Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 624

Today's song is...

Brainwashing Our Fighting Boys

Huh, I hadn't listened to this one before just now. It's weird and kind of cool. I like what is going on with the guitar. And the lyrics are interesting. There are many DAS tracks that I listen to and completely understand why they never made it off the answering machine. This one seems like it could have gone somewhere. Maybe someday it still will.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Song of the Day - 623

Today's song is...

P.S.O.K. (Paul Stanley Of KISS)

It would be entertaining (at least for me) to make a version of this song with Flansburgh telling the same jokes at show after show. Or possibly the Avatars, since they tend to repeat themselves a lot. Set to this same drum and bass track though, mostly because I really enjoy that aspect of it. Can someone make this happen?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Song of the Day - 622

Today's song is...

Kings of the Cave

This is timely since we have just recently learned that this is the only non-cover song, that TMBG have recorded that wasn't written by a member of the band. It's interesting because it sounds like something one of the Johns might have written and yet it doesn't at the same time. But what I really like about it is the instrument arrangement. It just has a neat and unique sound and melody. And the accordion is fantastic.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 621

Today's song is...

God's Sister Jessica

Nice drumming. Otherwise it sounds very similar to a number of the other instrumentals on McSweeney's. But maybe that was the point. I am more intrigued by the title. I was unaware that God had a sister, much less one with a straight-out-of-the-'80s name like Jessica. She must have been the black sheep of the family.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 620

Today's song is...


I hadn't listened to this song in a very long time, and had pretty much forgotten what it sounded like. I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it better than I remembered. The sax arrangement in really nice and the lyrics are intriguing. And I kind of like the way the vocals were recorded with that echoey quality that makes them sound like they were recorded in somebody's bathroom.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 619

Today's song is...


Man, I love this song. There are so many excellent venue songs but this is really a favorite. It's witty, has a great melody and the concept is just fun. There have been a few moments in my TMBG touring history that stand out for me perennially, and hearing this song live was one of them. SO much fun. And I can tell you, there is actually a rotary you need to navigate on your way to park your car by the theater. And I had lots of people afterward tell me they had jealously read my blog after the show.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 618

Today's song is...

Sneaking Intro

Oh, Sneaking Intro, harbinger of great things to come for so much of my fall and spring. I will admit to being a dunce and not realizing for a long while that the music was from that Dunkin Donuts commercial. Oops. But I think I would list this as my second favorite intro, at least among the ones I have heard live. I love the opening with that slamming drum beat followed by blaring trumpet that just kind of comes out of nowhere. It is like the music is saying, "Hey, wake up, face forward, here we go!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Song of the Day - 617

Today's song is...

New Haven

I am not 100% percent sure this is true, but I think this is the only venue song where I have been to the venue, but have NOT heard the venue song live. Because they did not play it when I was at Toad's last fall, much to my disappointment. I hope that is corrected some day. In other news, Flans saying "Croak me, Dan" makes me giggle every time I hear the song.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 616

Today's song is...


What a good cover! The accordion and sax work really well for the style of the song. And style wise it is a good fit for TMBG. The band has a great knack for picking songs to cover that really suit them. P.S. I really enjoy this bass part.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 615

Today's song is...

The Day That Love Came To Play

I can't even type the name of this track without hearing it in my head in the rhythm of the song. Complete with the pause between "love" and "came". I doubt I could say it normally if I tried to say it out loud.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 614

Today's song is...

Irving Plaza

Yet another song I haven't heard. I might even have the recording of this show somewhere but if I do it is on a disc that I can't make work in my current computer. Oh well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 613

Today's song is...

Truth In Your Words

For some reason, because of the mini-bike reference I think, my brain loves to insert lyrics from this song into Dirt Bike on those occasions when I get that song stuck in my head. And then I can never remember what song the mini-bike reference is actually from. Note to self: it's this one.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 612

Today's song is...

What Is A Shooting Star?

Another beautiful video from my favorite TMBG illustrator, Pascal Campion. And it even has more birds in it! But I must admit, I can no longer think of this song without picturing The Avatars of They. Panning in and out of the camera, performing goofy antics and generally hamming it up. I <3 those guys. Now, let's star at Dan Miller while he plays this intro, shall we?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 611

Today's song is...

Upside Down Frown

This is one of my favorite drum/bass songs in the catalog. I actually really like the lyrics and the rest of the instrumentation too, but I am pretty sure that if you stripped it down to just the drum and bass, I would still love the song. And it's a fun one to hear live just because of that awesome rhythm section. As as aside, the lyrics remind me of someone I know. To an almost shockingly accurate degree.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 610

Today's song is...

Mainstream USA

Not even sure what to say about this one. I like Flans' quote on the wiki page about how this song was declared "an example of how obtuse and unlistenable our material can be." I don't think it is unlistenable at all (though Linnell's guitar playing is pretty atrocious), as long as it is grouped in as just one example of the band's incredibly varied music styles. And actually, the lyrics are kind of interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 609

Today's song is...


Bizarre TMBG at its bizarre best. There are things going on in this song, musically, that I think are fantastic. And others that are just odd. And with the totally oddball lyrics, it all just works. And now I have a desire to watch Tootsie while drinking a cup of tea.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 608

Today's song is...

Fake Belive (Type B)

I can never keep straight which version of this song is which. I think if someone asked me to sing it, I would combine lyrics from both without even realizing I was doing it. That being said, the ant verse is probably my favorite of both songs. "It's not a problem. Ants are strong."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 607

Today's song is...

President's Daughter

I had already started to write that I hadn't heard this song because I didn't own the DVD, when I remembered that there is a whole folder of Puppet Jam songs in my file of miscellaneous stuff. Gotta say, Linnell way right. This is strong.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 606

Today's song is...

Historical Landmarks

This is actually one of my favorite of the Dunkin Donuts ads, mostly because I haven't seen the ad (if it was even a TV one, it could have been radio) but I can picture it so well just from the lyrics. Bored kids, excited dad with maps and travel guide, mom with cup of DD's iced coffee. Yup, I can picture that ad perfectly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 605

Today's song is...

Even Numbers

Thematically, this isn't one of my favorite kids songs, but I love the style of the video. The little owl is just too cute, especially with goggles on. Musically, the song is quite interesting which I'm not sure I had ever quite noticed before. Ascending scales and all that, and some neat effects put on the guitars. Plus I like anything with a big, bold piano part. But I have never understood where the french fries play into the songs. Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers, french fries, socks. That bit is just strange, in a wonderful Linnellian sort of way. But the animation sure is cute.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 604

Today's song is...

Girls In Their Turning

Creepy. That is all I have to say about this song. Creepy. Well, that and an idle pondering of whether the entire song is just a manipulated effect on a vocal? Maybe? There is a tiny little blip at the end that makes me think so.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Marty Beller!!

It has once again come time to celebrate the birthday of MISTER...... MARTY..... BELLER!!

In the year since I wrote his last birthday post, Marty has proved that some musicians only get better with age. In a single year, he has released a musical output that impressed me more than ANY I have heard in such a short period of time. Looking back on Album Raises New and Troubling Questions and Jonathan Coulton's Artificial Heart (not to mention contributions to albums by Stew and The Negro Problem and the Sugar Free Allstars), there is enough excellent drum work contained in those albums to equal a good year for anybody. But consider that the year also included Marty's mind blowing work on Join Us, and, well, it is just that... mind blowing. I still get chills listening to Judy Is Your Viet Nam. Celebration makes me positively giddy. And I fear one of my greatest musical regrets will forever be never getting to see Marty drum JoCo's Glasses live.

Marty is the type of performer most fans dream of. He is dynamic and talented, giving everything he's got to the audience night after night. Then when the show is over he gives even more, greeting fans from the front of the stage, signing autographs, posing for pictures, passing out drum sticks and drum drum heads, shaking hands. He goes above and beyond, turning a concert experience from a fun night out to a once in a lifetime experience for so many fans.

And on stage he is more fun to watch than any million dollar act you'd pay $200 to see. He has turned silent comedy from the drum riser into an art form, plays like a coiled spring unraveling with uncanny precision, and makes it all look effortless. One of my favorite things about seeing him play with Jonathan Coulton was after every performance of Mandelbrot Set, Jonathan would acknowledge Marty's performance with such admiration, and then tease him for not even breaking a sweat. I must have seen TMBG play Judy five times before I ever remembered to watch any other member of the band besides Marty, because his performance was so arresting. But my favorite moment of the whole year was watching Marty attack his drums so hard in a rendition of Clap Your Hands in Pittsburgh, that he literally blew out the front of his bass drum. Now THAT is true rock 'n' roll!

And on top of all that, through the release of his podcast this year, Marty also proved himself to be an enlightening conversationalist, with opinions I respect and learned from. It is one thing to be a fan of someone's music and performance and respect their talent, but it is so much better to discover they are an interesting, engaging, well spoken, funny and genuine person too.

So in honor of the birth of the King of the Drums, would you all please join me in blowing your throats out in one big celebratory scream. No wait, Marty can't hear you! He's wearing ear plugs! He's playing the drums! Scream louder! Now shut up and let the man relax on his birthday, knowing he is loved by thousands of fans who will gladly risk their ability to speak the next day, to show their admiration for his awesome talent.

Happy Birthday, Marty! You are truly one in a million :-)

(P.S. Thanks for that drum head. It makes me smile every time I look at it.)

Here are some pictures from the last year of the man rocking out, and if you haven't done so already, or feel like reading it again (it's worth it!) please enjoy this interesting and informative piece Marty wrote for Modern Drummer last year:

Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants for Modern Drummer

TMBG 4/21/12 #6

TMBG 3/10/12 #49


TMBG 2/10/12 #4

TMBG 2/9/12 #23


TMBG 10/29/11 #18

TMBG 9/28/11 #24

TMBG 9/8/11 #36

TMBG 9/8/11 #37

TMBG 7/30/11 #22

Song of the Day - Day 603

Today's song is...

Speed and Velocity

I admit, I picked this one for Marty's birthday, but I only moved it up three days from where it was supposed to be so I only fudged a little. This is my second favorite of Marty's songs. It is wonderfully appropriate that Marty Beller, the man who never stops moving, wrote a song about speed and velocity. And a really good song too. Great pop melody, a fun drum beat (of course) and the lyrics are cute and educational. And I enjoy the way that Marty's vocals are displayed in the song. It really works. But my favorite bit is the drum fill about two thirds of the way through. Whee! Also, is it just me, or every now and then while you are listening to the song do you find yourself picturing Marty riding a Big Wheel down the sidewalk with gleeful abandon?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 602

Today's song is...

Tango Distoro

I would have said that tango and rock accordion did not mix, but the song is attempting to prove me wrong. I would desperately like to see someone actually attempt to perform a tango to this music. Honestly, the song is a bit repetitive for my tastes but I would still enjoy seeing it danced to. Someone call Dancing With The Stars!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 601

Today's song is...

Get By With A Little Help

Homestar is rather creative with his interpretation of the lyrics to this song. But what I really want to know is, how come none of the Homestar people were at the shows when _I_ was in Atlanta?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 600

Today's song is...

Chicken And Ice Cream

I needed something appropriate for song 600, but that was also particularly representative of a band with over 600 songs. This bizarre track seemed perfect. I'm not sure I have ever seen fans get so excited over something so weird as this song or so disappointed when it vanished without a trace. And when it was finally included on a podcast, I swear I could hear 100 die hard fans collectively going "AHHHH."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 599

Today's song is...

Early Fishin'

I really like the instrumental bit at the end of this song. It's a shame it is covered by a voice over. It is the sort of thing I would like to see developed into a large song idea.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 598

Today's song is...

Meet The Elements

This song has spent some time on my Top 25 list. I think it has currently been edged out by some of the newer songs but it is still WAY up there. It is SO good. So quotable. I mean, who here hasn't looked at an elephant and said "Did you know that elephants are made of elements?" And I am constantly amazed at how lyrics with so many syllables are put together and still manage to be so melodic. The song just has such a great rhythm and melody to it. And it is so gosh darn educational. But my three most favorite things (at least right this second) are the acoustic guitar line, the backing vocals and the sign in the video that says "It Might Be Pizza." But they are just a few of the many elements that make this a most excellent song. (Did you see what I did there? :-))

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 597

Today's song is...

Lincoln, Washington And That Jefferson Guy

This seemed appropriate for the holiday. Happy 4th of July everyone. Enjoy the fireworks and burgers. Try not to blow any digits off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 596

Today's song is...

Your Ass Or A Hole In The Ground

Another song I have never heard, so I can't really comment on it, but the title is...interesting.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 595

Today's song is...


"Farm, farm, Music Farm." I think this venue song is a particular good lyrical twist on a name of a venue. Take the concept of a music farm and run with it. It is also one that is extremely easy to get stuck in your head.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Song of the Day - Day 594

Today's song is...

Too Real

If it wasn't Flansburgh singning, I would say this song was by another band. It is so not TMBG style (at least in my opinion). I can't say it is really one of my favorites, but I do the like the arrangement.