Welcome to the They Might Be Giants Song A Day project, where two TMBG fans, L.K. and A.S. are going through the entire They Might Be Giants discography and blogging their thoughts on each song, one by one. This is a daunting task, given that there are 700-odd extant songs in the band’s catalogue, a number that seems to increase with each passing year, but we hope to stick to our guns and offer whatever insight, interpretation, and commentary we can about these songs.
Why They Might Be Giants? Of all the bands that we can think of, not one band’s catalogue comes close to the mass, diversity, and consistency of TMBG’s. Virtually every one of their songs seems to present a new idea or twist on pop music, ever the more impressive given how many of these songs there are. Furthermore, despite their rate of productivity and constant flow of creative ideas, we feel that their body of work has been relatively ignored and misunderstood by many in pop media. Whereas other similarly creative and consistent bands in the pop canon have had their work analyzed ceaselessly, TMBG’s work seems to maintain its critical dialogue within a community of fans. We hope to join this discussion and possibly provide an outlet for others to join in as well. Also, the idea of discussing a song every day ties in very neatly with TMBG’s own Dial-A-Song service.
Who are we? We are L.K. and A.S., two music fans based in Cleveland, OH. We both host radio shows on Case Western Reserve University’s radio station, WRUW-FM 91.1; L.K.’s show is called “Sweet and Lowdown,” and “A.S.’s is called “The Spektrum.” Other artists we enjoy include Sparks, Elvis Costello, The Kinks, XTC, and Tom Waits. L.K.’s forte is primarily 20s-40s jazz/pop, while A.S.’s is more 60s-10s pop/rock. A.S. is also responsible for a musical project called The Insurance Salesmen.
How are we going about this? Simple: creating a playlist on iTunes featuring every TMBG song we have available to us, hitting shuffle and going by the list. Of course, one of the many fantastic (if, occasionally frustrating) things about TMBG is that it’s virtually impossible to have everything they’ve recorded (sometimes we doubt even the Johns have all of their own stuff), but we’ve done our best to track down as much of their discography as we can.
And a relentless thank you goes out to the good folks at tmbw.net for giving us much of the information we have on these songs.
We hope you join in on our discussion of one of the greatest of all discographies. Listen to the sound of my voice. Put away your big blue cigars, and make way… yes! Make way, ladies and gentlemen for They Might Be Giants!