Saturday, April 14, 2012

TMBG Shirt #68: Black Hayseed Johns

Well, here it is. The final shirt. I guess when I started this I was not thinking about posting different versions of the same shirt in one entry, because I neglected to include the black version of my very first shirt, Hayseed Johns. But that's okay because it lends a kind of circularity to the whole thing. This blog is going to go on hiatus for a little while while I figure out what to do with it next. If you've enjoyed my t-shirt blog over the past fifteen and a half months, and/or you have an idea, I'd appreciate it if you would comment on this entry.
This one was acquired on eBay, and was worn by student security at Tufts University in Boston, MA on October 27, 1999. At the bottom is a quote from "How Can I Sing Like a Girl": "I want to raise my freak flag higher and higher."
MP3 of the Week:
Can't Keep Johnny Down

Performed at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on 3/9/12.
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

TMBG Shirt #67: El Presidente

Not to be confused with "US Presidents", this tour shirt features Abraham Lincoln imagining They Might Be Giants Live on Stage on Tour. My shirt says '2002', and yet the "El Presidente on Red" that is currently available in the online merch store reads '2001'. Go figure..
The back of the shirt pictures Richard Nixon being blinded by a TMBG banner above the Dial-a-Song number and website as well as their "Brooklyn's Ambassadors of Love" moniker.
MP3 of the Week:

Performed at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on 3/9/12.
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Saturday, March 31, 2012

TMBG Shirt #66: Instant Fan Club

Last year, They Might Be Giants introduced the Instant Fan Club. Included with membership was this lovely shirt with a Giant version of the IFC logo, featuring Paul Sahre's green escape key.
The TMBG Instant Fan Club 2012 edition is available right now. Included with this year's membership, among other fabulous things is a new version of the shirt with a blue escape key. There's even an option this year to order extra shirts for friends and family. Membership is limited, so be sure to Join Us soon before all the slots are filled!
MP3 of the Week:
We Live in a Dump

Performed at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on 3/9/12.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

TMBG Shirt #65: Apollo 18

In honor of the 20th anniversary of They Might Be Giants' Apollo 18, which is today. Just a few shirts left to show you, and I've been saving this one. Happy Birthday, Whale & Squid Record!
Here's the official album cover shirt.
And here's the official Apollo 18 Tour Shirt, which I also own in white. 1992 tour stops and the NASA Lunar Lander adorn the back.
MP3 of the Week:

This Apollo 18 staple was performed at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on 3/9/12.
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

TMBG Shirt #64: 1919

I was not initially sure why this is called "1919". The only connection that I could find was that William Allen White is known for having reported from the Versailles Conference of 1919, and his face is predictably repeated thrice, mimicking their stage setup at the time. However, this investigator has learned that this shirt is a homage to a well-known 1919 lithographic Soviet propaganda poster called "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge". This 2008-2009 tour shirt has a very interesting design. It features the first names of our five guys cleverly melded together into two pseudo-ambigrams consisting of the original duo and their backing band, with their common letters in red. It is also of note that highlighting the difference between "DAN" and "DANNY" produces "NY", which warrants no interpretation.
*Sorry, I couldn't flip 'MART'. 
The back reads "They Might Be Giants on Tour 2008-9" in a charming crossword fashion. This shirt is available at the TMBG Merch Store under the name "1919 on Creme", though my shirt as well as what's pictured appear to be white. I suspect that it's an error caused by the subsequent availability of "1919 on Creme Fine Jersey Slim Fit" t-shirt for women that actually does appear to have a creme hue.
MP3 of the Week:
Ana Ng

Performed at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on 3/8/12, featuring the new "cacophony of sound" opening.
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

TMBG Shirt #63: Saint Joseph's University

On April 24, 1997, I attended my 12th They Might Be Giants show. They were supposed to open for the Violent Femmes, who were also managed by The Hornblow Group. However, the Femmes were late in arriving so TMBG went on first. Years later, I found this shirt on eBay. True story.
Yup, staff shirt. Nice color!
MP3 of the Week:

Performed at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore, MD on 2/17/12.
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

TMBG Shirt #62: Home Taping

"Home Taping Is Killing Music" was the slogan of a 1980s anti-copyright infringement campaign by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a UK music industry trade group. With the rise in cassette recorder popularity, the BPI feared that people being able to record music from the radio onto cassettes would cause a decline in record sales. The logo, consisting of a Jolly Roger formed from the silhouette of a cassette tape, also includes the words "And It's Illegal"
TMBG has appropriated the cassette-and-crossbones logo and slogan for this Fall '09 tour shirt. Why exactly, I'm not entirely sure. I suppose because it's amusingly retro. I attended both of the New York City shows on the list: October 4 and October 18.
Hey guys, here's the plan for my 2012 TMBG Tattoo, which is four months away. I'm getting their newest logo above tattoo #1 of John Flansburgh's autograph. This really may be the final leg area available that could be considered "ankle space".
MP3 of the Week:
Mr. Me

Performed at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore, MD on 2/17/12.
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

TMBG Shirt #61: Science Is Real

This Tuesday is National Science Day.. in India. The event is commemorated in honour of Indian physicist Sir C.V. Raman for his legacy and discovery of the Raman effect, which I believe has something to do with college student economy. Anyway, here's the shirt. It's on fire! Dang volcanos.                
This shirt features fake cover artwork by David Cowles for a non-existent single. The cover artwork is a direct parody of The Louvin Brothers' 1960 "Satan is Real" album cover (below), and mimics almost every feature of the original cover, including the addition of a fictional "Chemistry Records" logo.
MP3 of the Week:
What is a Shooting Star?

This Here Comes Science song was performed by The Avatars of They at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on 7/30/11.
Buy Here Comes Science Now!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

TMBG Shirt #60: Union County MusicFest '09

Not to be confused with Union County Music Fest '05 (#37), here's a shirt that I picked up during my return trip to the annual festival held in NJ. This time, it took place in Oak Ridge Park in the city of Clark, with They Might Be Giants' performances on the second day of the fest; September 13, 2009.
On the back is a list of the bands that appeared, including Third Eye Blind as the headliner. TMBG played two shows this time around, the first being a family show preceded by a performance by 1910 Fruitgum Company, which was quite nostalgic for me as their song "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" was my favorite 45 in my parents' record collection when I was a kid.

MP3 of the Week:
Snowball In Hell

About two thirds of this seven minute performance at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore, MD on 2/17/12 consists of The Avatars of They executing the bridge in a very drawn out and rambling manner. Classic!
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

TMBG Shirt #59: Brooklyn's Ambassadors of Love

Here's a ringer in the style of the Mink Car design. A industrialish look to the band name adorns the front of the shirt.
On the back is TMBG's familiar title, "Brooklyn's Ambassadors of Love". There's even a little heart.
MP3 of the Week:

Performed at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA on 9/30/11.
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

TMBG Shirt #58: Severe Tire Damage Tour

This is the shirt that was used to promote the 1997-1998 Severe Tire Damage Tour. The front pictures closeups of Linnell's red accordion and Flansburgh's custom Mojo guitar, complete with grasping hands of the Johns. The guitar is the same photo from the back of the STD album, however on the album a white accordion is pictured above it. The shirt reads "they might be", with the last word held off for the back. 
I purchased this shirt from the merch stand at the Stone Balloon in Newark, DE on 9/9/97, right at the start of the tour. When I did, I immediately noticed that the number printed for (functional at the time) Dial-A-Song was wrong. It seems that at the first couple of shows They sold this misprinted shirt with some poor lady's phone number on it. I don't know how this happened, but I remember being told that corrected shirts were being sold at the next show, so this version must be rare indeed.
The back of the shirt has the lower half of the STD album cover with "giants" printed over it to complete what was started on the front. "Severe Tire Damage Tour '97-'98" is printed on the blue stripe. Above it is a car on the street, though again it doesn't seem to be the same car from the back of the album.
MP3 of the Week:
The Mesopotamians

Performed as a trio (John, John and Marty) at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in New York City on 12/8/11.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

TMBG Shirt #57: John Henry World Tour

Not to be confused with John Henry (#22), here's a crew shirt from the album's world tour. The front reads "THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS CREW" with a small breast pocket image of Pearl.
The back proclaims "JOHN HENRY WORLD TOUR" and lists the tour dates and cities spanning exactly a year, starting in St. Louis, MO on September 20, 1994 and ending in Lawrence, KS on September 20, 1995. What a hectic year! 10/17/94 in Red Bank, NJ was my second TMBG show.
MP3 of the Week:
Old Pine Box

Performed as a trio (John, John and Marty) at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in New York City on 12/8/11.
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

TMBG Shirt #56: Dartmouth College

Here's a shirt from a show at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire on August 14, 1992, about eight months before my first show. It seems that part of the campus building is blasting off like a rocket ship. Far out.
 As you can see, it's another student security shirt. 
MP3 of the Week:
Maybe I Know

Performed as a duo (as usual) at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in New York City on 12/8/11.
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

TMBG Shirt #55: Flood

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand-in-hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It's a brand new garment for 1990.
They Might Be Giants' brand new t-shirt: Flood!!
Tomorrow marks the twenty-first anniversary of the release of the Brooklyn Ambassadors of Love's best-selling album, which went platinum last year. Happy Birthday, Flood. Finally, you're old enough to drink!
To celebrate one million records sold and two decades of Floodliness, this new shirt was issued. It features the familiar FLOOD logo, seemingly illustrated by a child. The lopsidedness and stray scribbles only add to the charm of this read-between-the-lines retrotastic ringer. Order "Flood on White Ringer" from the TMBG Merch Store and get Flooded today! 
MP3 of the Week:
Istanbul(Not Constantinople)

This is the only Flood song that was performed as a trio (John, John and Marty) at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in New York City on 12/8/11.
Buy Flood Now!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

TMBG Shirt #54: The Love Show

Here's a shirt that was designed by our good friend Brian Dewan. On the front, a tiny helicopter hovers over an interesting looking TMBG logo. 
Here's a closer look.
On the back is what's known as the Love Show. John and John are on stage performing a lovely song while some fenced-in fans exude some love of their own. It's a pretty good illustration of a typical They Might Be Giants concert, if you ask me.

MP3 of the Week:
Stand On Your Own Head

Performed as a trio (John, John and Marty) at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in New York City on 12/8/11.
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