The Year of Dial-A-Song Wraps Up - Articles - Soundblab

The Year of Dial-A-Song Wraps Up

by paul_guyet Rating: Release Date:

More than 52 brand new songs in one year. The scope of this is still messing with me. Some bands don't release that many songs in a career, but these lunatics did it in ONE YEAR. Jesus.

And what's most impressive is that almost all of them are great, not just good or passable. It's ridiculous. True, about a fifth of them are less than two minutes and not one was over three and a half minutes, but when it comes to the music of They Might Be Giants, it's never been about the length of the songs, but the depth.

After a short tour in the UK (starting January 27), the release of their 19th studio album, Phone Power, and, finally, a month touring the US (starting March 17), the band plans to go dark until 2017, enjoying a well-earned rest...or recording material for their 2017 Dial-A-Song project...stay tuned.

It was truly an honor to be a part of this experiment, and there's never been a more excellent time to be a fan of They Might Be Giants.


Favorite Line
I was ready to give Favorite Line to 'ECNALUBMA' pretty much the first time I heard it..."help me out, I can't seem to get this window open / never mind, now it's open / I think my hand is broken" and, while stuff came close ('Trouble, Awful, Devil, Evil' with "the weight of my insensate body draws all the bedclothes down with it / unknowing, ecstatically lowering into a bottomless pit surrounded by / trouble awful devil evil"), nothing topped that for me. Then, three weeks before the end, 'I'll Be Haunting You' brings a damn strong contender with "my absence has been weaponized, the empty sockets where my eyes are swiveling to recognize and pin you down". 
I think it still has to go to 'ECNALUBMA', perhaps because I'd been hearing it for most of the year and I stop to appreciate it every time; the awful little story it tells in less than the length of a tweet and about ten seconds. 

Top 10 Dial-A-Songs (in no particular order)*

'Unpronounceable' - for its uncanny familiar-at-first-listen sound, a literal instant classic

'Let Me Tell You About My Operation' - for its ability to make the listener instantly jitterbug

'ECNALUBMA' - for its deification of the (over?) importance of emergency medical vehicles, the title is just a cherry on the sundae

'Underwater Woman' - for its jagged edges telling a story as sad and desperate as its lyrics

'I’m A Coward' - for its delicious contradiction

'I’ll Be Haunting You' - for its characters and the lives they led

'Thinking Machine' - for its perfect manifestation of a They Might Be Giants song, and for Ansel Adams' mouth

'Music Jail, Pt 1 & 2' - for its avalanche of raucous energy, and for its brilliant turn

'Daylight' - for its sorrowful, hazy grace

'Trouble, Awful, Devil, Evil' - for its dark, unsettling beauty



 - for its self reference and Beatles impersonation

'Definition of Good' - for being the most adorable thing ever

'Madame, I Challenge You To A Duel' - for its decorum and the tale it tells

'It Said Something' - for recapturing the glory of Apollo 18

'Summer Breeze' - for finally fulfilling its destiny 


* These are for the songs, and not their videos. There are links because this is the Internet, whether you like it or not.

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