If the Johns’ keep the course, They Might Be Giants could give the Stones a run for longevity (though, for their sake, hopefully not Mick and co’s skincare). The duo, who formed in ’82, recently released album twelve, The Else, via iTunes in May and on CD last month: “Careful What You Pack,” a tiny pop march plucked from the record, floats by with an assured simplicity, landing a final cymbal crash before you’ve had a chance to properly welcome the distant organ strains, simple music box accents, and airy harmonies. It’s easy to miss it entirely in the context of The Else, but shines as a standalone.
As The Else was about to hit stores, the band was also busy finishing Here Come The 123s, a CD/DVD teaching kids about numbers (it’s the sequel to 2005’s Here Come The ABCs. Linnell and Flansburgh talked with Paste about the differences and similarities between playing children’s and adult music.
JOHN LINELL: Kids are more literal. I’m not sure they’d understand that [The Else’s] “Take Out The Trash,” is about your no-good boyfriend. A kid could listen to it as ‘Girl, why don’t you take out the garbage? It’s starting to smell in your kitchen.’ You could say they’re missing out on something, but they’re getting something else.
Using that childlike thought line, “Careful What You Pack” could definitely inspire a young generation of smart travelers.
The Else is out on Idlewild.