They Might Be Giants perform ‘Birdhouse in your Soul’ at their “Farewell for the Moment” tour in Brooklyn on January 2, 2016. Video shot by Bryan Patti.
They Might Be Giants will celebrate the 16th anniversary of their classic album ‘Flood’ at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin and 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 at Warehouse Live in Houston.
They Might Be Giants (TMBG) was formed in 1982 by friends John Linnell and John Flansburgh, who have added more members throughout the years to help broaden their live sound. Now, instead of the minimalism of their early show performed with Flansburgh’s guitar, Linnell’s accordion, and a drum machine, they have a full band and horn section touring and performing with them.
I got the opportunity to see ‘Flood’ live at The Beaumont Club in Kansas City in 2009. It was my first TMBG concert, and it was one of the most amazing days of my life, cementing me as a hardcore TMBG fan for life.
I recently saw them live in concert again at their “Farewell for the Moment” final Dial-A-Song tour show at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 2 at The Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY. I hadn’t seen them live for seven years, but seeing them with such an enthusiastic and welcoming crowd of fans, I felt like I was home again. I stood in my coveted spot directly in front of Linnell below his keyboard, and sang along with him on every song. It was glorious.
Tickets to both Texas shows are $25.
John Linnell and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants pose during the early 90’s. Photo from Google Images.
If you decide to go, here is my personal track by track preview of what you will hear:
1. Theme from Flood -Great introductory song to a great introductory album of TMBG’s.
2. Birdhouse in Your Soul – Arguably TMBG’s biggest commercial hit to date, and for good reason. The rollicking story of a blue canary-shaped nightlight is told whimsically through music.
3. Lucky Ball and Chain – TMBG’s more country and western influenced songs are some of their best, and nowhere is more proof of it than in this little tune.
4. Istanbul – One of their most popular songs due to its being featured on ‘Tiny Toon Adventures.’ A fun novelty song cover which never gets old.
5. Dead – Melancholy and somber tune about a man reincarnated as a bag of groceries. It’s really depressing.
6. Your Racist Friend – This song was recently featured as background music to an online video I saw about Donald Trump. It really does fit.
7. Particle Man – Another popular song featured on ‘Tiny Toons.’ A little annoying if you’ve heard it too many times, but still enjoyable, especially live with a crowd of people who also know every word by heart.
8. Twisting – Fun ’60’s sounding go-go music throwback. Reminds me of my sister Kelly dancing at the ‘Flood’ concert.
9. We Want A Rock – Fun tune with some of the best accordion work by Linnell on the album.
10. Someone Keeps Moving My Chair – This song sounds like nothing I’ve heard, in a good way, but gets buried in the middle of the album.
11. Hearing Aid – Great middle of the album weirdness from Flansburgh here. That’s all I can say.
12. Minimum Wage – Satirical 50’s ode to the workday. Oh, and it’s also mostly instrumental.
13. Letterbox – My favorite song on the album. Period. It must be heard to be believed. 1 minute and 25 seconds of pure bliss.
14. Whistling in the Dark – Creepy song which reminds me of the ‘Flood’ concert in Kansas City when Flansburgh almost dropped his bass drum on Kelly. Fun times.
15. Hot Cha – Another creepy Flansburgh song. Love the creepy Flansburgh songs.
16. Women and Men – TMBG’s ode to the sexes reminds me of a fanciful sea shanty. It is awesome.
17. Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love – My second favorite song on the album. Just beautiful.
18. They Might Be Giants – TMBG’s self-titled song which also has a fun country and western flair.
19. Road Movie to Berlin – Perfect ending song to a pretty perfect album.
Or, you can just listen to the entire album here. You should. It’s not long, you get a lot of songs for the value (in this case, free) and it may just change your life.