Thursday, November 6, 2008

Silly Songs: Shoehorn With Teeth

They Might Be Giants: Shoehorn With Teeth


Geekrockers and modern TV theme song geniuses They Might Be Giants have a reputation for the odd and surreal, but under most of their songbook is at least some semblance of narrative, or at least a mindset which frames their oddities as metaphor for something slightly more normal, and often surprisingly deep and pithy. Not so this short ditty, off 1989 sophomore album Lincoln; near as I can tell, the scattered impossibilities and earworm tune are merely a framework for a series of silly images that come straight out of the fevered dreams of Salvador Dali, from the titual toothed shoehorn to the heavy metal tourplane that runs out of gas in the air and thus can never land. Bonus points for wildly blaring homophonic sax and accordion, which reflect perfectly the nasal voices of Giants John and John, and lend a sense of lightheartedness and glee to untethered lyrics already on the verge of floating away.

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