February 14, 2005

Here Come The ABC's from They MIght Be Giants

What's the difference between baby boomers and Gen X & co? The aging Mick Jagger leaves kids--and their successively younger model moms--in his wake, and wouldn't think of recording children's music. Meanwhile the archetypal alt culuture band They Might Be Giants is releasing their second kid's album tomorrow.

tmbg_qu.jpgHere Come The ABC's will be released as both a CD and a DVD, with interesting videos, puppets, and animations by a wide variety of artists. TMBG's songs will appear from time to time on Disney Playhouse. In the mean time, they're performing ABC songs tomorrow night at 7pm at Borders Columbus Circle (in the mall), and they'll be on new dad Conan's show tomorrow night.

Even with all this selling out, it's great to see TMBG are still giants from the block. Their "QU" video looks like it was shot in Park Slope for about a dollar. And in the "Can You Find it?" video, a scene on a subway platform is paired with the lyrics to the Williamsburg national anthem, "Where is the L?" [the second verse, of course, goes "Where is the G?"]

Here Come The ABC's comes with "exclusive Amazon.com content" on CD and DVD, or you can buy it directly from the band. Preview some videos here [nsfw, but only because it automatically launches into ABC songs].


"TMBG Here Come The ABCs" have actually been showing on Playhouse Disney for a couple of months now. It's really great to be able to see TMBG while sitting through the kid's shows.

I wouldn't call this selling out if you don't know why they are doing this - but everyone has their own definition for "sellout" and it's typical used incorrectly...

It's interesting to note that TMBG can be seen in old episodes of Blue's Clues as well as being heard doing the theme song for Higglytown Heros (they also appear as their CGI selves from time to time). And I guess I can't forget to mention the theme to Malcolm In The Middle. So, call them sellouts but they've made a career out of this stuff - not just something they jumped into recently.

Now if only they could do a kid-friendly video for "Finger Tips" ;)

I meant "selling out" in the best possible way. How about "cashing in"?

TMBG stays in my mind mostly from their theme song for the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC (and from Malcolm in the Middle, which is, of course, an illustration of selling out as a good thing).

Maybe their core audience of nerds is getting older, and they need to appeal to a new generation of nerds? ;)

or maybe they've just narrowed their focus to target the nerds who've actually managed to reproduce.

That is awesome! I was afraid I was going to have to listen to Barney or some similar kid crap. Now at least I can teach my kid with a band I can actually bear... that I actually have on my iTunes.

Great find! Kudos.

I was in the city Friday afternoon, and I picked up the Putamayo children's sing-along cd ("Features top artists singing children-friendly folk and blues classics").

I enjoy it a lot more than the $2 CD we bought with a bunch of Australians sining such upbeat tunes as Alloutte(plucking a lark), Puff the Magic Dragon(boy ditches friend, presumably for girls), The Unicorn(unicorns die), Three Blind Mice(mice getting tails cut off) and one about throwing a cat in the well.

There was a really wonderful documentary done recently on TMBG, called GIGANTIC (A Tale Of Two Johns). I saw it on Sundance, but you can apparently buy it on DVD.

During interviews, they talk about the fact that their fans have grown up with them. So, they are quite comfortable doing things that their fans can buy for their kids. They also detailed many of their side projects, including the Malcolm theme song, and the Daily Show theme, which I didn't know they did.

I've been ready for quite a while to update all my TMBG albums from tape (eww!) to CD (yay!) so that I can relive my high school days by singing the songs to the kids.

Not that I really listen to them much anymore, but as Kaz said, i certainly don't want to be singing songs that are macabre and not related to me at all. And most of the music i listen to isn't really lullaby-able.

speaking of music: in pottery barn kids, they were playing swinging loungey kids tunes that i had never heard but my mom was singing along to. wacky.

I was going to mention in my last post, but forgot -- one can make a nice children's cd from Beatles tunes, as well...

"Here on fibber island....."

Ah, that gives me the chills.

They Might Be Giants are really rather unique in working to appeal to both kids and adults at the same time in their music.

We placed it as a top pick of the week in both our adult music and kids music on LibraryPOP

they can't fly but they can dance

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