Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two Down, Seven To Go

Two fantastic rock shows! Here are a few details, if you want the real story then check out this other Blog. It's awesomer.
I took a whole mess of photos in Providence.
Here, John Flansburgh attempts to steal my soul. Instead, I capture his with this photo!
Marty Beller's drum kit was totally pimped out with colorful blinking lights, custom built by Iggy!

Special guests for both shows were the Tricerichops Horns, namely Dan "The Machine" Levine and Stan "Sax on the Beach" Harrison (above, from left) and the amazing Curt Ramm, below. We heard two brand new songs (Duende and Canajoharie) and two family songs that had never been performed (Nonagon and How Many Planets?).

The Giants stayed at our hotel in Providence. We were finishing up at the breakfast buffet when John Linnell and Danny Weinkauf walked in. We said hey and left them to it. At the Mohegan Sun show, Flansburgh recited the "H-E-A-R-T attack to you, girl" Fingertips bit while gazing deeply into my eyes.

On to New York City!

MP3 For You:
 A fast, jazzy version that opened the show on 3/24/95 at the Horizontal Boogie Bar in Rochester, NY.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nine TMBG Shows In Six Days

 I strive to see TMBG a minimum of ten times each year. However, here we are in September and I have only attended one show so far in 2010.

In a span of five weeks I will be making up for that with nine shows, including three double-headers, four rock shows and five family shows, all apparently without an opening act. With the exception of the first two, all of these shows are in seated theaters with assigned seating. Unfortunately, I only managed to get front row seats for the final two shows in Fairfield, CT.

First up is a three day trip to Lupo's in Providence, RI followed by the fifth annual audience appreciation free show at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT (fake ticket created for completion's sake) and a couple of family shows at Town Hall in New York City. So, it looks like next week's entry will be from the road. I'm excited to hear new songs!

 I'm also seeing The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway on Halloween (dream come true), and in November I've got Corn Mo in Asbury Park, Roger Waters and Tim & Eric in Philadelphia and Tim & Eric again in New York City. It's going to be a busy couple of months!

 Free For Download:
The radio dial is spun at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on 4/20/00. TMBG samples some Brittany Spears and Billy Joel before settling on The Trammps' "Disco Inferno". Featuring Dan Hickey on drums.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

MC Skat Kat

Perhaps you remember MC Skat Kat, the animated rapping feline. He appeared in Paula Abdul's song/video for "Opposites Attract" in 1989 and released his own album a couple of years later before fading into obscurity. The single from that album was called "Skat Strut" and Virgin Records issued some promo cds of it. 

Here's where it gets weirdly relevant. On some of these discs were pressed not the 1991 MC Skat Kat single, but the 1986 debut album from They Might Be Giants, in its entirety. What The Flans?? I'm imagining early nineties radio DJs popping in this CD, expecting to hear some hip new rap music but instead "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" comes blasting out. To this day I cannot conceive of a scenario that would lead to this pressing error. TMBG weren't even on the same label!
I brought this disc to a bookstore signing, and both Johns were mystified and amused, having never seen it before. After explaining the deal to Linnell, he decided to sign "Paula Abdul". Priceless.

Have an MP3:
"Hair Dresser Show"
John Flansburgh spaces out during a performance of "Maybe I Know" on 10/21/99 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, and after the song is completed he provides an explanation. A story is told of a trip to Norfolk, VA in the Earlier Years, during which a toll booth operator asks the Johns if They're "going to a hair dresser show?". Unfortunately, the story about the Pencil Rain guy is too embarrassing to relate.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mink Car

Here's my signed, sealed Mink Car CD from eMusic's "TMBG Unlimited" service in 2001. Some people received unique autographs, mostly from John Linnell after he started to get bored of signing his standard moniker. Two people were even blessed with two-year-old Henry Linnell's "autograph", which was really just a scribble. I've always been very happy that I got one of the weird ones. Mine reads "Dieter Linnell":

Of course, I bought another copy. Here's my insert signed at the Mink Car instore. It was a little bit awkward for me when Flansburgh signed this because he was asking for each person's name and then writing it in big block letters. When it came to me, he instead wrote his own name. The impression I had at the time was that was that he recognized me from the 60+ TMBG shows I had attended at that point, but still did not know my real name, and was possibly embarrassed to point this out.
(click to enlarge)

As you may know, John Flansburgh had the cover modeled after himself. He lay down on the floor to demonstrate what the guy on the cover should look like. Then a photo was taken and turned upside down. Really, John? Shorts?

This week's live MP3 is:
Performed at the Mercury Lounge in New York City on 11/6/97. TMBG used to use this fun instrumental to start the show, and usually introduce the band. Near the end you can hear me ask a friend if they smell pot. After the song ends, John Flansburgh comments on the pot smell, as well. This is presumably the moment that he refers back to at a show a couple of years later while telling the story about their recurring pot-smell nightmare.