9 Secret Eps - A They Might Be Giants Podcast
By John and Jon
9 Secret Eps - A They Might Be Giants PodcastJun 16, 2022
The Final Secret Ep: Jamie Lincoln Kitman
Co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker close out this podcast mini-series with a visit from lawyer, writer, and raconteur Jamie Lincoln Kitman, aka They Might Be Giants's longtime manager. Jamie offers an insider's view of several pivotal points in the band's career, as well as some poignant insights into the strength of John Flansburgh and John Linnell's supernaturally fruitful partnership and how the band has survived decades in this meat grinder of an industry. We also find out about Jamie's history as a car nut and why he went from law school to the wild world of post modern rock. This is a can't miss interview for fans of TMBG and a great note to end the show on, if we do say so ourselves. Dig it!
Follow Jon Uleis on twitter and instagram: @movingtothesun
Follow John Walker on twitter and instagram: @giannidubya
8th Secret Ep: Dial-A-Song Classics ft. Andrew Tisher
Free when you podcast from work! Co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker find it hard to believe that it's taken this long to get to the topic of They Might Be Giants's Dial-A-Song, the phone service started in 1983 that served as the incubator for hundreds of songs, some of which made it to albums, and some of which were never revisited by the band. Thankfully industrious fans have captured many of these neglected gems for posterity, and the resulting low-fidelity phone line recordings have been widely shared, keeping alive what can be considered a mysterious alternate history of TMBG. Comedian and writer Andrew Tisher calls in to join the fun and make difficult choices as the panel creates a playlist of Dial-A-Song faves.
Follow Andrew Tisher on insta/twit: @tishertisher
Follow Jon Uleis on insta/twit: @movingtothesun
Follow John Walker on insta/twit: @giannidubya
Bonus Ep: Flansburgh on the Line (August 22, 2001)
“We've been doing this for nineteen years now,” said a reflective John Flansburgh in 2001, perhaps not aware that They Might Be Giants would “do this” for another nineteen years and then some, with no signs of stopping. And thanks to this recently unearthed, 21-year-old phone interview, you can hear the most gregarious John hype the band’s then-upcoming album Mink Car, detail a little onstage guitar experimentation, and ponder whether having music in a car commercial equals selling your soul (he doesn’t think so). Caffeinate appropriately and check it, like, totally out!
Follow Jon Uleis on Instagram and Twitter! @movingtothesun
Follow John Walker on Instagram and Twitter! @giannidubya
7th Secret Ep: Solo Johns ft. Will Hines
Making 23 albums since 1987 has kept They Might Be Giants pretty busy, but that didn’t stop songwriters/frontmen/BFFs John Flansburgh and John Linnell from developing a few solo or spinoff projects. What can be gathered from these scattered releases? What is the meaning of John without John? And, most importantly, where do these walking, talking song machines find the time? All those questions and a lot more are addressed as co-hosts Walker and Uleis welcome comedian-podcaster-actor-songwriter and TMBG devotée Will Hines to the show. Bonus fun: Will also shares a few thoughts about his many appearances on the influential Comedy Bang Bang podcast! No trumpets left untrumpeted and no Beatles comparisons left unturned.
Follow Will on instagram! @williebhines
Follow Jon Uleis on twitter and instagram! @movingtothesun
Follow John Walker on twitter and instagram! @giannidubya
6th Secret Ep: Live Giants! ft. Mike Buffington and Mitch Friedman
Obviously boasting two fantastic songwriters helps, but a major factor in They Might Be Giants’s long career is their constant touring and energetic live shows. Whether as a duo or as a six piece—or any other configuration you can imagine—this is a band obsessed with taking their music directly to the fans. In 2020, a massive and nearly sold out tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album, Flood, was postponed for public health reasons; the dates have been rescheduled for 2022. But in the meantime, co-hosts John Walker and Jon Uleis decided to bring in fellow super-fan, theremin expert, and generally thoughtful person, Mike Buffington, to reminisce about all the pivotal or just plain rockin’ TMBG shows they’ve attended. If that’s not enough, the very funny musician and author Mitch Friedman drops by with tales about what seeing the band in the mid-80s was like. Consider this jam-packed podcast a reminder that 2022 is likely going to blow your sweet little socks off.
Also, remember to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
5th Secret Ep: The One Where You're No Longer Alive ft. Shawn Jones
Death and serious injury are things nobody can avoid forever, and They Might Be Giants have never shied away from this ugly truth in their music. The band does, however, bring their trademark dry humor and knack for catchy, hook-filled music to the table when they deal with these heavy subjects. So the result is never just gloomy for gloom's sake, but instead indicates a genuine fascination with the inevitable. In fact, TMBG has so many songs in this vein that co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker needed help sorting through and picking their grave favorites. Enter Baltimore-based horror filmmaker Shawn Jones, with his deep appreciation for the band's obvious hits and hidden gems, to complete the panel. It's a life-affirming look at the bleakness that awaits us all! Send flowers.
And send a life-affirming e-mail to email@example.com!
Bonus Ep: Going Major with Bo Orloff, Ira Robbins, and Sue Drew
Uleis and Walker are back with a one-of-a-kind episode that looks at the days when They Might Be Giants went from indie label darlings to major label upstarts, and from a two-man outfit with pre-recorded backing tracks to touring with a kickass live band. Each guest—management company go-to guy Bo Orloff, music writer Ira Robbins, and Elektra A&R person Sue Drew—has their own perspective on the band’s development and, in a series of interlocking conversations, their stories are told. Throw in some favorite TMBG song picks from Bo and Ira and this is the epic show you need to help kill off all that spare time.
Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org! We're lonely!
4th Secret Ep: Educational Value ft. Greg Simpson
Between their kids albums, the handful of fact-based songs from their regular rock records, and a reputation for being generally cerebral, They Might Be Giants are often categorized as a band that makes music with the intention of teaching the listener something about the world. But is that abiding impression based on anything more than a small sliver of their output? Schoolteacher and superfan Greg Simpson (of This Might Be A Podcast) joins co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker for an open-book oral quiz comprised of one simple question: What have we learned from TMBG?
Also, what have we learned from e-mail? (email@example.com)
Bonus Ep: Seriously Joking with Paul Myers
Paul Myers is an author (books about The Kids in the Hall, Long John Baldry, Todd Rundgren, and Barenaked Ladies), a musician (The Gravelberrys, Flam!, and The Paul and John), a podcaster (The Record Store Day Podcast), and more. Part of that "more" includes being a big They Might Be Giants fan, which is why Paul joined cohosts John Walker and Jon Uleis for this special episode. So pull the blanket over your withered legs, get comfy, and train your ears on a discussion about the longterm appeal of this singular band, using Paul's song picks as a guide.
Did we mention you should e-mail us? No? Well you should. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3rd Secret Ep: Life's a Funny Thing ft. Kyle A. Carrozza
What’s the difference between a comedy band, a novelty act, and an artist who simply uses humor as one of their tools? Is there a difference? Do words mean stuff? And just where does the music of They Might Be Giants fit into it? These are thorny topics, so co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker called in a ringer—animator, musician, and self-proclaimed little weirdo Kyle A. Carrozza—to assist with some song picks, from the amusingly bizarre to the downright jokey.
Assist us further with an e-mailed message! (email@example.com)
2nd Secret Ep: Ambassadors of Love ft. Abi Bash
Painter/illustrator Abi Bash, aka one of our favorite humans, aka the person who did the art for this very podcast, helps co-hosts Jon Uleis and John Walker choose some exemplary songs from the TMBG catalog that deal—explicitly or not—with love. Good love, bad love, one-sided love, imaginary love, creepy love; it’s all here, well-represented by the thought-provoking lyrics of Flansburgh and Linnell. Burn your forget-me-nots and give us a listen.
Also, give us an e-mail. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1st Secret Ep: Flansburgh/Linnell
Throughout nearly 40 years of recorded work (that’s over twenty albums!), one thing has remained consistent about indie rock mainstays They Might Be Giants: the creative partnership of John Flansburgh and John Linnell. In the first episode of this brand-new podcast mini-series about the music of the band, self-trained TMBG scholars/enthusiasts Jon Uleis and John Walker try to define the things both songwriters bring to this long-running project by picking a few favorite tracks by each. Join us!
Also, email us! (email@example.com)