Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 471

Today's song is...


It is my opinion that this is the best album opener in the entire TMBG catalog. The way it blares out with the accordion mashing and then comes in with that heavy guitar riff gives me chills every time I hear it. I love the way the drums pair with the handclaps and the way the bass pulls out of the mix right before each chorus. And the vocal rhythms at the end are fantastic. I once said that I would be OK with never getting to hear my favorite song live if they would just keep playing this song forever and I think that holds true. And somehow it makes it even better that they don't play it all time time. They pull it out just often enough to surprise me. I honestly don't think I had paid much attention to the song until the first time I heard it live, at LPR, when they opened the show with it and blew my mind. But I don't think I have ever been so surprised by it as I was at the TLA in September, where I believe Megan can attest to the audible squeal of delight that escaped me when they closed the main set with it. I'm pretty sure it was so obvious that members of the band noticed. I just wasn't expecting it at all. The best surprises come in Subliminal shaped packages :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 470

Today's song is...

Wreck It Apart

Flans sure does know how to write break-up and end of relationship songs doesn't he? This isn't really one of his better ones but it's not bad. It has a very 50s feel to it, which I suspect was probably the intention.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 469

Today's song is...

Backstabbing Liar

Oooo, such a good guitar riff. I actually have no idea what the lyrics even are past the chorus because I am always listening to the guitar. This very well might be my favorite Mono Puff song just on the basis of how good the melody is.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 468

Today's song is...

Fingertips (Whispered)

"Fingertips. Fing-er-tipsssssss." Ok, I'm just going to say it. Watching Dan do this bit of the song is really kind of sexy. There. I said it. Don't think less of me. It is.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 467

Today's song is...

We're The Replacements

It always takes me a minute, when they start playing this song, to realize this is what they are playing. The beginning sounds so much like something else. I think it's James K. Polk but I'm not sure. Regardless, this is a great song to hear live. It was one of the songs I heard at my first adult TMBG show but had no memory of. And then I didn't hear it again until this past summer. They played it numerous times in the interim but always at the shows I wasn't at. I was kind of shocked when I was finally in the crowd again when they started playing it. I think this song has one of my favorite introductions in the catalog. I just love the rhythm. That rolling drum beat combined with an awesome guitar riff with a bit of keyboard and bass thrown in. It almost doesn't matter what the lyrics are at all. I just love that beat.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 466

Today's song is...

The Gravel's Coming With Us

My first thought when I listen to this song is that Xanthus' followers must be really gullible. My next thought is that the song really reminds me of another piece of music but I can't put my finger on what it is. I think it is something from another musical but I can't place it. And it is possible I am just having that experience where the song is actually just reminding me of itself and past times I have listened to it. Anyway, the Sixth Dimension sounds nice. Where do I sign up?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 465

Today's song is...


There is an element of this song that sounds to me like someone running a exercise meant to practice scales.  It is such on odd sounding song. But then, it's an odd sounding song on an odd sounding album and is by far, not the oddest. Can't say it's one of my favorite tracks but I enjoy it as part of the larger State Songs collection. It fits right in with its brethren.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 464

Today's song is...

I'm Having A Heart Attack

This bit of Fingertips is made about a hundred times better by Flansburgh's frequent ad-libs while performing it. He never ceases to crack me up. My personal favorite was in Ithaca in Septemeber. "Sell the dog, sell the house, sell the kids. I'm going back to my post-graduate thesis." The song actually sounds weird to me without the ad-lib now, like something is missing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 463

Today's song is...

The Meeting Song

Never having seen People Are Wrong! and not having a full recording of it, I have never heard this song. I shall assume it is as good as the rest of the songs from the show that I have heard.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 462

Today's song is...

Things I Like To Do

This is one of the DD songs I was most surprised to discover was TMBG once I got into the band because it was one of the ones I recalled most vividly. I quite like it. And I am about 99% convinced it's David Driver on the vocal even if the world at large is still unsure. I also think that the concept of being more productive after coffee is particularly appropriate for the Johns.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 461

Today's song is...

Let Your Hair Hang Down

I have had multiple people tell me that this song is about me. (It's that whole thing with the pigtails I wear to shows.) I'm not crazy enough to actually think so, but I do think of it as sort of "my song". It really strikes a chord with me. The melody is pretty but what really makes the song stand out is the harmonies in the Johns voices. That slightly echoed effect they create with the vocals is stunning. And there are little phrases of the bass line I adore, like the one right after the word "caravan." The drums and guitar have some great phrases too but mostly I just love the whole package. And the lyrics hit me in a in a deeply personal way. If I am ever required to assign a song to represent each year of my life. This will be the one for last year. Now if only I could get the boys to play it live for me :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 460

Today's song is...

I Beat The Wiz

I have never heard this so I can't really comment on it. But it sounds amusing.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 459

Today's song is...

Alarm Clock Catastrophe

I don't know about anyone else, but if I have an alarm clock catastrophe, I do not have time to stop at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. But I might have just enough time to listen to this 30 second disco number while scarfing a granola bar or something.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 458

Today's song is...

Monsters Of Mud

It is a shame that this didn't make it onto No! It's such a great song! There is something about it that reminds me a bit of a Beach Boys song. I love the line "Look out there's one right there, it freaks me out, it's covered in crud." It just makes me giggle. And the whole concept of the world being taken over by muddy monsters until the people just give up and become muddy monsters too is an example of one of the things TMBG does best: silly and fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 457

Today's song is...

It Could Be Worse

This song has a point. It could be a lot worse. I'm kind of fond of this one. Not exactly sure why. Maybe I just like songs about history. Maybe it's that Sarah Vowell did such a good job writing lyrics that sound like TMBG. Or perhaps it's just that peppy tune with downer lyrics thing again. I bet that's it ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 456

Today's song is...

High Five!

Not gonna lie. One of the primary reasons I flew to LA a couple of weeks ago was to see Marty perform this song again. I mean, I wanted to see the band and be there for the 30th Anniversary show and what not, but really I just wanted to see Marty dance :-) The man is such a tightly coiled bundle of energy on stage and it's so much fun to just watch him explode all over the place. And there's that moment in every performance when he sings "When it's time to celebrate with all your friends" and he and Flans sling their arms around each other and I just go "awwwwwwww". Plus, it is adorable watching the little kids giving him high fives. This isn't my favorite of Marty's songs, it's not even my second favorite, but it sure is a lot of fun!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 455

Today's song is...


This is a bit haunting. It sort of sounds like Flans is a ghost quietly calling to you from the great beyond, accompanied by a subtle rhythm track. Because of course he would be. Duh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 454

Today's song is...

Destination Moon

I love this song. Love, love, love it. It is extremely high on my bucket list of songs I would like to hear live. Love the melody. And the very Linnellian lyrics with a delusional narrator trapped in a defective body a la My Man, Montana, 2082 and probably others I am not currently thinking of. But the chorus of this song is what really grabs me. The descending sequence that reminds me of Raitlin Bog (or House At The Top Of The Tree for that matter). I love songs like that. Always have, since I was little. So this song has instant appeal. But it was the melody that turned appeal into love. Damn, that Linnell sure does know how to write a great song.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 453

Today's song is...

Who's Gonna Guess The Dead Guy

Interesting that this came up so soon after Boss of Me since it is pretty much the same song with different lyrics. Which is evidence of how little effort Flans put into creating the Malcolm theme which is remarkable considering the song's success. Or alternatively, it's evidence of how much effort Flans put into writing a simple radio contest jingle. Either way, its existence is pretty neat.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 452

Today's song is...


Of all the songs on Bed Bed Bed, this is the most lullaby-like. It's just a really pretty song. The kind I can imagine a parent singing to send a child off to dreamland. And it's got bongos so it makes me pretty happy too. :-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 451

Today's song is...

Boss Of Me

This is one of my fall back examples when I am trying to explain who TMBG are to someone new. Sadly, for many people this is the only song they know. And for a lot of fans this is how they discovered the band. I was definitely aware of the songs years before I knew it was by TMBG and I vaguely remember being surprised when I finally acquired that knowledge.

I hear this song take some crap from TMBG fans but I have to say, I quite like it. It's got a great horn arrangement and a great mix, in general. But it's the horns I always remember. And the guitars on the chorus. But mostly the horns. And John Flansburgh speaks the truth. Life is unfair.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 450

Today's song is...

Auto Pilot

Is it just me or does this ad strongly remind you of Spoiler Alert? With the guy leaning back in his seat and letting the truck drive itself? It's uncanny.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 449

Today's song is...

Ike Was A Handsome Man

How have I not either a) run out of Partly Cloudy Patriot tracks or b) managed to buy the CDs so I can dial up the individual tracks? This is the question you should be asking yourself right now. I know I am.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 448

Today's song is...

Holiday Greetings From Hello

This isn't really a song. It's just Flans wishing you Merry Christmas with this really creepy Santa going "ho-ho-ho" in the background. It's a nice sentiment but the Santa really wigs me out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 447

Today's song is...

One Two Three Four

Not a huge fan of the vocal effect but I do like the zippy instrumentation. Very cool mix of sounds in there. And may I just say as a huge fan of tugboats myself, that "Linnell sees tugboats" is official the best note ever given.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 446

Today's song is...

A to Z

Yup. It's the alphabet. I am so proud that Flans knows all his letters. Seriously, though, when it comes to reciting the alphabet on the ABCs album, the track with the robot is a lot funnier. But the little baby next to the Y in the video is really cute.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 445

Today's song is...

Sketchy Galore

This is a song with a real tendency to get stuck in my head after I listen to it. Not the whole song though, just a phrase or verse. Not sure what about it is so ear-wormish. The whole song has a slow, drowsy quality punctuated by the slowed-down, skipping outro. I almost feel like all the instrumentation is dragging just a fraction of a beat behind the vocal for the whole song which adds to that drowsy feeling.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 444

Today's song is...

Asbury Park

"I....I got...I got kicked....etc, etc." Probably the most quotable of the Venue Songs though admittedly it was never my favorite. But it is certainly the one I have heard most often. And it's real amusing. And man, does it have a cool bass part. And I love how the drums kind of bust out at the end. Plus it gives the fans endless jokes to make about getting kicked in the head whenever we visit the infamous Stone Pony.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 443

Today's song is...

Ana Ng

Hard to believe it took 443 songs to get here. This has been what I considered the last hold out of the major TMBG tracks to hit SOTD and it finally turned up on the first click of the random button this morning. It is, arguably, one of the best songs in the entire catalog, certainly in my top 10. The songs grabs you immediately with that "bomp ba bomp bomp" opening. It's like, hello, wake up, here it comes. And I am not usually one to get excited about guitar riffs but man, this song has a good one. And if you've been paying attention at all, you'll know I am completely obsessed with the bass line in the chorus, more so live than on the recording, but it is very much among my top five TMBG musical phrases.

This is also one of those songs where the music and lyrics are equally strong. It's not a song I love for one or the other, but rather the whole package. And it's nearly impossible to pick a favorite lyric because the whole song is just chock-a-block full of good ones. I can't even start listing them because I'd just write out the whole song. I think my personal favorite is "And the truth is we don't know anything." The story told in these lyrics is sad and beautiful and romantic and just a little crazy. And it's so perfect.

My favorite Ana Ng live story happened in Chicago a couple of years ago. The band had just finished playing Drink! in the second encore, with Linnell on the accordion and the Johns wanted to drag out the show a little longer with something not on the setlist. Linnell, without warning, busted into the beginning of Ana Ng on the accordion. The rest of the guys scrambled to catch up. Dan was playing the wrong guitar for the song and just kind of shrugged and went with it. Flans and Danny joined in pretty seamlessly. But Marty had been sitting at the electronic drum kit and had to bolt at race car speeds across the stage to the drum riser. And as soon as he finally picked up the beat, Linnell swapped out the accordion for the keyboard and they proceeded through a killer performance of the song, that is my favorite to this day.

People ask me all the time why I love this band and there are certain songs I feel like I should just be able to present as explanation. This is one of them.