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only two posts in me and i just made the third.
July 26, 2003 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Ladies and gentlemen, do not be alarmed. Please remain perfectly still. What you are about to see is real, the performers are not grinning scarecrows sent here to torture and manipulate you. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the twin quasars of rock: They! Might! Be! Giants!
posted by kaibutsu (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not a real doctor but I am a real worm, I am an actual worm!
posted by jonson at 11:03 AM on July 26, 2003


I am not your broom, I am not your broom!
posted by Busithoth at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2003


"Their names are called, they raise a paw."

Seen 'em in concert...twice. Great fun!
posted by jaronson at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2003


I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am


oh, and though i'm a big fan of tmbg, my boss is absolutely fixated by them, with posters adorning his office, including the gigantic one... o.k. so my boss is cool. i said it. during my job interview years ago, we were talking music and i happened to mention 'the duckhills' (obsure and irrelevant) and believe it or not, we're both huge fans!
posted by poopy at 11:23 AM on July 26, 2003


Everything right is wrong again,
just like in the long long trailer.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:30 AM on July 26, 2003


i really, really, really, REALLY hate tmbg, but i think i may hate rabid tmbg fans even more. whenever a fan of theirs finds out that i don't like them, the fan thinks that i obviously don't understand something and proceeds to do their best to turn me into a fan.

one fellow i shared an office with would insist on turning up his speakers EACH AND EVERY TIME a tmbg song came on, which was quite often. he'd normally say something along the lines of "why don't you like this? what is wrong with you?"

is it really that unfathomable for someone to hate them?

another chap insisted on playing one of their cd's on repeat through most of an evening of tripping. (no snarky comments, i've hated them since long before that.) i proceeded to walk around by myself until they got tired of that. that only took about 3 hours. oh, and did i mention that they put that on in response to me putting on SAW II?

i got them back later that night by putting in skinny puppy when no one was looking. down, down, down the drain..

to recap: tmbg is in an irritating band in my most honest and sincere opinion. if you like them, dandy, but don't push their nonsensical weird al-esque beats on me.
posted by onedarkride at 11:33 AM on July 26, 2003


that's fine and dandy onedarkside, but where i work there's only 2 of us who really like tmbg, while the rest could care less. actually, there are a few people (including me) who dig into skinny puppy. from my experience, we know they don't like tmbg so we're considerate to them and vice versa. headphones are a great mediator. i'm not into converting anyone, although i have met people (like you said) who are psycho-evangelistic in their faith.
posted by poopy at 11:44 AM on July 26, 2003


that's okay onedarkride, i'm the same with radiohead.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:59 AM on July 26, 2003


..."don't push their nonsensical
weird al-esque beats on me.
"

No pushing here, bro. To each his own.

What is appealing to me is that they can't really be categorized into any one music genre and they are not afraid to try different stuff. They are their own man...or men. AND they appeal to all age groups from little kids to old farts like me. (I'm well over 200-years old!)
posted by jaronson at 12:08 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


I enjoy TMBG, but I'm not that interested in trying to "convert" anyone. The only act I've recently proselytized for has been Cake, and I'm happy to report a 100% success rate.

What's the sense, in ever thinking about the tomb,
When you're much too busy returning to the womb?.

posted by Ynoxas at 12:09 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


Meet James Ensor, Belgium's famous painter... that song came in real handy in a art history once.
Fish heads fish heads rolly polly fish heads :)
There's just two songs in me, and I just wrote the third...

I think I have all of their songs in mp3 and wma, plug the computer into the Bose Wave radio, do some analog modeling and dsp effects, and it sounds as good as a cd.
posted by Grod at 12:20 PM on July 26, 2003


whenever a fan of theirs finds out that i don't like them, the fan thinks that i obviously don't understand something and proceeds to do their best to turn me into a fan.

No, actually, onedarkride, we're not doing it to try to convert you into a fan. We're doing it to yank your chain, 'cause we know how much you hate it. Anything we can listen to that we like and you detest? We're all over it like flies on crap.

Us TMBG fans are weird like that.
posted by deadcowdan at 12:20 PM on July 26, 2003


i really, really, really, REALLY hate tmbg, but i think i may hate rabid tmbg fans even more.

Awww, c'mon onedarkride, make a little birdhouse in your soul!
posted by kirkaracha at 12:29 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


onedarkride & ebk, that's true not only of TMBG or Radiohead, but of almost any fanatically driven group. I think for all of us there's something out there that we absolutely can't stand and for that something, there's a group who find it incomprehensible that we can't appreciate it. Those people don't understand that they're never really helping their cause.
posted by jonson at 12:34 PM on July 26, 2003


I heard them doing acoustic versions of their stuff on an NPR show but could never find it again. It held up well.
posted by mecran01 at 12:40 PM on July 26, 2003


Fish heads fish heads rolly polly fish heads :)

No, no no no, and also: no. Sorry, but few things make me more irrationally angry than mislabeled Mp3's. (Clearly I need more important things to worry about; feel free to suggest some!) "Fish Heads" is actually by novelty act Barnes & Barnes. I'd really recommend getting your TMBG education from their actual albums, and not P2P... Kazaa in particular is notably bad at correctly identifying TMBG. ("88 Lines About 44 Women," incidentally, is by The Nails.)
posted by kevspace at 12:42 PM on July 26, 2003


I saw TMBG last weekend at the Singer-Songwriter Festival in Philadelphia. They were great. They played a lot of stuff I liked, but it was the more accessible songs, as I expect most of the people there were there to see Art Garfunkel (the headliner that day) and not TMBG. I also saw them a couple years ago in a strip club in Lincoln, Nebraska. They were great, then, too.

"Ana Ng and I are getting older and we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic presence..."
posted by eilatan at 12:57 PM on July 26, 2003


bah, they're simply a sorry shadow of the GODS THAT WERE ...

OINGO BOINGO.
posted by fishfucker at 1:09 PM on July 26, 2003


I saw TMBG last weekend at the Singer-Songwriter Festival in Philadelphia. They were great

I saw in 1991 or 92 in Charlottesville, and it was the Worst. Show. Ever. And I like them.

It was before they had the backup band, so it was just Wossname and Whozits and a master tape. Which is, well, not optimal. And they didn't have the master tapes cued right, which is even less optimal. And they didn't notice until halfway through a song, which is even lesser optimal. And the opening act was Carmaig de Forest shouting "Crack's no worse than the fascist threat!" while holding a guitar, which is the least optimal of all.

So the lesson, bags, is that if you fall through a rift in time to the early 90's": (1) keep an eye on Bezos and Andresson to get in on the ground floor and (2) check ahead of time to discover the relevant facts about any TMBG show.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:16 PM on July 26, 2003


I'm not going to try and convert anyone either, but I think TMBG is a tremendous band that gets very little credit for the quality and creativity of their songwriting and recording. John and John manage to sneak some profound and touching thoughts into songs that are largely dismissed as "novelty" because they don't adhere to any of the established Clear Channel genres.

It is much, much easier to nod one's head to likeable, focus grouped pop music than to really dig into a band like TMBG and see (er, hear) all the treasure there.

How'm I supposed to let you
know the way I
feel
about you?
posted by cortex at 1:18 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


What sets TMBG apart from Oingo Boingo is their brilliant lyrics. So that, even though musically, fully one half of all TMBG songs suck (and some suck unforgiveably, since we know what musical brilliance the boys are capable of), the lyrics are still pretty interesting and uncliched. Even all the really bad TMBG albums after Apollo 18, on which there are only about one or two songs that are musically decent, the lyrics remain interesting. Oingo Boingo, unfortunately, for all their merits, are, at heart, earnest. And that forever relegates them to the ranks of the A-minus bands.
posted by Faze at 1:20 PM on July 26, 2003


"88 Lines About 44 Women," incidentally, is by The Nails.

TMBG did a cover, didn't they?

Anyway. The only thing that's different is underneath my hat.
posted by Tlogmer at 1:51 PM on July 26, 2003


I hope John Henry doesn't qualify as one of the really bad TMBG albums after Apollo 18, because I'm pretty fond of it.

I waaaaalk alooooong darkened cooorridors.
posted by furiousthought at 1:59 PM on July 26, 2003


TMBG is one of my two favorite bands (the other being Barenaked Ladies). TMBG is a very love 'em or hate 'em band. I've never tried to convert anyone, because my experience is that if you don't instantly love them, you never will. Onedarkride, perhaps your office mate was just trying to needle you, 'cause damn, you sure seem like an irritating, humorless, uptight officemate. Who gets that upset over music? My husband's inexplicably intense dislike of the Rolling Stones, or my seething irritation at Tori Amo's voice, incoherent lyrics and bizarre stressing of random syllables are both quite mild compared to your hatred of the Johns.

Anway... if I ever have a wedding (we got married, but didn't have a wedding, mainly due to lack of funds and my lack of a need to be a self-centered Bridezilla), I want to play "Another First Kiss". I also want to knit or crochet my own dress. I figure if I start soon, it'll be done by our 5th or 10th anniversary.

We've run out of things to say, but we'll be happy anyway.

I was also surprised to discover that "Yeh Yeh" was actually a cover of a 60's song. I thought they had written it as a parody of 60's songs.
posted by Shoeburyness at 2:47 PM on July 26, 2003


What's that blue thing doing here?


(and if you don't like TMBG then why on earth did you bother clicking on, let alone posting to this thread?)
posted by ilsa at 2:53 PM on July 26, 2003


that's okay onedarkride, i'm the same with radiohead.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:59 PM CST on July 26


I thought I could resist, but - I recommend 'Blowout' and 'Idioteque' for the naysayer.
posted by four panels at 2:58 PM on July 26, 2003


four panels, I love radiohead, but I can promise that won't do the trick.
posted by jonson at 3:33 PM on July 26, 2003


Saw TMBG in a basement club in the village back in '87, was totally unimpressed.
If they are still playing 16 years later they must be doing something right.
posted by DBAPaul at 8:59 PM on July 26, 2003


i really, really, really, REALLY hate tmbg, but i think i may hate rabid tmbg fans even more.

onedarkride, don't let's start, ok?
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:22 PM on July 26, 2003


They Might Be Giants changed my life.

Well, indirectly.

I met a lot of life-altering people because they were fans too. So...yeah.

I saw Gigantic at the CineVegas film festival last summer and during the Q&A with the director (AJ Schnack, who told me it was nice to find someone else from the Midwest there), a guy seated behind me commented that he'd never really heard any of the Giants' music and knew nothing about them, but after the film he could see the impact they've had on alternative music and as a "non-fan" he completely enjoyed the movie.

That really made me feel justified in my fandom.
posted by katieinshoes at 9:25 PM on July 26, 2003


I've been listening to their "Lincoln" album all summer. This being my third TMBG CD purchase (after "Flood" and "Apollo 11") I think it's my favorite. I can listen to it straight through (well except for this really loud, irritating track that I skip). I think "Mr. Me" is one of my new favorite songs.
He ended up saaaaad
He ended up saaaad
He ended up really really really saaaad
posted by adrober at 10:17 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


Something I learned recently on some Where Are They Now-type show: Bill Mumy of Lost in Space was half of the Barnes & Barnes duo.
posted by teg at 10:20 PM on July 26, 2003 [1 favorite]


ITYM "Bill Mumy of Babylon 5 fame.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 PM on July 26, 2003


I hope John Henry doesn't qualify as one of the really bad TMBG albums after Apollo 18, because I'm pretty fond of it.

A friend of mine outright gave me his copy of John Henry, back when I was just getting into TMBG, and warned me that if I hated it, I shouldn't let that discourage me from picking up some other stuff of theirs. I played it. It sort of sucked, so naturally, I played it again. Still not all that great, conversely, I listened to it all the way though a third time.

John Henry sort of grows on you, I think.

Big hand's on one-twenty, little hand's on E!

Also, onedarkride, and did i mention that they put that on in response to me putting on SAW II? -- SAW II? for shame.. twice the number but only a tenth as good.
posted by Vetinari at 1:08 AM on July 27, 2003


Ween for dorks. And without drugs.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:54 AM on July 27, 2003


Love TMBG. Love Skinny Puppy. Loathe Radiohead.
posted by Foosnark at 9:42 AM on July 27, 2003


I've found that most people's introduction to tmbg was Flood; which is a lesser album IMHO. I prefer Apollo 18 and Lincoln.

I saw them in concert at Duke in (I think) fall of 1997 - I don't think they had a backup band, and it came off as mediocre. I'm sure they are capable of putting on a great show - but their strength lies in the studio albums. My girlfriend introduced me to them many moons ago before John Henry came out - and she hated that album. I could listen to it on repeat for hours on end.

Gigantic looks very interesting, I'll do my best to see it.

aren't you the guy who hit me in the eye
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2003


Skinny Lena was an Italian song in 6/8 with a humorous verse in English and a staccato Bari Sax riff. At some point I figured out a way to make the record skip in 4/4 during the riff while the 45 was played at 33, which became the repeating figure on TMBG's recording of Flansburgh's "Number Three."

my god, a total fucking musical genius.
posted by quonsar at 12:33 PM on July 27, 2003


I like TMBG, but I hate this thread.
posted by TurkishGolds at 8:04 PM on July 27, 2003


DBAPaul: If that was the village gate you're talking about, and assuming they only played there once that year, I was at that show too.

In fact I've been stalking you since the early 80s! It's been a good life.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:27 AM on July 28, 2003


I don't want to change your mind. I don't want to think about your mind.
posted by Faze at 7:39 AM on July 28, 2003


I find it hilarious that so many of the first posts on this thread are apparently lyrics from TMBG songs. Why? Because the reason I dislike TMBG has nothing to do with them... it has to do with their silly fans insisting on singing along with them at the top of their lungs (off-key of course) for the entire length of any and all of their concerts. Why not just stay home, crank up your stereo and let other enjoy the bloody music? I might even like the band, but I'm afraid to play any of their music for fear that a fan will pop up from behind a curtain, fireplug or elsewhere and start singing. *sigh*
posted by terrapin at 8:52 AM on July 28, 2003


Ha! That's a funny image. But I never noticed the sing-along phenomenon. Is that recent? I've been to three TMBG shows, but it's been about eight years since the last one.
posted by furiousthought at 9:20 AM on July 28, 2003


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