Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be Giants
By Dave & Jordan
Every once in a while a band comes along that changes the course of human history. Your hosts and dear friends Jordan Cooper and Dave Fox take you on an in-depth musical journey over the career, albums, and songs of the band They Might Be Giants, and maybe have some hearty, completely authentic laughs along the way.
Take a trip with us back to slimy New York City in the late 1980s for a whirlwind tour through They Might Be Giants' most inspired, hilarious, and sometimes tragic on-stage moments! Dave and Jordan discuss 80's TMBG live show staples like The Stick, Countdown, Scream As If You're In Hell, and MORE SURPRISES! We also travel around the slimy world and experience the horror of a typical UK rock show audience, the classic "German indifference", and the risky folly of bringing (drunk?) audience members up on stage! Then we discuss our favorite 80's TMBG opening act, Risky Folly! Also featuring a high-spirited Letterbox and Unrelated Thing section to gently ease you out of this harrowing episode!
Jordan and Dave are back and staying the hell away from each other! So in this episode we present an interview conducted last year with Gary Ray, the founder and owner of Darinka, the venue that They Might Be Giants (and many other eclectic acts) called home from 1984-1987! Gary talks to us about founding the club, booking They Might Be Giants, the TMBG Wiggle Diskette release party, his appearance in Gigantic, opening up for TMBG in recent years, and more! We also talk about tons of bands and performance art acts from that magical time period, including Hal Sirowitz, Watchface, and the infamous duo of Steve Buscemi and Mark Boone Junior! You also get to hear rare clips of Gary's various rock bands and hear stories from his surprisingly unpredictable acting resume. So download, pop those headphones in, and sit and stare out the window at a world you no longer recognize!
'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams...Bowery Ballroom in New York City, the night of February 8, 2020! It was on the Bowery when Jordan, Dave, and incredibly special guests, nighttime ladies Kristen (Jordan's girlfriend) and Krissy (Dave's wife) all saw a They Might Be Giants Flood 30th anniversary concert and lived to tell the tale!
Join us after the show for a secret shadow government meeting in the empty back room of a diner just up the highway as us women and men discuss the show (with CLIPS!!!), the lovely lasses' history with the music of TMBG, and how much tip to leave the disaffected waitress. We marvel at startlingly different live versions of songs like Older, Particle Man, Why Does The Sun Shine and Turn Around, plus The Quiet Storm acoustic set, and the entire Flood album! Krissy tells a surreal story about We Want A Rock, Kristen reveals her most played and least fav TMBG tunes, and Jordan and Dave exchange tense looks from across the table! Spoiler Alert for those who are planning to see their current live show!
We're back with part 2 of our interview with TMBG drummer Brian Doherty! Unnoticed by few, in this episode Doherty discusses his work on They Might Be Giants' Factory Showroom, Severe Tire Damage, John Linnell's State Songs, playing with Mono Puff, and tons of TMBG touring stories, including the experience of opening up for Hootie and the Blowfish! Brian also talks about playing with alt rock music legends like Frank Black, XTC, Ben Folds and R.E.M.! He discusses the various Broadway shows he's drummed with, as well as the creation of his own solo rock album (which is real good, real real good.) This episode features some exclusive, rare, never before heard demos and recordings from some of the bands he has played with! Don't spend the rest of your life wondering, LISTEN NOW!
Meet Brian Doherty! Jersey City's famous drummer! Part 1 of an in-depth interview with Brian Doherty! Brian played drums for They Might Be Giants from 1993 to 1996, performed on the albums John Henry, Factory Showroom, as well as various EPs, and more! In part 1, we discuss the first bands Brian played with, meeting and rehearsing and touring with John and John, recording John Henry, making the Snail Shell music video, and many tales from the private backstage world of TMBG! Hold on to your hi-hats!
Flood fans, you're in for a treat, a fresh-baked, yummy one! Dave and Jordan, the hosts, take you, the listeners, through the countless-yet-countable (21) demos and Dial-A-Song recordings that made up almost all of the songs on Flood! We think it's worth the money and hurt as we gasp in shock at the alternate lyrics of the Birdhouse In Your Soul demo! We can't say why we enjoy the phone version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople), maybe we just liked it better that way! Your Racist Friend doubles the racism with TWO vastly different demo versions, and Twisting gets all twisted up into a totally different song which leaves Dave and Jordan hanging! Jordan gushes over the adorable demo for We Want A Rock, while Dave collapses upon his fainting couch at the coarse language in the Hearing Aid demo! Here they come to take on the sassy Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love demo, park their cars for a while at the haunting Road Movie To Berlin demo, and are stunned silent by the lack of unique qualities of the James K. Polk demo! All this and so much more! Are you not fulfilled?!?
This is a recording! We may not be able to drive out the way we drove in, so we have to leave our exploration of Flood through these b-sides and remixes left scattered in the middle of the road! Not that there's anything middle of the road (whew) about James K. Polk, the original Flood-reject version that showed up on the Istanbul (Not Constantinople) EP and was just a small glimmer in They Might Be Giants' eye of the fan-favorite song it would later become! Jordan's oratory fills Dave with fear as he goes into THE in-depth discussion on the origins and intentions of the beloved song! Then Jordan and Dave's Johnny cups are filled with gloom as they discuss the sad beauty of Stormy Pinkness. Track 4 of the Istanbul EP was a little fella called Ant, who ransacks this podcast, leaving a mess that our hosts can barely rummage through. Finally, we dissect and display the various creators of the remixes of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) and Your Racist Friend, paying special attention to the Brownsville Mix and the overwhelming collage of pop music samples contained therein. Also featuring, at the very start of the episode, a devastating revelation about a song from Flood that will rock you to your very core! You ain't in New York City, baby!
Pod Cast, where are you? Right here! Behind you! The ship has run out of ocean, as Dave and Jordan, the Kings of Liars, conclude their discussion/investigation/true crime mini-docu-series about all of the songs on They Might Be Giants' popular Flood album! First, we play a quickly aborted round of Derby Day in celebration of Hot Cha, then discuss the complicated backstory behind the song! It's totally off the hook! Then we keep our stereo on and cook up some interpretations for Women & Me(eeeeEEEEEeeeEEEee)n! We bring some messages of pure love, as we gradually fade in on one of the more haunting songs in the TMBG hand cannon, coming in at number 1 with a bullet, Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love! Hang on tight, because we're taking a ride on the musical rollercoaster that is the eponymous They Might Be Giants! Jordan tells a shocking personal story about Dr. Spock that might be big big fake fake lies, while Dave can't be silent as he responds with things like "how very interesting" and "you don't say!" Finally, and we mean finally, our skeleton bones are swept up as we tear down the emotional wall and say goodbye to Flood (for now) with a very smart and very researched discussion about Road Movie To Berlin. Topics include old movies, mummy misconceptions, Satan himself, and so much more! Boy!
All hail, the Flood Boat! Jordan and Dave hit some deep and treacherous waters as they hit a Linnell-valanche with some of the trickiest and head-injuring songs on Flood! If I were a podcaster I'd stammer on my podcast all about We Want A Rock! We're not done with you yet! Would you mind if there's some horrible business left for us to attend to as we discuss the slightly irritating situations in Someone Keeps Moving My Chair? Sometimes Jordan feels sorry for Dave having to listen to his dark and tragic theories about Hearing Aid, but usually he can't. Because...Because...Then Jordan really cracks the whip and demands Dave tell all about his history of Minimum Wage jobs! Too late or soon to make noise about Letterbox? Neither! And both! There's no time for sorrow, because we'd like to change your mind about Whistling in the Dark, by hitting it with a rock to wind a string around! And thus the terrifying circle is complete.
It's the loveliest podcast that you've ever attended! When we discuss Flood do we get wet? We've got a Universe Man-sized episode for you where we cover an entire THREE songs from They Might Be Giants' THIRD album Flood! Content warning: you may not be able to stand there listening to us talking about Your Racist Friend! Then we're doing the things a podcaster can as we take on Particle Man, discuss the possible and possibly impossible inspirations for the song, its astonishing popularity and longevity in TMBG's career, and Particle Man and Istanbul's appearance on the short-lived but much remembered Tiny Toons Music Television network! Then Jordan and Dave crank up their Marshall stacks and rock out to Twisting, while Jordan shares a personal rock story about Young Fresh Fellows and teenage heartbreak and -- it's not important. Listen to this and then we want to see you again!
Our handmade boat ride through Flood continues! In this episode, we continue to celebrate and interrogate They Might Be Giants' big-time third album! We confidentially ponder and rattle on about Lucky Ball & Chain, then you can't go back to before TMBG released this next song! We devote much of the episode to an unbelievably in-depth discussion about Istanbul (Not Constantinople), tracking the history of the song (and even the city!) and John and John's interest in it, the dense production of the track, and the popularity of the strange single that forever changed TMBG's career. Now it's over, but not before we dig up Dead and try to answer the question we all have: is it good to be alive, dead, or dead-alive? The answer may terrify you! So don't just sit at home ever anymore, listen to this episoooode!
Live, from the Electric Well! Actually-your-friends, Dave and Jordan, are back, and rocketing forward at lightning speed past the '80s (for now) and towards They Might Be Giants' brand new record for 1990, Flood! We discuss all things Flood, except for 17 of the 19 songs, which are coming up in the next episodes! We discuss the origins of the title and album art, TMBG's signing (and singing) with Elektra records, and attempt to break down the new kind of production that was brought to the album (I'd be fired if that were my job!) We gasp for air and drown in the deep waters of Theme For Flood, our pale corpses floating to the surface like so many forgotten...ahem, anyway, then we devote the rest of the show to filibustering vigilantly about Birdhouse In Your Soul, their biggish hit song that countless screaming TMBG fans adore, and PEOPLE, we are leaving IN the whistles and bells. This podcast episode is infinite! Listen now and while you're at it, stay tuned soon for more on Flood!
Oh boy, oh boy! During our interview with Bill Krauss, Bill showed us an old handwritten list of songs from the mid 80s with the title "TMB Songs." In this episode, we review this list and pick out a handful of rare and forgotten songs to discuss! We also ponder some exclusive never before seen song titles that fans have never known about! This episode also includes unheard moments from our interview with Bill! This is the first in a series of grab bag episodes where we discuss random mystery songs! Listen to hear what they are! Also, we answer e-mails in our rare-but-beloved Letterbox segment, plus Unrelated Thing!
Reel 'er in, we've got a BIG ONE! Mr. Bill Krauss, producer of THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, LINCOLN, and other iconic 80s TMBG material joined us for a sit-down! We talked to Bill about his origins in music, getting involved with They Might Be Giants, recording the early demos and albums, being TMBG's live sound-man, stories about being on the road with the band, and tons more! Absolutely Bill's Cool!
There's something coming. A new podcast episode on the horizon. It's coming very slowly. BUT NOW IT'S HERE! Our new episode is in the can, the big trash can! Jordan and Dave weep weep weep with joy and terror as they guide you through the bonus tracks on Then: The Earlier Years, disc 2! They Might Be Giants have a lot of goodies and strange-lings in store! Jordan tries to find the inspiration for Kitten Intro! Dave tells a heartbreaking true tale about Weep Day! Dave and Jordan battle brains over the meaning of the haunting and obtuse The Big Big Whoredom (and it scares them)! Then they talk about gettin' experimental over I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You! Here's hoping you don't turn the episode off, because Become A Robot gets dissected for parts! Then they want to want to sigh at the time that they discussed the unique qualities of the demo for Which Describes How You're Feeling! Swing Is A Word gets some words, Doris Cunningham is given Doris Contextham, and hey! hey! Counterfeit Fake! Jordan and Dave want you AND THAT'S NO MISTAKE! Finally, Dave and Jordan have stern words for the naughty children and naughty John and John in Schoolchildren Singing Particle Man! Listen or don't, it's entirely up to you!
Here's something novel for this podcast: LET'S ALL CELEBRATE TMBG! This episode discusses the were-we-ever-so-young 80's compilation from 1997, Then: The Earlier Years, notably the freaky and mysterious bonus tracks on disc 1! Dave and Jordan discuss the critics of Critic Intro! They say everything about Now That I Have Everything! They tap out rhythms with a smile on their face to Mainstream U.S.A.! Then they skip all the 80's stuff and get to talking about Flood...FAKE OUT! In Buenos Aires, that is! Gets talked about! Sti synécheia paírnoun to baglama tous kai tragoudoún mazí me ton Ellinikó Arithmó 3! The unassuming Hope That I Get Old Before I Die (Original Version) gets its unassumed due! We have our own podcast about They Might Be Giants, and we wanna get it recorded...can we do that? WE DO! And talk about the 1985 demo, I'm Def! To believe for all the world that you are my precious little 1985 demo for Don't Let's Start! Finally, we close out the yuks with the '85 Radio Special Thank You. All we can say is, John and John, you're welcome.
We've got a lot of insight into a real special slice of TMBG esoterica today, as we interview Julie Kantner, incredible songwriter and past member of John Flansburgh's college dorm band, The Turtlenecks! Jordan and Dave talk to Julie about songwriting, playing live, and we devote a lot of wide-eyed attention to the six-song Turtlenecks EP from 1981, put up by Julie on her Bandcamp page! We learn about some of the earliest unheard Flansburgh (and Linnell!) songs, and hear a lot of crazy and funny anecdotes about her and the college-aged pre-TMBGer! In the latter portion of the episode, Julie tells us about the inspiration behind some of her best songs released through her bands Fertile Virgin, Twig, and Uranium Daughters! She writes short, catchy, fun and lyrically complex rock songs, and we think all TMBG fans would go nuts for her music! Check out all of her stuff, including the Turtlenecks EP, at https://uraniumdaughters.bandcamp.com !
Our options for Miscellaneous T tracks to discuss get whittled away as Dave and Jordan confront the very few ***exclusive*** Dial-A-Songs and demos for Miscellaneous T! We dip back into our ongoing Dial-A-Song historical discussion! We also chill the f out a bit and answer some e-mails, discuss a wide variety of questionably compelling TMBG topics, talk about our favorite non-TMBG b-sides in our award-winning Unrelated Thing segment, and (are you ready?), introduce an ALL NEW award-winning segment! Where are we going to put all of these awards?!? And all of these hyphens?!!?
Dave and Jordan finish their stride through the b-sides compiled on Miscellaneous T! For Science is real, and they talk about the cocky character clamoring for the Venus vixen! Then we discuss lucky track number 13 and dig into more Dial-A-Song history, plus make extremely educated guesses about the inner lives of Gloria and The Guy! And from the phone machine to the phone inside her ribcage, we marvel at the musical dexterity of The Famous Polka! The haunting tale buried deep inside When It Rains It Snows is shuddered upon, and we're having a good time unpacking the musical influences of We're The Replacements! Here's a hint: the band The Replacements! Also, we talk about those darn single remixes! I pity the fool who doesn't listen to Miscellaneous T, Part 3!
Dave and Jordan soak up Miscellaneous T some more! They get drenched by rising flood waters in I'll Sink Manhattan! The sound upon the roof isn't only water, it's Dave and Jordan trying to wade through It's Not My Birthday! Then they cry a river of tiny tears as they grasp at the meaning of the three-word Hello Radio! Then...THIS JUST IN: Mr. Klaw's secret identity REVEALED, and YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE who it is! CLICK HERE NOW! Share and subscribe! After discussing the sexxy and stripped down Kiss Me Son of God (Alternate Version), the episode is closed out by the biggest show-stopping history-making discussion of The Biggest One, including EXCLUSIVE insight into a key (don't throw it away!) moment in the lyrics! What am I talking about?!? What am I doing hangin' from the hope that you will LISTEN NOW!!!!! You've got no one to blame but your beautiful selves if you miss out on what is without question our MOST RECENT EPISODE EVER!
Mister Cooper and Mister Fox talk about the first five tracks of Miscellaneous T, the jaw-dropping and unpredictable They Might Be Giants B-side compilation! We get BESIDE ourselves discussing the very nature of the B-side! D & J deal with Hey Mr. DJ I Thought You Said We Had A Deal! Then Pal Jordan tells Pal Dave about TMBG's obsession with Pal Joey and why they covered Lady Is A Tramp! Thoughts fall from their thoughts as they try to reveal the scope of Birds Fly! Then they skip over The World's Address (Joshua Fried Remix) because they already devoted episode 08 to that! Finally, Jordan tells Dave a bedtime story about the Nightgown of the Sullen Moon. Don't feel a bit insulted! Listen NOW!
Part 2 of our scintillating discussion with Joshua Fried! In this episode we talk about all of the songs on 1993's Hello the Band EP, a CD of totally great songs that Fried created with John Flansburgh for the Hello CD of the Month Club! We talk about the subliminal secret of Sodium Mask, who brought the funk on Since You Joined The Corporation, the wisdom of Tom Vu for Town To Town, the wonderfully convoluted and elaborate history behind Lullaby to Nightmares, and the pounding drums of Hello Hello! Fried also tells us about his live Venue Songs performance with They Might Be Giants! Then we go into the creation and inner workings of Fried's current project, Radio Wonderland! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!
We interviewed somebody! In preparation for our big Miscellaneous T episode, we sat down across a table from Joshua Fried, best known to They Might Be Giants fans as the man behind The World's Address (Joshua Fried Remix!) Fried tells us about his early years in music, his work with performance art troupe Watchface that him and John Flansburgh used to collaborate with, and then a special detailed discussion about The World's Address remix and Larger Than Life, the She's Actual Size remix! We also learn some fascinating inside info about a few TMBG songs, and so much more! And this is only part 1!
Do let's stop talking about Lincoln...but only after we wrap it all up in this special episode where Dave & Jordan dig into some of the curious Dial-A-Songs and demos that would eventually become Lincoln! This episode begins what will be a continuing multi-part discussion of TMBG's Dial-A-Song service, plus we share some fun recommendations in our Unrelated Thing segment, and answer a huge hefty bunch of e-mails from YOU, including one very exciting and special one that was a huge surprise to the guys! You COULD miss this episode, but you'd be making the biggest mistake of your life!
Your panacea's in a podcast app! We built a little podcast out of some crazy garbage! I've got a match; your embrace and my podcast! Tracks 10-18 of the 1988 album Lincoln by the band They Might Be Giants get examined by the friends Dave & Jordan, and you'll be shocked & appalled at how much there is to talk about! Our hosts chit their chats about so many topics stemming from these songs, such as the nature of psychopaths, nature, paths, one of the times Jordan met John Linnell, introducing children to Satanism, Dave's distaste for slap bass, seedy New York tales of CBGB's, and so much more! You'll wish the episode never ended! And it doesn't! I'll repeat it for those who may not have already guessed: DON'T MISS THIS EPISODE!
We have an obligation...to release part 2 of our discussion about Lincoln! In this episode, Dave & Jordan (tm) finally move past Ana Ng and extract curious wonder and delicious meaning from songs such as Purple Toupee, Piece of Dirt, Pencil Rain, and plenty more! Other topics include Linnell's early music career, Dave's Coffee Wisdom (tm), and the ethics of a Roy Orbison hologram tour, and so much more in this meaty 2 hours plus megasode! More like where your EARS DO go! Ah? Ahh??
Four score and seven years ago, Dave and Jordan released the previous podcast episode. Now we're back! We discuss They Might Be Giants' unimpeachable second album, Lincoln, and we end up devoting an entire hour to the intricacies of the lead single and might-be-masterpiece, Ana Ng. Jordan regales Dave with 1964 World's Fair factoids and triviods, Dave goes to a pharmacist to try to get those triviods taken care of, and he also gives Jordan a TMBG poncho! You won't hear that anywhere else, folks! Plus listener mail chat in our Letterbox segment, and more! LISTEN, ANNNNNNNN.......
Merry Flansmas! Happy Hanuk-WHAAA?? Dave and Jordan dig into the uniquely strange THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS IN...HOLIDAYLAND EP, then take a very fantastic and harrowing voyage to the Island of Misfit Christmas Songs banished from Holidayland! They even discuss the Hello Family Santa Special, which is really overkill, if you ask me. Will Dave learn the true meaning of Christmas? Will Jordan learn the dark secret of Hanukkah? Is this the place to put a hacky Kwanzaa joke? Spend Christmas morning alone with us and find out! Plus: the debut of THREE new segments! Catch them before they roll away!
All Dave and Jordan know could be defaced as they complete their exhaustive musical excavation of the first They Might Be Giants album! Covering tracks 10 through 19, your hip hip horrific hosts discuss topics like the band's disinterest in broadcasting emotionality through their musicality, the unconscious guilt of the egocentrism of the Artist, and which tracks lay down the dopest beat! Better listen now, it won't be fun for long!
Dreams Realized! In episode 02, Dave and Jordan go uncomfortably in-depth into the candy-colored song explosion that is the very first side (tracks 1-9) of the very first They Might Be Giants album! The two real-life friends discuss the differences in songwriting styles of the Johns, make a valiant attempt to trace the many reference points sprinkled throughout the lyrics, and stare deep into the hollowed-out eyes of each other's grinning skulls. Not to be missed, unless you have little to no interest in TMBG!
It's the first episode of Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be Giants! Jordan and Dave are longtime friends with a lot of thoughts about the band They Might Be Giants. This introductory episode finds Jordan and Dave learning about how each other got into the band, they reminisce about Dave's first TMBG live show at Tramp's on December 31, 1998 (with sound clips!), and talk about plans for the podcast!