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9 wikians attended: Bryce Cheesegod ChrissMari Corey Jargent JJRRutgers Mister Charisma Skullivan TDK

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McSweeney's set:

TMBG's set:

They Might Be Giants
— with McSweeney's opening —
Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY
April 30, 2001 at 9:00 PM

Fan Recaps and Comments:

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R O C K I N G   I S   F U N D A M E N T A L.


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This special engagement, featuring the contributing authors of McSweeney's Issue 6, raised over $10,000 for Reading Is Fundamental.
The They Might Be Giants band performed admirably. Supported by the Band of Dans, John Linnell and John Flansburgh took the stage and launched immediately into their instrumental piece "Drinkin'," followed by "The Ballad of Timothy McSweeney." We apologize if this is not the actual name of the song. We are still waiting for our copy of Issue 6 to arrive in the mail.
The readings transpired under the careful supervision of John Hodgman, Former Professional Literary Agent. He observed the readings as a qualified authority, and verified his objectivity in accordance with the rules that govern such things.
Arthur Bradford played the guitar as he read his contribution, "Rosalyn's Dog." This captivating tale proved an excellent beginning to the literary festivities.
Celebrated cartoonist Chris Ware, of Chicago, presented a storyboard for a children's story about a frog. Although well illustrated, the story was rejected by the author's publishers. Mr. Flansburgh assisted him by setting up the overhead projector and changing the transparencies. Although the audience sympathized strongly with the protagonist, it was generally held that the story would not have been appropriate for children after all.
When he had finished, M. Doughty played his "Frog and Banjo" song, taking a bit more artistic license than even he usually does. He then began another song, unrelated to McSweeney's. However, after a few bars he changed his mind and switched to a different song, the name of which escapes us. The different song was also unrelated to McSweeney's. Mark O'Donnell, identical twin and one of ten children, read his very short screenplay "Harsh Truths." His narration included some nice voice characterizations. Afterwards, They Might Be Giants played "Truth in Your Words."
Unfortunately, Samantha Hunt was not present to read her "Bathymetry" piece. However, They Might Be Giants performed their corresponding song "Down to the Bottom of the Sea" anyway.
Sean Wilsey read his piece about the Texas town of Marfa. His narrative was accompanied by a slide presentation.
Neal Pollack concluded the literary portion of the evening with three very entertaining and surprising poems. We recommend his Anthology of American Literature very highly.
M. Doughty returned to the stage after the readings were complete, to perform more of his music, "Busting Up a Starbucks" followed by "Janine." He was rocking on the left side. And, did we mention, word?
The audience applauded at all the appropriate moments.
After a brief intermission and slide presentation, They Might Be Giants returned to the stage and performed these songs:
  • "Robot Parade" (Adult Version)
  • "James K. Polk"
  • "Cyclops Rock"
  • "She's Actual Size"
  • "Your Mom's Alright" (vocals by Mr. Doughty)
  • "Fingertips"
  • "I've Got a Fang"
  • "Drink"
  • "Shoehorn with Teeth" (razor-sharp teeth, like those of the feral glockenspiel hammered into submission by Mr. Dan Hickey)
  • "Particle Man"
  • "She's an Angel"
  • "Older"
  • "She Thinks She's Edith Head" (Quiet Version)
  • "Spider"
  • "The Guitar"
  • "Women and Men"
  • "Doctor Worm"
  • "New York City"
We particularly enjoyed "Your Mom's Alright," and we found this performance of "Fingertips" to be their best to date. Mr. Linnell seemed about 70% recovered from his recent illness. His vocal range was not as broad as usual, but the quality of his singing was as excellent as we have come to expect.
Overall, the music and the readings taken together proved to be more than the sum of their parts. It was a magical night.