Author Topic: They Might Be Giants  (Read 1618 times)

They Might Be Giants
« on: February 15, 2004, 06:18:03 PM »
Right - I've recently become obsessed with this great, great American band once more, the so-called "hardest working men in pop".  I think they're fab, I really do; I know Rats is a fan here, and it's pretty much not to find something in their vast catalogue that you don't like - so come on, join me in my hero-worship.  I really think that they're the modern equivalent of the Velvet Underground, in that everyone who listens to them wants to form a band.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 06:43:53 PM »
I think wanting to form a band is bit of a greedy first move for me to make. I'd like to learn to play an instrument first. I think I might be able to stretch my skills to the triangle, but that's about it.

I was even crap at the recorder in school. Couldn't do F#. Mind you, that's a useless bloody instrument, how many people got famous playing the recorder?

Back to the topic: Yes, I like TMBG, and I also like Malcolm In The Middle, which I'm told won an award.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2004, 07:13:23 PM »
I haven't heard enough of TMBG to like them a huge amount. I have heard the few songs on the Morris Music Shows up so far, the Malcolm in the Middle theme (which I like), and another random one about Istanbul/Constantinople. Which are your favourites?

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2004, 07:26:35 PM »
Love them! S E X X Y, Adam Ant v XTC, James K Polk, Your Racist Friend, Purple Toupee and so many many more....  And I didn't even mention Birdhouse In Your Soul!

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2004, 07:42:35 PM »

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2004, 08:45:32 PM »
The sun is a mass of incandescent gas etc.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2004, 09:34:40 PM »
Aye - Birdhouse In Your Soul, 88 Lines about 44 Women, Boss Of Me, Istanbul, Triangle Man, Why Does The Sun Shine...bloody marvellous, the lot of them.

Oh, and their cover of Putting On The Ritz was tops too.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2004, 10:12:29 PM »
88 lines about 44 women isn't them, it's The Nails, and they never covered putting on the ritz. This is just idnots on file sharing thingies that download songs without the artists name and think "that sounds like the giants" and rename the song. There's loads of other songs like "I am an retarded" that people think are by the giants but aren't. See, it's great being me hairy, I know everything.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2004, 11:06:22 PM »
I bow to your superior wisdom in this matter, that'll learn mr to start boasting a list and generally talking about things I don't have a clue about. I should've just stuck with my Malcolm In the Middle related post up the top there.

I shall now go and hide in the cupboard under the stairs in shame for five minutes.

After I've had a fag.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2004, 11:15:39 PM »
Giants are undeniably a great band but, although it pains me to say it, I think they have gone off the boil a bit over the last few years.

All their best work seemed to come when there was just the two John's making the music, since they brought a full band in, I don't think they've managed to be as good. The first album with the full band (John Henry) was brilliant but since then I just haven't been able to get into any of the new stuff.

John Linnell's solo album is easily the best thing either of them have done since John Henry.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2004, 11:19:59 PM »
Yeah, I agree with that, with the exceptions "long tall weekend" which I'm guessing you aren't counting as an album and factory showroom.

23 Daves

  • Break a leg!
    • Left and to the Back
They Might Be Giants
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2004, 11:42:56 PM »
Party pooper that I am, I have to say I've never got on with They Might Be Giants.  I've made an effort, purchased one of their albums ("Flood"), tried my hardest and even tried to smile at their wisecrack lyrical twists, but to be quite frank I find them...  I don't know... irritating.

There are of course tracks I like, but they're the same ones everyone likes  - "Birdhouse In Your Soul", "Ana Ng", "Don't Lets Start", "The Statue Got Me High", "They'll Need A Crane".  As soon as I stray off singles material and into album territory, I'm afraid to say I find myself nearly clawing my eyes out.

"Particle man, patricle man, particle man hates triangle man, they have a fight, triangle wins, triangle maaaan!"  AAARGH!

Despite this, I do think they have had a massive influence on the anti-folk movement which I like (even if a lot of the anti-folk artists seem to be loathe to admit it). I respect their greater contribution to society, but I'm afraid to say I do find myself making strangling gestures with my hands when confronted with the evidence of it.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2004, 11:43:55 PM »
I'm downloading quite a lot of the songs mentioned here now, I spoke to some random guy on soulseek a few minutes ago and he reccommended me to get Factory Showroom and Flood first. What is the name of the song played at the end of Morris Music Show 8 (about 50 minutes in)? There is no name on the episode guide, it's short and nice, Rats - you seem the expert, any idea what it's name is?

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2004, 12:04:01 AM »
Quote from: "A Passing Turk Slipper"
I......he reccommended me to get Factory Showroom and Flood first. What is the name of the song played at the end of Morris Music Show 8 (about 50 minutes in)? There is no name on the episode guide, it's short and nice, Rats - you seem the expert, any idea what it's name is?


Yes, go for those 2.... excellent introductions.  The track you're on about is on one of my CDs and I can't for the life of me remember at this late hour!  I'll get back to you on that!!

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2004, 12:44:09 AM »
They've been my favourite band for the past few years. My dad played Flood to me when I was in primary school, and I just loved the imaginativeness of it - I can still remember the really powerful images of canaries and garbage cans which would run through my mind when I was hearing particle man or birdhouse.

Then I pretty much forgot about them until a few years ago, when I relistened to  in a fit of nostalgia and realised how incredibly good it was musically and lyircally. After that I got a subscription to emusic and downloaded everything on there, and bought or ripped off everything else. What appealed to me most as a bookish middle-teenager were songs like Meet James Ensor and Why Does the Sun Shine because they Weren't soppy songs about love, but now I would have to acknowledge that their greatest songs are about love and emotions - Ana Ng, Narrow Your Eyes, The End of The Tour.

"Make a hole with a gun perpendicular
to the name of this town in a desk-top globe.
Exit wound's in a foreign nation
showing the home of the one this was written for"

I don't think any other band around today can match them lyrically, perhaps Stephin Merritt comes close, though his style is totally different. I'd even go so far to say that the level of sophistication in thier songwriting would hold up to proper literary analysis, like Christopher Ricks has done with Dylan's stuff. Even without metre, imagery and so on, their work just holds up to so many different interpretations (see the tmbg.org site), each song can be almost endlessly fascinating.

As for comments about them going off the boil today, I completely disagree - My Man, off of Mink Car, for example is as moving and well written as any of their old stuff, and totally benefits from their new style. Recent live tracks like Museum of Idiots and Au Contraire are up with their best too, I think.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2004, 12:45:50 AM »
That was a cover of "lady is a tramp"

edit: Yeah my man is genius as are the other linnel songs on mink car, there's good stuff on there but it doesn't really hang together well for me but that's just my opinion, lots of people think it's one of their best albums. Hovering sombrero was a left over from flood and that eventually made it onto that album, that's class too. They're working on a new album at the minute incidentally and it looks like thunderbird is eventually going to get released. Here's a live version.
http://www.zen26454.zen.co.uk/TMBG%20-%20Thunderbird.mp3

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2004, 05:36:42 PM »
Quote from: "Rats"
Yeah my man is genius as are the other linnel songs on mink car, there's good stuff on there but it doesn't really hang together well for me but that's just my opinion,


That's strange becuase I'd say with the exception of some of the older tracks on there, its one of the most coherent sounding things they've done thanks to the production by the elegant too. But then TMBG aren't really a band I think of in terms of albums anyway.

Quote
Hovering sombrero was a left over from flood and that eventually made it onto that album, that's class too.


"Time is flying like an arrow
And the clock hands turn so fast, they make the wind blow
And it makes the pages of the calendar go
Flying out the window, one by one
'Til 100 years are on the front lawn
And the old, familiar things are mostly all gone
But the old sombrero just keeps hovering on
Hovering sombrero, hover on"

Excellent song, I agree it is a bit out of place with the newer stuff though.

Quote
They're working on a new album at the minute incidentally and it looks like thunderbird is eventually going to get released.


Yeah, and they've got a new EP, Indestructible Object out in a few months. I'd have preferred Thunderbird to be on that rather than the new album because its been knocking about for so long, I'd prefer something new, or at least a new arrangement.

They Might Be Giants
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2004, 05:51:19 PM »
Quote
Hey hovering sombrero
Gently waving in the air above the meadow
Softly floating in the sky outside the window
Hovering sombrero don’t be shy

Don’t... don’t be shy
Don’t be... terrified
When you take yourself for granted
Feel rejected and unwanted
Know you’re never just a hat
You’re never only just a hat, you know
Hovering sombrero
Hovering sombrero

Time is flying like an arrow
And the clock hands go so fast they make the wind blow
And it makes the pages of the calender go flying out the window one by one
Til a hundred years are on the front lawn
And the old familiar things are mostly all gone
But the old sombrero just keep hovering on
Hovering sombrero hover on

Don’t be burdened by regrets
Or make your failures an obsession
Or become embittered or possessed
By ruined hopes remember

When you take yourself for granted
Feel rejected and unwanted
Know you’re never just a hat
You’re never only just a hat, you know
Hovering sombrero
Hovering sombrero


I had to quote the lot because you missed out all the good bits :) I didn't know there'd be an ep, I'll look out for that.