They Might Be Giants. The word that keeps coming back to me when I think about Flood is classic. A great album from start to finish with hits like “Birdhouse In Your Soul”, “Particle Man”, and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. Whenever I hear anything from this album, it takes me back to the days I would mow Mrs. Wilson’s lawn while listening to my yellow Sony Sports walkman. I would rotate this album with Anthrax’ Persistence Of Time until the tape would almost wear out and I would have to buy a new copy. 

I was turned onto this album by an unlikely source. A youth pastor by the name of Mark, if you will, or I think something close to it. Funny thing is that he started out as a magician. He would show up at the houses of different parishioners and would do slight of hand magic up close. He was pretty good and would always be friendly. 

Growing up I was involved in the church youth group, doing it more for the socialization with people my age than an attempt to get closer to a higher power. We would meet in the church basement every Sunday night and would do some sort of bonding and ice breaking activities, generally followed by pizza. One night, we broke off into groups and I ended up with Mark, six other teens and a boombox. I don’t remember what we talked about during that little breakout session, but I do remember what we did. We listened to some tracks off of They Might Be Giants’ Flood. 

I had never heard them before. I may have heard of them but never actually listened to them. I knew of them as an alternative rock type band with weird lyrics that seemed a little erudite or hipster for me. First track Mark played for us was “Dead”. A single piano and two voices. Simple. What I wasn’t ready for was how the lyrics were going to hit me: 

“Now it’s over I’m dead and I haven’t done anything that I want
Or, I’m still alive and there’s nothing I want to do”

They Might Be Giants, “Dead”

We got into some deep thoughts about the song being about returning from the grave and the biblical implications. But it was the above-quoted lyrics that really made me think. It was a moment of realization for me and all of a sudden things started to seem smaller. I would be faced with a situation and then that little section from “Dead” would play over and over in my head. Not sure if it would really put things into perspective for me but it changed the I would think about things. 

And it happens more so now. Back then I would poo poo suggestions for things to do or try and over time my thinking has gone from, “Nah. Not really interested in doing that.” to “Why not? If it’s not going to kill me what do I have to lose? Worse thing to happen is I find out something that I don’t like.”

1.Theme From Flood0:27
2.Birdhouse In Your Soul3:21
3.Lucky Ball And Chain2:47
4.Istanbul (Not Constantinople)2:38
6.Your Racist Friend2:55
7.Particle Man1:59
9.We Want A Rock2:48
10.Someone Keeps Moving My Chair2:23
11.Hearing Aid3:27
12.Minimum Wage0:47
14.Whistling In The Dark3:25
15.Hot Cha1:35
16.Women And Men1:47
17.Sapphire Bullets Of Love1:36
18.They Might Be Giants2:45
19.Road Movie To Berlin2:22