Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

  • Music:

You're not taping this, are you?

Okay, the general theme for this week's They Might Be Giants review is the B-sides from the early nineties, from EPs released to coincide with the Flood and Apollo 18 albums.


James K. Polk - The original version of this song had more of an appropriately bombastic sound and better instrumentation than the remade one on Factory Showroom. No singing saw, though.

Stormy Pinkness - This is an interesting little song that seems to have been largely inspired by "Stormy Weather" (not the Pixies song). I like how the accordion kicks in part of the way through. And stormy pinkness is kind of a fascinating concept anyway.

Ant - I suppose you'd call this a progression song, with each verse building off the last one, sort of like "The House at the Top of the Tree" and "Wearing a Raincoat."

Istanbul (Brownsville Remix) - This might be my favorite remix of a TMBG song, due primarily to all the weird samples, including Janet Jackson and some old commercial (or something like that) about white tornadoes.

Istanbul (Bedford-Stuyvesant Mix) - Compared to the other remix, this is a pretty simple one, with a dance-y drumbeat replacing the instrumental parts.

Your Racist Friend (Remix) - This sounds more like a party mix than most of the other TMBG remixes I've heard. I hadn't listened to this in a while, but it's pretty fun, really. I'm not sure where it originated, but it was on a mix CD someone made for me years ago.

The Guitar (Williamsburg Mix) - This sounds pretty much identical to the album mix, except for the extended bass riff near the end. There might be other subtle differences I'm not noticing, though.

The Guitar (Outer Planet Mix) - This is a little long (as remixes often tend to be), but it's an interesting idea. Clips of Richard Nixon and Neil Armstrong from the original Moon landing (not sure if they're actual recordings or recreations) are mixed in with parts of the song. I don't know who was responsible for the remix, but it seems very much in keeping with something the Johns would come up with, especially with the International Space Year theme on Apollo 18. I've read that there was also a sample of Armstrong in an early version of "Everything Right Is Wrong Again," but I haven't heard it.

Welcome to the Jungle - I suppose this is the same basic idea as "Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love," in that John Linnell takes an existing song title and makes something totally different out
of it, except the original song in this case is much better known. The Johns have spoofed Guns 'N' Roses titles in at least other situation, when they claimed that their next album would be called "The Spaghetti Incident." Anyway, the song itself is really catchy and enjoyable. I remember some guy on the alt.music.tmbg newsgroup who used to come up with really bizarre interpretations for TMBG songs pointing out two interesting things about this one: 1) the mysterious Jim from "The Guitar" makes another appearance, and 2) the song is about a jungle, which was the original napping place for the title character in "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," replaced by a spaceship in the Johns' take. (Really, I'm not sure why a lion would be sleeping in the jungle, since they're creatures of the grasslands.)

I Blame You - A breakup song (and a very straightforward one for this EP) with a cool accordion/guitar instrumental part. There was an alternate version of this on Dial-A-Song that someone being cursed to sing "Free Bird" over and over again.

Moving to the Sun - Between this, the cover of "Why Does the Sun Shine?", and the DAS "The Sun Is on Fire," the Johns must really have a thing for the source of our planet's energy. The song itself is a good one, with a weird electronic percussion part.

The Guitar (Even Further Outer Planet Mix) - Okay, so, someone took the Outer Planet Mix and cut out all traces of the original song. It works all right as a joke on the idea of remixes, but it's not something that's really appropriate for repeated listening.

Cabbagetown - I'm not sure why, but I've always liked the acoustic guitar on this, with the sound of sliding over the strings being audible. There's just something homey about it. The lyrics have the same sort of semi-surrealistic bleakness that we've come to expect from TMBG. From what the Johns have said, the title refers to the Cabbagetown in Atlanta (and not the one in Toronto, as some fans have suggested).

Siftin' - A fun, saxophone-heavy mostly instrumental song, which I believe was played at live shows for some time before finally making it as a B-side.

Larger Than Life - Joshua Fried's reggae remix of "She's Actual Size." I can't say I'm a fan of reggae, so I'm not really so keen on this, but I'll admit it's well-done for what it is.


Also, I was tagged for this meme by colbyucb, so I might as well start on it.

1. Post about something that made you happy today even if it's just a small thing.
2. Do this everyday for a week without fail.
3. Tag 8 of your friends to do the same.


Since I actually first saw this yesterday, I'll start out with that. I was glad to get some comments that were quite interesting to read and respond to. Today, I'm happy that I don't have to go to work.

Okay, so, tagging, eh? How about arfies, dragonxbait, ozma914, rockinlibrarian, secretnthewings, suegypt, vilajunkie, and yosef? If you don't want to, you don't have to, but I guess that goes without saying. It's not like I'm hooking you all up to machines that give you electric shocks unless you do this for eight days. Then again, if I DID do that, you could probably use "I didn't get shocked today" as at least one of the happiness triggers, couldn't you?
Tags: memes, music, tmbg
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  • The Birds and the Beasts Were There

    Sunday was our last day at Walt Disney World, and we visited the only remaining park (not counting the water parks), Animal Kingdom. It looks like…

  • Land, Sea, Air, and Space

    For our third day at Walt Disney World, which was Leap Day and our anniversary, we visited Epcot, which is officially no longer spelled with all…

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