They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (live on the Tonight Show 1990, with Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra, 1990)
a performance! This is included as an extra on the They Might Be Giants
DVD "Gigantic". An amazing version of my favourite song of all time.
was a major crossover event for an underground band - kind of like the
1989 edition of Top Of The Pops (RIP) that featured The Stone Roses and
Happy Mondays! I remember watching that and thinking, "wow! they're OUR
bands and they're on the telly!" - it was a big deal and I think this
performance was for American music fans.
Mostly, though, look at
the sheer joy on the faces of the two Johns - they approach this
performance with such glee! Imagine (*fumbles around for contemporary
band name*) feckin' Razorlight appearing on a chat show with Glenn Ponder's band!?! It's not going to happen.
Check out the band in this clip - are they digging it? How great is the bass player? The guy on trombone??
the only other band that could pull this off is The Flaming Lips -
another band who are genuine and un-ironic about their LOVE of what
they're doing, who clearly relish grabbing the audience and engaging
with them. That's quite rare and it's a shame - Wayne Coyne's approach,
to paraphrase from a recent interview, seems to be, "Well, Thom Yorke's not going to do it, so I might as well." Not a bad statement of intent, I reckon.
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
can a song that tells the story of a child's nightlight from the
nightlight's point of view be so moving? The lyrics are nonesense, but
just thinking about them makes the hairs on my neck stand on end. It's
the relentless beat and the sympnoic chord structure - it's so
unutterably triumphant. Also, the phrase "Birdhouse In Your Soul" is
beautifully poetic - sounds like, I dunno, JOY??
I have been
known to play this song back to back for hours and never get tired of
it. FAMILY TAKE NOTE: this is the one for my funeral!
Visit - They Might Be Giants
Buy - Flood
Buy - Gigantic: A Tale Of Two Johns