Why is the world in love again?

At one point I had seen They Might Be Giants more than any other band. Since then, that record was beaten first by Sterolab, then Yo La Tengo, then Interpol (though let’s face it, Dubs was the mastermind behind the latter, not that they are not a fine, competent, entertaining band, just that without her I perhaps might not have seen then 8 times in a year).

Anyway, it’s been 12 years since my last TMBG show (which was either at the College of Wooster in Ohio (Pere Ubu opened) or at Depauw University (Brian Dewan opened)). Tomorrow (well, tonight technically) I break the hiatus at the show at the Somerville Theater. It’s been a long time, but it doesn’t seem like it. While I haven’t thought about them much in the last decade, if I’m honest, both my worldview (which can shift from despairing nihilism to giddy levity within the space of seconds), and my sense of aesthetics are both but ripples flowing out from the grenade they dropped in the placid pond of my 15 year old brain.

Some links to get you in the mood. First, you must go here. You must watch the John Hodgman intro. You must watch Charlottesville (especially, especially if your name is John Sayles). You must watch one or two more. If you are from Pittsburgh you must watch the one about Mr. Smalls. And then, my friend, you must watch Dallas (also especially if you are John Sayles, because if you are, you will appreciate how frighteningly much it sounds like…)

7 thoughts on “Why is the world in love again?”

  1. Ha! So glad you blogged about this. If you didn’t, I was going to, but it’s better that you did. Charlottesville made me laugh more than I’ve laughed in quite a while. And Dallas made me giggle at you, and then at it.

    I’m glad you’ve kept TMBG in my little musical life, and I’m glad you’ve added considerable depth to my impression of them. I always liked them a bit, but I never bothered to dig in before you came along.

    Personally, I think you could be in TMBG, but that is probably because of the timing and placement of that grenade you mentioned.

    Tonight tonight!

  2. Hello, my name is John Sayles.
    Ez, I enjoyed these. Dallas is insane. Charlottesville is a little off, though…most folks in the deep south wouldn’t be wearing a hat like that. They’d be wearing a greasy ball cap.
    I credit my pal, Warren, for introducing me to TMBG in my freshman year of college. I loved Flood and Apollo (esp. that “Fingertips” bit of randomness at the end, with “Darkened Corridors”, perhaps the greatest Morrissey impersonation ever). Warren and I even performed “Dead” at the campus club/pub…or more accurately, a medley of “Dead”, Iron Maiden’s “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”, and Rush’s “Closer to the Heart”. Please don’t ask me to explain…
    I’ve recently been enjoying TMBG again via my nephew. He has their kids album “No!”, and there are some decent tunes on it. I’m especially fond of “Robot Parade”. Let all your blog fans know how the show was…

  3. True, Charlottesville is not authentic. But it is funny.

    Fingertips is always a fave in this hacienda, too. And it’s a shame I missed that medley of yours. Ah well.

  4. I’m not convinced that Ezra’s mind was ever a placid pond but I can attest to his enthusiasm for TMBG back in college; a little of which rubbed off on me. I’m sure I went to at least two TMBG concerts with Ezra. I sort of lost interest around the time TMBG released John Henry (am I the only one who thought “Snail Shell” sounded like a rehash of ZZ Top’s “Thank You”?). I dug “Meet James Ensor” though, both the artists and the song.

    I’m glad John Sayles chimed in as I kept wondering if Ezra was making some obscure reference to the film director of the same name. Enjoy the show and let me know what the ‘stump the band’ tune was.

    I hope you enjoy

  5. Oh, and agreed on that, too! I meant to say… Ezra’s brain was never a placid pond. Sorry Ez, you’re not fooling anybody.

  6. The John Sayles I know is not the John Sayles the filmmaker.

    Though, come to think of it, it’s curious that I’ve never seen them in the same room at the same time….

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