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Troubles A Foot Posted - 02/22/2020 : 08:28:15
Hey everyone!

I have a podcast about They Might Be Giants called Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be Giants!

We interviewed drummer Brian Doherty (TMBG drummer 1993-1996), and in part 2, he discusses working with Frank Black and he even plays us a clip of a demo Frank sent him for The Man Who Was Too Loud.

As an obsessive Frank fan myself, I am pretty sure this demo hasn't surfaced anywhere. He also talks a little about playing on Frank's James Brown tribute album song Mother Popcorn!

The Frank discussion starts at 14 min 45 seconds!

Here's part 2:


Part 1 if you're interested:

10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Sam Posted - 03/02/2020 : 01:40:29
I would suggest that both Dean and Dave who admin this website have the means to contact FBF. if you DM them they could pass it on.
Troubles A Foot Posted - 02/27/2020 : 07:12:57
Originally posted by Sam

I think if you DM through the official Pixies twitter page one of the admin bods would probably pass it on.

You can't DM some people on Twitter unless they follow you, this is true for most official accounts like this one. There's no option to message them. Any other ideas?
Troubles A Foot Posted - 02/27/2020 : 07:11:32
Bedbug, somebody recently asked me this, so in the interest of saving myself time, I will cut and paste what I said to them:

I am always thrilled to recommend TMBG stuff to people.

Their second album Lincoln from 1988 is the first that comes to mind. It's just wall to wall brilliant and fun and incredible. The opening track Ana Ng is a massive fan favorite, and the album is filled with infectious, complex, mysterious songs such as Cowtown, Cage and Aquarium, Mr. Me, Snowball In Hell, They'll Need A Crane, etc, etc...it's just wall to wall best songs ever.

Their third album Flood is the TMBG album that Frank "got obsessed" with in 1990. That's one that has hooked many people, but it's not my favorite. It does however contain some of the best songs of their career and my podcast just finished a massive, massive retrospective on it, which may be fun to listen along with (same for the two albums before it too!)

John Henry is their big 1994 alt rock album...It's kind of their "and the Catholics" moment...They got a real rock band to back them up and did an album that was very "live" feeling and consistent. It's actually my favorite TMBG album but the LEAST representative of their sound, because it's a bit more straight and not as "weird" (i.e. funny singing voices, etc.) as their other stuff. But the songwriting and the warmth of the production and the rocking feel, it just moves me in ways the other albums don't quite.I think a Frank fan would gravitate to this album, and I also believe they were influenced by Frank Black when making it, just as Frank was influenced by Flood when making Frank BlackTeenager of the Year and then Cult of Ray (Mosh Don't Pass the Guy is a TMBG reference, and John Linnell from TMBG appears on Frank's self titled...Frank's music became so much like TMBG at this time that I just absolutely love this era of his work.)

Their 4th album Apollo 18 is incredibly fun and has so many brilliant songs, I can't even begin...I'd say the same thing about their very first album, They Might Be Giants, from 1986. Check out the songs I Palindrome I, Don't Let's Start, See The Constellation, Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head, She's An Angel, The Statue Got Me High, and if you want a real freakout, try Fingertips. John Linnell could write 20 catchy choruses in his damn sleep and Fingertips is the demonstration of that.

Once you're past 1996, it's more inconsistent (though brilliant songs emerge everywhere, some favorites: Thunderbird, Wearing A Raincoat, Damn Good Times, I'm Impressed, My Man, Spiralling Shape, Till My Head Falls Off, Doctor Worm, Climbing the Walls), but they have been on a hot streak recently. If you want to hear some very recent fantastic TMBG, their latest album I Like Fun was brilliant and a great reflection of the times. As in, it's their most bleak, lost, confused album they've made in forever. Their album before that called Glean is also really great, as is their album called Join Us. They don't, however, quite compare to those first 5 albums I mentioned up top. Those are just "classic" for a reason.

Then if you dive really deep, TMBG have countless b-sides, rare and unreleased songs that are some of their best songs in their career (Frank is the same way), so that's a whole other can of worms...like the songs Welcome To The Jungle, Mrs. Train, Sensurround, It's Not My Birthday, Nightgown of the Sullen Moon, etc, etc, etc (there's like hundreds of these.)

I also highly, HIGHLY recommend going along with their albums with my podcast, as I genuinely think it will make one appreciate the albums more, as many fan letters to us have attested.

The thing with TMBG is they are so hard to pin down, but the music sounds melodic and fun and sometimes very weird or silly, but the lyrics are artsy, poetic, existential, morbid, obtuse, dream-like, nightmare-like...There is something just out of reach with their lyrics (mainly in their earlier albums, actually) that keeps me coming back to them over and over. The lyrics are all surrealist art school layers of irony baffling stuff. My podcast does its best to untangle them.

There is also TMBG's John Flansburgh's cover of Frank Black's Oddball which I believe showcases the strengths of TMBG:


What I mean is, check out the guitar solo part. Frank is a shoot from the hip type but TMBG are elaborate constructionists of melody and structure. So they don't "roooock out" like Frank but they are melodic geniuses. So for the solo section of Oddball, you have this (in my opinion, of course) incredibly worked out melodic solo that has all these sections and changes and works so well...

I plan to blab about this like crazy on my podcast one day
Bedbug Posted - 02/27/2020 : 05:10:17
I just listened to it Jordan, and thanks again so much for letting us know about this. Those demos were great, and very cool to hear Brian Doherty's stories about FB.

So, as someone who knows just about nothing when it comes to They Might Be Giants, where should I start listening?
Sam Posted - 02/27/2020 : 01:12:25
I think if you DM through the official Pixies twitter page one of the admin bods would probably pass it on.
Troubles A Foot Posted - 02/26/2020 : 08:10:13
Thanks everyone!

I've actually tried contacting Frank to be a guest on the show, since he appeared in the TMBG documentary and loves TMBG. I figure he may enjoy not talking about the Pixies and answering the same old questions for once. No idea how to really contact him though. I just emailed some form on the Warner management's website but I figured it went into a black hole.
Sam Posted - 02/26/2020 : 06:17:23
that was a great pod cast Jordan, thank you.

nice demo of TMWWTL, and nice stories about FB.

Great times, very exciting records from that period.
Cult_Of_Frank Posted - 02/26/2020 : 04:35:05
Quite cool demo and I had never heard the James Brown cover! Nicely done, Jordan a Foot!

"If we hit this bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."
Troubles A Foot Posted - 02/25/2020 : 14:28:25
Thanks so much, Bedbug (you can call me Jordan, BTW. Trouble's Afoot is my father's name)

I was amazed to hear the Frank demo...was hoping others around here would be excited about it!
Bedbug Posted - 02/24/2020 : 11:01:49
Very cool Troubles a Foot, I look forward to listening during my commute, thanks for sharing.

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