TMBG, two good things (minimum)

Good Thing the First:  The new album by They Might Be Giants, Nanobots, is a good album.  It might require that you be in a certain mood for a listen, but there’s no harm in that; it merely reinforces the unique artistic position of TMBG over the years.  My personal favorite is “You’re On Fire,” which is very good, and has a bit of an edge to temper the (always) clever songwriting of John Flansburgh and John Linnell.  I’d describe it as 100% TMBG, with rockier power-pop guitars, The B52s flourishes, and a proper undercurrent of Frank Zappa.  Not surprising influences, but a refreshing and delightful track nevertheless.  When I was explaining to my kid how the literal lyrics subvert a tradition of pop anthems about being “on fire,” my kid immediately made the connection to Alicia Keys’s hit, “Girl On Fire.”  I love that kid.  And I love this track.  Other good work this on this album, but this song is head and shoulders above.  You can listen to and download  “You’re On Fire” courtesy of Stereogum.

Nanobots has more to offer, including “Tesla,” which is nearly a hymn honoring the Continue reading

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