Let Me Tell You About My Operation (They Might Be Giants)

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by Acey, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    TRUE CONCRETE FACT: They Might Be Giants are the best band ever. I will fight you on this.

    In all seriousness, TMBG is my main source of musical sperging, so I had to make a thread.

    For those not in the know, they're an alternative rock (and...pretty much whatever other genres they feel like doing at the time) band from Brooklyn, formed in 1982 and still going strong to this day. They're known for doing the theme (and lots of incidental music) for Malcolm In The Middle, collaborating with The Brothers Chaps on several occasions (in fact, the official music video for Experimental Film is a Homestar Runner toon), releasing the first-ever digital-only album (Long Tall Weekend, released way back in 1999), and many other really cool things I don't feel like detailing here.

    The band was formed by John Linnell and John Flansburgh, with both Johns singing and writing songs, Linnell playing keyboard and accordion (yes, really), and Flans playing guitar. In 1994 they expanded to have an actual backing band--their first album with a full band, John Henry, is one of their most divisive works (and it's also one of their best, IMO, but I digress), with some fans insisting that TMBG was only John and John and that their new sound was bad or whatever. These people are wrong and terrible.

    One of TMBG's defining attributes is that their lyrics are frequently bizarre and esoteric, often touching on dark themes such as death, broken hearts, and illness. Lyrical dissonance is one of their favorite tropes, though, and you could listen to many of their songs over and over before realizing that they're actually singing about terrible car accidents or delusional thinking or whatever.

    Anyway here's some songs by them.

    (the source of the thread title I COULDN'T RESIST OKAY)


    (the single most beautiful song I've ever heard)

    TL;DR LET'S TALK ABOUT TMBG
     
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  2. Fish butt

    Fish butt Everything is coming together, slowly but surely.

    ... I may have found a new favourite band.
     
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  3. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    HELL YEAH.

    You can find a LOT of their stuff on their YouTube (ParticleMen), definitely do some exploring! :D
     
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  4. Fish butt

    Fish butt Everything is coming together, slowly but surely.

    I now absolutely LOVE 'Let me tell you about my operation' - both the video and the music. I love their sound, their narrative style, and god it sounds so good! Also I was getting nervous again for Hard Stuff tomorrow, but listening to their music and I'm so calm again. Thanks!! The Mesopotamians is hilarious, and I love that music video. This is what I wanted to be a long time ago - a music video animator for these kinds of bands. :)

    Tomorrow I'll go and look better into them (I have to sleep now) but do you have an album of theirs you specially recommend? So far I love all of the songs you posted here.
     
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  5. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    I'm personally very fond of both John Henry and Join Us, so those are my top two. Flood isn't a fave of mine, but it's their most popular by far and still has some damn fine tracks, so it's also worth a listen.
     
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  6. Hobo

    Hobo HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA

    They also do children's albums about different themes! I haven't heard the entire album or anything but I really love the first version of Why Does The Sun Shine from Here Comes Science, it has a great tune even if it's not 100% accurate, haha. 10/10 would recommend.
     
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  7. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    Fun fact: that one's a cover of a 1950s (I think) educational song! They rocked it up though. :D
     
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  8. Hobo

    Hobo HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA

    Huh. I had no idea! Makes sense though, a few songs on the album do have different writers (that aren't part of the backing band), I'd imagine those are all covers or something.
     
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  9. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    I know What Is A Shooting Star? is from the same people who wrote Why Does The Sun Shine?. Can't remember any others on that specific album though.

    Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is their best-known cover though and it fucking wounds me that it's also their best-known song.

    #unpopular opinion: flood is one of their worst albums #and is severely overrated #and granted a mediocre tmbg album is the equal of a damn fine album by any other band but STILL ugh #lincoln is the superior just-the-johns album okay
     
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  10. Fish butt

    Fish butt Everything is coming together, slowly but surely.

    What kills me* is how many well-known illustrators and independent animators they got to make their music videos. Seriously, their videos are a 'who's who' of the Drawn and Quarterly and Underground Comix registries!

    *in a positive way of course.
     
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  11. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    NECROING THIS THREAD TO SHARE THAT THEY RELEASED A CHRISTMAS SONG.



    Seriously, I can't not sperg about this band. ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT TMBG GUYS.
     
  12. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

  13. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Last weekend I went to the local secondhand music store for stuff to listen to on the way to and from welding classes, and among the things I got were a couple tmbg cds - one best-of collection and I Like Fun. I love most of the songs in the collection but I also got the feeling that their music is best listened to in full album form, it seemed a little disjointed somehow.

    Ok but I love I Like Fun. I already knew a couple songs off of it, but the ones I didn’t know are amazing too! McCafferty’s Bib, The Bright Side, and Mrs. Bluebeard are new favorites for sure :D I plan on listening to it on the drive tomorrow as well. And I called my dad as soon as I got home to recommend it to him, we share a lot of our taste in music and that’s definitely the case here.

    I need to check back at that store every so often in case they get more albums in. Commuting is my favorite way to listen to new music :)
     
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  14. Everett

    Everett local rats so small, so tiny

    loafs in thread

    aceys musicposting got me to listen to some songues and i am intrigued
     
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  15. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    I Like Fun is excellent!! It’s easily in my top 3 TMBG albums (although, like all other things in life, it’s not as utterly fucking mindblowing as John Henry).

    It’s funny that you mention McCafferty’s Bib, because that’s the one song on the album I’ve been unable to really groove with...what are your favorite things about it? I’ll try to take them into account and listen with fresh ears! :D (EDIT: Totally seconded on The Bright Side and ESPECIALLY Mrs. Bluebeard being fantastic, though!)

    And I find a lot of their official compilations a bit disjointed, honestly. I made a playlist that I’m very proud of and that I think flows quite well, so I do think it’s possible to make a good TMBG compilation (in terms of order), but yeah, I agree.

    (Funnily, though, the compilation you linked to was the first TMBG release I ever owned! I definitely prefer their actual albums, though.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  16. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    I couldn’t quite say why I like McCafferty’s Bib so much - it’s nonsense but also obviously not nonsense in a way that appeals to me, I guess? And the music fits the lyrics perfectly. I’ll probably be able to articulate it better after I listen to it a few more times.

    “Nonsense - or is it??” really sums up a lot of my taste in music lmao
     
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  17. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    ohhh im definitely gonna listen to that bc ive looked them up in the past and then immediately got intimidated by their gigantic discography
     
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  18. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    Hell yeah!!

    If you dig that playlist I also have a much longer and more expansive (and up-to-date!) one, linked to in my last post in this thread, that I honestly think is WAY better-constructed (I’m stupidly proud of it), but it’s 59 songs long (29 Flans songs, an instrumental, and then 29 Linnell songs) so that’s definitely a bit more intimidating! So it’s prolly more something to check out if you like the shorter one. :P

    Anyway, I really hope you enjoy it!! <3
     
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  19. Acey

    Acey partly submerged, playing a dirge

    You are going to love TMBG, then!
     
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  20. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Lake Monsters = "we're here we're queer", yeah?
     
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