September 26, 2005

Everything Is Catching, Yes, Everything Is Catching on Fire

I am a fool. If a blog is going to have a They Might Be Giants song as its theme song, that song has to be Fingertips (popup in link). That song practically is a blog. (Thanks, however, to Dave Madden for his helpful suggestions--if I did temporalism "Weep Day" would be it. Actually, maybe "Weep Day" is about indexicality. Hmmm.)

Also, My Evil Twin--who my friends have seen hiding underneath my skin--I think fits in with TMBG's obsession with identity. In fact, I think we have material for a dissertation here. "A Spooky Man Named Me: Images of the Doppelganger in the music of They Might Be Giants." Probably been written already.

Posted by Matt Weiner at September 26, 2005 05:30 PM

Fingertips—just right. For no good reason I haven't been listening to TMBG as often as I used to, and now (grace à toi) I have this craving to play them all. All the albums! All of them! Except Factory Showroom.

As far as I know you do not wake each morning to Debbie Gibson tunez.

Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate at September 27, 2005 10:12 AM

Post that are just links = the parts of "Fingertips" that other people sing.

So, this post was actually inspired because I bought the Apollo 18 CD for the first time--I'd had tape, but then you can't shuffle the "Fingertips" around--and was listening to it kind of obsessively. And I've never really heard any of the later stuff (but have the first two on vinyl. Cred!) There seems to be some dissension--Dave Madden prefers Factory Showroom to John Henry. What say you?

Posted by: Matt Weiner at September 27, 2005 01:29 PM

I have to admit that aside from bits here and there I've heard at concerts, I'm ignorant of most everything past Factory Showroom. It's a very particular kind of all.

As to your question, it's John Henry hands down. The only song on FS I enjoy is "James K. Polk". (Excluding the bridge, but the climactic "sought no second term!" wins me right back.) JH on the other hand has some of my favorites. "No One Knows My Plan", in particular:

They're like the people sitting in the cave
In the allegory of the people in the cave by the Greek guy

That is top-notch. The material on JH gives me the impression of catchy, demented introspection. FS, on the other hand, sounds like a contractual obligation (though a competent one). The lyrical and musical imagery are more mundane, the performers don't seem to be having as much fun, and at times it's cute, in a bad way.

This is all just off the top of my head. I haven't listened to either in a while, and I haven't considered my preference with much seriousness until now. But there you go.

Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate at September 27, 2005 03:49 PM

I take back "demented"—make that "inventive" instead.

Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate at September 27, 2005 03:51 PM

See, I vaguely remember what I've heard as being inventive instead of demented. And that WILL NOT DO. I want my dementia!

Posted by: Matt Weiner at September 27, 2005 09:27 PM