Dag That Is A Lot of Music
December 7, 2015 3:38 PM   Subscribe

At spin.com, They Might Be Giants Look Back on Every Album They've Ever Made.
posted by Ipsifendus (52 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just want to know if the net reward justified the colossal mess they made of their lives.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:50 PM on December 7, 2015 [34 favorites]


I haven't listened to their newest works, but I have loved them and quoted them since high school. There is a stereotype of that kind of TMBG fan, and I have accepted that it is pretty much a fair picture of me.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:54 PM on December 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Love the Johns. Quite a career for a pair with only three songs in them.
posted by absalom at 3:55 PM on December 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


They've had plenty of time to turn mistakes into rhymes.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:58 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes. Their story is infinite, and like the Longines Symphonette, they never rest.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:07 PM on December 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


All these years, all this music, and we're still not certain if they're Giants or not?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:09 PM on December 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Since the article is only from May this year, TMBG has, unsurprisingly, released a new album in the meantime. Why is their 18th studio album and their 5th children's album. Incidentally, the songs were previewed on their still-going-strong Dial-A-Song service 844 387-6962.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


All these years, all this music, and we're still not certain if they're Giants or not?

We'll They're Certainly not Dwarves.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:15 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Apollo 18 is an all-time fav, for whatever reason I don't much care for any of their other albums.
posted by Cosine at 4:19 PM on December 7, 2015


Why is their 18th studio album and their 5th children's album.

Preceeded earlier this year by Glean, of which they seem to have autographed a few copies.

("a few copies" in the sense of "They Might be Giants")
posted by straight at 4:23 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


All these years, all this music, and we're still not certain if they're Giants or not?

And what are we gonna do unless they are?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:26 PM on December 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


Everyone needs to hang on tighter, just to keep from being thrown to the wolves.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:55 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm curious if they ever made any non-statutory royalties off _Flood_. Some years ago, I recall reading an interview with the band where they commented how it had at that point sold a million copies, but according to the record company they were still in debt for it. Which was a really vivid illustration of how record companies will fuck you over but good.
posted by tavella at 5:01 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


What impressed me about No! when I heard it being premiered on WFMU is that they call it a kid's album, but it's more like a solid chunk of over-the-top pop music that happens to be wrapped in a kid-friendly package.
posted by ardgedee at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


TMBG has, unsurprisingly, released a new album in the meantime. Why is their 18th studio album and their 5th children's album.

They seriously just put out another album? I'm still trying to decide whether I like Glean or not.
posted by greenland at 5:20 PM on December 7, 2015


You've all heard MetaFilter Music's tribute to Flood, right?

(cortex's cover of "Istanbul" is still one of my favorite things ever.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:28 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


What impressed me about No! when I heard it being premiered on WFMU is that they call it a kid's album, but it's more like a solid chunk of over-the-top pop music that happens to be wrapped in a kid-friendly package

From the FPP:

Flansburgh: Kids aren’t really that much better off after hearing our music.
posted by Songdog at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Flansburgh: Kids aren’t really that much better off after hearing our music.

Lies. To this day, when people observe me and my typical behaviors as I go about my daily life and ask themselves, "but why?" (as they are wont to do) I sit them down and play them Lincoln and explain that it was my favorite record at the age of 4. No one whose favorite lyrics at the age of 4 were, "The ardor of arboreality is an adventure we have spurned" or "People should get beat up for stating their beliefs" can help but be marked by it.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:43 PM on December 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I mean, "Cow Town" was my favorite song at a time when I could not reliably distinguish it from "Octopus's Garden" and that's basically the reason why I am commonly known as Professor Spazz today.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:48 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


What's this button do? I wonder what's inside this ticking package that's addressed to me? How are sausages made and what are They Might Be Giants albums made of? I'm gonna find out now.

Aaa! Aaa! Aaa!
posted by davejh at 5:55 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


chainsofreedom, I understand that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman once walked along in New York singing "Shoehorn With Teeth" together. This moment should really have initiated the Nerd Singularity.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:57 PM on December 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


Do you see any sense to that? They May Be Giants? Who's There May Be Giants? How does he make any money on this? It don't make no sense.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:15 PM on December 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


I don't know, Gloria.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:16 PM on December 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


In grade school, our computer teacher was trying to get us to learn to type without staring at the keyboard. He stuck printer paper box tops over our hands on the keyboards, handed out sheets of They Might Be Giants lyrics, and had us attempt to type them out (while using HTML to change the font colors).

Shockingly, this did not convert a room of 10-12 year olds into TMBG fans. (And I still can't type without looking at the keyboard.)
posted by sallybrown at 6:17 PM on December 7, 2015


A woman came up to me and said I'd like to poison your mind
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:36 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


And speaking of Terry Pratchett, when he was first writing dialogue for the mad beggar Foul Ole Ron, he entered some passages into a random text generator-- an early Markov Chain sort of program, I suppose. The documents he had lying around included They Might Be Giants lyrics and a Chinese menu. Hence Ron's immortal catchphrase: "Millennium hand and shrimp."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:40 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


I just want your half.
posted by ColdChef at 6:42 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Not back on it, Joe -- still on it.
posted by escabeche at 7:12 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I just stood there whistling, "There goes the bride," as she walked out the door....

Somebody stuck their finger in the President's ear, and it wasn't that much later they came out with Johnson's Wax....

In my prison cell I think these words... I was careless, I can see that now....

I promise not to kill you.
posted by JHarris at 7:29 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of.

I bought Lincoln (having heard nothing of them) so I could find out how "Ana Ng" was pronounced. I grew up in a very monocultural town.
posted by neilbert at 7:38 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I interviewed John Linnell when I was 17 and he was my favorite musician ever and I thought you might enjoy reading that
posted by gusandrews at 8:12 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Okay, that's a fine bunch of comments, MetaFilter. Now, then...let's get those missiles ready to destroy the universe!
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:27 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Everything you know is wrong. Just forget the words and sing along.
posted by KHAAAN! at 8:54 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry KHAAAN!, I believe that one's Weird Al.
posted by JHarris at 8:56 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry KHAAAN!, I believe that one's Weird Al.
posted by JHarris at 10:56 PM on December 7


It's his TMBG style parody.
posted by themanwho at 9:29 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quoting Weird Al lyrics? Don't make me swivel my paper-white mask of evil around in this thread.
posted by davejh at 9:37 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing them one mild afternoon in Sept 1992, for a free concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston. (Tribe opened.) I think everyone there was surprised as to how many people actually turned up to watch. My faulty memory wants to say 35,000 people were there; and remembering how crowded it seemed (when compared to a 500,000-attendee July 4th crowd) I'd say 35K is in the ballpark.

But everyone was just so fucking happy to be there, and happy everyone else was there -- the band, and the audience. It was the best crowd -- much cooler of a vibe than a Dead Show parking lot ever could be cause you didn't have to deal with the whacked-out-on-whatever contigency. It was like a ton of people thinking that they were the only nerds who liked the nerdy music, but then seeing that the place was FULL-ON NERDS IN THE SUN. Everyone sharing in the happy absurdity of TMBG playing to 35,000 at the Hatch Shell.

I kinda understood then that TMBG was here to stay, and that they could never become lame, and that it was a very good thing for music.

...as for their albums, all of them became a blur for me after Factory Showroom.
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


My first show was TMBG.
My friend's dad drove a few of us 5 hours to Minneapolis so us nerds could all go see our favorite band - thanks, friend's dad whose name I now can't remember because kids are jerks!
I don't listen to them much any more, but I was happy that recently when I heard Birdhouse I could still sing along to the entire song.
posted by flaterik at 11:37 PM on December 7, 2015


MetaFilter: I think, maybe, but I don't know, but I'm starting to feel like we got a brain problem situation on our hands.
posted by straight at 12:04 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


My first show was also TMBG, flaterik. My mother drove my friend and I to the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Was the Flood tour.
posted by snwod at 12:31 AM on December 8, 2015


I've been finding Your Racist Friend to be an incredibly useful song to post on Facebook over the past few months. I think it's funny that they think it's their first political song because I've long had a theory that Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head is about the democratic process.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:47 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's that blue thing doing here?
posted by Foosnark at 6:03 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


My first "real" rock show was TMBG on the Apollo 18 tour at a club called the Floodzone in Richmond, VA. At the time, TBMG was my favorite thing in the world and to see them live at the height of my adoration for them was like achieving a little mini-Nirvana. My young, teenage brain was not equipped for that kind of joy. If memory serves, they opened with "Spacesuit" (the instrumental number on Apollo 18) and closed with a cover of "Frankenstein".
posted by tehjoel at 6:19 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: What's that blue thing doing here?
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:09 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jinx, snwod! TMBG in Atlanta was my first concert too. Though I saw them at the Roxy. But my mom did drive my friend and I there.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:36 AM on December 8, 2015


Metafilter: What's that blue professional white thing doing here?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:48 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


My first show too, when they toured the UK - back in 1992 (eek!)
posted by Shatner's Bassoon at 9:07 AM on December 8, 2015


Dag. That is a lot of music.
posted by NedKoppel at 9:25 AM on December 8, 2015


My first show was TMBG.
My first show was also TMBG
TMBG in Atlanta was my first concert too.
My first show too


The Warfield, Apollo 18 tour.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:52 AM on December 8, 2015


TMBG were not my first concert (oh my god I'm so old) but the mention of "Frankenstein" above reminds me of the time I saw them at Tulsa's Historic Cain's Ballroom and half the crowd was too young to know why the band was so excited to play the song there.
posted by fedward at 3:27 PM on December 8, 2015


did you just what
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 4:13 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My first show was a Doctor Demento anniversary concert, at which TMBG did not play

C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER
posted by gusandrews at 8:00 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


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