Thursday, June 29, 2006

killing jason off and countless screaming argonauts

They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (live on the Tonight Show 1990, with Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra, 1990)

What 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.

This 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??

About 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

How 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

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