Hey there. How’s it going?
– Finally, a new They Might Be Giants album for grown-ups. I was a really big fan of The Else, but I am apparently in the minority on that one. In fact, I think I might be in the minority on most of the 2000-2010 output from the boys from Brooklyn. I’ve liked the vast majority of it, although 2004’s The Spine was kind of so-so. So I’m a little surprised that Join Us is resolutely old-school. It’s a little like if Lincoln was made utilizing a whole band, instead of just two guys and a drum machine. In general, it feels a little leaner, and a little more stripped down. As a rule, the songs aren’t overwrought at all (as was the case on The Spine), and they don’t seem to be making as many concessions towards a more mainstream sound (as was arguably the case on Mink Car). Don’t get me wrong, it’s very classical TMBG. It’s just a little less polished, a little more sparse, and moves back to that idea of cramming 18 songs into 45 minutes. So even if I’ve liked the recent stuff, I have a hunch that Join Us might have a little more staying power, and might end up being something of a comeback for them amongst the old guard. It feels like a band eager to recapture what makes them special. Really enjoying it so far.
– I was able to recently pick up the most recent DVD set from Futurama (I’m not sure if I should call it season 5 or what). There is just a shade more permissiveness than there was in their network days, but for the most part the newer episodes feel like a return to form after some of the iffy parts from the movies. At least a couple of the episodes in last summer’s 13-episode cycle are all-timers, and some of the others have tackled some really weighty subjects with the typical Futurama irreverence. Nice to see a show that can still stay sharp and relevant, even after a long time off the air. I haven’t seen as much from this summer, aside from the first two episodes. I liked both of those too, so I like to think the consistency has stayed strong.
– We went to the Borders out-o’-business sale last night, and we bought Forest a little picture book, a lullaby CD, and a dinosaur coloring book that came with stickers and little plastic toys. Just over the last couple of days, he’s shown more interest in just scribbling on paper, so we thought it best that he do so with crayons and coloring books instead of pen and bills.
– My iPod, previously presumed dead, is apparently still fine. One must never give up too soon.