Talk:Idlewild (Album)

From This Might Be A Wiki

precedent??[edit | edit source]

ant, i'd like to know what precedent. this has never happened before. the only marginal case is the dls lp, which should, in that case, be moved to match the naming convention used here. but even so, i'd like to know where this precedent is and why it was established; compilation is both more precise and more correct than album. Apollo (colloquia!) 17:03, 3 April 2014 (EDT)

i don't think i said there was a precedent for calling these things albums, i just meant that we don't have anything called "(compilation)". in the past we have generally let the album pages have the plain endings and given the parentheses to songs, and i would support doing so here as well if there is sufficient agreement. (incidentally, dls lp has been on my todo list for a couple months). -- 17:34, 3 April 2014 (EDT)
a move for "consistency" implies there being something we're being consistent with. Idlewild for the comp and Idlewild Recordings for the label? I could get behind that, but only if we changed all the links to the label to be pipeless. if a parenthetical note is used, i'd still vie for (compilation), and the same for dls. Apollo (colloquia!) 18:13, 3 April 2014 (EDT)
Two points on precedent: In the past, "(Album)" (and previously "The Album") was affixed to the title of most albums where there was an ambiguity conflict, but then at some point we decided in most cases for titles like No! to link straight to the album. So there has been something of an "(Album)" standard, although now it's weaker. And secondly, fun fact: Before it was moved to They Got Lost, that compilation album was They Got Lost (Rarities Compilation), although that's been the only instance of a "(Compilation)" on TMBW.
But I still prefer to generalness and obviousness of "(Album)" to "(Compilation)" for the sake of navigation. I think it's more practical to consider format/medium than the quality distinction between albums and compilations. IMO. (And yeah, according to this line of thinking the DLS LP should --> to DLS Album.) I also disagree with the idea of Idlewild linking to the compy over the song. While it's yet to be released, this compilation in my mind is basically a dime-a-dozen release, not serving much more purpose than to repackage and resell songs that are already widely available. Like, it doesn't seem as significant to TMBGalia as in the case of the TGL album "deserving" the page-title They Got Lost over TGL the song. ~ magbatz 04:20, 4 April 2014 (EDT)
parenthetical disambiguation between 2 things is absolutely silly and unnecessary, so i don't think the old (album)/(the album) convention is particularly valid or relevant. i did forget about the existence of the song "idlewild", so i withdraw my comment about using Idlewild for the comp. i'm still sticking with (compilation) over (album). imo, "album" could often be interpreted as what we here refer to as a studio album. i don't see why a compilation needs to have parenthetical disambig that aligns with, say, They Might Be Giants (Album). of course, the existence of the song also raises the concern of an emerging 3-way disambiguation, which is a slightly different matter, usually handled by an independent dab page (eg). that would be less than ideal, here. Apollo (colloquia!) 09:23, 4 April 2014 (EDT)

Dial-A-Song companion[edit | edit source]

It seems this is kind of a companion to Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, since it only features songs released after DAS was released, except for Certain People I Could Name, Words Are Like and Clap Your Hands, none of which were on DAS. -Joltman (talk) 07:58, 17 April 2014 (EDT)

Well, they did say right from the beginning that it was highlights from the last ten years, and since DAS was released twelve years ago, that's to be expected. (But yeh, those songs you mention are from a bit earlier, meaning they are LYING a bit.) --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2014 (EDT)
Yes, I consider it to be DAS disc 3. I know the press release said it's not a greatest hits collection, but it pretty much is aside from The Lady And The Tiger and Words Are Like. Maybe another or two, I dunno. I'm not great at judging what people's greatest hits are. Akagi (talk) 11:18, 19 April 2014 (EDT)
I might as well say it - To be honest, I'm still not quite sure who this is aimed at or which audience they're expecting to buy it. It's like a radio promo sampler but with a price sticker on it. A mainstream audience (a) can stream TMBG stuff for free online and (b) won't be aware this is a best-of anyway, and a fan audience already has everything, there isn't even one morsel thrown to us. It's just bizarre that this is being given a CD and a vinyl and promotion when there's so much commercially unreleased/unavailable stuff (Idlewild-owned) to exploit instead. It's not even cross-promoting anything else. As the CD market shifts solidly from the default format for music to a bells-and-whistles, who-can-have-the-fanciest-fan-pleasing-package collectors-and-older-people-only format, they offer this random relic from the days of K-Tel. Anyone else in this day and age would have done a limited edition version, maybe with a disc 2, or fancy packaging with a photo book thingy etc. User's Guide is the budget-priced garage forecourt everyman TMBG CD, Dial-A-Song the lavishly-packaged introduction that even fans all bought, the Disney stuff is now all mid-price for the parent audience, and the streaming sites/YouTube are there for the uninitiated. This is... an impoverished black lump. TMBG were never really a 'now buy this AGAIN!' act like some, but eventually here we are. I agree that it basically forms a disc 3 of Dial-A-Song (at least in terms of Linnell's contributions, Flans's choices are odd), but it's not being packaged/marketed/promoted as such so might as *well* be rarities and archive morsels for the diehards. It doesn't even cover that many releases - for used prices it wouldn't cost that much to get all nine CDs harvested here. Please enlighten me as to why this is a thing. ~SirDarrell
i completely agree. all i can think of is that they're just being lazy and mooching off their "cult-like" fanbase (i mean, i plan to buy the damn thing, even though i can hardly justify it to myself), but i'd really prefer a better explanation. some of the song choices are absolutely bizarre, and this is hardly a good representation of what the band's been up to the past decade. too bad the pretty artwork and title got used up on something so lackluster. maybe the LP will be mastered well enough to make the vinyl more exciting. Apollo (colloquia!) 15:54, 28 April 2014 (EDT)
Yeah, I can definitely get behind why it might be a cute acquisition for vinyl collectors, but even then it's for the object rather than the sonics, which will surely be CD/DAT sourced anyway. And the vinyl is only one part of the release obviously. But I continue to be concerned by the tin-rattling direction TMBG are going in, when not five years ago they were still a joyously freaky, lots-of-free-stuff love train with the utmost humility and dignity. Ultimately, I still fail to see why this wasn't a nice little harvesting of previously-unreleased-on-CD Unlimited/podcast/rarity tracks. It'd certainly sell more. That great UK label doing the special-edition Elektra box sets at Christmas has further embarrassed this affair. And I agree wholeheartedly that it's a waste of a gorgeous cover! ~SirDarrell
I agree with much of the above: I don't really see where the audience for this is. We all own the tunes. Possible things that would interest me:

1. Remastered Giants Albums (complete with proper booklets about the recording of the albums) 2. Outtakes and unreleased stuff of which there is a tonne. All of us would buy it. 3. The They Might Be Giants Unlimited thing they did before Mink Car. Lots of those songs are hard to get and I haven't got them 4. I would love to hear some of the songs from the aborted State Songs II album from Linnell (if they exist). For my money State Songs is second only to Lincoln. I love it. 5. I'd also love the Johns to release an album with just the two of them playing their songs in session. Linnell just playing accordian. Back in the late 80s early 90s I had some songs they did for a UK DJ called Andy Kershaw on a tape (long since lost) I'd love to hear that again. There was a lovely version of Where your Eyes don't go. People forget, but when there were just the two of them the live versions of the tunes were so different. I'm with Bill Krauss they lost something when they had the group. (Mr Tuck)

The Andy Kershaw session of Where Your Eyes Don't Go is actually on one of the podcasts in decent quality, and in a mad coincidence I was listening to that track this morning. I cleaned it up for a homemade compilation I did a while back, one of a few I've had to make homebrew in lieu of the opportunity to pay for any real ones! One of these is was 'Podcast-ay: Cast Your Pod To The Wind II', now quite out of date but which still features 80 minutes of unique songs that aren't on 'Idlewild'. I also did 'We Love All The Demos' - of alternate/demo/session/remix stuff from the podcast, 'Off Limits' - a personal best-of compilation of the Unlimited/Clock Radio material, plus I did the obligatory 2CD studio rarities set, a Hello compilation, a nice remaster of the MITM bootleg plus McSweeneys to fill it out... I'm sure everyone here has loads of little projects and funny CDRs just the same, and never forget that most of the stuff on them is held by rights to Idlewild Recordings. When the fans are doing a better job than the real thing, there's a problem. (See great big arrow pointing to "Records, Apple".) Y'know, Long Tall Weekend hasn't ever been given a commercial CD release - even THAT would have sold if they wanted a zero-effort cash-builder. Glad it's not just me though resolutely baffled by this thing. I'm ranty and strong-willed at the best of times, and I got the feeling I was in the minority by being so vehemently opposed to the idea of the IFC (and everything it stands for), but even the wider fan community at large is scratching their heads this time! The other point you make is perhaps a different argument for a different day but I'm broadly sympathetic to your concerns about the way their live sound went (my personal bonnet-bee is their current over-reliance on too many cheap pedal/distortion effects and Autotune/Melodyne on everything they ever record in the studio these days. Even that J Coulton album Flans did was drowning in it). It's a very difficult situation - I've been a fan a long time and have everything, and recent events are the first signal I've ever had to start viewing TMBG as an operation that is perhaps winding down. It never really occurred to me, in the bloom of their second internet boom (mid Spine, Else, Venue Songs, live downloads, Disney albums, more podcasts and freebies than you could eat, and the wider community sharing everything you couldn't get any other way), that this all wouldn't stay in this shape forever. Time is marching on, as they say. ~ SirDarrell
there are a lot of things i could say on the topic of this album but for now i'll just do one of them: honestly, despite their claims to the contrary, i feel like this is a functional "greatest hits" (greatest hits vol. 2, to be precise). i assume this thing is aimed at the (very) casual fan who is interested in getting an overview what they sound like recently (i.e. the past decade or so). most of the tracks here have either been de facto singles or received single-like treatment (individual promotion, a video, etc.) and of the few that aren't, a good number are staples of their live sets (e.g. damn good times, clap your hands). the only one i am surprised about is words are like, but it's a delightful surprise because i think that song is terribly underrated. -- 16:16, 1 May 2014 (EDT)
My point is - how is a very casual fan going to know (a) this exists, and (b) that it is indeed a recent greatest hits? The fans know that it's a jumble of stuff they've already got, and they're seemingly the sole audience this is being marketed to. I think I'm right that in this day and age, very casual fans of things tend to download single tracks or stream stuff anyway, whether legally or otherwise. Certainly the era of greatest hits CDs for contemporary alt/indie/rock artists actually selling has long passed, that's resolutely one part of the CD market that has been lost to new technology. Besides, Flans seems to have gone out of his way to stress that this is *not* a greatest hits, for reasons best known to himself. I can only conclude that it's ultimately aimed at TMBG completists, and as such that it's exploitation of a fanbase of the baldest kind. ~SirDarrell


To be fair to the Giants they are still producing far better tunes than most acts 30 years in. I would like a John only Giants album. I agree with SirDarrell to some extent. The band dynamic at times knocks out what was so original about them. My only other complaint is the self indulgence part. The sock puppets; crap covers and the never funny planet of the apes stuff ruined the last London gig I saw. They have so many decent tunes why mess about? Plus lengthy Istanbul workouts! No! (Mr tuck)

Maybe it's just my anal retentiveness, but I'm quite psyched for this release because a) Damn Good Times will mostly likely not have the applause that spills over from Au Contraire on The Spine, making it better for listening on shuffle, and b) the silences at the end of each track will be different from their original releases to segue specifically into the following tracks on Idlewild, an effect that cannot be duplicated by simply compiling the tracklisting yourself from other places (well technically you could edit the silences yourself via Audacity or whatever, but... shut up). Track flow is very important to me. Akagi (talk) 14:02, 10 May 2014 (EDT)

hey, good point on damn good times. admittedly i have assumed that before, only to learn that it starts mid-applause. presumably, however, for this they're gonna do it properly. -- 14:09, 10 May 2014 (EDT)
The Venue Songs DVD has the applause too - I'd be very surprised if suddenly now it's a clean mix. If it is, I'll eat just a couple of my words and buy the single track as an MP3. But I really don't think it will be - their archiving appears to be haphazard at best. And as for getting into a world where people are buying this for the different silences between the tracks... that's perhaps definitive proof that there is not even a shard of bone on this for fans. ~SirDarrell
Everybody likes different things, I guess. I've always loved TMBG covers and Planet of the Apes stuff, etc. I'm probably not buying this album, but it's the kind of album I would buy if I were a casual listener. I still buy greatest hits albums by bands I've been meaning to check out, especially if I find them for cheap.
As for unreleased stuff that we think would sell better/wish were available, I still wonder if we'd get any results if we petitioned the band to release all of the unreleased music from all of their TV and movie projects (Malcolm, Daily Show, Brave New World, Oblongs, Play-Doh, Cartoon Network, Dunkin' Donuts, etc.), even if it's just a digital compilation. What do you guys think? Drew (talk) 03:59, 19 May 2014 (EDT)

I listed all the earlier stuff I'd like to hear, but there were a few different (better) versions of Mink Car tunes before they were overproduced. There's a version of Cyclops Rock with Nixon instead of Chucky. The chuck lyric ruins it for so Nixon's the one! Just release it. It'll all come out eventually I guess! (Mr Tuck)


Damn Good Times does have the applause, by the way. So that pretty much illustrates how much effort's been put into this. ~SirDarrell
yeah, that is highly disappointing. -- 10:50, 24 May 2014 (EDT)
Well, at least you still have the free demo version, before they WRECKED it in the big fancy recording studio! ;) Drew (talk) 03:10, 25 May 2014 (EDT)