Morning Music: Don’t Let’s Start

They Might Be Giants - Don't Let's StartBack in 1987, my once and future girlfriend told me that I must check out this band They Might Be Giants — partly because I too had a high tech duo with weird ideas, but sadly almost completely lacking on the talent side. So I bought their first album, They Might Be Giants, which I loved immediately and from then on. Apparently, she knew of the band because she had seen their music video for “Don’t Let’s Start.” I hear that it was kind of a hit on MTV, but it has never really been clear to me if videos ever create radio hits. But I’ve read in Wikipedia, that the song never made it to the Hot 100.

Anyway, I did go to see the band at the The Kennel Club during that tour. Now that I look back, I saw a lot of bands at that place. It was great — or at least it got a lot of great acts. They featured well known but small acts. I mean, They Might Be Giants would never play there now. Of course, The Kennel Club is long gone now. And I am much too old and agoraphobic.

Anyway, here is the song that started it all. It’s weird that I tend to find music of that period almost unlistenable because of the synth sounds. But somehow, it works with this stuff — probably because it is the basis of it and not a featured instrument. Besides, it’s all so silly, how can one not love it? Even if everybody dies frustrated and sad:

7 thoughts on “Morning Music: Don’t Let’s Start

  1. Hey…I just happen to have an audience tape of TMBG at the Kennel Club in March of ’88…any chance that was the show you attended? I’m trying to nail down the date of the show. Would you happen to still have your ticket stub?

    • You know, it probably was the same gig. Unfortunately, I don’t have the stub. I do, however, remember the opening band: Eskimo. What a great band they were! Anyway, I think I know how you can find the date. I would assume that that the San Francisco Bay Guardian (RIP) is archived by at least SF libraries. It shouldn’t be hard to find ads for it, given that it was a weekly. As I recall, the Kennel Club always had something like a quarter-page ad near the back of every issue. SF Weekly is still around. They might be able to help you directly.

      Good luck with that. Does that mean you have a recording of Eskimo live too? Now that would be a treasure!

  2. No, I unfortunately don’t have Eskimo. It may not be the same TMBG show as your concert experience, as I suspect this one is from ’88 and I’ve tracked down a poster that shows the opening act as “Carmaig deForest from L.A.” I live over in Alameda so your tip about the Bay Guardian archives is a great idea. I know that that SF State used to have the Chron on microfilm when I was a student there (’79-’82) so that might be a possibility, too.

    • Good luck with that. I think you are right about the gig. I remember it was Eskimo because I liked that band so much, I bought this sampler album that the SFSU radio station had put out with notable local bands. (Then again, they could have opened for someone else.) As I recall, it also had a track from Primus before they got big. Eskimo was great: drums, guitar, a great fretless bass, vibraphone, trombone. Kind of punk jazz.

    • Great researching! I had begun to question whether I had remembered that right. I know only too well how different memories can get pushed together. Thanks for getting back to me on this. It’s amazing the things you find on the internet…

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