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  #1  
Old 01-25-2020, 01:51 AM
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I hate, hate, hate They Might Be Giants


I'm hanging out with my brother, he has told me about a dream he had that had a song lyric from that group about Istanbul, which in his dream morphed into this song.

I returned as a bag of groceries
Taken off the shelf before the expiration date


Later in the night he plays a that song

Sung in this annoying nasal voice (and I like Bob Dylan).

But then, there are these final lines-

Now I'm dead and I haven't done what I wanted to do
Or I'm still alive and I've done everything I wanted to do.


Might have to rethink my opinion of the band
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:45 AM
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I love their covers of Destiny's Child's "Bills Bills Bills" (https://youtu.be/ij6foFRNxx0) and "Tubthumping" (https://youtu.be/yf0Amcgxot8)
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:46 AM
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They seem like a pretty bland band unworthy of any strong emotions. Good or bad.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:14 AM
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Not to put too fine a point on it, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is a great song.

But other than that... :shrug:

Last edited by RTFirefly; 01-25-2020 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:44 AM
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You got the lyrics wrong.

Now it’s over, I’m dead and I haven’t done anything that I want,
Or I’m still alive and there’s nothing I want to do.

And for the record, they’re great.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:54 AM
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Yes, no, maybe...I don't know.
Can you repeat the question?
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:01 AM
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Although TMBG may have popularized Istanbul/Constantinople, They did NOT write the song, and it has been sung by MANY folks (including Bette Midler)
https://popcultureexperiment.com/201...onstantinople/

Brian
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:24 AM
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Not my favorite band, but “Ana Ng” is probably in my top 100 favorite songs of all-time. Birdhouse is probably in the top 200.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:56 AM
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They're definitely quirky. And quirky things, in general, tend to elicit strong emotions: Either people will love it, or not care for it at all, depending on how you feel about that particular sort of quirk.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:57 AM
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I have a copy of "Flood", and I enjoy listening to it every once in a while, but towards the end it all starts to sound the same. I've never been inclined to seek out any more.

"Birdhouse in your Soul" and their cover of "Istanbul (not Constantinople)" are great. However, "Minimum Wage" may be my favorite song on that album. Heee-yaw!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2020, 09:16 AM
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TMBG fall into the category of Groups I Thought Were Really Cool in The 1980s, But Who Now Get On My Last Nerve. Foremost in that group is Talking Heads. Also Timbuk 3 and The Beautiful South. What they all have in common is that, lyrically, they're all too clever for their own good. Elvis Costello, post-1986, same deal.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:25 AM
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But then, there are these final lines-

Now I'm dead and I haven't done what I wanted to do
Or I'm still alive and I've done everything I wanted to do.


Might have to rethink my opinion of the band
Why does that upset you so?

Is it that you're older than you've ever been? And now you're even older? And now you're even older?

Maybe?

PS. Now you're older still!

Music video for TMBG - Older
  #13  
Old 01-25-2020, 09:37 AM
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They're definitely quirky. And quirky things, in general, tend to elicit strong emotions: Either people will love it, or not care for it at all, depending on how you feel about that particular sort of quirk.
I love TMBG, but love, hate, and anything in between are all totally legitimate responses to the band.

Flood, the most successful of their many albums, recently turned 30, prompting appreciations like The AV Club's They Might Be Giants defied the major-label curse with Flood and Spin's They Might Be Giants’ Flood Turns 30: Musicians Extol the Landmark Album.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:08 AM
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I opened this thread wondering why a movie that has fallen into obscurity would inspire such hatred.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067848/
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:14 PM
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Put me in the "Appreciate Little Birdhouse, no use for them otherwise" camp with all the other people.
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:22 PM
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I hate, hate, hate They Might Be Giants
You're not the boss of me now.
  #17  
Old 01-25-2020, 02:40 PM
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Don't Let's Start, y'all.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:48 PM
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:10 PM
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I liked them back in 1990 when Flood came out. I have not heard an album from them in 25+ years.

Oh, I saw them in concert once as well. They were fine, nothing special. I think they were, by 2000, very tired of the songs on Flood. They did what I would call a "Flood medley" of songs spliced together and got it out of the way. Very going-through-the-motions feel.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:39 PM
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I love Istanbul.
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  #21  
Old 01-25-2020, 03:50 PM
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aaaa they were just the replacements.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:41 PM
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I'm a big fan of "Birdhouse in Your Soul." I've got both CDs from the "Dial-a-Song" album ripped to my various audio devices; I really only listen to the songs (with a few exceptions) when they pop up during shuffle.

The one exception to this is "Meet James Ensor," which features a drum section that sounds exactly like a dying power steering pump in a first generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. This one gets skipped, and I think I removed it from my iPod.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:45 PM
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TMBG fall into the category of Groups I Thought Were Really Cool in The 1980s, But Who Now Get On My Last Nerve. Foremost in that group is Talking Heads. Also Timbuk 3 and The Beautiful South. What they all have in common is that, lyrically, they're all too clever for their own good. Elvis Costello, post-1986, same deal.
(Bolding mine) that's also roughly when bassist Bruce Thomas left the band, meaning that they were no longer The Attractions, meaning that the most killer rhythm section in the history of power pop ceased to exist. Without the melodic bass grooves to anchor the songs, Costello's most self indulgent songwriting tendencies were let off the leash.

Just my opinion, anyway.

So how do you feel about XTC?
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:51 PM
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Why does that upset you so?

Is it that you're older than you've ever been? And now you're even older? And now you're even older?

Maybe?

PS. Now you're older still!

Music video for TMBG - Older
In the OP I was saying that I did not like what I was hearing at the beginning of the song but changed my mind. I was literally in the middle of the song when I started posting.

Those last lines are great but kind of depressing, no? You either dead with regrets, or alive and bored.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:07 PM
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So how do you feel about XTC?
Thanks for reminding me. I haven't heard them in years, but expect they would similarly grate on my gizzard.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:15 PM
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I have mixed feelings. Their early stuff was a soundtrack to my adolescence, so it slots in pretty well to my idea of what music should sound like. Their later stuff doesn't do a whole lot for me. But I've seen them live several times, and they're always putting on an interesting show.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:00 PM
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:27 AM
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It may take an ocean of whiskey and wine to wash all the let down out of your mind.
  #29  
Old 01-26-2020, 11:32 AM
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So how do you feel about XTC?
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Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
Thanks for reminding me. I haven't heard them in years, but expect they would similarly grate on my gizzard.
  #30  
Old 01-26-2020, 11:39 AM
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I neither love them nor hate them. They remind me very much of freshman year college, which is a nice thing, and I remember them being a band I wanted to explore more, but I never got around to actually buying an album of theirs. In the intervening years, I have heard much more of their work, and I do like "Ana Ng," but I find I slot them into kind of a "novelty music" space in my brain. I can take one or two of their songs at a time, but then I really need to hear something else. Cake (the band) has a similar effect on me, but not quite as grating after a couple of songs. I could probably last through three Cake songs in a row before needing something else.
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:11 PM
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I like em well enough but yeah, two or three songs at a time is plenty. And that separated by several months.

I never fail to get a kick out of “The Mesopotamians.” But “The Communists Have the Music” is a mighty tough earworm to shake. And both have great videos attached.

I appreciate the subversive kids’ songs, too, especially “Science is Real.” “I like those stories, about angels, unicorns, and elves...but when I’m seeking knowledge...the facts are with Science.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty33v7UYYbw
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:33 PM
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In the OP I was saying that I did not like what I was hearing at the beginning of the song but changed my mind. I was literally in the middle of the song when I started posting.
That your post was some sort of stream of consciousness and meant to be interpreted as such might not have come across as clearly as you think. I took the title at face value.

Quote:
Those last lines are great but kind of depressing, no? You either dead with regrets, or alive and bored.
I agree that that part is kind of depressing. They don't apply to me, most of the time, but it's a great description of a kind of feeling.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:24 PM
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I had friends that liked them much more than I. They’re more miss than hit. There are half a dozen earlier songs I like, and their rendition of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is better than most.

So long since I’ve listened to most of their songs that They don’t elicit strong feelings in me. Am surprised they do in the OP.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:43 PM
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When TMBG is great, they're spectacular, and when they're not, they're meh.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:08 AM
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Birdhouse isn't even their best song.

Your Racist Friend buys a lot of leeway with me.
  #36  
Old 01-27-2020, 01:39 AM
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My favorite, among the ones I know is "Particle Man."
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:16 AM
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They were my wife's favorite band growing up.

Then we saw them live. Hands down worse concert we've been to in our lives.

I like Barenaked Ladies. Pretty much the same quirky vibe as TMBG but much cooler. I love them live too.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:45 AM
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I love Istanbul.
Me too. But I wonder why Constantinople got The Works? I guess it's really none of my business.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:05 AM
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Both Lincoln and Flood were treasured additions to my musical collection as a teenager. In particular, I thought the first side of Lincoln was pretty spectacular. I didn't bother with their next album, but thanks to the fact that I worked at my college newspaper, where free review copies of albums were there for the taking, I was back on the train with John Henry. I remember what a big deal it was for the two Johns to evolve from a quirky little duo into a full band. I actually listen to more songs more often from this album than any of their other releases. But I remember not being particularly impressed by the leadoff single of their next album, and I gave up for good.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:14 AM
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When I saw the title of the thread. I thought. You meant the George C.Scott film.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:32 AM
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I didn't bother with their next album, but thanks to the fact that I worked at my college newspaper, where free review copies of albums were there for the taking, I was back on the train with John Henry. I remember what a big deal it was for the two Johns to evolve from a quirky little duo into a full band. I actually listen to more songs more often from this album than any of their other releases.
Huh. Apollo 18 is probably my favorite TMBG album, but John Henry didn't grab me near as much.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:29 AM
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[…] What they all have in common is that, lyrically, they're all too clever for their own good.
I’d share warmth with that observation, but would only subscribe to it within certain discussions. The cleverness can get tiring, but it’s appreciated.

I’ve a bit of intrigue with TMBG, but overall it’s more of a, “meh”. Though, they are a significant artist on the musical landscape.

Also… I notice no love shown in this thread for "Experimental Film"? The narrator's self-regard and pretentiousness are wonderfully balanced with an air of impotence (“I don’t know what makes your face implode, but that's the way the movie ends”). It's a fun composition with a hooky, sticky chorus.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:37 AM
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Huh. Apollo 18 is probably my favorite TMBG album, but John Henry didn't grab me near as much.
I really liked Apollo 18 which was one of the first albums to recognize the potential of the shuffle feature on the CD players of the day.
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  #44  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:00 AM
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I like Barenaked Ladies. Pretty much the same quirky vibe as TMBG but much cooler.
...interesting...
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:21 AM
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...interesting...
If you want someone else in that vibe, there's also Canada's Moxy Früvous.
  #46  
Old 01-27-2020, 12:01 PM
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I don't really like their recorded music that much, I mean it's amusing but it's not something I wand to sit down and listen to. But live they were really good, at least 20 years ago.
  #47  
Old 01-29-2020, 01:54 PM
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I'm not a big fan and I've never plunged into their deep cuts, but I like almost everything I've heard from them...for a maximum of 3-4 songs in in one sitting. After that, they get kind of annoying to me.
I will give them props for the stuff they let Animanics use back in the day. Also, their their kids stuff.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:00 PM
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I love, love, love them so I think we cancel each out?
  #49  
Old 01-29-2020, 03:28 PM
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There are half a dozen earlier songs I like, and their rendition of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is better than most.
A different song, also called Constantinople. I refer it to the one covered by TMBG.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:24 PM
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Not to put too fine a point on it, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is a great song.
Extra good with a Doc Severinsen trumpet solo
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