Saturday, June 30, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 593

Today's song is...

Now That I Have Everything

This is another track that I think of as quintessential of TMBG's song style, especially the early style. Pre-programmed drum beat. Fast, somewhat nonsensical lyrics. Nonsense words. A fun pop melody and the fantastic harmony of the Johns voices. They have plenty of other songs that so it better. But I think this one is notable as being one of the earliest and a just plain fun song. I think these guys might be on to something!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 592

Today's song is...

Everybody Conga

I already sort of covered this song when No One Knows My Plan was the SOTD, but it deserves a day of its own cause it rocks. The first time I heard it live was the first time I heard it period and I didn't realize it was a common thing. At the time it was just a hilarious interlude as Flans berated the audience until they formed a conga line in the crowded club. That was also the one and only time I have every participated in the conga. Partly because it was the only time I was far enough back that I didn't care about losing my spot, and party because I have actually been present for very few congas. I've heard the song a number of times when the conga line wasn't enforced. The best performance I've heard would be a toss up between the Towson show where Flans ended the song by yelling "someone pick up that phone" in reference to the phone ring sound that some piece of their equipment was making; or which ever show I was at just this spring where the conga line actually formed and did its thing full force through the room. And honorable mention goes to the recording I have of Linnell performing it when Flans got sick, which is something you just have to hear to believe.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 591

Today's song is...

Emergency Broadcast System Announcement

I have chosen to just do one entry for the 2 EBS announcements since the musical aspect of them is pretty much identical. Yay, bongos!!! Yes, I'm weird. Bongos make me happy. Also, when I was listening to these on iTunes just now with my library listed alphabetically, version 2 played right into the beginning of Am I Awake? and the drumming rhythm was remarkably similar from one to the other. Kind of neat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 590

Today's song is...

This Damn Band

Not my favorite of the band intros musically, but the one recording I have of it is pretty funny. I particularly enjoy the bit where the sound of Marty's electric drums makes Flans forget the names of the rest of the band. And there is a bit where Marty goes to town on the bongos, and you all know my thing about Marty and bongos. I'd be curious to see how similar different performances of this intro were to the one I have since I have nothing to compare this one to.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 589

Today's song is...

Something Grabbed Ahold Of My Hand

I was surprised when I compiled all the songs I hadn't used yet, to discover how many Fingertips tracks were among them. I don't know that I have much to say about this one except that it makes a great concept for a horror movie.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 588

Today's song is...

Half A Boy

This is the sort of track I typically would not have heard before today when I dug it out of my folder of random stuff. However, quite a while back, probably late at night, Gabby made me go listen to this one for some reason. I am sure their were profound thoughts about it shared but at the moment I can't remember what they were. I am kind of fascinated by the instrumentation. It is quite unique and I rather like it, even though I can't immediately identify the instruments.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 587

Today's song is...


I am a fan of this simply because I am impressed that an entire song could be made using only single letters and still more or less make sense (though I have always been a little skeptical about how the DVD fit into the story). I have to say though, I can totally see why they made a different video when they released the combo pack for Amazon. The original one with the "x"s is very slow, a little weird and those "x" people just look creepy. The one the the actual humans in the doctor's office is cute and makes a lot more sense.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 586

Today's song is...

Oranges Testimonial

Damn, these guys sound great. I wish I worked for a company this cool. Or at least one with their own theme song from my favorite band. I also wish all advertisements were like this. They would be a lot more enjoyable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 585

Today's song is...

Nixon's The One

I always seem to forget that the guitar solo at the beginning of this song is actually part of the song. I listen to it, blissfully thinking "this is a nice guitar solo" and then am perpetually surprised that the familiar strains of Nixon's The One follow it. And I will forever wonder... Nixon's The One what?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 584

Today's song is...

Crystal Cave

I don't think I have ever seen the ad this song was included in and a quick search didn't turn it up on YouTube. When I did Doh Doh Island some kind soul found the video for me. Maybe I'll get lucky and that will happen again. Until then, it's a mystery.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 583

Today's song is...

Everything About It Is A Podcast

I am sure I heard this song the first time I listened to the podcasts but I had no memory of it. Listening to it just now, it reminds me strongly of some pop hit but possibley with the rhythm reversed. I feel like there are elements of "We Got The Beat" in it but I could be delusional. I'd lay money on it being cooked up in a few minutes in the studio while something else was being recorded. I like the guitar riff a lot. Wouldn't mind at all if it found its way into another song. Maybe it already has!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 582

Today's song is...

I Blame You

One of my favorite lyrics is contained in this song. "He drops his car keys and crawls on the ground/ Finds her old hair comb she'd wear into town/ Can't bear to keep it or throw it away/ Gets back down on his knees/ Puts it back where it lay." There is a pain and a poignancy there that makes uncomfortable feelings well up in my chest. Well done, Mr. Flansburgh. Well done, indeed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 581

Today's song is...

I Am A Robot (Type B)

This one makes me laugh even more than the first one. "Would you like to recent the alphabet with me very very quickly?" Sure! What more exciting thing does this little girl have to do? I think what really gets me is the conversation the girl and the robot have at the beginning. As if running into each other and having tandem alphabet recitation were a totally normal thing. Maybe it's just me, but it really tickles my funny bone.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 580

Today's song is...

Dee Dee And Dexter

Dee Dee and Dexter was one of a great many shows I missed out on by not having cable for a long time. But I can certainly see how this song could be one of those songs that becomes permanently embedded in your brain from repeatedly hearing it on TV, like a thousand omnipresent commercial jingles from my youth.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 579

Today's song is...


This song took a while to grow on me. I never disliked it, just passed over it a bit (though not much due to its presence on an album I have listened to obsessively). What won me over first was the rhythm. I gradually grew to love the casual rolling rhythm that is especially present in the guitar and the drums (Oh no! She has started gushing about the drums on Join Ud again! Hide!). It's got a little bit of a jazz quality to it, but mostly it has an old fashioned texture that I don't find in a lot of songs anymore.

Then I got interested in the lyrics. I still haven't figured out whether the woman in the song is an actual woman who left the writer for another man, or if she is a story stolen from him by another writer. I find either scenario equally possible. And the addition of the blurbs of script, which initially perplexed me, now fit very well into the whole of the song of a writer, wrapped in his work so much so that it weaves in and out of reality. I've said, it countless times before, but I'll say it again. I was so impressed by the strength of Flansburgh's writing on this album. He appears to have dug deep and discovered a whole new level of songwriting.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 578

Today's song is...


I always forget this song exists. Which is a shame because I really like it. The synthesizer stuff is great. It sounds perfect for a song about waves. I always meant to burn myself a version of the album with this song on it but I've never gotten around to it. This might serve as a good reminder!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 577

Today's song is...

32 Footsteps

Today just happens to my friend Gabby's birthday, so to celebrate I broke the rules a little and picked the very last available song from the Pink Album to celebrate her birth. After all, she is married to the album. It seemed fitting and I thought she might appreciate it. There are a whole ton of things I enjoy about this song, musically. The harmonica, the drum line, parts of the bass line. And I really like the "bing, bang, bingalong" section quite a bit. The song is a little weird and creepy and generally fun.

Happy Birthday, Gabs!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 576

Today's song is...

How Much Cake Can You Eat?

I guess this would have been a more appropriate song for yesterday. It is a pretty sonically interesting song. I often wish better recordings existed of some of the DAS only tracks so we could hear what they sounded like without all the telephone distortion. But I guess that kind of adds to their charm a little. And in this case, the vocal effect Flans uses, compliments the unusual sonics quite well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 575

Today's song is...

'85 Radio Special Thank You

Man, the boys sure had an interesting summer in '85 ;-) This is one of those goofy little things that entertains me as much because it survived and made it onto an album, as for the fact that it is pretty funny. If they ever make Robot Flans in some future video, I hope this is the voice they use.

Happy Birthday, John Linnell!!

So it's Linnell's birthday today. It occurred to me when I realized I was going to need to prepare this post soon, that in the nearly three years I have been running this blog, I have never done a birthday post for Linnell. For the simple reason that for the last three years running I was at a show either on his birthday or the day before it. So instead of a birthday post, I always just posted the show recap. But, since that is not the case this year, I find myself in the position of trying to prepare a birthday posting worthy of Mr. Linnell, while at the same time knowing I am not up to the challenge.

I know I have said before that I am slightly terrified of Flansburgh. Well, I am absolutely in awe of Linnell. The rational side of my brain tells me he is just a guy, just like the rest of us (if the rest of us were freakishly talented songwriters), who walks and talks and eats and sleeps and celebrates his birthday with cake and musical cards and terribly normal things. But on the irrational side of my brain, Linnell lives on another plane of existence, removed and above us puny little peons. I believe this is why the few times I have ever encountered the man, off the stage, I have a reaction akin to that of a youngster seeing their teacher outside of school for the first time. Confusion and a little alarm that we are sharing the same breathing space.

But on the stage, the man has a presence that is electrifying. He manages to make every person in the audience (or at least the first 10 rows or so) feel like he is singing directly to them. And singing lyrics of profound depth and humor and sadness and joy set to music so insanely catchy and lively and beautiful that it often blows my mind that so much of it came out of one person.

So the only thing I can say to celebrate John Linnell's birthday is thank you. Thank you for being born. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful music inside your head with the world. Thank you for Ana Ng and Don't Let's Start and Museum of Idiots and Mammal and Withered Hope and The End of The Tour and Nine Bowls of Soup and Doctor Worm and Seven and Till My Head Falls Off and Spiraling Shape and Man, It's So Loud in Here and every other piece of music you have ever created. And most especially for Birdhouse in Your Soul and the 928 times you have performed it to crowds of pogoing fools united in a shared passion for a perfect song.

And from one lowly little fangirl with pigtails in the front row, thank you for endlessly hamming for my camera and encouraging a shared love of photography.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Linnell! May it be a happy one, filled with love, laughter, good friends and inspiration for many more years of music. And hopefully, some really good cake.

TMBG 3/8/12 #22

TMBG 2/9/12 #36

TMBG 9/30/11 #24

TMBG 7/21/11 #22

TMBG 7/20/11 #8

TMBG 10/17/10 #15

TMBG 6/12/10 #4

TMBG 3/7/10 #2

6/12/09 #4

Monday, June 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 574

Today's song is...

Wearing A Raincoat

This is one of the many songs that I never spent a whole lot of time considering. Part of a massive and strong back catalog that I enjoy when I hear, but don't particularly think about when I am not listening to them. I think in this case, the rather non-sensical lyrics baffle my brain a little. I want to be able to logically follow all of the connections the Linnell creates but some of the them just aren't logical. But I had someone on Twitter tell me just a few days ago, that this was their very favorite song off The Spine, which surprised me. I don't think I had ever heard anyone express that sentiment before. And I find that very cool, because it supports my believe that for every song, there is someone out there who calls it their favorite (or at least their favorite on an album).

Personally, I think my favorite part of the song is the lyric "Sleeping is a gateway drug, to being awake, being awake again." It is just an unusual way to look at sleep and yet, oddly, very true.

This is one of the four songs played at what was probably the best soundcheck every performed, in Baltimore, in March. Totally random soundcheck, mostly Linnell just messing around because Flans hadn't arrived yet, and the result was two songs I had never heard live before, one I had only heard once and another very good one. And I have to admit, though I recognized the song and knew the lyrics as Linnell was singing them, I had to ask someone which song this one was. I just couldn't follow the lyrics through to the title in my head. Sadly, I still don't think I can count that as having heard it live, but it was pretty damn cool.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 573

Today's song is...

The Joker

As you may remember, it has been my policy not to include covers in SOTD unless they were released in some at least vaguely official manner (with one or two exceptions due to sheer frequency of live play). Thus dozens of Stump the Band and Spin the Dial tracks have been dismissed as not qualifying. And I was all set to dismiss this in kind. So imagine my amazement when I realized that not only was it released on Unlimited, it was also played 15 times according to the wiki. Color me surprised! I was definitely not expecting that. I was listing to the Unlimited track before I realized it wasn't a one time performance and was going to make a comment about being impressed at how accurately Flans remembered the lyrics. But then, I guess he would after playing it so often in '94. I have to admit, I have a fondness for the song due to associations with my friends from college (the same crew with the running joke about Sargon, the Mesopotamian king). When I get my time machine, someone remind me to stop by one of the shows where this was performed so I can catch it live and in person.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 572

Today's song is...

The House At The Top Of The Tree

I have always had a fondness for songs or stories there each verse or stanza builds on those that came before and especially those that then require listing back all the previous ones. (Wikipedia tells me these are called cumulative songs or tales). Songs like Rattlin' Bog and Going on a Bear Hunt come to mind and books like Green Eggs and Ham, which was a favorite as a child. I believe I am partial to them because I have always enjoyed memorizing things and these were always fun to memorize. So this song is sort of right up my ally. Except not quite because each verse doesn't repeat all the previous exactly as they were, especially not the last one. Which drives me a little crazy. As does the whole concept really. I mean, if you were worried about a mouse eating you (or your house) because he was angry that you didn't give him any potato chips, why would you give the potato chips to the dog, who was clearly leaving the house, to give to the mouse instead of giving them to the mouse directly? That just seems like it would delay the whole process and piss off the mouse. Hmm... I'm putting too much thought into this, aren't I?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 571

Today's song is...

Lines Upon A Tranquil Brow

I love the drama with which this is performed. The dramatic reading at the beginning is such a ridiculous contrast to the screaming. I have a few live recordings of the song and I think the audience has the same reaction I do every time. Laughing and whooping at the screaming and the squirrels and then bopping to the catchy melody that follows. I would also suggest, that this is exactly the sort of melody the accordion was designed for.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 570

Today's song is...

May Day

Cheesy song to introduce some VERY cheesy jokes. I really miss the Puppet Johns and the Friday Night Podcasts in general. They were adorable and funny and one of the first parts of fandom I got to experience in real time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 569

Today's song is...

Experimental Film

I have two things to say about this song. The first is that I really enjoy it. I am truly entertained by the concept of the character who is sure he is going to make a film so awesome it will make your face implode, even though he doesn't appear to have a concept for his film. It's that blind optimism of youth, when you have absolute faith in your own talents and are sure the ideas will eventually materialize to support them. And in this case, set to a catchy pop beat. I particularly like the opening chords. And the repeated "yeah"s make it a fun sing along. I remember standing outside the theater in Tarrytown, NY a few years ago with some teenagers who were engaging in a group sing along on this song. The poor kids were a bit heartbroken the band didn't play it at the show I'm afraid.

The other thing is this. I love this song. I firmly believe it should not have been the first track on The Spine. That album should have opened with Spine playing into Memo to Human Resources. Experimental Film could have been the third track to boost up the energy or put somewhere in the middle as a good halfway point. But it sounds disjointed at the beginning as if you were listening to a single and then starting an album. This is of course, just my personal opinion but I stand behind it whole heartedly. And I still love the song.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 568

Today's song is...

Be Patient

This is a little creepy. I found when looking at this title that I couldn't exactly place the track or where it came from and yet, the melody and the voice chanting "be patient, be patient" was already echoing in my head. It is a haunting vocal effect in a creepy little song.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 567

Today's song is...

Dial-A-Song Is Coming To Take You Along

Haven't heard this one. Seems to be very short.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 566

Today's song is...

D Is For Drums

Oh, MAN, I love this song. There is not a single line of the exchange between the Puppet Johns that I do not adore. I am especially fond of the way Linnell goes "Weeeeeelllllll, I'm glad we got that straight" and Flans asking for juice. But my very favorite part is the one that doesn't even translate into the audio only version. It's that moment when Flans complains that there is too much noise, and instead of making noise, Marty stops playing and twirls his drum stick. LOVE THAT! I am so glad that 566 song into this project I can still find a song I love this much that I haven't used yet. :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 565

Today's song is...

Welcome to the Jungle

Am I the only one who doesn't know who the names are being referred to in this song? Is it an unknown thing or am I just missing the boat? I really like a lot of instrumental sounds of this song and how they blend together. And I am actually even fond of the skipping effect, particularly what it does to the bass sound. Just a cool track.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 564

Today's song is...

I'm In A Rut

John Linnell channels a lounge singer with nearly disturbing accuracy. I love how well most of the Dunkin Donuts tracks play outside of their commercial. I have no idea what was going on it this ad, though I am pretty sure I once saw it, and yet it's still and enjoyable song. Even if it gives me the mental image of Linnell playing Vegas in a sequined leisure suit.