They Might Be Giants (The Pink Album), 1986
Back to Skull (EP), 1994
Podcast 5A, 2006
(This is an ongoing countdown that will be updated through April. Click here for the full list.)
OK, I’m definitely cheating a bit on this one, but I am firm in my conviction that these three songs are best taken as a single, duodecennially-revisited, work. The three are dramatically different in style and approach, but together form a sort of tryptic, representing the band’s career thus far.
“(She Was A) Hotel Detective,” a cut from the band’s first record, is 100 percent indie-rock, with an animated video to match. “She Was a Hotel Detective” (featured at the top of this entry–note the absence of parentheses in the title) is a moody disco-influenced track that honors mid-90s nostalgia. “(She Was A) Hotel Detective in the Future” is a self-referential work of meta electronica that showcases the band’s sound in the 21st Century. In its original release, on the band’s mid-2000’s podcast, came with an “audio commentary” that parodies what one might find on a Hollywood DVD or Blu-Ray. The commentary doesn’t line up in any way with the song, but it’s worth it to hear John Linnell claim to be foley artist Anne Hathaway.