a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

we're naked and alone, and the grave is the loneliest place

Spindley Q Frog on my home instance shared something wonderful yesterday. It's more wonderful with the full context, so I'll quote him:

They Might Be Giants have an album of B-sides called My Murdered Remains which has a song on it called Last Wave and like

it's off-the-charts surreal and bleak

these weird alien voices singing the same words over and over about dying alone and afraid

I think about it all the time

and yesterday I learned it was written to synchronize perfectly with the Aerosmith / Run-DMC video for Walk This Way


I like They Might Be Giants, but I haven't assiduously listened to much of the music they released after the Flood—John Henry era. Not that I think the albums they made after that period were bad, it was just not that different from what I've already heard, and there's a lot of music out there, y'know? Also there was a period where I think they were exclusively making albums for children, which is cool, but not really my thing. I was peripherally aware of an occasional song from their later years: Another First Kiss is a really sweet pop song, the rock version of Why Does the Sun Shine is a fun time, it was cool when one of their songs (Experimental Film) had a Homestar Runner video, etc. Also, they're one of a handful of bands I've been able to see live, because they played Mountain Stage one year. They were only able to play for 20 minutes, but Regina Spektor was also there, so it was a pretty good time. But that was 2007, so it's been awhile since TMBG has been on my radar.

Which is why when SQF shared this video, my first thought was "oh my God, They Might Be Giants invented the 'shreds' video?!" because I still sort of think of them as a band from the 90s. But nope, My Murdered Remains was released in 2018, so it's them doing a similar thing. I don't know if they were directly inspired by "shreds", but I wouldn't be surprised.

A "shreds" video, if you're not familiar, is a youtube video with the title "[name of band] shreds", and it's a music video dubbed with a new track written to match the performance in the video, to hilarious results. To me, the quintessential example is Kiss Shreds, in which P.I.S.S plays their famous hit I will never go to school.

I wish I was a big enough TMBG fan to have listened to a B-sides compilation in 2018, because as delightful as Last Wave is, I can't imagine how much better it would've been if I first encountered the song without the context. How weird would it be if a band you like who makes fairly normal indie rock released a song that sounds like Last Wave? "What the fuck is this song? Why does it exist??" Finally seeing the video and having it all click into place would be a surreal catharsis.

I wish that was the case, but I try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so that hasn't stopped me from watching it a dozen times with a big goofy grin on my face. Thanks to Spindley for sharing 🦝