Talk:Dial-A-Song (2015)

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Amazon preorders[edit | edit source]

New track names are up on Amazon again. Hmm. -- Sonderling (talk) 13:45, 6 February 2015 (EST)

I might be setting myself up for disappointment yet again, but I really hope Answer is No Answer, just with the "no" dropped. Also, the other track title ("I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar") really amuses me. Akagi (talk) 17:00, 8 February 2015 (EST)
Answer is going to be nearly a minute longer than No Answer. Dunno if that means anything. Lesbian Bar looks to be another cover of a Jonathan Richman song. -- Sonderling (talk) 18:05, 8 February 2015 (EST)

Release time[edit | edit source]

When exactly do we get the tracks to download? It says we get it on the 23rd, but here we are 7:24pm EST and I can watch the YouTube video but I can't download it. Is it always going to be shaky exactly when during the day we get the releases?--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 19:25, 23 February 2015 (EST)

For me, it usually is around 11:30 PM Pacific Time that the files become downloadable from Drip. ~ veggieman 20:18, 23 February 2015 (EST)
They've been scheduled for 1 AM ET (10 PM PT) every week thus far, with the email usually coming a couple of minutes later. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 23:36, 23 February 2015 (EST)

Quarterly report[edit | edit source]

Now that we're 13 weeks (one quarter) into Dial-A-Song Direct, I think it might be a good time to throw my voice in with the hordes of others who have critiqued the songs posted thus far, both here and on the page.

One of the most interesting aspects of Dial-A-Song Direct is its unveiling of material week by week, which is of course very different from the way most of us have consumed rock/pop music over the last 50 years - the album form. It's an ambitious and potentially risky way to release music. The album format allows for a bit more leeway in analyzing individual songs; they do not need to stand up on their own, so potentially weaker songs can still find their place within the context of an album. Few albums in history are consistent and perfect all the way through, but take lesser songs out of these great records and they may lose something from that. The trouble in releasing each song individually is that each song is not only expected to stand up to all the other songs in the series, but to basically every song in the band's catalogue.

I like to think of the songs as part of DASD as being part of something bigger - a huge 52-song triple album or something - that we as the listener get to hear unfold. Now that there are 13 extant songs, the bigger picture is starting to form and I, for one, am generally happy with what I'm seeing. I'll admit that I'm giving them a little leeway, considering how few triple albums are out there and how inconsistent most have been (the only ones I can think of are "All Things Must Pass," Joe's Garage," Sandinista," The Seer," and To Be Kind," and really only the latter two are consistent all the way through), but all in all, a good showing so far.

One consistency throughout thus far has been the quality of Flansburgh's work. "Music Jail" - which sounds like a sequel to career highlight "The Darlings of Lumberland" - and "Operation" are the two best songs of the whole bunch, and his other contributions have also been creative and catchy. It's nice to see him pushing himself sonically and trying to find new musical modes. Linnell's work has been a little shakier, although the refreshingly psychedelic "Unpronounceable" and to a lesser extent, "Underwater Woman" and "Erase" are all strong points. Even some songs that may sound weak on their own, like "Madam" and "I Can Help the Next in Line," have interesting concepts and are the kinds of songs that could work well in the context of a proper album.

The biggest disappointment, weirdly enough, is Glean's single, "Answer," which I find to be one of the least impressive songs that Linnell has written, a by-the-numbers, generic power popper that he very well could've written in his sleep. Even the bridge is a snooze. It's a shame that this is the single, given that it could potentially turn off new listeners to the far more creative work that lies past it, but ah well. One real dud so far ain't too bad.

And on the whole, it's great to see the band in full swing again, aiming for 52 new songs in a year and having the results be pretty successful so far. It's even hard to tell how Glean is going to fare given that we still haven't heard a quarter of the record, nor will it be easy to predict how the rest of the year goes. I wonder if the kids songs will be a part of DASD, and I kind of hope they aren't, but beggars can't be choosers. TMBG are still thinking forwardly, experimenting with song structures and technology as they always have, and are still proving to be one of the most successfully prolific bands out there.

Anyway, just one dude's opinion.-- adamspektor (talk) 16:20, 2 April 2015 (EST)

Great review. I'd be a bit harsher on Linnell, whose had his weakest album, perhaps ever. He seems to have hit something of a wall. Flans stuff is better, but patchy too. There are three or four of the songs on Glean that I am regularly listening too. (Mr Tuck)

A little late on part two of this whole thing, but weeks 14-26 sure are a helluva mixed bag. You get some truly well-constructed stuff like "All the Lazy Boyfriends," "Ecnalubma" and "Impossibly New" (which I think may be the sleeper track of the year, I dunno) right alongside some real middling stuff like "Sold My Mind to the Kremlin" and a rehash of "And Mom and Kid" and some potentially great, but poorly mixed cover tunes. Whatever, there's still a whole other half of the year, and hopefully the best is yet to come. With the band busy touring throughout this part of the year, it was to be expected that there be some sort of slump in the project. Who knows what's down the pike. And swap "And Mom and Kid" for the lovely "Whole Lotta Glean" and you break even.-- adamspektor (talk)

Future Releases[edit | edit source]

If anyone feels like snooping around, one can put together a schedule of future releases. Flans said in a recent interview that they have to schedule with iTunes a few weeks in advance, so these listings probably have something to do with that:

next three weeks:

4-14-15: Thinking Machine 4-21-15: All the Lazy Boyfriends 4-28-15: Impossibly New


I'm actually pleasantly surprised that we won't have been given all of Glean before the release date.

Update - a few more weeks have been listed:

Glean 5/5/15 Ecnalubma 5/12/15 Starry Eyes 5/19/15 Aaa 5/26/15

Not tremendously excited that Glean and Aaa are being released post-album on DASD.

Well... at least 3 out of the next 5 weeks will be new! ~ veggieman 02:41, 22 April 2015 (EDT)

More new ones are up!

I Haven't Seen You in Forever 8/4/15 Omnicorn(??) (cannot read whole title) 8/11/15 Another Weirdo 8/18/15 Made a Mess 8/25/15

Looks like a bunch of possible kids coming in the next wave...

Bonus Track Numbers[edit | edit source]

I propose reducing all of the track numbers in the bonus section to align with the numbers on the site (e.g. is Name)

That's only because they start at 0 ( ). This is true also of the main tracks. ~ veggieman 19:36, 15 April 2015 (EDT)

Bonus tracks or not[edit | edit source]

Maybe we should just stop trying to predict the bonus tracks? The accuracy rate isn't so good anymore. --Sonderling (talk) 11:56, 18 April 2015 (EDT)

Maybe they realized everyone was upset that practically everything they were giving us was stuff that was previously available elsewhere and gave up. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 08:35, 19 April 2015 (EDT)

Funny. You know, I appreciate the bonus tracks, when they are interesting or stuff that was previously in lower quality. However, I almost laughed out loud with frustration when we got our fourth or fifth download of "Vote or Don't". I wish they'd put that one to rest. I predict we'll get "Edison Museum" next.

I signed up primarily in the interest of bonus tracks, so it's a bit of a bummer that they haven't been added regularly. Even more side project tracks, such as their TV/commercial work, would be great. It's been over two months since the last round of bonus tracks and those were both tracks from TMBG Unlimited. --thevince (talk) 24 Sept 2015

Album Footnotes[edit | edit source]

Should we set up some sort of footnote to list what songs ultimately end up on which album? It might be for interesting mapping, especially in the future, seeing as Glean isn't only the first third of dial-a-song, there's been some juggling of tracks and whatnot. - Rev. Syung Myung Me (talk) 02:55, 19 April 2015 (EDT)

Eh, I think it'll be easy enough for people to just look at the song pages and see what release stuff is listed as being on. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 08:38, 19 April 2015 (EDT)
So making it easier by gathering that information would be wrong how?--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 18:20, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
I was coming to suggest that exact same thing. I think it'd be nice to have a quick view like that, probably more to see which tracks aren't on a release. -Joltman (talk) 08:33, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
But they are all going to be on a release--at least, from what we understand. The ones that don't end up on Glean or the children's album are going to be compiled on something else at the end of the year. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 08:44, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
But has it actually been said anywhere that *all* songs are going to be collected? Regardless, I think it's a good addition to note which release the songs are on. -Joltman (talk) 08:55, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
Flans has confirmed that there will be "a big Dial-A-Song box set as well as a bunch of other stand-alone release[s]". Neato! --MisterMe (talk) 10:47, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
Wow, that was a quick answer! Although it kind of takes away from the specialness of this project if none of the songs are exclusive. I might not even bother downloading anymore tracks, besides the bonus ones. Although maybe I should in case one or two get lost in the shuffle. -Joltman (talk) 10:52, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
Ah, and that is fair enough since they will ALL be collected. Since we had a few that weren't on Glean, I was thinking that might be interesting, especially if anything DOES get lost in the shuffle. But since Flans confirmed not just the stand-alone releases but a DAS box and whatnot, it kinda makes sense. - Rev. Syung Myung Me (talk) 20:36, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
It's a safe bet that questions answered on TMBGareOK without the preceding "JF:" are written by Crash, not Flans. -TDK (talk) 00:03, 21 April 2015 (EDT)


I don't think that's necessarily true. There have been times he's answered things without that that are about very specific things that only he could answer, and I asked him something once where he said Crash is only queuing stuff and that he's in charge of answering things. Anyway, why would an answer by Crash be any less valid? I would assume if he has the responsibility of answering questions he would also know what's going on. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 23:57, 20 April 2015 (EDT)
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that an answer from Crash is less valid or that Flans writes his initials every single time. -TDK (talk) 00:03, 21 April 2015 (EDT)

Same song on the phone line[edit | edit source]

I just called and heard I Can Help The Next In Line. Is this back on the line or has it not changed since March? — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 23:27, 11 May 2015 (EDT)

It's definitely been changing, sometimes even before the song goes up on Drip. But it's also been going up afterwards fairly often, sometimes as late as Tuesday afternoon (which is agonizing for me, because I'm insisting on waiting to listen to each song for the first time over the phone). No idea why it would be a song that went up so long ago rather than last week's right now though--that's odd. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 01:19, 12 May 2015 (EDT)
Maybe the operator got the idea to put that on as "hold music" while they set up the machines for the new song. I found Ecnalubma already playing this morning before 8am eastern, by the way, so maybe you did catch them putting it up last night. ~ magbatz 13:49, 12 May 2015 (EDT)

White Out[edit | edit source]

So I've been wondering. White Out is still listed as an upcoming song...but we already have a song that mentions the phrase multiple times. Am I the only one who thinks that maybe it was just the original title for All The Lazy Boyfriends? Warhammer Of Zillyhoo! (talk) 00:35, 17 November 2015 (EST)

That's pretty smart, and fits in with the chronology (tracking in November 2014, strings added January 2015). The only thing that makes me wonder is that flans has mentioned that he wrote ATLB with that specific title in mind, right? Like he came up with the title first and wrote the song around it. But you're probably right. -Deysian

I just asked. -Deysian
...And, you are correct. Was not expecting call-back to the "AKA Driver"/"Til My Head Falls Off" Lyrics effect! -Deysian
It occurred to me that I conflated origin stories and the song written 'title-first' was "I'm a Coward"... nonetheless, I'm glad we solved the mystery of "White Out"! -Deysian
Probably way late to the party here, but thanks a ton for confirming! :) Frankly, I think All The Lazy Boyfriends works better as a title for that specific song anyway, but that's just me. Either way, I'm glad we've solved that mystery too! Warhammer Of Zillyhoo! (talk) 02:09, 7 March 2016 (EST)

Songs not released elsewhere[edit | edit source]

Now that Phone Power is out, we are left with 9 songs only released through DAS Direct. These include two covers (Lesbian Bar and Starry Eyes), a show intro (No Cops), a short TV theme which had already been out for five years (And Mom And Kid), an instrumental (Another Weirdo), and two re-recorded old DAS tracks (Summer Breeze and Rock Club); and, curiously, Prepare and The Velvet Ape. Now I wonder, what made them deem these two songs, especially, not good enough for Phone Power? I really enjoyed Prepare, and though I am not very keen on Ape, many other fans were looking forward to its inclusion on PP. Strange. --Freakiosis (talk) 14:25, 8 March 2016 (EST)

Swap "And Mom and Kid" (released on Why?) for "College Town" and you've got it. As for why they were left off, I'm guessing it's because they only had around 45 minutes to work with to get the album to fit on a single LP (Phone Power on vinyl was part of IFC 2015), and those tracks just didn't make the cut since they wanted to include "I Wasn't Listening" and "Got Getting Up So Down". They've left great songs off other albums in the past for reasons like track flow and sounding too close to other tracks on the album. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 14:45, 8 March 2016 (EST)
Ah, yeah, I got a bit confused there. Sounds plausible. --Freakiosis (talk) 07:51, 10 March 2016 (EST)

I think we should somehow note which tracks are not featured on an album. I still like the idea of having it in the table, showing which album they were released on or if they weren't released on any. If we're not going to do that, we should at least just have a list of the songs not on an album -Joltman (talk) 08:33, 15 March 2016 (EDT)