They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg

by paul_guyet Rating:9 Release Date:2011-11-27

"Should you worry when the skullhead is in front of you, or is it worse because it's waiting where your eyes don't go?" Jesus, that is still creepy.

July 26 was They Might Be Giants' Lincoln show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. They performed all but one track from their stellar 1988 album, as well as a blend of tracks from their catalog, with a slight focus on their newest effort, Glean. Although they were, self-admittedly, under-rehearsed, I love watching They Might Be Giants fuck up more than any other band, as it always leads to something delightful.

Standout moments included 'Where Your Eyes Don't Go' (which might be the most unsettling song from their 30-plus year career); the stripped-down version of 'Kiss Me, Son of God'; 'The World's Address'; 'Cowtown' (which Flansburgh stated was "his favorite"); 'Lie Still, Little Bottle' (despite the lack of Stick); 'You'll Miss Me' (for its glimpse into the long forgotten days of the band's inaccessible, East Village, art-fuck period); and 'Twistin' (which served as a fantastic closer). Other moments included Linnell's confession that all They Might Be Giants songs are inspired by/stolen from Erasure, Flansburgh's strange fixation on Donald Trump saying "huge" on a loop in his head, and the Avatars of They addressing the recent Ashley Madison/hacker threat fiasco.
I've still yet to see a bad show by these guys, although two things bugged me about last night's otherwise great performance, namely, the lack of horns on certain tracks (most notably 'Underwater Woman') or, I suppose, the choice to play these horn-driven songs without horns. This wasn't a deal-breaker, there were just a few times throughout the evening when things felt a bit sparse.

The other issue is something I've been worrying about, off and on, throughout the year: the lack of the dozen or so brand new Dial-a-Song tracks from the bands' Dial-a-Song Direct service*. Of course, I understand they just returned from a week in the UK and they've been busy finishing up those new tracks for their upcoming kids album**, as well as the last 20 or so tracks for the aforementioned DAS service, so, hopefully, as 2015 grinds to a close, we'll see some of this brand new (and, for the most part, really interesting) material played live, if not though... well... just because they're confident they could play 'Birdhouse in Your Soul' without their heads, that doesn't mean they can't keep things interesting for fans.

They Might Be Giants is taking the next month off from performing, but will return on the last Sunday of September with yet another live show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. 


* Which promises 52 brand new songs, every Tuesday, for the entire year.

** The follow-up to their groundbreaking 2002 children's album, No!, which will be titled Why?

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