This was the theme song for Flansburgh's short-lived NPR show Now Hear This for New York radio station WNYC. There is also an unreleased and shorter demo version of the song.
From wnyc.org: "Originally recorded by Joe Meek and the Blue Men, arranged by John Flansburgh and performed by Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser. The theme "I Hear A New World" was originally recorded by Joe Meek and the Blue Men for an early concept album of the same name. Meek, an unusual figure in British pop in the '60, was known as the British Phil Spector. His vivid and imaginary recordings were filled with sonic manipulations and unorthodox sounds. The instrumental "Tel-Star" was an international hit, and his designs for recording devices are still in use today."
In 2010, TMBG released a YouTube video for the song that was "A collage slideshow video dedicated to Joe Meek, the worlds great photographers, and all the dystopian modernists."