User:Wireless mike

From This Might Be A Wiki

My Name is Mike Buffington. I've been a fan since about 1994. I've done a bunch of cool stuff for and related to the band that I'm quite proud of, so this is my little corner of the internet where I'd like to gush for a moment, if you don't mind.

Rock-Rinse-Repeat Volume 1.png
The Making of Chessmaster II
The Record-a-Call 675 Years

Graphic Design[edit]


I compiled a volume of books, called Rock/Rinse/Repeat, about TMBG's awesome hand drawn setlists as special items for their Instant Fan Club. Extra copies are sold on the band's merch store.

  • I will be uploading the original scans to TMBW at some point, please don't scan the book and upload those scans.
  • If you have setlists that I don't have, please get in touch!

Tucson Show[edit]

I did the liner notes for the once-downloadable 2004 City Limits show in Tucson, AZ. I look back at it and cringe at my sub-par graphic design sensibilities.

Chessmaster II[edit]

I built a replica of Flansburgh's Mojo guitar, called The Chessmaster. I documented the build with a video called The Making of Chessmaster II

Record-A-Call 675 Story[edit]

I saved the Original Dial-A-Song the first time around, but nobody really knows about this.


  • Nov 2000: TMBG puts a message on their website
  • Nov 2000: Ebay auction won
  • Dec 2000: Got in touch with Dan Miller
  • Feb 2001: TMBG receives Record a call 675
  • Feb 2002: my Record a call 675 was installed
  • Aug 2002: my Record a call 675 bit the dust

From, Nov 2000:[edit]

We are down to our last functioning Dial-A-Song machine, a Record-A-Call 675 circa 1983. Believe it or not, this brand model is about the only machine that can perform the tasks necessary for Dial-A-Song (unlimited outgoing message, high fidelity (!) full size, regular cassette) These machines are getting increasingly hard to find. We got this one at a yard sale for $5. EBay has not been useful, so we are putting it our to you- the audience. Your Mom got one in the garage? Your reward is a small mystery gift we haven't thought up yet, along with a free years subscription to TMBG Unlimited. Also, among the more technically minded fold out there- if you know of any over the counter- kick ass computer based answering machines that can handle multiple files easily, we're all ears!

Email from Dan Miller:[edit]

Return-Path: <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Received: from [REDACTED] by [REDACTED]; Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:52:05 -0500 (EST)
User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:53:23 -0500
Subject: Re: record a call
From: dan miller <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Message-ID: <B65E6533.FF%danamil@[REDACTED]>
In-Reply-To: <[REDACTED]>

Hey Mike,
I can't remember if I replied to you or not. If this is the first time and you still have the answering machine. Yes we'd like to have it. Let me know the details about what you need to send it and I'll start putting together the reward package. (some schwag, Emusic stuff and tickets when we come to your area, etc.).
-dan miller

> I won a record a call 675 on ebay for you guys. Do you need it? I can
> have it sent to you. Let me know. I'd love to help out.
> Mike

Email from Dan Miller:[edit]

Return-Path: <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Received: from [REDACTED] by [REDACTED]; Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:27:48 -0500 (EST)
From: "danamil" <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Subject: thanks
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:26:28 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600
Disposition-Notification-To: "danamil" <danamil@[REDACTED]>

We got it, thanks so much. I've contacted Emusic and should have an account number for you in a few days. In the meantime, head to the website and pick out a few things you'd like. Let me know and I'll send them right out with the money for postage. I think we'll be hitting Arizona in April so I look forward to meeting you and we'll get you and a friend in on the guest list.

Once again thanks,

Email from Jim Stabile of eMusic:[edit]

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( by [REDACTED]; Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:01:02 GMT
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:01:02 GMT
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Congratulations! You've been given an EMusic gift certificate.Mike Buffington, you have received an EMusic gift certificate for a 12 month subscription to an EMusic subscription service from Jim Stabile!

Mike -
Per your assistance in acquiring the elusive Dial-A-Song answering machine for TMBG, John Flansburgh asked that I send you an annual subscription to TMBG UnLtd. Please follow the steps in setting up an account and you should be all set. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at [REDACTED]
Thanks for your help.
Best regards -
Jim Stabile
TMBG Product Manager
To redeem your gift certificate, click on the URL below [REDACTED]

From, Feb 9 2002:[edit] (dead link)
Dial-A-Song, (718) 387-6962

This is the original home of Dial-A-Song. I just installed a new Record-A-Call 675 machine, circa 1985, that was found on eBay by a fan. This is probably our 30th phone machine. You can't even get them repaired anymore; there's no one to repair them. You can't access it remotely, so people can't hack it. We are freak magnets, man. There are all sorts of people who project all sorts of crazy things on us, and they want to get their insane message through.

Short Record-A-Call Documentary[edit]

From owning a Record-A-Call and studying it, I made a short documentary about the Record-A-Call's abilities and function as the Dial-A-Song's answering machine.
A History of They Might Be Giants’ Dial-a-Song: The Record-a-Call 675 Years


Wireless mike's Collection
(She Was A) Hotel Detective (EP)(She Was A) Hotel Detective (EP)(She Was A) Hotel Detective (EP)1985 Demo Tape1985 Demo Tape1985 Promotional Demo Tape1993 Sampler2001 Radio Sampler No. 12001 Radio Sampler No. 22001 SamplerA User's Guide To They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, QuantityAlbum Raises New And Troubling QuestionsAna Ng (Single)Ana Ng (Single)Ana Ng (Single)Apollo 18Apollo 18Apollo 18At LargeAt LargeBack To SkullBack To SkullBack To SkullBed, Bed, Bed (Book)Birdhouse In Your Soul (EP)Birdhouse In Your Soul (EP)Boss Of Me (Single)Boss Of Me (Single)Cast Your Pod To The WindDial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be GiantsDirect From BrooklynDirect From BrooklynDoctor Worm (Single)Don't Let's Start (Album)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (EP)Don't Let's Start (LP)Factory ShowroomFactory ShowroomFactory ShowroomFirst Album LiveFloodFloodFloodFloodFloodFloodFlood Live In AustraliaFlood Live In AustraliaFour Covers From TMBGGigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns)GleanGleanHello Family Santa SpecialHello The Band (EP)Here Come The 123sHere Come The ABCsHere Come The ABCsHere Comes ScienceHey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal (Promo)House Of MayorsHouse Of MayorsI Like FunI Like FunI Palindrome I (EP)Indestructible ObjectInstalling & Servicing MelodyIstanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (EP)It's Fun To StealJohn Flansburgh's Mono PuffJohn HenryJohn HenryJohn HenryJohn HenryJohn HenryJohn Henry DemosJohn Henry DemosJohn Henry DemosJoin UsJoin UsJoin Us (Four Advance Tracks)Kids Go!LincolnLincolnLincolnLincolnLincoln SamplerLive In BerlinLive!! New York City 10/14/94Long Tall WeekendLong Tall WeekendMan, It's So Loud In Here (EP)Mink CarMink Car Retail SamplerMiscellaneous TMiscellaneous TMontana (Single)My Murdered RemainsMy Murdered RemainsNanobotsNanobotsNew York City Live!!No!No! PreviewO Tannenbaum (Single)Olive, The Other Reindeer (Single)People Are Wrong! (Promo)Phone PowerPhone PowerPodcast HighlightsPurple Toupee (EP)S-E-X-X-Y (EP)S-E-X-X-Y (EP)S-E-X-X-Y (EP)S-E-X-X-Y (EP)S-E-X-X-Y (EP)Selections From The 2-CD Retrospective Then: The Earlier YearsSelections From The SpineSevere Tire DamageSevere Tire DamageSleeping In The Flowers (Promo)Snail Shell (Promo)Special Mink Car SamplerState SongsState SongsState SongsState Songs (EP)Super SamplerThe Avatars Of They (EP)The Communists Have The Music (Single)The Complete Factory Showroom SessionsThe Devil Went Down To Newport (EP)The Devil Went Down To Newport (EP)The ElseThe ElseThe Escape TeamThe Escape TeamThe Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (EP)The Hal Cragin YearsThe Partly Cloudy PatriotThe SpineThe SpineThe Spine Surfs Alone (EP)The Spine Surfs Alone (EP)The Statue Got Me High (EP)The Statue Got Me High (EP)The Steve Calhoon YearsThe Videos 1986-1989Them Ain't Big Eye AntsThem Ain't Big Eye AntsThen: The Earlier YearsThey Got LostThey Might Be Giants (Album)They Might Be Giants (Album)They Might Be Giants (Album)They Might Be Giants (Album)They Might Be Giants (Album)They Might Be Giants In HolidaylandThey Might Be Giants Vs. McSweeney'sThey'll Need A Crane (EP)They'll Need A Crane (EP)They'll Need A Crane (EP)TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band (EP)TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band (EP)Twisting (Promo)UnsupervisedUnsupervisedUnsupervisedVenue SongsVenue SongsVideo CompilationVideo CompilationWhat We Did This SummerWhy Does The Sun Shine? (EP)Why Does The Sun Shine? (EP)Why?Why?Wiggle DisketteWorking Undercover For The Man (EP)Working Undercover For The Man (EP)

Songs I've Heard Live[edit]

Bold = song debuts

They Might Be Giants (19/19)
  1. Everything Right Is Wrong Again
  2. Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head
  3. Number Three
  4. Don't Let's Start
  5. Hide Away Folk Family
  6. 32 Footsteps
  7. Toddler Hiway (Live)
  8. Rabid Child
  9. Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes
  10. (She Was A) Hotel Detective
  11. She's an Angel
  12. Youth Culture Killed My Dog
  13. Boat of Car
  14. Absolutely Bill's Mood
  15. Chess Piece Face
  16. I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die
  17. Alienation's for the Rich
  18. The Day
  19. Rhythm Section Want Ad

Lincoln (17/18)

  1. Ana Ng
  2. Cowtown
  3. Lie Still, Little Bottle
  4. Purple Toupee
  5. Cage & Aquarium
  6. Where Your Eyes Don't Go
  7. Piece of Dirt
  8. Mr. Me
  9. Pencil Rain
  10. The World's Address
  11. Santa's Beard
  12. You'll Miss Me
  13. They'll Need a Crane
  14. Shoehorn with Teeth
  15. Stand on Your Own Head
  16. Snowball in Hell
  17. Kiss Me, Son of God

Flood (19/19)

  1. Theme From Flood
  2. Birdhouse in Your Soul
  3. Lucky Ball and Chain
  4. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  5. Dead
  6. Your Racist Friend
  7. Particle Man
  8. Twisting
  9. We Want a Rock
  10. Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
  11. Hearing Aid
  12. Minimum Wage
  13. Letterbox
  14. Whistling in the Dark
  15. Hot Cha
  16. Women and Men
  17. Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love
  18. They Might Be Giants
  19. Road Movie to Berlin

Miscellaneous T

  1. Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal
  2. I'll Sink Manhattan
  3. It's Not My Birthday
  4. Mr. Klaw
  5. The Famous Polka
  6. We're The Replacements

Apollo 18 (19/19)

  1. Dig My Grave
  2. I Palindrome I
  3. She's Actual Size
  4. My Evil Twin
  5. Mammal
  6. The Statue Got Me High
  7. Spider
  8. The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
  9. Dinner Bell
  10. Narrow Your Eyes
  11. Hall of Heads
  12. Which Describes How You're Feeling
  13. See the Constellation
  14. If I Wasn't Shy
  15. Turn Around
  16. Hypnotist of Ladies
  17. Fingertips
  18. Space Suit

John Henry (7/20)

  1. Subliminal
  2. Spy
  3. No One Knows My Plan
  4. Dirt Bike
  5. A Self Called Nowhere
  6. Meet James Ensor
  7. The End of the Tour

Unsupervised/Mono Puff

  1. Unsupervised

Factory Showroom (8/13)

  1. S-E-X-X-Y
  2. Till My Head Falls Off
  3. How Can I Sing Like a Girl?
  4. Metal Detector
  5. New York City
  6. Spiralling Shape
  7. James K. Polk
  8. Pet Name

Severe Tire Damage

  1. Doctor Worm
  2. Severe Tire Damage Theme
  3. Battle for the Planet of the Apes

State Songs/John Linnell (14/16)+4

  1. The Songs of the 50 States
  2. West Virginia
  3. South Carolina
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Utah
  8. Arkansas
  9. Iowa
  10. Mississippi
  11. Maine
  12. Oregon
  13. Michigan
  14. New Hampshire
  15. North To Alaska
  16. Ohio
  17. Nebraska
  18. Maryland My Maryland

Long Tall Weekend (6/15)

  1. Drinkin'
  2. (She Thinks She's) Edith Head
  3. Maybe I Know
  4. Older
  5. Counterfeit Faker
  6. They Got Lost

Mink Car (15/17)

  1. Bangs
  2. Cyclops Rock
  3. Man, It's So Loud in Here
  4. Another First Kiss
  5. I've Got a Fang
  6. Hovering Sombrero
  7. Yeh Yeh
  8. Hopeless Bleak Despair
  9. Drink!
  10. Older
  11. Mink Car
  12. Wicked Little Critta
  13. Finished with Lies
  14. She Thinks She's Edith Head
  15. Working Undercover for The Man

No! (12/17)

  1. Fibber Island
  2. Four of Two
  3. Robot Parade
  4. No!
  5. Where Do They Make Balloons?
  6. In the Middle, in the Middle, in the Middle
  7. Violin
  8. John Lee Supertaster
  9. Clap Your Hands
  10. I Am Not Your Broom
  11. Bed Bed Bed
  12. Sleepwalkers

The Spine (10/16)

  1. Experimental Film
  2. Spine
  3. Memo to Human Resources
  4. Wearing a Raincoat
  5. Thunderbird
  6. Bastard Wants to Hit Me
  7. Museum of Idiots
  8. It's Kickin' In
  9. Damn Good Times
  10. Stalk of Wheat

Venue Songs

  1. Dallas
  2. Albany
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Anaheim
  5. Vancouver
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. Glasgow
  8. Charlottesville
  9. Asbury Park
  10. Brooklyn
  11. Tippecanoe and Tyler Too
  12. Tucson

Here Come the ABCs (4/27)

  1. Alphabet of Nations
  2. Fake-Believe
  3. Alphabet Lost and Found
  4. Clap Your Hands

The Else (12/13)

  1. I'm Impressed
  2. Take Out the Trash
  3. Upside Down Frown
  4. Climbing the Walls
  5. Careful What You Pack
  6. The Cap'm
  7. With the Dark
  8. The Shadow Government
  9. Bee of the Bird of the Moth
  10. Withered Hope
  11. Contrecoup
  12. The Mesopotamians

Cast Your Pod to the Wind

  1. We Live in a Dump

Here Come the 123s (8/21)

  1. Apartment Four
  2. High Five!
  3. Seven
  4. Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go to Work)
  5. Pirate Girls Nine
  6. One Dozen Monkeys
  7. Eight Hundred and Thirteen Mile Car Trip
  8. Nonagon

Here Comes Science (9/19)

  1. Science Is Real
  2. Meet The Elements
  3. I Am A Paleontologist
  4. Electric Car
  5. My Brother The Ape
  6. What Is A Shooting Star?
  7. Why Does The Sun Shine?
  8. Why Does The Sun Really Shine?
  9. Roy G. Biv

Join Us (8/18)

  1. Can't Keep Johnny Down
  2. You Probably Get That a Lot
  3. Cloisonné
  4. Celebration
  5. When Will You Die
  6. Judy Is Your Viet Nam
  7. Never Knew Love
  8. 2082

Album Raises New and Troubling Questions

  1. Authenticity Trip
  2. Marty Beller Mask

Nanobots (10/25)

  1. You're on Fire
  2. Nanobots
  3. Black Ops
  4. Lost My Mind
  5. Circular Karate Chop
  6. Call You Mom
  7. Tesla
  8. Insect Hospital
  9. The Darlings of Lumberland
  10. Icky

Glean (10/15)

  1. Erase
  2. Good to Be Alive
  3. Underwater Woman
  4. Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2
  5. Answer
  6. I Can Help the Next in Line
  7. Madam, I Challenge You to a Duel
  8. Unpronounceable
  9. Hate the Villanelle
  10. Let Me Tell You About My Operation


  1. Oh You Did feat. Robin Goldwasser

Phone Power (5/18)

  1. I Love You for Psychological Reasons
  2. Trouble Awful Devil Evil
  3. Daylight
  4. Impossibly New
  5. Bills, Bills, Bills

I Like Fun (7/15)

  1. Let's Get This Over With
  2. I Left My Body
  3. All Time What
  4. Mrs. Bluebeard
  5. I Like Fun
  6. This Microphone
  7. The Bright Side

My Murdered Remains

  1. The Communists Have the Music
  2. Applause Applause Applause

More Murdered Remains

  1. I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar

Book (4/15)

  1. Synopsis For Latecomers
  2. Moonbeam Rays
  3. Brontosaurus
  4. I Can't Remember The Dream

Miscellaneous Songs

  1. Shoehorn With Teeth (CD Fast Forward version)
  2. Dr. Evil
  3. On The Drag
  4. Sorry I Fucked Up The Show
  5. Mr. Tambourine Man
  6. Boss Of Me
  7. Boss Of Me (30 second version)
  8. He's Loco
  9. Auld Lang Syne
  10. With The Dark (Live)
  11. Stilloob

Grand total: 266