The World’s Tallest Midget
Ever since I began listening to music, They Might Be Giants have been a staple. As a creative person, their quirky personalities, inventive songs and trend-setting style made them instant role models for me. After many failed attempts at instant rock stardom, I gave up on trying to follow in their footsteps and abandoned all hope of ever opening up for them. But they always stayed there with me. They were always in my music collection, like an old friend you drop in on from time to time. In fact, TMBG have been making music for so long that going back and listening to their albums is like searching through a chronicle of my life. I can pinpoint where I was in that era, and to some reasonable extent, what I was doing or in to based on the albums’ time frames. For the most part, fan or not, most everyone seems to have at least heard Flood (probably due to the boom in mail-order CD services from years ago).
Finally, someone took it upon themselves to create the long overdue TMBG documentary, Gigantic : A Tale of Two Johns, which I had the good fortune of seeing last night. The film charts the Giants’ course from the early years when the Johns first met and began molding the feel of the band we have all come to love. Through concert recollections, photos, and interviews with people like Frank Black and Ira Glass you can witness their rise to psuedo-stardom and gain appreciation (or more appreciation) for their obscene creativity. A nice treat too, serving almost as chapter markers, were celebrities Janeane Garofalo, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Andy Richter doing dramatic renditions of TMBG songs. Hilarity ensued. More good fortune came in the form of a Q & A with the Johns after the film. Once again, hilarity ensued. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I love this band even more now.