This Might Be A Wiki:Other Bands You Might Like If You Like TMBG

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If I like They Might Be Giants, what other groups or artists might I like? Why?

You can recommend artists on this list by editing this page and adding 1 vote to that artist's total votes.

Band Description Rating
American Football Incricate, calculated math rock with elements of emo. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Andrew Jackson Jihad Wild folk-punk band from Arizona. Their songs about shyness, poverty and optimism are presented in an awkward, anxious manner (imagine the Violent Femmes having a panic attack.) Check 'em out. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
apolloish Friendly ukulele/mandolin/autoharp/accordion/etc. music with bizarre lyrics by your very own TMBW page deleter, Apollo. Plus all her music is free on Bandcamp so you basically have nothing to lose. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
The Apples in Stereo The most easily accessible of the Elephant 6 music collective. Great pop hooks. 00015;15 fans on TMBW
The Aquabats! The Aquabats can best be described a a parody of whatever the current "alternative" is. In the 1990's, they formed "to poke fun at the burgeoning ska scene". They put on Superhero outfits and played some awesome Surf/Ska/Punk, singing songs about Martian Girls, Powdered Milkman, and Two-Headed Cats. They gained some popularity among the ska scene, and are probably best known for their 1997 single "Super Rad". Their next album, The Aquabats vs. the Floating Eye of Death! and Other Amazing Adventures Vol. 1 was more experimental and didn't gain as much commercial success. Then, in 2005, they released CHARGE!! With all their brass players gone, their style of music changed to synth-rock/punk. It sounded a lot different from their previous albums, but their personality remained intact. They have also collaborated with The Brothers Chaps before. 00029;29 fans on TMBW
Arcade Fire Critically and commercially acclaimed Canadian indie rock band. Known for their use of unconventional instruments like accordions, xylophones, and hurdy-gurdys and rich instrumentation. Their genres range from baroque pop to dance-rock. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Architecture In Helsinki Architecture in Helsinki are a 5-piece band with each member being a multi-instrumentalist which results in amazing music that is never the same twice. 00007;7 fans on TMBW
The Arrogant Worms Great Canadian band, very funny songs. 00013;13 fans on TMBW
Atom and His Package Nerdy synth-punk from Philadelphia's favorite son. 00007;7 fans on TMBW
The B-52's Quirky new wave band who don't take themselves seriously in any regard. Features the vocal talents of the renowned Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson. 00006;6 fans on TMBW
Barenaked Ladies They've acknowledged great influence from TMBG. The bands share a cleverness of lyrics, and have a depth that transcends the "Nerd Rock" label. They also have a children's album entitled Snacktime. 00071;71 fans on TMBW
Syd Barrett Late founding member of Pink Floyd, back when they were a psychedelic rock band, who subsequently had multiple nervous breakdowns due to drugs and mental illness. Made amazing work with Pink Floyd and later on two solo albums, and very influential to many bands, possibly including TMBG. 00011;11 fans on TMBW
The Beach Boys Pioneers of the california sound, known for their vocal harmonies and band leader Brian Wilson's "genius" approaches to composition and music, the Beach Boys are known as one of the most successful commercial and critical bands of all time, with a lot of their music helping to influence countless musicians, including the Beatles. Their song, "Fun, Fun, Fun," was referenced in the TMBG song "Thunderbird," and John Flansburgh once complemented the vocals of member Carl Wilson. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Beatles This band formed the foundation of rock and roll, and pushed boundaries creatively with lyrics and melody. Also, an inspiration to TMBG as said in Gigantic. 00118;118 fans on TMBW
Beck Eclectic solo artist who seems to jump stylistically with each album. Twisty, cryptic lyrics and a plethora of genres from folk to punk to electronic rock. Also a Dust Brothers collaborator. 00064;64 fans on TMBW
Ben Folds Five Piano, bass and drums band with distinctive sound. Many songs are "serious" and even sad, but just as many are wacky and offbeat. 00047;47 fans on TMBW
Ben Folds On his own, he still rocked. Recently reformed the Five. 00028;28 fans on TMBW
Beulah Another Elephant 6 band; somewhat darker tone and lyrics, but still great music. 00008;8 fans on TMBW
Big Star Perhaps best known for their ode to adolescence "Thirteen", they can only be described as really good and influential power pop 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Bill Wurtz Most well known for his unusual mini-documentary "history of the entire world, i guess," Bill Wurtz has also been making music since 2019. Wurtz's strange song topics and clever, twisty lyrics should feel right at home with TMBG fans, not to mention his surreal music videos. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Björk Dreamy and eerie music from Iceland. Great imagination. 00147;147 fans on TMBW
Blasting Trout Overbite Brilliantly weird and prolific band from State College, PA. Their website offers their entire recorded output for free in mp3 form. Catchy and creative. Download their rather awesome album Yes here: 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Bob Dylan Iconic iconoclast. Pioneer of folk rock and rock poetry. Often-cryptic lyrics in a wide variety of musical styles. 00026;26 fans on TMBW
The Bonzo Dog Band Inventive British novelty/comedy band of the late 1960s; also recommended, Neil Innes and Vivian Stanshall's respective solo careers 00019;19 fans on TMBW
Brad Sucks Sucky one-man band. 00006;6 fans on TMBW
The Breeders Alternative rock group founded by Kim Deal of the Pixies. Experimental noise pop which wouldn't be complete without Kim's badass, raspy vocals. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Brian Dewan Frequent collaborator with TMBG and John Linnell's erstwhile roommate. Armed with an electric zither he invented himself from a harpsichord and guitar pickups and whimsical yet ominous lyrics. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Bright Eyes Anguished indie folk fronted by Nebraskan singer/songwriter Conor Oberst. His sound started as aggressive and lo-fi then mellowed out to wistful and charming. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Steve Burns Former Blues Clues host starts anew with Flaming Lips-ish pop. You should be heading to the store now! 00011;11 fans on TMBW
Butthole Surfers Despite the unflattering name, you may enjoy their abrasive and wildly creative experimental rock. You may recognize their hit single “Pepper”. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Cabaret Voltaire Similar origin to TMBG: three guys, later two, rooted in performance art, making music with the help of a drum machine and a tape machine. Based in Sheffield, and got their start a decade before TMBG. Spanned a range of genres, from post-punk and industrial to house. Their lyrics started out dark and didn't get any lighter as their musical style got lighter. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Cafe Tacuba An odd and catchy Spanish pop/rock band. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
CAKE Alternative pop/rock band with many catchy songs with quirky lyrics. TMBG were mentioned in their unique video for "Short Skirt/Long Jacket". 00076;76 fans on TMBW
Calabrese The World's Greatest Horror Rock Band! Three brothers from Arizona who are frequently described as sounding like the Ramones meets the Misfits, with incredibly catchy songs. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Camper Van Beethoven 80's hybrid of folk/pop/punk/rock, goofy and sometimes satirical lyrics and catchy tunes. Definite early contemporaries of TMBG. 00021;21 fans on TMBW
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band 70's surreal rock that has been cited by TMBG as an influence. His third album Trout Mask Replica features his most iconic sound, which combines absurdist poetry with complex and cacophonous jazz/blues inspired instrumentaion. 00024;24 fans on TMBW
The Cardigans Swedish indie band ranging from twee pop to hard rock. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Cars Artsy synth-pop and one of the quintessential bands of the new wave era. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Cassette Fighter Cassette Fighter is something that happens when Nicky Flowers & Apollo send audio files back and forth to each other over the Internet. By the time those audio files get sent to your computer, they've turned into something called songs. These songs tend to take the form of synthpop grooves and chillwave jams. Sometimes they have words, which are usually kind of bizarre, or really simple, depending on what you want out of the experience. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Cheekface Indie rock trio from Los Angeles noted for clever, often socially-conscious lyrics. Released a cover of Ana Ng (one of vocalist Greg Katz's favorite songs) in 2022. Their music often has a sense of humor reminiscent of earlier TMBG 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Chumbawamba Long-lived, now defunct, anarchist music collective. Went from punk to electronic dance to folk music over their career. Known for their song "Tubthumping", which was covered by TMBG. Their album Un prominently features accordion. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Corn Mo You've heard him on tour with TMBG, now buy his albums! Lyrics to please any TMBG fan. 00014;14 fans on TMBW
Crash Test Dummies Baritone lead singer fronts a Canadian band whose albums range in styles similar to The Residents and Barenaked Ladies. Worth a look. 00016;16 fans on TMBW
cub A Canadian band known for their poppy, upbeat brand of rock. Their song New York City was covered by TMBG. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Daft Punk A French duo who met when they were 12 and 13 and started making and recording electronic music at home a few years later. Known for their robot helmets and elaborate stage shows, and more recently for composing the TRON: Legacy soundtrack. 00008;8 fans on TMBW
Dan Deacon A self-described "absurdist composer and electronic musician" from Baltimore, Maryland. His influences include TMBG, Devo, and Talking Heads, among others. His electronic sound and wildly imaginative lyrics cry out to be listened to. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
The Dandy Warhols Rock band with fantastic variety. 00016;16 fans on TMBW
Daniel Johnston Extremely creative but tortured soul from Texas who self-released tape after tape of lo-fi music. His music has been described as having a child-like quality, but he has written some absolutely gut wrenching lyrics. His acclaim has only increased throughout his life. Sadly, he passed away, but his music still lives on. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Das Fürlines All female "punk polka" band known for their rousing, theatrical shows. Opened for TMBG in their early days. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Da Vinci's Notebook Humorous a capella quartet with clever/bizarre songs. Collaborated with Moxy Früvous (see further down on list) on a cover of TMBG's "Shoehorn With Teeth" as well. Like TMBG, they have done a music video on Homestar Runner. No longer together. 00011;11 fans on TMBW
The Dead Milkmen Another inventive, catchy, and sometimes humorous band unfortunately discarded by many as a novelty act. Look no further than their song "Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)" and their debut album "Big Lizard In My Backyard" for examples of their stinging wit. 00018;18 fans on TMBW
Deaf School Another quirky little art rock band from Liverpool. Goofy, catchy songs filled with British humor. Worth a listen. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Death Cab For Cutie Death, love, weirdness...and they once did opening acts on a TMBG show. 00017;17 fans on TMBW
Death Grips Industrial/experimental hip hop group known for their brand of challenging music. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Decemberists Eclectic indie rock band from Portland, sometimes compared to Neutral Milk Hotel. Signed to same imprint as Deerhoof. Uses accordion on most tracks. Literary, sometimes joking or theatrical, like if an Edward Gorey book was set to music; even their darkest stuff is usually catchy. Fans of McSweeney's. 00026;26 fans on TMBW
Deerhoof A band granted with the almost supernatural ability to combine cute lyrical content with amazing musicianship and a hefty dose of barely controlled chaos. Probably best suited for TMBG fans who lean toward the more experimental, but still a blast to listen to. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Descendents Snotty punk band from California fronted by a biochemist (scientists get angry, too.) Perfect for those who are unimpressed with the world and have a collegiate mindset. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
DEVO They did "Whip It", yes, but so much more too. Witty, sarcastic, sardonic, and a little fun too. Their first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, is very guitar-oriented, although their subsequent albums have more of a synthpop feel. TMBG covered Devo's "Through Being Cool". 00072;72 fans on TMBW
Dogs Die in Hot Cars Short-lived Scottish alt-rock band. Mostly up-tempo songs with sarcastic lyrics. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Doors Musical geniuses from the 1960s; occasionally very trippy. 00012;12 fans on TMBW
Dropkick Murphys Rousing Celtic punk band also recognized for their frequent use of accordion. Best known for their song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston." 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Dwarf Planets Surrealist lo-fi music inspired by TMBG, Captain Beefheart, Daniel Johnston etc. created by TMBW's AnaNgInASpaceSuit with quirky stream-of-consciousness lyrics, sometimes utilizing an accordion. Free to listen on SoundCloud. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Eddie From Ohio Fun, energetic all-acoustic folk rock from Virginia. Their 2001 album Quick was their biggest step towards the wackiness of TMBG. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Eels Death, love, weirdness,'s all good! 00012;12 fans on TMBW
Electric Needle Room About as close to They Might Be Giants as a band could possibly get. They even have educational songs about all of the Presidents of the USA. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Elvis Costello Both the Johns are known fans, with Flans having been quoted as saying of Costello "I can't think of any one I admire more." Flans was also at his first public show in 1977. An obvious influence on They Might Be Giants, who almost produced Apollo 18, not to mention a master of the New Wave era of music, as well as a brilliant wordsmith with a tongue of acid. 00011;11 fans on TMBW
Epic Rap Battles of History Two nerdy guys who dress up as famous historical figures or fictional characters dueling it out with brutal rapping who became one of the most celebrated YouTube channels. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Fastball Rootsy power pop band from Texas with memorable melodies and lyrics. Quite comparable to TMBG. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Features Power pop band with prominent guitars and strange keyboard lines. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Fitz and the Tantrums American indie neo-pop soul band comprising of Michael Fitzpatrick on lead vocals, Noelle Scaggs on backing vocals, James King on flute/saxophone/guitar, Joseph Karnes on bass guitar, John Wicks on percussion, and Jeremy Ruzumna on keyboards. Originally styled as a Motown-style band but now they've kinda morphed into some other awesome thing. Check out their album More Than Just a Dream if you're a first-timer. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Flaming Lips Psychedelic and often goofy indie group whose music ranges from acid rock to punk to mellow electronica. Highly addictive. And if you like Linnell's songwriting in particular, you'll LOVE Wayne Coyne (The Lips' singer)'s stuff. 00044;44 fans on TMBW
Flight of the Conchords "New Zealand's Fourth Most-Popular Folk/Parody Duo." Actors/comedians/musicians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement write smart, catchy, and twisted songs about love, sex, and humanity's extinction at the hands of robots. Catch them on YouTube; they had their own series on HBO (now only available on DVD and Crave). 00015;15 fans on TMBW
Foster the People Bright, shiny indie pop often about very dour subject matter. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Fountains of Wayne Quirky pop band whose bass player, Adam Schlesinger, produced songs from Mink Car. Plus Danny Weinkauf played bass on their first album. "Stacy's Mom" is still a monumental bop. 00027;27 fans on TMBW
The Four Postmen Their song structure mirrors TMBG, with a mixture of funny-but-sad and just plain funny lyrics, with an accordion popping up here and there. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Franz Ferdinand UK rock band that have the same Funny But Sad and Death In A Happy Way lyrics that TMBG put out. Plus, the music rocks. 00031;31 fans on TMBW
The Fratellis Scottish indie rock band from Glasgow formed in 2005. Best known for their single "Chelsea Dagger." Their sound ranges from garage rock to Americana 00002;2 fans on TMBW
fun. Confident and grandiose indie pop inspired by the glam rock of the 70’s best recognized for their hits “We Are Young” and “Some Nights”. Shame they haven’t released a third album. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Garbage Moody electro-pop riddled with angsty, self-loathing lyrics. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Gary Numan Some consider him a one-hit wonder, others consider him a pioneer and master of synthpop. Regardless, his music is excellent. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Gnarls Barkley Calling this group "hip-hop" would be an oversimplification. The match of neo-soul singer Cee-Lo and music nerd Danger Mouse provides songs always quirky and full of texture. 00005;5 fans on TMBW
Gorillaz A virtual band created by Damon Albarn of Blur that has dub, hip-hop, electronica, and alt-rock influences. Variety of instruments, clever lyrics, very good sound. Not to mention impressive artwork. Flansburgh said that their 2001 hit, Clint Eastwood, was the best song of the year, along with a Missy Elliot song. 00024;24 fans on TMBW
Green Day Punk rock band, formed in the late 80's and now one of the most popular bands in the world. Great music, especially on their 1994 diamond album Dookie. Worth checking out even if you dislike their newer singles that fill the radiowaves. 00020;20 fans on TMBW
Guided By Voices Critically acclaimed indie lo-fi group. Known for short, concise basement rock, with lyrical stream-of-consciousness. Musical aesthetic comparable to TMBG's "Mainstream U.S.A." days. Have written some of the BEST MELODIES EVER. Check out their albums Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. 00010;10 fans on TMBW
Harvey Danger The site is old, but the message board lives and the music is still incredible. 00013;13 fans on TMBW
Hum Heavy, chunky, nerdy space rock. Check out their album “You’d Prefer an Astronaut” which features their biggest song “Stars”. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Islands Nick Thorburn's long-term musical project after the Unicorns (see below). 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Jack Stauber Surreal and often scary music accompanied by ever freakier music videos. All the brainchildren of one mad and creative outsider. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Jein Benary Musical project created by Elliott Bruno. Garners a lot of musical inspiration from The Residents, Captain Beefheart, They Might Be Giants, and of course, himself. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Jonathan Coulton Who else sings of created a half-monkey, half-pony to give to his crush? Hilarious lyrics in music that doesn't sound jokey. Once wrote a song about the accomplishments of every United States President. 00032;32 fans on TMBW
Joy Division Melancholy, literate, timeless. One of the best post-punk bands of all time. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Kaiser Chiefs They have they same style of sing out loud songs in the same vein as "Doctor Worm" and "Experimental Film". 00009;9 fans on TMBW
Kaizer's Orchestra High energy Norwegian band that tells stories of dictators, gangsters, hell, and war. Includes a pump organ that adds a element of demented circus music. They sing in Norwegian, but English lyrics can be found here. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Ally Kerr Scottish singer-songwriter. Generally more mellow and folk-pop, but similarly allied to TMBG in seeing the humor and irony in the sad and darker aspects of humanity. Ally wrote "The Sore Feet Song" for the first season of the Anime Mushishi. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Killers Kickass indie rock inspired by new wave, post-punk and disco. You already know their singles “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me”, now check out the rest! 00001;1 fan on TMBW
King Crimson One of the greatest progressive rock bands to ever exist. Their songs span a plethora of genres from jazz to orchestral rock. Their albums are a bit of a time commitment but still worthwhile. Best albums include In the Court of the Crimson King, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, and Red 00002;2 fans on TMBW
King Missile Most well known for the very strange song "Detachable Penis," the group combines great musicianship and avant-garde slam poetry with an exceptionally bizarre sense of humor. 00009;9 fans on TMBW
Koo Koo Kanga Roo A Minneapolis based band for families (they balk at being called a kids band) blends high energy music with whimsical and sometimes crude subject matter with songs about unicorns, pizza, fanny packs, flatulance, and poop 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Kraftwerk A quite zany and creative German quartet, they were the very first all-techno band. Masters of seclusion from the public, they rarely give performances and interviews as themselves and instead use robot-like mannequins for public appearances. 00005;5 fans on TMBW
Lemon Demon Zany, weird, odd. Does remind one of TMBG in that the Johns and Neil (User:Trapezoid) have almost the same nasal quality to their voices. The lyrics, as well, are happy, sad, clever, bizarre...a variety. 00053;53 fans on TMBW
Less Than Jake Extremely catchy ska and pop punk band. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club Extremely creative and diverse songwriter, and a fan of TMBG (he covered "Weep Day"). Admirable DIY production style, as well as lovably playful lyrics that often indulge in wordplay and childlike imagination. Passed away on December 3, 2006 at the young age of 29. 00019;19 fans on TMBW
Madness English two-tone ska band best known for their irrefutably catchy single "Our House". Lighthearted with relatively humorous lyrics and bouncy melodies but not afraid to write about more morose topics. Does that style of writing sound comparable to anyone else? 00003;3 fans on TMBW
The Magnetic Fields Their love songs are melodic and quirky, with lots of wordplay. Deep-voiced singer Stephan Merritt provides the group with their most distinctive sound. 00020;20 fans on TMBW
MC Chris The most ear-pleasing of the recent "nerdcore" trend (hiphop/rap with interesting lyrics) 00014;14 fans on TMBW
MC Frontalot Another purveyor of the nerdcore hiphop scene, some say he's the unofficial spokesman of the genre. His anthem "Nerdcore Hip-Hop" samples "Shoehorn With Teeth" 00005;5 fans on TMBW
Meat Puppets The Meat Puppets are a seminal punk band from Phoenix, Arizona who started as a hardcore band with goofy vocals and went on to create an eclectic fusion of psychedelia, punk, and country music. In addition to performing background vocals on their B-side "White Sport Coat", TMBG covered their song "Whirlpool", and they were also notably covered by Nirvana on MTV Unplugged in New York. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Meg & Dia Two sisters writing literate, melodic indie pop with gutwrenching lyrics. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Megadeth Thrash metal band formed by Dave Mustaine after being fired from Metallica (see below) in 1983. Known for their ever-changing lineup, Mustaine's growling vocals, and 1990 album Rust In Peace. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Men at Work New wave group hailing from the land down under who wrote some the catchiest hooks in music history. Humorous but still serious songs as well. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Metallica Forefathers of thrash metal, known for their heavy sound. Currently consists of James Hetfield on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Lars Ulrich on drums, Kirk Hammett on lead guitar, and Robert Trujillo on bass. Former members include Cliff Burton on bass from 1982-1986, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth on lead guitar from 1981-1983, and Jason Newsted on bass from 1986-2000. Check out their 1986 album Master of Puppets. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Michael Jackson None other than the king of pop himself. Hit after hit and acclaim as far as the mind can comprehend. Master of funk, R&B, and rock. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Quirky Bostonian ska punk band with clever, witty lyrics and a frontman with the growl of a motorcycle engine. Best known for their hit "The Impression That I Get". Dig it. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Modest Mouse Unpretentious indie-rock with clever lyrics (sample line: "You cocked your head to shoot me down") and arrangements that melt slowly in your head, revealing subtle landscapes of melodic goodness. Their song "Paper Thin Walls" contains the lyric "laugh hard it's a long ways to the bank" placed fairly prominently. Lead singer Isaac Brock had started his own Dial-A-Song service--8 of the tracks from their album Sad Sappy Sucker were used for it. 00019;19 fans on TMBW
The Moldy Peaches Scrappy lo-fi folk rock with creative and hilarious lyrics. Kimya Dawson is the second half of the duo. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Monkees Well-known 1960s American rock and pop band also known for their television sitcom of the same name. Various songs of theirs have been covered by They Might Be Giants over the years, with two of the Monkees' songs also being referenced in "Memo To Human Resources." Member of the band Peter Tork also met TMBG in the late-90s, with his daughter being a fan of the band, according to John Flansburgh. TMBG's song "The Mesopotamians" bears a noticeable resemblance to The Monkees' theme song, especially in its music video, which explicitly references the opening of The Monkees' sitcom. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Moody Blues Meticulously orchestrated classic rock group from across the sea. 00013;13 fans on TMBW
The Mountain Goats A lyrical genius writes acoustic pop songs, with charming, funny and poignant narrative and furious guitar strumming. A must-see live band, too. Check out their album The Coroner's Gambit. 00017;17 fans on TMBW
Mother Mother Canadian indie rock band known for their catchy melodies and vocal harmonies formed by brothers and sisters Ryan and Molly Guidemond. They are super awesome, check them out on Spotify! 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Moxy Früvous Wacky Canadian (for the record, they are very proud of being from Canada) band with many fast-paced parody and humor songs, sometimes featuring accordion. Have also been known to play a few TMBG covers live including "The Statue Got Me High". Have been on hiatus since 2001, but their fans are still a tightly-knit bunch. 00031;31 fans on TMBW
Mr. Bungle Scary, schizophrenic circus music with certain unreal qualities that might appeal to TMBG's more unhinged fans. 00015;15 fans on TMBW
The Mundanes John Linnell played keyboards and saxophone in this new wave band in the late 70s and early 80s prior to forming TMBG. The band could not land a record deal and sadly never got the recognition they deserved. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
The Music Tapes Lo-fi, experimental, Elephant 6. Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel (who also played the singing saw on James K. Polk)'s escape from the real world. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Negativland Mostly collage mixed with a fair bit of alternative rock. Thigmotactic is their most not sound collage, and the most obvious access point for TMBG fans. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Nerf Herder Geek rock about topics such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Sleestaks and Ghostbusters. They’re the composers of the Buffy theme song. Catered for the more dorky fans of TMBG. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Neutral Milk Hotel Quite possibly the greatest band to have ever been associated with Elephant 6. Extremely impressionistic and often personal lyrics combined with some absolutely genius (and '60s inspired, as is a given with anything related to Elephant 6) music. Pity the group only ever released two albums. 00019;19 fans on TMBW
New Order What remained of Joy Division after the tragic suicide of Ian Curtis that became masters of synthpop. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
New Radicals Upbeat pop rock with intricate songwriting and catchy hooks. It’s a shame they only recorded one album. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Ninja Sex Party Character-based comedy duo formed by Game Grumps co-host Dan Avidan (better known as Danny Sexbang, a Jewish superhero with no powers) and theoretical physicist Brian Wecht (better known as Ninja Brian, a psychotic keyboard-playing ninja who never speaks.) Their music is best described as NSFW '80s pop (in fact, the name of their first album is called NSFW.) Some of their more popular songs include "Danny Don't You Know," "Cool Patrol," "Dinosaur Laser Fight," and "Unicorn Wizard." And if that kind of music isn't your thing, their cover albums are sure to please you. Check them out, they're on Bandcamp. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Odds Catchy Canadian pop rock act with clever lyrics and sharp melodies. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
of Montreal Yet another band that's part of the Elephant 6 collective. Heavily influenced by 60's psychedelic rock but also cites TMBG as an influence. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Oingo Boingo Stemming from a theatrical troupe called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, this 1979-1995 rock band was powered by the talents of film composer Danny Elfman. Ska-influenced initially but encompassing a huge range of other, experimental styles, Boingo lyrics are alternately bitingly intelligent and completely surreal, much like those of TMBG and included horns/accordion/keyboards on several songs. Frontman Danny Elfman in revisited his rock roots in 2020 and has since released his second studio album. Check out "Only A Lad", "Who Do You Want To Be", "No Spill Blood", "Sweat", "Private Life", "Insects", "Gratitude", "Just Another Day", "Dead Man's Party", "No One Lives Forever", "Stay", or "Not My Slave" to start. 00019;19 fans on TMBW
OK Go Openers for TMBG in 1999, best characterized as really good power pop. They also make very elaborate music videos. Managed by TMBG's manager Jamie Kitman. 00032;32 fans on TMBW
Ookla the Mok Songs about comic books, TV shows, and sci-fi movies. Fans of TMBG - "...told Flansburgh that lots of people say we sound like TMBG. He responded, 'That must be terrible for you'." 00009;9 fans on TMBW
Oppenheimer Two guys from Belfast, Ireland, with amazingly catchy songs that can best be categorized as indie/pop/electronica. Lots of keyboards, plus vocoders, airhorns, melodicas, and various other cool stuff. Opened for TMBG for the Fall 2007 tour but disbanded in 2009. 00006;6 fans on TMBW
Otis Ball "Discovered" by John & John. They played on one of his albums, singing backing vocals on "Walk On Water". Wicked sense of humor. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Optiganally Yours Catchy pop band that relies on their optigan, an early sampler (think cheapie mellotrons), to make their music. 00008;8 fans on TMBW
Ozma Retro sounding music inspired by new wave and post-punk. They were associated with similar bands such as Weezer and the Rentals. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Paul and Storm Former members of Da Vinci's Notebook (above), Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo have now been going on their own. Touring with Jonathan Coulton (also above), these two guys bring their witty, interesting lyrics and catchy tunes to you. 00005;5 fans on TMBW
Pavement The leaders of '90s indie rock. Originally very lo-fi and basic musically, with clever wordy lyrics and unusual vocal styles, Pavement gradually developed a more together sound and complex song structures. That did not, however, stop percussion/keyboard/backup vocalist Bob Nastanovich from his catchy screaming of refrains in live performances or Pavement from playing their earlier songs too. After the band's break up at the end of 1999, its leader Stephen Malkmus began playing with his new band called the Jicks. Their albums are good, but nothing compared to Pavement. 00017;17 fans on TMBW
Peter Gabriel Terrific songwriting accomponied by some of the most surreal, creative videos you could ever watch 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Phish A hugely imaginative jam band with significantly weird lyrics and often very cartoonish music, especially in their earlier years. Check them out! 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Piñataland Musically slower and different, but their music overlaps thematically with TMBG with many songs based on unusual historical situations. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Pixies The band of Frank Black. The combination of Black's surrealist lyrics and inhuman screams along with Kim Deal's laid back, sexy vocals and punchy bass-playing, along with David Lovering's amazingly powerful drumming (i.e., "Bone Machine") make for an intoxicating mix. TMBG has covered Havalina. 00022;22 fans on TMBW
The Polyphonic Spree A surreal pop-ish band with light music and inspired lyrics. The type of music that makes one feel good inside. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
POLYSICS The ultimate Japanese New Wave band. They cite Devo and Kraftwerk as some of their major influences, and epitomize New Wave melody while still appealing to modern tastes with their incredible energy and uniquely Japanese upbringing. The lead singer has a voice like no other, and the backup vocals are done by a Japanese woman with a typically high-pitched voice. 00013;13 fans on TMBW
Pomplamoose Experimental pop duo who often take on daring, imaginative covers that overhaul well-known songs, but who also write original music with witty lyrics. Pioneers of online music video production, their homemade "VideoSongs" gained them significant internet exposure in the 2000's. They now work with a full band and regularly post in-studio videos on YouTube. Lead singer Nataly Dawn has a rich, airy voice like no other. Check out "Beat the Horse" and "Bust Your Kneecaps." 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Postal Service Great indie inspirations. A very original band. Death Cab For Cutie's lead singer Ben Gibbard provided vocals. 00009;9 fans on TMBW
The Presidents of the United States of America Poppy band with quirky lyrics. 00034;34 fans on TMBW
Primus Bizarre alternative metal band, despite being harder than TMBG they blend the dark and the comical in a similar fashion. Composers of the South Park theme song. Flansburgh referenced them in one live performance of "Twisting". 00009;9 fans on TMBW
The Proclaimers Scottish twins and acoustic duo inspired by Celtic folk music. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Queen Because who doesn't like Queen? 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Radiohead Radiohead released highly-rated album OK Computer in 1997 and has quickly become one of the most exalted and celebrated bands on the planet with their brilliant experimental electro-rock. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Ramones One of TMBG's inspirations, not to mention the original punk band. Most of their songs are similarly compact with no extra "fluff". 00036;36 fans on TMBW
Red Elvises A group of Russian immigrants who play rockabilly-influenced music with amusing lyrics. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Red Hot Chili Peppers Funk-influenced punk-rock, with almost severely depressing lyrics sometimes. 00008;8 fans on TMBW
Reel Big Fish Yet another band with a ride or die cult fanbase like TMBG. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Residents Creepy and mysterious band who wear eyeball masks and tuxedos, their music alternates between experimental rock and the fully avant-garde. Contributed four songs to John Flansburgh's Hello CD project. They are forefathers of experimental music, and are credited with inventing the modern music video by the Museum of Modern Art. Somehow they have kept their identities secret for over 30 years...spooky. Their "Commercial Album" probably inspired "Fingertips". 00025;25 fans on TMBW
R.E.M. Another band that many people have heard of but bears the "Alternative Rock" label. Much more serious than TMBG. 00054;54 fans on TMBW
Rush Canadian progressive rock/progressive pop band best recognized by frontman Geddy Lee's squealing falsetto and Neil Peart's (may he rest in peace) incomparable drumming and poetic lyrics. Check them out. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Schoolhouse Rock! Not only a great educational tool, but the music holds up on its own after all these decades (even if America Rock hasn't exactly aged all that well). Spanning from multiplication, grammar, science and many other subjects, you can learn a thing or two from this. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Self Great band, a highlight of the band is an album created entirely with children's toy instruments. Self covered Ana Ng on Hello Radio: The Songs Of They Might Be Giants. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Semisonic Fantastic power pop band that absolutely did not get the recognition they deserved. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Shaggs One of the most celebrated acts of outsider music, best known for their only studio album "Philosophy of the World" which features the Wiggins' sisters performing their messy, untrained pop rock in dissonant vocals. While off-putting for some, there's no denying their sheer creativity. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Snot Patties Lo fi, acoustic pop band inspired by TMBG, Daniel Johnston, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Mountain Goats, Guided by Voices, etc. Records wonderfully catchy and weird pop nuggets in their bedrooms and uploads them for the world to hear! 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Soul Coughing Beat-poetry rock band with Mike Doughty as the lead singer. He later performed with TMBG on "Your Mom's Alright" and "Mr. Xcitement" and then later performed solo. Once defunct but have since reunited after a quarter-century. 00030;30 fans on TMBW
Spacehog Quirky power pop with spacey hooks, unusual lyrics and eccentric vocals. Best remembered for their single "In the Meantime" but the rest of their catalogue is worth checking out. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Sparks Pioneers of quirk-rock and synth-pop. Two guys sharing a name; one shy, the other an extrovert. Songs on an unusually broad range of topics. Sound familiar? John Flansburgh's favourite band. High praise indeed. 00021;21 fans on TMBW
Squeeze British new wave band with incredibly catchy melodies and brilliant lyrics. TMBG covered Up The Junction for their Four Covers From TMBG EP. Highly recommended 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Starbomb Formed by the members of Ninja Sex Party (see above) and Arin Hanson (better known as Egoraptor.) Creates songs that make video games seem more inappropriate than they actually are. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
Steely Dan Sleazy, sarcastic and smooth jazz rock for those who enjoy both musicianship and lyricism 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Stolen Babies Experimental metal band with a female lead vocalist which also happens to play the accordion. Fascinating band to say the least. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Sufjan Stevens Folk artist with interesting lyrics and instrumentation. After releasing Michigan and Illinois, he claimed he was planning on recording an album for every state of the United States--similar to John Linnell's State Songs project--but later admitted this was a gag. 00014;14 fans on TMBW
Sunny Day Real Estate Pioneers of the emo genre. Abstract lyrics, vulnerable vocals and grungy guitars. Their debut album Diary illustrates the band perfectly. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Super Furry Animals This Welsh outfit represents the goofy side of Britpop. With influences ranging from prog rock over punk and electronica to lounge music and lyrics about using a hamster's wheel as a dynamo for electricity and the like, you know you can't go wrong. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Talking Heads Fairly similar to TMBG, good alternative rock (if there's a real definition of that genre), they don't take themselves too seriously and they have great music videos. David Byrne could be the 3rd Giant. 00062;62 fans on TMBW
Tally Hall Whimsical, genre-jumping five-man band (each member can be identified by the color of their tie) with two albums, an internet sketch comedy show, and a massive online cult following. Their first album, "Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum", contained a hodgepodge of mostly humorous songs about topics such as bananas and the Olsen Twins, while their second album, "Good & Evil", explored themes of mortality and duality. Start with "Ruler of Everything" or "&" to get a taste of their cleverness. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Tears For Fears Catchy songs and wild videos. 00006;6 fans on TMBW
Teenage Fanclub Scottish power pop with fuzzy guitars and ear-catching melodies. Start with their classic albums "Bandwagonesque" and "Thirteen". 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Television Incredibly underappreciated art-punk band from New York. Excellent guitar work and intelligent lyrics. Start with their masterpiece debut album "Marquee Moon." 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Third Eye Blind If you like upbeat melodies accompanying dour lyrics like TMBG, then here’s another band for you! 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Thomas Dolby Most people know him as "the guy that wrote She Blinded Me With Science", but he has other good songs. Very synth and drum machine driven with catchy hooks, much like TMBG's early work. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Those Darn Accordions! Because accordion-based rock bands are few and far between. 00005;5 fans on TMBW
Tiny Tim A man who had a ghoulish appearance, a ukulele, and an astonishingly high falsetto who became an icon for outsider musicians. He may be quite creepy for some, but he's very charming to most. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Tom Lehrer Witty satirist with piano accompaniment. Smart, funny, and archival. 00010;10 fans on TMBW
Tom Waits If you're into the "fun lyrics with a bizarre vocalist" thing. Like Linnell, Waits tends to focus on the insane and depressed, and likes to give his losers a jaunty melody. 00020;20 fans on TMBW
Tonio K Sarcastic lyrics and raucous instrumentation. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players Opened for TMBG several times. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
TriangleMan They are obviously heavily influenced by TMBG, though they don't always sound like them. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
TV's Kyle Genre-surfing geek rock with a hint of 60s-tastic jackassery. See also User:TVsKyle 00004;4 fans on TMBW
The Unicorns Unfortunately split up in 2004, these guys left behind ideas like "verse-chorus-verse", and replaced them with idea like using toy keyboards and singing Funny But Sad lyrics. Complete with song titles like "Innoculate The Innocuous", "Tuff Ghost", "I Don't Wanna Die", and "Ready To Die", these two (!) guys (Well, okay, they also have a drummer...) are definitely worth hearing. Especially recommended for people whose favorite TMBG albums are The Pink Album and Lincoln. 00003;3 fans on TMBW
The Velvet Underground One of the most influential art rock bands of all time. Their songs are equal parts disconcerting and whimsical. Almost everyone can recognize their first album by the signature banana cover. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
The Ventures Supposedly the best-selling instrumental rock band ever. Early lineup was hugely influential. They have a surf vibe, but they predated surf and inspired it. They're very good and also very interesting. Essential material includes the first few albums with Bob Bogle on lead guitar. 00009;9 fans on TMBW
Veruca Salt Grungy guitars and adorable vocals. Best known for their hit song "Seether". 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Violent Femmes Epitomizes the ambiguous, sometimes comic but always defiant sexual angst of the white teen suburban outcast. Trailblazing and now classic. Greatest hits include "Add It Up" and "Blister in the Sun." Frontman Gordon Gano contributed to Flansburgh's Hello CD Of The Month Club and Linnell had a guest appearance appeared on Gano's premiere solo effort. 00037;37 fans on TMBW
Wall of Voodoo Ominous new wave band inspired by spaghetti western music. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
The Weakerthans Canadian indie rock band with literate lyrics and sharp alternative rock guitars. Very similar to TMBG. Been on hiatus since 2014. 00001;1 fan on TMBW
Ween Another duo also armed with either a drum machine or full band, faux-brothers Dean and Gene Ween make music similar to TMBG in its embracing of genre shifting, yet with a darker, more psychedelic edge. Best albums include the classic Chocolate and Cheese, The Mollusk (which served as inspiration for SpongeBob SquarePants), The Pod and their debut GodWeenSatan: The Oneness. Not for everyone, but some TMBG fans will love it. 00034;34 fans on TMBW
Weezer Nerdy powerpop. Fairly similar to TMBG, but without synths and more fuzz. 00057;57 fans on TMBW
"Weird Al" Yankovic Everyone's favorite accordion-playing parody-writing artist. Frequent player of the accordion, comedic and sometimes surreal. He also has a tribute to TMBG, Everything You Know Is Wrong. 00106;106 fans on TMBW
White Stripes A rock duo, which combined complex guitar riffs with pounding drum rhythms and very cryptic lyrics that pave a image in your head of nonsensical romance. If you are looking for an album that combines great sounds with some bluesy hardcore rock, look towards Elephant and thou shall be joined together with the Holy Ghost. 00027;27 fans on TMBW
Wilco Half of what used to be the alt-country band Uncle Tupelo (the other half became Son Volt), Wilco's music is a mix of pop, country, rock and trip-hop with intelligent and sometimes heart-wrenching lyrics. 00008;8 fans on TMBW
Worm Quartet They're a "Comedy Synth-Punk from Rochester NY", Synth Band, involving one or two members doing all the music, in various styles of music (appeared on Dr. Demento in the songs "I'm Gonna Procreate" and "Great Idea for a Song" 00004;4 fans on TMBW
XTC They're "Beatle-based pop", and were the "Content" (Whereas Adam Ant was the form) in "XTC Vs. Adam Ant". TMBG covered "25 O'Clock" on A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs Of XTC 00041;41 fans on TMBW
Young Fresh Fellows Amazing power-pop band from Seattle mentioned in "Twisting". Frontman Scott McCaughey wrote "Hillbilly Drummer Girl" for The Pussywillows (featuring April March), but the Fellows version is on Electric Bird Digest. They are super amazing. 00004;4 fans on TMBW
Yuno Miles Outsider hip-hop about very unorthodox subject matter like tartar sauce, refusing to get a job, pirates on a boat, someone smelling like body odor, stepping in dookie, popcorn chicken and whatever comes to his mind that day. Check out his tracks "Road to Riches", "Put the Money in the Bag" and "Pop Up" to start. They're stupid yet hilarious. 00002;2 fans on TMBW
Frank Zappa Rock/jazz/classical/R&B fusionist who pushed the envelope musically and lyrically. An incomparable genius who has also been cited by Linnell as an early influence. 00045;45 fans on TMBW
The Zombies One of the greatest psychedelic rock bands of all time. Their acclaimed second album "Odessey and Oracle" is certainly a highlight in the 60's British invasion. 00002;2 fans on TMBW

See also

External links