Talk:Bills, Bills, Bills
The Secret Influence of Destiny's Child on TMBG
- It was first played last Thursday in Pittsburgh (I've got to add this story to my concert recap, I didn't realize it was significant at the time). I ran into a friend who was just seeing TMBG for the first time and she was standing near us in the crowd. One of the Johns (I think Linnell) said "here's a new song from us" and they started playing it. I was trying to listen to the lyrics and jamming to it when my friend grabbed my ear and said "It's a Beyonce cover!!!", which surprised me because this was her first concert and I would have never made the connection without her - Destiny's Child was out of my range during the time Bills came out.--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 16:26, 19 April 2015 (EDT)
- Not sure when the AV Club version will go up, but if people are curious right now, I posted a recording someone made of the second performance in Chicago here. Flans manages to pull it off, but the best part is how awkward/hilarious/adorable Linnell is with his parts. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 19:10, 19 April 2015 (EDT)
An Excellent Cover
The Giants have an excellent record of doing stand out covers. Lady is a Tramp; Maybe I Know, Savoy Truffle and Tubthumping are all great examples of the band taking a song and Giantifying it. Bills, Bills, Bills is an interesting choice for the band as it's an alien music genre. To do a good cover is difficult, faithful versions can make the listener think why bother and if it's too different the charm of the original is lost.
The Giants are quite canny in choosing a song with some structural problems as it gives them a chance to fix them. The original is too slow and harmonically boring. Melody has to be sacrificed to fit the mass of lyrics that Beyonce has written (like Dylan or Morrissey - more acts she has little in common with - she sometimes falls into the trap of letting the lyrics determine the song. As any Dylan or Morrissey fan will tell you, the danger which such tactics is that the song becomes plodding). In it's original form Bills Bills Bills is monotonous.
The Giants inject adrenalin into the song by speeding it up twice on the verse before really speeding it up for the chorus. To physically manage this (and it must be a exhausting to do live) they share the singing duties which allows the other a chance to rest. It also allows a harmony on the chorus that really helps rock it out. The use of metronome guitar gives it the final Giant bit of DNA to take it away from Destiny's Child. There is also extra nuance in the way the Giants sing it, and it transforms the song. Beyonce's version obviously give us the image of a girl being exploited by a macho boyfriend. Even so, given how young she is when she sings it, it's all abit teen angst. In the hands of the Giants, it suddenly becomes a middle aged, middle class song of marital discontent which gives it a kind of gravity that Beyonce can't hope to replicate. Where Beyonce sounds mournful, both Flans, and especially Linnell, sound hectoring with the kind of tetchy anger that one can only reserve for a partner of twenty plus years whom you pretty much despise! I'd of liked a studio version, just to get a cleaner vocal, but live, the band can't over produce themselves or suck out the energy (some of their new stuff is so laid back they sound like Steely Dan!) and the rawness of the sound and Linnell exasperated vocal really works and fits the mood that they've set. This really is very good and they've made the song their own. I'm very impressed. (Mr Tuck)
- Hmm... I thought Dial-A-Song was sold on it being 52 *exclusive* *studio* recordings? This is neither. It sounds like what it is - a sloppily-performed, under-engineered, one-take radio session (and Tubthumping sounded a lot slicker than this). As a properly mounted studio production this could have been great, but this could not be more of a 'that'll do for another week' gesture if it tried - it's literally the audio off a YouTube video they made for someone else.
- Starting to lose patience with this - it's been weeks since there's been anything to truly treasure (how long ago was ECNALUBMA?), and the songs are fast veering into 'bored home demo' or 'Flansburgh's bottom drawer' territory. The videos are nearly all library footage now too. Even the bonus tracks have stopped (I actually strongly suspect both this and Starry Eyes - which was at least a great recording and hard enough to access any other way to count - were originally earmarked as Friday Bonus Tracks). So much for 'three albums' worth of songs. We'll be lucky to get two at this rate. Starting to feel as though there's been a slight bit of deception and Glean was recorded separately to this project. With a few exceptions there's a 'podcast fodder' vibe going on and no sign of it letting up. Starting to regret paying for Direct - I'm worried it's going to become little more than an expensive Glean digital presale with a Chinese-water-torture version of a TMBG podcast stapled onto it.
- (And besides, they do know WE know this is Jonathan Coulton's 'bit', right? Delivered via the medium of another of Jonathan Coulton's 'bits'?) ~SirDarrell
- Oh and one more thing - the amount of faulty or oversampled FLAC files on this that I'm having to manually fix myself is disgusting for a paid service. ~SirDarrell