#100 – “Down To The Bottom Of The Sea” (2001)

They Might Be Giants vs. McSweeney's

A.S.: Welp, we’ve made it to #100, slowly but surely, especially in the last couple of weeks.  We apologize for the delays.

L.K.: Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with us lately.
A.S.: A combination of being lazy and busy. I think.
L.K.: This is kind of an anticlimactic song to be the big #100.
A.S.: Such is the drawback of the shuffle. But to celebrate, we’ve switched out banners, as loyal reader/fellow TMBG-nut Gabby was kind enough to make a new one for us.  Thank you!
L.K.: Yes! It is much more legible and doesn’t look like it was made in MS Paint.
A.S.: Well, Apple Preview to be correct, but the point still stands.
L.K.: Okay, I’m guessing that’s the Mac equivalent shitty photo editing program.
A.S.: Yeah, pretty much. So, “Down To The Bottom of the Sea” a.k.a. “Bathymetry For Two”
L.K.: Yep.
A.S.: I believe this piece corresponds with a story from McSweeney’s Issue 6 written by Samantha Hunt, although I have no idea how true the song is to the story.  I’m going to guess not very.
L.K.: Well again, the McSweeney’s songs are more like impressionistic representations of the pieces they are meant to accompany. What is that weird high-pitched squeaky noise?
A.S.: I think it supposed to replicate a submarine sonar sound, which is pretty cool. The other squeaky noises in the song are courtesy of a mid-70s Korg synthesizer preset.
L.K.: Oh, sonar. Right. I guess I thought it was supposed to be a dolphin or something. Shows you how much I know about submarines.
A.S.: “…a remarkably sleazy device from the mid-70s that I bought in a pawn shop that kinda simplifies the idea of a monophonic synthesizer into a pretty straightforward ugly sound maker, and with the addition of the guitars, it’s a real contender for the most out-of-tune track we’ve ever recorded.”
L.K.: Hmmm… nah, I think any of the infamous John Linnell guitar tracks are probably the MOST out of tune. “Mr. Klaw”, anyone?
A.S.: Yeah, this song is not nearly as out of tune as a lot of the really early stuff… “Mainstream U.S.A.”, “Indian Ocean”, etc. I mean, this song sounds pretty much entirely in-tune to my ears.
L.K.: Yeah, I mean, the squeaks don’t really have much of a pitch to begin with.
A.S.: Otherwise, not too much I can say about this one I guess.  Cool, funky little tune.
L.K.: Yep.
A.S.: Hey hey hey, it’s plug time again.  The Insurance Salesmen have a new EP out, because I wasn’t happy with just putting out one album.  There’s a polka, there’s a noise rocker, there’s a song with nuthin’ but clarinets and vocals, etc.  And if you like what you hear, you can download it for free and get extra songs. Hotcha.

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