Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be Giants
By Dave & Jordan
Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be GiantsFeb 22, 2020
56: Letterbox Special 2: How To Age Gracefully
In this episode, Jordan and Dave read e-mails from who? E-mails from you! Topics include They Might Be Giants love songs! Fingertips theories! Reactions to our John Henry episodes, including theories on End of the Tour and Destination Moon! Condoms! Metallica! The Rheostatics! Frank Black! David Lynch! Comic books! Horror movies! The future of the podcast! Dave's new album! Jordan's old...! That's it! Plus, we discuss the latest TMBG news and weather! This episode is our precious gift to all of our wonderful listeners! Keep writing in and keep righting on!
55: Interview with I MIGHT BE GIANT, TOO songwriter Peter Stewart!
Save your tears! We are back with a very special surprise guest, Peter Stewart, the man, the mystery, the legend behind the previously anonymous, though no less epic song They Might Be Giants! Unofficially titled I Might Be Giant, Too by TMBG fans, this intense rock ballad was heard on They Might Be Giants' Dial-A-Song service and over the speakers at their live shows around the world since 1989!
We don't need an ocean to get to Peter, because over Zoom we talk to him all about the inspiration behind the song, how it got in the hands of They Might Be Giants, and what he's been up to the past 30 or so years since fans became aware of it! We listen to FOUR different recordings of this song spanning decades!
This is a fascinating and fun conversation with somebody who has tons of incredible stories from the music world, including brunch with Joey Ramone and an unreleased project with David Byrne! Leave the light on, turn the screws, and enjoy this deep dive unpacking one of the most enduring mysteries of TMBG mythology!
54: JOHN HENRY Wrap-Down: Wreck It Apart
Jordan and Dave are back to destroy the music you love! We spend this interminable episode listening to and mentally processing the vast number of rare dial-a-songs and officially released full band demos They Might Be Giants created in the build-up to 1994's album John Henry! Highlights include the extremely different Sleeping in the Flowers dial-a-song, the very brief and very funky full band recording of Dirt Bike, the hauntingly acoustic Spy, the Nixon crooning version of O' Do Not Forsake Me, and too much more! Our episode ends with a discussion of the Flansburgh-penned Wreck It Apart, a rare song that would eventually be killed and dissected for Ondine. That's right, a demo of an alternate version of a song not even on the album. WE'RE CRAZY! Plus, because you asked for it, John Henry Hypercard Stacks! If you know what those words mean, you are already on board. Stop waiting such a long time for the good times to start! Dust yourself off, grab your Dutch Masters, kick your feet up and take one final ride with John Henry! ALRIGHT!
53: JOHN HENRY - Part 7: You're Already Dead
Being patient while we take our time are things our listeners can understand, and thank you for that! But now...Skull's out for summer! We finally finish what we started, as we're done with John Henry, the album! But what of John Henry's officially released b-sides? In this episode we listen to, learn about and love the Back to Skull EP (AKA Snail Shell EP), a tantalizing trilogy of songs about murderesses, femme fatales and intimidating ladies!
First we have more of our discussion with the femmest fatale of them all, Scarlet Kim, the cover model of Back to Skull! Then we drive our pick-up trucks right over to track 2 and search the whole room over to find these words about the She Said/He Dead tale of Ondine! Then wait one minute, I have seen that She Was A Hotel Detective is next! We light up a cigarette, adjust the blinds and narrate the noir tale of this ne'er-do-well!
Then we want to be the ones to declare that we want to talk about the unknowable Mrs. Train, and we're happy when we finally listen to this band! Finally, our pick-up truck leaves those original songs in the dust...Snail Dust! We groove to the sample-heavy remix of Snail Shell by the Dust Brothers. Or is it ma'ams? Plus we unearth a few other long lost Snail Shell remixes that had been gathering dust. What are you waiting for? Don't you want to be first in line to hear our latest episode? Don't make me kill you again! DO IT!
52: JOHN HENRY - Part 6: It's Totally Over Now
We've heard the ceaseless screaming and we're back to free this demon and finish John Henry! They Might Be Giants' real rock record ends on a high note (not literally) with five fun and freaky songs. Turn it down? No! Turn it up and listen to our hot and heavy discussion of Thermostat. We might not be reliable as we talk and interrupt each other looking at what's under the hood of this song. Then we're checking out Window and the possible women, men (ok only men) Linnell may be making fun of in this song. We discuss how a stranger could have loved the lone John Flansburgh song in this batch, the cautionary tale, Out of Jail! We blast our missive and shout shout shout shout scream out our love of Stompbox! And if you're still around, finally, we reach the end of the road as we reveal the surprising inspiration behind End of the Tour that makes the picture abruptly change! I swear and I swear it's a great episode! Plus, we're sailing along once again with the people who played on John Henry, guitarist Jay Sherman-Godfrey and trumpet player Steven Bernstein! Is this episode bursting in flames or is it just me? KILL ME NOW!
51: JOHN HENRY - Part 5: They've Got Plans For Everyone
Commence Official TMBG Podcast Exploration! Jordan and Dave are back in our prison cells, thinking these words about five more songs off of They Might Be Giants' John Henry! We barely contain our secret smiles as we shriek to the lovely music of No One Knows My Plan! We attempt to cook up an angle on what the plan may be...And we must be silent because we have a special guest, trumpet player Steven Bernstein, telling us all about his incredible work on John Henry all throughout this episode! Then we're on our way to discuss the ground-shaking song Dirt Bike! We all hail philosopher John Flansburgh and his mind-bending song that may be about a cult, or a band, or a cult band, or a band of cults? Don't bother to call this room, we're too busy talking about how Destination Moon blows us away! We have stuff we need to talk about as we discuss the various moon-based pop cultural artifacts that may have inspired John Linnell! Then we look down the stairwell and into the bottomless pit of our souls as we get hopelessly lost following a vanishing dot on the map of Boston, Massachusetts, I mean...A Self Called Nowhere! Let me take you there! Finally, we gather round and sit and stare at Meet James Ensor, TMBG's famous song about Belgium's famous painter. We discuss Ensor's life and body...of work, and try to understand the man. You had better check it out!
50: JOHN HENRY - Part 4: O, Do Not Forsake Me with Wilbur Pauley!
It's our 50th episode! While we feel 1,000 years old, we discuss O, Do Not Forsake Me, the gothic centerpiece of They Might Be Giants' John Henry! Jordan and his indolent friend Dave try to piece together the possible references (or are they misbegotten notions?) in the song! But what do we know? Joining us in the second half of the episode is lead singer of O, Do Not Forsake Me, Wilbur Pauley! Wilbur tells us all about his vocal group Hudson Shad, how he got started in music, and how he got involved with They Might Be Giants! We discuss the recording session for the song, his live performances with TMBG, and then some of his notable voice-over and vocal work in some quite popular and iconic movies you've seen! Do not forsake us! LISTEN NOW!
49: JOHN HENRY - Part 3: You Will Never Understand Me
By random whim, we have recorded another episode! Jordan and Dave discuss four songs with four fascinating unreliable narrators from They Might Be Giants' 1994 album John Henry! We blurt our merest ideas and shoot our mouths off about the singer's predicament in I Should Be Allowed To Think! Guitarist Jay Sherman-Godfrey joins us once again to talk about recording the song! There's no word in English to describe our appreciation for Extra Savoir-Faire! Through archival live show clips, we discover who John Flansburgh means to put down in this very modest song! We've both been thinking about Why Must I Be Sad, and now we understand what it's saying! We examine the Alice Cooper songs that John Linnell is referencing/mocking/tributing/??? in this heart-wrenching/funny/mean/sincere/??? tale. And finally, we gaze (with our ears) on Spy, and take a few educated guesses at just who is flying that spy plane, baby. I am not allowed to share my feelings on what a fantastic episode this turned out to be! COME ONNNN!
48: JOHN HENRY - Part 2: Unconnected And Free
I proclaim that John Henry Part 2 has arrived! We only just begin our journey on the dark roads of John Henry, They Might Be Giants' fullest length rockingest album! First we spin your head round and round all afternoon as we get freaky with Sleeping In the Flowers, in an England-size segment drowning in information, entertainment, and infotainment! Then Jordan smiles because Dave is funny, as we mean what we say about the not-tender ballad Unrelated Thing. We're not joking when we tell you that joining us in this segment is lead guitarist on the song, Jay Sherman-Godfrey! Jay talks about recording John Henry, collaborating with John and John, and the special contraption that provided the guitar sound on the song! After a full day's listening to the podcast, finally, we only have time for one last ride with AKA Driver, as we stay in our lane and discuss the effects of Nyquil, the origins of the song, and the shocking controversy behind the title. So tell your boss that you've been fired, don't seem ungrateful, put your big hand on the play button and your little hand on the volume! Hey podcast listeners, it's podcast listening time!
47: JOHN HENRY - Part 1: Now I'm Where A Snail Has To Be
We Hate They Might Be Giants!...For making such a great album in 1994 named John Henry! IT'S TOO GREAT! Welcome to part 1 of our John Henry Prestige Limited Series. Before getting to the songs, Jordan and Dave (with backup from archival audio of John and John!) get into a discussion that's even longer than the entire album all about the changing music scene in 1994, TMBG's experience recording John Henry in Bearsville, New York, and their clashes with Elektra Records. We also discuss the album's sequence, title, and album art. Joining us for an incredibly fun and revealing album art discussion about halfway through the episode is our very special guest, SCARLET KIM, one of the little John Henry rascals from the album art (holding the skull on the back, the cover of the Back to Skull EP, and more!) After reminiscing with Scarlet about that eventful day in Central Park, Jordan and Dave talk about SONGS! We stare into the Subliminal for as long as we can! We notice something about car crashes, dreams, and the subtle (subliminal???) but effective arrangement of the opening track! We slooooowly but eventually get to consider Snail Shell, the slimy and strange single. We debate Linnell's intention behind the song, and we also talk about...well, snails, of course, in a brand new segment called Snail Tell: all snail stories, all the time. Ah....ah....ah....Thank you!
46: WHY DOES THE SUN SHINE? EP: Spy vs. Spy
Yo ho! We're back from our 93 million miles away space trip to visit the land beyond, and we have a special job discussing They Might Be Giants' 1993 release, the Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) EP! Their first studio recording with their new full band, this bright and shiny release is a jaunty, spirited and eclectic mix of cover songs and one early version of an original classic. Review: 7.5 stars. Actually, one GIANT star! After a medium-sized investigation of the EP artwork, a majority of the episode turns up the heat on the origins of Why Does The Sun Shine and the album it originated from, Space Songs. A million podcasts could fit inside our discussion of TMBG's first encounters with Space Songs, their early approaches to Why Does The Sun Shine live, and the final (but not!) result of the recorded version you now hold in your hand (I hope?) Next we get lost in the original endless version of Jessica and theorize on TMBG's decision to cover the bouncy-but-sophisticated instrumental. The Meat Puppets get a little mini-episode dedicated to them, as we gush over Whirlpool and spin some other Puppets songs we've enjoyed. Finally, the first studio recording of Spy gets scrutinized through our spy glasses, as we compare, contrast and congratulate its differences and similarities to the version that would be released on John Henry in 1994. This episode features exclusive insights from some of TMBG's friends and collaborators! Hot enough for ya?
45: Interview with TMBG drummer Jonathan Feinberg!
We proudly present a conversation with Jonathan Feinberg, TMBG drummer for the Apollo 18 tour and the O Tannenbaum single! Jon talks to us about auditioning for They Might Be Giants, recording the Christmas classic, making demos with John Flansburgh, touring with the band, and the unpredictable rollercoaster ride that happened after his time with TMBG! Featuring tons of archival audio of the Apollo 18 tour, plus Jon's own incredibly fun pandemic songwriting, and other surprising surprises! Pull up a drum stool, kick back and crash!
44: Pass the Dude, Stump the Band: TMBG Live 1990-1992
In the midst of the Apollo 18 tour in 1992 They Might Be Giants transformed from a duo backed by a tape to a real band with real instruments. Jordan and Dave discuss this rock puberty, and all of the complications, consternations, and celebration that went along with it! With many archival audio clips from live concerts and interviews, hear from John and John themselves about why and how this transition took place! Topics discussed by all include their final duo shows, Stump the Band, Spin the Dial, the band's cover of Frankenstein, and the increasingly rowdy crowds causing chaos at the concerts. So get in line 2 hours early, show your fake ID and join us in our slow, suspenseful buildup to John Henry!
43: Interview with Laura Cantrell!
We present to you now the full interview with singer/songwriter/musician/TMBG vocalist Laura Cantrell, of which only glimpses of were heard in our Apollo 18 episodes! In this limited supply expanded edition you'll hear Laura discuss her musical origins, her first bands, meeting They Might Be Giants, recording The Guitar, shooting the music video for The Guitar, touring with TMBG, and more! Plus we get very deep into each song on her beloved Hello CD of the Month Club EP, produced by John Flansburgh! Laura talks about songwriting, what makes a country song a country song, and she also takes us (figuratively) on her tour with Elvis Costello, and through the process of recording her full-length albums!
42: Letterbox Special! Volume 1
This episode is not about us! It's about YOU! Jordan and Dave sit their beautiful bodies down in front of mid-priced microphones and answer some of YOUR e-mails about They Might Be Giants, and what makes us tick! Topics include: TMBG break-up songs! Severed heads! Frank Zappa! The riddles of Which Describes How You're Feeling! The sorrow of She's An Angel! The mysteries of the Birdhouse In Your Soul demo! The Frank O'Toole Show! Have we discovered the singer of I Might Be Giant, Too? What if TMBG never got a full band? Does Dave have a beard? Does Jordan want to get John and John on the show? All that and so much more! Till tomorrooooooow!
41: BOOK Release Party!
The big day has arrived! Not only have They Might Be Giants released a new album, but for the first time on our podcast, Jordan and Dave are along for the experience! We sit down and spill some ink in a more casual chat (no research! no outline!) to discuss our first impressions of TMBG's new album BOOK, and dig into its contents, chapter and verse! They open the book of BOOK, a massive and mysterious hardcover art project! They bookmark the possible lyrical themes running through the album! They also leaf through the four bonus tracks on the Pamphlet EP! Plus: What songs jumped out the most on a first listen? What had us scratching our heads? Should any of the Pamphlet songs have made it onto BOOK? And finally, Jordan ranks each and every song as Dave looks on in shock! Check out this BOOK right now!
40: Interview with Kurt Hoffman!
A while back Jordan and Dave masked up to have an outdoors, socially-distanced interview with They Might Be Giants collaborator Kurt Hoffman! Kurt is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and visual artist whose footprints are all over TMBG, from opening for them on their Flood tour as part of the legendary group The Ordinaires, to recording on Apollo 18 and John Henry-era songs, to playing keyboards and brass as part of their 90's touring band, plus a handful of hidden projects we discover in this discussion! We talk to Kurt about learning accordion, writing and performing in The Ordinaires, meeting TMBG and later opening for them, and then joining TMBG as a member of their first ever live band! We also go into lengthy discussions about the making of John Henry, composing the string section for S-E-X-X-Y, the infamous stage-collapse concert, and we hear many surprising tales of show business! Follow our Twitter @dontletspod for tons of links to all of Kurt's projects, and enjoy the episode, there's nothing "ordinary" about it!
39: APOLLO 18 Wrap-Down: One Door Shut, Another Door Closes
Finally splashing down from our lunar mission, Jordan and Dave close the (space?) book on They Might Be Giants' Apollo 18 by resurrecting and inspecting the demos and dial-a-songs made for the album! We begin with a viewing "party" of the infamous Apollo 18 Promo, featuring the hit song "Integrity Project", and a pre-Power Point Power-Point-esque slideshow, with funny jokes and cool stuff! DON'T LET'S START POD "EXPLAINS" THE POWER SPHERES, 20,000K YOUTUBE HITS! Yeah, man! Then we discuss a WALLOPING NINETEEN demos and dial-a-songs, including the WALLOPING I Palindrome I written by Mr. John Flansburgh, a shockingly funky (so pack your bag!) She's Actual Size written by Mr. John Flansburgh, and a mind-bending nightmare version of Turn Around (written by Mr. John Linnell)! We also nitty the picks of the Apollo 18 B-side demos (you better believe they are WALLOPING), including the Fun-derful (Ⓒ Jordan Cooper) Welcome To The Jungle demo, and the terrifying tale of Music Jail, "Free Bird's Rebirth." Throughout the jam-packed episode Jordan and Dave discuss songwriting methods, "what is a demo", running into Mr. John Flansburgh at a record store, "what is a praline", camel misunderstandings, and so much more! Coming to you faster than you can say 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...blast off!
38: APOLLO 18 - Part 6: I Will Leave And I'll Return
Tranquility base! Jordan and Dave are stuck circling the various moons and planetoids surrounding They Might Be Giants' 4th album Apollo 18, as we hitch a ride on our superfueled freaksicle and explore the out of circulation b-sides sifted off of the album and cast out into the void! First we have some exclusive and fascinating insight on the I Palindrome I EP photography by one of the photographers! Then our bus drives by Cabbagetown as we talk about so many big ideas relating to the song! Jordan dances to Siftin' while Dave sifts to dancin'! Then special guest Laura Cantrell tells us more tales of TMBG and about the cover photography for The Guitar EP! All the remixes on this EP are truly one, including the Williamsburgh and Outer Planet remixes! Think you're gonna like as we put aside the fun and games for our discussion of Welcome To The Jungle! Then we say the same words of what will be our next song: I Blame You! And finally, the trip we've planned concludes as we drive our Nova carefully while Moving To The Sun. Come on!
37: APOLLO 18 - Part 5: I Heard A Sound
Hey now everybody! After being lost in deep space, Jordan and Dave can't leave They Might Be Giants' fourth album Apollo 18 alone! We're once again joined by second engineer Edward Douglas, plus special guests PETER STAMPFEL and ELMA MAYER, who make unforgettable appearances on Fingertips! You won't remember why you liked our discussion of Hypnotist Of Ladies, but you will! Then, everything catches on fire in the Don't Let's Pod studio as Jordan and Dave understand every single word of all 21 tracks of Fingertips! Blown wind, New friends, wrecked cars, passed milk, blue things, mysterious whispers...something grabbed ahold of our hands and we're serious as a heart attack! Who IS that standing out the window? Who IS that knocking on the wall? Aren't WHO is the guy who hit WHO in the EYE? And finally, Apollo 18 is set free as Space Suit, all alone, all by itself, is unhooked and floats endlessly into those black, beautiful darkened corridors.......CAME TO PLAAAAY!
36: APOLLO 18 - Part 4: All Dressed In Black
This episode covers ONE TWO THREE FOUR! songs off of Apollo 18, the ONE TWO THREE FOURTH album by They Might Be Giants! We are once again joined by Edward Douglas (the one two three IVth), the 2nd engineer on the album! First, Jordan lies and Dave sighs as we discuss the convoluted, controversial and cryptic bad feelings of Which Describes How You're Feeling! From one guy in the sky to the one made of dots and lines, Jordan tells Dave everything he already knows about The Ramones as we explore the inspiration and consternation of See The Constellation! Then Jordan steals all the microphones to discuss the why of If I Wasn't Shy! And finally, we calm our nerves and hope you find us highly amusing as we do a deep dive into death in all its many horrible forms in Turn Around! Which is fine, which is fine...
35: APOLLO 18 - Part 3: I Don't Want A Bean
Turn it up! Take one step through the doorway and un-narrow your ears because our latest episode is waving hello! In this episode we explore four shockingly different They Might Be Giants songs off of their fourth album Apollo 18, and we are joined once again by Apollo 18 studio engineer Edward Douglas! Hey! Who's that commenting on The Guitar? Is it Jim? NO! It's LAURA CANTRELL, our special guest for this episode! Laura talks all about meeting TMBG and recording vocals on the song (her full interview will be released at a later date!) Then Jordan and Dave have been salivating, just waiting for the chance to devour Dinner Bell! Do the bell thing! Jordan doesn't want to change Dave's mind about Narrow Your Eyes...because they both agree! They discuss the relatable story in the song, which is only half as relatable as Hall of Heads. Is this our favorite one? Please don't try to leave...before enjoying this fantastic episode!
34: APOLLO 18 - Part 2: Your Turn To Burn
Ladies and gentlemen! Jordan and his evil twin Dave are back, along with genuinely good triplet engineer Edward Douglas, to discuss They Might Be Giants' out of this world fourth album Apollo 18! We begin with a space-shattering revelation about the Apollo 18 album art! Then we've grown so grateful for the devilishly catchy My Evil Twin! Mammal (MAAAAMMAL!) is next and...do you hear that? Let me try again: Mammal (MAAAAAAMMAL!) (there it is again!) is next, as we discuss the surprising sadness of this cute and complicated song. The big single The Statue Got Me High gets a monumental segment, as we leave no stone unturned! It's as concrete and solid as anything you'll hear about this classic rock song! Finally, eight legs good! We promise not to kill you with our obsessive crawl through the reference points for your friendly neighborhood Spider! We love you, Spider!
33: APOLLO 18 - Part 1: Words Fail
That's one small step for MAN O NAM! After being in deep sleep, Jordan and Dave awaken in their silver spaceship Apollo 18, also the name of They Might Be Giants' indisputably fourth album! We get too into the background of the album's conception, title, artwork and the production style, and helping us along to fact check and offer unique insight is special guest Edward Douglas, credited as second engineer on the Apollo 18 studio sessions! Every time Dave looks in Jordan's eyes he wants to talk about the punky chunkies of Dig My Grave! Then we are able, we say, though we scare ourselves...to discuss the psycho-drama masterpiece of I Palindrome I! And finally, us big men tremble as we step aside for She's Actual Size, the last song we had time for in this nationwide episode. Believe!
32: GRAB BAG #2: People With Thoughtful Opinions
In this episode Jordan and Dave pull five random They Might Be Giants songs without a home out of the grab bag and discuss the ever-lovin' bejesus out of them! One of these songs is an exclusive recording of an extremely rare TMBG song that nobody has ever heard before, secretly provided to the podcast by a generous benefactor! What will all of these songs be? Will some be new? Will some be old? Will some be silver, some be gold? Listen now! We also discuss the very latest TMBG news, give important updates on the podcast, answer letters from our listeners, and more!
31: Scream As If You're In Hell - TMBG Live in the 80s!
Take a trip with us back to slimy New York City in the late 1980s for a whirlwind tour through They Might Be Giants' most inspired, hilarious, and sometimes tragic on-stage moments! Dave and Jordan discuss 80's TMBG live show staples like The Stick, Countdown, Scream As If You're In Hell, and MORE SURPRISES! We also travel around the slimy world and experience the horror of a typical UK rock show audience, the classic "German indifference", and the risky folly of bringing (drunk?) audience members up on stage! Then we discuss our favorite 80's TMBG opening act, Risky Folly! Also featuring a high-spirited Letterbox and Unrelated Thing section to gently ease you out of this harrowing episode!
30: Interview with Gary Ray, owner of Darinka!
Jordan and Dave are back and staying the hell away from each other! So in this episode we present an interview conducted last year with Gary Ray, the founder and owner of Darinka, the venue that They Might Be Giants (and many other eclectic acts) called home from 1984-1987! Gary talks to us about founding the club, booking They Might Be Giants, the TMBG Wiggle Diskette release party, his appearance in Gigantic, opening up for TMBG in recent years, and more! We also talk about tons of bands and performance art acts from that magical time period, including Hal Sirowitz, Watchface, and the infamous duo of Steve Buscemi and Mark Boone Junior! You also get to hear rare clips of Gary's various rock bands and hear stories from his surprisingly unpredictable acting resume. So download, pop those headphones in, and sit and stare out the window at a world you no longer recognize!
29: Bowery Ballroom, 2/8/2020 - We're Only Here To Judge
'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams...Bowery Ballroom in New York City, the night of February 8, 2020! It was on the Bowery when Jordan, Dave, and incredibly special guests, nighttime ladies Kristen (Jordan's girlfriend) and Krissy (Dave's wife) all saw a They Might Be Giants Flood 30th anniversary concert and lived to tell the tale!
Join us after the show for a secret shadow government meeting in the empty back room of a diner just up the highway as us women and men discuss the show (with CLIPS!!!), the lovely lasses' history with the music of TMBG, and how much tip to leave the disaffected waitress. We marvel at startlingly different live versions of songs like Older, Particle Man, Why Does The Sun Shine and Turn Around, plus The Quiet Storm acoustic set, and the entire Flood album! Krissy tells a surreal story about We Want A Rock, Kristen reveals her most played and least fav TMBG tunes, and Jordan and Dave exchange tense looks from across the table! Spoiler Alert for those who are planning to see their current live show!
28: Interview with Brian Doherty! Pt. 2
We're back with part 2 of our interview with TMBG drummer Brian Doherty! Unnoticed by few, in this episode Doherty discusses his work on They Might Be Giants' Factory Showroom, Severe Tire Damage, John Linnell's State Songs, playing with Mono Puff, and tons of TMBG touring stories, including the experience of opening up for Hootie and the Blowfish! Brian also talks about playing with alt rock music legends like Frank Black, XTC, Ben Folds and R.E.M.! He discusses the various Broadway shows he's drummed with, as well as the creation of his own solo rock album (which is real good, real real good.) This episode features some exclusive, rare, never before heard demos and recordings from some of the bands he has played with! Don't spend the rest of your life wondering, LISTEN NOW!
27: Interview with Brian Doherty! Pt. 1
Meet Brian Doherty! Jersey City's famous drummer! Part 1 of an in-depth interview with Brian Doherty! Brian played drums for They Might Be Giants from 1993 to 1996, performed on the albums John Henry, Factory Showroom, as well as various EPs, and more! In part 1, we discuss the first bands Brian played with, meeting and rehearsing and touring with John and John, recording John Henry, making the Snail Shell music video, and many tales from the private backstage world of TMBG! Hold on to your hi-hats!
26: FLOOD Wrap-Down: Then That Phone Rang Off The Hook
Flood fans, you're in for a treat, a fresh-baked, yummy one! Dave and Jordan, the hosts, take you, the listeners, through the countless-yet-countable (21) demos and Dial-A-Song recordings that made up almost all of the songs on Flood! We think it's worth the money and hurt as we gasp in shock at the alternate lyrics of the Birdhouse In Your Soul demo! We can't say why we enjoy the phone version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople), maybe we just liked it better that way! Your Racist Friend doubles the racism with TWO vastly different demo versions, and Twisting gets all twisted up into a totally different song which leaves Dave and Jordan hanging! Jordan gushes over the adorable demo for We Want A Rock, while Dave collapses upon his fainting couch at the coarse language in the Hearing Aid demo! Here they come to take on the sassy Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love demo, park their cars for a while at the haunting Road Movie To Berlin demo, and are stunned silent by the lack of unique qualities of the James K. Polk demo! All this and so much more! Are you not fulfilled?!?
25: FLOOD - Part 6: The Things We Cherish Are Small Indeed
This is a recording! We may not be able to drive out the way we drove in, so we have to leave our exploration of Flood through these b-sides and remixes left scattered in the middle of the road! Not that there's anything middle of the road (whew) about James K. Polk, the original Flood-reject version that showed up on the Istanbul (Not Constantinople) EP and was just a small glimmer in They Might Be Giants' eye of the fan-favorite song it would later become! Jordan's oratory fills Dave with fear as he goes into THE in-depth discussion on the origins and intentions of the beloved song! Then Jordan and Dave's Johnny cups are filled with gloom as they discuss the sad beauty of Stormy Pinkness. Track 4 of the Istanbul EP was a little fella called Ant, who ransacks this podcast, leaving a mess that our hosts can barely rummage through. Finally, we dissect and display the various creators of the remixes of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) and Your Racist Friend, paying special attention to the Brownsville Mix and the overwhelming collage of pop music samples contained therein. Also featuring, at the very start of the episode, a devastating revelation about a song from Flood that will rock you to your very core! You ain't in New York City, baby!
24: FLOOD - Part 5: River Becomes An Ocean
Pod Cast, where are you? Right here! Behind you! The ship has run out of ocean, as Dave and Jordan, the Kings of Liars, conclude their discussion/investigation/true crime mini-docu-series about all of the songs on They Might Be Giants' popular Flood album! First, we play a quickly aborted round of Derby Day in celebration of Hot Cha, then discuss the complicated backstory behind the song! It's totally off the hook! Then we keep our stereo on and cook up some interpretations for Women & Me(eeeeEEEEEeeeEEEee)n! We bring some messages of pure love, as we gradually fade in on one of the more haunting songs in the TMBG hand cannon, coming in at number 1 with a bullet, Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love! Hang on tight, because we're taking a ride on the musical rollercoaster that is the eponymous They Might Be Giants! Jordan tells a shocking personal story about Dr. Spock that might be big big fake fake lies, while Dave can't be silent as he responds with things like "how very interesting" and "you don't say!" Finally, and we mean finally, our skeleton bones are swept up as we tear down the emotional wall and say goodbye to Flood (for now) with a very smart and very researched discussion about Road Movie To Berlin. Topics include old movies, mummy misconceptions, Satan himself, and so much more! Boy!
23: FLOOD - Part 4: Wrong Ideas That Appeal To You
All hail, the Flood Boat! Jordan and Dave hit some deep and treacherous waters as they hit a Linnell-valanche with some of the trickiest and head-injuring songs on Flood! If I were a podcaster I'd stammer on my podcast all about We Want A Rock! We're not done with you yet! Would you mind if there's some horrible business left for us to attend to as we discuss the slightly irritating situations in Someone Keeps Moving My Chair? Sometimes Jordan feels sorry for Dave having to listen to his dark and tragic theories about Hearing Aid, but usually he can't. Because...Because...Then Jordan really cracks the whip and demands Dave tell all about his history of Minimum Wage jobs! Too late or soon to make noise about Letterbox? Neither! And both! There's no time for sorrow, because we'd like to change your mind about Whistling in the Dark, by hitting it with a rock to wind a string around! And thus the terrifying circle is complete.
22: FLOOD - Part 3: Nobody Knows, Particle Man
It's the loveliest podcast that you've ever attended! When we discuss Flood do we get wet? We've got a Universe Man-sized episode for you where we cover an entire THREE songs from They Might Be Giants' THIRD album Flood! Content warning: you may not be able to stand there listening to us talking about Your Racist Friend! Then we're doing the things a podcaster can as we take on Particle Man, discuss the possible and possibly impossible inspirations for the song, its astonishing popularity and longevity in TMBG's career, and Particle Man and Istanbul's appearance on the short-lived but much remembered Tiny Toons Music Television network! Then Jordan and Dave crank up their Marshall stacks and rock out to Twisting, while Jordan shares a personal rock story about Young Fresh Fellows and teenage heartbreak and -- it's not important. Listen to this and then we want to see you again!
21: FLOOD - Part 2: Dancing On The Casket
Our handmade boat ride through Flood continues! In this episode, we continue to celebrate and interrogate They Might Be Giants' big-time third album! We confidentially ponder and rattle on about Lucky Ball & Chain, then you can't go back to before TMBG released this next song! We devote much of the episode to an unbelievably in-depth discussion about Istanbul (Not Constantinople), tracking the history of the song (and even the city!) and John and John's interest in it, the dense production of the track, and the popularity of the strange single that forever changed TMBG's career. Now it's over, but not before we dig up Dead and try to answer the question we all have: is it good to be alive, dead, or dead-alive? The answer may terrify you! So don't just sit at home ever anymore, listen to this episoooode!
20: FLOOD - Part 1: Bluebird of Friendliness
Live, from the Electric Well! Actually-your-friends, Dave and Jordan, are back, and rocketing forward at lightning speed past the '80s (for now) and towards They Might Be Giants' brand new record for 1990, Flood! We discuss all things Flood, except for 17 of the 19 songs, which are coming up in the next episodes! We discuss the origins of the title and album art, TMBG's signing (and singing) with Elektra records, and attempt to break down the new kind of production that was brought to the album (I'd be fired if that were my job!) We gasp for air and drown in the deep waters of Theme For Flood, our pale corpses floating to the surface like so many forgotten...ahem, anyway, then we devote the rest of the show to filibustering vigilantly about Birdhouse In Your Soul, their biggish hit song that countless screaming TMBG fans adore, and PEOPLE, we are leaving IN the whistles and bells. This podcast episode is infinite! Listen now and while you're at it, stay tuned soon for more on Flood!
19: GRAB BAG #1: TMB Songs
Oh boy, oh boy! During our interview with Bill Krauss, Bill showed us an old handwritten list of songs from the mid 80s with the title "TMB Songs." In this episode, we review this list and pick out a handful of rare and forgotten songs to discuss! We also ponder some exclusive never before seen song titles that fans have never known about! This episode also includes unheard moments from our interview with Bill! This is the first in a series of grab bag episodes where we discuss random mystery songs! Listen to hear what they are! Also, we answer e-mails in our rare-but-beloved Letterbox segment, plus Unrelated Thing!
18: Interview with Bill Krauss!
Reel 'er in, we've got a BIG ONE! Mr. Bill Krauss, producer of THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, LINCOLN, and other iconic 80s TMBG material joined us for a sit-down! We talked to Bill about his origins in music, getting involved with They Might Be Giants, recording the early demos and albums, being TMBG's live sound-man, stories about being on the road with the band, and tons more! Absolutely Bill's Cool!
17: THEN: THE EARLIER YEARS: Disc 2: Hip Hip Horrific Is Our Thing
There's something coming. A new podcast episode on the horizon. It's coming very slowly. BUT NOW IT'S HERE! Our new episode is in the can, the big trash can! Jordan and Dave weep weep weep with joy and terror as they guide you through the bonus tracks on Then: The Earlier Years, disc 2! They Might Be Giants have a lot of goodies and strange-lings in store! Jordan tries to find the inspiration for Kitten Intro! Dave tells a heartbreaking true tale about Weep Day! Dave and Jordan battle brains over the meaning of the haunting and obtuse The Big Big Whoredom (and it scares them)! Then they talk about gettin' experimental over I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You! Here's hoping you don't turn the episode off, because Become A Robot gets dissected for parts! Then they want to want to sigh at the time that they discussed the unique qualities of the demo for Which Describes How You're Feeling! Swing Is A Word gets some words, Doris Cunningham is given Doris Contextham, and hey! hey! Counterfeit Fake! Jordan and Dave want you AND THAT'S NO MISTAKE! Finally, Dave and Jordan have stern words for the naughty children and naughty John and John in Schoolchildren Singing Particle Man! Listen or don't, it's entirely up to you!
16: THEN: THE EARLIER YEARS DISC 1: Don't Remind Me Of Yesterday
Here's something novel for this podcast: LET'S ALL CELEBRATE TMBG! This episode discusses the were-we-ever-so-young 80's compilation from 1997, Then: The Earlier Years, notably the freaky and mysterious bonus tracks on disc 1! Dave and Jordan discuss the critics of Critic Intro! They say everything about Now That I Have Everything! They tap out rhythms with a smile on their face to Mainstream U.S.A.! Then they skip all the 80's stuff and get to talking about Flood...FAKE OUT! In Buenos Aires, that is! Gets talked about! Sti synécheia paírnoun to baglama tous kai tragoudoún mazí me ton Ellinikó Arithmó 3! The unassuming Hope That I Get Old Before I Die (Original Version) gets its unassumed due! We have our own podcast about They Might Be Giants, and we wanna get it recorded...can we do that? WE DO! And talk about the 1985 demo, I'm Def! To believe for all the world that you are my precious little 1985 demo for Don't Let's Start! Finally, we close out the yuks with the '85 Radio Special Thank You. All we can say is, John and John, you're welcome.
15: Interview with Julie Kantner from The Turtlenecks!
We've got a lot of insight into a real special slice of TMBG esoterica today, as we interview Julie Kantner, incredible songwriter and past member of John Flansburgh's college dorm band, The Turtlenecks! Jordan and Dave talk to Julie about songwriting, playing live, and we devote a lot of wide-eyed attention to the six-song Turtlenecks EP from 1981, put up by Julie on her Bandcamp page! We learn about some of the earliest unheard Flansburgh (and Linnell!) songs, and hear a lot of crazy and funny anecdotes about her and the college-aged pre-TMBGer! In the latter portion of the episode, Julie tells us about the inspiration behind some of her best songs released through her bands Fertile Virgin, Twig, and Uranium Daughters! She writes short, catchy, fun and lyrically complex rock songs, and we think all TMBG fans would go nuts for her music! Check out all of her stuff, including the Turtlenecks EP, at https://uraniumdaughters.bandcamp.com !
14: MISCELLANEOUS T Wrap-Down: I'll Find Your Answering Machine
Our options for Miscellaneous T tracks to discuss get whittled away as Dave and Jordan confront the very few ***exclusive*** Dial-A-Songs and demos for Miscellaneous T! We dip back into our ongoing Dial-A-Song historical discussion! We also chill the f out a bit and answer some e-mails, discuss a wide variety of questionably compelling TMBG topics, talk about our favorite non-TMBG b-sides in our award-winning Unrelated Thing segment, and (are you ready?), introduce an ALL NEW award-winning segment! Where are we going to put all of these awards?!? And all of these hyphens?!!?
13: MISCELLANEOUS T - Part 3: Flowers Die And So Will I
Dave and Jordan finish their stride through the b-sides compiled on Miscellaneous T! For Science is real, and they talk about the cocky character clamoring for the Venus vixen! Then we discuss lucky track number 13 and dig into more Dial-A-Song history, plus make extremely educated guesses about the inner lives of Gloria and The Guy! And from the phone machine to the phone inside her ribcage, we marvel at the musical dexterity of The Famous Polka! The haunting tale buried deep inside When It Rains It Snows is shuddered upon, and we're having a good time unpacking the musical influences of We're The Replacements! Here's a hint: the band The Replacements! Also, we talk about those darn single remixes! I pity the fool who doesn't listen to Miscellaneous T, Part 3!
12: MISCELLANEOUS T - Part 2: The Sweetest Spot
Dave and Jordan soak up Miscellaneous T some more! They get drenched by rising flood waters in I'll Sink Manhattan! The sound upon the roof isn't only water, it's Dave and Jordan trying to wade through It's Not My Birthday! Then they cry a river of tiny tears as they grasp at the meaning of the three-word Hello Radio! Then...THIS JUST IN: Mr. Klaw's secret identity REVEALED, and YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE who it is! CLICK HERE NOW! Share and subscribe! After discussing the sexxy and stripped down Kiss Me Son of God (Alternate Version), the episode is closed out by the biggest show-stopping history-making discussion of The Biggest One, including EXCLUSIVE insight into a key (don't throw it away!) moment in the lyrics! What am I talking about?!? What am I doing hangin' from the hope that you will LISTEN NOW!!!!! You've got no one to blame but your beautiful selves if you miss out on what is without question our MOST RECENT EPISODE EVER!
11: MISCELLANEOUS T - Part 1: The Tiny Lights Shines Twice As Bright
Mister Cooper and Mister Fox talk about the first five tracks of Miscellaneous T, the jaw-dropping and unpredictable They Might Be Giants B-side compilation! We get BESIDE ourselves discussing the very nature of the B-side! D & J deal with Hey Mr. DJ I Thought You Said We Had A Deal! Then Pal Jordan tells Pal Dave about TMBG's obsession with Pal Joey and why they covered Lady Is A Tramp! Thoughts fall from their thoughts as they try to reveal the scope of Birds Fly! Then they skip over The World's Address (Joshua Fried Remix) because they already devoted episode 08 to that! Finally, Jordan tells Dave a bedtime story about the Nightgown of the Sullen Moon. Don't feel a bit insulted! Listen NOW!
10: Interview with Joshua Fried! Pt. 2
Part 2 of our scintillating discussion with Joshua Fried! In this episode we talk about all of the songs on 1993's Hello the Band EP, a CD of totally great songs that Fried created with John Flansburgh for the Hello CD of the Month Club! We talk about the subliminal secret of Sodium Mask, who brought the funk on Since You Joined The Corporation, the wisdom of Tom Vu for Town To Town, the wonderfully convoluted and elaborate history behind Lullaby to Nightmares, and the pounding drums of Hello Hello! Fried also tells us about his live Venue Songs performance with They Might Be Giants! Then we go into the creation and inner workings of Fried's current project, Radio Wonderland! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!
09: Interview with Joshua Fried! Pt. 1
We interviewed somebody! In preparation for our big Miscellaneous T episode, we sat down across a table from Joshua Fried, best known to They Might Be Giants fans as the man behind The World's Address (Joshua Fried Remix!) Fried tells us about his early years in music, his work with performance art troupe Watchface that him and John Flansburgh used to collaborate with, and then a special detailed discussion about The World's Address remix and Larger Than Life, the She's Actual Size remix! We also learn some fascinating inside info about a few TMBG songs, and so much more! And this is only part 1!
08: LINCOLN Wrap-Down: The Kind That Never Fades Away
Do let's stop talking about Lincoln...but only after we wrap it all up in this special episode where Dave & Jordan dig into some of the curious Dial-A-Songs and demos that would eventually become Lincoln! This episode begins what will be a continuing multi-part discussion of TMBG's Dial-A-Song service, plus we share some fun recommendations in our Unrelated Thing segment, and answer a huge hefty bunch of e-mails from YOU, including one very exciting and special one that was a huge surprise to the guys! You COULD miss this episode, but you'd be making the biggest mistake of your life!
07: LINCOLN - Part 3: Love Is Sad
Your panacea's in a podcast app! We built a little podcast out of some crazy garbage! I've got a match; your embrace and my podcast! Tracks 10-18 of the 1988 album Lincoln by the band They Might Be Giants get examined by the friends Dave & Jordan, and you'll be shocked & appalled at how much there is to talk about! Our hosts chit their chats about so many topics stemming from these songs, such as the nature of psychopaths, nature, paths, one of the times Jordan met John Linnell, introducing children to Satanism, Dave's distaste for slap bass, seedy New York tales of CBGB's, and so much more! You'll wish the episode never ended! And it doesn't! I'll repeat it for those who may not have already guessed: DON'T MISS THIS EPISODE!