Some things about the 80s are not dead, and still others are being resurrected with joy.
Just recently interviewed in Rolling Stone, They Might Be Giants announced that they are still bringing the weird, as they reignite their Dial-a-Song initiative, popular back in the 80s (initially launched in 1983). The band records demos into a public answering machine, all for the price of a simple phone call. While the description might sound wonky, the Giants take it seriously. They record the music in a studio, like any other demo and then record into an answering machine, which can be reached at 844-387-6962. This new rendition of Dial-a-Song is much more polished and possibly less organic than the Dial-a-Song of old, which featured a fair amount of silliness, but the intent is there. They plan to release one song a week, eventually doing a listening party for the first installment of an album these song will compile into, Dial-a-Song Direct.
In case you’re wondering how long this may continue – the band has prepped 44 songs thus far. This project may go on a while if properly received.
Even more impressive than Dial-a-Song is the band’s ever-loyal fan base, 33-years and still going strong.They Might Be Giants attracts a healthy throng of fans, willing and ready to stake their spot for many hours prior to gigs. This cavalry is multigenerational, with entire families coming to see the band, comparing show totals as they wait. This multigenerational aspect isn’t often seen in music today, but with a career that has spanned a platinum album (Flood 1990), several TV soundtracks as well as children’s albums, it’s hardly surprising. They Might Be Giants is a band that can easily be traced to the delightful weirdness of New Wave, but also extend to mainstream audiences of present. The question isn’t that the band is still around, but rather why they fail to be played on radio as often as their peers. The band doesn’t seem at all slighted, in fact one might even say they like being the obscure band that we’ve all heard but few manage to be able to name.
On a personal note, They Might Be Giants has always been a quirky favorite. With their songs that read like limerick and outstanding musicianship (they have played clarinet on stage, and their accordion is a well-loved part of their band), they are a constant source of enjoyment in my music collection. I like They Might Be Giants exactly because they have never seemed to care what “should” be done or what people might like to hear – they play what THEY want to play, and invariably, the success comes naturally. Can’t argue that!
Check out Dial-a-Song and let me know what you think!