January 31, 2008

WNYC video and upcoming Sirius appearance

A video of TMBG's recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC has been posted to YouTube. The short segment of the interview shows the Johns talking about their children fans. You can still listen to the entire interview online.

Via Orbitcast, having just appeared on XM Radio, They Might Be Giants are now making an appearance on Sirius Satellite Radio's Kids Stuff to promote Here Come the 123s. The show will take place on Monday, February 4, the day before 123s is released, at 8 o'clock am on channel 116. If you happen to miss this airing of the show, it will be rebroadcast once a day at varying times for the rest of the week.

The They Might Be Giants song tournament taking place over at the TMBG LJ group is coming to a close. The two remaining songs are "Birdhouse in Your Soul" versus "Don't Let's Start" in the finals. Who could have guessed this kind of outcome?

January 30, 2008

TMBG Radio Takeover on Y-Rock

Via TMBW, tonight at 9 o'clock They Might Be Giants will be taking over Y-Rock on XPN. Flansburgh and Linnell will be guest jockeying and will play some of their favorite songs as well as a few from the studio recorded live. You can listen to the show online on the station's website. In case you miss the guest spot it seems it will be archived for streaming at some point.

They Might Be Giants have also announced in their latest MySpace bulletin that they are performing a show for kids and families at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA on March 15. I have a feeling I already know one song they'll play.

January 29, 2008

TMBG Podcast 31A and newsletter

The first new podcast of the year is upon us with 31A. Recently, the "I Never Go to Work" episode from the Family Podcast was entered into the feed--perhaps to give podcast listeners a heads up on their activities--but this is the first in their regular, adult series. The songs include the most recent Free Tunes, some songs from Here Come the 123s, and "a song from some one night thing," says the accompanying TMBG newsletter.

The newsletter includes an entry from the Flansblog 9000 wherein Flans gives his reaction to "No!" being played on American Idol and the possibility of Paula Abdul having heard their music. He also sends a heads up to the people going or considering going to the upcoming show at the Beacon Theatre. Apparently, they've never played "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal" before and this show will be its first time live. They are also appearing on Surface Noise this week on XM 44, the Fred channel, where you can hear them play the XM songs featured in the podcast. If you don't already get the newsletter, sign up today and get free MP3s.

January 28, 2008

Interviews and 123s speculation

A Flansburgh interview with the NY Daily News appeared over the weekend. The article discusses Here Come the 123s and compares it and its audience to The Else and its, noting that many fans enjoy both. Additionally, the They Might Be Giants MySpace Blog points us to an older interview with Gearlog. This is a great interview from a couple of months ago that really focuses on the technologies used by the band. Examining Dial-A-Song, wax cylinders, and the Internet, Flans talks about how using technology is a means to an end and shouldn't distract listeners from the final product. Make sure to read part two of the interview as well.

The blog over at theymightbegiants.com updated and contains an image promoting Here Come the 123s. In it we see several characters from the included music videos. One of which is the boy in a spaceship from the "Planets" video. It's still unknown how this will appear in the 123s package as none of the promotional material or track listings mention a song of that name. It's possible that the song is not called "Planets" at all and is actually titled something different. In this case, my guess goes to "One Two Three Four" for which a video is included in the Amazon package. This is a shallow guess, but it is the only song that hasn't been heard yet and I doubt that "Planets" is one of the songs available for previewing.

Now that that's out of the way, let me also mention the panda bear puppet on the left. Hine Mizushima, creator of TMBG Puppets Shoot "Ana Ng" and the video for "With the Dark," points out the animal to us, suggesting this is one of her creations. This would be for her contribution to Here Come the 123s: the music video for "The Secret Life of Six."

January 25, 2008

"813 Mile Car Trip" hits the Family Podcast

"Eight Hundred and Thirteen Mile Car Trip" is the most recent entry in the They Might Be Giants Friday Night Family Podcast promoting Here Come the 123s. The concept of incredibly long car trips and counting the things you see outside is a familiar one to many, children and adult alike, but most don't share the same enthusiasm that those in the video display. If the video seems familiar to you, perhaps it is because it seems to be animated by Pascal Campion, the same person who animated the video for the "Pittsburgh" venue song. The video shares some resemblance to the one for the Mr. Small's and you can see another similar animation on his site.

The Flansburgh and Linnell puppets introduce the video wearing a mustache and goggles, respectively. They sing a song about riding in motorcars and wearing a mustache and goggles that made me laugh quite a lot. I don't think the puppet segments will get stale any time soon. The other video included in the podcast is "D is for Drums" from Here Come the ABCs. Exiting the podcast is the goodbye song again with the Johns still dressed up in their car-riding garb.

January 24, 2008

The Leonard Lopate Show and American Idol

John Flansburgh and John Linnell stopped by WNYC to appear on The Leonard Lopate Show today. The interview includes discussion on their children material, working with Dunkin' Donuts and McSweeney's, and having songs appear on Tiny Toons and The Simpsons.

Speaking of television shows licensing TMBG's music, last night's episode of American Idol featured a segment of rejections backed by They Might Be Giants' "No" from their album of the same name. You can view the clip online via the recently updated They Might Be Giants Mulitmedia page.

January 22, 2008

Linnell interviewed, "I'm Impressed" explained

A new interview with John Linnell has been posted on the Gothamist website and pointed out by TMBG's MySpace blog. Linnell speaks on fans, playing the same songs again and again, and nearly hitting a famous poet with a van. The rarely interviewed John gives an interesting read and a wide range of topics are covered. One bit that stuck out to me was a side note on what they are thinking about working on next.
"We’ve sort of cooked up a rough idea for the Disney DVD that will follow this one and at this point we’re thinking it will just generally be about science for kids."

A science oriented DVD is an intriguing idea. I would like to see how John and John handle concepts more difficult than those of letters and numbers. What other ideas for kids projects might they work on? Mathematics, geography, and history are the first that come to my mind.

Also posted today is an insider's look into the creation of a They Might Be Giants music video. An anonymous editor on This Might Be a Wiki has posted his or her insight into the creation of the video for "I'm Impressed" and on the meaning behind it. The insider, who had interned at Bent Image Lab, tells why everything is made of paper, what political undertones the video carries, and what instructions were received from the band: "There must [be] a leader, and he must get killed." Read the entire piece over at TMBW.

January 21, 2008

New "Planets" discovered

Colourmovie has made quite a few music videos for They Might Be Giants from the videos for "Here Come the ABCs," "Alphabet of Nations," "L M N O," and "Clap Your Hands" from the Here Come the ABCs DVD to "Asheville" from the Venue Songs set to the video for "The Shadow Government" from The Else and most recently "Even Numbers" (and possibly others) from the Here Come the 123s DVD. Their latest effort is for a song we haven't even heard of yet.

A short preview has shown up on their website for a TMBG song called "Planets." In the clip, which shows the first ten seconds of the full animated video, we see a cameo by the owl from "Even Numbers" as well as by John and John themselves. The music is a rocking piece which starts with John Linnell singing "Mercury;" the first planet from the Sun. I think it's a safe bet that the song moves through our solar system listing the planets as it goes. Maybe the planets are sung about individually as well.

Was this song supposed to be on Here Come the 123s? Is it still slated to appear on it? Perhaps as a bonus track? There are nine planets that they could sing about... OK, so maybe eight planets depending on if Pluto is included. Maybe that's why this song has been kept in the dark: it is out of date!

Only time will tell how this song or video will get released to the masses--maybe it'll even be seen in the Family Podcast--but until then we'll all wait in eager anticipation.

January 18, 2008

Giants on G Rock now online

Via Kayakcup on TMBW, video of a G Rock radio appearance that took place last year in May has been spotted online. With Marty in tow, the Johns played a few songs and talked on several topics including their obituaries, signing bananas, and why they're glad Pearl Harbor was no good.

You can watch all of the videos online:

"Nonagon" arrives on Family Podcast

It's Friday again. Time for another installment of the They Might Be Giants Friday Night Family Podcast. This week we get another preview look at the upcoming Here Come the 123s CD/DVD through the video for "Nonagon." Sporting a clean presentation, the video complements the song very nicely and latches onto some of the audio cues well.

The podcast also includes the video for "Rolling O" from Here Come the ABCs. They'll probably keep putting an extra video from ABCs in the episodes, so if you like those as well and don't have their first children's DVD yet, go get it!

Also in this podcast is another rendition of the excellent goodbye song heard in the last episode. This time around it required whistling on the part of the puppet Johns; a task not handled well by mouths with no lips. Will we get to hear it sung again next week? And more importantly, will next week's episode be the last? The 25th is the last Friday in January but February 1 is a Friday that comes before Here Come the 123s' release date the following Tuesday on the 5th. Stay subscribed to the feed, which comes in web and iTunes flavors, to find out!

January 16, 2008

"Zeroes" on MySpace plus concert footage

The latest song from They Might Be Giants' Here Come the 123s to be released for our listening pleasure is "Zeroes." Currently on their MySpace player, the song features frequent brass-playing collaborator Dan Levine's niece Hannah helping out John Flansburgh on vocals. While she is speaking (enthusiastically, I might add) on "Zeroes," Hannah can be heard singing in "One Dozen Monkeys;" also on Here Come the 123s. You can hear a preview of that song, along with all of the other songs on the album, over at Disney Music's page for it.

Moving from yet-to-be-released songs to music that was played live two years ago, YouTube user yoshigish has recently uploaded ten videos from a 2006 concert in St. Petersburg, Florida. The videos include some banter and several songs including a performance by opening act Michael Leviton.

Michael Leviton

January 14, 2008

Book stealing, puppet making fans

Some They Might Be Giants related links from over the weekend to collect here. A post on the TMBG MySpace blog points out an article about the best selling and most stolen books at various book stores in St. Louis, MO. One particular shop, Subterranean Books, told the Riverfront Times that their most stolen book is They Might Be Giants' Bed, Bed, Bed. "I wouldn't think They Might Be Giants fans would normally be thieves," said the owner. That there are enough TMBG fans who live in St. Louis who steal the book instead of buying it more than any other book in the store makes me wonder just how many fans there are in St. Louis. I would think more people buy it, right?

Via Kermo on the TMBG LJ group, we find that a crafty mother knit a John Linnell puppet for her daughter. The puppet (pictured above) is a great recreation of the puppet from TMBG's children DVDs made a little more kid-safe. Puppet Johns for kids sounds like a good merchandising opportunity, though I may be saying that because I want one myself or to gift.

A new show has popped up on This Might Be A Wiki's shows page from TMBG's booking agency High Road Touring. The show, on Friday, April 18, will be in Roscoe, NY at Big Twig Studio.

Finally, you may know that They Might Be Giants are writing music for the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. Nothing TMBG specifically, but recently a short preview of what's to come has shown up online and today Gaiman himself points out that a trailer (filmed from the theater screen) has shown up on YouTube. Check it out while you can if you're interested.

January 11, 2008

Family Podcast returns with "Even Numbers"

They Might Be Giants have released the newest entry in their Friday Night Family Podcast. This time we get a double dosing of videos. First up is "Even Numbers," a song with potentially confusing lyrics such as
"You like French fries, but you don't like French fries. You've got socks on, but you don't have socks on. You're a girl, but you're a boy. Girl. Boy. Girl."

As always, the animation is beautiful in this new video from Here Come the 123s. Following this video, we are then shown a video from their previous kids CD/DVD set Here Come the ABCs: the instrumental "Letter Shapes."

We may be treated to a double dosing of videos, but we get a quadruple dosing of songs. Introducing "Even Numbers" we hear a short song by John Linnell. While that song sounds impromptu, the goodbye song after "Letter Shapes" is a sweet and touching song sung by the Flans and Linnell puppet hosts. It's one I hope we get to hear at the end of each of the remaining podcasts. It also includes a "bah bah-bah bah bahh" that may be what Hine Mizushima was hinting at. Maybe this goodbye song (or a variation of it) is on the DVD?

January 8, 2008

New Dunkin' Donuts commercials

They Might Be Giants are back with new songs in the "America Runs on Dunkin'" ad campaign for Dunkin' Donuts. The two songs, being called "Bleachers" and "Steps," are featured in commercials with the familiar premise of people drinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee and lip-syncing the words. It's great to see they're creating more of these short songs and getting back on television as they're good and catchy songs in their own right as well as entertaining commercials. Keep an ear out for more TMBG in TV and radio ads for Dunkin' Donuts.

January 7, 2008

Flansburgh: Renegade Angel

John Flansburgh has made another appearance on the Adult Swim show Xavier: Renegade Angel playing the part of Xavier's computer. You can catch the episode, titled "Signs from Godrilla," over on the Adult Swim site for the time being. His first appearance was in the episode "World of Hurt, BC" which is up on YouTube (1, 2) for those who may have missed it.

JJRRutgers over at the TMBG LiveJournal community has started up a song tournament to find their favorite They Might Be Giants song. Part one took place over the weekend and part two started up today. Eventually this will whittle down to one song that will probably be "Birdhouse in Your Soul" or "Don't Let's Start."

January 4, 2008

Family Podcast begins and much more

They Might Be Giants' Friday Night Family Podcast has officially begun with the release of the music video for "Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go to Work)" featuring the smartly dressed dog that appears on the cover of Here Come the 123s. The podcast also got a quick mention in USA Today's award winning Pop Candy blog.

A new newsletter has been sent out with more from Flansblog 9000 wishing everyone a happy new year. In addition to reminding us of their Family Podcast, the letter notifies us of a new challenge for their MySpace friends to "pen a limerick about the New Year" following the traditional "There once was a ____ from ____" formula. Last, but not least, they've extended the holiday bundles on their merchandise store until January 15. They've reiterated most of the contents of the letter in a new MySpace blog post.

Finally, I leave you with a blog posting from artistic TMBG fan and "With the Dark" video creator Hine Mizushima. In it she shows off some calligraphy skills and a cryptic message ("Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah bah bahhhhhh") saying we'll figure it out on February 5. Hmm... I'm willing to bet that this has something to do with her video for "The Secret Life of Six." I guess we'll find out in a month's time when Here Come the 123s is released on that date.

January 1, 2008

Shows in 2008

Happy 2008! They Might Be Giants are starting up another round of touring so hopefully if you haven't seen them since The Else was released they'll be coming to a town near you soon. Check out This Might Be A Wiki's shows page for more info.

February 2008

2 - New York, NY - Beacon Theater
27 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
28 - Bloomington, IN - Bluebird Nightclub
29 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre

March 2008

1 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
2 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Note
4 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
5 - Austin, TX - Stubb's
6 - Houston, TX - Meridian
7 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
8 - Jackson, MS - Hal & Mal's
9 - Birmingham, AL - The WorkPlay Theatre
11 - Tampa, FL - Jannus Landing
12 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
13 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues
14 - Jacksonville, FL - Freebird Live
16 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom
29 - Portsmouth, NH - The Music Hall (2PM Kids/8PM Adult)