Tuesday, August 13, 2013


With a day off after the most recent shows, I spent some time updating the spreadsheet I keep of TMBG songs I have seen live. I hadn't updated it at all this year, so it needed some major revision. I must admit, I am somewhat fascinated by the statistics it reveals about songs I've seen most or least often. I can track which albums have been best represented in my live experience and which the least. Things like the rarest songs I've seen and the most common. And often, the results are pretty surprising (though occasionally not surprising at all). So I thought I would share some of the statistics I find most interesting.

Total Number of Songs Heard Live: 201

25 Most Frequently Heard Songs

1. Istanbul - 133
2. Birdhouse In Your Soul - 114
3. Doctor Worm - 109
4. The Mesopotamians - 101
5. Damn Good Times - 94
6. Clap Your Hands - 90
7. The Guitar - 77
8. Alphabet Of Nations - 74
9. Ana Ng - 70
10. Cloisonné - 68
11. New York City - 67
12. Particle Man - 66
13. When Will You Die - 66
14. Fingertips - 57
15. Drink! - 56
16. Withered Hope - 56
17. Can't Keep Johnny Down - 50
18. James K. Polk - 50
19. Why Does The Sun Shine? - 50
20. Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - 49
21. Dead - 49
22. We Live In A Dump - 48
23. Whistling In The Dark - 46
24. Celebration - 45
25. The Famous Polka - 44

26 Songs Only Heard Once

Auld Lang Syne
Everything Is Catching On Fire
Hall Of Heads
Horse With No Name
I Can Hear You
Live Free Or Die
Metal Detector
Mink Car
Phone Calls From The Dead
Reptiles Eat With The Bones We Hear With
Spiraling Shape
The Bells Are Ringings
The Cap'm
The Shadow Government
Till My Head Falls Off
To All The Girls I've Loved Before
Token Back To Brooklyn

Albums By Songs Heard Live

Flood - 19 of 19
Apollo 18 - 38 of 38
The Else - 11 of 13 (1 remaining has been performed)
Factory Showroom - 11 of 13 (both remaining have been performed)
Lincoln - 15 of 18 (all remaining have been performed)
No! - 12 of 17 (none of the remaining have been performed)
The Spine - 9 of 16 (4 of the remaining have been performed)
Join Us - 11 of 18 (none of the remaining have been performed)
Here Comes Science - 10 of 19 (none of the remaining have been performed)
Mink Car - 5 of 17 (10 of the remaining have been performed)
Long Tall Weekend - 3 of 15 (9 of the remaining have been performed)
John Henry - 6 of 20 (all of the remaining have been performed)
They Might Be Giants - 5 of 19 (all of the remaining have been performed)
Here Comes the 123s - 9 of 24 (none of the remaining have been performed)
Nanobots - 9 of 25 (1 of the remaining has been performed)
Here Comes the ABCs - 3 of 23 (4 of the remaining have been performed)

For the record that puts John Henry, Mink Car and Long Tall Weekend at the top of the list of albums with songs that have been performed that I haven't seen. I'm not currently counting the Pink Album since I'm gonna see that whole thing twice in just a few months :-)

(There is no recorded setlist for my very first show, but, based on other songs being performed at similar shows at the time, there are two other songs from ABCs that I may have seen but can't confirm.)

Venue Songs Heard Live

Asbury Park - 15 (3 times in original venue)
Los Angeles - 11
Albany - 4 (2 times in original venue)
Pittsburgh - 4 (2 times in original venue)
Asheville - 3 (all in original venue)
Atlanta - 3 (all in original venue)
Brooklyn - 3 (1 in original venue)
Charlottesville - 3
Dallas - 3
Anaheim - 2
Glasgow - 2
Philadelphia - 2 (all in original venue)
Vancouver - 2
Charleston - 1 (original venue)
Columbia - 1 (original venue)
Minneapolis - 1 (original venue)
Raleigh - 1 (original venue)
Towson - 1 (original venue)

Rarest Songs Heard

Reptiles Eat With The Bones We Hear With (only performance)
Tubthumping (only performance)
Token Back to Brooklyn (only performance)
The Bells Are Ringing (1 of 2 performances)
Live Free Or Die (1 of 3 performances)
How Many Planets? (3 of 3 performances)
Black Ops (3 of 3 performances)
Three Might Be Duende (3 of 4 performances)

Songs Heard At Soundcheck But Not Performed

You Don't Like Me
9 Secret Steps
Wearing A Raincoat
Destination Moon

Songs Performed Most Often That I Have Never Seen

Man, It's So Loud In Here - 164 times
Sleeping in the Flowers - 144 times
Exquisite Dead Guy - 139 times
AKA Driver - 89 times
Counterfeit Faker - 77 times

Songs On The Dial-A-Song Collection I Have Yet To See

You might remember that I have a personal goal to someday see all the songs from the Dial-A-Song compilations performed live (since that was my first album). These are what remains.

Man, It's So Loud In Here
Another First Kiss
(She Was A) Hotel Detective (soon to vanish from the list!)
I Should Be Allowed To Think
Stormy Pinkness (yeah right! This is the one that is going to prevent me every reaching this goal)
Exquisite Dead Guy
Boat of Car (also soon to vanish from the list!)
Number Three (this one too!)
Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon (and if Stormy Pinkness doesn't do it this one will)

Other Fun Stats

I have seen about 13% of the known performances of Istanbul and 11% of the performances of Birdhouse.

I've seen just about half of the performances of all performed songs from Join Us, Nanobots, Here Comes Science and Here Come the 123s.

I have seen the live premieres of about 34 songs.

And finally, for the super curious and/or bored, I am gonna post my whole spreadsheet as a page in the side bar so you can all go "wow, I can't believe you haven't seen _____" or "I am so jealous that you have seen ______" as the case may be.