#66 – “Santa Cruz” (2004)
L.K.: This is the most fucked-up of all venue songs, and therefore, it is the greatest.
A.S.: Okay, I’m not 100% sure on greatest, but it is pretty wonderful.
L.K.: Okay yeah, me either, I just really wanted to say that. I have this bizarre love for this song. I think everyone, deep down, really enjoys this song. I don’t know how much of it is the song and how much of it is the pre-song banter though…
A.S.: The banter and the song really compliment each other very well. It’s a very happy accident.
L.K.: The banter at the beginning of this track probably gets quoted by me more than 75% of TMBG’s actual song lyrics.
A.S.: “Avril Lavigne has her mitts on this one.”
L.K.: “They’re not all… you know… hit-bound.”
A.S.: “A combination of our art fuck background with the skateboarding part of this town.”
L.K.: “I don’t think we have anything to apologize for.” You can tell that going into it they are already apologizing for it before the song even begins. And then the song itself is this tuneless crazy shouting thing with lyrics about naked Darth Vader and it’s just… It’s something. I think because of the attitude they went into it with, this song came out a lot better than some of the other Venue Songs written on days when they were out of ideas. There’s so little song there that it’s the spirit of the whole thing that sells the piece.
L.K.: I’m not really hearing the skateboard aspect of the song, but the art fuck part certainly comes through loud and clear.
A.S.: Probably loud, distorted guitar, but yeah, that’s just about it
L.K.: I think this is the first “fuck” on a TMBG album… I think? Even though it’s just in the banter from a live track, so it probably doesn’t officially count.
A.S.: There’s gotta be a “fuck” prior to this.
L.K.: Their lyrics are almost spotlessly squeaky clean, so it’d have to be from some other live thing where they’re just talking.
A.S.: None of which was probably released on CD/LP, so yeah, I guess so.
L.K.: Yeah, I mean some of the Best Of Spin The Dial compilations got fairly profane, but those are just digital tracks.
A.S.: ”If you don’t like country music / Fuck you.”
L.K.: “I’M SO FUCKIN’ OLD,” ”WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME,” etc.
A.S.: I’m also happy to say that The Catalyst is still indeed open, and it seems like a pretty decent club.
L.K.: Yes! Breaking the negative trend of closed venues! Anybody interesting playing there in the coming weeks?
L.K.: Isn’t Reverend Horton Heat playing almost continuously at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland? It sure feels like he is based on the signage…
A.S.: Yeah, now that you mention it, they really always seem to be touring. I think they’d come to Toad’s Place a lot too when I was younger, which is probably where I first heard of them.
L.K.: It must suck to be continuously on tour. You would never write anything new! Or else it would wind up like, uh… “Santa Cruz”.
A.S.: Well, unless you’re TMBG.
L.K.: Where a couple of guys go “AHHH!”
A.S.: Even so, they seem to be kicking around a lot of new material, if the little things they’ve said here and there imply anything.
L.K.: Supposedly there will be a new record out in February ’13, but I wouldn’t hold them to that, since I think Join Us was originally supposed to be out last April. I heard there’s also talk of a new EP for kids. While I’m not thrilled about them doing another children’s album, I guess I would be ok with an EP to quell that part of the fanbase.
A.S.: Yeah, a kids EP would be preferable to a kids album, but if they’re to be believed, the 2012 IFC should hold a lot of interesting things in store.
L.K.: Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that… I hate that I have to start planning to set aside x amount of money to give to They Might Be Giants every year. It’s like tithing. I feel like a Mormon.
A.S.: It’s a sacrifice alright.
L.K.: Though I guess it’s money I’d be giving them anyway.
A.S.: I’ll take their word for it though, that it’s going to be good. It’d best be seeing how the price is bumped up too.
L.K.: One last thought on today’s song…
A.S.: That’s good because I was going to tie it all together by saying, “Well at least it doesn’t cost anything to poke your eye out!” so I’m glad I don’t have to resort to doing anything that cheesy.
L.K.: You know, I remember reading some interview with John Flansburgh from 2001 or thereabouts where he gave a whole list of movies he had never seen, and Star Wars was on that list. I’m not denying that he would know who Darth Vader is. I’m just wondering if he ever did get around to watching it, that’s all.
A.S.: Yeah, it’s pretty convenient that he’s never seen Star Wars so as to unintentionally curb the whole “NERD ROCK” thing.
L.K.: Star Trek, on the other hand… who knows.
A.S.: Oh, I thought you had some info as to whether or not Flans is a Trekkie, which I have no idea either way. And I’ve never thought about/don’t really care. I mean I find it difficult to believe that anyone could avoid seeing Star Wars, especially since Flansburgh was a teenager when it was released. But I dunno, he was probably too punk for it — too busy listening to The Ramones and Sparks to give a shit about Star Wars.
L.K.: Too Punk For Star Wars. That’s a coming-of-age novel and/or film waiting to happen.