This Day In TMBG History/All

From This Might Be A Wiki

Note: This page aggregates all events together from the separated month pages, for easy viewing. To edit or add an event, navigate to its relevant month page above.

January

1

2000 – John Linnell, backed by The Statesmen, performs the single "Montana" from his solo album State Songs on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, marking the first and only solo performance from a member of They Might Be Giants to be broadcast on television. Watch the performance via YouTube.


4

1896 – Utah becomes the 45th state. It will be the basis of the State Songs song "Utah".


5

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2015 – Dial-A-Song triumphantly returns with the start of Dial-A-Song Direct. The service premieres with the new track "Erase".


7

1943 – Having brought the X-ray photo and AC power to the world, Tesla is found dead on the floor of the Hotel New Yorker.


8

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1990 – Flood, They Might Be Giants' third studio album and major label debut, is released. It becomes their first album to become RIAA-certified Gold in 1993, and their first album to go Platinum in 2009.


9

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2000 – Malcolm in the Middle, for which They Might Be Giants contributed the theme and incidental music, is first broadcast. Its theme song, "Boss Of Me", wins TMBG their first Grammy two years later, for Best Song Written for a Movie or TV Show.


11

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2004 – An episode of Home Movies, entitled "Camp", premieres. The episode features a number of original songs by They Might Be Giants and guest voice-overs by John and John, who portray multiple characters, including a pair of camp counselors that teach music class.


21

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2013 – TMBG releases They Might Be Giants, their free iOS application. The app, designed in collaboration with Paul Sahre, Hine Mizushima, and Scarface, lets fans listen to five different tracks, which may be new songs, rarities, television and commercial themes, or other TMBG tracks.


22

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2013 – Nanobots EP becomes available digitally, previewing three tracks from the upcoming Nanobots album.


23

1983 – John Flansburgh and John Linnell perform their second live show together, the first under the name They Might Be Giants, at a venue called Dr. B's in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. An eerie number of coincidences regarding the number 23 surround the show.


26

2012 – The RIAA certifies the DVDs for both Here Come The 123s and Here Comes Science as Gold (50,000 copies sold each).


1837 – Michigan, exemplar of unchecked replication, becomes the 26th state. It later launches the writing of the State Songs tune "Michigan".


27

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1891 – Brigadier General Ralph Hospital is born in Washington, D.C. He goes on to fight in both World War I and World War II, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. General Hospital is featured on the cover of Lincoln, behind the podium on the right side of the shrine, and the portrait of him appears in the music video for "Ana Ng". He can also be spotted on the back of They'll Need A Crane.


29

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1997 – The Kit Kat Acoustic Break, featuring TMBG, is broadcast on college radio stations nationwide.


February

1

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1990 – Birdhouse In Your Soul, the first single from Flood, is released. This is They Might Be Giants' first release on the major label Elektra. It is also their second single to chart, and peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks, making it their highest charting single to date.


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1991 – "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and "Particle Man" appear on Tiny Toon Adventures.


2

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1937 – Water levels reach 57 feet in Kentucky during the Ohio River flood of 1937. It is around this time that the photograph appearing on the cover of Flood is taken by Margaret Bourke-White in Louisville, part of a series by Bourke-White documenting the disaster.



3

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1992 – "The Statue Got Me High", the first single from Apollo 18, is released.


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2008 – The Dunkin' Donuts commercial "Things I Like To Do" (featuring music by TMBG) airs during the Super Bowl.


5

2001 – They Might Be Giants perform "Boss Of Me" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


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2005 – An outtake from Here Come The ABCs, "T-Shirt" is released as a single on iTunes.


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2008 – Here Come The 123s, They Might Be Giants' third children's album, is released. It goes on to win a Grammy award for Best Musical Album for Children in 2009.


6

1971 – Alan Shepard hits golf balls on the Moon with a six iron golf club head attached to the handle of a lunar excavation tool. He exclaimed that the second ball went "miles and miles and miles" in the low lunar gravity, but later estimated the distance as 200 to 400 yards (180 to 370 m).


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2009 – The film Coraline, based on the book by Neil Gaiman and directed by Henry Selick, premieres in theaters. The film features an original song by They Might Be Giants, "Other Father Song", sung by a character played by John Hodgman (though John Linnell is credited for his singing voice). TMBG was originally slated to provide multiple songs, but all except this one were cut. "Careful What You Pack" is one song that was originally written for the movie.


8

1968 – Planet of the Apes, the first in a series of five films, is released. The films will inspire seven hidden tracks on Severe Tire Damage.


9

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2009 – Here Come The 123s wins TMBG their second Grammy award, for Best Musical Album for Children. Watch their acceptance speech via YouTube.


10

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1868 – William Allen White, renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor and author, is born. White's face is used quite frequently by They Might Be Giants in music videos (in the band's early years) and public performances, and it has become a recognizable symbol for the band.


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1989 – They'll Need A Crane, the second single from Lincoln, is released, the band's last before signing with the major label Elektra.


11

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2012 – Whitney Houston passes away at age 48. As a gesture of respect, They Might Be Giants retire the song "Marty Beller Mask" from live performance.


13

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1839 – Lewis T. Linnell, John Linnell's paternal great-grandfather, is born in Lyme, New York. Later in life a banker, Lewis fights for the Union in the American Civil War, and campaigns for president Lincoln. Appropriately enough, Lewis Linnell is featured on the cover of Lincoln, behind the podium on the left side of the shrine. His portrait also appears in the music video for "Ana Ng".


15

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2005 – Here Come The ABCs, They Might Be Giants' second children's album is released. The standalone DVD release becomes Gold certified by the RIAA in April 2005, only two months after its release.


18

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1922 – Helen Gurley Brown may be some cultural figure we don't know a lot about, but now we know that she was born on this date.


1954 –  The Long, Long Trailer, a Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie which is heavily referenced in the song "Everything Right Is Wrong Again", is released in the United States.


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2003 – Direct From Brooklyn is released on DVD, four years after its original VHS release. Marking the first DVD release from They Might Be Giants, it features 12 of their original music videos, bonus videos including two from Tiny Toon Adventures, and track-by-track audio commentary by John and John.


19

1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Renaissance astronomer, is born. Copernicus is credited with first postulating the heliocentric model of the universe, thus revolutionizing humanity's understanding of "The World's Address" and inspiring Davy Crockett to rename a robot drone.


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1878 – Thomas Alva Edison is issued the first patent for the phonograph. In 1996, TMBG uses Edison's original cylinder phonograph to record several songs, including "I Can Hear You", at the Edison Laboratories.


22

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2015 – A collection of live tracks, called Flood Live In Australia, is released as a free download from TMBG. It later sees a physical release as a bonus disc in the Australian release of Glean.


25

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2003 – This Might Be A Wiki, the first entirely editable They Might Be Giants website, is opened to the world on this day! It is introduced in alt.music.tmbg with this post.


26

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2008 – The Sims 2: FreeTime, an expansion pack for the popular Sims computer game, hits stores. In addition to the theme music, which They Might Be Giants composed, it features "Take Out The Trash" sung in Simlish, which can be played on the radio in-game.


27

2013 – With a show in Portland, ME, TMBG kicks off their Nanobots tour. The tour includes stops across the United States and Canada, as well as many shows in Australia — making it their first tour in over a decade to extend to Australia. The band has also indicated that they will be playing shows in some European locations, including the UK, France, and Germany.


March

4

1987 – They Might Be Giants appear on a special edition of The Frank O'Toole Show on WMFU in East Orange, NJ. Over the course of 90 minutes, they play a number of Dial-A-Song demos, perform several tracks live in the studio, and are interviewed by Frank O'Toole.


5

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2013 – They Might Be Giants triumphantly release their sixteenth album, Nanobots.


8

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2016 – They Might Be Giants suddenly release their 19th album, Phone Power, in a pay-what-you-want format. The album is another compilation of songs from Dial-A-Song Direct, the 2015 iteration of Dial-A-Song.


10

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2007 – Phone Calls From The Dead makes its debut, at the TED Conference. During the segment, the band communicates with "The Amazing Randi", a magician who offered a $1 million prize for proof of communication with the dead. (Watch it on ted.com.)


15

1820 – Maine becomes the 23rd state. It will beget State Songs's "Maine".


18

1968 – ABC airs the 58th and final episode of its World War II action television show The Rat Patrol. In the episode, entitled "The Kill at Koorlea Raid," The Rat Patrol is instructed to assassinate a German general, but unit leader Sgt. Sam Troy aims to take him alive instead.


20

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1992 – Apollo 18, They Might Be Giants' fourth studio album, is released.


25

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1997 – The compilation album Then: The Earlier Years is released. It includes the band's first two albums (They Might Be Giants and Lincoln), their accompanying B-sides, and 19 never-before-heard tracks.


28

1930 – Istanbul was Constantinople, now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople: Constantinople, and other old variants for the name of the Turkish city, which were still in use internationally, are officially declared obsolete, in favor of the name Istanbul, by the Turkish Postal Service Law.


29

2006 – Dial-A-Song returns after a year long hiatus with the demo of "We Live In A Dump", its final song.


30

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1985 – They Might Be Giants celebrate the release of the Wiggle Diskette, their first official release, at Darinka.


April

2

2004 – The first episode of Now Hear This, a radio show created and hosted by John Flansburgh, premieres. The theme song is "I Hear A New World", performed by Robin Goldwasser.


3

1990 – They Might Be Giants perform "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", singles from the album Flood, on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, hosted by Jay Leno.


4

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2004 – Indestructible Object is first released.


10

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2008 – They Might Be Giants perform "Seven" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.


15

1960 – "A Nice Place to Visit", an episode of The Twilight Zone, first airs. This is the episode that inspired John Flansburgh to write the song "Hell Hotel".


16

2015 – They Might Be Giants performs "Bills, Bills, Bills" live at the AV Club, like they did for Tubthumping. "Bills, Bills, Bills" is later released as a song for Dial-A-Song (2015).


21

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2015 – Glean is released.


22

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1964 – The 1964 World's Fair, most notably referenced in the song "Ana Ng", is opened to the public on this day.


26

2006 – The Beardo 2006 tour begins.


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2011 – Four Advance Tracks from Join Us are made available digitally, offering a preview of the new album, and accompanied by artwork from Paul Sahre.


27

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1999 – Direct From Brooklyn is released on VHS.


2012 – This Day In TMBG History was initiated by John Flansburgh himself.


29

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2005 – Here Come The ABCs on DVD is certified Gold (50,000 units sold) by the RIAA, only two months after its release. It is the second release by They Might Be Giants ever to go Gold, following Flood in 1993.


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2014 – Danny Weinkauf's debut solo album, No School Today, is released.


30

1829 – The town of Canajoharie is incorporated. It will prompt the writing of "Canajoharie" on Join Us.


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2001 – They Might Be Giants gather with various authors for an ensemble show commemorating Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #6. The show, which features a full rock set from They Might Be Giants and lasts two and a half hours, raises over $10,000 for Reading Is Fundamental.


May

1

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Happy May Day! Celebrate with the Puppet Johns via YouTube.


2

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2002 – Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns), the full-length documentary about They Might Be Giants, has its first screening in New York at the 59th Street East Cinema in Manhattan.


3

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2005 – A User's Guide To They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity is released by Rhino on CD. The greatest hits compilation serves mostly as a condensed version of the two-disc Dial-A-Song set from three years earlier.


4

1979 – When I was Maggie Thatcher, It Was A Very Good Year for cat fights and being elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a position Ms. Thatcher would continue to hold for 11 years.


5

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1988 – (She Was A) Hotel Detective, the second single from They Might Be Giants' first album is released.


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1992 – I Palindrome I, the second single from Apollo 18, is released.


6

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1960 – John Flansburgh is born.


1992 – TMBG play their last UK show as a duo at London's Town & Country Club.


7

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2002 – The first performance of People Are Wrong! takes place at Joe's Pub in New York City, through the Joseph Papp's Public Theater.


12

1990 – They Might Be Giants play "Your Racist Friend", a single from Flood, on Late Night with David Letterman. Watch the performance via YouTube.


15

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2007 – The Else, They Might Be Giants' twelfth studio album is made available for download on iTunes, approximately two months ahead of the CD release.


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2013 – The TMBG app is released for Android devices, following its initial iOS release in January.


16

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2000 – Working Undercover For The Man, an MP3 EP, is released through eMusic, though, as in the case of Long Tall Weekend, there are some physical copies available. In addition to the title track, it features a number of previously unreleased recordings.


19

1992 – They Might Be Giants play "I Palindrome I", a single from Apollo 18, on Late Night with David Letterman. Watch the performance via YouTube.


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1998 – It's Fun To Steal, Mono Puff's second album, is released.


23

1788 – South Carolina becomes the 8th state. Nationally, it becomes one of the most poorly-rated states in terms of bicycle accidents. It will prompt the writing of the State Songs track "South Carolina".


24

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1941 – Bob Dylan is born. Dylan is a prolific and influential musician, revered by both John Linnell and John Flansburgh. His song "Mr. Tambourine Man" has been covered by TMBG, and it inspired the song "Weep Day".


26

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2003 – Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns) begins screening in a limited number of theaters.


27

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2014 – The TMBG compilation album, Idlewild, is released.


30

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Dan Hickey is born.


June

4

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2007 – Two untitled photos from Marcel Dzama's series of The Else Photos premiere on the band's Myspace. The first of these is later used on the cover of the "I'm Impressed" promo.


6

2000 – John Flansburgh appears onstage as the Chief of Police in "Welcome To The Voice", a musical opera featuring Elvis Costello.


9

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1971 – They Might Be Giants, a movie starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward, first premieres in theaters. The title of this movie, which references Don Quixote, is later considered by a friend of the Johns for the name of his ventriloquist act. After he discards it, John and John choose to use it for the name of their band (rather than calling themselves Dumptruck).


11

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1996 – Unsupervised, the first full-length studio album by Mono Puff, is released.


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2002 – No!, They Might Be Giants' first album directed at the young'ns, is released. This is also the band's first release through their own label, Idlewild Recordings.


12

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1959 – John Linnell is born.


13

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2003 – TMBG Clock Radio becomes available, offering fans many hours of free streaming They Might Be Giants music, including rare demos and live tracks.


14

1992 – They Might Be Giants play their first show with a backing band. This was a small, unannounced show in Brooklyn.


15

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2007 – Several John Henry Demos are released in higher fidelity, on Podcast 27A.


1836 – Arkansas becomes the twenty-fifth state. It will inspire "Arkansas", a track on State Songs.


19

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2016 – The Chopping Block, a design studio that was a long-time partner with TMBG, releases Songs For Chop. The album is a collection of songs previously made available via the company's website.


20

1863 – West Virginia becomes the thirty-fifth state. It will later provoke the writing of State Songs's "West Virginia".


21

1788 – New Hampshire becomes the ninth state. It will bring about the writing of the State Songs song "New Hampshire".


22

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1984 – They Might Be Giants play their first show at Darinka, a small performance arts venue in New York's Lower East Side, founded by Gary Ray Bugarcic, who appears in Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns). TMBG would go on to play at least one show at Darinka in every year of its existence, including a party for the release of the Wiggle Diskette. It is also where music video producer Adam Bernstein first met the Johns.



24

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1993 – They Might Be Giants backs Frank Black for a live show, which is recorded and later released as a promo CD entitled Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST.


25

1938 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Fair Labor Standards Act. This allows the first successful national minimum wage to be set in the United States.


26

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2012 – No! is re-issued in a 10th anniversary edition with bonus tracks.


27

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2014 – First Album Live, a collection of live performance of tracks from The Pink Album, is released as a free download from tmbg.com.


29

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2002 – No! reaches the #1 spot on Billboard's Top Kid Audio chart.


30

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1986 – The 1985 Demo Tape is reviewed in People magazine by Michael Small. This review is often cited as the band's first large-scale exposure, earning them the attention they needed to secure a record deal with Bar/None.


July

1

1991 – The Meat Puppets release their major label debut, Forbidden Places, which contains the song "Whirlpool", later covered by They Might Be Giants for the EP Why Does The Sun Shine?.


3

1890 – Idaho becomes the 43rd state. It will be the basis for the State Songs track "Idaho".


4

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1985 – The 1985 Demo Tape, They Might Be Giants' first album-length release, debuts. Dubbed on store-bought cassettes and sold at shows by The Johns, it gets extra exposure after a review in People magazine, which eventually leads to a deal with Bar/None Records.


5

1992 – They Might Be Giants play "The Guitar" and "The Statue Got Me High" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, marking their first appearance on the show. Watch the interview and performance of "The Statue Got Me High" on YouTube.


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1993 – "Christmas Cards" is recorded with Graham Maby and Brian Doherty at Excello Studio in Brooklyn, New York.


9

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2004 – They Might Be Giants play "Minneapolis" as part of a show at the First Avenue Stage, marking the beginning of the recording of the Venue Songs project, which would eventually span several dozen cities and would be compiled into an album later in the year, and a full CD/DVD set in 2005.


10

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1967 – Marty Beller is born.


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2009 – Flood is certified as a platinum-selling album by the RIAA.


13

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2004 – The Spine, They Might Be Giants' tenth studio album, is released, alongside an accompanying EP.


14

1996 – John Flansburgh marries Robin Goldwasser, who to this day frequently collaborates with They Might Be Giants.


17

2002 – They Might Be Giants play "Bed, Bed, Bed", "Older", "Robot Parade", and "Shoehorn With Teeth" on The Screen Savers, promoting their new album No!. Watch the appearance in two parts on YouTube here and here.


19

1979 – The Sandinista Revolution occurs in Nicaragua. Three years later, El Grupo De Rock And Roll plays its very first show at a Central Park rally celebrating the revolution.


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1999 – Long Tall Weekend becomes the first studio album by a major artist to be released exclusively through digital download.


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2011 – Join Us, the fifteenth studio album by They Might Be Giants, is released.


23

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2002 – They Got Lost, a compilation of rarities including songs from Long Tall Weekend, TMBG Unlimited, and They Might Be Giants Vs. McSweeney's, is made available at shows and on TMBG's website.


30

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1992 – The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight), the third single from Apollo 18, is released.


August

5

1999 – The second episode of Brave New World, "Man and Machine", premieres, including a video for "Dan Vs. Cog". This clip is available on YouTube.


9

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1953 – In Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strip, a turtle named Churchill LaFemme makes a hole with a gun perpendicular to the name of this town in a desktop globe.


11

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1998 – Severe Tire Damage, They Might Be Giants' first commercial live album, is released. Among the live selections, there are also three studio tracks: "Doctor Worm", "About Me", and "Severe Tire Damage Theme". This album also includes the Planet Of The Apes series.


12

1953 – The Four Lads record the original version of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" which is released as a single in September of the same year.


13

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1870 – Initiation of first members of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, frequently referred to as "Shriners". This group is known for driving themed miniature vehicles in local parades, a practice alluded to in "She's An Angel".


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2012 – Helen Gurley Brown passes away at the age of 90 years old at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a brief hospitalization. Long time editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine and author of Sex and the Single Girl, she is referenced in the song "(She Thinks She's) Edith Head".


16

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1994 – Back To Skull fleshes out the full band sound first sampled by Why Does The Sun Shine?, They Might Be Giants' first release with its backing band.


17

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2004 – John Flansburgh's Future Soundtrack For America project is released, with proceeds from the CD's sale donated to various progressive organizations. The compilation features a range of musicians, and a TMBG song, "Tippecanoe And Tyler Too".


1988 – The Randee of the Redwoods Convention, featuring They Might Be Giants performing "Shoehorn With Teeth" and "Don't Let's Start", airs on MTV. A video of the performance is available for download here.


18

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1960 – The Beatles, a musical group from Liverpool, plays their first performance under that name. They go on to become perhaps the most well-known band in all of popular music. The Beatles are often cited as a major influence on They Might Be Giants.


20

1953 – Radio station WLSD first goes on air. The station is mentioned in the opening lines of "The End Of The Tour": "There's a girl with a crown and a scepter, who's on WLSD."


26

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1999 – The fourth episode of Brave New World, "The Sixth Extinction?" premieres, including a video for "King Weed". This clip is available on YouTube.


31

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2004 – The Spine Hits The Road, a live album including selections from the Spine On The Highway Tour, is made available exclusively through iTunes.


September

1

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2009 – Here Comes Science, They Might Be Giants' fourth children's album, is released. In 2010, it becomes a Grammy award nominee for the 2010 Best Musical Album for Children.


2

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1970 – Apollo 18, a planned NASA mission, is canceled due to budgetary constraints. In 1992, They Might Be Giants releases an album with the same name, and John and John are selected by NASA to be "Musical Ambassadors" for International Space Year.


1999 – The fifth episode of Brave New World, "Looking for Life", premieres, including a video for "All Alone". You can watch the video on YouTube.


8

2004 – The French Broad River, inundated by heavy rains from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan, floods. Twenty days later, the Venue Songs track "Asheville" will reference it.


10

2001 – They Might Be Giants are interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show to promote their soon-to-be-released Mink Car. You can watch the interview on YouTube. John Flansburgh is Trotsky!


11

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2001 – Mink Car, They Might Be Giants' eighth studio album, is released.


12

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2004 – Higglytown Heroes, for which They Might Be Giants created the theme song, "Here In Higglytown", first airs. John and John are depicted as animated citizens of Higglytown, performing the song.


13

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1994 – John Henry, They Might Be Giants' fifth studio album, is released. This album is their first to be recorded with a live backing band.


14

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1993 – Why Does The Sun Shine? is released, marking They Might Be Giants' first ever set of recordings featuring their new touring band to be released.


16

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1999 – The final episode of Brave New World, "Beyond Atoms", premieres, including a video for "Cut The Strings".


17

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2002 – The compilation Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants is released on the Rhino label. The two-CD set contains a whopping 52 tracks that span the first 20 years of the band.


25

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1988 – Lincoln, They Might Be Giants' second album, is released.


26

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1849 – Ivan Pavlov, Nobel Prize-winning Russian physiologist is born. Pavlov is best known for his studies of conditional gastric reflexes, in particular those involving canines as referenced in "Dinner Bell".


28

2003 – TMBG's Other Thing, a four-piece backing ensemble consisting of Marty Beller, Dan Levine, Mark Pender, and Marcus Rojas, makes its debut at a show at Joe's Pub.



29

1983 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt first publishes The Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon, a whimsical children's book by Nancy Willard about the moon abandoning its post in the sky and searching for a nightgown.


October

1

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2003 – The audiobook to The Partly Cloudy Patriot, a book by Sarah Vowell, which features music by They Might Be Giants, is released.


3

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1967 – Dan Miller is born.


4

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2011 – The music video for "Can't Keep Johnny Down", starring Rip Torn, premieres.


5

1992 – During a They Might Be Giants show in Milwaukee, John Flansburgh asks fans to "disregard the fire laws—feel free to just come on up and help us out with 'The Famous Polka'", resulting in the venue's stage collapsing moments later. There are no serious injuries, and the show continues shortly thereafter. Audio of the incident is available via YouTube.


7

2009 – They Might Be Giants perform "Meet The Elements" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, their first appearance on the show. They also record a web-exclusive performance of "Dead".


8

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1991 – Miscellaneous T, a collection of B-sides and remixes from They Might Be Giants and Lincoln, is released in the United States.


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1996 – Factory Showroom, They Might Be Giants' sixth studio album—and their last on Elektra—is released.


9

2012 – Just Dance 4, featuring TMBG's version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople), is released in North America on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.


10

1975 – David Lee Roth turns 21 and has, presumably, Damn Good Times.


11

They Day is celebrated annually on this day!


12

2007 – They Might Be Giants perform "The Mesopotamians" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, promoting The Else. The performance is available on YouTube. They also record a performance of "Alphabet Of Nations".


14

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1994 – TMBG performs a concert at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The performance is recorded, and later released on the CD Live!! New York City 10/14/94.


1992 – TMBG kicks off an 8-night stand at the Variety Arts Theatre, as part of their Rocktoberfest. Each night of the series features a different opening act.


17

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1996 – Stayed inside. At 11 o'clock I see my dedicated friend through my window. He's across the street, turning the key in his front door. I sit in my chair just beyond the sunlight of the window and speak out: "There he is." He looks around, thinking, incorrectly, that he will someday discover my secret identity.


26

1993 – They Might Be Giants appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien for the first time. They perform "Why Does The Sun Shine?" and are interviewed. This is the first of over a dozen appearances on Conan. The performance and interview are available on YouTube.


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1999 – State Songs, John Linnell's first (and, to date, only) solo studio album, is released.


28

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1897 – Edith Head is born.


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2003 – The band releases their first children's book, Bed, Bed, Bed.


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2011 – Album Raises New And Troubling Questions, a rarities compilation, is released.


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1864 – Nevada becomes the 36th state. It will generate the final track on State Songs, "Nevada".


November

1

1956 – Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems is published by City Lights Books. The first few lines of the title poem are borrowed, with Ginsberg's consent, for the opening of "I Should Be Allowed To Think" in 1994.


2

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1795 – James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States (1845 - 1849) is born. Often referred to by his nickname, "Napoleon of the Stump", he is known for having accomplished everything he had set out to in only one presidential term, including as "[seizing] the whole Southwest from Mexico" and "[building] an independent treasury".


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1987 – Don't Let's Start, the first single from They Might Be Giants' first album, is released. The accompanying music video gets much exposure on MTV, giving the band their first taste of fame.


3

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2009 – TMBG's second book, Kids Go!, is released.


4

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1986 – They Might Be Giants, the band's self-titled first album, is released. The album contained the band's first singles, "Don't Let's Start" and "(She Was A) Hotel Detective", and spawned music videos for those songs and "Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head".


2003 – They Might Be Giants perform "Wicked Little Critta", "Another First Kiss" and "Au Contraire" on The Screen Savers. The appearance can be seen in three parts via YouTube here, here, and here.


5

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1988 – "Ana Ng", the second single from Lincoln, becomes They Might Be Giants' first charting single, entering the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart at #30. It goes on to peak at #11 in December, and falls off the chart after 9 weeks.


6

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2001 – The holiday-themed EP, They Might Be Giants In Holidayland, is released.


8

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1889 – Montana becomes the 41st state. John Linnell will write the State Songs single, "Montana", about it.


11

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2005 – Venue Songs is released as a CD/DVD set.


14

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2013 – Bloomsbury publishing releases the book They Might Be Giants' Flood, part of their 33⅓ series.


15

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1974 – Earthquake, the first film to use the glorious cinematic technology known as Sensurround, premieres. There it was in the aisle by the exit sign, a woofer covered in wood, to shake the room with 120-decibel "infra bass" sound waves when it should.


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2008 – The Dial-A-Song number is disconnected and no longer owned by They Might Be Giants, for the first time since 1983.


18

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2003 – Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns) is released on DVD.


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2011 – While leaving Southern California, the band's trailer caught fire and they "lost a bunch of important stuff". However, The Avatars Of They survived because they were "traveling deep in the pack in their luxury suitcase". The band acknowledged it was "an extremely stressful time", but in the end, "TMBG can't stop, won't stop."


19

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1949 – James Ensor dies. James Ensor is considered to be an innovator in 19th century art. Although he stood apart from other artists of his time, he significantly influenced 20th century expressionist and surrealist painters. If you want to dig him up and shake his hand, you'll have to go to the churchyard of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Duinenkerk (Our Lady of the Dunes Church) in Dorpstraat, Belgium.


20

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1992 – At the soundcheck for a show at Fairfax High in Los Angeles, They Might Be Giants record the song "O Tannenbaum" which is later released as a 7" single.


25

1989 – The songs "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Dead" debut at a show at Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, shortly before the release of Flood.


26

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1996 – S-E-X-X-Y, the only single from Factory Showroom, is released.


27

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2015 – Why?, They Might Be Giants' fifth album for children, is released.


28

2014 – The band participates in Record Store Black Friday, re-releasing Flood on green and yellow-colored vinyl.


December

4

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1963 – Danny Weinkauf is born.


2003 – They Might Be Giants perform "Particle Man" and "Stalk of Wheat" on The Screen Savers. The appearance can be seen in two parts via YouTube here and here.


8

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2005 – The band's first podcast, Podcast 1A, is released. It features never-before-heard tracks "It Was A Very Good Year", "I Enjoy Being A Boy", and "Turtle Songs Of North America".


9

2007 – John Flansburgh first appears making a guest cameo as Xavier's computer in Xavier: Renegade Angel on Adult Swim.


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2014 – After a six-year hiatus, Dial-A-Song makes a triumphant return at a brand new phone number, (844) 387-6962.


10

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2004 – Venue Songs is released digitally.


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2004 – Almanac, a digital live album, is released, unannounced and exclusively through the TMBG Download Store.


1817 – Mississippi becomes the 20th state. It will be the namesake of "Mississippi" on State Songs.


11

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2009 – They Might Be Giants play "Why Does The Sun Shine?" and "Why Does The Sun Really Shine?" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. John Hodgman was also on the show, and provided guest vocals on the former. You can watch the performances on YouTube.


12

1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the 2nd state. It will be the basis of "Pennsylvania", a track on State Songs.


13

1818 – Illinois becomes the 21st state. It will inspire "Illinois", the instrumental opening track of State Songs.


15

1999 – They Might Be Giants provide live incidental and bumper music for the entirety of Jon Stewart's "Greatest Millennium" special.


17

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1999 – Olive, The Other Reindeer debuts at 8:00pm Eastern on the Fox Network. It does not include the Johnny Hart song, "Olive, The Other Reindeer".


22

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1993 – Flood is certified as a gold-selling album by the RIAA. In 2009, it goes on to be certified platinum.


28

1846 – Iowa becomes the 29th state. It will give rise to the State Songs track "Iowa".


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2015 – Dial-A-Song's 2015 iteration, Dial-A-Song Direct comes to an end with the 52nd and final song, "Shape Shifter".