This Day In TMBG History/February
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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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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.
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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).
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.
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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.
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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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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".
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.