“to be small, quirky, unique, ferociously independent and still be able to survive”

[Drawn at the bar of Sushi Samba. That explains the orange light etc.]

I’ve been thinking about They Might Be Giants, an indie band I’ve been following off and on for over twenty years.

TMBG have been together for nearly thirty years.

TMBG never really had major mainstream success. They’ve just done their quirky little thing from their happy little corner of Brooklyn.

They were once of the earliest bands to really embrace the whole Intenet thing. They were pioneers. They had to be, if the band was to survive.

To be small, quirky, unique, ferociously independent and still be able to survive. A true “global microbrand”. Their example has always been huge inspiration to me.

I’m glad we live in a world where folk like TMBG can be exist. A much-needed antidote to the tedious, insatiable maw that is mainstream, celebrity-driven culture.

We live in incredible times.

[Follow TMBG on Twitter.]


  1. Inspiring…

    Not just the obvious, but also hunger. I love Sushi Samba! ;)

  2. TMBG did have a major record deal; they were on Elektra. They also lived in Brooklyn for a very long time and possibly still do.

  3. I’m not gonna lie – I’m a bit of a fan of some of the “tedious maw,” but I love Sushi Samba too (hi, salt and pepper squid) and especially love the idea of artists getting inspiration from artists in other fields. Came here because I was on Amazon buying another copy of Ignore Everybody, after giving mine away (I don’t regret the gift but need my own). Amazon sales rank cartoon = all too true.

  4. Sparks are a similar phenomenon – and their music is better :-0

  5. euonymous says:

    I didn’t realize TMBG were on Twitter. It never occurred to me to look! Thanks for pointing that out. Now then, I love those guys. Don’t know about all of them today, but the original band started out in Lincoln, Massachusetts. I used to live in Concord and remember going to a gig they played at their high school in memory of a classmate who had died. I was dragged there by a friend and her daughter. That was a million years ago, and I’ve followed their music ever since. And it is always a pleasure to see that writers or artists one likes also like each other. It brings a sort of closure to the world!

  6. remember when they had dial-a-song? before the internet, you could call this number for free and every week it changed. freemium!!!! i saw TMBG at the river cafe in billyburg the first time they played with a real band behind them. it was delicious.

  7. I have a TMBG Pandora Station. I think I’ll listen to it right now. Hmmmm…. or Brave Combo. Either one should perk me up. Beats coffee this late in the day.

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