300 Songs, and 20 or 30 of them are pretty good!

I have a feeling that this article is going to bring hours of joy to our household. T and I were discussing the other day that K (our 11 year-old) is probably ready for They Might Be Giants now. I’ll never forget the genuine geek thrill of discovering TMBG’s first record via a blurb in Rolling Stone [An important aside: really the only way that anything approaching cool entered into my early teens was through my Aunt Liz’s subscription to RS. Other rock and roll publications existed at the time — Creem, for instance — but only RS appeared in our our sleep little East Tennessee town. Thank you Aunt Liz, God, and Jan Wenner.].

I can’t find the actual RS piece highlighting TMBG’s signing (it was probably 1985), but the quote was something like, “We’ve written over 300 songs, and 20 or 30 of them might be good.” I found that both unbelievable and hilarious. Little did I know that they were being honest.

John T bought that first cassette — I almost alway had to rely on JT to actually buy the records we both were craving, as his Dad (despite being a hardcore bluegrass record and live tape collector) felt that any music was good music [I don’t know if he would’ve approved of VU or the Flaming Lips, but he funded their purchase. John T’s Dad also had a killer dubbing system — record to tape, tape to tape, reel to reel, etc. I have a boxful of old TDK’s just bursting with awesomeness.] Between the ridiculous song titles, the glorious word-salad of the lyrics, and the stylistic mimicry, we were hooked.

My favorite TMBG’s song? While the songs on the debut have a big place in my heart, my #1 has to be “Birdhouse in Your Soul” from Flood.

Here’s UGO’s top 50. Spend a little time with They Might Be Giants today …

Over the last 30 years, They Might Be Giants have gone from an alternative, Brooklyn-based musical duo to one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They’ve dabbled in every genre, instrument and subject matter possible. We love’em – and that’s why we’re counting down our 50 favorites.

via 50 Best They Might Be Giant Songs – UGO.com.


About russellwriter

Rob Russell is a dad, husband, writer, musician, educator, comic book reader, bad solderer, pop culture junky, trivia buff and student of everything cool and uncool. His favorite records are Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and, currently, The Best of Bobbie Gentry: The Capitol Years. His favorite comic books are Kurt Busiek's Astro City and Neil Gaiman's Sandman. His favorite literary novels are Gabrial Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude and William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. His favorite genre novels are John Scalzi's Red Shirts, M.R. Carrey's The Girl with All the Gifts, and Dan Simmons' Drood. His favorite movie is Goodfellas. His favorite hobby, besides everything, is writing about himself and his favorite things in the third person.

Posted on January 30, 2011, in Great Rockers, Pop Culture, Rock and Roll, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Long live TMBG!

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