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susan smitten

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They Might Be Giants, live in New York. Railway fetish in Manchester. [Oct. 6th, 2004|03:07 pm]
susan smitten
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TMBG are absolutely full of songs. In the last couple of years I've bought Indestructable Thing and Mink Car, but have yet to hear their recent albums No!, The Spine, or even Bed Bed Bed (the gift set for little kids - I bought it for Tia's boy but they're 12,000 miles away). I have managed to follow their recent material somewhat, thanks to the TMBG Clock Radio and the free Flash and MP3 stuff they so generously give away. When I last saw them live six years ago, they had achieved a level of greatness which I never thought they'd exceed.

I was wrong; on October 2, I caught TMBG (for my sixth time) at New York's Irving Plaza. It was their last show until March - the end of the tour. In just over two hours, they gave us everything we wanted and more: 100% original material (not an "Istanbul" or a "Why Does The Sun Shine?" anywhere), old songs, new songs, songs I didn't know, guest musicians, an improvised venue-specific song up at the beginning and a personalized "thanks for coming to the show" song at the end, multiple encores, and a respectable degree of spectacle (i.e. confetti cannons and Flansburgh's characteristic rocking out). Spectacle is something they no longer need, as far as they have come with their sound, but it sure is fun. My favorite moments had to be "Fingertips" (done in its entirety and with a bit of NKOTB flavor), "Violin" punctuated by The Wave, and the slew of super-catchy songs I didn't know (The Alphabet of Nations, for one, as well as the ones I forgot the names of).

Enhancing my enjoyment of the show was pulchritudinous film student jennyeatsit - thanks for updating me on the new album and the tour so far! And no small thanks goes to the Travis Morrison.. Something for getting the party started, and to Mike of theymightbegiants.org for selling me his extra ticket.

Sadly, the batteries in my camera were dead, so I didn't get any new pictures of the yummy Johns. But here's one from the official site:

Now, to resume posting my back-dated layover pictures. I've been to Manchester three times, and I always have a great time there. These pictures are from my first trip, in June of 2004.

In the evening, drinks and dinner with Captain Rob.

I drank beers I'd never heard of before.

The venue: The Romper, a favorite among well-heeled pilots.

Manchester's clean, punctual train system could teach something to NYC.

Florid and flashy as the people of Manchester...

I zipped about all over town for less than three quid a day. When will Dubai catch up?

[User Picture]From: sn0w_cr4sh
2004-10-06 12:46 am (UTC)
We saw this show early in the summer, and it was outstanding, just as you described.
Due to a lack of live Johns, I figured you could use a happy substitute.
Think of it as a slight change in political venue ;)

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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2004-10-06 05:14 am (UTC)

Capitol in shadow of Johns

Aww, this is great! Thanks so much, Brad!! =D =D =D
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[User Picture]From: jennyeatsit
2004-10-06 06:02 am (UTC)
yeah, i had to look that word up. thanks. i went to the live on penn dc show as well, as i may have mentioned for they didn't do a venue song, but in no way did it compare to the energetic frenzy that was irving plaza. i was closer though, up against the railing right in front of linnell. it's always kind of weird because everyone feels like he's watching them and this was no exception. that night we did get "the famous polka" and a great rendition of "don't let's start" which included linnell singing "let's hear it for the boy" overlapped with flans' "i don't want to live in this world anymore." still, it was no irving plaza.
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[User Picture]From: subapooh
2004-10-06 02:29 pm (UTC)
hmmm british pubb pints....HMMMM>..someday.

you make me want to live a jetset life dear girl! <3
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[User Picture]From: lizka
2004-10-08 02:06 pm (UTC)

I wish UAE had a metro. :/

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[User Picture]From: dyoselin
2004-10-09 09:13 am (UTC)
Isn't there a planned metro in Dubai which is supposed to open to the public in 2008?

The pictures in your journal are a delight. Very colourful, rich and refreshing. A delight to a wannabe traveller of the world. Thanks so much.
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