Talk:The Else

From This Might Be A Wiki

For discussion of the album prior to its promo release, see Talk:The Else/Archived Discussion.

For the "TMBG's Mysterious Next Album" page of votes and speculation, see Talk:The Else/Speculation.


Accordion[edit | edit source]

I've only listened through the album twice, and I can't say I've been especially looking out for it, but I haven't detected the use of accordion anywhere on The Else. (Well, there's something going on in With The Dark that could be, but my guess is that it's just synths.) And according to the page with a list of songs featuring the accordion, this seems to be the first album (or the only full-length-er, at least) that doesn't have it. Would this be "trivia/info"-worthy? ~ magbatz 22:38, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we should put it up until the album is released, since the accordion may have just gotten buried in the background mix, like it is in songs like Thermostat. One thing that I think is definitely "trivia/info"-worthy is the fact that this is the first full-length album in which all songs are longer than 2 minutes. This is especially notable for a band that's known for writing short songs.
I want to point out that the 2-minute distinction does not apply to the bonus disc, but I imagine that was assumed. (User:Stalefries, too lazy to log in)
I believe I hear the accordion by the last chorus in "I'm Impressed"...can anyone confirm?
Not sure, but I'm starting to think there's a accordion being played chordly in the left channel on Contrecoup. (Maybe?) -J2

The absence of the accordion on many of the new songs is a mistake as I think it's organic sound gives the Giants something. The Else has too much electronica on it and must be one of the least varied albums they've put out. As readers of the site will know I favour Linnell over Flans, but apart from I'm Impressed this is a real under par album from him. The Else is my least favourite of all their albums (and I include the kids ones). (Mr Tuck)

Cryptical[edit | edit source]

Of course TMBG's known for their often cryptic, dare-I-say-quirky lyrics, but does anyone else feel that most of this album's lyrics, save for a song or two, are really super "out there"? Almost to the point of being awkwardly uninterpretable? Is it just me? -CapitalQtalk ♪ 21:42, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that most of them seem very nonsensical. But I'm worried that the underlying meaning or irony really isn't all that clever and it's just unnecessarily cryptic just to make it seem better than it is. I'm rooting for the opposite, but that idea still haunts me with every listen. --Droffats 00:30, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I dread the day where TMBG's lyrics aren't what they used to be. I believe I'll learn to like this batch, but it'll take a lot to get used to. Maybe that's what we all need to think.
Oh well. I'm still curious to hear this stuff. --Lemita 01:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I haven't gotten around to reading all the new lyrics yet, but I'm sure it's just a new lyric/sound that you guys will end up loving because it's so cryptical, no worries. Just one of those fear of change things Jade
I haven't really studied all the lyrics yet, but from what I've read, they seem to fall in line with what I expected. There are plenty of TMBG songs that I *STILL* don't understand. I actually prefer songs with no obvious meaning-- they get old too fast for me otherwise. On the last album, I was getting worried that the Johns were trying too hard to be "out there". Wearing a Raincoat felt particularly forced, especially the bit about the lake of the undead. This album appears to be more naturally "odd". In the past, there were songs that required many, many listens before a meaning became clear. I anticipate the same to be true with The Else. This is part of the beautiful genius of TMBG. On the other hand, I think some songs (Take Out the Trash, e.g.) are staggeringly NON-cryptic. --Semprini
I think you might be right. :) I haven't heard any of the songs (*flinches in anticipation of being scolded because some songs have been realeased already*), so I guess I'll have to just listen and become more aquainted with the new lyrics... if that's what you'd call them... :D Nontheless, I'm still excited about The Else! --Lemita 21:50, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Single?[edit | edit source]

So, what do you figure the first single would likely be on this album? TV's Kyle

My guess is Trash. It has that pop sensibility and is safe enough for people not to be weirded out by (though I don't really think that those are good criteria for a single...). Plus, it was released as an MP3 on some website before promo copies of the CD were let out, which might mean They were testing it out. ~ magbatz 06:33, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Trash is poppish, but too retro pop probably. Contrecoup may have lyrics that are pretty "out there" sounding, but hey, so do all of TMBG's biggest hits, I think it's the most friendly-sounding and possible to please the general public. –Gunhaver

release tomorrow[edit | edit source]

the else is going to be the first album I ever got on iTunes, so I have a question. Is it available exactly at midnight? Or is there some sort of designated time? Just wondering if I should stay up or not. Jade

If I had to guess, I'd probably assume midnight Pacific Time (3am EDT). They might not update at midnight, though...Hm. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 23:58, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
well, thanks. Maybe I'll set my alarm early so I can try to get it on my mp3 player before school. :D I have been waiting for this for so long, everyone else already seems to have a bootlegged copy. Jade
Just to confirm, I've seen the iTunes store update at 3am eastern time (7am universal/Greenwich), so yes, that most likely will be when you can download The Else. ~ magbatz 01:47, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Odd that iTunes updated at midnight, EST. -Ecks

Bonus disc...[edit | edit source]

Kind of a strange question, but I'm just wondering how this bonus disk is going to work. Is it going to be included with The Else in some sort of double-disc jewel case, or is it just going to be like, you buy The Else, and get another CD free, in a separate casing? And if it's the latter, how exactly would that work with buying it in actual non-online stores? Forgive me if this is a stupid question; I know absolutely nothing about the music industry. XD Akagi 02:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

It will most likely be in a double-CD case. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 02:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have a clue or would like to take some educated guesses of what might be included on the bonus disk? Turtle Songs? A studio version of Yellow Submarine? Please may there be a longer version of Why Did you Grow a Beard.

I think there'll be We Live In A Dump(They said they would), Why Did You Grow A Beard?, I'm Your Boyfriend Now, Employee Of The Month(maybe... it's been everywhere recently), Sensurround(one of the versions)(probably not, but I wish They would), and some other songs I might not recognize or think of. As well as some stuff we haven't heard(maybe). Or at least new versions. I don't think They'd do Turtle Songs; wasn't it on some other podcast album or something? And keep in mind that I am often wrong.-curious and questioning (t) 04:52, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
They'll definitely include Dump and Beard, and a few other podcast favorites (possibly Diving Board, Mexican Drill, Name, Employee of the Month, Sketchy, Vestibule, Microphone, Miniature Sidewalk Whirlwind, HOMUNCULUS, or others that were released on individual mp3's or on Podcast Highlights. Then I'm guessing there will be a few album rejects never shown to the world, and maybe one older song that fell through the cracks though probably not, rounded off with some demos or alternate takes/versions of the album tracks. That's my guess. ~ magbatz 05:27, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm waiting for the CD to come out, because of the bonus disc. I found a leaked version of this album, which is good for now, but I'm not gonna pay anything until I can get the CD. --Nate 17:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm personally hoping for some Myspace/Free Tunes/Podcast tracks, like Homonculus, Name, Vestibule, Employee of the Month, Diving Board, I Enjoy Being a Boy, etc, although I doubt the latter two will appear because they were already on Podcast Highlights. And I know for sure I'm Your Boyfriend Now and Sensurround won't appear, because they're older songs, from 2001 and 1996, respectively. So there's that. Akagi 21:24, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't rule off anything from Podcast Highlights, since that CD was never released to fans; it was just a disc designed to get reviewers to promote the podcast. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 21:26, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

23 tracks? Glory, glory hallelujah!! LitMatch 18:07, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

It's here![edit | edit source]

And it is absolutely great! --Wetreplies 04:40, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Typically, it didn't get a UK release, and as such I can't have it. :( -- MooseBlaster 12:19, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

First Impressions?[edit | edit source]

What is everyone's first impressions of the album? I agree with Flans, all killer, no filler! This is shaping up to be an excellent album. --Rob

Very cohesive, and feels retro. I think they were digesting all of those 70's kids records ("I Enjoy Being A Boy") and this is the trippy result. I love it. Also, does anyone else get the feeling that "The Cap'm" is the final evolution of "I'm Your Boyfriend Now?" It took me a couple of listens to figure out why it was reminding me of something. It hit me that the chords, vibe, and certain melodic hooks are very related to that old demo (I never thought the song would arrive close to that version anyhow). Thoughts? --Kevan

Yeah, I it seems like a lot of the new material has evolved from rarities. I like the Puppets Gonna Fuck You Up melody in the middle of With the Dark! My feeling so far is that this is one fantastic album.--Wetreplies 13:49, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The new Contrecoup is awesome! Way to go, Johns!--tehbagel ( o ) 06:59, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm planning on waiting out for the real release with the bonus disk, but do the iTunes previews give a good idea of what the songs are like? Because personally, I heard them and am I little turned off by the unbreakthroughness. Can someone who's bought the whole thing tell please tell me how I'm wrong? ~Gunhaver

The only songs that aren't done justice by the previews in my opinion are "With The Dark" (which completely changes about 6 times during the full version) and "The Cap'm" (since the preview doesn't have any of the crowd noise). The only thing i can tell is to give it a try. I wasn't blown away the first time i heard several of the songs, but now the album as a whole has really grown on me. --Duke33 10:45, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a fantastic album, but it's certainly a grower. Much moreso than TMBG's other efforts. From what I'm hearing around, the general consensus is "best since Factory Showroom." So far the only person I know who's really opposed to it is liam, but he (literally) hates everything. :) -CapitalQtalk ♪ 11:09, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Did anyone besides me find The Else to be more much more guitar driven, and a lot less keyboard driven than any other They Might Be Giants release?--Dan 16:38, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I dunno, John Henry was pretty guitar-driven. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 18:31, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I hope this album is like Apollo 18 for me - You need to listen to it for a dozen times before it clicks (did anybody else feel this, especially on A18 tracks like "Hall of Heads" and "Narrow Your Eyes"?). After my first complete listen through, there are some standout good songs like "Take Out The Trash", "The Cap'm", "Bee of the Bird" and "Contrecoup". Then there are some just alright songs like "Withered Hope" and "Upside Down Frown". Then there are some songs that I just don't get like "With The Dark". -AtionSong 22:14, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Mm, personally I wasn't sure about 'Withered Hope' at first. It kind of weirded me out. Now suddenly it's my favourite thing on the album, and I can't explain it. Other high points for me are Bee of the Bird, The Cap'm and The absolutelybrilliant Mesopotamians. The only songs which have failed to grow on me are The Shadow Government which seems to me to be superfluous; too much like some other songs on the album, only not as good. And Feign Amnesia, which I just find really annoying. I had the same problem with Prevenge off The Spine. But anyway, that still leaves 11 songs which I consider 'decent' or better and several of those are corkin' great. I agree with the comments about it being a grower -P.S.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. I've listened to the whole thing once, and it was kind of a disappointment. Some of it reminded me a lot of Linkin Park (mostly the drums, but a bit of the actual music, too), which was definitely not what I expected, and not what I'd want in a TMBG album. Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth is still good, thankfully. Upside Down Frown and Climbing The Walls are good, and the new Contrecoup is good as well. Heck, most of the Linnell songs are still pretty good. (Wow, overuse of the word "good." Sorry about that.) I can't exactly say the same for the Flans songs, though The Shadow Government made me smile, and I enjoyed With The Dark once the beginning bit was over. I really, really like The Mesopotamians, though. Unlike a lot of the other songs on this album, it sounds completely like TMBG, right from the start. I was glad to hear that they haven't lost their magical song-writing talisman after all :) But yeah, a little disappointed overall, though I'm hoping that'll go away once I'm used to it. I agree with CapitalQ about it being the best since Factory Showroom, I think, since my initial reaction to FS was very similar to this. Spiraling Shape 22:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I'm loving the album. I was on iTunes at midnight, just waiting for them to update. When it didn't come right away, I began to worry about it being updated at midnight PST, but I finally saw that it was up around 12:15, so I eagerly pressed buy album. Now, I'm the last person to have dial-up, so the album finished downloading at about 2:30 in the morning, but it was definitely worth it. So far, The Mesopotamians is my favorite track, but there really aren't any bland tracks in here, well, maybe Withered Hope, but that one's growing on me. A great effort from John, John, Dan, Danny, Marty, and all the rest who had a hand in this. Can't wait for the bonus disc! --ehsteve14 23:37, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Okay well this is just my first impression (i've barely listened to the songs yet), but for now I'll just say I feel much differently when I listen to this album than I do with any other TMBG album. It's quite hard to describe. I agree with Critical Hits' review, there isn't 1 or 2 particular songs that stand out, which is odd for TMBG (usually there is one like Experimental Film for the Spine). But its a fun album to listen to if you just put aside the way you've always listened to TMBG albums.. The album is pretty solid, I like the sound of all the songs (especially I'm Impressed right now, for some reason it's stuck in my head). To me they're not as "quirky" as a lot of their songs have been in the past, but is more surreal -- that might be the way I'd describe it at first glance: surreal. Though it's different from other TMBG albums, its still Them, so dont think that change is bad. I've enjoyed seeing the way the band has explored different sounds and changed with each album they release, it'll be interesting to see where they head next. Anyway, good album, I'm probably not making any sense -Fwahobadagadz 01:31, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

On my 3rd time through, still loving just about every track =) --Rob

Two times, not that impressed. For some reason, it doesn't really sound like the Giants to me. No songs stood out to me except Careful What You Pack. I do like it, and I think it is probably a better overall album than Mink Car or the Spine, but I have yet to fall in love with any of it. I think I will like it better with time. --BlarJotunn 06:37, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I confess, I'll admit... I wasn't that impressed the first time through. After several listens, there are a few standouts for me: The Mesopatamians, Climbing the Walls, I'm Impressed. I've usually liked Linnell's songs better, but this album is very split for me along composer lines. I fight the urge to skip Flansburgh's tracks, and usually lose. --Mbarlowm 17:44, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I never bought it on iTunes. I don't even know why they released it on iTunes two months before the store. I didn't want to buy it on iTunes, because I don't buy things online much, I wanted it on CD, I wanted the liner notes, and I wanted the bonus CD. Today I bought it as it was opening day at stores. I've listened through it once, and I could say more about it later, but this is just a "first impressions" discussion, so all I have to say about it right now is this: My favorite songs so far are Upside Down Frown, Climbing The Walls, With The Dark, and Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth. --My Evil Twin's Twin (7-10-07)

Worldwide iTunes Release?[edit | edit source]

Uhhh guys... The Else isnt up in the Canadian iTunes store. -Cody-schmidt

Turns out it's US only, bloody iTunes localisation. -- MooseBlaster 12:20, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
So not international release on iTunes at all? *a very unhappy Australian*

GO AMERICA! =P --tehbagel ( o ) 15:37, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I think you can still access the US iTunes store by going to the bottom of the main page, and selecting "United States" from the "My Store" pull-down menu. --Steven

Uh, you have to have a credit card registered in the US to do that, Steve. -Ecks

i'm in canada, connected to the US store, maybe there's a trick where you could redownload it into an american one? I had to borrow some zip codes and stuff.. and use a gift certificate. Was complicated. Jade... but now it sucks because they wont let me use canadian gift certificate *rolls eyes* :D whatever.

I know there's a Canada section above, but I think this is more appropriate. Honestly, even though They Might Be Giants are my favourite band, I am seriously angry about this. After all this hype about how it's going on iTunes first, and suddenly it's only on US iTunes, it's pretty damn demeaning. I suspected that it was only going to be on US iTunes first and I actually asked Them if it was and got no reply. Yes, I was right. -- User:Neavers

Worldwide iTunes Release - Info from Operator Dot[edit | edit source]

I spoke to Operator Dot about the current situation, and she assured me that today was meant to be a worldwide release for the album on iTunes, not just limited to the US iTunes Store. Hopefully this means that within the next few hours, other regions will begin to put up the album on their respective stores. If not, I suppose the issue might be worked out in time for next week's New Music Tuesday update. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 21:30, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Q, you are the saviour of the world. -Cody-schmidt
Don't give him an even bigger head than he already has! haha jk--tehbagel ( o ) 21:00, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Radiohead[edit | edit source]

Am I the only one who thinks TMBG has been listening to Radiohead? Check it out:

  • Dust Brothers make everything sound all electronica-ish--just like the sort of stuff Radiohead experiments with. Hence the drum loops, which always remind me of "Airbag" or "Planet Telex."
  • Careful What You Pack reminds me of "No Surprises" or "Kid A" or any other song with lots of xylophone noises in the Radiohead canon. Plus, it has some "Like Spinning Plates" backwards drums.
  • The multi-part structure of With The Dark sounds like "Paranoid Android" on speed.
  • The horns in Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth are very "Life in a Glass House."
  • Cowbell in Take Out The Trash = "Electioneering"?
  • And of course, Climbing the Walls and "Climbing Up the Walls".

I'm sure I can think of more. Maybe. Perhaps I was stretching towards the end.

Yeah, it definatly has that electronicy experimentally sound to it. I think it's great, though.

All this release trivia[edit | edit source]

Now that The Else has had an official release to the public, should we consider trimming the album's page of all the speculation regarding the name, track listing, release date, Myspace postings, etc.? Looking at the other albums' pages, they have no more than a few lines of trivia regarding the releases of the albums, even the ones for which TMBW was around beforehand. Though I'm not saying that any of this info isn't valid for the page, because it definitely is. Of course, we do need to keep some release information that pertains to the July release and to current goings-on, but after that point, perhaps we can move it all to the They Might Be Giants page, if that ever gets finished. ~ magbatz 04:03, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

It's the description section, not trivia. Hopefully once the TMBG page gets finished we can expand every album page to include a real description and history, and ditch the reviews and (most of the) trivia bullets. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 01:25, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Tomorow[edit | edit source]

I'm starting to get excited again, (hopefully) The Else will be coming to places outside the USA. Specifically my iMac, my iPod, and my ears. Sorry, I'm not made by Apple.-Cody-schmidt

Today[edit | edit source]

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-Cody-schmidt

It still hasn't come out? That's pretty crapppy... Jade

Air Play[edit | edit source]

Does anyone have any information about The Else on the radio? I don't know how it usually works, but I remember with The Spine they were trying to get Prevenge aired, and if that went well, Experimental Film. So are there specific tracks on The Else that are intended to go to the radio stations? When will this happen? Of course, like all other TMBG, I don't think any of these songs would be very popular on the radio. I think the best shot is Climbing the Walls. --Mbarlowm 17:34, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Funny you should bring it up. I live outside Baltimore, and my local station, WTMD, was playing a promo for what they call "Altered Fridays", where they play 3 or 4 hours of new alternative music. Anyways, they said that this week that they'd be playing something new from They Might Be Giants. No clue as to which song though. If i had to guess, I would put my money on I'm Impressed or Take Out The Trash.--Duke33 17:45, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I checked WTMD's playlists online, and it looks like they played Take Out The Trash as part of their Tuesday new release show a couple weeks back. I assume someone just picked that one out, because they found it the most radio-friendly. --Duke33 16:48, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
You know that was the one I thought was most radio-friendly, too, after the first listen to the album. Now, I think otherwise. I emailed my local DJ. He couldn't remember the name of the track he heard but he said it "wasn't stellar," which doesn't bode well. --Mbarlowm 14:24, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Take Out The Trash plays on Y-Rock On WXPN in Philly. Mr. 77

Just heard David Dye play it (Take out the Trash) on World Cafe. --Duke33 18:28, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
And, what luck...on my way home WTMD played Climbing The Walls. --Duke33 22:47, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I work at a radio station, and we get a CD every week full of new singles. Today we opened the Alternative one and it had "Climbing the Walls" on it, which leads me to believe it's going to be a single off of the album. I had everybody listen to it, and it sounds like it's going to go on the playlist! --Bryn

Climbing the walls on the radio? That's pretty awesome :D

I wish the national alternative youth radio station here in Australia (Triple J) played some songs off it... they've been playing alot of the classic TMBG lately... but no new stuff... they didn't even play any songs from The Spine when it came out... it saddens me

iTunes Plus[edit | edit source]

Geez...what's it gonna take for this thing to come out on iTunes Plus? --Duke33 17:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps a change in record labels, I'm pretty sure only EMI currently has iTunes Plus downloads. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 18:17, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah...I didn't even see that. I thought they were rolling it out for all companies. I imagine eventually other labels will sign on board.--Duke33 19:32, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Worldwide CD Release[edit | edit source]

Im trying to find out the worldwide release date for the actual CD (particularly for Australia), i checked JB's upcoming releases page, and there's nothing for July 10 or any date up to September for a TMBG CD... i emailed Shock Records (because they manufactured and distributed The Spine and Mink Car) and they said that they weren't doing that for The Else... and on the Billboard article about The Else, it said Idlewild/Zoe/Universal, so i emailed Universal Music Australia, and they responded with TMBG wasn't one of the artists they distribute... so now im getting worried that it will be months before i can play a cd copy of The Else... or perhaps even miss out on the bonus disc --Ralph 09:34, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

- Nevermind, it seems JB has updated it... although it says July 9 release which says :D to me :P --Ralph 05:30, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Bonus Disc[edit | edit source]

If I pre-order the CD on Amazon will it come with the bonus disc? Thanks.

A common question! The answer is yes. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 19:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, my friend.
Me too. I was hesitant to buy the CD before it appeared on their online store, but now I think I'll pre-order it. Thank you! (Turnip) 02:10, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
In the article, it says, "The photographs will be included with the album's "deluxe CD" release. The first pressing of the CD will also include a full-length, 23-track bonus disc." Does this mean the Bonus CD will come with the first pressings, and there will be a separate "Deluxe Edition" that includes photographs? If not, I believe the sentence should be reworded, if this is the same CD release. (Turnip) 02:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I put "deluxe CD" in quotes so it wouldn't make it seem like it was a separate edition. Guess I'll do further rewording (it's not separate). -CapitalQtalk ♪ 12:42, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Sound[edit | edit source]

Is it just me or is The Else just a reworked and more produced version of Mink Car? Like Upside Down Frown is a combination of Another First Kiss and Hopeless Bleak Despair. Take Out The Trash is Cyclops Rock. The Mesopotamians is Working Undercover For The Man. With The Dark is I've Got A Fang etc etc. Does anyone agree with me? -RWS

Can something be more produced than Mink Car? -CapitalQtalk ♪ 12:42, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Easy, get the same producers for Mink Car, and then throw in more producers (a la Dust Bros.) -RWS
My first thought when listening to the album was that it had a sound more similar to the previous album (well, previous ADULT album, at least - The Spine) than any other TMBG album. Feign Amnesia seems like a less successful Prevenge; The Shadow Government seems like an equally successful It's Kickin' In; Climbing The Walls seems like a more successful Wearing A Raincoat (especially that one - compare "it got so bad I quit my job and I got a new job climbing the walls" with, say, "turning to drugs to help you sleep will only lead to sleep"). Flans gets a melancholy Memo To Human Resources-style ballad (Careful What You Pack), Linnell turns in a nerdy Stalk Of Wheat-esque novelty tune (The Mesopotamians), an explosive powerpop song like Thunderbird (The Cap'm), and a horn laden epic (although Museum of Idiots runs laps around Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth, in my opinion). Even the album's NAME is similar (albeit more unknowable). It's probably because, apart from the inclusion of the Dust Brothers, it's pretty much the same combination of Dan, Dan, Marty and Pat Dillett as on The Spine, so the albums have a much more unified atmosphere. Even with that in mind, it seems like a disproportionate number of ideas from the last few albums was pilfered for this new one. (Not to say I don't think it's still awesome.) - CWC

Vinyl release[edit | edit source]

Does anybody know if the initial vinyl pressings will include the bonus disc? — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 22:07, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

No details about the vinyl release exist yet. We don't even know if its release will coincide with the CD launch. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 22:51, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Apparently not. They didn't have any at the place I went to to get the Else (where they also sell vinyls). I haven't heard anything about it except that there will be one, though I doubt the vinyl will include the bonus songs. --badqueso 05:10, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I'm thinking it might...being all gatefoldy and such. The Else isn't a very long album, I dunno if it needs 4 sides. But I suppose we'll see. --Luke 07:40, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Amazon.com - mistakes?[edit | edit source]

This is copy and pasted:

Product Details
Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
Original Release Date: July 10, 2007
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Idlewild/Zoe Records
ASIN: B000QTCY5O

I thought there was going to be the bonus disc in the Amazon version? I know it's been discussed earlier on the page and decided that it will, but this makes me doubtful.

TMBG has confirmed via bulletins that Amazon will include the bonus disc with the album's first pressing. After that pressing, there will be one disc. Amazon will not be receiving an edition specially made for them that only contains one disc. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 22:51, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

And, in trivia, Amazon's track listing has The Cap'm with a capital M and Bee of the Bird of the Moth as "...of the Month". -curious and questioning (t) 22:43, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Amazon.com Price Decrease![edit | edit source]

Hey, if you check out Amazon.com, the price to preorder this album has gone down to $12.99. Could somebody who knows how change the price info on the main page, because I couldn't figure out how to do it. And don't worry all of you who've already preordered it--Amazon guarantees that if the price goes up or down after you preorder something, you'll get the best price that it was ever available at after you placed your order. :) ~Drew

I thought it was June 10.[edit | edit source]

I feel dumb. I could have sworn I've seen somewhere that said "June" 10. And plus the Myspace acted as if it had just come out. --Dunklekuh81

It did just come out — on iTunes. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 16:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

No it didn't. That was a while ago. It said "NEW ALBUM! ORDER AT AMAZON!" oor something like that. --~~

Well, yeah, it was available for preorder before the actual release. But hey, it's out now! :D Akagi 22:48, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Brother and Sisters[edit | edit source]

I'm here to spread the good news. As a long time fan of the band (OK I first heard them on a cassette they produced before their first album, and I used to see them in the basement of some bars in the East Village), I'm here to lay down some truth. And the truth is, "The Else" is the Giants best album (for adults, ‘cuz "No!" is excellent) since…wait for it…"Apollo 18". Yup, we waited fifteen years, and here it is. The boys have returned to form by finally rejecting the form that made them, and in remaking themselves, have achieved excellence.

We were spoiled. Oh, how we were spoiled! Their giddy debut. "Lincoln". "Flood". Had they never made another album on par with those, they would still have created more great work than most bands ever would. Imagine the audacity, the bottomless creative vein they mined, to then create another masterpiece, "Apollo 18".

Then they stumbled. "John Henry" isn't a lesser work because they brought the live band in – I'm not one of those old school purists who think they sold out when they stopped being a duo. This is where laying down some truth gets painful, because the truth can hurt. No, "John Henry" is a lesser work because it is at this point the divergence of songwriting talent between our two beloved Johns starts to become apparent.

Our beloved Mr. Flansburgh – anti-front man extrordinaire, not some skinny, slick, sexy Mr. Cool up there, but one of us, the chubby guy next to you in science lab, the quickest wit in class, cool because he's just so damn smart and funny and cocky and full of Charisma.

But our beloved Mr. Linnell – well, as a songwriter myself, I just gotta take my hat off to you, sir, and give your props. Brother F himself will not hesitate to recognize, as he said in "Gigantic", that his friend John's musical talent just kicks his ass. John Linnell is just a uniquely talented pop songwriter.

So here on "John Henry" the songwriting falters, and it's Flans' tunes that are particularly weak. "Sleeping in the Flowers", "Out of Jail", "Spy" – who can listen to these? I can't. And who is responsible for "O, Do Not Forsake Me"? Who's popping that number on for a spin? Linnell contributes some terrific songs, but also some decidedly less so – "A Self Called Nowhere", anyone?

"Factory Showroom" is more of a return to form, because I really love some of JL's contributions here – "Metal Detector" "Spiraling Shape" and "Til My Head Falls Off" are just great. Still, some of the stuff is weaker – "New York City", I know is a fan fave, I could never stand it. And the album ends with the back to back "I Can Hear You" and "The Bells", which are kinda dull.

"Long Tall Weekend" feels like collection of B sides and outtakes. Then they really bottomed out on "Mink Car". It was at this point I figured they were done. I put it on today just to be sure – yup, the album's a lemon. Aside from weak songwriting, the album suffers from misguided attempts at "quirky" production that feel forced. The burden of that legacy – albums with 17 songs, quirky sounds, – dragged them down like dead weight, and that dead weight almost pulled them under.

"The Spine" was clearly a better record, because Linnell's songs were better, and the production served the songs more and felt less forced. But it continued to be clear that Flans is just not in JL's league, and his contributions just don't match up.

Now, what does 2007 bring us? "The Else". Yeah, it's a dumb name for an album. Yeah, the cover's stupid. Gone is the 17 song record. Gone are attempts at funny sounds, cute samples, soundbites, all the things we loved about them some 20-odd years ago. John and John finally cast off all that baggage, and just set out to make a great pop record. And damned if they didn't succeed.

There isn't a weak track in the bunch – I love every song on this album. Flans' tunes are the strongest he's contributed in years. But it's all about John Linnell.

If it wasn't for all those old prejudices against TMBG – they're too quirky, they sing nasal, they're a novelty act, they play accordion – I say, if wasn't for all those old prejudices the General Public has had against our boys since the beginning, we might finally see our Mr. L get the recognition he deserves – as one of America's greatest pop songwriters of the last 25 years. He absolutely proves it on "The Else". Not only are the songs great, but his singing is great, too, and dig! truly dig his Brian Wilson harmonies and counter melodies on his tunes! (A side note – does anyone else notice that the boys are doing all the backing vocals on their own tunes? Why don't they provide backing vox for each other's tunes anymore? I kinda miss it – the charm of our boys singing as song like "Shoehorn with Teeth". It makes me wonder how much they are involved in the production of each others' tunes….)

So there you have it, Brother and Sisters, the good news, the Truth! I cannot tell you how great it makes me feel to say it – TMBG, has made their first great album in many years. And with the knowledge that they have done it again lifts the heart with the hope…that they can do it again!

JB

Let me be the first to say this: I disagree. TMBG's recent efforts have still blown me away. I enjoy John Henry, not just because it was the first album I heard, but because it was good. Also, They've backed Their own tracks for a while now. Most of the tracks have backing by the one singing front. Also, Mr. Flansburgh has some sock-knockers-off too! After all, it was his Boss of Me that won the duo an emmy (or grammy? I can't keep those straight). While his songs do lack...something compared to the other John's, they are just as good. Why, See the Constellation, from your beloved Apollo 18, is currently in one of the top ten positions in the Song Ratings. Mink Car is a good album too. I implore you: give it another listen. You may find the second time through it is a good record. I remember hating that album the first time I heard it. Then I gave it a second chance and it popped out as a good album. Flansy's fake lounge act on the title track is a song that has to be heard to be believed. I'm sorry to have to argue against a fellow TMBG fan. I'm just defending my (and Theirs) integrity. Forgive me if some of my arguments don't make sense. It's 2 AM here. Maybe I'll reread this tomorrow morning. I can't believe I just typed all that. --WhatIsThatThing 06:08, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

EDIT: Sure enough, I did forget to say something. The Else is indeed a good album. One of the best yet! WhatIsThatThing 16:51, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, he speaks well, but when he said John Henry was a weak album, I just have to part. I thought that was a solid album with tracks like "Snail Shell", "I Should Be Allowed to Think", "Thermostat", "The End of the Tour", "Destination Moon".. All those songs were fantastic, and I liked most of the others too. A lot of people do say that they've slipped a lot since Flood, but I guess I'm one of those fans that just likes everything they've done. I find good in all of their work. And Linnell may be a more interesting song writer, but Flans is certainly fun to listen to as well, so I wouldnt say one is better than the other. -Fwahobadagadz 16:04, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Fwahobadagadz - Thanks for your response, forgive me for pointing out, though, that ALL the songs you said you like from John Henry are Linnell songs. (!!!) Also, I never said I disliked every song on "JH", "I Should Be Allowed..." is a real good tune. as is "Why Should I Be Sad?" But, how about "Sleeping in the Flowers", "Out of Jail", "Spy" "O, Do Not Forsake Me"? My point was that we were spoiled, that their 4 previous albums never contained 4 duds (my opinion) like these. And that those are the work of the lesser songwriting talent of our beloved duo. Flans IS THE MAN! He just isn't Linnell's equal as a songwriter.

JB

Hey! What about my response?! WhatIsThatThing 21:23, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


WhatIsThatThing! - OK, I actually had two responses to your posting, and thanks for your comments. First, you mention that Flans can write a good song, citing "Constellation", I never said Flans can't write a good song, I love many of them, too many to list. My point was that by John Henry, the chasm between the Johns songwriting talent became apparent, and I think Flans' efforts on that album are particularly weak.

My second response: you ask me to listen to Mink Car "a second time" I've listened to it many times, I just relistened to it again before my post to be sure I was not judging it too harshly. I'm not. Squeeze it, add sugar, you'll get lemonade.

I stand by my posting - The Else is their strongest album since Apollo 18. I disagree with some posts below that suggest the album is comprised of cast-offs and out-takes from earlier albums. It has the most consistant songwriting in many a year.

JB

Hm, yeah I guess I can agree with you on most things now. It is their most solid album for a while now. Though, really, Linnell has most of the better songs on this album as well, I'm afraid, although "With The Dark" is a pretty great song..

As far as Mink Car goes, there are songs that I either really like or just get stuck in my head a lot, so I like it. It's not solid, but like The Spine the good songs its got satisfy me. Drink!, Older, Cyclops Rock, Man its so loud in here- these are songs I like. And from time to time I find myself singing I've got a fang. Now enough of my useless babbling! -Fwahobadagadz 14:32, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget Hopeless Bleak Despair! --WhatIsThatThing 14:48, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Not going to argue with you, JB. You have your tastes and I've got mine. But I'd like to make an observation about Mink Car - the problem with that album is that Linnell's tracks are weak. In my opinion, Flans actually has something of a songwriting rebirth on that record. Though I agree that Linnell is a major songwriting talent, I'm not surprised to see that someone who clearly favors Linnell over Flans would not like Mink Car. Personally, I think their weaker albums come from either of the two pistons misfiring - Flans on Factory Showroom and Linnell on Mink Car. Kris Wright 23:53, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Meaning of "The Else"?[edit | edit source]

Does anybody know more about the strange album title? Does it indicate something? Is it just a random nonsense title, or maybe some kind of in-joke? (Oh, and by the way, I wonder whether that cover art has got anything to do with the title?) - Anonymous Guest

It seems to me to fit perfectly with the confusion and vagary from their new "cryptical" style. ~ magbatz 22:29, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
I take it to mean that the album is something different (or "something else") from previous albums, like the musical style and such. Akagi 22:46, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
I thought it was like saying the "unknown". Like something besides the norm. The Else... they're going through quite a cryptical stage, aren't they? :) --Lemita 23:17, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Canada Release Date[edit | edit source]

It seems to me that The Else is not coming out in Canada on July 10, but instead the week after on July 17. This makes me very angry. I have called every music store around, and the big chains like HMV and Music World, and they all say that it is being released in Canada on the 17th, as well as on Amazon.ca. I don't know what to do, as I am driving down to Cleveland from Toronto to see them on the 21st, and I will not have learned all the songs in four days. I could order from Amazon.com, but with the border times and duty charges, it'll probably arrive around July 17th! Come on, TMBG, Canada loves you too!

--Patinthehat 14:48, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I know. I'm getting mine from CDPlus on the 17th >.<. But I also marked the day off work so nothing interferes with me getting as on time as possible. Jade
You could just download it to listen to before your late release date. That is, if iTunes ever got its act together to get the album to you all. Or you could even get a friend from the States to send it up there to you tomorrow-- I'm sure you can get it somehow. Krazy Kanadians. ~ magbatz 18:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I have the only copy coming into my city reserved for me, which is nice, even though it is on the 17th. BUT I was recently in the states and i picked up an iTunes gift card. I simply signed up for a bogus account with it (My address was even the Denver Apple store) and went and bought The Else mp3 style. Go internet fraud! -Cody-schmidt

Yeah, so I ended up ordering it off Amazon.com. Thanks for the responses, guys. And I took your advice Magbatz, and I love it. So... problem solved. --Patinthehat 02:23, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

:O[edit | edit source]

So I went to Borders earlier this evening, and, with the help of a Borders employee, searched the store to find a copy of The Else. To my dismay, they did not get a shipment of The Else. x_x The employee said they'd call me when they get a shipment (I'd ordered it), though there's one little thing bothering me. The bonus disc? Priced $35.98 on the Borders catalogue. o_o Is this an honest mistake, or are we not getting this thing for free? --Lemita 00:59, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

It is a mistake. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 01:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Yesterday, I looked at a Borders first to get a copy of The Else, and the person helping me said, after a computer search, that it should be somewhere, and after a physical search of the store's new release area and TMBG section, that either it hadn't come in yet or someone else had already taken it. Then I went to a Barnes & Noble, and there was a copy on display at the top of the row it was in, and a copy in the section that I could get. Is there another music/bookstore in your area? -curious and questioning (t) 14:50, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
We have a Barnes & Noble, but it's a bit of a ride away. I told Borders to call me. When they get it in store. D: --Lemita 13:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

How about living in the Jacksonville area where there is NOWHERE to buy it. NOWHERE. Except the internet. --Dunklekuh81 17:14, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Australian release[edit | edit source]

I just got off the phone with JB Hifi (Australian store) and, to my dismay, they were supposed to get a shipment of fresh CDs (of The Else) over the weekend, but none of their stores received shipments. The service drone estimates sometime this week. I can't confirm whether this is just JB specific or Australia wide.

" a grower" ?, or "bland" .. . what others have said so far :[edit | edit source]

I see I'm not alone in initial underwhelment.

TMBG have been a "Top 10 Fave-Band" for me since their debut. I've been expanding a TmBg Genre in iTunes to just about 750 tracks these past few weeks, so I've been splashing around in their entire span. Everything from : Dial-a-Songs / Podcasts / Frank O"Toole & other radio items / Almanac / Venue / McSweeney / and the recently discovered theynow.com . . . plus whatever I just left out !

Maybe all that skews my standards, but no, I've encountered dozens new-to-me that thrilled me ( and There's a Light Comin' Outta' My Head to PRoVE it ! ) But "The Else" continues to strike me as a collection entirely made of all the tracks that were "least favorites" from other albums. Every album, w/ the exception of Flood, has stretches of 3 or 4 tracks that are too generic for my tastes . . . thrashy or predictable rock . . . garage-production, if you will. Not that everything has to sound like "Stalk of Wheat" or "Rabid Child" or "_______". They've certainly made normal sonic-settings work 100's of times already, . . . I dunno', somethin' about it just hits me as "eh". While the bonus-disc looks to be a Tricky-Treat bag fulla' all kinds of goodies. The 7 tracks I just imported from The Else will grow on me, the others ? Well, I haven't gone back to import "Narrow Your Eyes" yet. Few bands can please everyone everytime . . . with everything. ( everyday that is ) DmRofAtoZ-- 11:18, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

This is by far my least favorite TMBG album. There are a few good songs on it, no really great ones, a lot of really bad ones (including my two least favorite TMBG songs of all time, Careful What You Pack and The Shadow Government) and not very many in general. Also, they're much longer than usual for no good reason. Personman 07:09, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I totally disagree. The Else is the most "singular" album to date, and it's one of my favorites. I LOVE this album, it's been in my car's cd player since I burned the copy I bought the day it came out on iTunes. By singular, I mean that the album as a whole is one package, all the songs fit together, they're all sing-alongable, and the bonus disc is great, too (picked up the physical CD yesterday). Besides BOTBOTM, there isn't really a standout song like "Man, It's So Loud In Here", per se, but idk. Something about this album, the songs never get old and they're all great.--tehbagel ( o ) 21:50, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Hm, I happen to love this album as well. I think almost every song is fun to listen to and catchy. My favorite is The Cap'm, while I also like I'm Impressed, Climbing the Walls, With the Dark, The Mesopotamians, Upside Down Frown, and Take Out the Trash. So theres a lot to love for me, and amazingly it keeps growing onto me.. -Fwahobadagadz 16:39, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

This is what I love about They Might Be Giants Fans- No matter which album we're discussing, at least one person will say it's their best record yet and at person will say it's a flaming pile of dog crap. (I think it's probably their fifth best album, by the way)


I find The Else to be incredibly decent. The really big con here is that it's too short. The only other album with this amount of tracks is Factory Showroom, and a lot of the songs on that were in the 3-4 minute range, while the ones here are in the 2-3 minute range. --ZippZapp 00:06, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I disagree... I actually prefer the 2-3 minute range over the 3-4 minute range. Any tracks over maybe 3:30 or so just seem too long to me. And I think The Else is pretty well-balanced; the tracks are all around the same length, whereas with other albums you have a few really long songs and then a few really short songs. Akagi 00:35, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I really wasn't saying I didn't like 2-3 min songs. It's just that The Else seemed to have too many in that range. --ZippZapp 04:34, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Not just one, but TWO tracks with a stylophone[edit | edit source]

Just got the album today and still on the first listen through, and hearing the stylophone just about made me wet my pants with excitement. The only other problem I have with this album it that I'm Impressed is a very hard song to get out of your head once it get stuck up there. Amazing album. I love it. --Josherz 20:46, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

iTunes review[edit | edit source]

On The Else's page on iTunes, the review of the album is for The Spine. That's not supposed to be like that. Huh. --Valerie 21:38, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I think I've seen The Spine's review on some other TMBG albums in the US Store, too, actually. Odd. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 21:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The Producers[edit | edit source]

Who produced what song? At first I thought the Dust Brothers did it all except I'm Impressed, but now I'm hearing otherwise. I think it would be helpful to include this information here.--Mandaliet 19:25, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Buy the CD. It's listed in there.--tehbagel ( o ) 07:18, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Most of the information in this article could be found by buying the CD.--Mandaliet 22:56, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Shadow[edit | edit source]

Marcel Dzama's shadow is visible in the photo called "Table of Masks". --My Evil Twin's Twin

I noticed this too, except I posted it under the talk page for The Else Photos. --Mosesofthecows 03:49, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

No band members in photos?[edit | edit source]

Where does that info come from? I'm just curious. It makes sense though. Has either John or anyone else ever been on a cover? Not besides the back of the Pink Album, Don't Let's Start EP and They'll Need A Crane EP, which don't really count because not just were They on the back, but on the Pink Album it was a cartoon, and the EPs where not widely circulated --Antgeth 21:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Good call. I've noticed that too, nobody actually from the band has ever been on an album cover of TMBG's. Even on The Else, the people in the suits were models! I mean, a cartoon version of the Johns was on the inside of the Pink Album is really as close as they've gotten to an actual appearance on any album. Now, when it comes to EPs, I have no idea. I haven't seen all of them, but I'll assume that They don't appear on any of those either. --Tmbg_lover

How long?[edit | edit source]

How long will it take for the second shipments to start shipping? In other words, how long can I wait before buying it with the bonus disc included? -Dunklekuh81, too lazy to login.

I'd guess a few more months. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 02:53, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Album Chart History[edit | edit source]

Has anybody been following The Else's history on Billboard? I know its peak position is 118 [1] but nothing more than that. ~ magbatz 17:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I read that it sold 6,000 units in the first week. 167.88.201.100 17:33, 25 July 2007 (UTC) perspixx

Title Tracks[edit | edit source]

I'm curious to see if anybody else thinks that it's significant that TMBG went back to having no title track--the pattern set by their first seven albums (eight if you count Severe Tire Damage)--with the Else, after four albums with title tracks. I know that two of them were children's albums but, all of their jokes aside, the Johns obviously count them as albums since they call the Else their 12th album, etc.

I've heard lots of complaints about Mink Car (and some about The Spine)--very few of which I completely agree with, I might add--several of which were about the fact that there was a title track, so it's obviously significant to some people. (And I'll admit, I always think of it as an added bonus when an album--by any band--doesn't have a title track.)

So, I just thought I'd post this here to see what others think of the whole title track vs. non-title track situation. Comment away, people! :) ~Drew

Well, obviously by my edit just now, I don't really think it's too big of a deal that they didn't use a title track for this album. For Mink Car and No!, they were definitely basing the album name off of a central song, which I'll admit as well, isn't too desirable for me. But the way I see it (though I can never prove it), the Spine title tracks were made to fit into The Spine, kind of like The Spine Surfs Alone or even Theme From Flood. And I do not believe HCABCs was inspired by the title track. So I really only count Mink Car as the single adult album deriving its title from a central track. I just think it's more significant that Mink Car and No! do have title tracks than the fact that The Else doesn't. And in reality, I don't think it's that important at all to John and John-- they just seem to pick a title that goes with the general feel of an album (John Henry, Factory Showroom, Mink Car, No!, and The Else would fit this), and if that feeling is embodied in the title of any certain track, then so be it.
If this is about the trivia page though, absolutely feel free to put that line back. Never hurts. ~ magbatz 16:44, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I actually don't really care too much either way about the trivia line. I was just more curious about what others think of the topic in general. You make some good points: I too didn't actually think of the Spine as having a title track until I recently listened to a live show download where Linnell, I think it was, introduced the song Spine as, "The title track to our new album, which we shortened by taking off the word the," or something like that. Of course, you never know if you can take the Johns seriously in situations like that, so who knows. :) ~Drew

Vinyl Tracklisting[edit | edit source]

Would it be appropriate to include the vinyl tracklisting? I don't know it myself, and am actually curious to know where are the spilts. --Luke 16:33, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The split is after "With the Dark", and I think putting the track listing for the record separately might be a waste of space. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 18:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Art and Politics[edit | edit source]

I can't believe no one's discussed the political themes being discussed on the Else! Cryptic, Surreal? Every track is an indictment of the Bush Administration. Sometimes it's just a fairly obvious double-meaning that you wouldn't consider if not for the theme (Take Out The Trash). Sometimes, you can't understand the song properly unless you see the context ("When the tornado from the West crushes buildings, I'm Impressed.... On the other hand you see no one leaving the Stadium" - references to the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina). And on some songs, you just have to do the research ("Sleep of Reason Corporation" refers to a Goya painting - "The Sleep of Reason Creates Monsters" - Xenophobia and demonization by the Right Wing play on unreasoned fears to make, let's just say, a guy like Barack Obama into a "Muslim who pals with terrorists", but really, a Hummingbird Moth is just an interesting and harmless moth (that's acting like a hummingbird, which kind of resembles a bee) and not some kind of terrible monster. George W. Bush is the Cap'm, and he's so incompetent that we actually would prefer to have a Shadow Government running the show, as long as they knew what the heck they were doing. Climbing the Walls, the Mesopotamians, Withered Hope, do you see the pattern? What else can I say about Bush than, "The second was worse by far than the first"?

As for the cover art, we're back to Goya. Se Aprovechan - the soldiers availing themselves from the dead bodies. And they're dressed as Bald Eagles in business suits. In this case, it's not the soldiers themselves (I support the troops) but the contractors and oil companies that are availing themselves over the dead bodies of Iraqis and American soldiers alike. And the title - "The Else" - perhaps a reference to "The Other". that which the xenophobes want us to be frightened of (like the Bee of the Bird of the Moth) - but non-xenophobes see an Alternative path - as in If-Then-Else. Progressivism, then, is the Else.

Yes, many of these songs have non-political meanings, but the political references are hidden therein as an extra layer of meaning. The Else, in my book, is their most lyrically coherent album to date.

Japan Art[edit | edit source]

Does anyone have the back Japan art? Veggieman 23:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

A bad jpg is viewable here. It appears the back is the same as the US version with the exception of the bonus tracks (which, if you look closely, includes "Brain Ploblem Situation"). The stuff on the right-hand side of the back is actually on the obi, and not part of the back artwork. I know that Q has the Japanese release, but he does not own a scanner, so a nice version would probably have to come from somewhere else. (I don't think i'm willing to pay that much for it.) -- 00:03, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Store Update[edit | edit source]

Looks like this is back in stock at the official store, plus the Japanese version, whose product page links to tmbw for 'full album details'. Rad! --Valerie 17:27, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Tim Burton?[edit | edit source]

Does this remind anyone else of Tim Burton? Busted-In Puppet Head 18:01, 4 January 2013 (EST)