Tuesday 22 Jul
 
 
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OKG Newsletter


Topic: they might be giants

Zipper parts

Can you ‘Trip’ like Dr. Pants does? For the Oklahoma City nerd-rock outfit, that means splitting its new release into four.


Music

Joshua Boydston
Dr. Pants
8 p.m. Saturday
The Exchange on Film Row, 700 1/2 W. Sheridan
exchange-revolution.com, 601-9200
$10
 
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Gardes — Make Out the Sound

Goofy, fun, low-key pop songs


Pop

Stephen Carradini
The MySpace home of Oklahoma City pop band The Gardes is /TheGardesMustBeCrazy.
 
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

VOTD: Doing ‘Otis’ better than Kanye

Watch Peter Bjorn and John successfully ‘Try a Little Tenderness.’

Big success across time periods here. Swedish act Peter Bjorn and John’s cover of “Try a Little Tenderness” somehow makes me think that Otis Redding’s being covered by an energetic, ’50s doo-wop singer like Frankie Valli, but one with solid guitar chops. And nice dance moves to boot.

I think Peter Morén summed it up best, however, before the performance: “There’s a lot of emotion, y’know?”



And it looks like The A.V. Club readers rightfully decided to reward the band for commendably performing such an intimidating song. They’re right up there near the top, just behind They Might Be Giants’ unforgettable, office-assisted version of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping.”

by Matt Carney 09.14.2011 2 years ago
at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

They Might Be protective of their work

It’s always refreshing to hear artists clear their throats and drop some real talk.

When I asked John Linnell of They Might Be Giants last week (he’s the handsome chap singing in the video below) what he thought about Titus Andronicus’s recent cover of his much-loved 1990 classic “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” for The A.V. Club’s Undercover Series, he stood up for the integrity of the song he wrote. A song that many consider to be an all-time great pop and rock song, not just one of his own best efforts. Here’s what he said:

According to the band's Twitter feed, this show has been postponed due to family emergency.

“It was fine. It was totally fine. I don’t want to seem like a cranky old man for saying it wasn’t … I think Titus Andronicus has this thing that they do that works really well with their material and it turns my brain inside out to hear that applied to our song because it’s such a different thing.



“I don’t know what anybody thought about it. To me, it’s a very weird experience. I salute them for taking that on, and I have nothing but respect for them. You can see I’m trying to be diplomatic. It sounds really egotistical, but I like our version better.”

It seems to me (and to Linnell, I imagine) that with their sloppier, more avant-garde interpretation of the song (not an insult- just an observation of the indie-punk band's style), Titus Andronicus snuffed “Birdhouse”’s warmer sentiments. The reason it’s beloved is because of the wish to hold on to silliness and childhood purity the song expresses, per the nite-light imagery (“keep the light on inside the birdhouse in your soul”) and the song's scene (it all takes place in a child’s bedroom). I understand and sympathize with Linnell’s wishes to maintain these very powerful, meaningful aspects of this, arguably his greatest work. Compare the two, and see for yourself.



The story's in this week's Gazette. They Might Be Giants play Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa Sunday night. Because it’s totally awesome, you should watch TMBG play Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” also for the A.V. Undercover series.

by Matt Carney 09.23.2011 2 years ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Ben Folds’ kids listen to Elliott Smith

Don’t count on kiddie tunes from the pop pianist anytime soon.

Talking to Ben Folds two weeks ago was a career highlight for me, as I’ve long been a fan of both his original work and the very funny, imaginative and expletive-laden cover songs he’s recorded. Going into the interview, I wanted to focus on his most recent songwriting and how he felt about the 10th anniversary of “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” but Brian Winkeler at Robot House Creative here in OKC suggested another question that prompted some insight from the world-famous songwriter.


Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room in my story to include Folds’ answer — slim to none — so a blog post will have to suffice. Here goes:

OKS: I spoke recently with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants, and he remarked on very young fans latching on to their music from their work on the children’s albums. I’m wondering if you’ve noticed younger fans getting into your music from the “Over the Hedge” soundtrack and if working with that potentially whetted your interest in writing songs for kids.

Folds: I don’t think songs have to be written for kids in order to be understood and consumed by kids. So, just a straight-up kids album, I’m not sure about that one. I don’t know how I feel about that. Because you see kids like 4, 5 years old listening to The Beatles. And it can be on the level that’s like, God, “Yellow Submarine.” I don’t know if you have to write it for kids.

To me, They Might Be Giants’ music is very brilliant. But their kid record, meh. I got that ’cause I had kids at the time and then I thought, “God, I don’t want them listening to this crap.” I played them Elliott Smith instead; they liked that. I think They Might Be Giants — Linnell especially — is just absolutely brilliant, so I don’t mean any disrespect. I just think that maybe that’s not the best purpose is to write to kids directly.



Well, there you have it. Folds plays the Civic Center with the OKC Philharmonic tomorrow night at 8 p.m., but you can also catch him tonight as he'll be giving a Mastersclass for ACM@UCO at Exhibit Hall D, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens at 7 p.m. It's free and open to the public.

by Matt Carney 11.02.2011 2 years ago
at 02:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Rio Sex Comedy

Unfortunately, it fails to deliver on that third word.


Comedy

Rod Lott
In its opening moments, "Rio Sex Comedy" is instantly endearing, with Fisher Stevens’ character practically passing out over the sight of nude natives, followed by They Might Be Giants' "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" driving the opening credits.
 
Thursday, November 3, 2011

They ‘Probably Get That a Lot’

They Might Be Giants invaded Cain’s last night; setlist and photos ensue.

A high school teacher of mine first played They Might Be Giants for me in class, and while I can’t recall which song he picked, I do remember purchasing “A User’s Guide to They Might Be Giants” sometime soon after that. While I didn’t quickly fall in love, I returned to that compilation album in college, mostly because I was fond of John Linnell’s sweet and endearing, if bizarre songwriting.

As such, the band’s punchy rock sound was initially pretty overwhelming for me, since I so often listened to its songs for the humor in the lyrics. It was sort of like catching a left hook with my face, unexpectedly.

Last night, Linnell and John Flansburgh — aided by drummer Marty Beller, bassist Danny Weinkauf and guitarist Dan Miller — gave Cain’s Ballroom a show it’s never seen before and will never see again, replete with plenty of their signature deadpan comedy, crowd-goofing, a Black Sabbath-soundtracked puppet show and, of course, a slew of its very best songs that touched on practically every era of TMBG’s 30-year career.

“Istanbul” got a gnarly, Flanbsburgh-led (very much the showman of the band) guitar solo early on that reminded people, “Oh, yeah, they rock.” I wouldn’t have imagined that ballroom full of nerds jumping up and down so hard that I couldn’t take a steady photograph, but it most definitely happened.

“Birdhouse in Your Soul” was aged and bloated compared to its tight, poppy original arrangement, but I suppose that’s what happens to songs when you play them day in and day out for 20 years. “Marty Beller Mask” was one of the songs off the band’s rarities disc “Album Raises New and Troubling Questions,” and while I would’ve loved to hear its excellent performance of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” “Marty Beller” is arguably much funnier.

Opener Jonathan Coulton deserves a gold medal in the art of deadpan. The guy’s songs are all informed by boring corporate culture, and he manages to imbue them with a goofy, lovable quality that’s purely endearing. He was the perfect opener.

I would like to see TMBG again, if only to hear “The Statue Got Me High,” which was sadly missing from last night’s festivities. Let’s just hope the group makes the trip all the way to Oklahoma City on its next go-round.

Setlist:
• “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”
• “Celebration”
• “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
• “The Mesopotamians”
• unknown song
• “Clap Your Hands”
• “Ana Ng”
• “People vs. Apes”
• “Birdhouse in Your Soul”
• conga line
• “Withered Hope”
• “Old Pine Box”
• “Marty Beller Mask”
• unknown song
• “We Live in a Dump”
• puppet show
• “Cloisonné”
• “Alphabet of Nations”
• “Fingertips”
• “Cowtown”
• “Particle Man”
• “When Will You Die”
• encore break
• “How Can I Sing Like a Girl?”
• “Doctor Worm”
• encore break
• “The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”
• “Dead”
by Matt Carney 02.02.2012 2 years ago
at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
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