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They Might Be Giants

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They Might Be Giants
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John Linnell and John Flansburgh – or, as they are alternatively known, “The Two Johns” and “John and John” – formed They Might Be Giants in 1981 and soon built a cult following from their base in Brooklyn via a Dial-A-Song service (premiering a new song every day on their answering machine), featuring the accordion as a lead instrument. The Grammy Award-winning duo, who first met as teenagers growing up in Lincoln, Massachusetts, released two albums on the indie label Bar/None that virtually defined the word “quirky” – 1986’s eponymous debut and 1988’s Lincoln. Both albums instantly became college radio staples, with the inventive, no-budget videos for “Don’t Let’s Start” and “Ana Ng” receiving extensive MTV play.
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Elektra’s Sue Drew signed They Might Be Giants in 1989 and their major label debut, Flood, followed in January 1990. The album was a landmark work of the burgeoning alternative era, with beyond-clever singles like “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and the top 3 Modern Rock favorite, “Birdhouse In Your Soul,” pushing the collection to RIAA platinum certification for sales exceeding 1 million. 1992’s Apollo 18 saw John and John escalating their simple sound to include more traditional rock ‘n’ roll instrumentation. John Henry, the duo’s next album, released in 1994, took things ever farther, with TMBG now credited as a full-fledged band. Two years later, their sixth and final Elektra release, entitled Factory Showroom, saw the duo delving into the more experimental side of their nature. Since then, TMBG have pioneered a number of musical fronts, from innovative use of the Internet to children’s music to soundtrack composition. Among their many contributions to film and television are “Dog On Fire,” the Bob Mould-composed theme to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and “Boss Of Me,” their own Grammy Award-winning theme from the hit sitcom, Malcolm In The Middle.
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