Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

06 Nov 2005, 7:41 a.m.

Reading about Rockin'

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I'm hesitant to buy clothing advertising my fandom of a band. I'm afraid of being a poser, and of inflicting bad musical taste on others, and even of sharing some rather intense personal sentiments and thus showing vulnerability.

So, at the Corn Mo/They Might Be Giants show Thursday night, I instead bought a Corn Mo CD and a DVD of the TMBG documentary, Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns. Last night Leonard and I watched Gigantic, me for the second time.

On the second viewing, and upon watching a few music videos in the DVD extras, I find myself understanding some lyrics more than I ever did before (e.g., "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "She's An Angel").

I laughed really hard at the spoof of The Civil War, and Leonard at the Syd Straw interviews.

TMBG released Mink Car on September 11, 2001 (an event not listed on a huge list of Sept. 11 anniversaries). So we see a lot of video from promotional appearances they made in the days beforehand -- Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show, some local radio gig, and finally, at midnight, a release-party performance at a Tower Records in NYC. Almost every movie or book I see that contains that sort of early-September-2001 buildup does it to counterpoint the sudden tragedy of the terrorist attacks. (Fahrenheit 9/11, predictably, does this to great effect.) But Gigantic doesn't mention them once. I'll have to check the commentary track; I can't believe that two guys who have lived in New York for decades had nothing to say or feel about that day.