Talk:They Might Be Giants Instant Fan Club

From This Might Be A Wiki

Price of admission[edit | edit source]

Kind of a ridiculous price, at least for what they're talking about now. Or am I missing something? --Luke 00:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

well, idk. $80 for two show tickets, an exclusive physical ep, an album download, live show download, and more promised things isn't that bad. it's a bit overpriced, but idk if i'd say ridiculous. -- 00:11, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I suppose that's another issue for me, frankly I'm not terribly interested in tickets, really, so I wish there was a "build your membership" thing. You could pick and chose what you want. Oh welp. --Luke 00:22, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Ant, two tickets would probably be about $40 bucks, and $10 each for the EP, album, and live album would bring things to about $70, so $80 doesn't seem that far off, especially with the concert swag, etc. It's just a large amount to have to pay up front, I guess. I'm glad they made it so the free tickets offer doesn't expire, though, and I'm hoping there'll end up being more exclusive downloads included down the line. How long do you guys think 1,000 spots will last? Drew 00:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
You guys are forgetting that tickets from the band eliminates the processing fees. I have regularly paid $60-$70 for a pair of tickets with fees so this package is a bargain! --BlueCanary 03:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm the only one negating the tickets, and that's because I don't want them. They're worth $70 to you, but nothing to me. Like I said, a set of different packages with different option would have been grand, that's all. As it stands, the deal has lots of things I like and want, but they're not worth the asking price to me.
TMBG is the band that pioneered the "cheap as free" model. I'm not asking for more free things, but to jump from dial-a-song, free mp3s, podcasts and all that to an expensive subscription service seems a bit sudden. 'Exclusivity' (especially inherent in the limited edition vinyl, and the 1,000 spots) isn't something the band is (or should be) known for (It's what makes Hello a bit of a headache for collectors to this day); they've typically been great about bring people in, bringing people together, from their shows to their music releases. That open atmosphere is what drew me to the band and the fans in the first place. The whole 'in crowd' vibe of this is a bit wrong for them. Maybe the overal money-for-value thing is 'worth it', but ultimately this is a business strategy, and it just doesn't work for me. It's fine that they're doing special things, I just think it's a bit sad they're doing special things that specifically leave most of their fans out. --Luke 04:24, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. This is lame, and especially surprising for John and John. ~ magbatz 08:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
You say exclusivity isn't something they're known for but then you bring up Hello... Things are a lot different from the late 80's "cheap as free" model they rolled with, with the internet and everything else. If the stuff on the vinyl EP really is exclusive, you'll still probably hear the songs. They're really not leaving that many of their fans out here. The cap at 1000 can stem from labor, cost, or shoot, maybe just giving a nice pat on the back to the fans that are crazy enough to throw $80 at a band they care about at the drop of a hat. I'm one of them. It doesn't make me a better or more important fan than you, nor does it mean They're proponents of an "in crowd". Really, we're just getting a signed record. Instead of trying to find them after a show, we bypassed the hassle and just paid for it. That's about it. - Druclotwo
I'm with Luke and magbatz on this one. When being a fan of a band starts feeling like an exclusive race between the haves and have nots, it's not fun anymore. Sorry, I can't throw down $100 for an album I haven't even heard just to get some extra stuff. I need to, you know, eat this month. It irritates me when I see bands put out these uber-expensive packages in this economy, but it make me sad and angry to see a band I have loved for 22 years go down this road. Also, if the Johns are including any rare tracks with this ultra exclusive, limited edition, pricy package and are expecting them not to make the rounds online (as they've denoted in the website press release), they are seriously delusional. -- The Vanishing Dot 01:23, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I see that Hello has already been mentioned, but you guys know that TMBG Unlimited cost around $120 total for the entire year, right? That was JUST MP3 files. No exclusive physical record, no pair of concert tickets, etc. In comparison, this seems like a pretty good deal and it's nothing really new for the band. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 01:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
There are big differences between this and TMBG Unlimited. Unlimited was $10 a month, you could pay for individual months if you wanted to and there was never any limit to how many people could sign up. If this fan club offers unreleased material (and I'm not even sure it does yet, beyond the four track vinyl EP), They should offer a way to access these tracks without having to pay for the huge $100 package (which is sold out anyway). That's really all I care about here: the album itself (which I'll be able to buy in July anyway) and any rare tracks that might be offered. I don't need vinyl or the Johns' autographs (I already have plenty of both) and I'm going to pay to see them in concert anyway. -- The Vanishing Dot 11:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I thought TMBG Unlimited came with an exclusive jacket and a pre-release signed copy of Mink Car. If only the new club were "unlimited" to more than 1,000 people... -thevince
Good music should be accessible, but I also believe in paying for it. And I've paid $30 for a ticket, and $18 for a vinyl album or CD in the past. Two tickets, two albums, an EP and MYSTERY SWAG I'm sure would add up to a price close to what I paid for this. I don't think there's anything unreasonable about this, and it seems like a good way to ensure at least SOMEONE will pay for the music in an age where it's increasingly easy to download anything for free illegally. I'm not saying every person who didn't sign up wouldn't buy all the stuff anyways, but there are some people who feel fewer qualms in pirating things, and offering "exclusive" things acts as an incentive to get those who maybe will pay for the music into the category of those who definitely will pay for the music. And maybe entice some non concert goers into checking out a show, too! The $99 left a dent in my wallet but that's just $99 I won't be paying to Them in smaller increments throughout the rest of the year. The 1000 people limit is poopy, yes, but it's also practical. Ana 02:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, Ana, that raises a perfectly reasonable point. Illegally downloading music. The Johns have gone on record very frequently that they don't consider pirating music a problem at all, and have occasionally (jokingly and seriously) encouraged it. So, either that was all just "wind in sails" or this is. And I don't think that was. --Luke 03:13, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Luke, I have an mp3 of Flans giving a commentary on the evils of Napster. Granted, it's ten years old and his opinions may have changed, but the blurb at the end of the "fan club" post also warns people to not share any of the fan club material and threatens revoking people's memberships if they do. -- The Vanishing Dot 11:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I feel for them, it's got to be hard finding ways to make an honest buck these days in the music business (although striking deals with Disney and writing commercial jingles seems to have done them well). They seem to have put a good deal of thought and effort into adding value for this thing. However as a self-described "superfan" I find it frustrating that 4 exclusive songs have to come with an $80 pricetag, and any hesitation over forking over the dough means getting locked out altogether. Especially because I suspect that one of those tracks will be "Canajoharie" which we already know is incredible. --Oddjob 15:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
You nailed it, Oddjob. I'll be buying the CD release no matter what, but I want access to any rare, exclusive tracks without paying $80 for them. It's looking like more and more people are starting to complain about this deal, if you check out the TMBG Facebook page. I suspect the Johns may add more slots or offer stuff to non fan club members. They have always seemed to want to make their fans happy at any cost. -- The Vanishing Dot 21:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Ultimately, they've told a great deal of their fans "you're not a real fan," which is a shitty message, and then told the people who are Real Fans they cannot share things with the rest. Now, anyone who has been a part of any TMBG fan community long enough knows what a seriously screwed up thing that is for them to do. Sharing is what makes us so close, so connected. Everything from dial-a-song bootlegs to radio show recordings. We're genuinely magnanimous people. I find it really disheartening that they're not just discouraging that, but penalizing that. I mean, when did they become that band? --Luke 03:54, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I have heaps of musician friends, they will all say the same sort of thing. Album sales hardly do anything to help give the band revenue, luckily however TMBG runs on their own record label. But I did the maths, if you exclude the extra option of getting the album on vinyl, $80 from 1000 members, that's $80,000. For a band that's an investment into actually releasing an album and properly promoting it, and for TMBG this is hopefully a worldwide promotion. If you stop thinking about it like "I'm not getting enough in this deal" (which to be honest, is bogus, because what they've promised would probably have cost you upwards of $80) and think of it like stock exchange, you invest money into them in the hopes that they can make more from it and therefore offer you and their other fans more from them in the future.--Ralph 06:44, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
TMBG's done fund-raisers before. Just last year, in fact, with a clearance sale on their merch store. So we know they tell us when they're trying to raise money for a project. If that's what this is about, then it letting us know would mean it's about them trying to fund their work. Fine, and we'll all chuck money into the pot. But they're advertising it as a fan-oriented endeavor. And what else am I supposed to think aside from "I'm not getting enough from this deal" when I don't think I am? And really, I have a hard time thinking a band that has suckled disney's teats three times running, and gotten grammy nominations and awards from it, are so majorly strapped for cash that this is necessary. If this was a required source of income, I'd be much more inclined to drop some money for them. But it's supposedly about the fans, and as a fan, I'm not impressed. --Luke 02:00, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, ok, really now, some people are ok with this and other people aren't. No one is going to change their mind about it, there's really no point in arguing. I don't mean to call anyone in particular out, I just think it's silly to be spending so much time with this. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing or agreeing with something TMBG decides to do, but if people think differently than us, we don't need to try to prove them wrong. I know everyone is just trying to get their point across, but it's all coming off as really hostile and negative, and I don't think that the community had ought to be about that. -Apollo (colloquia!) 03:23, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
you guys should have joined. Dee Dee And Dexter sounds so much better in FLAC. --Nosaj56 13:09, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Continued for 2012[edit | edit source]

I hate to restart this whole discussion, but you know, I joined last year and was apprehensive at first, but feel like I got my money's worth in the end, but I can't say I feel the same this time around. The bulk of last year's price would've been for the two tickets, but considering that 2012 doesn't have that component and actually costs $15 more...I signed up anyway, but it's the most uncomfortable I've ever felt about buying anything from TMBG. I guess time will tell if I wind up regretting this or not. Not trying to sound too mean or negative here, just being honest as a person who likes TMBG and wants to support them, but who also REALLY doesn't have the money to keep doing this every year. I understand that the music industry has basically collapsed onto itself these days, but I am not sure how I feel about bands essentially having wealthy (and otherwise) superfans subsidize them year after year as a solution. -J-Gatz 14:45, 23 March 2012 (EDT)

I totally agree, I didn't do it last year, mainly because I thought it was an OK price with the tickets, but I would've only used one ticket. But this year, without concert tickets, I really think it's overpriced. As much as it upsets me that there is all of this TMBG music out there I won't have (4 EPs [including the last exclusive one] and a live album), I just can't justify the price. And I only care about the music, so they should do some kind of cheaper music-only option, even just getting digital copies. I have no problem leaving the physical copies exclusive to the fans that are willing to shell out the money, but let the fans that can't afford that much have an option. -Joltman 20:50, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
well, to be fair, adding up the cost physical goods (with a little bit of estimation—under-estimation, mind you) does yield almost exactly $95, plus if you throw in shipping, the webcasts, and the chance to win one of them fancy ukuleles, i think it adds up to well over the price paid. but i totally understand about not wanting to pay so much for physical music. for what it's worth, i think only the one "super secret" EP is not to be distributed/publicly available. you'd think they'd make a note if it applied to the other two, right? and i imagine At Large will be sold publicly too? or at least, i hope it will, since exclusive stuff is really lame. -Apollo (colloquia!) 20:58, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
Yeah, my main concern is that I don't want to see it turn into a thing between the haves and have-nots on purely financial lines. I am ok with the idea of there being a fanclub, and even with the idea of there being the option of paying more to receive a few (non-musical) perks, but I am not really comfortable with there being an increasingly large secret class of recordings created that only people who can afford the IFC are ever allowed to listen to/discuss, since I know non-IFC folk who are still upset that they'll never get to hear or talk about the secret stuff. I guess I was just hoping since they were opening it up to more people this year and weren't including tickets that they would be able to keep the price closer to what it was last year. -J-Gatz 23:11, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
I'm excited about it - I skipped it last year and definitely felt like I was missing out. This is a band that puts out a lot of content, and I expect the exclusive stuff to be for completists, not so much "essential". But as I said last year, they really do seem to be putting a lot of effort into giving you your money's worth. None of us know what the back-end costs are, or what the "surprises" are, and for all we know they learned last year that $80 wasn't as profitable as they needed it to be. It's very clear that what they are doing is trying to create a reliable source of income so they can operate the way they want to - maybe less dependent on commercial work, and more able to focus on their albums - there is already a new one coming out in early 2013! They haven't had a new album out that fast since the 90s - I think that alone is worth supporting.
(That said, I will say that a webcast is hardly worth the same as an actual concert ticket. But they are not doing an extensive tour this year, so I guess this was the next best thing.) --Oddjob 10:06, 24 March 2012 (EDT)
So last year if you didn't jump right on it, you were locked out and missed out on a whole year of cool stuff. This year, if you don't hold out for a few weeks, you miss out on these mini "contests". Come on! --Oddjob 14:01, 10 April 2012 (EDT)
This current contest (flexi, TMBG LP, Lincoln poster, Cuomo uke) includes all 2012 IFC members so far in the drawing. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 18:18, 10 April 2012 (EDT)
I'm glad this mini-contest is at least open to all the IFC members who signed up earlier, but I can't help but hope that the difficulty in getting more people to sign up for it is teaching them a lesson for the future to not expect 3,500 people to give them $95 or $250 at the drop of a hat. Either lower the price or lower the number of spots; preferably the price, given the realities of today's economy. -J-Gatz 15:04, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

Continued for 2015[edit | edit source]

I haven't subscribed to the instant fan club in the past. I'm mainly interested in the music (I don't need a balsa plane or T-shirt). I am wondering if it is worth the price, bearing in mind that for a standard subscription I'd be paying US$138 (US$98 + additional US$40 for overseas postage), for 3 CDs and a DVD. (Unless TMBG are coming back to Australia soon, the two included tickets aren't much use.) In previous years were there enough secret surprises to make it worthwhile joining? Or am I better off to not bother, and order the CDs on Amazon (other shops are available)? Mark P. (talk) 01:43, 19 November 2014 (EST)

they stress quite strongly that the ticket offer never expires. considering the success of the nanobots tour down under, i would be very surprised if they didn't venture that way again in the next couple years, so you should be fine on that front. and even with that extravagant postage, that's still a pretty decent deal (especially since i've read that the ticket prices for the 2013 shows were pretty high). -- 03:22, 19 November 2014 (EST)
I certainly hope they fit in a visit to the UK in 2015. I had planned and saved for ages to go to NY and see Them in the 25th Anniversary year of Flood. I bought the Flood tickets as soon as they went on sale as I figured they would sell out fairly quickly, booked flights,hotel etc. Then I find that two free tickets are part of the IFC! So now I have two spare tickets for the Flood concert. Now I'm not complaining and will not be re-selling them but am desperately hoping for a chance to use the IFC tickets over here. Are you sure they NEVER expire? I sort of got the impression the IFC tickets were only for use in 2015? Dr Raygun (19 Nov 2014)
well i am not absolutely sure, but the ifc webpage says not once but twice that the offer "never expires", period. if you still have doubts, you could shoot a message to their tumblr; i've heard they've been answering questions regarding ifc. -- 14:15, 19 November 2014 (EST)
I remember that they were saying something in newsletters the the second year about tickets from the first year still being good, so I believe it is true that they don't at all. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 20:51, 19 November 2014 (EST)
I have posted the question to the Tumblr. Just wondering, am I really shallow to be quite excited about a balsa plane and a t-shirt ;-) Dr-Raygun 20th November 2014
I just woke up to a one word reply to my Tumblr question: "forever". So there we have it - the IFC tickets will be valid forever! Which pleases me greatly. Dr-Raygun 21st Novemeber 2014

I've gone for the $30 cheap option as all I basically want are the songs and I think it's fantastic value. (Mr Tuck)

I got uno.[edit | edit source]

Thats right. SamuelMan36 00:58, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

unlike the english word "one", "uno" is just a number in spanish, not a pronoun. -- 01:11, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I would like to add that 999 other people also will receive one. -Apollo (colloquia!) 01:16, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I got one too. I was planning on waiting and seeing if we got any more information, but then I realized that I'd end up kicking myself if all 1,000 spots got taken before I signed up, so I just went for it . . . Drew 03:07, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Instant?[edit | edit source]

You can already download the Preview EP on iTunes yet no download for members, I thought it was the INSTANT Fan Club.

Also, I've been having trouble getting the actual emails, despite having them in my contacts and setting a filter on my email service to never put emails from them in the spam box.

I've gotta say, not a fan of the service right now.

Um? The link for members to download was e-mailed like 7 hours ago. Have you tried e-mailing them about not getting stuff? I didn't receive the first e-mail and had to e-mail to get that resolved and it's fixed now. I understand your frustration, but I think they are having a lot of kinks to work out right now so it's taking a bit of time. --Self Called Nowhere 06:25, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd blame your email service on this one. Had no problems so far with Gmail - nothing in the spam box - and received my FLAC download last night at 7:30pm ET (the same time another friend also received it). -CapitalQtalk ♪ 10:18, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I am using Gmail though, very confusing and annoying.--JustinBoy 12:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Credits[edit | edit source]

Anyone else kind of annoyed at the complete lack of editing/proofreading in the digital artwork credits? They made a big deal about taking it seriously and not putting in nicknames.. yet there they are, a whole bunch of fake names! Plus the names in caps and notes in ()s that very obviously went unread...

I think that was the point - they asked for it to look proper and have no nicknames because they intended to reprint exactly what was inputted. Most people understood these directions just fine, but there's numbskulls in every group. I do agree that they could've cleaned it up a bit and alphabetized it by last name, though. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 17:16, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

Two EPs?[edit | edit source]

Flansburgh was making it sound on tumblr like there were two EPs in the works for IFC members. I wonder if one of them is the stuff with the Other Thing and then the other one is the originally promised exclusive EP.

Also in one of the Latitude interviews Flans mentioned there being a Tesla song on the EP...

Check your email. --Duke33 15:08, 20 July 2011 (EDT)
Does anyone have a track listing for the "exclusive EP" from last year? I can't seem to find a page for it. Trying to decide whether to shell out the cash for this year's ;) -- 02:30, 12 April 2012 (PDT)
You can't find a page because TMBG explicitly requested that none be made. For what it's worth, though, the EP was quite good, and I definitely think it's a worthy investment. --Self Called Nowhere 05:34, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

Live Album[edit | edit source]

Any more info on this? Flans mentioned on Facebook when the IFC as announced that this would be available on iTunes. --Oddjob 09:34, 25 January 2012 (EST)

All we know so far is that it contains 15 songs recorded last year, and we should be receiving it today. No mention (yet) of a non-IFC release, but hopefully they'll keep their word. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 09:37, 25 January 2012 (EST)

Confirmation[edit | edit source]

So I bit the bullet, dropped $100 and joined.

However, I didn't get that confirmation email with the MP3. I was under the impression that it would come within a few minutes. Checked my spam folder, wasn't there. I just sent an email to the address provided so they could "investigate" so we'll see how that goes.

Has anyone else gotten the confirmation yet? --Oddjob 11:02, 23 March 2012 (EDT)

Yes, you should get an email within 5 or so minutes. --Duke33 13:22, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
Never did get it, but they responded to me and said I am indeed in the system. Something about how this email is generated with a different script than the usual communiqués. So hopefully I shouldn't have a problem in the future since, again, this cost A HUNDRED DOLLARS! Did anyone else have problems last year, perhaps with Gmail? --Oddjob 22:47, 23 March 2012 (EDT)
I had major problems as an IFC member with AT&T/Yahoo mail last year and wasn't receiving any emails at all (they weren't even showing up in my spam folder, I literally was not receiving anything), but after I wrote to the fanclub email and explained what was going on, they got things sorted out and I've received everything since. If they wrote back to you, then you should be fine for future emails, hopefully. I had a friend who signed up last year though and didn't even realize he was supposed to be getting emails. He uses Gmail and claims he didn't receive any of the emails or downloads...but then it turned out they had all been going to his spam folder the entire time and he'd never bothered to check. -J-Gatz 15:10, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

Information embargo lifted?[edit | edit source]

Is there any indication as to when the embargo on the information about the IFC releases will be lifted or at all? It's a bit, y'know, contemptuous of everybody else. There are very valid reasons why all sorts of genuine TMBG fans might not have paid for IFC membership (my reason last year was that currency conversion plus additional postage to Europe doubled the price of an already expensive service, and for 2011 all that plus they hardly ever gig in the UK anyway). If non-members must miss out on exclusive songs, then that's a shame, but to even be denied knowledge of the contents? That's insane and brattish.

It's one thing treating premium members to a first class service (that's the point after all), but putting rules in place to ensure that non-premium members are treated as second class citizens regarding even *knowledge* is one sure way to lose goodwill and charity from folks. It feels like punishment for 'not giving us enough money', frankly, and ungrateful for the cash and attention non-IFC fans *do* send their way (if there were only 1000 TMBG fans they wouldn't even have a viable career). I don't want to use the 'spoilt child' analogy, but it's pretty accurate. It's not about me or anyone else saying 'give me free songs' (I do actually understand the point of a subscription service) - but don't giggle from inside the treehouse and say 'there are no songs!'

It also makes the whole discographical element to this website entirely pointless too, of course. It's not a resource if it's being remotely controlled. I remember the early days of the band acknowledging this site, and it was exciting. If they're remotely controlling the information on it, then it's defunct as an encyclopaedia and might as well be the official site. I'm blaming Flans et al, not the mods or posters, for all this, but I can't see it as anything other than sad times. The band have happily used the TMBW community as unpaid research staff all these years, they could maybe not start laying down ridiculous orders on top designed specifically to put down paying fans.

- SirDarrell (old member from simpler times)

Hi SirDarrell, thanks for writing. I wholeheartedly agree, and never saw an actual valid reason for the secrecy. I would assume the (potentially flawed) logic is that it would encourage more people to join the following year, BUT the rule was instated during the first year when initial enrollments sold out within days.
A year or two ago, I wrote to Flansburgh via Tumblr about this rule and how it was essentially preventing This Might Be A Wiki from remaining a complete They Might Be Giants encyclopedia. Unfortunately, I never got a response back. I don't think the incompleteness concerns them as much as it concerns us, considering the band has expressed in interviews over the years that they wish they could still "release songs into the ocean" (I'm paraphrasing) without them being cataloged by fans. In reality, TMBG fans love any material that the band is responsible for, down to the most unknown Dial-A-Song compositions - and at TMBW we love cataloging all of it in great detail.
We're complying with the rule out of respect for the band, as we always choose to cooperate with their requests and have no intention of going against their wishes. I sure wish someone could convince them to let us remain a complete encyclopedia, though - now that the 2011 Fan Club is long over, I really don't see how it could do any harm to the band if we put up information about it.
But we won't, unless we get approval. That's just the way this is right now, unfortunately. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 14:32, 6 May 2013 (EDT)
Huh. I always sort of assumed the secrecy and embargoes were done a little bit tongue-in-cheek. I get the feeling (from Flansy interviews and articles) that the band knows They can't seriously control the release of any of their stuff. I figured as long as, on the whole, the fans are respectful of the material and treat the secrecy and embargoes more as guidelines than strict rules, the eventual release of the information would be OK. I never thought it was more serious than that. Maybe when They get back from Down Under and before the next US leg starts, send him a message and see what he says by way of clarification? -- CJSF (talk) 15:03, 6 May 2013 (EDT)
It often seems tongue-in-cheek when accompanied with messages like "You must be thinking of some other band" - but behind the catchphrases I do think they're still serious about maintaining secrecy. Look back on an email sent out to Fan Club members on September 13, 2011 and you'll see what I mean: "These songs are for YOU and YOU ALONE. Do not play them on the radio, do not post them online, do not share with your so-called "facebook friends." Don't even put it in the TMBG wiki!" I do agree, however, that it's worth asking again if the rules have changed (or will eventually change), at least regarding 2011 material. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 16:04, 6 May 2013 (EDT)
I'm talking to the band's management to get their stance on this. Will let you know what they have to say. --Duke33 20:15, 6 May 2013 (EDT)
Guessing there's been no update. Still surprised at what a sticking point this has become with me. Was speaking about it with a friend of mine (who's drifted out of fandom over the past few years but was very active in the late 80s and early 90s), and he was stone-cold shocked and surprised at the notion of the whole IFC. Quote: "Wow, that goes so completely against the entire spirit that Giants fandom was established upon in the first place".
Find it difficult to disagree. The band have just announced the first north-of-England show that I'm actually able to get to since I first became a fan about a decade ago, and I'm surprised that there's such a loudish voice in me which simply doesn't want to go and reward them for selling me out. I'd sort of forgotten about the IFC until quite recently, and I actually wish I hadn't found out about the further developments of it. Ignorance being bliss etc.
What I see right now is a band I still dearly love, but who have become markedly and severely more aggressively business-minded over the past two or three years to the point where I'm finding it difficult to stay on board. What used to be centred off-season around podcasts, the Free Tunes page, Clock Radio, and reasonably-priced EPs/fan releases available from the official merchandise site has melted away somewhat into a sea of continuous 'bundles', 'exclusives', and 'secrets', all produced as timelocked limited editions, peddled through an increasingly pushy newsletter which now seems to be published every five minutes and does little only solicit panic-buying and 'more money now, and fast!'. Look at that Christmas DVD bundle for evidence of standards slipping - they put about five times more effort into hawking that bundle that they did checking the thing they were selling was of acceptable quality.
I genuinely, really hate to criticize the band to this degree (the opinions of blah blah do not necessarily blah blah). But though their actual work is still right at the top of their game, their treatment of their fanbase has gone severely off course and I dearly hope I am not alone in thinking it. I think I see greed and abuse of power where I don't want or expect to see it, and it makes me sad.
~ SirDarrell again
just chiming in here, but i can't really say that i agree with this attitude, regardless of how the johns behaved in the past. they are a band. this is their job. they have no other source of income. it is ok for them to need money to accommodate for the costs of living, and it is ok for them to want to make more money than that to maintain comfortable lives for themselves and their families. no, the IFC is not a perfect way to do this, and indeed a "build-your-membership" policy would be superior. but the institution is still in its infancy, and even now the band is hard-pressed to keep itself organised. a higher standard can only be rational as we move into the future. that said, i would really like to be able to catalogue "secret" IFC information here on the wiki, at the very least.
that was rather scattered so i decided i might tack a bit more onto it and collect more of my thoughts. i am not overwhelmingly familiar with the johns' relationship with their fans in the past; however, i certainly don't think it's a relationship that has ceased to exist, or even one that approaches extinction. TMBG has always appealed to a younger audience (at least, that's what Gigantic told me), and the younger set these days has moved from snail mail and messageboards to social media websites. Mr. F and the band's PR people are ridiculously active across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. they are making an active effort to be a part of the fan community, and i don't think it's fair to discredit that just because they also want their fan community to buy crap. that's what fan communities do for bands! flansburgh often promotes the relevant creations of people who like the band
for what it's worth, the Christmas bundle didn't actually feature any "exclusives", with the exception of the set of posters which were neat but not actually particularly notable, and i don't think it's fair to punish the johns themselves for the quality of the DVD when it was produced by a professional company which should, in its own right, take responsibility for the quality of its output. even so, i'm fairly certain that that was a problem of time-sensitivity, not nonchalance. furthermore, those who received inferior discs were not simply brushed aside, and everyone received a new copy! so, yes, there was a bit of a blunder, but it was promptly corrected.
whatever it is, i definitely don't agree that they are treating their fanbase poorly, or "abusing" their power. TMBG is relatively economically friendly, and a lot less self-promotional than most other bands that have any considerable fan community. i think for everything they try to push on us, they give back in generosity and warm feelings. or at least, flans does. -Apollo (colloquia!) 16:02, 29 May 2013 (EDT)
Some good points. I want my own fears to be proven wrong, I really do. One thing I will say is that I don't buy the 'they need to make a living' excuse for IFC quite so much - I think you'd be surprised at their touring/booking/royalties income. What seems to have changed is that their Disney deal has completed and that was obviously a major source of income for that phase of the band's life, and a new focus on the shop and merchandise is I think a way of filling that gap.
Another thing that's striking me though - it seems that even some fully-paid-up members of the IFC don't necessarily agree with its principles, and that's very telling for me. I agree 100% that there should be levels to it - Ben Folds Five and Jonathan Coulton (which are pretty much the closest two fanbases to this anyway) did multi-tiered album pre-order launches for their most recent LPs that offered complete choice, were fully open and genuinely seemed to respect all levels of payment (interesting example - with BF5 I got my name on the packaging for the absolute minimum CD pre-order spend, yet with TMBG only the $250 Super Presidents did). TMBG's all-or-nothing, what's-the-secret-password, locked-up-treehouse approach is definitely the root of the problem for me. From what it seems, the Hello club was never half this strict, and empires didn't crumble then because people taped them for each other, reviewed them in fanzines or played them on the radio. With the IFC mindset adhered to there'd only be about five and a half people who would ever have heard 'House Of Mayors'. Is that better?
I really do want to reconcile my love for the band with my opinions on their fundraising practices, I swear. Not there yet though by a long shot. x
i must say that as a (regular, not super-president) member of the IFC i wholeheartedly agree that secrecy is lame, and i was distressed when they announced that year 2 would also contain "secret" recordings. but i signed up anyway, because i wanted to have them and because i still think it was a pretty good deal. on the other hand, while i'm not familiar with ben folds five's subscription model, i was a little disappointed with JoCo's — the "build-your-membership" model he used was a little restrictive, especially if you (like me) wanted the vinyl LP (disclaimer: i did eventually obtain a copy thanks to the postal generosity of a friend who was lucky enough to attend a live show). and to be honest i think "we'll put your name in the credits!" is kinda dumb. either way, i most certainly agree that secrecy is unnecessary. it makes some sense to ask for it for the first year, because it gives some allure to the product they're selling, ie an incentive to buy, but after the EPs are no longer available it's just haughty, pretentious, and exclusive. i don't disagree, really, with the financial model they're using, at least not this early on, but i'm definitely with you as far as revealing information/recordings/etc. -Apollo (colloquia!) 17:15, 29 May 2013 (EDT)
FWIW, I personally stopped using this site, and really listening to TMBG much at all once I read about this. Not a fan of censorship, nor bands trying to manipulate their fans and their own press coverage. I decided to hop back on here and see if anything had changed, but unfortunately not. It's just hard not to have a bad taste in my mouth when hearing the band now.-- 21:31, 26 September 2014 (EDT)

One could discover the contents of the EPs with a simple google search - they are indexed on at least one third party discography site.

A Newbie's Perspective[edit | edit source]

I wasn't involved in the 2011 IFC but did join in 2012, and was utterly delighted and blown away by what I consider a great deal. I can understand Wikians' desire for completeness but there seems to be a lot of bitterness here about the crowd funding model which to me seems a bit unfair. I am a professional musician and know from hard experience how difficult it is to make a living in the business. Looking at the figures I find it hard to see how TMBG make any money at all out of touring (these may indeed run at a loss), and to be honest record sales are probably not making them much either, so therefore I am more than willing to support them through merch and the IFC. Yes, there were some issues (for example, I got the wrong sized shirt and when I returned it for exchange they were out of the appropriate size) but compared to very many other crowd funding projects theirs really provided excellent value for money IMO and I'm in the UK so suffered the additional postage charges. Personally, I would have paid twice as much just for the ringtone alone. Anyway I'm sad that some people were/are upset, but also happy to note that the new (2015 release?) album is being produced without recourse to a further IFC so we can all enjoy the TMBG-y goodness on a level playing field. I'm also delighted that 2014 has seen the release of the First Album Live free for everyone to download. Surely this is an amazingly generous gesture which more than compensates for a few "exclusive" tracks which were made available only to IFC members?

Tickets[edit | edit source]

Are IFC tickets reliable? Like, does the venue always recognize them as real tickets? I've heard that venues have treated people with IFC tickets weirdly but I don't remember details. I'm wondering if I should buy backup tickets for shows I want to attend if I want to get in without issue. -- Sonderling (talk) 16:28, 1 December 2014 (EST)

My experience and, as I recall, Flans's explanation, is that using IFC tickets puts you on the band's guest list. How this is handled varies from venue to venue, but guest lists are standard practice, so getting into the venue is not an issue, even if the venue is a bit confused about the system (which it was when I used my free tickets; we still ended up getting in first!). However, being placed on the "guest list" does not guarantee good seats. Generally I think it would put you a few rows back. Not bad seats by any means, but not the best you can get if you book early. Most people prefer to use IFC tickets on general admission shows so that they can have some control over where they are standing. That way, as long as the club lets you in at doors (which it should), your seat will depend on where you are in line. Apollo (colloquia!) 17:31, 1 December 2014 (EST)
Buying backup tickets isn't necessary, but I would recommend choosing the show you want to use your tickets at wisely. I've never encountered a situation where an IFC member didn't get in, but I have encountered numerous scenarios where the process of getting in was less than ideal. Apollo is right about the tickets being a spot on the guest list. Which means in a seated venue, you have no control over where your seats are. Also, the venue only receives the guest list from the band minutes before the doors open, so I recommend not choosing a venue with any sort of early entry deal that you want to take advantage of. Basically, pick a general admission venue with a straight forward "line up to get in" admission policy and check with the Box Office about 10-15 minutes before doors to get your tickets (unless you don't particularly care about being in front, in which case, pick whatever venue you want!). Also, you have to use both your tickets at the same show, so find a buddy to go with (pairing up with other IFC members for ticket sharing is a great way to meet people, IMHO). BlueCanary (talk) 20:31, 1 December 2014 (EST)
So how does it work? They send you an email or some sort of printable? Or you just rock up and say "I'm in the IFC?" If the latter, surely this is open to abuse? Dr-Raygun 2 Dec 2014
my experience was, you get an email confirming that you are on the guest list, then you go to the venue, say you are on the guest list, show ID with your name, they check if you are on the list, and then i think they gave me a pair of tickets. it was a few years ago but i am pretty sure that was how it went down. the ID is the important part. bring your ID. Apollo (colloquia!) 21:14, 2 December 2014 (EST)
Every venue does it slightly differently. I'm sure they'll send out some instructions for tickets once enrollment closes, but in the past, you had to email the fan club address to request the show you want tickets for at least three weeks in advance and then they sent a confirmation back to you as long as they didn't get too many requests for the same show. Then the band (or their staff, anyway), put together a list of all the IFC attendees for each venue and give it to the box office. As Apollo said, you bring your ID to the box office, they check you off the list. Some of the venues give you a ticket at that point, others just have the list at the door. It usually depends on how they handle their will call. But of course, they could have a different system this time around. BlueCanary (talk) 00:15, 3 December 2014 (EST)

Hey again mates, are we supposed to get an email right back? My friend put in for tickets a few weeks ago and never got an acknowledgement, but it's for a show in May. Should she contact them again? -- Sonderling (talk) 12:52, 14 January 2015 (EST)

I would definitely send another email! My ticket request received a response pretty quickly a few weeks ago. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 12:54, 14 January 2015 (EST)
I thought they said email them three weeks or so before the gig, so emailing now for a concert in May is probably not going to get a response. - Dr Raygun 14 Jan 2015
It's at least 3 weeks before the show, and they said to expect an email confirmation within 7 days of submitting the form. I received my confirmation for my April ticket request already. "You will receive confirmation of your ticket request within seven (7) days of submitting the form. If you do not receive confirmation within that time period please email with your name, IFC order number, and the show you requested." -CapitalQtalk ♪ 14:15, 14 January 2015 (EST)
Thank you for clarifying! Let' hope Sonderling's friend get things sorted out. DR R.

Damaged(?) vinyl[edit | edit source]

The last two EPs I got from the IFC last year have, for some reason, malfunctioning A-sides. (I would say warped since the sides constantly change speed, but the shape of the discs themselves has not changed. Also, the B-sides of these two discs have no issues, strangely enough.) I was playing every other vinyl I've gotten and they've worked just fine except for these two. Unfortunately, I did not discover this issue until this morning when I was trying to transfer these vinyl tracks into MP3s. (In fact, before today, every time I've played these singles, they've had no problems, either.) Is it too late to contact the IFC and ask them for replacements? EDIT: After playing the discs on my old turntable, I can confirm it was the new turntable that was the problem. Goddamnit, I hate when brand-new things you buy are broken... Merry Christmas, anyways. Hope I didn't take too much of your time. Tvfactoryguy (talk)

I would say that it couldn't hurt to try, but it's entirely possible that they no longer have stock of those particular releases. Either way, shoot off an email to if you want to give it a shot. I do find it peculiar that the EPs didn't have problems until now, though... not sure what could suddenly cause that. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 11:38, 25 December 2014 (EST)
warping? Apollo (colloquia!) 14:15, 25 December 2014 (EST)
hope the new player isn't a crosley! but that would do it. Apollo (colloquia!) 23:11, 26 December 2014 (EST)
The irony is, the new player isn't a Crosley at all, but the old player where these two discs could actually play on was a Crosley! In the end, I just decided to use a trick where I put a different 7" record below these two and they worked. Hopefully I won't have to deal with this again. Many thanks and sorry if I was being too rude before. Tvfactoryguy (talk)

DAS Direct subscription problem[edit | edit source]

So, I signed up for the regular level of membership but I never got the email described on TMBG's main website (IIRC it's supposed to be from Fillmore at to set up my account. For a while I was just gonna let it ride since They said all the DAS tracks would be released on CD anyway, but then They started doing those bonus tracks too, which I doubt will be on CD. Plus, it turns out I'm very impatient. So basically I changed my mind and would like the ability to download the tracks. The question is... who do I contact about getting my account set up? Akagi (talk) 15:32, 27 January 2015 (EST)

Check your spam folder, just in case. If you can't find it anywhere, just email -CapitalQtalk ♪ 15:34, 27 January 2015 (EST)
Yeah, it's not in there. OK, I'll have to send an email. Thanks! Akagi (talk) 15:44, 27 January 2015 (EST)