Hearing Aid

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Hearing Aid
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Birdhouse In Your Soul (EP), Flood + Apollo 18
year 1990
first played February 18, 1990 (92 known performances)
run time 3:26
sung by John Flansburgh


  • In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Flansburgh recalled:[1]
The sonics of this were a real step up. Contrasting the genre-approved beat with the Arto Lindsay guitar solo and the vacuum-cleaner synth sounds in the middle was really just a balancing act to hold the listeners' interest. I remember trying to do some dub moves, but no one we worked with had any practical experience with how to do it, and it all seemed very tame, so we scrapped that part."
  • In 2021, Flansburgh described the process gathering the samples:[2]
Much of the drums and percussion on the track is made up of homemade Casio FZ1 "one hit" samples either from live sources or recordings and sequenced via MIDI on a Mac. The singing at the top I think might have been recorded straight off the radio. In my project studio I usually had it tuned to WNYC-AM because it was all talk. But I spun the dial to capture a moment of the very dusty AM stations still playing music from the 30s to the 50s in NYC at that time. (Perhaps WOR-AM?) I don’t remember where the muted trumpet samples are from, but there are a few textures so I suspect it is actually a combination [of] sources.

Song Themes

Addiction, Compulsion, Album Lead-Ins, Artificial Body Parts, Aversion To Work, Backwards, Coffee, Fade Out, Jail And Imprisonment, Medical, Misanthropy, Occupations


Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

Hearing Aid is currently ranked #530 out of 1005. (135 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.16)