Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Don’t Let’s Start” by They Might Be Giants
You can’t bottle creativity, but in the case of They Might Be Giants, you certainly can buy it! They were two wild and crazy nerd-boys when they burst onto the scene in the 1980s, we just didn’t realize how wild and crazy they really were.
The two Johns: Flansburgh and Linnell have always looked at the world through different glasses than the rest of us, and it has manifested itself in some of the most creative ways to hear music. Case in point was “Dial-A-Song,” where you could call a phone number and hear a new original song on an answering machine…every day! The call was to a Brooklyn exchange, so they came up with the tag line “Free when you call from work” to publicize the service. This went on for many years and was recently revived as a weekly series.
Dial-A-Song got them signed to their first record deal and today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman comes from their self-titled debut album released in 1986. Once they conquered your telephone, it was only a matter of time before TMBG discovered the internet where they were amongst the first groups to use the medium to publicize and distribute their music.
With songs like “Birdhouse In Your Soul,” “Dinner Bell,” “Why Does The Sun Shine (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas),” and “Older” in their repertoire, it was only a matter of time before they got into the children’s music game releasing the album No! in 2002. They’ve since released several more children’s records insuring that their original fan base would take their kids to see them some day. Indeed, I fulfilled my duty as a parent and took my own kids to see them in 2002 when they were eight and five years old respectively.
On the road, they perform adult and kids shows at every tour stop and they also have a penchant for debuting newly written songs about each town they’re performing in each night. The two Johns are still very active today on stage and off where they regularly record and release enjoyable and inventive podcasts. If you’ve never heard their records or seen their shows, you really should before you grow up, or even worse, they do!