They Might Be Giants – Flood

Morning RC’ers…the next 100 starts with….a little silliness.They Might Be Giants: FloodListen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/They+Might+Be+Giants+Flood/66065519
Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_%28They_Might_Be_Giants_album%29Fun Facts:  Two songs off this album were featured in the animated Tiny Toon Adventures tv show.

The cover art for this album is actually a photo taken from the Ohio River Flood of 1937 – which left a million people homeless and cost about 500 million in damage (in 1937!!)

Ali:

RC: They Might Be Giants – Flood

Preconceptions:
Obviously, this is my pick. Because I enjoy nerdy ridiculousness. I couldn’t tell you when I was first introduced to them. It could’ve been Malcolm in the Middle, it could’ve been a feature on a cartoon like Tiny Toon Adventures (I think they did Istanbul), it could’ve been singing Particle Man at horseback riding camp. I do associate the group with a lot of really great childhood memories.
Also, my friend has been touring off and on with them for 2011 and early 2012. It makes me jealous as f&^% because Jonathan Coulton is there too.

Mood:
Decent and getting better.

After Listening:
TMBG never fails to get me smiling. I always forget that if I’m in a bleh mood it will help lift me up and hug me like a Josh Groban song can for Christians. They Might Be Giants are the Josh Groban for Athiests. This is completely a selfish RC pick for me. I know that this will probably get shat on by some of the RCers, but I love it. I think if something gives you joy it’s worth sharing. No, it’s not some of the most intricately composed or performed pieces that the RC has reviewed. Some of the overproduced and deliberately elaborate tracks we’ve heard are nice but if they don’t elicit a response from me other than “meh” I would have difficulty justifying listening to it again.

Favorite track/tracks:
Birdhouse In Your Soul – This song makes me so happy. I actually got up and started dancing around my office. Sometimes you need to be silly to keep from murdering people.
Istanbul – I remember dancing with my mom to this. Once I move, randomly email me this song reminder so I’m not super homesick, okay?
Minimum Wage – It’s an incredibly short song but it makes me laugh so hard I pee a little.
Hot Cha – I FORGOT ABOUT THIS SONG! It’s like a song from Bump in the Night (that claymation bogey on Saturday morning cartoons) and I think Tom Waits would do a d**k-kicking cover of this song.

Least favorite track/tracks:
This wasn’t a curiousity pick. This is an album I can listen to in its entirety without getting angry. I don’t have a least in this one.

Overall (1-5 stars):  5

Josh:

They Might Be Giants – Flood: 3 stars

Precon: Nerdy and experimental. Somehow I never heard these guys until a few years ago, though I remember them being all over the place in the 90’s. I like the birdhouse song a lot as well as the literal video version. The few other songs I’ve heard didn’t seem quite as good.

Favorite Track: Birdhouse In Your Soul
Least Favorite: Whistling in the Dark

Man, I love Birdhouse. Something about the phrasing of the chorus and that weird synth chime noise is irresistible.
Dead is annoying.
I like Particle Man more than I should.
We Want a Rock sounds familiar. Maybe I did hear this song in the 90’s.
Hearing Aid is weird. Not due to content, because that’s the norm with these guys, but because of the random reggaeness.
Wacky and full of unbridled creativity. I like the spirit. I wish I liked more of the songs. A lot of it just feels like wasted energy. A bit more focus would have helped, but they do get points for weirdness and originality.

Magic the Gathering Card: “Zur’s Weirding”

Mike:

Preconceived Notions:  I hate these guys. I mean, I guess hate is a little strong – they never did anything to me, and their fans are some of my closest friends. Musically though, man what a waste- I’ll admit, I’ve never listened to a whole album either – I could never get past a few songs in a row. I’ll suck it up for RC, but I have a feeling this is headed for ouch town.

After Listening:  This is probably the album of theirs I have heard the most off of, so I am well aware of what I dislike about it. Musically, it’s well below average which is disappointing considering they feature a wide variety of instruments at work on this album.  The problem is that most of their musical efforts seem to be lead in the direction of making a nursery rhyme feel on virtually every track. The simple music isn’t offensive until you hear it underscore tracks with very repetitive choruses….I mean to hear a line over 10 times in a 3 minute track is not creative –it’s annoying.  I don’t mind that the subject matter is generally silly, or that the songs are uniquely theirs, but I do mind that inside of that context so many of these follow the same musical patterns – I mean, you clearly have a sense of humor, you have a wide variety of instrumentation, and you are making a record for yourselves….wouldn’t you want to at least do something outside of these nursery rhyme structures?

I’m not breaking this down into tracks.

Overall 0.8  Normally, I’m looking for redeeming qualities in bands and trying to part out something I like to discuss musically – but I’ve done that privately with these guys amongst my friends over the years – and to me I just can’t do it. Maybe this isn’t the album to really do that with, the wiki says this is one of their sillier efforts – so maybe they have better stuff.  To me though this record is a complete throwaway. It would be fine to just be all filler or all silly – but the vast amounts of repetition on this thing and the added echoes of generic ska that they are attempting to pass off as style – well then it crosses into being an annoyance to me.  They Might be have their fans…but I don’t see myself ever being one.

(from the movie which inspired the band)

Watson: God! You’re just like Don Quixote, you think everything’s always something else.
Playfair/Holmes [Laughs]: Well he had a point. Of course, he carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That’s insane. But, thinking that they might be… well… all the best minds used to think the world was flat. — But, what if it isn’t? — It might be round — and bread mold might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what they might be, why, we’d all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes.

Seth:

TMBG – Flood

Preconceptions: While I haven’t heard this album since my Walkman broke, Flood was the soundtrack to a big year of drinking, heartbreak, geekery, and long hours at terrible jobs. I am curious to see how this has aged…

After: I am surprised how many of these songs I can still sing along too. I wonder if Jimmy can get them for karaoke…

High & Dry: Lucky Ball & Chain is a perfect Country/Zydeco heartbreak song with the singer admitting the flaws of his romanticized relationship memories. I suspect “5 feet tall and sick of me” describes a lot of our exes.
We’ve all run into someone’s Racist Friend at a social gathering, perhaps at an East Haven taco party. Both The Specials and TMBG encourage your hardline no-tolerance policy.
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair points out how we can accept the most egregious workplace indignities as long as our physical comfort isn’t affected.

Soaked: While the entire album has a strong “weird for weird’s sake” ethic, Hearing Aid is the worst offender. Hot Cha is a close second.

Overall: Flood may have a few late 89 synth bits but the many layers of real and varied instruments thankfully overwhelm the intentional cheesiness. The album is completely unconcerned with having a coherent or marketable musical style, yet the disparate songs flow nicely in order. This may be the last album I bought that had a distint “Sides A & B” construction as the CD was gearing up to destroy vinyl & cassettes. Lyrically weird, TMBG still manages to be intelligent and thought provoking. My high marks for Flood will expose my hypocrisy after the many FTAs I’ve awarded less Weird-4-Weird’s-Sake albums in the RC. I’ll accept that. I never made out with purple-haired teenaged girls to Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

Rating: 4.8
Pre-listen guess: 4.5
Season to Date: -0.52

admin (196 Posts)

Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.


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