#5 – “The Bloodboat” (2001?)

TMBG Unlimited - November

L.K.: What a weird little song.

A.S.: It really is.
L.K.: It’s obviously got a thematic similarity to the later “Bloodmobile.”
A.S.: Yeah, as far as dealing with blood and modes of transportation, but really that’s about it. “Bloodmobile” is just about the functions of blood vessels while “The Bloodboat” is…
L.K.: But I’m not sure what significance the cutlery has to the beating heart metaphor.
A.S.: Yeah, I don’t know what the cutlery has to do with anything
L.K.: Taken literally, a boat carrying forks and knives across an ocean of blood is kind of disturbing.
A.S.: It’s a cool visual.  I think this is the only TMBG song that’s ever made an appearance in my dreams, which is very strange because I don’t even know it very well.  In anticipation of the Mohegan Sun show last November, I dreamt about that performance.  The band seemed pretty unhappy, and for some reason they were playing this song.
L.K.: Well I’m really glad that dream didn’t come true then!
A.S.: I almost wish it did, if only for the confounding experience of hearing this song live.
L.K.: Not sure how that would work out; TMBG themselves describe the arrangement for this song as “fussy” in their description of the track for TMBG Unlimited.
A.S.: And that they didn’t even think it was good enough to end up of Dial-A-Song, which is weird then that they released it as part of the Unlimited collection
L.K.: Well, they released some pretty weird stuff from their archives on Unlimited. It’d be nice if we could put a date to this song, as I’m not even sure what year this was recorded.
A.S.: Yeah, I guess 2001 would have to suffice.
L.K.: More pitch-manipulated Linnell here in the narration parts.
A.S.: Yeah, always amusing.  Speaking of strange things that will never get released, it’s weird that their attitude about this has changed since Unlimited, with regard to a lot of the pre-Join Us stuff that apparently exists but will never be released.
L.K.: Oh yeah. I don’t know, they seem to get more private and more controlling with age, which is weird because at the same time Flans has his twitter account and tumblr account and everything. But a lot of that he uses just to tell people that certain things are never going to be released; there’s all the other stuff that was written for Coraline, or the recordings the Johns made in high school (though to be fair, not wanting to share those with anybody else is totally understandable in that they’re probably hilariously bad). The fact that they’re never going to release all the Dial-A-Song demos too is particularly frustrating since there’s a lot of songs there that never made it past the DAS stage, but that are fan favorites anyway.
A.S.: True, but if they ended up releasing something that they didn’t even think was good enough for Dial-A-Song (and to be fair, “The Bloodboat” isn’t a bad song by any means, it’s just not all that much of a song in the traditional sense), I’m surprised they’ve been more restrictive about some doubtlessly more accessible material that at least made it to the Dial-A-Song stage.
L.K.: Yeah. Who knows. The Johns are pretty intensely private guys, and their motives for doing anything aren’t always the clearest.
A.S.: And they like surprising fans too, so who knows.
L.K.: It’s ultimately not worth it to sit around wondering about all the stuff we’ll never get to hear though.  The bulk of it they’ve probably take to their graves, unless they get really, really desperate for cash at some point.
A.S.: Until then, we’ll always have “The Bloodboat.”
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