Wednesday, April 1, 2009

the big steamy thing

First BEDA post! Yes!

I've been sitting here for a long while, trying to decide what to talk about, and, after watching Hank's video (in which he was NOT >:( dressed as Carrie Bradshaw), I've been thinking about things that make me happy, and why they do. So. Each day, I'll blog about one thing that makes me happy. This will be fun :D

TODAY: They Might Be Giants

Man. I love those guys.

Mssrs. John Sydney Linnell and John Conant Flansburgh met during high school in Lincoln, Massachusetts in, like, the 70s. THEY'RE OLD. And they worked on the school newspaper together, and it was when Linnell drew a comic about Nazi teachers that Flansburgh knew they would be lifelong friends. Hah. And so, they started doing musical stuff together, but eventually went off to different colleges, and then later they ended up in the same apartment in NYC, and they wrote more songs and such, and played their first show in 1982 at a Sandinista Rally. The crowd hardly knew any English, and they billed themselves as El Grupo de Rock and Roll, which is fantastic.

At their first real show, under the name They Might Be Giants, supposedly, 23 people came, they played 23 songs, made 23 dollars, while John Linnell was 23 years old. Very nice. THEN Linnell broke his hand in a bicycle accident (which I am sure at least partly inspired this song), and thus he could not play the accordion. Sad times. SO they started their infamous, and, at the time, state of the art, cutting edge-technologied Dial-a-Song service. By calling (718) 387-6962 (the phone in Flans' apartment), one would hear a new song that, for a while, changed every day. The restraints of using their Record-a-Call 682 actually heavily influenced the sound of their first album: anything with long, sustained notes made the machine rewind, so their songs were kept short and staccato. Dial-a-Song, "always busy, often broken" lived on for over 20 years, until it was essentially replaced by actual real technology. Stupid podcasts. Stupid internet. Ruins everything.

And so TMBG recorded their first album, and with cool guy Adam Bernstein, made music videos (with basically no budget) for Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head and Don't Let's Start, the latter of which made it into the regular rotation on MTV, the first ever video by an indie band to do so. Fun times.

And then they made 12 more albums and a bajillion more songs and grew more and more fantastic and amazing and are working on their fourth kids album right now and also a normal record HOORAY ok THE END.

The best part of this is that I did not look ANY of that up. Yet I cannot remember my own social security number :/

1 comment:

  1. haha, thanks for the history. I think I should listen to more TMBG.

    loved the last part, lol.


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