Daily Song Study

They Might Be Giants – Lucky Ball and Chain

In songs on December 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

Earlier we discussed that time period in the very early 1990s before “alternative” reflexively meant “grunge and its offshoots.” It may be a bit contentious, but I place the weirdo-rock stylings of They Might Be Giants firmly in the alternative category, since they were certainly an alternative to anything at all that was going on in the mainstream during that time.

The two Johns, Flansburgh & Linnell, were in fact originally labeled a novelty act, which is probably why I first heard them on the Doctor Demento show in the late 1980s. This is in keeping with my earlier ramblings about how that oft-maligned designation does produce quite a bit of innovation, which is definitely personified in the band’s 1990 masterwork Flood.

Not content to merely bring geek-rock to new heights, here they even go so far as to write a badass country song. They do an odd trick here, putting the chorus first and sort of stapling a verse to the end of each one, then having a couple of bridges show up unexpectedly to boot.

  1. […] category, but it wasn’t geeky in its heyday of the late ’60s and early ’70s). The aforementioned They Might Be Giants upped the game in the 1980s, and during the ’90s the beast sprouted many heads including […]

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