They Might Be Ringtones
On February 3rd, 2006, theymightbegiants.com began selling ringtones priced at $1.50, recorded by TMBG exclusively for cell phones. As of 2009, this version of the site is not functional.
Don't settle for old familiar songs for your ringtones! Up the ante with one of these three original songlettes designed by TMBG with your mobile buddy in mind. The tracks were created by the band at the end of a TMBG album session with the legendary Pat Dillett. Instead of ending our session day with the usual clearing of coffee cups and sweeping up, the band got together and composed these miniature classics for your phone, PDA, or any other place you can think of. We offer you three choices: "Phone Phone Phone" and "Ring Ring" both revisit familiar phone themes. "Call Connected Thru The NSA" connects your call free of any intrusive FISA notification.
- Download free MP3s of the ringtones at Wired.com (under "Also Available: Three TMBG Classics!")
- Download "Call Connected Thru The NSA," free from theymightbegiants.com
Wired Magazine "Snacktones"
In early 2007, TMBG announced that they had finished putting together some new ringtones for inclusion in the March 2007 issue of Wired Magazine. Podcast 8A, released October 2006, contained the first revealed ringtone of this set, Phone Cord. Podcast 21A, released January 2007, contained three more of the ringtones; Bite-Size, Friend Or Foe?, and My Other Phone Is A Boom Car. The last one, Devil Spawn, was first revealed in the online edition of the March issue of Wired. MP3s of the five Wired ringtones as well as the original They Might Be Ringtones were once available for free download at Wired.com.
"Solid Gold Bits"
The typical cell phone ring lasts only about five seconds, but around that slice of sound a booming industry has emerged: Last year, Americans spent an estimated $600 million on ringtones, thanks to the popularity of realtones - those 10- to 30-second snippets of popular songs. But with tinny sound and abrupt edits, they're a sorry substitute for the real thing. Now preeminent indie rockers They Might Be Giants have embraced the ringtone as a stand-alone medium. The Brooklyn-based band, which was an early short-form innovator with "Dial-a-Song" - an answering machine that played a different tune each day for callers - has started composing original songlettes as an alternative to the canned loop. "We take a little sketch of a lyric or idea and make it as intense as possible," says singer-songwriter John Flansburgh. "These songs are built for repeated listens." To prove it, TMBG composed several original "snacktones" just for Wired readers.
-Steven Leckart, Wired Magazine