They Might Be Giants - Dial A Song

They Might Be Giants mainly consists of the duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell, two friends-since-childhood who combine catchy melodies with clever lyrics that have a nerdy, childlike sense of humor. They scored minor alternative hits in the late '80's and early '90's (including "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Don't Let's Start"), and more recently composed the theme song from the TV show Malcolm In The Middle, titled "Boss Of Me". This week, Rhino Records has released a single-disc TMBG compilation called A User's Guide To They Might Be Giants. It contains 29 tracks, and is a fairly inexpensive CD for those who just want the TMBG essentials. However, those who want more are advised to splurge for Rhino's 2-CD TMBG compilation Dial A Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, released in 2002. That contains a whopping 52 tracks, providing a definitive overview of the duo's two-decade career.

The "Dial A Song" in the title refers to the duo's long-running phone service. If you dialed the given phone number (based in Brooklyn, and not toll-free), you would hear a recording of an original song by Flansburgh and Linnell. That phone service seems to have been discontinued; every time I've ever tried to call it in recent months, it just rings and rings. Fortunately, the official Dial A Song website is alive and well, and enables the visitor to hear numerous random songs from the service. That site is here:

Not surprisingly, TMBG have recently been recording children's albums, which ought to come naturally to them.

The official TMBG site: