Get ur geek on, fuckers! (Use of â€˜fuckers!â€™ at the end of brief opening sentence copyright of Jeff Giles Inc. All rights reserved.)
First off, if youâ€™re a fan of They Might Be Giants but have not yet bought their most recent childrenâ€™s album Here Come the 123s, what the hell ya waitinâ€™ fer? Itâ€™s awesome. Seriously, even if you donâ€™t have kids, get it for the two â€œSevenâ€ songs alone.
History points to Flood, They Might Be Giantsâ€™ 1990 major label debut, as their halcyon moment, and while thatâ€™s true, it doesnâ€™t tell the whole story. The fact is that many fans were rather upset with the Johns for the slick production they employed on the album, not to mention a sillier lyrical approach. (The band corrected this â€œmistakeâ€ on their next album, 1992â€™s Apollo 18, and to no oneâ€™s surprise, it sold a fraction of the copies that Flood sold.) For many, however, this was their introduction to the band, and the newcomers didnâ€™t mind the new style. Indeed, youâ€™d be hard pressed to find a better one-two punch than â€œBirdhouse in Your Soulâ€ and their cover of the Four Lads tune â€œIstanbul (Not Constantinople).â€ (One-two-three punch if you count â€œParticle Man.â€) â€œBirdhouseâ€ was the MTV favorite, but the band tried something different with the next single. What would be a funny thing to do with a fiddle-heavy cover of a song from the â€˜50s?
The answer: let a couple hip-hop DJs remix it.
Oh, those silly remixers and their dialogue sampling. It’s all Prince Paulâ€™s fault, you know. Once De La Soulâ€™s 3 Feet High and Rising became a hit, everyone started trying to out-skit their peers. Not even Fine Young Cannibals records were exempt from Prince Paulâ€™s silliness. (Check out his mix of â€œGood Thing,â€ if you can find it.) And speaking of De La Soul, the signature drum beat from â€œMe, Myself and Iâ€ â€“ which surely has roots in a soul song from the â€˜70s that Iâ€™m not aware of â€“ makes frequent appearances here, as does Janet Jacksonâ€™s â€œeditâ€ from Shep Pettiboneâ€™s mixes of â€œMiss You Much.â€ And, is thatâ€¦Kraftwerk? Yep, â€œThe Robotsâ€ is here, too. Does it make sense? Not really, but thatâ€™s rather fitting in the TMBG universe, isnâ€™t it? Besides, as odd as this mix is, itâ€™s as good as They Might Be Giants remixes got, as anyone who heard those spacey mixes of â€œThe Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)â€ can attest.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, we present the Tiny Toons video for â€œIstanbul,â€ which is about as genius a collaboration as youâ€™re likely to find. Man, how did we not see these childrenâ€™s albums coming from a mile away?
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