Jason Hutchens: tmbg

Jason Hutchens: tmbg

They Might Be Giants are unique. People have referred to Their sound as "Nerd Rock", and I briefly experimented with the term "Gumby Music". Now I prefer "Punctuated Pop", which sufficiently, and onamatapaeically, describes their stop-start beat and atonal melodies. Appreciation goes a lot deeper than great sound; I enjoy analysing Their complicated, multi-layed lyrics as well. Listen, and you will be enlightened.

I first heard a TMBG song when I was 15 years old. It was "Don't Let's Start", and I really liked it. I had the video of the song and watched it over and over, without really knowing who the guys were. In 1991, when I started Uni, I saw the video for "Birdhouse" and realised that this was my sort of music! I now have all their CD's and videos.

1997 Australian Tour

Unlike many big American bands, the relatively unknown TMBG made the effort of coming to Perth, Western Australia, which means that after all this time I've finally seen Them live! The show was fantastic; Leonie Tauber managed to grab a setlist among other souvinirs, and here 'tis:

  1. spider
  2. sleeping in the flowers
  3. birdhouse in your soul
  4. spiraling shape
  5. meet James Ensor
  6. James K Polk
  7. she's actual size
  8. where your eyes don't go
  9. sexxy
  10. older
  11. spy
  12. I'm not your broom
  13. counterfeit faker
  14. XTC vs Adam Ant
  15. exquisite dead guy
  16. how can I sing like a girl?
  17. rhythm section want ad
  18. pet name
  19. no one knows my plan
  20. the guitar
  21. Istanbul
  22. New York City
  23. till my head falls off
  24. shoehorn with teeth
  25. twisting
  26. dig my grave
  27. I can hear you (it's on the set list but they didn't play it)
  28. particle man
  29. we're the Replacements


While They were in town, They also played a free show at a record store. I took my video camera along on impulse, and came away with a 40 minute show on tape! Everyone and his dog wanted this tape when I announced it on the TMBG newsgroup, which means I have now got a healthy bootleg collection. I don't swap anymore, though. But with today's technology who needs cassettes anyway?

Photo Album

You can also have a flick through my TMBG Photo Album, which contains grabs taken from my video, along with grabs from Their performance on Recovery, a three-hour, Saturday morning Australian television show on the ABC, Australia's national, government-run broadcaster.