Shows/Mono Puff/1996-06-29

From This Might Be A Wiki
0 wikians attended:
No wikians attended this show.

You must be logged in to mark yourself for being at this show.

Setlist: (incomplete and possibly out of order)

Mono Puff
— with The Ghost of Tony Gold, Hal Sirowitz opening —
Mercury Lounge in New York, NY
June 29, 1996

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Poet Hal Sirowitz, who was an opening act for TMBG in the mid-1980s, released a self-titled album with selections of his poetry for John Flansburgh's Hello CD Of The Month Club in September 1996. In a 2012 interview with Richard Fulco on his RiffRaf blog, Sirowitz recalled opening for Mono Puff:

John Flansburgh had a lot of energy and while his main band was resting between gigs, he’d put together another band to perform. He had a show at Mercury Lounge and had me as their opening act for old-time sake. It was a standing room only crowd.

I got on stage and said, “I forgot to bring my guitar. I guess I’ll just have to read this stuff.” There was total silence in the room. Then a few people started laughing. I read my golden oldies – old poems guaranteed to get a reaction from the crowd. After my reading a couple of women declared they were fans and gave me rocks as presents.

Review by Opus Mo on, June 30, 1996:

I must say I was amazed by the rockin' Mono Puff show at New York's fabulous Mercury Lounge yesterday. I expected to have fun, but it was wacky zany madcap fun. Which, as you know, is entirely different.

First of all, the first opening act was The Ghost of Tony Gold. They were a swell bunch of guys, you could tell how much fun they were having up there on stage. [...] Second of all was Hal Sirowitz, which was one of the most pleasent surpises of the evening. He's one of my favorite poets, and his book "Mother Said..." is my "staff selection" at the bookstore where I work. [...] I got a chance to talk to Hal before the show and he said he might get a chance to tour with TMBG in the fall. I'm hoping he does because he was excellent. His poems, for those who don't know, are a humorous but emotional look at his overbearing mother, read with a deadpan style that heightens the humor. I was telling everybody around me to treat him nice, becuase I was worried that the crowd wouldn't take well to straight spoken word, but the audience was very receptive. A very successful reading, I thought.

And, of course, the main show was none other than Mono Puff themselves. Flans was especially talkative during the performance, giving little song intros and stories that he seemed to have given up long ago for TMBG performances. And the rest of the band was having fun up on stage, as well, which was good to see.


  • To serve mankind, which he said he named after a Twilight Zone episode called "To Serve Man". Yes, they screwed up, and he apologized to all of the Twilight Zone fans in the audience, or even people who liked The X-Files. He said they'd change the name as soon as Michael Jackson got around to changing the anti-semetic lyrics on HIStory.
  • The actual playing of To Serve Mankind, which had Flans singing with a trombone accomponyment. I was jumping with glee to hear his voice bouncing around the song like the Melotron did in the original.
  • There was sone other song which he described as "a song first recorded by Mono Puff, and has been covered by NOBODY since it came out a few weeks ago.."
  • He had a cheat sheet for "The Devil Went Down to Newport" which he brought out but said he wasn't going to use. If he did end up using it, eh said, he's give us a little wink to let us know because he wasn't going to keep any secrets from us.
  • Flans mentioned that they went to D.C. to do a segment for NPR's all things considered (which will air, apparently, on July 4th). He joked that everybody who appeared was forced to learn the All Things Considered theme, and launched into it for the band intros. For a public-radio-lovin' dork like myself, this was a dream come true.
  • Distant Antenna, where Hal Sirowitz joined the stage once more to do the reading.
  • A new song (written just 6 days ago) called "Felt Tip Pen" which was about a friend of Flan's who was obsessed with the Felt Tip Pen as an art form. I'm thinking it could be about artiste extrodinaire Brian Dewan, but I'm not sure.
Sadly, they didn't do an encore, but the show was enough to leave me sweaty, sore and happy.

Review by Pia Mukherji on, July 1, 1996:

The show was great! I haven't seen that much energy in a TMBG show in a while. Although I did think it was lame when Hal Sirowitz asked for questions and somebody asked if he had ever waved his arms out of a fast-moving passenger train.

One thing: Instead of "What Bothers the Spaceman," it said "Evil" on the set list. Is WBtS not the real name of this song? Or do they just think the song is evil?

"To Serve" was awesome. Flans sang! The whole show... wow. And i loved that smile of pure joy that would appear on his face every now and then.

Flans walked into the Mercury Lounge right before my friend and I. But we didn't talk to him because we couldn't think of anything to say. We wimped out, I guess. He was hanging out during The Ghost of Tony Gold and talking to people outside. Anybody get to talk to him?