Monday, January 5, 2015

Dial-a-Song by They Might Be Giants returns

In 1983, They Might Be Giants published a phone number in the back of The Village Voice that led to the band's answering machine, where callers would find a new song every day. (The service lasted until 2006.)

Now, TMBG's John Flansburgh and John Linnell are bringing back the service starting today with a new era for Dial-a-Song at (844) 387-6962. The band is promising a new song each week throughout 2015.

Per The Wall Street Journal:

“When we first did it, there were tremendous shortcomings to the phone machine in terms of fidelity,” said Mr. Flansburgh, 55 years old. “Actually, if we had any sustained notes in the song, the machine would reject it, mistaking it for the beep at the end of the message. So there were all these odd choices that were nonmusical.”

You can find the band's Dial-a-Song website here ... and their YouTube page.

TMBG became regulars in the East Village performance art scene in the early 1980s, playing steady shows at the likes of the Pyramid and 8BC.

And not a Dial-a-Song. From 1988.

Previously on EV Grieve:
On the phone with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants


Scuba Diva said...

I remember calling Dial-a-Song regularly, and even recording the songs through my phone; I still have the cassettes somewhere.

The duo—they started as a duo, although my cousin-in-law has played trombone with their band for several years—has worked with a number of handicaps, and although I knew of a few other answering-machine phone services in the 80s and 90s —"Apology" was one of them, and "Ralphie's Bop City" was another—Dial-a-Song was probably the most popular.

Anonymous said...

Been a fan of these guys since their first album.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I used to call this every day!