November 03, 2011

They Might Be Giants: Album Raises New and Troubling Questions

They Might Be Giants
photo: Shervin Lainez

When Brooklyn band They Might Be Giants recorded their Join Us album, quite a few tracks got shelved. They have been recording new stuff also, and handpicked a couple of live recordings. It's all there on the new odds-and-ends rarities collection entitled Album Raises New and Troubling Questions.

When bands start scraping the barrel for a stop-gap release, results are mostly far from memorable. Not so with They Might Be Giants. They have a never ending stream of ideas for their nerdy, catchy rock songs. Their weirdness has earned them a following that appeals kids and adults.

A rumbling guitar battling with muffled vocals during Money For Dope, the garage rock send-ups The Fellowship of Hell and Read A Nook are the kind of songs that less talented musicians would kill for. Want to find out what Irving Berlin would have sounded like if he had been in a dance band? Electronic Istanbul (Not Constantinople) provides the answer. Their cover of Tubthumping is even more awful and addictive than the original. The sole clunker is the remix of You Probably Get That A Lot. Good thing that they didn't use it for the video.

They Might Be Giants: Album Raises New and Troubling Questions

Album Raises New and Troubling Questions is released on Idlewild Recordings. Buy it from the band's website. The CD version comes with a free digital download, which also contains five videos (You Probably Get That A Lot, two versions of Can’t Keep Johnny Down, Spoiler Alert, and Cloisonné) and a PDF with instructions on how to build an paper monster hearse.

  1. O We
  2. Authenticity Trip
  3. You Probably Get That A Lot (Elegant Too remix)
  4. Marty Beller Mask
  5. Now I Know
  6. How Now Dark Cloud?
  7. The Fellowship of Hell
  8. Mountain Flowers
  9. Doom Doom
  10. Money For Dope
  11. Read A Book
  12. Havalina
  13. Tubthumping (feat. the Onion AV Club Choir)
  14. Electronic Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  15. Cloisonné (Live Studio Version)
  16. 200 Sbemails (for Homestar Runner)
  17. Boat of Car #
  18. Mr. Me #
  19. Dirt Bike #
  20. Particle Man #

w/ the Other Thing Brass Band

Video: They Might Be Giants - You Probably Get That A Lot

Live dates:
  • 11/04 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
  • 11/05 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
  • 11/06 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
  • 11/08 Vancouver, BC @ Venue
  • 11/09 Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
  • 11/10 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
  • 11/11 Arcata, CA @ Van Duzer Theatre
  • 11/12 San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
  • 11/13 San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
  • 11/16 Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
  • 11/17 San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
  • 11/26 Washington, DC @ 930 Club
  • 01/27 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Rio Theatre
  • 01/28 Los Angeles, CA (Special Family Show) @ Royce Hall UCLA
  • 01/28 Los Angeles, CA – 30th Anniversary Show @ Royce Hall UCLA
  • 01/29 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
  • 01/30 Tucson, AZ @ The Rialto Theatre
  • 02/01 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
  • 02/02 Dallas, TX @ The Granada Theatre
  • 02/03 Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
  • 02/04 New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s
  • 02/07 Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
  • 02/08 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
  • 02/10 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
  • 02/11 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
  • 02/12 Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
  • 02/14 Charlotte, NC @ McGlohan Theater at Spirit Square
  • 02/15 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
  • 02/16 Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre
  • 02/17 Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
  • 03/08 Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theater
  • 03/09 Providence, RI @ Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
  • 03/10 New York, NY @ Terminal 5


HCTF review of Join Us.

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