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Yer Goodies For May!

Furrball's Favourites '06 Volume 4
The CD: Approximately 80:17 of alternatives to whatever you're listening to now.
(And then some!)
 1. Call Connected Thru The NSA/They Might Be Giants :36
    But first, a public disservice announcement from TMBG... as timely as it is short.
 2. Spiral/XTC (Idea Records) 3:15
    Something new from the band who gave us "Making Plans For Nigel", and like fine
    wine, they just get better with age. This could just as easily have been my theme
    song at one time (vinyl junkie that I am). (CD: Apple Bite)
 3. Tell That Girl To Shut Up/Holly & The Italians (Virgin) 3:01
    Holly Vincent and Co. present music for your next cat fight. :)
 4. Don't Dream It's Over (Live)/Neil Finn with Paul Jeffrey 5:10
    Recorded somewhere in Australia in 2002, Neil and his guitar, Paul playing
    organ, and a room and a half full of dedicated Finn Fans providing backup
    on this version of his Crowded House hit. Sing along if you know it.
    (Why not? The fans did.)
 5. Airhead/Thomas Dolby (EMI) 5:06
    Boy, I'll bet T.D. Robertson heard it from all sides after this! (CD: Aliens Ate
    My Buick!)
 6. C30 C60 C90 Go!/Bow Wow Wow (RCA) 2:57
    Probably the very first cassette single (released in a little can!). This is also
    the original theme song for home tapers back in the 70s. I'm amazed a major label
    had the wherewithal to release it in the first place! (CD: I Want Candy)
 7. Can't Give You Reasons/Bram Tchaikovsky (Radar) 3:46
    After he left The Motors, Bram (real name: Peter Brammall) started Battle Axe,
    which eventually morphed into the eponymous group heard here. From the second album,
    "The Russians Are Coming" (which nervous Polydor US retitled "Pressure". Record
    companies. No backbone whatsoever...)
 8. I Only Want To Be With You/The Tourists (RCA) 2:27
    Let's play a game called "Listen Closely." Who did this group eventually evolve into?
    I know you've heard that voice before! [I'll give you the answer on the tape](CD: 
    Greatest Hits)
 9. You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties/Jona Lewie (Stiff) 2:57
    Been there. Done that. More or less. Mainly less. (Jona had one other hit, an
    unusual Christmas song called "Stop The Cavalry", which I might put on the
    upcoming "Christmas In December" set.)
10. Jump Boys/The Undertones (Sire) 2:40
    The only reason I can't include this in "Listen Closely" is I already gave it away
    last time in Vol. 3: This is where Feargal Sharkey got started. File under "Pop
    Punk, Irish Division".
11. Kendra McCormick/They Might Be Giants :54
    Here comes another new TMBG track. Don't blink or you'll miss it...
12. Life Is A Rock, But The Radio Rolled Me (long version)/Reunion (RCA) 3:32
    Pop music's ultimate tongue twister, featuring the former lead singer of The Ohio
    Express, Joey Levine.
13. Needles And Pins/Jackie DeShannon (Imperial) 2:38
    You know, the critics are right: Jackie's version runs rings around the hit version
    by The Searchers! (CD: Classic Masters)
14. Baby, Now That I've Found You/The Foundations (Pye) 2:38
    And here they are again, former Trinidadian prizefighter-turned-lead singer Clem
    Curtis and the rest of those Buttercup builder-uppers (re: vol. 1) with their first
    hit from 1968. Not a bad calling card for a band who took their name from the fact
    that they used to hold rehearsals in their building's foundation. (Good thing they
    weren't an American band, otherwise we'd be referring to them as "The Basements"! ;) )
    (CD: The British Are Coming! Volume 2 (Sanctuary))
15. Starry Eyes/The Records (The Record Company) 4:23
    The ultimate kiss-off song to a crooked manager. Here, I have to confess my ignorance
    as regards The Records. All I know is: this was their first hit (leading to a contract
    with Virgin Records), they were led by a couple of fellas named Will Birch and Huw
    Gower (Huw later went on to write one of the funniest songs in history, 'The Worst Beer
    That I Ever Had'); and when Huw eventually left, he was replaced by a singer whom the 
    critics said would never amount to anything. Some guy named Jude Cole. [Can you say,
    'World, Shut Your Mouth'? Can you add, "Critics, go thou forth and do likewise"? More
    about Jude Cole in the next installment. More about Will Birch... a little later on...] 
    (CDs: Shades In Bed; Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses [both On The Beach])
    Ironworks Music - the new independent label Jude formed with some guitar collector
    named Keifer. Yeah... Sutherland.
16. Dr. Worm (live version)/They Might Be Giants 4:41
    Okay. Here's a full length TMBG song (or two!) for you, as always, not commercially
    available anywhere. Just like Restless Records. >;D
17. Smile/Pussycat (EMI Holland) 3:50
    Here comes that trio of sisters from Holland again (remember "Mississippi"?).
18. Come On Eileen/Dexy's Midnight Runners (Mercury) 4:16
    Or, if you wanna use their full billing, "Kevin Rowland and Dexy's Midnight Runners
    with the Emerald Express" (WHEW!). I *STILL* love this song! (CD: Too-Rye-Ay)
19. Never In A Million Years/Cara Dillon (Rough Trade (UK)) 3:44 
    Every once in a while, you hear a song that just plumb knocks you out. With that
    in mind, let me present, all the way from County Derry in Ireland, Miss Cara Dillon.
    This is the lead off track from her (currently) import-only CD, and, like this song,
    she's unforgettable. Bug your local music store now! [OK, it's fess up time. This
    was taken from a BBC2 internet broadcast [The Jools Holland Show, to be specific.]
    If you can get past that computerized sound and get into the song itself, your ears
    *will* be rewarded. (I wonder if Jessimyn's Irish...) (CD: After The Morning)
20. What You're Proposing/Status Quo (Vertigo) 3:53
    Part of the danger of being an Anglophile is that eventually, you begin to get
    the notion that everything made on 7 inches of round British vinyl is terrific.
    Records like this from 1980 only reinforce that delusion. (LP: Whatever You Want
    [Vertigo UK]/Now Hear This! [Riva US]) (US site) (UK site)
21. Mull Of Kintyre/Wings with The Campbeltown Pipe Band (Capitol/MPL) 4:44
    Here we have the first of two records featuring that most utilitarian of rock and
    roll instruments, the bagpipes. (HUH?!?) This still remains Wings's fastest selling
    single (even surpassing a little trifle Macca wrote called "Yesterday").
    (CD: Wingspan)
22. Are You Ready To Rock?/Roy Wood's Wizzard (Warner Bros.) 2:29
    ...and here's the second. Never mind what they say about the bagpipes being "an
    ill wind that no one blows good". Somehow, Roy, rock and roll, and the pipes were
    just *made* for each other. (Yet somehow, Roy had the good sense to leave his
    bagpipes off until the end of the song...) [If you visit his website, the opening
    to this song is the first thing you'll hear.] (CD: Roy Wood Singles [Connoiseur
23. Hit Records/Kursaal Flyers (UK) 2:42
    And speaking of Will Birch (see track 15), here's the group he formed before
    The Records. More fun than you deserve? Possibly. Another possible theme song for
    yours truly? Mebbe....
24. Making Plans For Nigel (live)/XTC 4:10
    ...and speaking of Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding and Co., [not to mention bringing
    this volume full circle], one from the archives. The time: January 29, 1980. The
    place: The Paradise Theatre, Boston. The song: XTC's first breakaway hit (from the
    "Drums And Wires" LP). I don't have the studio version, so I'll have to make do with
    this one. Like I said at the beginning, the boys only done got better. (With a nod
    and a wink to WBCN-FM, Boston, and XTC4U.ORG)

The Cassette: Same as above plus... oh lor, here it comes again... THE COMEDY!
One of the fixtures of Denver radio in the 1970s and 80s were the team of Steven B.
Williams and Dan Hawkins (aka Steven B. (as in 'Bee') and The Hawk); and one of their
fixtures were the trademark commercial parodies for a conglomerate that could certainly
have given ACME a run for its money: WHAMCO. This time out, I spotlight the collected
spoofs for "Wham Bam Cat Food" and a spokescat who certainly needed 9 Lives...
Horace the Cat. Enjoy!
Side A:
 1. Call Connected Thru The NSA/They Might Be Giants
 2. Spiral/XTC
 3. Tell That Girl To Shut Up/Holly & The Italians
 4. Don't Dream It's Over (Live)/Neil Finn
 5. Airhead/Thomas Dolby
 6. Wham Bam Cat Food #1
 7. C30 C60 C90 Go!/Bow Wow Wow
 8. Can't Give You Reasons/Bram Tchaikovsky
 9. Listen Closely #1: I Only Want To Be With You/The Tourists
10. Listen Closely #1: the answer (RCA) 4:52 (bonus track 1)
11. You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties/Jona Lewie
12. Wham Bam Cat Food #2
13. Jump Boys/The Undertones
14. Kendra McCormick/They Might Be Giants

Side B:
15. (Life Is A Rock, But) The Radio Rolled Me (long version)/Reunion
16. Needles And Pins/Jackie DeShannon
17. Baby, Now That I've Found You/The Foundations
18. Wham Bam Cat Food #3
19. Starry Eyes/The Records
20. Doctor Worm (live)/They Might Be Giants
21. Smile/Pussycat
22. Come On Eileen/Dexy's Midnight Runners
23. Never In A Million Years/Cara Dillon
24. Wham Bam Cat Food #4
25. What You're Proposing/Status Quo
26. Mull Of Kintyre/Wings
27. Are You Ready To Rock?/Roy Wood's Wizzard
28. Hit Records/Kursaal Flyers
29. Making Plans For Nigel (live)/XTC
30. Wham Bam Cat Food #5

And of course, your TMBG tapes...
All titles produced by They Might Be Giants & Pat Dillett except where noted.

#1: "Factory Showroom" (Elektra) b/w "Mink Car" (Restless).
Side A: Factory Showroom (1996)
 1. S-E-X-X-Y
 2. Till My Head Falls Off
 3. How Can I Sing Like A Girl?
 4. Exquisite Dead Guy
 5. Metal Detector
 6. New York City
 7. Your Own Worst Enemy
 8. XTC vs. Adam Ant
 9. Spiraling Shape
10. James K. Polk (remake)
11. Pet Name
12. I Can Hear You (Recorded without electricity on a 1898 Edison wax cylinder
    recording studio phonograph.)
13. The Bells Are Ringing

Side B: Mink Car (2001)
 1. Bangs
 2. Cyclops Rock (with Cerys Matthews)
 3. Man, It's So Loud In Here
 4. Mr. Xcitement (w/ Mike Doughty & The Elegant Too)
 5. Another First Kiss
 6. I've Got A Fang
 7. Hovering Sombrero
 8. Yeh Yeh
 9. Hopeless Bleak Despair
10. Drink!
11. My Man
12. Older
13. Mink Car
14. Wicked Little Critta
15. Finished With Lies
16. She Thinks She's Edith Head
17. Working Undercover For The Man
Produced by Albert Caiati and Pat Dillett with TMBG except for:
1/2/6/11: Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (A Clanger/Winstanley Production);
3/5/8: Adam Schlesinger, recorded and mixed by the incomparable John Holbrook;
4/14: The Elegant Too (Chris Maxwell and Phil Hernandez) with TMBG; and
17: Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo.
Adam Schlesinger appears courtesy of The Fountains Of Wayne.
Mike Doughty appears courtesy of Underdawg/JGM (

#2: "NO!" (Idlewild) b/w "Here Come The ABCs" (disneySound/Idlewild).
Side A: NO! (2002) (TMBG and The Band Of Dans)
 1. Fibber Island
 2. Four Of Two
 3. Robot Parade
 4. No!
 5. Where Do They Make Balloons? sung by Danny Weinkauf
 6. In The Middle, In The Middle, In The Middle sung by Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser
 7. Violin
 8. John Lee Supertaster
 9. The Edison Museum sung by Nicholas Hill
10. The House At The Top Of The Tree
11. Clap Your Hands
12. I Am Not Your Broom
13. Wake Up Call
14. I Am A Grocery Bag
15. Lazyhead And Sleepybones
16. Bed Bed Bed (original version)
17. Sleepwalkers
Produced by They Might Be Giants

Side B: Here Come The ABCs (2005)
 1. Here Come The ABCs
 2. Alphabet Of Nations
 3. E Eats Everything
 4. Flying V
 5. Q U
 6. Go for G!
 7. Pictures of Pandas Painting
 8. D & W
 9. Fake-Believe
10. Can You Find It?
11. The Vowel Family
12. Letter / Not A Letter
13. Alphabet Lost and Found
    featuring vocals by Marty Beller
14. I C U
15. Letter Shapes
16. Who Put The Alphabet in Alphabetical Order?
    featuring Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser as Gloria Felt
17. Rolling O
18. L M N O
19. C is for Conifers
20. Fake-Believe (type B)
21. D is for Drums
    featuring the next President of the United States, Marty Beller!
22. Z Y X
23. Goodnight My Friends
24. Clap Your Hands (remix)
25. Here in Higglytown (Theme to Playhouse Disney's "Higglytown Heroes")

#3: "They Got Lost: A compilation of rarities from They Might Be Giants" b/w "The Spine" 
    (both Idlewild/ZoŽ).
Side A: They Got Lost (2003, 2005)
 1. Rest Awhile*
 2. Truth In Your Words**
 3. On The Drag*
 4. All Alone+
 5. Down To The Bottom Of The Sea**
 6. I'm Sick (of This American Life)++
 7. Words Are Like (demo)+++
 8. I Am A Human Head*
 9. Oranges#
10. Empty Bottle Blues*
11. They Got Lost***
12. Reprehensible***
13. Rat Patrol***
14. The Army's Tired Now**
15. Certain People I Could Name***
16. Theme to McSweeney's**
17. Dollar For Dollar**
18. Mosh Momken Abadon** (traditional, public domain)
19. Token Back To Brooklyn***
20. Disappointing Show##
21. Oranges Testimonial#
Written (except 18) and Produced by They Might Be Giants.
Better engineering and mixing provided by Pat Dillett and/or Albert Caiaiti.
Notes from the Giants:
These recordings have all been available in other forms. Many are now unavailable, or
extremely hard or expensive to obtain. Here's where they were originally found:
* on the promotional CD EP "Working Undercover For The Man" released by
** on the CD included with McSweeney's Journal #6
*** part of the online-only release Long Tall Weekend from
  (Token Back to Brooklyn was also the hidden opening track from Factory Showroom)
+ recorded for a series of TV specials produced by ABC Nightline called Brave New World
++ recorded for the NPR radio show This American Life (special thanks to Sarah Vowell)
+++ recorded for TMBG Unlimited, a monthly subscription service through
# recorded for the graphic design firm The Chopping Block (
  (Oranges was also the hidden track on No!)
## recorded outside and live at Columbia University, New York

Additional notes from yours truly:
1) Most of these tracks were also released on TMBG Unlimited. 2)The track "Disappointing
Show" contains a very prominent obscenity. Thought you should be warned. :)

Side B: The Spine (2005)
 1. Experimental Film
 2. Spine
 3. Memo To Human Resources
 4. Wearing A Raincoat
 5. Prevenge
 6. Thunderbird
 7. Bastard Wants To Hit Me
 8. The World Before Later On
 9. Museum Of Idiots
10. It's Kickin' In
11. Spines
12. Au Contraire (album version)
13. Damn Good Times
14. Broke In Two
15. Stalk Of Wheat
16. I Can't Hide From My Mind
    PLUS: 4 out of 5 tracks from Indestructible Object (Barsuk, 2005)*
17. Am I Awake?
18. Au Contraire (alternate mix)
19. Ant (new version)
20. Caroline, No (from the NPR radio show "studio 360")
*-Memo To Human Resources is already here as track 3, so why repeat it?

#4: "a user's guide to They Might Be Giants" (Rhino/Warner Special Marketing) (2005). 
    (32 songs from 10 albums by 2 Johns. A single-disc version of 'Dial-A-Song',
    this contains nearly the essential TMBG, including the first *official* long-play
    release of "Why Does The Sun Shine?". I threw in 3 bonus tracks at the end that
    Rhino somehow missed. Yer slippin', Rhino!)

Side A:
 1. Minimum Wage
 2. Meet James Ensor
 3. Particle Man
 4. Don't Let's Start
 5. She's An Angel
 6. Cyclops Rock (cold-close version)
 7. Istanbul (not Constantinople)
 8. Purple Toupee
 9. James K. Polk
10. Birdhouse In Your Soul
11. Ana Ng
12. The Guitar
13. Bangs
14. The Statue Got Me High
15. New York City
16. Doctor Worm

Side B:
17. Boss Of Me (Theme from "Malcolm In The Middle")
18. Your Racist Friend
19. Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas)
20. They'll Need A Crane
21. I Palindrome I
22. Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head
23. John Lee Supertaster
24. Older
25. We're The Replacements
26. Dr. Evil
27. No!
28. Clap Your Hands
29. Spider
30. Au Contraire (alternate version)
31. Hey Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal
32. (She Was A) Hotel Detective (single version)

Dang. I'm gonna need a bigger envelope next time. :)

Update time. The Joe Ely track from Vol. 3 ('Settle For Love') is the remake from
his 1992 CD "Love And Danger" (MCA). So now we both know!