Another cheery reminder that S. Alexander Reed and I have just had our book on They Might Be Giants’ Flood released by Bloomsbury Academic. You should buy it! On top of that, you should review it. No, really. The 33 1/3 series has a bit of a chronic problem in reviews, which is that people buy them expecting them to be extended Rolling Stone articles and then get cranky when they’re pop scholarship. So having people who understand what the book is trying to do put reviews in would really help. (Likewise, A Golden Thread is sad and unreviewed. Can you spare a few minutes for that?)
Right. So, you may recall Alex and I guest-editing 33 1/3’s blog last week. But we had some stuff on the cutting room floor, so I figured I’d use it here. First off, we have an entry that I am truly at a loss for why 33 1/3 decided not to run, preferring as they did our promo video…
Fifteen Cat GIFs Captioned With They Might Be Giants Lyrics
What’s that blue thing doing here?
A snowman with protective rubber skin.
Glass of milk standing in between extinction in the cold and explosive radiating growth
I took my boat for a car
She looked at me, I looked at something written across her scalp
The hip hop and the white funk just blew away my puppy’s mind
The water running down that pipe looks like a snake to me
Someone keeps moving my chair
By rocket to the moon, by airplane to the rocket, by taxi to the airport
The TV’s in Esperanto; you know that that’s a bitch
A jailer trapped in his cell
Everybody wants prosthetic foreheads on their real heads
Where your eyes don’t go a part of you is hovering. It’s a nightmare that you’ll never be discovering.
What’s a guy like me supposed to do with all this extra savoir faire
And the person inside says nobody’s home, so your own worst enemy peeks inside
Secondly, I’ve got an extended version of my essay “How to Be Fifteen,” about adolescence, music, and mid-90s America.
How To Be Fifteen (and a Half)
The primal conflict underlying an American highschooler’s life is the fact that you are old enough to be into rock music and too young to actually go to any concerts. Not only is fifteen too young to drive, but even if you got to a show you’d run into the fairly fundamental problem that most of them have age restrictions.
Instead the fifteen year old’s musical life is constrained by odd tendencies. Tracking down individual songs one wants is a months-long production in the pre-Napster days. The most reliable tactic is to call in requests to your local college radio station and to tape songs you want off the air, but this has mixed results at best. An attempt to get a copy of “Son of a Preacher Man” is met with a DJ apologetically being unable to find it and playing Cypress Hill’s “Hits From the Bong” instead.