History Linnell and Flansburgh first met as teenagers growing up in Lincoln, Massachusetts. They began writing songs together while attending Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School but did not form a band at that time.
History Linnell and Flansburgh first met as teenagers growing up in Lincoln, Massachusetts. They began writing songs together while attending Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School but did not form a band at that time. The two attended separate colleges after high school and Linnell joined The Mundanes , a new wave group from Rhode Island. The two reunited in after moving to Brooklyn to the same apartment building on the same day to continue their career.
Scott and Joanne Woodward , which is in turn taken from a Don Quixote passage about how Quixote mistook windmills for evil giants , which itself was taken from Dante's Inferno Canto According to Dave Wilson, in his book Rock Formations, the name They Might Be Giants had been used and subsequently discarded by a friend of the band who had a ventriloquism act.
A common misconception is that the name of the band is a reference to themselves and an allusion to future success. In an interview, John Flansburgh said that the words "they might be giants" are just a very outward-looking forward thing which they liked. He clarified this in the documentary movie Gigantic A Tale of Two Johns by explaining that the name refers to the outside world of possibilities that they saw as a fledgling band.
In an earlier radio interview, John Linnell described the phrase as "something very paranoid sounding". Their atypical instrumentation, along with their songs which featured unusual subject matter and clever wordplay, soon attracted a strong local following.
Their performances also featured absurdly comical stage props such as oversized fezzes and large cardboard cutout heads of newspaper editor William Allen White. For the compilation album, see Dial-A-Song: At one point, Linnell broke his wrist in a biking accident , and Flansburgh's apartment was burgled , stopping them from performing for a time.
During this hiatus, they began recording their songs onto an answering machine , and then advertising the phone number in local newspapers such as The Village Voice , using the moniker "Dial-A-Song". The machine played one track at a time, ranging from demos and uncompleted work to mock advertisements the band had created. It was often difficult to access due to the popularity of the service and the dubious quality of the machines used.
The number , was a local Brooklyn number and was charged accordingly, but the band advertised it with the line: At one point in , the Dial-A-Song answering machine recorded a conversation between two people who had listened to Dial-A-Song, then questioned how they made money out of it.
John Linnell stated in an interview in early that Dial-A-Song had died of a technical crash, and that the Internet had taken over where the machine left off. On November 15, , the Dial-A-Song number was officially disconnected, though the number has at times been re-used in a similar style by other independent artists. They Might Be Giants and Lincoln —89 The duo released their self-titled debut album in , which became a college radio hit.
In , they released their second album, Lincoln , named after the duo's hometown. It featured the song " Ana Ng " which reached No. Problems playing this file? Flood earned them a platinum album, largely thanks to the success of " Birdhouse in Your Soul " which reached number three on the US Modern Rock chart, as well as " Istanbul Not Constantinople ", a cover of a song originally by The Four Lads.
John Flansburgh said, "Ng is a Vietnamese name. The song is about someone who's thinking about a person on the exact opposite side of the world. John looked at a globe and figured out that if Ana Ng is in Vietnam and the person is on the other side of the world, then it must be written by someone in Peru ". Animation for Tiny Toon Adventures: The title referred to the section of the record store where TMBG releases were often found as well as to the overall eclectic nature of the tracks.
Apollo 18 was also notable for being one of the first albums to take advantage of the CD player's shuffle feature. The song "Fingertips" actually comprised 21 separate tracks — short snippets that not only acted together to make the song but that when played in random order would be interspersed between the album's full-length songs. Due to mastering errors, the UK and Australian versions of Apollo 18 contained "Fingertips" as one track. John Henry was released in Influenced by their more conventional lineup, this album marked a departure from their previous releases with more of a guitar-heavy sound.
Their next album, Factory Showroom , was released in to little fanfare. The band had quickly moved away from the feel of John Henry, and Factory Showroom returns to the more diverse sounds of their earlier albums, despite the inclusion of two guitarists, the second being Eric Schermerhorn who provided several guitar solos. They left Elektra after the duo refused to do a publicity show, amongst other exposure-related disputes. Around this same time period, Danny Weinkauf bass and Dan Miller guitar were recruited for their recording and touring band.
Weinkauf and Miller have continued to work with the band to the present day. As early as , the band was sending news updates to their fans via Usenet newsgroups.
In , They Might Be Giants became the first major-label recording artist to release an entire album exclusively in mp3 format. The album, Long Tall Weekend. Also, in , the band contributed the song "Dr. Evil" to the motion picture Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The band wrote a McSweeney's theme song and forty-four songs for an album that was meant to be listened to with the journal, with each track corresponding to a particular story or piece of artwork.
Labeled They Might Be Giants vs. McSweeney's, the disk appears in issue No. Sample of the band's Grammy award winning theme song to Malcolm in the Middle.
Contributing the single "Boss of Me" as the theme song to the hit television series Malcolm in the Middle , as well as to the show's compilation CD , brought a new audience to the band.
Not only did the band contribute the theme, songs from all of the Giants' previous albums were used on the show: Another song to feature in the series was "Spiraling Shape". It was their first full album release of new studio material since and their first since parting ways with Elektra. The film was released on DVD in In , they released No!
Using the enhanced CD format, it included an interactive animation for most of the songs. They followed it up in with their first book, an illustrated children's book with an included EP, Bed, Bed, Bed. Podcasting, independent releases, and children's music — They Might Be Giants performing at Bar None, in Brooklyn, NY In , the band created one of the first artist-owned online music stores, at which customers could purchase and download MP3 copies of their music, both new releases and many previously released albums.
By creating their own store, the band could keep money that would otherwise go to record companies. With the redesign of the band's website in , the store was reincarnated. Also, in , the band released its first new "adult" rock work since the release of No! In they recorded a track for the th Strong Bad e-mail, where Linnell provided the voice of The Poopsmith.
The band contributed " Tippecanoe and Tyler Too ", a political campaign song from the presidential election of All proceeds went to progressive organizations such as Music for America and MoveOn.
They voice both a pair of camp counselors and members of a strange hooded male bonding cult. They Might Be Giants perform a free show at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, CA on March 25, Following the Spine on the Hiway Tour of , the band announced that they would take an extended hiatus from touring to focus on other projects, such as a musical produced by Flansburgh and written by his wife, Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser , titled People Are Wrong!
To promote the album, Flansburgh and Linnell along with drummer Marty Beller embarked on a short tour, performing for free at many Borders Bookstore locations. It is a concept album based on all of the "venue songs" from their tour.
Since December , They Might Be Giants have been making podcasts on a monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, basis. Each edition includes remixes of previous songs, rarities, covers, and new songs and skits recorded specifically for the podcast.
In the aired advertisement, Flansburgh sings "Fritalian" along with his wife, Robin Goldwasser. In a commercial, "Moving" is played. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse features two original songs performed by group, including the opening theme song, in which a variant of a Mickey Mouse Club chant "Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse! The song references Mickey's first spoken words in the short The Karnival Kid.
The band was recruited to provide original songs for the Henry Selick -directed movie of Neil Gaiman 's children's book Coraline but were dropped because their music was not "creepy" enough. Advance copies were made available to stations by mid-June It was released on September 1, , and nominated for a Grammy Award on December 1, On November 3, They Might Be Giants sent out a newsletter stating "The Avatars of They", a set of sock puppets the Johns manipulate for shows, will have an album in , suggesting another children's album.
However, a new adult album titled Join Us was released on July 19, Also in , the band reactivated its Dial-A-Song service under the banner of Dial-A-Song-Direct, promising to release one new song every week for the entire year, beginning with the track "Erase" on January 5.
Several of these songs were planned to be collected on a new studio rock album entitled Glean on April 21, The band released their newest children's album, Why? It was their fifth children's album and the first children's album to be released under their own label, Idlewild Recordings. In a video released on December 20, , John Flansburgh announced that the band would be taking a temporary break following their U. This was the first TMBG album to be sold as a " pay what you want " download, available ahead of the physical release on June
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