audio aids for the remainders so the last three I can produce them pretty quickly.

Once again managed not to be floated away by the French Broad River and were not detoured by rock slides on the road from Nashville this year either. That was a major plus. We arrived in Asheville hours too early due to required hotel check out in Nashville so we spent quite a while wandering around town. It's a pretty little town and very artsy. Lots of little craft shops, art galleries, organic restaurants and food stores. There was an outdoor co-op right by the venue and even a store that sold seasoned olive oils and vinegars (they do tastings if you are ever in the area).

A few hours before doors we wandered back to The Orange Peel to see if there was a line yet. There wasn't so we decided to wander a little more, but I wanted something out of our car first. I didn't want to walk down the side of the venue to the lot because the tour bus was parked there so were went the long way around. But when we went to wander off in the other direction we came out at the corner of the cross street right as Linnell, Flans and Marty were unpacking an SUV coming back from their local radio appearance. We stood awkwardly on the corner waiting for the light to turn while they trooped up the street into the venue, which was exactly what I had been trying to avoid by not walking next to the bus. Whoops. This seemed to be a recurring incident at this venue. As we were coming back again later, I stopped to point out a mysterious Rubbermaid container that had been left next to the bus, and of course Flans walked out the door of the bus right when I was pointing it out to Gary. And then Gary ended up returning from a trip to the public restroom right as the entire band was coming out of the building from soundcheck and had to cross the street to get back up to the line to avoid having to walk through them. Awkward.

I joined the line behind a small group of fans which included one of my readers, Kholdstare. Hi!! I always enjoy the lines more when I get to meet cool new people and compare band experiences and this was definitely one of those lines. And in this line in particular, I got to talk to talk to more people than I ordinarily would as I was starting a super secret project, in earnest. I started in Chicago, but I didn't get very far. But serious progress was made in Asheville. Actually, the project isn't a secret anymore now that it is in the past tense. I had bought this ridiculously large fold-out card birthday card for Dan Miller, (whose birthday was the upcoming Monday) with the intention of getting as many people in line over the course of the week to sign it as I could. I didn't get very far in Chicago because we got there so late, but in Asheville I ferried that thing as far back as the line went at the time, and as a result, got to talk, however briefly, with a whole slew of other fans. It was surprisingly fun given my tendency towards shyness when it comes to starting conversations with people. (I'm fine when someone else starts the conversation, but wracked with nerves when it comes to opening a dialogue. In Nashville, I was so nervous about talking to people I never even pulled the card out.) But people were really nice and wrote some lovely things in the card.

We got to hear most of the soundcheck through the walls. They ran through the obligatory Asheville venue song so I got to enjoy Linnell saying "orange" a few extra times which is always a delight. The other songs they tested weren't anything unique, just several of the Join Us tracks. What was slightly more exciting/distressing for me was the Jonathan Coulton soundcheck. He and the band started running through Glasses, which is my favorite song on the new album. Actually, it's probably my favorite Jonathan Coulton song period and I had not yet heard it performed live (except on YouTube). But I was horribly conflicted because one of the things I really love about it (besides the fact that I find it to be a deeply romantic song) is Marty's drumming on the track, and nothing against Christian, but I really wanted to see Marty play it. So I was excited and disappointed all at the same time. It was sort of like being given a chocolate cake that was missing the frosting. Still good, but not the same.

Eight o'clock finally rolled around (late doors tonight) and we flooded into the Orange Peel. We picked a spot just left of center by the stage, probably the most front and forward we were this whole leg of the tour. They had guard rails set up that kept us a few feet back from the stage to create a photographer's alley along the stage front. The rails were attached to a base that meant the whole front row was raised ever so slightly above those behind them, which must have been a little annoying for the short folks in the crowd. I chatted for a while with the fans to my left (I'm terribly sorry, I've forgotten your names, but hi!) about past shows and such. I didn't put it together until after the fact, but I was in line with these same people in Richmond last year. I learned from them that the enormous helicopter blade fan on the ceiling of the Orange Peel that I remembered so vividly from last year, is actually made by a company called Big Ass Fans which amuses me to no end. I am easily amused.

JoCo went straight to the band set tonight. We were standing right in front of Brandon and while Jonathan was introducing and starting Code Monkey, Brandon looked out at me and mouthed "You again?!" And I nodded and shrugged like "yes, it's me... again." And then he ran out to the the front of the stage and leaned out over the photographer's alley holding out his hand to shake mine in greeting. And I was so surprised, I still had my phone in my hand from noting down the first song on the setlist and reached out the wrong hand to shake so I had to do the awkward backwards hand squeeze. Gotta admit, I was completely tickled :-)

JoCo's setlist looked something like this: Code Monkey, Sticking It To Myself, Big Bad World One, Glasses, Je Suis Rick Springfield, Shop Vac, Still Alive, Sucker Punch, I Feel Fantastic.

He had some issues with Big Bad World One. First he had to start over because he screwed up the verses. Then something happened to his guitar in the second round. I didn't actually see what happened but all the sound cut out. It looked like the chord might have gotten caught on Christian's drum kit and pulled out of the amp maybe? They all laughed pretty hard and JoCo made some jokes about being a professional. They restarted again but not all the way from the beginning.

They did in fact do Glasses and it was great but still not the same and I'd still like to see Marty do it.

I'd decided I missed the Shop Vac clapping and after pointing this out to Gary he suggested that I could just do it myself and others would probably follow. Except I couldn't find the right beat for it. I guess I was feeling rhythmically challenged. But we did successfully get it going in a portion of the crowd the next night.

And that was about it for the notable JoCo stuff. Fun set. Oh wait, there was some amusing banter with an audience member about JoCo's G string. He was having trouble tuning it and someone in the crowd made the obvious undergarment G-string connection. I don't recall the specifics but it was very humorous.

In the break, I became very concerned that the techs had once again forgotten to plug in the sustain pedal on the keyboard. I kept trying to catch one of their eyes to point this out but was never successful and I was not in a position to help fix the problem this time due to the photographer's alley. But the funny thing was, after being so concerned about it, I totally missed when Linnell must have ended up plugging it in himself. Because it was still unplugged when the show started and when they went to do Cloisonné, I looked to see if it still needed to be plugged in and it didn't. Which just goes to show that the beginning of the show was so good it distracted me from worrying about it.

The TMBG setlist: Asheville - Johnny - Dump - Canajoharie - Judy - Particle Man - James Ensor - Los Angeles - Turn Around - Celebration - Birdhouse - Clap Your Hands - Withered Hope - Battle for the Planet of the Apes - Cloisonne - Spoiler Alert - Older - Don't Let's Start - Racist Friend - Alphabet of Nations - Pine Box - Ana Ng - When Will You Die - Mesopotamians  Encore - Careful What You Pack - Band Intros - Istanbul  Encore 2 - Lie Still - Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes

TMBG opened immediately with Asheville. I continue to be impressed that Linnell plays keyboard and accordion on this song, so that he plays keys while still holding the accordion. Awkward but so cool.

Flans commented that this was the first time on the tour they had played after 10:00pm. "They Might Be Giants P.M. - slower and more seductive." Then both he and Linnell went on this ongoing riff pretending the show was a late night radio program on NPR. They were using fussy "NPR accents" and making cracks about pledge breaks and such. After the next song Flans made another "station announcement." "They Might Be Giants after dark. And up next a recording of Fresh Air with Terry Gross." They joked they were going to do the entire show in the fake accents. There were a whole bunch more great lines involved in this schtick that I've forgotten, and for a while I thought they really were going to use the accent the whole show because they kept it up for quite a while.

I seem to recall Flans having some sort of very humorous existential type intro to We Live In A Dump, but I've forgotten the specifics. Flans made a comment about feeling very chatty so I am sure there was a ton more banter than I am going to remember. He messed up the lyrics of Meet James Ensor and had to restart and I know his explanation of why he messed up was funny but I don't remember it at all. He and Linnell made some jokes about the fake accents used for Hollywood and talked about the Venue Songs DVD and how unsuccessful it was, so they were playing songs from it to try to promote it.

Flans held another Celebration dance contest with vinyl as the prizes. He had four albums, one of which was an Andy Griffith record that he said he had brought just to show us. He later realized he had only brought 4 and conceded that he would part with Andy Griffith for some really good dancing but he never did end up giving it away. I don't remember what the other non-Join Us album was but the third was the double album by Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything? Flans and Linnell made a lot of wise cracks about this one, including saying that the entire thing had been recorded in Todd's living room. (I believe this was a reference to the picture inside the gatefold.)

I'm trying to remember if this was one of the nights that Flans forgot to hand out the albums until about four songs later. I think maybe he gave out one or two immediately after Celebration but held onto the Rundgren and Griffiths albums until later because he hadn't see anyone go all out with the dancing yet. Yes, I think that was definitely it, now that I think about it, because he ended up giving the Rundgren to some guy in the back later, whom Flans said had been loosing his shit all night. And then he made some jokes about whether or not Ecstasy was still a thing people did.

Flans has acquired a new toy for the Battle for the Planet of the Apes: a large flashlight to use to divide the crowd. (He has also started referring to this portion of the evening as Ape Club.)  The flashlight has the words "people" and "apes" written on it with arrows pointing in the appropriate directions for the two teams and an ape face drawn on it. When he first held it up to indicate what it was for and divide the room though, he was holding it so we could see the writing which meant the arrows were pointed the wrong way for the teams. So he had to correct that so people didn't get confused. Then he used the beam to make a division in the crowd, teasing several people about not getting out of the way and shining the light in their faces. He did a decent job explaining the rules but he must not have been super clear because Danny kept having to cue our side to start chanting again. Flans also goofed somewhat hilariously when he was introducing which band members were on which team, and called Marty, Dan. Actually it was a little unclear if Flans was accidentally calling Marty, Dan, or just forgetting that Dan wasn't there and introducing him as if he was, but I really think he was calling Marty the wrong name. Either way, Marty just shook his head at him, either in a "that is so not my name" or a "no, he's not here." And Flans apologized and had to back track to correct himself. I found the whole thing pretty entertaining.

We were on the "people" side and our band reps really rocked out pretty hard on our behalf. This time, when Danny went to play the drums on the second round, instead of just beating on one, he took a stick in each hand, spread out behind Marty and smacked on the toms on either side of Marty, while Marty played the snare and kick. It was kind of a sight. And despite that wild performance, if memory serves, the apes still won this time. Flans said the apes could not be denied. Danny led us is a "people" chant of protest, but it was a lost cause. Flans encouraged the two teams to intermingle once more, but as has been happening all tour, cries of "apes, apes, apes" and "people, people" broken out sporadically for the rest of the show so the battle never really died.

Before Cloissoné, Flans said made a comment about how he had been wandering around Asheville all day and said that he was growing out his beard in tribute to the town (an obvious reference to the staggering number of hippies in town). Linnell said that he was going to grow a beard like that guy in Tintin with the huge long beard that forks at the bottom who is always a background character but never gets a name. He was illustrating this with his hands while he was talking and Flans and Danny were kind of looking at him like he was nuts because they had no idea what he was talking about. Then Linnell added that Danny was going to have a mustache that went like this, and he drew a large "W" shape from his nose in the air, like Kaiser Wilhelm. This made Danny crack up pretty hard, and the audience too for that matter.

Flans introduced Danny on the keyboard and had us start chanting his name. Danny started conducting us first making us all go louder and then silencing us. Then Flans introduced Linnell on the bass clarinet and had us start chanting "bass clarinet" (a much more challenging thing to chant, I gotta say.) Danny continued conducting our volume and we passed a very silly 30 seconds chanting for a reed instrument before the song.

Gary commented after this show that he wished I had recorded this Avatars segment instead of the one in Nashville and I have to agree because it was side-splittingly funny and I only remember parts of it. I know they continued their Epic Fail Baloney sandwiches routine, singing the jingle and talking about them having the finest 5 day old baloney and stale bread. One of my favorite parts of the jingle is that they never use the same year for the "in your face since..." line two shows in a row. It's always different. Blue made some joke about LSD and then said "Dad, tell me again about the 60s." And then had a great line about if you could remember, you weren't there.  They did another little routine talking about TMBG and how mean they were and how they made them live in a suitcase. The really funny part I remember from this was when they said they were going to be doing a They Might Be Giants song and they hoped it wasn't one the band was planning to include in their set tonight. And then Blue started adlibbing some lyrics to Birdhouse but they were all wrong and hysterical. And then he said he was kidding and it was actually a different TMBG song and then started doing the same thing with Turn Around. I was laughing so hard by that point I could barely hear him.

Gary and I have both racked our brains but neither of us can remember if in was in Asheville or Richmond that Green went off on this bizarre riff while talking about how mean TMBG was. He was saying how horrible they were, except he said he liked "the little guy." Then he started going on and on about the "atomic little guy" in the band and how he was all right and he liked him. And he was cracking all the rest of the band up because no one had a clue who or what he was talking about. I sort of feel like that whole bit was in Richmond, but perhaps someone else who was at either show can confirm or deny that.

While they were playing the opening to Older, Flans and Danny did this thing where they started with their guitars raised in the air and then slowly lowered them, until they were both crouched on the floor with their instruments tipped down nearly to the ground by the time they finished the intro.

I have no memory of when Flans pulled out the giant Join Us poster but I know he did. He used a lot of the same jokes related to the poster all week, telling people how great it would look on the side of their barn. I don't remember when in the week it was, but he also started suggesting it as an excellent way to hide a missile silo at some point. This night he handed the poster to a girl in the front row, but told her the deal was she had to look up from her phone the whole rest of the show. I'm pretty sure she had actually been holding a camera and taking videos, but maybe she had a phone too. Turns out she was a friend of my friend Kathy. I don't know if she held up her end of the deal, but she got a free poster :-)

At some point in the evening, Flans also started a discussion about what the locals call The Orange Peel. The consensus seemed to be that they call it The Peel but Flans was joking about calling it "the O.P. - Original Peel."

When Will You Die was notable for featuring something so sad my heart broke a little. I'm not sure if he did it in Nashville too, (if he did I didn't hear him), but Linnell changed the words of the song and sang "Over there, that's Dan and there's Marty on the drums to complete the band." I missed Dan a whole awful lot at the three shows we saw without him, but never more than that moment right there. I think I would rather they hadn't play the song, because that was just awful.

When they came back for encores Flans decided he was going to give nicknames to everyone in the crowd. He dubbed this tall thin guy Tadpole. Then there was another name in the middle. Then he singled Gary out as "the guy in the glasses and Jonathan Coulton T-shirt" and dubbed him Totes, because he "was down with the slang." Then he said he needed to make a note to come up with more ideas for nicknames. He pretended to be writing notes to himself on an imaginary phone. "Tadpole, *missing name*, Totes, come up with more ideas." He was using this goofy, out of the corner of his mouth voice while he did it too.

They did the alternate band intros again, making more truly terrible noises. Then Flans said he thought the band needed more rehearsal because they sounded awful. So he made another note. "Tadpole, Totes, band needs more rehearsal."

When the guys came back to do Lie Still, Little Bottle in the second encore, Danny came out with them and was hanging out at the back of the stage for the first minute or so. But then he eventually came out and picked up his bass and started playing along which was kind of cool. And finally, they closed out the whole show with Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes again.

Both Marty and Danny came out after the show to sign stuff for people. I had a rather amusing moment with Marty while I was still waiting for my setlist, when he came out to stand in front of a sizable crowd on the right side of the stage to hand out his drum head, and he looked over at me and gave me this "Who should we give it to?" look. I made a little show of peering into the crowd for a worthy candidate but he managed to pick someone on his own.

I finally, after carrying it around with me since July, managed to get Danny to sign my copy of Join Us. It ended up being a bit awkward, because he seemed to think he had already signed one for me and I was confused and said something a little stupid as usual. But he did tell me that Dan might be back the next day (I didn't ask, he volunteered this information) which was a huge relief.

And off we went into the wilds of North Carolina, in the dark, to find the friend's house where we were staying the night. This week of the tour, every show was better than the last. So there are four stellar shows yet to recap in the next week. Everybody keep their fingers crossed that I can get them all done. And I'll tell you now. If the Asheville show had the saddest thing I've seen, the Richmond show had the most beautiful, so I'm looking really looking forward to doing that recap.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 340

Today's song is...

The World Before Later On

So weird thing... I just went to listen to this song again, and I must not have ever listened to it anywhere but  my car where the acoustics aren't great because I never noticed that spacey sound at the very beginning before. This is another of those songs that I enjoy while listening to and then never think about when I'm not. It's so subtle, it doesn't stand out in my brain much. But I like it when it's occupying my attention.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 339

Today's song is...

Spin the Dial

I had a pretty good debate with myself over whether this counted as a song. It isn't really one song but many. I'd classify it more as a show feature. And historically, I have not been including any unreleased covers that were performed in Spin the Dial and Stump the Band segments (I don't consider the Stumpboxes to count as releases.) But I decided to include the feature as a whole, just so I can say how thoroughly enjoyable it is and how sad I am that they stopped doing it before I started going to shows. Because the Spin the Dial segments in some of the live show recordings I have are some of the funniest parts of the whole show. I never ceases to amaze me how fast the band can pick-up on a song and start running with it. I have at least two recordings where Flans shuts them down after they start to play a song because he is unwilling to do it himself. In a rather odd way, this segment really highlights the enormously talented backing band the Johns have surrounded themselves with. As well as Flansburgh's talent for instant lyric creation. I think my favorite StD I've heard is a toss up between a performance of Tainted Love that ends up being reprised later in the middle of another song, and a rendition of You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling that features Linnell on enthusiastic backing vocals.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/19/11

Debatable whether a video game screen shot counts but I'm going with this one Gary found. It might be a little tricky. I'll give you a hint if nobody can sort it out.

Please send submissions to

Song of the Day - Day 338

Today's song is...

Welcome 2 Hell

I don't know what the people in that Home Movies episode had a problem with. I think the harmonies on this song sound pretty good by the end. OK, maybe the costumes could use some work...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 337

Today's song is...

Preamble: Fernando Wood

In my opinion, this song is an indicator of two things. One, if you have just put in House of Mayors to listen to for the first time, this is your first clue that you are have just started listening to a very odd collection of music indeed. And two, that John Linnell is ever so slightly nuts. But neither thing should be much of a surprise if you have spent any time with TMBG at all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 336

Today's song is...

Dan vs Cog

Man, this just makes me laugh. I love that Linnell takes the side of the robot, because of course he would. "John, whose side are you on?" Hehehehe. I also enjoy Flans' line "He plays with so much emotion," after Dan has sat through the whole thing without cracking a smile at all. Yup, this is funny stuff. And that's still a pretty cool robot even if it is no match for Dan Hickey.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 335

Today's song is...

My Brother the Ape

This is another song I really enjoy musically. I really like the rhythm and melody of it and the heavily synthesized sounds throughout. The lyrics are fun and both nonsense and make complete sense at the same time. And I adore the dancing anteater in the video. He's my favorite part :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 334

Today's song is...


As a parody of the CHiPs theme song (or at least I assume it is meant to be), this works pretty well. It sounds a bit more like video game music than a late 70s TV show theme, but it's got that prominent bass line and the "cheese" factor down cold.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 333

Today's song is...

Nine Bowls Of Soup

This is the song. I mean, THE song. This is the song that turned me into the passionate, obsessive TMBG fan you see before you see today. I was just starting to get interested in the band when 123s came out and Gary and I were listening to it for the first time in the car while I was bringing him to work one day. He left the CD playing when he got out, so I was listening alone by the time this song came on the first time. And, BAM. Like a brick to the head. The deadpan humor of it appealed to me immediately. I would later come to appreciate the harpsichord and drums and the completely lovely bass line, but initially it was the humorous repartee between an ichthyosaur and a little orange bird as they argued about soup that wrapped itself around my heartstrings and gave an all mighty tug.

The video only tied those strings tighter. I adore Pascal Campion's art to the extent that that little orange bird is now permanently inked onto my shoulder. Years and countless viewings later, I still collapse with giggles every time I watch the way the little bird nods his whole body when the ichthyosaur asks "If I tell you what these are for, then will you stop bothering me?"

The song isn't over the top. It's a matter of fact tale of an ichthyosaur with some mysterious bowls of soup. But I love that the biggest question is WHY he has the soup. Not why he is walking with soup balanced on a rake on his head, or why he is flying an airplane or why he is taking a snake for a walk. Just why does he have all that soup?!! Yes, it's cute and yes, it's a kids' song, but at the heart of it is everything I love about Linnell's songwriting and everything that makes up the spirit of They Might Be Giants. When it comes right down to it, this song changed my life. And when I think about every show I've seen, every blog post I've written, every album I've purchased, every song fallen in love with and every friend I've made and the fact that I owe it all to a song about an aquatic dinosaur with a questionable quantity of soup, I just tilt my head back and laugh. Could life be any more perfect?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 332

Today's song is...

Heart of the Band

Look at the randomizer being all timely again. Cause did you guys see the awesome T-shirt that I just got that Megan and Gabby made for me?

Look at the totally adorable T-shirt my awesome friends @four... on Twitpic

In case you can't tell, it says "Heart of the Band" on the drum. Because the drummer IS the heart of the band. I am really fond of this song. I have this thing for bongos and songs where Marty plays the bongos in particular. And this is one of the best.

P.S. If you haven't seen the episode of Higglytown Heroes that features this song, you should find it and watch it because it's really cute and the Johns do their own voices.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/12/11

Today's entry is a submission from TDK (and Paul!), taken outside the Berklee show in Boston a few weeks ago. Enjoy and don't forget to stop by cabbagetown on AIM at 8!

Please send submissions to

Song of the Day - Day 331

Today's song is...

It's Getting Late

I wish this one were more than a 16 second song because I like it and I would like to listen to more of it. That is all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 330

Today's song is...


This seems like fitting song for They Day (and it was random, even!) It may not be a common one, but I feel like it is rather quintessentially TMBG. I hope you are all showing your band pride today with marked up foreheads, band T-shirts or just by blasting this song or any other from your car window. Spread the word!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 329

Today's song is...

True and Amazing

I was about to say "oh, good, another song I've never heard before." And then I realized I have it in my magical file of miscellaneous stuff. And it's a lot more rocking with more electric guitar than I was expecting from a theme song. Cool.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 328

Today's song is....

Dollar For Dollar

I've always been a little perplexed at how this song, out of all the McSweeney's tracks, ended up on They Got Lost. I mean it's a perfectly good song and the vocal effect is kind of interesting, but it's so short. What was it about this one that they particularly liked so much that they chose it for that album? Then again there is some odd stuff on that collection period, so I guess it fits right in.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 327

Today's song is...

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Leave it to Linnell to invent a metal songs about the Planet of the Apes. Good one, Linnell.

Friday, October 7, 2011

There's A Picture Opposite Me - 10/7/11

I completely failed to get this up on Wednesday but I didn't want to skip it entirely. So here is a delayed TAPOM for you.

Please send submissions to

Song of the Day - Day 326

Today's song is...

Ring Ring

I believe this is my personal favorite of the ring tones, because I like the little improvised sounding tune that plays with the "ring, ring" lyrics. And there is something amusing about a ring tone that says "ring, ring."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 325

Today's song is...


The time travel concept in this song is rather mind boggling. Guy travels further and further into the future only to discover he is mysteriously living forever so he goes back and kills future self in 2082. But future self obviously knew something he didn't but it was too late and he wont know what it was until 2082 when past self comes to kill him. Creepy.

I have to say, I am rather proud of the fact that I figured out that this was the song on which Marty was drumming on an acoustic guitar. Go me. Marty himself said I have good ears. Or maybe I am just a tad obsessed with the drums on this album. Maybe. Either way, very cool rhythm track. Tis my favorite part of the song.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 324

Today's song is...

Here Come The 123s

Though largely the same song, I enjoy this one more than Here Come the ABCs and I'm not sure why. Maybe just because it's a nine second bumper to my favorite kids' album. One, Two Three!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 323

Today's song is...

O Tannenbaum

Seasonally inappropriate but whatever. It's a cool version. Pretty sure the German is kind of butchered but it still sounds nice. I like that JD actually got to play on this one so there is at least one recording of him drumming for posterity. And the wiki doesn't say so, but aren't there two saxophones featured, implying that both Linnell and Kurt are playing? Or am I hearing things? Also, this song always reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Dan Miller!!

Flansy may have declared September 15th Dan Miller Day, but we all know that today is the REAL Dan Miller Day as we celebrate the birthday of the unknowable guitar god.

The world is a brighter, louder and much more rockin' place when Dan is around. Master of the silly faces, lightning fast fingers that never leave his hands, consummate showman, and owner of the most beautiful laugh gifted to a human, Dan truly is a rock 'n' roll deity traveling among us mere mortals. Best wishes to him for a birthday as epic as one of his Istanbul intros. Now, for god sakes, get the man some cake!!

If you would please all join me in the traditional chant:


TMBG 9/11/11 #44

TMBG 9/13/11 #33

TMBG 9/15/11 #11

TMBG 9/15/11 #42

TMBG 9/29/11 #23

TMBG 9/29/11 #24

TMBG 10/1/11 #12

TMBG 10/1/11 #18


Song of the Day - Day 322

Today's song is...

Stomp Box

It was a log time before I ever looked up what the lyrics to this song were and realized how terribly dark they are. A little too dark for me I'm afraid. This has never been one of my favorites. But like all TMBG songs, I still find redeeming qualities even in the ones I don't love. In this case it's the bridge because I do rather enjoy the instrumentation on the song especially in that section. Good horns.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 321

Today's song is...

Hearing Aid

This one just sounds cool. So many different things going on. This seems like the perfect example of Flansburgh's fascination with sonics and just putting a bunch of stuff together to interesting instead of beautiful or even always especially melodic. And it's fun live with Curt on trumpet.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Song of the Day - Day 320

Today's song is...

Rat Patrol

This is a track that I love the music way more than the lyrics. Ooo, that music is good. Damn. Have you guys heard the DAS version with Flans singing? Totally disorienting. So glad they fleshed that one out.