Friday, September 30, 2022

All the Raps by John and John: TMBG Portland Maine Concert 9/9/22

All the raps by John and John: Found Footage TMBG concert, Portland Maine 9/2/22

Ever wonder what a live TMBG concert is like? John and John are constantly fun and funny, but also sweet and obviously care very much about each other and the audience. We happened upon some “found-footage” from the show in Portland Maine this month: my son accidentally left his cell phone on in his pocket! In Act 1, the boys told the audience to get out our phones, turn around, and record a selfie of us with the band playing Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love backwards. This would later be reversed to hear the song “forwards”. Jojo accidentally left his phone on after the song and it continued dutifully recording for the next 3 hours: from his pocket! This “found footage” was a chance to document the fun, playful rap the boys do during the whole show: see what you think, but they seem to be enjoying themselves tremendously!

This gives a look maybe, at how they really are in their world.

0:40 JF we might have to do this part of the show twice

JL Yes. Including the raps, and the photography work… (instructions on how to record STILLOOB backwards)

1:15 JF  how do you say Judas backwards?“

JL That’s a Bob Dylan reference 

JF ;that was for you John

JL; and I’m just passing it along

JF so here we go: let the confusion begin.

1:47:16 STILLOOB (sapphire Bullets of pure love backwards)

3:22 JF that was perfect perfect

3:33 man it’s so loud in here

6:59 JF so here’s another song from our flood album it’s based on the parker brothers game. we are 33 years deep and there’s been no litigation so I think we’re safe.

JL we’ll be getting a letter next week

JF little did they know Parker Brothers corporate offices were located in Portland Oregon. In Portland, Maine… 

AUDIENCE Booooooooo!

JF check this out: I totally don’t live here. You could’ve said that just as easily as me. I hope I’m below you(?). We’re just a bunch of human beings the way God made them up here. You want to take this outside? You go outside we’lll stay in here.

JL it would be a whole new vibe for us to boo the audience. I don’t think other bands do that kind of thing. I’m thinking out of the box here.

JF not since limp bizkit. That did not work out well. There used to be an amazing YouTube video of guy and Limp Bizkit challenging a stadium of people to a fight. It’s been scrubbed. I actually did a deep dive the last time I thought about it has definitely been scrubbed from YouTube. It was amazing. Like I could invent just TikTok 2 and have it be just that one video of the guy saying you want a piece of this? What’s going to happen? they were opening for Metallica it was not going well.

JL I think scrappy Doo was the lead singer.

JF in the middle of him going for vogueness(?), the house sound guy just walks across the stage just very casually just (Flansburgh grabs microphone) cause I think he owned that Mike and he didn’t want to lose it. I’m OK back to the music well this song is called Hot Cha

9:35 hot CHA

11:30 pointlessly violent fantasy song that will go unnamed

11:38 JL I’m sorry I got off on the wrong foot here it’s gonna be great. its gonna be perfection

JF it’s cause we care.

JL I saw those guys; they were not robots. I was disappointed.

12:15 same violent decapitation song started all over again

15:29 Lucky ball and chain

18:19 JF lucky BALL and chain

JL LUCKY ball and chain. Lucky ball AND chain… now how much would you pay?

JF I Guess it’s obvious we don’t care if you take photographs. There’s a lot of places where people ask us if it’s ok if they take photographs: it’s 2022. They’re taking photographs of their lunch. Take all the photographs you want. Take and pick your favorites show your friends. So we’ve got a couple more songs and we’re going to take a 20 minute break during which time lines will form where lines form then they will disperse as the noise begins again. So um, the second set, it’s all genesis and yes. (Band plays a little roundabout)

19:25 road movie to Berlin

22:15 horn instrumental intro then Istanbul not Constantinople jam


Intermission sounds from Jojo‘s pocket


49:10 Video: part of STILLOOB video from act 1 backwards, technical difficulties (You can see my video of the actual backwards recording on YouTube “TMBG teaches the audience to clap backwards Portland Maine 9/2/22“ )

50:33 JF so our lighting guy Saul told us there’s a technical problem with the video there so they only got half of the song. I think it’s because our performance was not up to snuff. He’s just protecting all of us. So we’ll just try again.

JL He just turned off the cameras, he was like “Na Na no good.” Anyway back to flood. Remember that album flood? We were so young…

JF we were just taking doses of the brand new theatrical breakthrough drug Pandor

JL you didn’t understand that? We’ll put out a thing on social media to explain all the jokes

JF I came down with a case of Demeticulitis 

JL you guys are with us…you understand us

The first time we played in Japan we were taught saying our usual raps and everyone was like yeah! And then john said something that was really specific like “all right everyone put your hand in the air and scream love“ And then we realized they were just smiling you know. They liked us. Meanwhile they didn’t know what we were saying.

JF I could tell that the only audience, we toured Germany a lot, and Germans understand puns

JL in English. They understood us in a deep way. In a disturbingly intimate way.

JF you can’t blame them for being smart but um here’s a song from the flood album

52:48 letterbox

54:17 JF… brief Introduction to the band on acoustic guitar is Mr. Dan Miller he’s(?) on the bass kevin (?) and a man needs no spotlight because he’s lit from within our drummer Mr. Marty Beller. All right speaking of the flood album, here’s another song from the flood album. It’s called we want a rock

54:55 we want a rock

58:07 moonbeam Rays

1:01:09 JF got to do some product placement

JL pay some bills. We got a pay some bills

JF ladies and gentlemen last year we had the privilege of putting out our thousandth Album. It’s like it’s in this shape, we know albums come in a lot of different shapes some of them working some of them just in your imagination this one is actually profoundly physical. It’s called book. It’s a book of photographs and lyrics the lyrics have been lovingly set by by hand typed into a Selectric typewriter from 1973 by the graphic designer Paul Sair he’s a friend of mine and he’s crazy. You’re just seeing the typed ones here. It’s a very cool thing we’re very proud of it and that last song is off of this project. And there are approximately 1100 of them left. There’s 30 of them at the T-shirt stand right now waiting to be purchased by one person racing out the door right now. With (?) ambitions of starting a pop up store in downtown Portland, because pop-up stores are where it’s at. let’s get that Gofundme going for a pop-up store in Portland. (Flansburgh is giving away a copy of book to a woman from the audience)

JL will be doing more songs from this new album later in the set after everybody’s gone

JF so I’m John I know this was supposed to be a set of like boom boom boom Showbusiness. All right I’m ready when you are

1:03:31 Women and men

1:05:20 dead

1:08:29 Cyclops rock (interesting mixup at 1:10:45…) 

1:11:10 JF I feel like my brain exploded at the end of that song. It’s like I was screaming on top of a scream

JL I feel like your mouth was open and there was a little flans inside that was screaming

JF I’ve been hiding that for so long. Now it can be said:There’s a tiny screaming Flansburg inside of Flansburg

JL so that was the original lyrics to Georgia girl

“(Sings) there’s a tiny Flansburg screaming inside”

JF I understand a little bit of tea. And by tea I mean Microdosing LSD. Is Microdosing a euphemism for dosing?

JL I think you’ll have to ask the tiny Flansburg 

JF I’m  not doing any of that. I don’t know anyone who does that. I mean I know people who drink too much, but I don’t know anyone who Microdoses . Do you know anyone?

JL a friend of mine did it and he was disappointed that he wasn’t tripping. and I said to him but isn’t at the point that you’re not supposed to trip?

JF I don’t know. I took that CBD thing and that was just for a minute. And I was like oh they take the part of pot that doesn’t work

JL if Tommy Chong says it’s bullshit… It’s time to question whether

JF he’s got a very loose… he’s not there to judge most of the time. Tommy Chong said that?

JL he’s against CBC? CBD? There’s A children’s book called CDB. No one has heard of either of these things. One person has heard of this

JF this song is a long distance dedication to that one person. Here we go here’s another song

1:13:45 minimum wage

Audience (on cue) “Yeeeeahhh!”

JF here’s another song off the album book. It’s the opening track is called synopsis for late comers

1:14:45 synopsis for late comers

JF here’s a song with a fresh horn chart from (? Daniel?) on trombone. This is from an album called album raises new and troubling questions which is a collection of songs that were not all recorded together, but altogether raise some new and troubling questions. And it’s called authenticity trip

1:17:50 authenticity trip

JF (inaudible)

JL they’ve had it with us

Audience member: Flansy, we’re glad you’re feeling better!

JF Yeah I’m super good. It’s a it’s great to be able to perform. It’s great to be able to sit up. 

JL everyone’s asking how you’re feeling. For a guy who broke most of his ribs he’s concealing his agony pretty well

Audience member: he looks great!

JF You know it’s a complicated thing when you’re a, yeah. It’s fucked up. I’m trying to think of something lighthearted to say about it

JL it’s time to go dark. Things just weren’t the same after the accident.

JF let’s get back to bitching about apartment living. This song is called we live in a dump

1:21:35 we live in a dump

1:23:23 JL I just want to say flans I’m very glad you that you survived and that you are getting well. It scared the shit out of me personally, and it’s a big big relief

JF back! Flans is BACK! I don’t want to scold everyone who thinks driving drunk is cool: it ain’t. I got hit by a drunk driver and although I would love to talk about it at length it is unfortunately in the courts now so I’m just going to shut the fuck up. But a, just you know don’t don’t do that kind of stuff, it’s a mistake, big miscalculation and a, and a, Wear a seatbelt

JL so here’s a song about that it’s called someone keeps moving my chair

1:24:21 someone keeps moving my chair

JF right here we’re into the homestretch

we want to thank you all for coming out we know you have the choice of They might Be Giants-like bands, And we’re glad you have chosen us this evening. We’re at the State Theatre and we’re still trying to figure out if we’ve played here before. This song is called birdhouse in your soul


1:27:15 birdhouse in your soul

1:30:44 particle man/Sun Ra - Rocket Number Nine Take Off For The Planet Venus

1:33:49 Dr. worm

JF thank you so much

1:36:37 Audience clap clap clap clap scream scream scream scream etc


1:38:21 JF Ladies and gentlemen there are no words, there are only photographs that can describe how we feel right now. Thank you so much for coming out to the show. I’m just trying to make sure my phone doesn’t start making sounds through my amplifier. A few more songs to play right now. This next song features Mr. Marty Beller, who appreciates applause for himself more than anyone I know. He’s wearing earbuds he can barely hear you. People in the balcony, Mr Marty Beller on the drums.  This is a very special song we had ghost written for Marty. It was written by ghosts

JL actual ghosts

JF the song is called Marty Beller mask

1:39:22 encores number one

Marty Beller mask

JF Mr Marty Beller on the drums. True story.  ladies and gentlemen we have just one more song prepared for you right now. Any songs we do after that have not been prepared we sincerely want to thank you all for coming out to the show. We want to thank our crew; many of them are brand new.I’m not going to say their names because I won’t get to the end. We’re glad they’re here and they really are helping us out.We want to thank all the local people for doing such a good job today this place is beautiful. We hope you get right back. tell your friends you saw this new band. All right this song is called fingertips

1:42:15 fingertips

1:47:59 audience clap clap clap clap scream scream scream scream etc.


1:50:02 We have to get to North Adams? Massachusetts… (crowd moans) there is a mutual animosity? in audibleJF friendly town: “Alright everybody, we’ll see you later…BOO!!!” inaudible. We’re from Massachusetts but you know, we’re from Eastern Massachusetts

JL and we’ve spent a lot of time in Maine, I don’t know if that counts

JF I spent all my summers in Maine

JL Is that good or bad I don’t know 

JF I don’t think it counts I don’t think being a tourist in Maine counts as… even though we have a working familiarity with a lot of things about this place, it doesn’t count. Folks we want to thank you individually, so will you bring up the lights for one second while we thank eleven hundred people (Flans pointing and talking to individual people in the crowd) specifically. That lady with the smile right there, I’m pointing right AT you. Hi. Wave back. Thank you for coming to the show (inaudible) everyone in the band is thanking you right now. Are there any lights available for the balcony? Because I cannot see hardly anyone in the balcony. thank you so much for not standing so close to the edge as to terrify the band. Thank you all for coming. We have one more song Marty Beller on the drums(? On the bass, ? on lead guitarin John Linell on the accordion, you in the audience (? on the saxophone,? On the trombone, Mark Loveman Pender on the trumpet)

JL That’s Johnny Flansburgh

JF that’s me.. And I hope I was clear when I was mumbling, I was not driving the car that hit me. I just wanted to make that clear. It’s one of those things when you’re in an accident involving a drunk driver people are like “you were driving drunk?“

JL no, you were driving the car that hit you?

JF right. Somebody’s tweeting that out right now. All right here we go this song is called Mr. me 

1:52:40 Mr. me

1:54:40 audience Clap clap clap clap scream scream scream scream

Set List:

Intro (they might be Giants, (recorded intro)

1) The Mesopotamians

2) Twisting (Flood)

3) Your Racist Friend (Flood)

4) When will you die

5) Theme from Flood

6) Whistling in the Dark (Flood)

7) The Darlings of Lumberland

8) 2082

9) Stilloob (Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love backward…) (doolF)

10) Man it’s so loud in here

11) Hot Cha (Flood)

12) Some violent endulgement fantasy song

13) Road Movie to Berlin (Flood)

14) Istanbul not Constantinople (Flood)


15) Hearing aid (recorded song) (Flood) Like "They Might Be Giants (Alt. Version)," this is a new recording used as an intro on the 2022 Flood tour, to open the second set.

(Stilloob 1st verse played backwards, technical difficulties)

16) Letterbox (Flood)

17) we want a rock (Flood)

18) moonbeam rays 

19) women and men (Flood)

20) dead (Flood)

21) Cyclops Rock (Trick Dickie Nixon lyrics)

22) Minimum Wage (audience wins with perfectly on time Heeyah!) (Flood)

23) Synopsis for latecomers

24) authenticity trip

25) we live in a dump

26) someone keeps moving my chair (Flood)

27) Birdhouse in your soul (Flood)

28) Particle Man (Flood) Rocket Number nine takes off for the planet Venus, venus: Sun Ra

(big Band Version)

29) Dr Worm

(1st goodnights)

1st Encore

30) Marty Beller Mask

31) Fingertips

(2nd goodnights)

2nd Encore

32) Mr. Me (Big Band Version)

3rd Goodnights (claiming to need to get to The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA, as a reason to have to leave…)