They Might Be Giants at Terminal 5, NYC

TMBG_Terminal5_2013Caught the show on Saturday night with my friend Alex Dingley. I’ve been seeing TMBG live for years, and it’s still a blast every time. TIME FOR SOME BULLET POINTS.

  • They played the entire Pink Album, which turned 27 years old today (November 4). That’s right, TMBG have been recording original music onto vinyl, tape, answering machines, wax cylinders, and binary code since 1986. Crazy.
  • It was 1991 and I was 12 years old when I learned you’re supposed to jump up and down through all of Birdhouse in Your Soul. This was at CTY nerd camp, where Birdhouse, Istanbul, and Particle Man were on the regular playlist at weekend dances. Twenty-four years (and eighty more pounds) later, my knees don’t want me doing that any more.
  • The extended Toddler Highway (as performed by the Avatars of They, and described by Flans as their most “Take the Skinheads Bowling” song) was a highlight of the night, as was the pretty excellent live Thirty-Two Footsteps. Nothing, however, topped Flans doing his very best Johnny Cash impression for Boat of Car. I’ve been to dozens of TMBG shows, and this was the first time I’ve seen them do that song live.
  • The older I get, the more I love Don’t Let’s Start.
  • Ditto Puppet Head.
  • I am mentally composing a cartoon about the kinds of fans one encounters at a TMBG show. It’s a different kind of crowd–if you’re a drinker, you’ll never have an easier time getting to the bar–and you’ll never see as orderly a queue at a rock show.


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