Little known fact: many of us here at TMT are giant nerds. What? It's clear as day? Shit. Well, anyway, I'm here to tell you why Judy Ain't No Punk and I are particularly nerdy, and surprise surprise, it has to do with They Might Be Giants.
Some little whipper-snappers spend their summers canoeing, making atrocious lanyards, and learning "Kumbaya" by heart, but not I. And not Judy. Instead, we spent three weeks during our early teen summers in classrooms at a Certain Gifted And Talented Program Run By a Prestigious University, learning logic proofs and the proper manner in which to craft an essay. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway at the age of 12. As a result, I still can't pass a swim test to save my life (literally).
But I digress. Each week, the 500 of us attended a very awkward social event also known as a "dance," and trust me, the nerdiness did not stop there. At each dance, if a certain number of "canonized" songs was not reached, the RAs would be nervous. (What we would have actually done, had our requests not been honored, I do not know. Perform terribly on our SATs to discredit the program? Refuse to use proper grammar? Horrors!) Included in this canon was not one, but TWO songs by the Johns: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul" from their 1990 album Flood. We would join hands, form a line, and RUN in a sort of misguided conga line as fast as we possibly could, tripping over our flip flops and invariably causing disastrous injuries, finally collapsing in a heap to the final strains.
While I don't know if their new album will yield another strange soundtrack for nerd-mating rituals, The Else promises to be another calculated lesson in the art of the Power Nerd, with a catchy, guitar-driven single called "Take Out the Trash" floating around MySpace for your listening pleasure. The Dust Brothers were enlisted as producers on this jam, so watch out for some slick drumbeats. Twenty-five years of songs about planets and geometrically shaped men, dudes. That's longevity. Devo would be proud.