In My Room

CMJ New Music Monthly, November/December 2001
by Tom Mallon

Who: John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants
Where: His studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Why: TMBG have been the kings of quirk-pop for almost 20 years; Flansburgh’s studio contains everything they’ve collected in the past 15.

Dial-A-Song. (718) 387-6962

This is the original home of Dial-A-Song. I just installed a new Record-A-Call 675 machine, circa 1985, that was found on eBay by a fan. This is probably our 30th phone machine. You can't even get them repaired anymore; there's no one to repair them. You can't access it remotely, so people can't hack it. We are freak magnets, man. There are all sorts of people who project all sorts of crazy things on us, and they want to get their insane message through.

They might've been Dumptruck

I've got a copy of our very first poster. I made two versions of it; one said "Dumptruck," because we were considering calling ourselves Dumptruck. A band came out about a year later called Dumptruck--I think they were from Boston. I'm just grateful that we didn't have to call ourselves, like, NYC or Junior. But Brooklyn Dumptruck might actually be an improvement on Dumptruck.

A vortex where nothing is ever thrown away

I've got an Apple II computer. I've got an Autoharp. I've got a toy piano. I've got a feather duster. I've got a worn-out Rand McNally atlas from the road. I've got Febreze. I've got a little DJ setup with a turntable. I've got a couple of unsuccessful lottery tickets-"Win For Life" is my preferred brand. I've got a pair of glasses from 1992 that no longer make me see well enough.

Don't forget the Febreze

You got the febreze, right? I’m a big fan of Febreze. I love it in all its different modes. It’s really good on fabric.

Inhale the fragrance of They Might Be Giants' seventh full-length, Mink Car (Restless).