Monday, December 31, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 777

Today's song is...

Mrs. Train

This is going to sound really obvious, but I really love that this song sounds like a train. The ever increasing tempo and percussion and the sax all work together to make a very clever effect. I know it has been done before, but I really like the way it is done here. It is one of those moments where I am just amazed at what you can achieve with music. And considering the song was recorded live, I am even more impressed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 776

Today's song is...

Radio They Might Be Giants 1

Despite there being 3 different versions of this song, this is the tune I hear in my head when I read the title. It's like a commercial jingle that gets stuck in my brain. Also interesting to note, I just discovered I have a longer version of this song from a live show, that I didn't realize I had. Additional, and quite amusing, lyrics.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 775

Today's song is...

Stompy Intro

This is "my" intro. The one they used at all the earliest shows I attended. This intro was part of my formative show experience. It is forever tied in my heart to that feeling of excitement and anticipation that immediately precedes the start of a show. I will forever associate the sound of crickets with the start of a TMBG show. And once I had been going to shows for a while, there was a brief wonderful moment, when I heard the crickets but the rest of the crowd didn't recognize that the show was starting until the stomping. And for that one second, it was like the show was all mine. Secret, private anticipation. To be perfectly honest, I was a little crushed when they dropped this one in favor of the Sammy Intro. No intro since has ever been quite the same. But given the very special place this song holds in my heart and the type of song it is, I find it very fitting that it is the Song of the Day on the day I get to see a show again for the first time in eight months. It's like the intro is ushering the band back into my life. And I could not be more excited :-)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 774

Today's song is...

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme

I admit it. I love the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse songs. While this won is second behind Hot Dog, it still gets me bopping my head. Such a catchy tune and a excellent horn part. Tuba! Not enough tuba in the world. And the little drum roll before the lyrics start is also a personal fav. Yay, Mickey!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 773

Today's song is...

Rabbit Troop Sucks

Such pathos. Such pain and emotion. Poor Rabbit Troop.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 772

Today's song is...

In Fact

This is probably in my top five Flansburgh-written songs. It contains what is probably my favorite instrumentation on Join Us, and is certainly in my top 25 all time favorites. I am pretty obsessed with the guitar/bass part in the song. When I first heard it, I was desperate to know whether it was actually a guitar or a bass playing the line I fell instantly in love with. So I was pretty delighted when Flans told me it was actually both playing in unison with an additional acoustic on the down beats. I was equally delighted to read Marty's account of playing the drum part with two sticks in each hand, to create that wonderful train-like sound that so perfectly accompanies the guitar line. And then there is that Latin-flavor horn part which is absolutely delightful. I would do anything to hear this one performed live with the horn section. And all of that isn't even mentioning Flansburgh's intriguing lyrics. "I want to find a softer spot for my crash landing," is one of my particular favorites, but there is a lyrical rhythm and narrative that runs through the song that particularly appeals to me. Join Us featured some of Flansburgh's best writing to date and this song is one of my best examples of that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 771

Today's song is...

We Just Go Nuts At Christmastime

Merry Christmas, everyone! Sit back, relax and drive really fast while enjoying this lost Christmas gem.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 770

Today's song is...

Hodgman Promo 1

Totally never letting Jonathan Coulton anywhere near my hypothetical cats.

In other news, I saw Hodgman and Coulton perform together at the beginning of December and it was like watching a classic comedy duo work their magic. It was wonderful and hilarious and they should pretty much always perform together always.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 769

Today's song is...

The Army's Tired Now

Goodness, I can see what Flans meant about the intro sounding like The Beach Boys. I hadn't noticed it before, but I certainly did after reading that quote. Feels like it should lead into a bittersweet break-up song.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 768

Today's song is...

Hall Of Heads

Listening to this song just now, it occurred to me that it has elements not only of creepy haunted house music but also a dash of western theme music in the introduction. It is an interesting melody. To be completely honest, I always found the lyrics a bit too creepy, but the instrumentation is very interesting. Interesting combinations of instruments and rhythms.

The first time I saw an Apollo 18 show, this was one of the few songs they didn't play. It was nice to finally hear it live when they gave it another go a year later.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 767

Today's song is...

Mosh Momken Abadon

I would really like to hear the original Egyptian song this is supposedly based on but I have never been able to find it. Maybe it is just the season, but the song sounds a little Christmas-y to me, in this format. Clearly there are not enough covers of Egyptian pop songs for band organ out there in the world. This really should be rectified.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 766

Today's song is...

Wind Chime

Sounds like the beginning of a horribly cheesy '80s song. Yes, it is supposed to be terrible. Yes, it is pretty terrible. But there is a small element of win hidden in there too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 765

Toda's song is...


This was a song I didn't pay much mind to for a long time. Until one day I really listened to the lyrics and realized they are pretty humorous and sad and just a little weird. So very terribly Linnellian. And I really wonder how Arlen Specter got in there. Was he recently in the news when this was written? Just one of those names that gets stuck in your head sometimes? It's a mystery that turned into a pretty good song.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 764

Today's song is...

Human Interest

The Asian guy in the suit in the middle of this ad looks so familiar and I can't figure out what else I have seen him in. It is bugging me. In other news, the beard of bees is a creepy concept and image.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 763

Today's song is...


Oh, I get it! It's supposed to sound like background music at a cocktail party or something of that nature! I'm a little slow on making that connection I guess. Doh!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 762

Today's song is...


I can't remember why, when I was making the final list of unused songs, I decided that this qualified as a real song. Cause honestly, it is just two different bits of onstage doodling with the same name. I don't happen to have either of the shows at which they were played so I can't even attest to whether they are worthy of song status. But I have so few songs left, I'll let this one slide.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 761

Today's song is...

Swing Is A Word

In the quote on the wiki, this song is referred to as "ugly." I have to say I agree. This song is not attractive. But it is a good way to remember the Dial-A-Song number.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 760

Today's song is...

Dear Dead Congressman

More audio book tracks. Every time I post one now, I hope I am done with them. But there is always one more.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Song of the Day - 759

Today's song is...

Call You Mom

Oh damn, this is a good song. I know I shouldn't be surprised. I am rarely disappointed by anything these guys do. But I think, after Join Us so totally exceeded all my expectations, I set my bar lower because I thought I couldn't possibly love this new album as much as I did that one. So I was just a little stunned by how instantly I loved this track. I clearly have an affinity for songs with big bangy piano chords and this song has them in spades.

Actually, to be honest, the lyrics here are almost incidental to my enjoyment. They are fun, a little creepy and exactly the sort of nonsense I expect from Mr. Linnell. There are some wonderful little turns of phrase. "I'm gonna dress her in a sailor suit./That would look very cute" is a particular favorite. But what really struck me is the instrumental track. So explosive and lively and insanely catchy. And those piano chords! Bam, bam, bam, bam. Squeeeee!! Once the sax comes in I am transported to a different place and the lyrics don't matter anymore because the music is SO good. And dear god, the drums. I am warning you all now, please prepare yourselves for more of my extended soliloquies on the brilliance of Marty's drumming. Hell, I even love the guitar line and I so rarely get excited about a guitar part.

That point about half way through the song, when the notes ascend and it sounds like the song might be ending? And then the piano explodes back in and the music swells and I can't help but do a little shimmy shake and some air chords. Right at that point the instrumentation is so good I can barely contain my glee. And if I close my eyes, I can see Linnell banging on the keyboard with determination, and Marty attacking the drum kit, and Flans and the Dans rocking out while Stan leans back into those sax notes. The song is tailor made for show stopping live performance and I desperately hope I don't have to wait too long to experience it. Until then I will let this tune be the jam I need everyday to get me through the last 10 days of retail at Christmas.

So excited for this new album now I could pop!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 758

Today's song is...

Take Out The Trash

When I first started going to shows, the band was playing this song frequently. Before it started Flansburgh would ask the audience, "Do you like fuzz bass?" "Yes," we would all cry. "Do you love fuzz bass?" "Yes!" "Are you ready for fuzz buzz?" "YES!" And then they would start the song. I remember that very fondly. And truth be told, I really do love fizz bass, at least in the context of this song. It's crunchy, delicious. This is exactly the sort of sound that runs through most of the tracks on The Else that makes it one of my favorite albums. This song is also permanently paired with I'm Impressed in my head. Not just because they are one-two on the album, but because they played to two together so often at my early shows. And who could forget Linnell's extremely enthusiastic cowbell playing? Not me, that's for sure!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How Do You Spell TLA?

September 30, 2011 - TLA - Philadelphia, PA

In my years as a fan, following this band around, and all the times they have played this venue, this was the first time I ever managed to see them there. Previous shows were always ones I couldn't get to for one reason or another. This was also a reunion of sorts, as after weeks with just me and Gary driving around to shows, we met back up with most of our friends for this one. We arrived too early, as usual, and discovered we were not actually "allowed" to line up yet. So instead of standing in a line we stood in a cluster on the sidewalk pretending not to be in line. There was also a deal where for $10 you could buy an early entry fast pass into the venue that allowed you to enter before everyone else. I, of course, ran into more IFC guest list ticket issues, as this was the show I had used my tickets for, and in keeping with pattern, the list, and thus my tickets, was not available until probably around 20 minutes before they let us in. It all worked out in the end but, damn, that was a nerve wracking experience to go through over and over again.

There was a lot of confusion over where the line was supposed to be once we were actually allowed to line up. We were directed to an alley that ran down the side of the building. First we started on one side of the sidewalk. Then we were directed to move to the other side of the sidewalk. Then later, those of us with the fast pass tickets were moved back over to the side we had started on. I am always baffled when places who do shows nearly daily, still don't have their line management strategy sorted out.

This show also has the distinction of being the one at which I met my friends Becky and Ryan and their son, Logan, who were in line in front of us. Seems like everywhere I go, I meet more and more cool fans and my "crew" gets bigger and bigger over time. I actually met, at least briefly, a lot of people at this show, because I put some serious effort into getting everyone in line to sign the birthday card I was doing for Dan at the time. That card was really full by time the doors opened. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it once it was complete, but I know there are a few floating out there that show it in a partially finished state.

After running back to the box office multiple times, I finally acquired my tickets, and the early entry line was ushered down the sidewalk and into the theater. I had to stop and snag my goodie bag from the merch table, then joined my group on the right side of the stage. I seem to remember this venue in particular being pretty cramped with people up at the front, and I had some concern over where to put my goodie bag so it wouldn't get crushed or lost. I also had the misfortune to get a goodie bag that was missing half of what was supposed to come in it, though Anna fixed that up for me after the show.

I remember virtually nothing about JoCo's set, except for the fact that when Brandon spotted me he ducked across the stage to give me a high five. This apparently either impressed or confused the people standing behind me as they later asked if I knew him. There are clearly a lot of JoCo fans in Philly (including a few I saw who were more there for him than TMBG) because there were some hearty sing-a-longs to some of the classic songs, Still Alive in particular. This was JoCo's last show of the tour, as there was to be no opener in Boston, so it was a little bitter sweet. I saw him plenty more in the spring, but with a different bass player and I did miss Brandon. Oh, and JoCo made a point of saying that they had had to go out and buy new shirts for the show because they were out of clean ones. I particularly liked the color of Brandon's.

JoCo 9/30/11 #4

The TMBG set looked like this:

Philadelphia - When WIll You Die - We Live In A Dump - The Mesopotamians - Take Out The Trash - Don't Let's Start - XTC vs. Adam Ant - Can't Keep Johnny Down - Celebration - Birdhouse In Your Soul - Clap Your Hands - Withered Hope - Battle for the Planet of the Apes - Cloisonné - Spoiler Alert - Alphabet Of Nations - You Probably Get That A Lot - Los Angeles - Fingertips - Judy Is Your Viet Nam - Old Pine Box - Ana Ng - Particle Man - Subliminal  Encore - Careful What You Pack - Istanbul  Encore 2 - Lie Still, Little Bottle - Doctor Worm

I was thrilled to finally see the TLA venue song live. I was a little disappointed that the TLA dancers didn't make an appearance, but as Dan Miller entered the stage near the end of the song, he did a round of the T-L-A hand motions while he was walking which made up for it.

Perhaps inspired by our setting in Philly, Flans asked us if we were ready to enact change before they played When Will You Die, which once again featured Flans yelling "Kid Rock" at the end. He went on to explain that Kid Rock's first album featured him yelling "Kid Rock" in all of the silent sections, which made the album second only to INXS in the silent sections being the most exciting sections of the song. Flans said that while yelling "Kid Rock" may seem a little odd for their song, it sounded a lot better then yelling "INXS".

We Live In A Dump was dedicated to all the apartment dwellers in the audience. Take Out The Trash featured some well timed clapping provided by the audience and some very enthusiastic cowbell playing by Linnell.

TMBG 9/30/11 #1

Flans told us that before the show they had been speculating on whether people posted on Yelp about rock bands. He said it might help people understand the rock experience and went on to provide a mock review of a show. "We left the house around 6:00pm super excited. It started out strong. Too much salt in the middle of the show."

Post-XTC Flans broke in with an announcement that they needed to increase their insurance coverage because Marty was blowing the roof off the room. He claimed that in less than an hour the roof would be gone because "Marty is at war with the roof. Make sure our paperwork is in order."

Flans informed us that they had a new album out and unlike other bands that had "make believe new albums" theirs was real and "not only worthy of mention but of performance."

Flans asked for the house lights to be turned on before Celebration so they could see us and asked repeatedly if we were ready for the celebration. After people hollered "yes" a number of times, he said he didn't believe us but started the song anyway.

Marty really did make a pretty good effort to blow the roof off in his drum solo at the start of Clap Your Hands. I was quite impressed.

Flans divided us with his flashlight for the Battle for the Planet of the Apes. He claimed it had two settings and the second was LASIK. He admonished my friend Cindy for filming the process and told her to put down her camera. Then he criticized the people in the balcony and made them stand up. I was on Team Ape this time around. The battle was declared a tie, which Flans claimed had never happened before (liar!). He started the apes chanting again but declared the battle was still a tie. And then complimented us for keeping the aisle between the factions in tact in case of a recount. But then told us it was time for us to rejoin and for the apes to become sleeper cells to arise again on New Year's Eve when the band would return for a special all ape performance.

Flans claimed an early morning radio performance was putting him off his "A game" even though Marty didn't like him to use the words A-game. There followed an amusing stringing together of phrases that are on Marty's "List" of words you aren't allowed to say in the band.

Linnell collected his bass clarinet and Flan told us that it wasn't acquired from our high school but rather from someone on the open market. Linnell chimed in that that person had taken it from our high school. Flans then realized that he had his guitar set on "super-duper" and said he needed to take it off its "all steroid" settings that he had put it on for the ape battle.

In one of my favorite bits of dialogue from the show, Flans asked Marty what the tempo of the song was and then said "Everybody shut up. I've gotta hear Marty."

Linnell started getting especially hammy for the camera during Cloissonné. He encroached into Danny's space at the keyboard with his clarinet until Danny looked at him with a very "what are you doing dude" face. Then, in an act that cracked everyone up, he reached down and took Cindy's camera right out of her hand. He took it over to the keyboard and ran it over the keys while Danny played before returning it to Cindy. The video is on YouTube. It is awesome. And she put the best possible description on it. It just reads "Some dude grabbed my camera in the middle of the song" and that is the only explanation given. You really did have to be there to understand I guess.

TMBG 9/30/11 #10

The arrival of the Avatars was heralded by Crazy Train. Almost immediately after the Avatars appeared on camera, Meg Ryan also put in an appearance but couldn't seem to say anything except "Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh." Blue Avatar had to ask her to leave. The Avatars thanked JoCo and TMBG for opening for them and then went into their "Dad, tell us about the 60s again?" routine that they did in Asheville. This time the best quote was "If you have to remember, then you weren't there, man." They thanked Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches for providing stale bread and old baloney. And then Green Avatar serenaded us with the Epic Fail Jingle. Blue Avatar pointed out his soul patch. Meg Ryan tried to make another brief appearance but was backwards. Blue said she was "incognito." The Epic Fail tune snuck in again at the end of Spoiler Alert, this time from Blue Avatar.

Then followed an intense few minutes of Linnell singing directly in front of me, towering over my head while making ridiculous hand motions and microphone tilts. It's not the closest I've ever been but it was close and intimidating.

TMBG 9/30/11 #16

Flans commented on how great it was to be back at the TLA, a venue with "so much awesomeness in one tiny section of town surrounded by so many scary places to get lost." He asked the band to play some incidental music for a minute while he fetched one of the giant posters from backstage, then informed them that what they were playing didn't have the right feel for this portion of the show. He started to talk about the poster but was interrupted but someone in the audience shouting requests. He pulled out the giant flashlight used for dividing the audience in the Ape battles and pointed it at the dude and declared "Remove that man!" Linnell pointed out that he was actually instructing the laser from the flashlight to remove the man and Flans pointed out that the flashlight has three settings, "Light, LASIK and person removal." Flans made a number of jokes about the poster including saying that it turned any missile silo into a showcase and urged us not to make the same mistake that over 15,000 people in the last two weeks had made by not buying a poster. "Admit it, you own a barn. Admit it, it's a little underdecorated." He claimed it was so thick he couldn't speak through it and that the poster cost less than the price of a T-shirt at a more expensive rock concert. He then gave the poster to my friend Heather and told her the gift was sponsored by Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches.

Linnell spoke about the Venue Songs project and how they were trying to promote it because it was kind of the runt of the litter. He said if they could sell as many copies of venue songs as all of their other projects would be weird. Flans declared Venue Songs to be the "6-foot poster" of their collection and said they should bundle them together with a boat anchor and sell them off shore. Linnell chimed in, "It's more like an the bottom of the sea." He also declared Los Angeles to be entirely inappropriate for their current venue as apposed to the earlier appearance of the TLA song.

The band then began a power push to the end of the show, rocking through Fingertips, Judy, Old Pine Box and Ana Ng. Flans stopped for some standard thank yous and encouragements to buy JoCo's merchandise. He started assigning nicknames and dubbed one woman "Tangelo" but then announced that naming would continue later. Then followed some serious accordion in my face. Linnell was catering to the cameras all night, but during Particle Man he stepped out to the front of the stage and stuck the accordion directly in front of me and the couple of people next to me, extending it out to its full length in some shameless pandering. And I loved every second of it.

TMBG 9/30/11 #24

I was so thrilled by my close encounter with the accordion, I was totally caught off guard by the start of the next song, and for the first time in my memory, let out a completely spontaneous yelp of excitement, when they smashed into Subliminal. Linnell actually chuckled at me, I think.

Upon returning for the encore, Flans thanked Chris Smith, who was apparently in the audience, for making all the videos used in the back drops. Flans said they instructed him to make them look "shitty and homemade" and he wisely ignored them. Flans also thanked JoCo again and said that it was with "a heavy heart and a bruised liver" that they said goodbye to him. "There's no recovering from that, ladies and gentlemen." Someone in the crowd yelled "There's always another liver." Flans declared that there was, in fact, not always another liver. "I had to think about what you said for just a moment and I realized, you are a liar. You only get one pair of livers."

I admit, at some point in this encore, I became rather distracted and concerned by the fact that Dan came back for the encore with his fly unzipped. I have no idea if he ever even noticed but I was terribly embarrassed for him. Fortunately, it did not detract from his ability to play an awesome Istanbul solo.

Flans introduced the band with the alternate intro they had been using in this leg of the tour, eliciting some very odd sounds from the boys. Danny played something that remarkably resembled the underground music from Super Mario Brothers. Dan was all ready to do his bit holding his Fender by the neck but Flans never got to him. At first I thought he just forgot, but then I realized it was deliberate as he intended the intro to Istanbul that Dan was about to play to be Dan's moment in the spotlight. And it was an especially good intro I must say.

TMBG 9/30/11 #27
TMBG 9/30/11 #28

Flans invited all of us to clap along with Marty's snare drum on Lie Still, Little Bottle. "It's nice to be back on Eastern Standard time where people understand what a back beat is."

Upside Down Frown was on the setlist for the last song, but Flans announced that they were going to play Doctor Worm instead, by "special request from the drunk guy over there" who had been shouting for it. When it came time for Danny to do his leap, Dan held out his hand to the side at the keyboard, like his was presenting Danny to the audience. And Danny jumped directly forward and so high he nearly cleared the top of the keyboard from our angle on the opposite side of the stage. Still didn't manage a good picture but it was fun to watch and a great way to end the show.

TMBG 9/30/11 #32

After the show, I stopped by the merch desk to get my goodie bag fixed. I had to wait a bit until Anna was done selling stuff to people, and I couldn't decide if the look she gave me was apologetic or "dear god, of all the people to give an incomplete bag to, why did it have to be her?" She was very nice about it though and I got my missing stickers and such without too much trouble.

After reclaiming my car from the parking lot, we were navigating our way through some side streets near the venue to get back to the highway. It was dark and raining and the streets were narrow and crowded with parked cars. I drove up one little street which had a bus parked on the side. I was idly wondering if it was the tour bus and glancing to the side to look at it, when all of a sudden Linnell appeared out of the darkness at the front of the bus leaping off the sidewalk over a puddle. I was extremely startled and briefly thought he was going to jump right in front of my car. But he was just headed for his Subaru parked in front of the bus (and carrying his coat I might add, which made it useless against the rain). Regardless, this went down as "the time I almost hit Linnell with my car" even though I really wasn't anywhere close to it, and there followed some very humorous conversation with Megan about how terribly stricken I would have been had I hit him and how I would not have been able to live with myself. Just one more amusing anecdote for the files. (But seriously though, dude scared the crap out of me!)

Song of the Day - Day 757

Today's song is...

There's A Light Coming Out Of My Head

I was already starting to write something about not having this song in my collection, when I was once again saved by my folder of miscellaneous tunes. That thing is like the gift that keeps on giving. I can't say there is anything especially notable about this track, but I do enjoy the little lightbulb noise in the middle more than I can really account for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 756

Today's song is...

I Need Some Lovin'

Interesting. Yet another song where you can clearly hear the bones of a later endeavor. I find these kind of fascinating. Though in this case I am very curious about that female vocal.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 755

Today's song is...

The Life Of Doug

This song has a very interesting sound to it, with the melody passing back and forth between one instrument on the low notes and one on the high notes, but both moving closer together in steps. I find it vaguely unsettling but probably just because it is not what I am used to.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 754

Today's song is...

Everything Is Catching On Fire

By far, my favorite performance of this Fingertips snippet was at Mohegan Sun last year, when the band played just this bit and dedicated it to all their gear they lost in the trailer fire. Hilarious, tragic and sadly true. But even it the worst settings these guys can still crack a joke.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Song of the Day - 753

Today's the song...

Counterfeit Faker

So yes, some of the strings present are not played as expertly as they could be. But I actually really enjoy the sound that is produced. And Eric's guitar part is quite excellent, as is the bass part.

Oddly, when I started thinking about this song a few minutes ago, a line came to me that I was convinced was from a different song and I was thinking how much that other song reminded me of this one but I couldn't place what song it was. Come to find out, the line was actually from this song and the song was just reminding me of itself. Whoops.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 752

Today's song is...

Critic Intro

The inclusion of Orson Bean in this intro has always amused me, because I know him from years as a Doctor Quinn fan in my tweens. This is the intro that was used at the first Flood show I saw at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton in 2008. Even as a baby fan I knew that was cool :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 751

Today's song is...

Skatellite Transmission

Hey, how did the Avalon venue song sneak its way into this song? Oh, wait....that's just the theme from Sesame Street.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Danny Weinkauf!!

Put on your red pants and start practicing your epic rock 'n' roll leaps! It is time to celebrate Danny Weinkauf's birthday!

Have you ever sat down to write a birthday card for someone really important to you, and found you didn't have the words to express what you wanted to say? I love all the TMBG boys like crazy, but I don't think it is much of a secret that Danny has always had a very special place in my heart. So much talent and such incredible kindness in one exceptional person. I am in awe of the man and so grateful for the dozens of small kindness, epic bass solos, and kick-ass songs he has shared with me and the rest of the fan community. I am privileged and proud to be a fan. And I would like to offer sincere and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful birthday and another exciting year ahead.

This past February, I drove down to Florida to follow the band on the last full week of their Join Us tour. It had been a difficult and tumultuous past few months for me, and perhaps more so than at any other show, stepping up to that stage felt like coming home. It warmed my heart, when the band took the stage, to have nearly every member acknowledge my presence with a grin, a nod or a little wave. They whipped into Doctor Worm, second song in and I stood, camera ready, eagerly awaiting that moment when Danny would leap into the air. He mounted the drum riser at the appropriate time, then, just before the big moment, he met my eye across the stage and gestured up with his eyebrows as if to say "I'm going that way. You ready for this?" And then he launched himself into the air. I missed the picture because I never time it right, but I stood there and thought, "Now THAT's a rock star move, right there." And right now, I can't wait to spend another year trying to get the photo.

Happy Birthday, Danny! You are a genuine rock star and I hope this year is your best one yet!

TMBG 1/28/12 #32

TMBG 2/9/12 #62

TMBG 2/10/12 #5

TMBG 2/11/12 #21

TMBG 2/12/12 #13

TMBG 3/8/12 #14

TMBG 3/8/12 #13



Song of the Day - Day 750

Today's song is...


After watching most of the videos submitted to the video contest for the song a couple of years ago, I came to the conclusion that I pretty much never needed to hear it again. It was a bit of an overload. But I will say, that I got very excited the first time I saw a Kum 'n' Go in real life.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 749

Today's song is...

You Are Old, Father William

This song was not at all what I was expecting when I heard the band was recording this poem as a song for the Alice In Wonderland soundtrack. Not in a bad way. It is just very different. Much more electronic that I was anticipating. There are some fascinating sounds mixed in here. I think I would almost enjoy the song better without the lyrics. They distract from some of the parts I like best in the music. I would be very interested to hear more songs in this vein.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Song of the Day - 748

Today's song is...


Question: How far will I travel to hear a venue song I really love performed live?

Answer: All the way to Minneapolis.

True story. And totally 100% worth it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 747

Today's song is...

I Miss Side 2

I really like this instrumental but it reminds me strongly of something else, some theme song I think, and I can't place it. That's gonna bug me. I also have to say, it's placement in See the Constellation is so subtle I can't even recognize it. Maybe I need better headphones.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 746

Today's song is...


I can't be the only one who really wishes that lessons with Professor Flans were a real thing right? I enjoy a lot of the weird noises and effects going on in this song, especially some of the percussion at the end.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 745

Today's song is...

No Left Turn

Whoa, country! That is some serious twang twang going on there. But what is up with the weird vocal?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Triumphant Return

September 29, 2011 - The National - Richmond, VA

Hello all! Remember me? You know how I used to write up recaps of all the shows I went to? You may have noticed that I just kind of stopped partway through the tour last year. So here's what happened. I got behind in recaps at the end of the tour because the shows were coming too fast and furious and I was dealing with Dan's birthday card while I was waiting in line when I would normally be working on recaps. Then I had a busy couple of weeks at work before the next chunk of tour and I just didn't get back to them. And then there were more shows and then more. And somewhere in there my real life kind of blew up for a bit. I broke up with my boyfriend. I started going to shows alone. And then there were so many unwritten recaps it was intimidating to even think of going back and working on them. 

And now a lot of the details are lost in my memory. But there are still some great pieces of those shows I didn't get to that deserve sharing. So I'm gonna attempt to go back and fill in some of the blanks. These recaps will be shorter than usual and not as detailed but at least they will exist. So let's travel back to September and pick up where we left of shall we? This first recap was actually half written very shortly after the show and then completed now, so the beginning is quite detailed and then it fades out with my memory. It also fully assumes you read the preceding recaps, so if you haven't or you don't remember them, you should go back and read/reread the recap from The Orange Peel on 9/28/11 to get yourself up to speed. 

This was without a doubt, the most stressful pre-show experience of this leg of the tour. This was the show Gary had used his IFC tickets for, so we were supposed to be collecting our tickets from will call before the show. But we had heard (and even been there for) some nightmare stories from other friends about troubles with the IFC guest list and the box office not getting it in a timely fashion. Adding to this worry, this theater has an early entry deal with the restaurant next door where if you eat there and buy $20 worth of food you can get in to the theater ten minutes early. 

When we arrived, the box office was not yet open and no one else was there. We got to hear sound check through the walls which was quite exiting as they ran through Take Out the Trash, Subliminal (yay!) and XTC vs Adam Ant, which I had only ever heard once. This was also a pretty good sign to me that Danny had been right and Dan was back because I was pretty darn sure that was NOT Flans playing that guitar solo. I assumed they were probably running all these songs in preparation for the Boston shows on Saturday which turned out to be more or less true. 

There was no indication anywhere of what time the box office was going to open and as it got later and later we got more concerned because not a soul had turned up to stand in line. Every single potential fan we saw went straight into the restaurant to eat and get in early. The last time we went to The National we didn't do the early entry and were first in line outside. There was a small crowd inside when we got in but we were still able to get front row. This time that seemed highly unlikely given that zero people had thus far opted against early entry. And making things worse, when the box office did open, they didn't have the guest list. We were told to check back in 20 minutes (a mere 15 minutes before the doors were to open to the restaurant crowd). We opted to go eat in the restaurant so we could get in and have Gary run back out to get tickets during our meal. It turned out we were nearly too late to be served for early entry by that point too. The waitress had to rush our order and we paid before we even started eating. That was the fastest I have ever scarfed down chicken fingers in a sit down restaurant. 

Gary did successfully run out to grab our tickets during the meal and we just finished in time for the early doors. Only to discover that the doors had been delayed because JoCo was still sound checking. Gah.

Once inside the theater, Gary went to grab his swag bag while I picked a spot. After confirming that yes, Dan's pedal board was definitely back on stage, I picked a spot at his feet so as to best appreciate his triumphant return. I doubt I will ever again be so glad to see the Dan-Tone 3000 (and I am always glad to see the Dan-Tone 3000).

I chatted a bit with the couple next to me about past shows we had both been to and favorite opening acts of the past. A lot of the discussion was about Oppenheimer but I think they liked JoCo quite a bit after his set.

I only remember two things of note from the JoCo set. First that he broke a string in one of the first songs and had to switch guitars. And second that Christian accidentally started I Feel Fantastic a song too early which made JoCo and Brandon laugh pretty hard. 

The TMBG setlist: When Will You Die - We Live In A Dump - The Mesopotamians - New York City - Don't Lets Start - XTC vs Adam Ant - Cant Keep Johnny Down - Celebration - Birdhouse in Your Soul - Clap Your Hands - Withered Hope - Battle for the Planet of the Apes - Cloisonné - Crazy Train - Spoiler Alert - Free Ride - Alphabet of Nations - You Probably Get That A Lot - Los Angeles - Fingertips - Judy Is Your Viet Nam - Old Pine Box - Ana Ng - The Guitar. Encore - Careful What You Pack - Band Intros - Istanbul. Encore 2 - Lie Still, Little Bottle - Particle Man

Flans started the show by welcoming back Dan. He was calling him all sorts of silly things, the only one of which I specifically recall was "delicious.". But it was really great to see that the band was so obviously just as excited about having Dan back as I was. I always appreciate and admire the camaraderie that is evident between the members of the band while they are on stage, but never more so than here, when they were we so clearly enjoying being a complete unit again. They were laughing and joking together more than usual. Flans kept calling attention to Dan's presence.  Dan and Marty were miming things at each other across the stage, and Dan and Danny, well, you'll see. 

I came to the conclusion after this week that TMBG without Dan is like a Michelangelo painting where the artist was forbidden to use red. It's still a nice painting because it's a Michelangelo. But it's not everything it could be had the artist been allowed a full pallet. Dan's playing adds a dimension to the music that can't be replicated, whether he's playing subtle rhythm guitar or a blazing solo. And you never realize how used to his backing vocals you are until they aren't there. Sometimes, when I wax lyrical about the band, I think I take Dan a bit for granted. But what's that they say about absence making the heart grow fonder? 

When Will You Die with the full band name check was a perfect way to start this show. But my favorite moment of the whole show and possibly the whole tour came during We Live In A Dump. You may recall that Danny had been filling in on the backing vocals in Dan's absence. And I was very curious to see if he'd just go back to his old habit of singing along with no mic in the background upon Dan's return. What I wasn't excepting was the first chorus of the song to come along and both guys to step up to the mic to sing. They stood side by side both singing "ba ba ba baaaa ba," looking for all the world like Paul McCartney and George Harrison huddled around the same mic. And Danny was balanced on tip toes craning his head up to sing into Dan's too tall microphone. It was, no joke, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in the 90+ shows I've attended. 

And as if once wasn't enough they reprised it during Celebration, in even sillier fashion. As the song began, Dan deliberately tilted his mic down so Danny could reach it and then as the chorus began, nodded at Danny to join him at the mic. Which he did, only to have Dan fake him out by stepping back away from the mic just as Danny started to sing, leaving him going "ooo ooo ooo" alone while looking over his shoulder at Dan and nearly cracking up while he sang. Dan meanwhile just grinned and looked ridiculously pleased with the joke he had played. Danny stepped back to allow Dan a solo turn on the second chorus and then they took a turn together on the last one. I'm telling you, it was a beautiful, beautiful sight.

TMBG 9/29/11 #2

I was surprised they included XTC vs Adam Ant here. I fully expected them to save it until Boston. I seem to recall I even lost a bet over it. But it was a very nice surprise. I do miss some of the production from the recording when they play this song live, but it is a wonderful showcase for some of Dan's superb guitar playing which I was appreciating more than ever.

Flansburgh instituted another audience dance contest before Celebration. I can't remember if the prize was the signed Join Us record or the giant poster, but Flans appointed Marty as the judge and told the crowd that Marty would be watching them while he played. I can't imagine how he managed this while playing but then again, I suspect Marty may have super powers even greater than spotting crazy dancers in a crowd while keeping a beat. The contest lasted several songs, then Flans called Marty down to declare the winner. But instead of handing over the mic, Flans dictated everything Marty said to the audience as if he was translating for someone speaking in a foreign language. Personally, I found it hilarious. Marty does so much silent communication on stage, being mic-less and segregated from everyone else on the drum riser, and this fit right in with that in a way that really tickled me. 

Much of the rest of the show is a blur in my memory but there are a couple of things I remember from the end. There was a point at which Linnell messed up which song was supposed to be next and blamed it on the fact that John Carter, the monitor technician, had not informed him of the next song in his earpiece. He went on to explain that he had gotten used to John Carter feeding him helpful information in his ear, like the next song on the setlist, or to pick-up the accordion, or that fact that his fly was down. Flansburgh then complained that John Carter never told him that his fly was down and Linnell said that was because it wasn't. And Flans made some sort of reply along the lines of "That's right John, it isn't," the tone and delivery of which had me in stitches. And in hindsight, the entire exchange became even funnier the following night, when Dan came back on stage for the encore, clearly in need of that in ear memo from John Carter if you know what I mean ;-)

When they did the band intros, making their weird noises, Dan picked up a different guitar from the one he was currently wearing and held it by its neck, making some sort of sound with it by moving his hand on the frets while manipulating a pedal with his foot. It added wonderfully to the cacophony.

TMBG 9/29/11 #25

The only other thing I remember about the show itself, was one of my other favorite moments of the whole night. When they came back for the first encore, Flansburgh proudly announced to Dan that he had learned how to play Dan's part on Careful What You Pack while he was gone. Dan indicated that Flans should continue to play it so that he could hear it. Flans said no, that he didn't want to step on Dan's toes. In the end they agreed to play it together. So the two of them stood side by side and, in unison, played the introduction to Careful What You Pack, with Flansburgh obviously concentrating hard on getting it perfect for Dan, and Dan glancing over at him with a smile. It was beautiful and perfect.

After the show, Gary and I were walking down the street next to the venue, back to the parking garage, when we suddenly heard someone yelling "Hey! Are you gonna be at the show tomorrow too?" I turned around, startled, to see JoCo's bass player, Brandon, hollering at us from the back of their van down the street., where he was loading up his gear. I yelled back that yes, we would be there tomorrow and he said "See you there!" or something along those lines. It was highly entertaining. 

So there you have it folks. That's the best recap I can produce a year and a few months late. Sorry so much of it has gotten lost in my brain. My goal is to eventually get back to all the shows I missed, though some of them will be very short, as my memory is minimal on some of the spring shows. But the next three  shows after this one, I have recordings of, and the two after that I took notes on, so I should be able to produce some pretty decent recaps of at least some of the shows. The trick will be finding the time. If you all will stick with me, I'll give it my best shot. 

Song of the Day - Day 744

Today's song is...

What's That Blue Thing Doing Here?

No, seriously. What is it doing here? Where did it come from and why is it here? This has been a mystery for far too long. I need answers, people!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 743

Today's song is...

Broke In Two

Fantastic rhythm. The syncopated sort of beat that drives this song, makes the whole thing. This is one of the few songs where I can honestly say the guitar part is my favorite. That doesn't happen very often.  But it is true of a couple of my favorite songs on The Spine, including this one. And the lyrics are so very Linnellian. I can always appreciate a good clever/oddball Linnell turn of the word. And the end of the song is great, with those rising spacey effects. Just very good mixing all through.

Probably the first thing I was ever told about this song was that popular opinion held that it could never be performed live. And I have never understood why not. Yes, the guitar part is a little complicated, but I am sure that Dan could manage it. Sure, the effects would be a little different but aren't they always in the live version of anything? I just never got what the big publicly perceived stumbling block was here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 742

Today's song is...

Radio Peace

If my memory is correct, there was a blog post from Madeline Brand accompanying this song that expressed worry that the potential theme song was not appropriate for a news show. I kind of have to agree. I quite like it as an instrumental. It's fun and light hearted and I like the beat of it, and it does feel very theme song-esque. But I imagine a news theme to be more serious. This sounds more like a lighthearted human interest program or subtle comedy show. Maybe we can build a new show just for this theme song?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 741

Today's song is...


My love of this song began early and was cultivated over hours and hours spent listening to muddy recordings of the early live performances, trying to determine the lyrics. There are a few songs, like this one, that hold a very special place in my heart because of the amount of time I have spent on them. It is kind of hard to explain but these songs feel like "mine" somehow.

There was a period of time when I had a video of every live performance that had yet been done. And I ran a very great risk of being disappointed with the recorded version after listening to it live so often. So imagine my delight when the recording was even better! The accordion bridge. That skippy guitarish sound that runs through the choruses. The fade out at the end that sounds like a tape running off it's reel. And my very favorite part is the way Linnell slurs over the line "exploded on the launching site" because I can perfectly picture how his head would tilt and his eyes would squint as he delivered it. Songs like this one, I feel like I could write a book about and then at the same time I can hardly write anything because I can't put my feelings into words. They are too strong. Suffice it to say I have a strong personal attachment and a lot of love for this tune.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 740

Today's song is...

Demarais Parker

Of the three songs that go in this set, this is definitely the least interesting lyrically. It reminds me very strongly of one of the Venue Songs, though I can't specifically place which venue I am thinking of. One of the ones out west I believe. It makes a good excuse to pull out some hard rock guitar, but over all I much prefer Scott Bower.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 739

Today's song is...

Weep Day

I talk sometimes about songs that I feel like Flansburgh put together because they just appealed to him sonically. Well, here is a song that just appeals to me sonically. The melody and the sounds of the instrumentation are very appealing and the way the lyrics run to together, a little hard to distinguish but with a wonderful flow, is lovely. I thoroughly enjoy the instrumental break towards the end, and there is something about the end of the song, with the guys just repeating "weep" over and over that is very aurally pleasing. I have to admit, I never paid too much attention to the lyrics until now and they are more interesting than I expect. Reminds me a little bit of Purple Toupee. In a very good way.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 738

Today's song is...

The King Of Wingo

There is something about this song that I find very adorable. It is a tiny bit creepy, but overall it just strikes me as cute. And I like the way some of the words in the lyrics flow. Good use of vocabulary. It is songs like this one that make me sorry I missed the Dial-A-Song experience entirely.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 737

Today's song is...


I am a fan of the guitar solo in this venue song. But I have to say, I can't decide if Linnell's attempt at sounded like Nick Cave really sound like Nick Cave or a bad Elvis impersonation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Song of the Day -Day 736

Today's song is...

My Other Phone Is A Boom Car

Oooo, those chords! This one packs a punch. Perfect voice for it too. I love the way it fades out at the end. I always forget this was intended as a ringtone, but it really would make a good one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 735

Today's song is...


I had forgotten about this one in the world of ringtones. It's kind of funny because, where most of the ringtones reference phones, or make some small amount of sense as a ringtone, this one is more making a reference to the fact that it is a very short song. Not sure this would ever me my ringtone pick. A little too dark for my daily ringtone tastes. But the musical mix is quite interesting as a short little song.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 734

Today's song is...


Bad news is, its another Partly Cloudy Patriot song that I can't listen to to comment on for this post. But it does hold a distinction. As of this post, I now have fewer than 100 songs left on the list that I haven't used yet. It's a little bittersweet but I can see the light at the end of a very, very long tunnel.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 733

Today's song is...

Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order?

I once read someone's negative comment on Amazon, that criticized Here Come the ABCs for not having enough songs on it that actually taught the alphabet. Seriously, were they not listening to this one? Not only does it feature the alphabet it has the history of the alphabet too! And puppets! How could you go wrong?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 732

Today's song is...

Confusing The Mind

Interesting.... I have to admit, I tend not to be a huge fan of songs that heavily feature samples of spoken word as a main element, so I can't say this is my favorite thing I have ever heard. But it is certainly interesting.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 731

Today's song is...

Authenticity Trip

Here is an example of a song I don't really "get". Usually not getting a song doesn't really bother me, if I can accept that it is mostly nonsense. But when I feel there is actually, probably some deeper meaning I am just missing, it tends to irk me. However, in this particular case, the song is so much fun and the lyrics so wacky that I can't help but like it, even though I still feel like I am missing something. Plus I enjoy songs where the singer incorporates a message to the actual musicians playing into the lyrics like Flans does yelling, "Go!" at the band before the chorus (Cyclops Rock, with its built-in "Dan!" before the solo, is another great example). I also admit, that one of my first thoughts on hear this song, was that they would never be able to play it live because Flans could never remember all those lyrics to sing it right night after night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 730

Today's song is...

Gloria Say "Blast Her Out"

There are situations in which I think Gloria's advice is quite sound. I have had upstairs neighbors who were obnoxiously loud at all hours of the day and I was sorely tempted to blast them out. Lately it is the next door neighbor's yappy little dog that has been driving me crazy barking outside for an hour straight every time they but her out. I wonder what Gloria's advice would be for that situation?

Song of the Day - Day 729

Today's song is...

Alphabet Lost And Found

I can't believe I forgot to post today's song until the middle of the night, on a day featuring one of my absolute favorite songs!! This was one of the first songs I saw live (or at least I think it was, as I actually have no memory of it, but I am pretty sure it was played at that first in-store I attended) so it has some sentimental value. But mostly, there is a cleverness and humor to it that strikes a very true chord with me. I will never cease to find "Slang words, you're in the wrong building" to be one of the funniest lines I can imagine. The whole concept of a place where objects go to find missing letters is very PBS, children's television in my mind, and that is what I grew up on (and actually even what I studied in college). And when that is mixed into a pop song with a super catchy beat, it is just a win-win situation. I love all the songs that Marty has written for the band, and the man knows how to put down a drum beat like no other, but this is by fair my favorite. The beat and melody are among my favorites, kid's song or otherwise. You can not help but bop around listening to this music.

And of course, one can't discuss Alphabet Lost and Found, without talking about watching Marty perform it live. I have never seen a human being put so much energy into performing a single song in my entire life. He's like a tiny cyclone, running around, and jumping off of things and spinning in circles. And the rest of the band just stands there doing their thing while he ricochets around them like a pinball. My favorite part is always when he runs up to each of them in turn to ask "Where they gonna go to find their letters? How can they survive without their letters?" at the end of the song and they all either just shrug with indifference or turn away and ignore his pleas completely. I have so many good memories of this song at shows. I have said it before and I will say it again. I will never tire of watching Marty dance. True fact: probably at least 50% of the reason I flew to California for the shows last year was to see Marty break out the dance moves again.

(The appropriate end for this post would be for me to collapse on the floor, but since you all can't see me do that in writing, please just assume that is what has happened.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 728

Today's song is...

Integrity Project

It has been an awfully long time since I saw the Apollo 18 promo video so I don't entirely remember this one. But I've kind of got the gist in the back of my head somewhere.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 727

Today's song is...

Mysterious Whisper

One of my favorite parts of Fingertips, because there are so many things about its live performance that I love. It never ceases to amuse me when everyone is rather loudly singing along to the song and they get to this part and the audience plunges forward, while Linnell deliberately pauses. So there is always this distinct echoing sound of the audience going "Myst...." before they shut up because they realize they have all come in too soon. And Linnell has got this smirk on his face because you know he does it on purpose, just to mess with them. And then he puts that big pause between the first two syllables, for increased dramatic affect. I never get tired of that, and I stand there listing for that too soon sound from the audience with glee every time.

And then watching Dan and Marty with their hands in the air swaying to music with such serene looks on their face. Marty always make me smile with his sticks in his hands, but it is Dan who rarely fails to make me giggle out loud. Like the show last spring where he shot his arms into the air so fast and with such force that it looked like he was doing an aerobics move. Or my personal favorite, the show were he attempted to get Danny to participate in the swaying. "Put your hands in the air!" Dan mouthed over to him. Danny, shook his head indicating that he was still playing and could not. Dan tried again to get him to do it anyway and Danny kept shaking him off. But Dan kept goading him, so Danny started adding notes into the rhythm and playing a more and more complicated bass line to justify the fact that he really needed his hands, until both of them were laughing. I love moments like that, and this song has created more than its share :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 726

Today's song is...

Higher Ground

A song whose lyrics are lost in time. But having experienced another of these second generation venue songs from this same week myself, I can only imagine it was brilliant and hilarious.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 725

Today's song is...


Just the piano part of this song is super creepy, but the addition of the bass and drum make it...creepy but snazzy? Is that even a thing? It's an odd tone for a song. I would be curious to see in what context it was used on MITM.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 724

Today's song is...

There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Wow, what a huge mix! It's like this song has the entire force of Disney backing it. It gives me strong flashbacks of riding on the Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland. Wonder if the Johns got to ride on it  at the World's Fair in '64? And if so if that made it rather surreal for them to be re-recording the song forty years later. Incidentally, Meet The Robinsons is a great movie. You should watch it is you haven't already (even though the song doesn't actually appear in the film).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 723

Today's song is...

Figure Eight

I would like to give a big thumbs up to the music in this song, just like the little cartoon characters in the video. So much body and rhythm and rock in a song for children. Proof that children can and will rock out and do not need to be coddled with their music. I've always appreciated that the lyrics focus on figure eights in an ice skating sense too because that is what I always think of when I think of figure eights. The first time I heard this song live was at a regular rock show and it fit right in with the rest of the rock music. It is a really fun one live, very full of energy. and it makes me want to spin around in little figure eights but I am prevented form doing so by the crowd, which is probably for the best as I would get so dizzy my head would fall off.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 722

Today's song is...

No Answer

While I agree with the popular opinion that this is a beautifully phrased song, it is just too morbid for my taste. I don't think I could listen to it repeatedly. One of the things I appreciate about TMBG is that the downer lyrics are usually set to really peppy music, so you almost don't realize what a downer they are. But here, even the melody is sad as I just find it too overwhelming.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Song of the Day - day 721

Today's song is...


I don't speak French. What is he saying anyway? Is it even real French?

Side note: Linnell has the perfect voice for singing in French.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 720

Today's song is...

Cast Your Pod To The Wind

This song always makes me picture those little wing shaped seed pods that come off of trees in the fall, which is exactly what I think it is supposed to invoke. The song is super effective! Also, I kind of love that electronic bagpipey sound. It is so perfect for this tune.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 719

Today's song is...

It Never Fails

If I didn't know better, I would swear this was a cover of some 50 year old song, made famous for some long gone comedic crooner. It is definitely entertaining (though I find that high pitched voice Flans uses a bit grating after a while), but what I really enjoy is the music. Those horns are great!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 718

Today's song is...


Not really the most inventive of the venue songs, but the band introductions are entertaining and I like the melody. But compared to the songs some of the other Texas venues got, this one is a little lacking.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 717

Today's song is...

Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches Jingle

Here we have a very short song that is very near and dear to my heart. I don't think I was actually there for its first performance, but I was definitely there for the second or third in Chicago last fall. And from that point on, it was firmly linked to my whole experience on that fall tour. It was the running gag, that most of the audience didn't realize was a running gag, but I saw night after night. Which is one of my favorite things about going to so many shows; that feeling of being "in on the joke."And to see that joke actually appear on a slightly inexplicable YouTube video was even better.

But the real reason this song is so dear to me can been seen in the following picture.

TMBG 10/30/11 #83

This is my own personal, authentic, original, one-of-a-kind, brand name Epic Fail Baloney Sandwich. If you follow my Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard some of this tale before. If not, here's my story.

So I'm at the show in Iowa City just about a year ago. It was the last show I was attending for a while, as the tour was heading west and I had to go back to work to prep for the holiday season. After retiring it for a while, the Avatars had once again pulled out their Epic Fail Baloney Sandwiches routine. It was a fantastic show, all in all. I think some of it even made it onto the At Large live album. Anyway, after the show, I am hanging out by the stage, as usual, waiting to snag a setlist. Victor, the stage manager, had been very good about supplying me with set lists the whole tour and tonight was no exception. But this time, after several years of silent setlist supplying, he actually said something to me. Having never heard him speak before I didn't even realize he was talking to me and he had to repeat himself, asking if I had gotten a setlist the day before (I had, but it had been supplied by Mr. Brunette). I told him as much, and he paused for a minute, before telling me he had something for me and then disappearing back stage. I waited for several minutes while most of the crowd cleared out and had a few awkward moments when Marty came out to hand out drum sticks at the front of the stage (oddly, he had a hard time finding people to take them), and I was still standing there with my setlist, looking more like a creepy hanger-on than usual. Eventually, Victor returned, taking a rather circuitous path around the stage before finally coming back over and presenting me with something in a white plastic bag. He turned back away, without so much as a glance back to me, as I was left puzzling over this package in my hand. The first thing that I noticed was that it was oddly cold. And the second thing I noticed was the "Epic Fail" label showing through the bag. It didn't take me long to figure out what it was and start laughing so hard I could barely stand up straight. Because of course, I had been presented with my very own Epic Fail Baloney Sandwich. The one and only.

As an afterward, I later learned that Victor was so nervous about how I would react to this "epic" practical joke, that he never even looked to see my reaction, and didn't know how entertained I was by it until weeks later. Trust me, I loved it and I don't think I will ever get a more perfect present. And in case anyone was wondering, no I didn't eat it. It is actually still in my freezer, probably long since turned to a block of ice, but I just can't bear to throw it out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 716

Today's song is...


This may be a Valentine's song but it sure sounds more like a Halloween song. It actually reminds me a bit of the Grinch song from How The Grinch Stole Christmas. There are some fun things going on electronically. Kind of makes me wonder if this is a song Flans cooked up himself just before sitting down to put together the podcast. It wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, Happy Halloween, everybody!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 715

Today's song is...

I Find It Hard To Believe

Umm, what? Every now and then, I find it fun to think back on what it must have been like for people in the early 80s to call Dial-A-Song and hear something like this and just be totally flummoxed about what it was. It's no wonder Gloria said "this guy's a nut." But the very best kind of nut :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 714

Today's song is...

I Enjoy Being A Boy

Man, I love this song. I love everything about this song. The only thing that prevents me from claiming this as one of my very favorite songs, is the fact that it is a cover. But all that crunchy bass and cheerful electronic pop, combined with the falsetto almost make me forget that fact. This is one of those tunes that makes me happy every time I hear it, just because it exists and is wonderful.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 713

Today's song is...

Someone Keeps Moving My Chair

Perfect example of a fantastic song that I constantly forget about. Like if you asked me to name all the songs on Flood, this is one of the ones I would struggle to come up with on the spot. And yet it is so good. I love the syncopated way Linnell delivers the chorus. And I only just noticed, listening to it now, what a nice guitar part it has. Songs like this are excellent proof that you can write a good song about anything. You aren't limited to the standard themes of love song, breakup song, story song, dance song, etc. If you've got a good beat and a catchy melody and you stick a bunch of words together that sound nice, that really can be all you need.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 712

Today's song is...

Wonder Twins

I seem to have hit a small concentrations of remaining PCP tracks. Sorry about that.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 711

Today's song is...


Ever wonder what happened to the guy to make him forget everything? Traumatic brain injury? Alien abduction? It's a mystery.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 710

Today's song is...

Science Is Real

Perfect opener for Here Comes Science. It bursts right out there and announces what the album is all about. None of this angels, unicorns and elves nonsense. I find it hard to believe that science is so often in dispute and I really appreciate this upfront, matter of fact take on the subject. Plus, it is a really great song. Good tune, pretty guitar part and awesome drum part.

I can still vividly remember being at the tour kick-off show in Ithaca in 2009 and Flansburgh pulling out a chair to sit down and play his acoustic guitar on this song. I think he needed to concentrate so hard on getting it right, he couldn't also concentrate on standing up and holding the guitar. It was adorable. Though as an aside, in my personal opinion, the song never sounded as good live as it did on the recording.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 709

Today's song is...

Sorry I Fucked Up The Show

Is it wrong that I have occasionally wished a show would get fucked up just so I could here this song? But alas, I have seen some pretty messed up things happen on stage and no sign of the song. I think its day has passed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Song of the Days - Day 708

Today's song is...


I think Homestar has trouble with more than just his "r"s. Don't tell him I said that though ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 707

Today's song is...

The First Thanksgiving

Probably should have saved this one for Thanksgiving, but I know in my heart of hearts that I still wouldn't have gotten around to getting a CD copy of PCP by then either.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 706

Today's song is...

Who's Knocking On The Wall

Well who is it making all that racket? Is it someone begging for help? A confused person who can't find the door? Someone hammering a nail? I want answers, people!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 705

Today's song is...

All Night Blowout

One of my favorites of the Dunkin Donuts jingles. This is one of the cases where the visuals and the song put together are what really make it work for me. The expression on the girl's face as she holds up the left shoe. The turtle casually strolling around in several of the scenes. All while they appear to be singing a catchy Linnell pop tune. Forget the coffee, that's my kind of party clean-up.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 704

Today's song is...

Canada Haunts Me

When I drove to Toronto last year to see the band, this song was on my mind a lot. I don't actually find Canada particularly haunting or creepy, but this song sure has a creepy tone to it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 703

Today's song is...

Planet of the Apes

Best lyrics of any of the Ape songs. By far. Love this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 702

Today's song is...

Please Pass The Milk

*bomp* Please *bomp* pass the *bomp* milk please *bomp*

I probably shouldn't be so excited about the single bass strums in this 8 seconds song. Probably.

(No, I don't have a little thing for the bass player, I don't know what you're talking about, shut up ;-))

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 701

Today's song is...


Math definitions set to music! With a very pleasant acoustic guitar part! And a video with cute birds! No wonder all us the nerds like these guys so much! :-) Seriously though, great way to set an album of numbers on the right tracks. Catchy and tackles a difficult concept with style and a cute kid. And I will now have this stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 700

Today's song is...

Agent Double-0-Soul

This song is FANTASTIC. Reasonably certain I had never listened to it before right now. Do you think Flans hurt his vocal chords doing that scream? The vamp portion cracked me up. And I would pretty much okay with a bass solo like the one Jeremy Chatzky throws out, being included in every song ever from this point on. This song for the WIN!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 699

Today's song is...


Bongos! Such excellent use of bongos! Really it's the little things that make me happy :-)

I really enjoy these sorts of tracks where you can see the evolution of a later song coming into being. It's a cool glimpse into the songwriting process where one thing morphs into another thing entirely.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 698

Today's song is...

The Secret Life of Six

Six and nine are the best kind of numbers because they are good at entertaining themselves without constant supervision and they've got a great party trick like identical twins who switch identities just to mess with people.

In other news, I really enjoy the drums on this song. That is all.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 697

Today's song is...

Haunted Floating Eye

My favorite part of this song is the bridge with the weird sound effects. Part duck and part something more threatening. And the whole song has a great bass line, but it is particularly evident there. The lyrics always perplex me because I get hung up on how the character can have a spider for a mom. But then again, sometimes I take things too literally.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 696

Today's song is...

Don't Cry

Wow, this song does a really good job of fooling me into believing that it is some forgotten ditty from the 1960s that I heard on the Oldies station as a child. Which I am sure is exactly the point.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 695

Today's song is...

Spare The Rock

I believe this is the last of the Spare the Rock songs on my list. Which is appropriate since it is the song that ends the show. Perhaps I should make it my life goal to become famous at something so TMBG will write me a theme song. Oh....wait.... ;-) I must be thinking of some other band.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 694

Today's song is...

Brain Problem Situation

The instrumentation and mix on this song are fantastic. It is so full and alive. And it contains so many of my favorite elements. Bongos! Handclaps! Horns! It is kind of unbelievable that a song this good never even made it onto a studio album. And the lyrics are so TMBG. And so easily referenced in so many situations. Because seriously, who doesn't feel like they have a brain problem situation on their hands every now and then.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 693

Today's song is...


My favorite part of this song is Linnell at the end, dropping the Avatar voice entirely to say "I think his name is Howie." The first time I heard it, I laughed out loud. I love those fuzzy little Avatar nutjobs. They are just bizarre and ridiculous and make no sense and they don't care. Because they have the power of goatee. Maaaaaahh.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 692

Today's song is...

One Billion Degrees

Two DD songs in a row. What's up with that? Personally, Dunkin Donuts is the last place I think of when it is that hot out, but that is probably because I don't like iced coffee and I'd much rather have ice cream than a donut when it is that hot.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 691

Today's song is...


This is an example of one of the songs I had heard in the DD ad before I was familiar with the band and was later shocked to realize was them. Not shocked in a bad way, just a bit of a mind-blown experience. Also, as someone who often finds themselves working in a cafe that serves these fancy drinks, I have some sympathy for the narrator.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 690

Today's song is...

Faster Better Now

I am a big fan of the percussion on this track. So much so that I probably could have done without the lyric and just gone with the little bit of synth and the super echoey percussion. But it ain't my song.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 689

Today's song is...

A To Z (Type B)

Because one video of your favorite band singing the alphabet is never enough. Gosh some of those kids are cute.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dan!!

What time is it? It's Miller Time! Dan Miller time, that is ;-) If you would all please join me in the traditional chant in honor of Dan's birthday...


I could wax lyrical about Dan for quite a while, but in reality there are no words big enough for the awe and admiration I hold for my favorite guitar player. He is epic in every sense of the word and one of the sweetest, nicest guys I have ever met.

This past February, I was at a show in North Carolina on Valentine's Day, and not in a particularly good mood. I had had a bad day, was bummed about being alone on the holiday and had a crappy seat at the venue despite ordering tickets early over the phone. I was sitting by myself, without anyone else even near me in the row, six or eight rows back from the stage. The crowd was unusually sedate and despite the best efforts from the band, I just wasn't having a good time. And it must have shown on my face, even way out in the dark theater, because part way through the show, Dan spotted me in the crowd and quirked his face at me as if to say "cheer up, it's not so bad." I have no idea how he could even see me, much less tell that I was bumming, but despite it only being a three second moment, I was extremely touched. And it really did cheer me up in a way nothing else had. And then Dan rocked our faces off with one of his towering Fingertips solos from an upper balcony which cheered me up even more. How could you not love someone so kind and awesome all in one massively talented package?

Happy Birthday, Dan! You truly are the best :-)

TMBG 10/28/11 #38

TMBG 10/30/11 #66

TMBG 2/9/12 #9

TMBG 2/11/12 #35

TMBG 2/14/12 #24

TMBG 2/15/12 #28

TMBG 2/15/12 #34

TMBG 2/16/12 #1

TMBG 2/16/12 #40

TMBG 2/16/12 #47

TMBG 3/8/12 #6