Wednesday, October 12, 2005

News: They Might Be Giants Like Kids, But Not Too Much So

One of the things I've always enjoyed about TMBG shows is seeing parents bringing their kids. In the back of the crowd, enjoying the noise and lights and energy, it seemed like a nice way to bring parents and children together.

Well, have I been wrong all these years? Because They Might Be Giants' (main) tour page now includes the following disclaimer:

Also, we enjoy having the opportunity to perform for children at our kid's shows, but there is simply no place for children at the regular TMBG shows. Things get very adult specific in terms of language. The volume is extreme even in the back of the hall, and there is usually large amounts of smoke of every variety; but most important of all-there are routinely a small number of very large, drunk, excitable adults who, at regular intervals 1.) jump off the stage directly into the crowd 2.) slam dance through the crowd 3.) throw bottles into the crowd and 4.) knock people down in their revelry. Over the years we regret to report we have seen many different kinds of serious injury due to crowd rowdiness-injury that would be far more serious to a small child than to a flexible 18 year old. There is essentially no controlling the random nature of crowds. This is why we cannot allow children at our shows. Please-get a baby-sitter. Make no mistake-TMBG shows are adult-only affairs. Do not bring children to shows that are not specifically for children. You will be turned away.

Sigh. Maybe they're right. (But I'm still sad I didn't get a chance to take my daughter to a "regular" show.)


Monty said...

I'm a huge TMBG fan, and so is my four year old daughter - both of us from before they started doing children's music. (She could sing "Birdhouse in Your Soul" at age 2!)

So I was very disappointed to hear the "F" word rear its ugly head on their new Venue Songs CD. I'm not a prude about a rude word or anything - it doesn't offend me, but I don't really want my daughter to run around shouting it, and the thing is - it's so unnecessary!!

I don't fault the giants for continuing their adult music career, but they've always been almost 100% "family friendly" and now that they are actually courting children as an audience, I should think they have a responsibility not to put any nasty surprises on their adult albums.

Or at least put out a warning, similar to their live music disclaimer, which I think is a very good idea given the reality of their shows, but is also disappointing.

I heard John and John in a recent interview talking about the fact that they are in a weird position, being older, and still appealing to the "youth culture" even though they aren't plugged into it any more in their personal lives.

So get over it, guys - your audience has grown up and had kids of their own, just like you! Why not make your shows and your CDs safe for the whole family? You can do that and still be quirky and edgy. The youth culture will still think you're cool, if they know what's good for em.

Thanks for letting me rant!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.