Mailing List Archive/2012-07-18
at the Music Hall of Williamsburg!
These three shows are designed to deliver
satisfaction to both audience members returning
night after night, and folks just coming out to one show!
Tickets on sale this Friday 7/20!
you attempt to wake us until we have eaten all the eclairs.
The pre-historic Williamsburg Show
One side of Lincoln, one side of Flood
and a whole lot of everything else.
The Historic Williamsburg Show
Another side of Lincoln, another side of Flood
and a whole lot of different everything else.
Damn it, it's New Year's Eve!
Join They Might Be Giants as 2013 rings in!
TMBG will be playing at midnight for 100% merriment.
Feel the joy!
It's They Might Be Giants' International Twitter/Tumblr Challenge!
This is the video that explains this project:
TMBG NEEDS YOU! They Might Be Giants and director Emily Oberman of Pentagram NY
are creating a brand new video for the new extended version of ALPHABET OF NATIONS
coming out on TMBG's deluxe edition of No! We are crowd sourcing images from around the
world to be included in it! Post your photos on TWITTER with the hashtag #TMBGnation
or submit on TUMBLR at http://tmbgnation.tumblr.com/
Please include the name of your country! The deadline is ASAP!
We are requesting THREE PHOTOS be posted to Instagram from people from,
or hailing from, these specific countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Azerbaijan,
Bolivia, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, China, Denmark, Dominica,
Egypt, Ecuador, Fiji, France, the Gambia, Guatemala, Hungary, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan,
Libya, Mongolia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Suriname,
Turkey, Uruguay, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
A PORTRAIT OF YOUR FACE
It's all about your face (or your child's or friend's face)
with a BIG SMILE. Native garb always welcome!
A PHOTO OF YOU AND YOUR FLAG
A small (or big) FLAG of your nation squarely
in front of you (or your child or friend)!
A PHOTO EXPRESSING YOUR CULTURE
A pic of traditional clothing, craft or crop, maybe with someone pointing
to your country on a map. It should celebrate your culture!
BONUS CHALLENGE: AN ACTION PHOTO!
An action photo! A photo of you (or your child or friend) jumping, in a karate pose,
piggyback riding, making a peace symbol, or somehow celebrating YOURSELF!
IF YOU ARE FROM A COUNTRY NOT ON THE LIST but still want to participate
please post a photo with the NAME of your country clearly in it!
And make a note in the comment on Twitter or Tumblr so we get it right!
We are happy to announce a special tenth anniversay edition of No! has been released
on iTunes at http://bit.ly/KQ1XuK
at Amazon http://amzn.to/L85GgP
or get it direct from the band on mp3 of FLAC at
For everyone outside of the U.S. & Canada, download on iTunes here: http://bit.ly/MQipXU
The package includes seven bonus tracks--
six blazingly awesome live recordings of live No! material from the now out-of-print "Almanac"
set and there is a brand new recording of Alphabet of Nations--finally
including the full length arrangement we have been performing for so many years.
And the first 144 customers who purchase a No! t-shirt and a
No! download at http://merchdirect.com/theymightbegiants
get a brand new TOOTHBRUSH with the words THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
beautifully etched into the handle.
A must for the hygenically-minded TMBG fan.
John Linnell and John Flansburgh explain the No! album song by song....
Fibber Island is a traditional song written as a national anthem during the
Island's tumultuous drive for independence from the US in the 1960s.
Located directly to the east of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Fibber Island
has been a vacation destination for CIA and retiring black ops agents for years,
but when they moved to become their own nation-state,
the Island was "disappeared" by Lyndon Johnson and the FBI.
FOUR OF TWO
There really was a clock frozen at 1:56 at that address, just south of the Flatiron Building
in New York. You can find it in old photos. Or are they old?
Maybe the photos don't age when time itself has stopped.
Robot Parade is based on a traditional melody sung by robots before robot uprisings
and unicorn battles, but because a lot of the lyrics of the original songs are actually
explicitly anti-unicorn it seemed inappropriate for kids--especially girls going through a unicorn/princess phase.
How amusing it is, amidst the comforts of middle age, for us to look back on this
raw expression of our youthful negativity. All the world was ripe for negating,
every "yea" an irresistible challenge for us to countermand with a blunt "nay"!
Never content with merely begging to differ, or agreeing to disagree,
we charged headlong against the positivists.
WHERE DO THEY MAKE BALLOONS
Where Do They Make Balloons? was written by They Might Be Giants' beloved bass player
Danny Weinkauf, who has contributed songs to most of our kids projects. He is a huge pop music fan,
and his Paul McCartneymania fuses with his Brian Wilsonogomy nicely in this track.
IN THE MIDDLE, IN THE MIDDLE, IN THE MIDDLE
Not to be confused with TMBG's "Boss of Me" theme from Malcolm in the Middle,
this song was originally written by the late, great Vic Mizzy (The Addams Family theme,
Green Acres theme) and recorded for a public service announcement in New York state in the 1960s.
Here it is sung by New York state citizen Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser.
This started out as a Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, and then it went seriously off the rails.
We were subsequently very impressed when a kid showed us a T-shirt he had made that
illustrated the "George Washington's head" verse with quarters gradually adding up to a dollar.
Everything started making sense after that.
JOHN LEE SUPERTASTER
A supertaster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average.
The cause of this heightened response is currently unknown, although it is thought to be, at least in part,
due to an increased number of fungiform papillae. John Lee is a real person and a real live supertaster.
John Lee is a writer and producer of many illustrious television programs including MTVs Wonder Showzen, Adult Swim's
Xavier: Renegade Angel and Snoop Dogg's Doggie FizzleTelevizzle.
THE EDISON MUSEUM
Nick Hill plays an instrument called the vibraband on this track. It's a piece of rubber
that is stretched across the lips and blown through. You can hear it underneath his
singing on the second verse. It sounds kind of like the voice on the other end of the
telephone in an old time radio show. The Edison Museum in West Orange, New Jersey
is sometimes open to the public and has lots of cool stuff in it,
including the wax cylinder recording equipment on which we recorded a scratchier version of this song.
THE HOUSE AT THE TOP OF THE TREE
We were once attacked by a house cat that was driven insane
by the crinkling sound of our potato chip bag. The bag was made of some kind of super strong plastic foil and the
top was so well glued together that no amount of effort could get it open. After many minutes of trying to tear it open
with our bare hands we looked up to see the cat entering the room with its fur standing on end and its pupils
wildly dilated. It looked so weird we didn't know it was our cat at first.
We were still trying to process what was going on when the cat jumped into the air
and slashed open the bag, spilling out all the chips. Then it started coming after
Flansburgh, who defended himself with a rolled up bamboo curtain.
That cat wanted us dead. However, we survived and were inspired to write this song.
For poetic reasons the cat was changed to a mouse.
CLAP YOUR HANDS
We hate to be so bossy, but this is for your own good.
I AM NOT YOUR BROOM
This is why we hate being bossy. We would rather not be on the wrong side
of the revolution when the brooms finally decide to revolt.
WAKE UP CALL
This track was originally heard on Malcolm in the Middle, and has occasionally
been walk on music for TMBG live show. The vocals are actually
self-sampled single notes and replayed on a keyboard.
I AM A GROCERY BAG
Juices, muffins, pasta, cheese, milk, biscuits, cocktail sauce, salsa, pickles,
organic grains, fresh coffee, bagels, pudding, soap, baby formula and ham.
LAZYHEAD AND SLEEPYBONES
Inspired by the relaxed grooves of The Band, we lay all the way back
on the couch to capture this '70's folk-rock vibe.
Dan Miller had his eyes almost completely closed as he delivered some highly mellow slide guitar, while
Dan Hickey created a thick drum and percussion bed in which to crash.
BED BED BED
When you get old enough it's fun to stay up late.
Then when you're a teenager it's fun to stay up the whole night,
and everything you and your friends talk about sounds more and more profound
until you finally fall asleep in the bathtub or with your head in a wastebasket.
Eventually you reach the age when going to bed at bedtime
and falling asleep is one of the most exalted and prized activities imaginable.
Somewhere, someone once said that you shouldn't wake someone up when they're sleepwalking.
The shock could kill them! It sounds a little fishy now, like maybe it was just a pretext for some bad
sitcom writing. In Buenos Aires there is a nice pastry shop called "The Sleepwalker"
with a logo of a woman walking slowly down a staircase with her eyes closed
and her arms extended in front of her, presumably heading towards some delicious eclairs.
If you ever see us doing that BY NO MEANS should