If you seek proof of the theory of evolution, consider They Might Be Giants. Over the course of three decades, the duo of John Linnell and John Flansburgh learned how to adapt and thrive in an increasingly hostile musical environment. TMBG diversified early and often, from its Dial-A-Song project and TV theme songs (Malcolm In The Middle) to podcasts and, more recently, a string of successful children’s albums, books and DVDs. TMBG’s latest children’s album, Here Comes Science, is a fun and surprisingly educational foray into the world of elements, planets, photosynthesis, electric cars and, yes, evolution. The duo is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Linnell.
Flansburgh: They came for the kick drum, but they stayed for the hand claps! The DR-110 was an early tool for TMBG. There is nothing real about the sounds that came out of this early “pro-sumer” drum machine, but more singular to the DR-110, there was nothing particularly big sounding about it, either. The graphic display can be tapped into, which put it well past the pre-programmed “accompanist” rhythm boxes that were created for console organ players, and hearing the results of an entirely hypothetical graphical idea turned into a rhythm wasn’t usually successful but was still fascinating. Video after the jump.