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John Flansburgh talking about technology in music and Mad Flava

This is a good interview with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants over at a site called Gearlog that I hadn't heard of before. I didn't know Dial-A-Song wasn't working any more! I still have it saved in my cell phone! Apparently there is only now. My favorite quote from this interview was talking about how drum machines affected early work:

When you first started out, were you worried about making something too slick, and losing something in the music to the production?
The means to do anything in a slick way were so unavailable to us that it never really was an issue. We had very crude tools, for a very long time. We started out as a duo and used a drum machine. And something that I think we only became aware of, after we graduated to bigger studios and started working with live musicians, was how the sort of automatic, mad flava of the drum machines made our recordings exceptional-sounding.

On an almost completely unrelated note, I have always liked the symmetry of the formation of two of my favorite bands ever, They Might Be Giants, and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Despite being extremely different kinds of bands, this article kind of highlights the way they both started in similar ways. If you know the beginning of Carter that is, which I'm going to assume you probably don't. Carter USM was originally a band called Jamie Wednesday, that broke up right before a scheduled gig, for which all but two of the members didn't show up. James Morrison and Les Carter, later to be known as Jim Bob and Fruitbat of Carter, still wanted to be the same rock and roll band though, and proceeded with later shows as Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine with a drum machine and tape recorder to try and replace lost band members, much as TMBG did. Like TMBG they also later replaced their mechanics with real band members. I think probably as a result of their lack of full bands I ended up liking both of these groups alot more easily than I otherwise might have.

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