Photos by Jeff Palmucci and Caleb Kluchman
Revew by Jeff Palmucci
Show photos HERE
Dial-a-song is back! That’s right, after a 9 year hiatus, They Might be Giants have restarted their tradition of giving away songs over the phone. The original dial-a-song started back in 1983. It was initially a simple phone machine on which they changed their outgoing message daily with new tracks and other stuff. In January, Flansburg told Rolling Stone: “if we had any sustained notes in the song, the machine would reject it, mistaking it for the beep at the end of the message.”
Well, they’re back now with a bit more of a budget. Not only can you call the dial-a-song number, 844-387-6962 , but you can go back to the dial a song website and hear a new track every week. I can imagine their crack marketing team putting together their heads, and after nine years of intensive brainstorming, coming back with: “yup, this is the coolest idea we can think of!”
They performed at the House of Blues in Boston last Thursday in support of their new album Glean. The album contains the tracks off the first couple of months of 2015 dial-a-song, and they played 5 of them during the show. However, even though they played two sets (there was no opening act), there’s only so much new stuff you can put in when you have 18 (!) albums. They had a recurring gag during the show with Flansburg pretending to be Robert Durst calling in from the Louisiana State Penitentiary berating the new music and calling for more old stuff. Given the cheers he got, even a serial killer can get the crowd behind him if he can get TMBG to play Birdhouse In Your Soul.
One of my favorite tracks of the night was the oldie Why Does The Sun Shine? The last time I photographed TMBG, I wrote all about what this song meant to me. I was a bit surprised when they played it, given their follow up Why Does The Sun Really Shine? I guess now that TMBG is back writing albums for grown ups, academic integrity flies out the friggin’ window. Not an answering machine. You can tell because you can get through.  I just went there and played the “All the Lazy Boyfriends” video with my wife watching over my shoulder. She immediately started to crack up and yell “That’s You!” Several times.