A musician's instrument is like a child, a favorite possession, a tool, a muse and a work of art all rolled into one.
Guitars connect a band with its audience, a piano helps a songwriter create new music, and drums give a song its heartbeat--and each is an expression of the performer's personality.
These beloved items are as much a part of artists as their respective bodies of work, and for months, we've spoken to local musicians, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, country stars and punk rockers about their favorite instruments and other pieces of gear.
If you think They Might Be Giants' new album, "Phone Power," sounds like some of the band's older stuff, John Flansburgh says that might be because they used their ancient drum machine to make it:
"I have the original drum machine that we did all that early They Might Be Giants stuff that has the special sauce of 1983 soaking through it. I'm fairly surprised that it still works. It powers up. It's fully functional.
It's a Boss Dr. Rhythm. It's a little silver drum machine that has really adorable emblems (such as) the universal symbol of two hands clapping. Everything on it is in illustrations. It really looks like it's for children."