#27 – “Flying V” (2005)

Here Come The ABCs

[YouTube video tagged as “back to school cool grammy genius lonnie mack albert king geese,” among other things.]


A.S.: What I just said has nothing do with “Lazyhead and Sleepybones”. It has to do with the fact that there are a whole bunch of worse songs on Here Come the ABCs that could have come up.
L.K.: Or 123s, which has some seriously… uh, yeah. But “Flying V” is fun regardless.
A.S.: I might even go so far as to say that “Flying V” is my favorite song on Here Comes the ABCs.
L.K.: I wonder how many children are actually familiar with Flying V guitars. I feel like this might be something that only the parents will “get”.
A.S.: Kids also wouldn’t get the whole Ritchie Valens “La Bamba” riff either.
L.K.: Yeah, very Latin-feeling piano going on here. Well, until it just turns into scales at the end. John Linnell loves his scales.
A.S.: The live version that’s in the free downloadssection of the website (for some reason the ID3 tag lists it as “Sucker” by Dan Miller) has a great version of the scalar break. It’s noteworthy for John Linnell attempting it on accordion and then just letting Miller play that bit with virtually no effort, to which Linnell says afterwards, “We got to the end of that one.  I think we can feel good about that.”

L.K.: I feel like he probably frequently thinks that to himself at the end of certain songs. And speaking as somebody who owns an accordion, I sure wouldn’t want to play it on accordion! It’s pretty easy for pianists to forget how much harder stuff can be to play on an accordion.
A.S.: Oh yeah, definitely.  Not chiding him or anything, but it’s just another great little goofball live moment.
L.K.: As noted by TMBW, the Clock Radio version of this song is totally fucked up and plays at a fraction of the proper speed.
A.S.: Oh god, I’d love to hear that.
L.K.: It was years before I heard this song the way it was supposed to sound, because the clock radio was the only place I had listened to any of the Here Come The ABCs stuff.
A.S.: Man, that is just the glitchiest application.
L.K.: It was the first place I heard a bunch of stuff though, like a lot of things that were on TMBG Unlimited.
A.S.: Was anything else particularly screwed up that you could remember?
L.K.: A bunch of songs were slowed down (as noted by the wiki) and some others were just totally glitched up. Most songs still worked
A.S.: Anything to a particularly hilarious effect?
L.K.: Hm, nothing that I can remember off the top of my head. Most of it was just scrambled, there were only a few that were super-slowed down, but I never bothered listening to the whole songs. It’s just a shame that there’s still some stuff like the People Are Wrong tracks that are only available through the clock radio, especially since people running the latest Mac OS can’t even use it anymore.
A.S.: Like this guy.
L.K.: I am watching this live performance of “Flying V” and I think it definitely loses a lot without the piano part, though watching Flans play bass is amusing. Unfortunately the comments all seem to be about how fat Flans is, and this was in 2005…
A.S.: Dumb.
L.K.: I’m still amused at how half the song is about a guitar and then there isn’t any guitar in the song.
A.S.: Oh yeah, never realized that; pretty obvious element of the song too. I just really like some of the compositional elements in the verses here; there are a few chords here and there that kind of pop out unexpectedly. That V / vi on “read” in particular is pretty neat.
L.K.: Yeah, it’s a short little song, but musically there’s some cool stuff going on. Lyrically, not so much, but again, it’s a song written for 2-year olds.
A.S.: The guitar lyrics at least distance it from some of the even simpler stuff. Oh yeah, and Dan Levine on tuba.
L.K.: Dan The Machine Levine! That man plays trombone and does brass arrangements all over the place. I love spotting TMBG’s horn players with other bands, since the world of horn sections for rock groups seems to literally consist of about 5 people. Curt Ramm’s with Bruce Springsteen, Stan Harrison’s with Radiohead, Dan Levine was with Levon Helm this past summer. I’m Facebook friends with a guy who bought a mouthpiece from Dan Levine once, but we’re getting really off topic now…
A.S.: Those guys really get around. Well I think we’ve talked ourselves out on this one.
L.K.: Yeah
A.S.: This is basically the bar for what kids songs should be though.
L.K.: Yep! Interesting enough to catch a kid’s attention, short enough to keep it, and enjoyable for adults as well.
A.S.: Good hook, interesting melodic stuff, fun homage to another song.

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