Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Random TMBG Random 10

I’ve been threatening to do this for awhile, and tonight seemed like kind of the right day to do it, because I had kind of an off day, and I kind of need something to make me smile. And nothing makes me smile quite like They Might Be Giants. I mean, not to say that they make me smile more or better than other things, because that’s not entirely true, but they have an ability to make me smile in a unique way, a way that nothing else can quite accomplish.

Heck, it was them and their stupid decision to start podcasting that finally convinced me to download iTunes, in spite of that ranting, anti-podcast column I wrote a few weeks back. And that says a lot right there.

Now, this is not to imply that this going to become a regular Tuesday event, because it’s not. It’s going to be a completely random, whenever the heck I feel like it event (and I’m thinking next time, depending on my mood, I may tackle Oingo Boingo or Pink Floyd, another couple of bands I’m quite fond, and therefore have more than just a few albums to choose from).

For the record, there are 356 tracks in my TMBG playlist, including 34 albums. Random useless trivia for the win.

  1. Cage & Aquarium – This song always makes me laugh because the melody of the chorus seems to be drawn almost completely from the song “Age of Aquarius.” And how can you not love a lyric like “This is the spawning of the cage and aquarium”?

  2. Mainstream USA – Hahahahahahaha! I don’t know this song at all! 356 tracks to choose from in my random playlist, and this thing that I’ve never heard before comes up? Does that make any sense? “Mainstream USA, I flipped that guy the bird…” Hm, doesn’t sound too bad.

  3. Narrow Your Eyes – This seems to be a TMBG love-ish song, but it seems more about the end of a love than anything else. They do, actually, have a few songs that seems like honest-to-goodness love songs, and I usually cringe a little when I hear them, because for whatever reason they just seem so sappy coming from them. “Now let’s toast the sad, cold fact – our love’s never coming back; so let’s race to the bottom of a glass…” Yeah, that’s pretty much an end of love song, methinks.

  4. We’re the Replacements – Apparently a dig at the band “The Replacements” which, I must confess, I don’t actually get, because I haven’t heard the band. A song that is, on the surface, about a, you know, replacement band. But apparently done in the style of “The Replacements” – wow, so, so meta.

  5. Snail Dust – This is the Dust Brother’s remix of the song “Snail Shell” which is kinda funky. I spent months trying to figure out what the song “Snail Shell” was a metaphor for before I finally just gave in and accepted that it was a song about a snail. That’s what I love about these guys – you can spend an eternity trying to analyze their stuff, and still end up back where you started. With the weirdest idea you could imagine.

  6. They’ll Need a Crane – I have little to contribute about this song, except this quote, with which the song starts: “Love sees love’s happiness, but happiness can see that love is sad.” Yeah, take that.

  7. She’s Actual Size – A live version, which has what could be the finest drum solo of all time, in which the TMBG drummer mocks the style of almost a dozen other drummers. It’s like drum set karaoke or something. I’m not sure how that works, but it does.

  8. Pencil Rain – Another song that defies analysis, I think, but damn it’s catchy. Near as I can tell, it’s about the day it rained pencils, and a lot of people were killed. “And none who have witnessed all, can think of a nobler cause than perishing in the pencil rain.”

  9. Museum of Idiots – One of my favourites of their more recent songs. “They built this whole neighbourhood out of wood, out of wood. I guess I’ll still be around when they burn, burn it down.” I can’t even begin to explain why those lines appeal to me so much, but they do. Great, they’ll probably be stuck in my head for the next few days now.

  10. Boat of Car – And this one is just plain weird, including a sample of Johnny Cash singing “Dadday sang bass…” which seems staggeringly out of place. Actually, just about everything in this song seems staggeringly out of place.

And thus ends the Random TMBG Random 10, which will happen again randomly, unless it doesn’t, because it might not. You just can’t tell with random things, now can you.


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