#61 – “Somebody Took My Eyeball” (2001)

TMBG Unlimited - May

A.S.: Well, isn’t this interesting.  I was under the impression that this was a completely improvised one-off, some weird thing done once at a concert and never done again, but I guess it was a semi-regular part of setlists between late 1998 and early 1999. I’m also just learning that was the prelude to “Ana Ng” for performances from that time.

L.K.: What a weird thing to turn into a regular concert segue.
A.S.: Just an excuse for John Linnell to dick around with a vocoder on stage.
L.K.: Did they even use the vocoder for anything else, or was it just for this song?
A.S.: Let’s take a look at some of these old setlists… I mean, it’s tough to predict how they’d perform any given song at any given time since a lot of them tend to change, but I can’t really see vocoder being used on any of the other songs in the New Year’s Eve sets this recording was pulled from. Outside of “Old Pine Box”, can you even think of any other songs that use the device offhand?
L.K.: Well I think a vocoder effect is used on Flansburgh’s mic whenever they would do “Robot Parade” live, but I can’t think of anything that uses a vocoder proper, outside of the recent “Electronic Istanbul” recording.
A.S.: Oh right, “Electronic Istanbul” of course. (Speaking of that show, what the hell is this 3rd encore?)
L.K.: “I WANT TO PARTY FUCKHEAD” What on earth… I am pretty sure none of those are songs. I guess Flans wanted to party. A lot.
A.S.: New Year’s Eve… (Almost typed “New Year’s Eye.”)
L.K.: Oh wait a second, I think we may have found a lead re: vocoders in setlist! From a review of the same show on TMBW: “a crazy cover of “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” (sung alternately through a voice box and a long hollow tube)” Could either of those be the vocoder, you think?
A.S.: Oh yeah, definitely. I love how the description for this song notes that it was written for Carole King. It’s worth a guffaw or two, replacing words in Carole King songs with “Eyeball”. “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Eyeball”. “You’ve Got An Eyeball”.
One Response to “#61 – “Somebody Took My Eyeball” (2001)”
  1. They did use the vocoder for “To All The Girls” at the New Years Eve ’98 show, with Flansburgh singing through the distorted mic taped to the end of The Stick. They have not been using the vocoder for live performances of “Old Pine Box”.

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