From I Like Fun, out now on Idlewild Recordings.
They call me the greatest
Because I’m not very good
And they’re being sarcastic
It’s wild to think that these guys have been around for over 30 years. And even now, there are not a lot of bands making this kind of “high geek” music. Sufjan Stevens came closest during his Illinois era, I guess. But it’s impossible for me to hear TMBG without flashing back to being a know-it-all nineteen year old, drunk on my own egocentrism (and Bacardi). Those were heady days, stumbling around college campuses, soaking up influences and experiences like a sponge, but still absolutely convinced I already knew more about everything than anybody. They Might Be Giants made you feel like you were part of a society of intellectuals, passing around tapes of Lincoln and Flood like a secret handshake, unlocking clues in the lyrics. “It’s from the point of view of a nightlight…get it?”
Fast forward to now, and John Flansburgh and John Linnel are still at it. Still doing the Dial-a-Song thing (844-387-6962), and still writing and recording quirky songs that don’t sound like anybody else. Nick Offerman is perfect in the video as the narrator, slowly getting tortured via voodoo. His faux gravitas as he sneers “G-O-A-T” is worthy of an academy award.
From They Might Be Giants (Bar/None, 1986)
From Lincoln (Bar/None, 1988)
From Flood (Elektra, 1990)
From Long Tall Weekend (eMusic, 1999)