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They Might Be Giants -- The Spine (07/13/04)

Old 06-08-04, 03:41 PM
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They Might Be Giants -- The Spine (07/13/04)

Ooooh, oooh, oooooh, can I start a fanboy thread?!?!

From http://www.tmbg.com/

New Album "The Spine" out July 13

They Might Be Giants bring on the rock in a way they have NEVER brought in before with the release of their tenth full-length album, The Spine (Idlewild/Rounder/Universal). This is the Giants' first rock and roll record since the theatrical release of the documentary "Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns," and the enormous success of their recent children's album, NO!. The singular sound of Linnell & Flansburgh's work is back. The solid song-craft, lyrical curiosity, and hyper-inventive style expected from the Johns are elevated to new heights with edgy, tripped-out impulses. The Spine is testament to how much the band continues to evolve and flourish.

Producer/engineer Pat Dillett, who first worked with They Might Be Giants fourteen years ago on the now-platinum Flood, lent a hand co-producing The Spine. Dillett has been been behind the board for an extraordinary array of acts ranging from David Byrne to the Notorious B.I.G.

America's most original alternative rockers are living proof of their "do-it-yourself" ethos. John Linnell & John Flansburgh always bring their vivid brainstorming to life with an incredible range of songs: from the power pop "Experimental Film" and "Prevenge", to the downright messed-up "Bastard Wants to Hit Me", "Spine", and "Spines". Then there is the very grown-up, very real melancholy of "Memo to Human Resources" and "I Can't Hide".

TMBG's "The Spine on the Highway" goes nationwide for a 30-city tour beginning this July! We have ESP and know we'll be playing in....
Columbia, MO, St. Louis, MO, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, New Orleans, LA, Memphis, TN, Madison, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Kansas City, MO, Washington, DC, NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Albany, the Jersey Shore....
but can't say where yet...
There are more (and more specific) tour dates available on their website at http://www.theymightbegiants.com/ (much gentler on non-broadband users, along with some other cool news).

Based on the Indestructible Object EP, I don't think I'm going to be disappointed by the new album. Really looking forward to this.
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Old 06-09-04, 10:36 AM
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I'm going to buy my tix for the HOuston show anytime now. Will be my fourth show.
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Old 06-09-04, 10:59 AM
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I will probably pick this one up. Indestructible Object really made me like them again. In the last several of years I haven't really liked anything new that they put out. But Indestructible Object was great! Will pick this up, hopefully it is as good.
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Old 07-02-04, 12:44 AM
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I was about to post this, but it looks like FanBoy beat me to it.
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Old 07-02-04, 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by fnordboy
I will probably pick this one up. Indestructible Object really made me like them again. In the last several of years I haven't really liked anything new that they put out.
Yep, Indestructible Object is great and Spine is my next "must have" album. I can hardly wait.

I liked everything TMBG did from their first album to John Henry. However, Factory Showroom and Mink Car just left me cold. But recently after seeing the Gigantic documentry I wound up giving those two CDs another chance- still not their best work IMO, but did realize there's a few jems to be found there: "Metal Detector", "XTC vs. Adam Ant" from FS; "Hopeless Bleak Despair", "Drink!" from MC.

And I really like the children's album "NO!". I find it to be cute, but I can see how some might think it's too cute. However, 'Lazyhead and Sleepybones' is worth the price of that disc alone. Simply one of the best and most beautiful songs they've ever recorded.
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Old 07-02-04, 03:35 PM
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I played 30 second snippets of "NO!" for Mrs. Pusser and she found them highly annoying. So I bought the cd and she now likes it. The kids LOVE it and they now listen to other TMBG discs.
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Old 07-02-04, 03:50 PM
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I loved No!, but thought Mink Car was their weakest effort since Apollo 18. Hopefully this one will be great. My favorites are John Henry and Factory Showroom.
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Old 07-04-04, 05:14 PM
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its been way too long since i've seen these guys live. They don't come to the west coast nearly enough.
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Old 07-06-04, 12:24 PM
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Just pre-ordered the album and their accompanying EP from their store: http://store.yahoo.com/tmbg-catalog/

The EP is a 7-song EP they're selling on their website for $3 when you pre-order The Spine. They're mailing on Tuesday, so you won't get it 'til the weekend, I guess, but that's a small price to pay for the warm fuzzy feeling that much more of your $14 will be going to the Johns rather than those evil, evil people at Rounder. (Oh, wait, they're not evil. )

For what it's worth, Factory Showroom wasn't all that exciting for me, but Mink Car was pretty good, and No! is consistently entertaining. Agreed that "Lazyhead and Sleepybones" is an awesome, awesome song.
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Old 07-06-04, 01:15 PM
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I would like to do that as well, but it is $22 bucks shipped. Screw that. I'll just wait and pick a used copy of the EP or download it.
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Old 07-06-04, 01:39 PM
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I was all ready to order myself but the $5 ship is kinda rank. Now I'm on the fence and it's kinda poking me in a not so nice way.
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Old 07-06-04, 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by cdollaz
I would like to do that as well, but it is $22 bucks shipped. Screw that. I'll just wait and pick a used copy of the EP or download it.
Yeah, I wasn't too pleased about the $22, but frankly, I would've had to pay $15 or $16 just to pick up the CD alone. (That's how I rationalized it, anyway. )

If you go to their download site, http://www.theymightbegiants.com, you can download the new CD and the new EP for $9.99 combined. I'm old school and still prefer my tiny CD art, but that might work for you.
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Old 07-13-04, 01:59 AM
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I decided to see how much shipping would go up if I ordered the other discs I don't have. It only went up $1 for the next four discs so that wasn't so bad.



The Spine A-Spine 1 17.00 CD ONLY = The_Spine+New_EP(+$3.00)
They Got Lost a95 1 13.00 BUNDLES = CD
Indestructible Object a-indestructible 1 7.00
Working Undercover for ep-working 1 6.00
the Man EP
TMBG HolidayLand a19 1 10.00
Subtotal 53.00
Shipping 6.00
Tax 0.00
Total 59.00
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Old 07-13-04, 11:36 AM
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Picked it up this morning and I think will this will probably end up being my least favorite TMBG album, which is disappointing coming off of No!, which I think is one of their best.

Nothing really catchy or memorable on The Spine. Most of it seems to be the mid-tempo stuff, which is their weakest stuff in my opinion. It just seems to lack many of the elements that I think make them a great band.

Best songs are Thunderbird, Museum Of Idiots, and Damn Good Times.
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Old 07-28-04, 12:37 PM
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Now at www.theymightbegiants.com, you can download all of the shows on the tour. For a price of $9.99 each.
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Old 07-28-04, 02:21 PM
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I agree with your assessment. I'm hesitant to call it my least favorite just because I don't really dislike it. It just fails to evoke any reaction in me whatsoever. There are no songs that instantly hook me, songs that I feel obligated to play incessantly. I'm the type of person that when I buy a new album, I'll listen to it several times in a row. It won't leave my CD player for days. After I bought "The Spine", I put it back in my CD rack, ignored it for a while, gave it a second chance, and haven't touched it since. I'm apparently in the minority and didn't care for the "Indestructible Object" EP either.
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Old 07-28-04, 03:14 PM
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I had an initial disappointment with The Spine. It mostly came from feeling that it was too short and then on top of that two songs were pulled exactly from the Indestructible Object EP. Actually, I did know those two songs were going to be on there before I got it, but I was hoping they'd be different versions than the EP (like they did with 'Bed, Bed, Bed' or 'Spy').

However, after repeated listens several songs are catching my ear. 'Thunderbird' has to be my favorite here, followed by 'Stalk of Wheat' and 'I Can't Hind From My Mind'. Many other tracks are growing on me as well and there's nothing so bad I have to skip past that track (unlike the Mink Car album). The Spine isn't going to take the top spot in my collection, but it's still pretty darn good, and a solid release.

Still, adding "Am I Awake" and "I'm All You Can Think About" from their two most current EPs (and combining the remaining tracks of those 2 EPs to one) would've greatly improved overall impressions of this album, IMO. I hate to have those two tracks lost on EPs and not reach a wider audience.
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Old 07-28-04, 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by Tscott
I had an initial disappointment with The Spine. It mostly came from feeling that it was too short and then on top of that two songs were pulled exactly from the Indestructible Object EP. Actually, I did know those two songs were going to be on there before I got it, but I was hoping they'd be different versions than the EP (like they did with 'Bed, Bed, Bed' or 'Spy').

However, after repeated listens several songs are catching my ear. 'Thunderbird' has to be my favorite here, followed by 'Stalk of Wheat' and 'I Can't Hind From My Mind'. Many other tracks are growing on me as well and there's nothing so bad I have to skip past that track (unlike the Mink Car album). The Spine isn't going to take the top spot in my collection, but it's still pretty darn good, and a solid release.

Still, adding "Am I Awake" and "I'm All You Can Think About" from their two most current EPs (and combining the remaining tracks of those 2 EPs to one) would've greatly improved overall impressions of this album, IMO. I hate to have those two tracks lost on EPs and not reach a wider audience.
The 2 songs off of Indestructible Object (Au Contraire and Memo To Human Resources), are the 2 songs from The Spine that I simply do not like in any way. I skip them every time. Others are starting to grown on me a little more.

It's Kickin' In sounds very much like early Elvis Costello stuff.
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Old 07-28-04, 03:56 PM
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I love that late '70s keyboard sound of "It's Kickin' In". That was the first song that really hit me on "The Spine", but subsequent spins didn't impress me quite as much. It has elements I like, but there's something about it that doesn't really seem like a full, fleshed-out song.

I'm pretty sure everyone adores "Au Contraire" except you and me. I think it's pretty much unlistenable, but even negative reviews of the album cite it as one of the best tracks.
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Old 07-30-04, 04:54 PM
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Apparently I was wrong when I said the versions of the two songs were exactly the same. Au Contraire has a flute solo on IO, but a guitar solo on The Spine. I wouldn't have ever noticed except for this news item from this site:

July 16, 2004
Au Contraire on The Spine apparently has an error on it where the flute solo from IO comes in right at the end of the new guitar solo. Whats not clear is if every disc is affected. Some promo copies have only the guitar solo and none of the flute. So please post a comment here if your copy has this error or not. I want to try and get the disc recalled if all discs have this error. If it's only some pressings we can get Rounder to replace those who are affected.
I listened to my copy of The Spine (ordered from their website) and found it has the flute error- it's just a few notes that come in right as the last verse starts.

Edit: as far as I can tell, Memo... is the same on both discs and there's a little debate on if the flute on the Spine is an error, or if it is, if it's a sigificant error. Personally, I never would've noticed had I not read about it.

Last edited by Tscott; 07-30-04 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 07-30-04, 11:26 PM
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I generally like the album with the last tracks coming off the strongest. Experimental film should be the single if it isn't already.
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Old 07-30-04, 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by ChrisKnudsen
Experimental film should be the single if it isn't already.
They've already got a video for it in fact.
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