Metafilter TMBG Flood Tribute Album January 17, 2015 12:36 PM   Subscribe

After months of joyful toil under the expert and unflagging stewardship of Faint of Butt, I am proud to announce that the Metafilter Flood Tribute Album is now complete, just in time for the mid-January 25th anniversary of the release of They Might Be Giants' now classic record.

Mefi Music has been bustling with activity lately, as everyone was completing their cover songs. It has been a thrill to hear the project come together. Hopefully we can choose another record soon and make this a tradition.

Download it here, or listen to individual tracks here at Mefi Music:

1. Theme From Flood - not_on_display
2. Birdhouse In Your Soul - chara and Karlos the Jackal
3. Lucky Ball and Chain - mbrubeck/Margalo Epps
4. Istanbul - cortex
5. Dead - chococat
6. Your Racist Friend - motty
7. Particle Man - BlackPebble
8. Twisting - ochenk
9. We Want A Rock - valrus
10. Someone Keeps Moving My Chair - Brainy and lownote
11. Hearing Aid - usonian
12. Minimum Wage - uncleozzy
13. Letterbox - donatella
14. Whistling in the Dark - umbú
15. Hot Cha - The Great Big Mulp
16. Women and Men - Potch
17. Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love - Grangousier
18. They Might Be Giants - Slothomatic
19. Road Movie to Berlin - TheNegativeInfluence
20. Particle Man (last minute alternate version) - chococat
21. Particle Man (last minute alternate version) - Faint of Butt
posted by umbú to MetaFilter-Related at 12:36 PM (83 comments total) 87 users marked this as a favorite

This is awesome and I'm glad to see it all came together. Great work everyone, and I can't wait to hear all my old favorites redone.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:37 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, slightly related: TMBG meetup in Portland this May is coming up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:38 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's been a ton of fun chattering about this and hearing these as they come in. I love all the different takes people had on stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:48 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ah, I loved Istanbul and Particle Man as a kid. Definitely going to check this out.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:49 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some great versions here, really impressive all round. Well done to everyone for pulling this off!

btw where is the link to the Kickstarter to take this on tour
posted by billiebee at 12:54 PM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Standing ovation to all involved!!!!
posted by luckynerd at 2:37 PM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here's a MeFi Music playlist for easy in-browser listening. (The downloadable version has the volumes normalized for a better whole-album experience, though.)
posted by mbrubeck at 2:40 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, this is lovely!
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much, everyone. It's been such a great experience hearing everybody's fantastic contributions. I'm working on a simple web page to spread the project further; I'll post it as soon as it's ready.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:33 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


So well done!
posted by scruss at 3:50 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first thing I clicked on here was chara and Karlos the Jackal's cover of Birdhouse in Your Soul, and you guys, it is the most charming and awesome thing ever. What a voice!

Everyone go listen.
posted by posyblue at 4:43 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've created the official release page! Everyone please feel free to share this link around. I'm going to send it to a couple prominent cover music bloggers.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:07 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


If anyone wants to make a torrent of this (I'm ashamed to say I don't know how), I have a seedbox with a ridiculously large pipe and bandwidth to spare for The Cause.
posted by sacrifix at 5:20 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


We listened to them all last night and it was so happy-making.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:32 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've been watching them come through over Music individually and they've brought me lots of joy. Looking forward to listening from start to finish.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:46 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


haven't listened to these songs in years. really cute and sweet to hear these renditions!
(also, i'm not a frequent visitor to Music, but is there a way to add or copy someone else's playlist as your own?)
posted by bluefly at 9:10 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great job, everyone!
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:33 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a lovely, lovely thing.
posted by sculpin at 11:52 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hahaha yeah, this is great. And so fitting.

Nine cheers to all the person men and women who made this!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:42 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love Cortex singing Istanbul is not Constantinople. For some reason, it hits all of my giggle neurons.

To be clear, I'm not laughing at you, Cortex. I'm just laughing, because... well, you nailed it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:48 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


After months of joyful toil under the expert and unflagging stewardship of Faint of Butt may very well be my favorite phrase I have read all day, and not just because of buttslol*.


Good work, y'all.












* OK, it is about 85% buttslol.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:53 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am proud to announce that the Metafilter Flood Tribute Album is now complete

Oh, cool! I somehow wasn't aware this was going on, and--

just in time for the mid-January 25th anniversary of the release

SHUT UP SHUT UP I'M NOT OLD AND I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:45 AM on January 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Awesome work, everyone! Having listened through the album a few (many) times over the past couple days, I think it has come together amazingly! Thank you, Faint of Butt, for organizing the whole shebang, ochenk for assembling the tracks into an album, and all my fellow MeFi musicians who put together the songs! Yay!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:41 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is anyone going to somehow alert the band and figure out how to get them a copy?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:22 AM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I sat this challenge out as I don't know the album at all and it didn't seem appropriate to wade in when there were so many folk lovingly crafting awesome tributes. But now it's done... do I start by listening to the original, or by the mefites' version? Guidance needed...
posted by greenish at 11:18 AM on January 18, 2015


Okay, I'm embarrassingly revealing my OCD tendencies, but I immediately loaded the mp3s into Mp3Tag and saw that there are no covers, then saw Faint of Butt's "official release page" with its nice front and back album covers ... but immediately noticed that the MP3s themselves are tagged with the album release name as MetaFilter Flood Tribute Album while the FoB's covers are ambiguous ("MetaFilter Music Flood: A 25th Anniversary Tribute" ??) and the page leads with "MetaFilter Music presents Flood". So, um, what is this released named?

Also genre is tagged as "Other" which I understand, I guess, but I'll end up changing it because "other" won't really work for my library. (Mind you, genre tags are a never-ending source of irritation for me and nothing ever ends up working in my library with regard to genre.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:22 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich, if you download the collection from the link on the release page, the ID3 tags identify the album title as simply Flood and the genre as "Covers." Sorry about the confusion.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:25 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Ivan Fyodorovich, if you download the collection from the link on the release page, the ID3 tags identify the album title as simply Flood and the genre as 'Covers.' Sorry about the confusion."

Oh, I'd downloaded it from the link in the post. Is the album title really "Flood"?

"SHUT UP SHUT UP I'M NOT OLD AND I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA"

Yeah, I've been sort of freaking out thinking about how young many mefites were when this was released -- I imagine a lot of people weren't even born. My ex-wife and I had first met the summer of '89 and the first mix tape she sent me included "Shoehorn with Teeth" from Lincoln, which really made an impression on me. Flood was released in January, of course, and we listened to the hell out of that CD during our first year together. It's as familiar to me as the back of my hand.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I figured it was easiest to just call it Flood, since it's, y'know, Flood. But feel free to call it anything you want!

And in January of 1990, I had just turned ten years old. But I bought the album on cassette, so that counts for something, right?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:47 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I bought my first love their first record on vinyl when I was in middle school!

I think part of what makes this project work is that with this band, a old time-y cover can be as good a fit as drum machine synth-pop. Or both at once.
posted by umbú at 11:53 AM on January 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


That was a great listen, thanks to everybody who made this happen!

On the id3 tag front, I noticed that the downloaded album doesn't have track numbers.
posted by Phredward at 12:03 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The track numbers are in the ID3 tags, so iTunes will put them in the right order, but they're not in the file names. Sorry for any inconvenience.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:07 PM on January 18, 2015


Wait, no. They are in the file names, and they should be in the ID3 tags also. Man, this is hard.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:09 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just finished my first listen-through -- I'm very impressed. All the tracks are very good, but some are truly excellent. There's some interesting and inspired interpretations and I really like them a lot -- but what I notice is that TMBG's songwriting is so good that I think it would take a lot of effort to break one of these songs. Not to take anything away from what anyone's done here, just that I'm especially recognizing the genius songwriting in a way that I'd not previously, even though I've always loved TMBG.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:18 PM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Awesome!

I found a bunch of the takes on the songs to be wildly unexpected - in the best way possible.

Great work everyone.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:16 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was super-fun, and I am super-impressed, and I super-weirded out by it being 25 years....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:20 PM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yay! This is SO FUN. Thanks everyone.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks so much for the MeTa, umbú. It's easy to miss MefiMu without a heads-up once in a while.

And chococat, man. Every time I dive into his catalog of music, I end up amazed and happy. So so good.
posted by librarylis at 4:44 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is super great, and you are all such great people. Bravo.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:24 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


congrats to all involved!
posted by sleepy pete at 5:26 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


These are brilliant.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:41 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


*sniff* I think this brought a tear to my eye. A tear of joy and maybe a bit of remorse. Where the hell did the time go? Nice work, folks.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:12 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for putting this together, Faint of Butt! I am glad I was able to catch word of it and hop on the wagon at the last moment. Great job, everyone! There wasn't a take that I didn't like a lot.
posted by not_on_display at 7:14 PM on January 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huh. This got a mention by Jon Ronson.
posted by slogger at 8:06 PM on January 18, 2015


Did he change his mind? That link seems to be broken.
posted by umbú at 8:18 PM on January 18, 2015


Yup, borked.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:21 PM on January 18, 2015


Faint of Butt is a righteous fellow.
posted by peeedro at 10:42 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine once described They Might be Giants as Ween for mathletes.
posted by item at 12:43 AM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sidebar this please. Awesome work community.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:32 AM on January 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dead is my favorite.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:34 AM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is anyone going to somehow alert the band and figure out how to get them a copy?

I just tweeted their twitter account which John F shares ownership of.

This is pretty awesome, you guys!
posted by jillithd at 11:18 AM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shouldn't Letterbox be the_bone, not donatella?
posted by Greg Nog at 3:33 PM on January 19, 2015


If you download the file from here, everything should be correct. I hope. If you downloaded it from the page before, try it again now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:54 PM on January 19, 2015


This is fantastic. I'm simultaneously overjoyed at the wonderful renditions of the songs I already know and love and enjoying the hell out of the (new to me) songs I didn't know before. Stellar work everyone.
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:51 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still sing these songs all the time, and I am saving this for Tuesday morning at work. Thanks to all for the effort & joy in these!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:37 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Suggestion for next one:
Devin Davis - Lonely People of the World Unite
Weezer - Blue Album
Magnetic Fields - Holiday
Go Sailor - S/T
Vaselines - Enter the Vaselines
The Postal Service
Liz Phair - Whitechocolatespaceegg (yes, over Whipsmart)
Dead Milkmen -- Beezlebubba
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2015


We probably won't do another full album for a little while in order to let people catch their breath, but we could definitely have a thread where people could throw in their vote for the next one when the time comes, great idea Potomac Avenue!
posted by greenish at 9:24 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


These sound great! Kudos to everyone! I had such a great time doing this, even in the midst of the hectic holiday/cold & flu season. I'm looking forward to the next project!
posted by chara at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]




I vote for Beezlebubba.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


"LPs that were released in 1965 -- fifty years ago."

I just turned fifty a couple of months ago, so that would make me happy.

Which would be nice because I just turned fifty. God.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:34 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


LPs that were released in 1965 -- fifty years ago.

Well, hell-- I guess we're covering Rubber Soul. (We'll use the tracks from both the UK and American editions.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:29 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm in for Rubber Soul!!
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:35 PM on January 20, 2015


Well, hell-- I guess we're covering Rubber Soul.

Just noting that Highway 61 Revisited is also valid...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alright, we do Highway 61 in the style of the Beatles circa 1965, and Rubber Soul in the style of Bob Dylan! It can be a double album.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:50 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


People, calm yourselves. We've done that year. What about catering to the younger userbase?

Which is another way of saying that if I decide we're doing a Kate Bush album, WE'RE DOING A KATE BUSH ALBUM.

Uh, I mean, if people vote for it. In the secret ballot. Which I control.
posted by greenish at 12:51 PM on January 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hounds of Love is thirty years old this year and I remember very clearly when it came out. It was one of my favorite albums for many years and I still listen to it from time-to-time.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:17 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rubber soul! Yes! I got divs on I'm looking through you.
posted by umbú at 1:31 PM on January 20, 2015


awkward
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:35 PM on January 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


KATE BUSH YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
posted by chara at 3:13 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh hell yeah, I would love to hear MeFi do Hounds of Love.


IT'S IN THE TREES!! IT'S COMING!!!
posted by not_on_display at 3:39 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was a really engaging project and the results have been so great.
Awesome job everyone.

Covers are fun.
I know it's a different thing entirely but I wish that there was a way to channel all this excitement and motivation into a way to encourage the writing of new material or to facilitate the appreciation of the scores of existing original compositions that are uploaded every day over on Music. There is a constant flow of under-appreciated gems over there.
It's a conundrum, I tell you.
posted by chococat at 4:41 PM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, chococat, I've always thought of covers as an excellent way to introduce an artist to new listeners-- it gives the audience something familiar to guide them in, as it were. I know this project has given me a few folks to pay close attention to, yourself among them.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:39 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


There was one Music Challenge once, way back when, where people had to do a cover of another song on MeFi Music. I thought that was a good idea, and there were some awesome before & afters. Dunno how recently that challenge has been done.
posted by not_on_display at 10:33 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shouldn't Letterbox be the_bone, not donatella?

Donatella is my stage name and the one I asked to be credited as. :)
posted by the_bone at 1:06 AM on January 21, 2015


not_on_display, we had a very recent challenge like that (MetaMeta) but as I remember, it didn't get any takers somewhat unusually.

In case anyone not native to MeFiMusic is interested, the current challenge is to write something that incorporates a ten-second sample of your choosing. All comers welcome! And also recommendations for future challenges.

On that note, one of my favourites was the Request Raffle challenge of Summer '13. Would folk be interested in re-running that one this summer?
posted by greenish at 3:17 AM on January 21, 2015


> LPs that were released in 1965 -- fifty years ago.

oh hey, "A Love Supreme"!
posted by ardgedee at 4:28 AM on January 21, 2015


On that note, one of my favourites was the Request Raffle challenge of Summer '13. Would folk be interested in re-running that one this summer?


As someone who enjoyed a lot of the output last time and has come up with many ideas since then , I would definitely like to see that one again as well, though as someone who wouldn't be participating as a musician, my opinion on the matter should be weighed accordingly.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:44 AM on January 21, 2015


Donatella is my stage name and the one I asked to be credited as. :)

ah! Marvelous!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:53 AM on January 21, 2015


This was wonderful, excellent job all!
posted by warble at 4:10 PM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


On a related note, our beloved cortex has recorded an additional cover of "Your Racist Friend" in the style of Tori Amos. Go listen.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:42 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


These are all great! My favorite is We Want A Rock by valrus.
posted by foobaz at 2:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man. Memories. This used to be my friend Paul and I's go to road trip tape. Nothing like watching two guys tooling around, singing along to the whole thing ala mode MacKenzie Brothers.

Happier days my friends. And thanks for the RAM refresh to boot.
posted by Samizdata at 12:47 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


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