They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (1990)
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- BIRDHOUSE IN YOUR SOUL - THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS ( Complete Original Video )
- Aug 5 2010
I recently went to a TMBG concert (my 2nd, my partner's... 20th) that had been originally planned to occur in 2020. It was pushed back for the pandemic, and then pushed back a second time when one of the front-men, John Flansburgh, was in a terrible car accident in June of this year. He thankfully made a strong recovery, and put on a great show!
If you have the opportunity, and are even a little familiar with their work, I absolutely recommend checking them out live. They're still doing pretty good for band that's 30+ years old... the energy is great, and a lot of their older stuff - the stuff they made as a two-man group with a drum machine - gets a huge facelift live with the addition of horns and, of course, a live real drummer. (Istanbul in particular is awesome live, with some solos thrown in - depending on who is available - but often turns into a song where their trumpeter gets to show off some really impressive stuff.)
During the show I went to, they also played a song of theirs entirely backwards during the first set and then played the reversed video back later during the second set, which was a lot of fun.
I've only seen them live once, but they were electric. And they opened with the one song I had to hear live ("Cowtown"). They're incredible musicians and born performers. Glad Flans is still at it even after his accident!
I think they stretched "Istanbul" into eight minutes when I saw them, and the solos were dazzling. I also remember "Why Does The Sun Shine?" bringing the house down.
I feel like TMBG is a band that I should simply adore but I never really had anyone to recommend them to me.
The next time I go to Amoeba Music I'll probably pick up some of their albums.
I always kind of wrote them off as a novelty band, but my partner is super into them and I was surprised to find how absolutely massive their body of work is given the thing I was most familiar with was that one Homestar Runner video. Including side projects, and stuff they did for TV and movies, there's really a lot.
A lot of it is silly ("Dr. Worm," a track about a worm that isn't a real doctor but is a real worm) or jokey ("Marty Beller Mask", a track about how their drummer is secretly Whitney Houston), but some of their stuff is also pretty interesting beyond being just silly ("Last Wave" is pretty explicitly about death).
From what I've seen online the favourite albums tend seem to be Lincoln (1988) and Flood (1990), but personally right now I've got I Like Fun (2018) on.
rouge_cricket has got you covered with some solid recommendations. I'll second Lincoln and Flood, particularly the former--it's one of my very favorite albums, one of the most perfect I can think of. I am also very fond of their self-titled debut, and Apollo 18 is pretty damn good too. I think they've lost a bit of their touch with regards to making unbelievable albums, but even their less-impressive efforts have songs on them that are impeccably crafted. One of my favorite latter-day TMBG tunes is "Can't Keep Johnny Down".
Y'all made me decide I wanted it now, so I went to Amoeba's website to have them ship me a copy of Flood (I wanted to own a copy of Birdhouse in particular) and I was surprised they didn't have it. As much as I generally prefer physical media, I just bought it on iTunes instead.
Particle Man and Istanbul are the first things that come to mind when anyone mentions TMBG.
Oh this takes me back! I love the lyric say I'm the only bee in your bonnet