From This Might Be A Wiki

Fan Recaps and Comments:


They were playing "Twisting" a lot on the Mink Car tour when I was first going to shows but I haven't seen it since then and it's so fun live. Also, I think this is the like first time ever I've managed to keep singing along lead and not slip into John's "sheeeeeee waaaaaaaants" backing vocals. That used to always happen to me, I guess cos he's the one I'm staring at so I just automatically start doing what he's doing.
Then John said, "This next song involves ESP," and, when people "woo"-ed, "You people will woo at anything!" I expected it to be a new song (though I suppose it could have been "You Don't Like Me," but they've never done that one live--I'd be impressed if John could manage the whole list of stuff) but it turned out to be "Theme from Flood" so I have no idea what the hell he was even talking about.
Next HORNS came out--I'd been hoping for them but wasn't sure if we'd get them. I'd only been to three horns shows before and they make things WAY more fun. So they did the very first performance of "Call You Mom." I wasn't entirely sure if I had the lyrics down to that one yet, but actually I knew them better than John apparently, haha. He did a better job the next two nights though.
Flans asked John if he'd had a good Christmas and if he "got everything he wanted from Santa." John said yes and that he'd gotten a telescope. OH MY FUCKING GOD I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. HE IS SO INTELLECTUAL AND NERDY AND IT'S AMAZING. There was a lot of cheering when he said it, and he said, "That sounded sincere." Flans: "I think this is a telescope crowd" which I guess was calling us nerds but that's ok cos we are. Then John said, "I know I should follow through, what did you get for Christmas?" "I got nothin'."
John said next they were gonna do another new song. "It's still in its cage. We have a catch and release program for our songs. This one isn't ready to be released into the wild yet--it'd starve."
Then Flans told a story about how they'd been getting interviewed in the early 90's and when the interviewer found out they use setlists for their shows they lost all faith in them. Then he said the songs on setlists are just one word, and this one is "Lost," and they already have another "Lost" song, and it sounds more like "an emotional suggestion" than a song. Then John said it was exciting to play the new songs cos they'd be "screwing them up massively," and they made some jokes about how thank god there isn't anywhere online people could see videos of the performances.
I LOVED most of the Nanobots stuff they premiered tonight but was honestly a little meh on this one, which is surprising cos it was a Linnell song. I find meh Linnell songs more upsetting than outright bad Flans songs, cos I have higher standards for him. I don't know, maybe I'll warm up to it.
Next was CRANE CRANE CRANE. I'll admit it didn't have quite the same impact now that I've already seen it, but IT WAS STILL MOTHERFUCKING CRANE.
Next was another song premiere, a totally rockin' Flans number called "Circular Karate Chop." The bridge was "advice from your sensai" things that Flans had to read from a piece of paper. Afterwards, Flans said that he was disappointed that they would never feel so anxious about playing that song again--that they'd be losing their edge. John said that they were already over cos they use setlists. "Show business phonies!"
People were yelling "Setlist!" at random times cos they kept bringing it up (and actually continued to do it for all three shows), so after "Doctor Worm" John said, "That's from our album Setlist--the title track."
Then Flans had this roboticy effect on his mic.
JF: Special effect.
JL: We had to pay like...$25 for that.
JF: Usually you have to pay extra for this. You're getting it for free.
JL: We looked in our Christmas budget, we had an extra $25.
JF: Give something back. For the kids. John said no, but I said yes.
JL: *starts to say something*
JF: Not that John. Different John. The John that's talking in my head.
JL: The low-voiced John. But they're talking at the same time. So you can't tell which.
So then they played "Nanobots" and oh MAN was that a fantastic song. It's gonna be one of the highlights of the album for sure. It was John, Flans just did a little backing with the weird robotic thing--and he would be the one to write a song about something like nanobots, wouldn't he? HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM? FUCK.
After "Particle Man" (mehhhhh, but AT LEAST IT'S ACCORDION) Flans said they were going from Side One of Flood to "the controversial Side Two of Lincoln." John: If you flip over your mp3, there are other songs there." Flans said the songs were other people and mentioned a couple of bands, and one of them was Barnes and Barnes. Then he went on this riff about how songs by other people would be mislabeled on Napster--he mentioned "88 Lines About 44 Women" (though he couldn't remember the title correctly) and then "Fish Heads," which "we heard on Dr. Demento when we were ten. It's like asking us to play 'Monster Mash'--'Hey, do that Dracula song!'"
The Avatars did the bridge of "Snowball in Hell" as usual. I'm not the biggest fan of the Avatars cos I think they take up too much valuable show time, but I have to admit they can be pretty funny at times. Tonight, after the Green Avatar said "You must be making a big pile of income, or SOMETHING," the Blue Avatar said "Hey, aren't you Paul McCartney?" and then kept going with it--"Well, I'm doing ok, I mean, I'm not doing Paul McCartney in Wings good, but I think I'm doing Ringo good." When he asked the Green Avatar if he was back on the time is money kick, he said, "No I am not back on it, Joe...or should I say John...Lennon!"
A couple of songs later was "We Want a Rock." When I saw that at the Sapphire Bullets show HE USED HIS DAMN ACCORDION, but he was a BUM and did keyboard tonight, which made it much less fun, but it's still one of my favourite songs on Flood so I was very excited to see it again.
After another song Flans thanked us for coming to the show, and then he said he knew that made it sound like the show was over "but we're only like a third of the way in." John: "We want to be around when you're feeling appreciated, so we don't wait until the end. Other bands make that mistake."
Next was the fab duo accordion-only version of "Kiss Me, Son of God." Like with Crane, it wasn't quite as exciting the second time around, but it was still fantastic. Because it was just accordion you could very clearly hear the whole crowd singing along and I felt so much like A PART OF SOMETHING WONDERFUL.
Next was Robin! ROBIN IS THE BEST. She was wearing this crazy grey (fake, I hope) fur hat and being very theatrical. She was trying to lower her mic stand and then she said, "That's one of my New Year's resolutions--to have stronger hands. And also to seek vengeance on mine enemies and smite them. And to learn French...and to wear more hats."
Dan Miller was wearing his grey toque (man I haven't seen that in a long time) so after she said that Flans said, "I can't believe you didn't coordinate this before the show--you're wearing the same hat!" That's a rock faux pas." Robin: "Mine was borrowed. From a a Rockefeller." Flans: "John Phony Rockefeller." (For the record, Robin's hat wasn't similar in style at all to Miller's, but they were both grey.)
Then she said that her last resolution was to "be a little more evil" and they of course played "Dr. Evil." She actually did the resolutions bit the last time I saw them too cos it was a bit after Chinese New Year--funny that it worked both times.
And thennnnnnnnnnn was BIRDHOUSE FUCK YES. I have of course seen Birdhouse at EVERY SHOW I'VE EVER BEEN TO besides instores and kids' shows but I will absolutely never get tired of that song. It makes me so overcome with happiness and I always sing along at the top of my lungs.
And they closed the main set with something I was sure as hell not expecting--"Hey Mr. DJ"! OH MY GOD. It was funny cos of course when they start playing a song I'm trying to ID it and I was just like "Oh it's 'Hey Mr. DJ'" and it was another second before I was like "HOLY SHIT IT'S 'HEY MR. DJ.'" That is one of my ALL-TIME FAV b-sides and oh MAN was it fun live.
Then it was the first encore. They started with "Insect Hospital," another never-heard song from Nanobots. It was super-short, and I didn't like it as much as "Nanobots" or "Circular Karate Chop," but it was pretty cool.
Then there were the Avatars again. Blue Avatar: "There are more professional shows in Williamsburg tonight. That's all I'm going to say."
After the Avatars were done they played "Museum of Idiots." That was intense for me for reasons I don't really want to get into but suffice it to say I have a very deep relationship to that song.
When they started the second encore, John said, "John and I both used to live in this neighborhood, and it was a lot easier to find parking then.'s disappointing to come back. Because of the parking." Then he said, "This song is about that time, actually," and although he followed it up with "I just made that up," the song was "The Mesopotamians," which does have something to do with early TMBG, what with the Econoline van and being in a band no one's heard of.
Then they did "Dead" which I've seen a bunch of times now but is always SO GOOD.
Then John was improvising a song about the horns coming back on stage, but of course his improv skills are not exactly of the caliber of Flans's, so it was just "Let's get the horns back" over and over. He said they'd record it and it would be a hit, and Flans said, "Or if we added banjo, a toy piano, and a whispery female vocal, it could be in a car commercial. Because if anybody loves indie rock, it's cars." Then John acted out playing banjo and toy piano, and it was adorable.
They closed with "Mr. Me"--would be SO MUCH BETTER on accordion but still a really stellar way to end a truly spectacular evening. This was the best show I've been to in A VERY LONG TIME.