They Might Be Giants Quarterly Report #1 - - Soundblab

They Might Be Giants Quarterly Report #1

by paul_guyet Rating: Release Date:

It's been 13 weeks, and They Might Be Giants' Year of Dial-a-Song is well underway. A quarter of the way, to be exact.

Of the 14 tracks that have been released thus far*, 11 will serve as the majority of the band's new album, Glean, coming April 20. Of those 11, more than half are strong, well-crafted and right in line with They Might Be Giants stellar 2013 release, Nanobots'Erase' is the perfect TMBG album opener: up-tempo, energetic, and dark as hell; 'Music Jail, Pt. 1&2' is a frantic, gleefully psychotic romp; 'Hate the Villanelle' joins the ranks of tracks like 'James K. Polk' and 'Mammal' as their newest educational song, this one introducing fans to the villanelle, an archaic type of short poem with Draconian guidelines**, and 'I'm a Coward' is a breezy, summery track which centers around bravely declaring oneself a coward. 

Over the next few weeks, fans will get the remaining four tracks that make up the new album, and then, I'm hoping, things will get interesting. When Johns Flansburgh and Linnell aren't writing for a major release (like Glean), they tend to be less restrained, more fearless, and that's where, in my opinion, the two shine brightest.

After the new album is on shelves, the next wave of DAS songs will comprise the band's second 2015 release, a follow-up to 2002's award-winning and groundbreaking kids' album, No!, and then... the chilling excitement of the unknown.

If you'd like to join in the next eight months of sweaty madness, head over to Dial-a-Song Direct and subscribe, or, head over to the official Dial-a-Song website every Tuesday for brand new They Might Be Giants music. You can also pre-order Glean here.



Here's a list of my top five Dial-a-Song videos from the first quarter.

1.'I Can Help the Next in Line'
If the video weren't great to start with (which it is), the turn that it takes about halfway through escalates it from merely a fun nostalgic nod to something far more disturbing and hilarious.

2. 'I'm a Coward'
You get the gimmick almost immediately but it's what they do with the gimmick that makes this great. I'm not a man who often uses the word 'delightful', but this video is delightful.

3. 'Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2'/'Let Me Tell You About My Operation'
They Might Be Giants has had a long, storied history with insane animations/animators. These two clips prove they've maintained those relationships over the years.

4. 'Unpronounceable'
While it doesn't start off very strong, it quickly gets interesting, and that final shot is well worth it.

5. 'I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar (Lauren Flax remix)'
I'd like to think the man is played by John Hodgman and the woman by Kristen Schaal.


‚Äč* Week 8 consisted of a cover of Jonathan Richman's 'I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar' and a remix of the track by Lauren Flax.

** While, at the same time, being a villanelle.

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