The year was 1990. I was in second grade. The world was in love again. We were marching hand in hand. The ocean levels were rising up. Then there was a brand new record: They Might Be Giants' brand new album, Flood.
And my sister Jessica bought it, and played it for me for some reason. I'm not sure if she ever got to listen to it again, because I remember playing it for myself, pulling out the tape liner notes, reading the lyrics, and wondering what the crap they meant. Little did I realize that even if I knew what the actual words meant, I still would be fairly clueless about the song's true meaning. Nonetheless, I pressed on, and soon I became the only second grader to know what an Argonaut was.
Flood supposedly hasn't gone platinum, but I find this difficult to believe, considering I have bought 4 copies of it over the years, as copies got lost, destroyed, or never returned. The last part didn't bother me; how could I begrudge someone for liking They Might Be Giants so much that they never could bring themselves to return it?
My interest in TMBG would wax and wane, but every couple of years I come back to them and find them just as awesome as they were when I left them. In high school, I expanded my collection to Apollo 18, Factory Showroom, and John Henry. I'm certain I bought their debut album too, but it has been lost. I bought A User's Guide and The Spine when they were released. When my nephew Simon, Jess's son, turned three, I bought him the DVD version of Here Comes the ABCs. I pointed out a conifer to him last Labor Day, and he was able to sing "C is for Conifers" to me, although he said that he didn't like it, he liked Pirates of the Berry Bean, but mom always makes him watch ABCs.
Now, They Might Be Giants has a new album out. It's called The Else. How did this happen without me knowing about it? I must be off my game.
I nearly purchased it, but then I realized the time commitment required to buy a They Might Be Giants CD. Odds are good that I haven't heard any of the songs from it. It takes hours and hours and hours of listening to fully absorb it, to entangle one's self in the lyrics and work one's way out, to catch all the subtle instrumental effects. I bought Factory Showroom at the same time I bought John Henry, and never put the time in that it required until I started working at Shell, seven years later, when I bought The Spine. Instead, I'm going to spend a couple weeks listening to all their CDs again, and probably insert their lyrics in everyday conversation to subtly show how awesome I am.
They also have a really cool wiki that I'm going to read, www.tmbw.net Every song they released is rated and ranked by users. I correctly guessed the consensual favorite. My personal favorite is surprisingly ranked #2.