Friday, May 20, 2011

Funny Guys in Spaaaaaaaace!

They Might Be Giants
Apollo 18
1992, Elektra.  
Produced by They Might Be Giants

John Flansburgh - guitar, bass, trumpet
John Linnell - accordion, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet

  • Statue got me High/ Which Describes how You're Feeling/ I'm Def
  • Statue got me High/ She's Actual Size
  • I Palindrome I/ Cabbagetown/ Siftin'/ Larger Than Life
  • The Guitar EP

This is a musical duo famous for the mostly educational song about Turkish geography, Instanbul (not Constantinople). John Linnell and John Flansburgh play a variety of instruments including piano and accordion. This puts John Linnel in the larger category of cool accordion players which includes Danny Elfman, Weird Al, Garth Hudson, and the Turisas. They have a fun live show, and I'd be shocked to meet anyone who went to college between 1995 and 2005 that didn't see them play at least once.

This album is fantastic, definitely one of the best. Their sound is unique, a bouncy polka-esque romp through classic oldies tunes. The music is very good, the lyrics add a clever, comedic, silly, weirdness that is often a little morbid. And if this weren't enough, the seventeenth track, called Fingertips, is a collage of short song pieces strung together, one would assume they are the leftover parts of songs that never make it alone, much like the backend of the Beatles Abbey Road.

The Guitar is the highlight of the album, a homage to the classic Evening Birds song The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The Lion sleeps tonight, plays guitar, and also flies in spaaaaace.

This album is fun, quick, silly and sure to make you laugh, dance, and sing along. Also, the cover art is pretty cool. Space squid and their natural enemy, the giant flying sperm whales, clearly don't get as much exposure as they should.  

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