There are so so so so so many things I love about this part of Gigantic (it’s my favourite part of the entire movie actually) but one of the VERY best parts is JOHN WEARING CHUCKS WITH A SUIT FUCK FUCK FUCKKKKKKKKKKK. HOT AS FUCKING FUCK. That’s like the combination of two of the absolute very hottest things, and I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT. (Chucks with formal-wear is always the way to go, I wore them to my college graduation and my mom’s wedding.) It drives me so crazy that he’s doing the glasses-on-his-head thing but it’s probably just as well or I would SERIOUSLY DIE. Sadly, he switched to BORING shoes before the actual TV appearance.
In Cowtown we were talking about this post and I was saying how I hope John does inexplicable spazzy things like that in his everyday life all the time and god Henry must be constantly embarrassed by what a dork he is and Apollo reminded me of this time years ago that people were discussing on LJ whether he was “old enough to be embarrassed by” his appearance in Gigantic and she said “Forget Gigantic, I wonder if he’s old enough to be embarrassed by his dad’s dancing in ‘They’ll Need a Crane’!” and this is why you should all love Apollo
(BONUS: Firefox just spellchecked “spazzy” as “snazzy” and now I am picturing John in an outfit that could be accurately described as “snazzy” and being very amused
and also turned on)
The Emily Dickinson comparison is seriously PERFECT, and I mean, not just because of how asocial he is. The thing about Emily Dickinson is that she was COMPLETELY BRILLIANT and was scribbling away all these poems all the fucking time, THOUSANDS of poems, but yeh because of how she was no one knew a thing about any of them until after she was dead, and then they were like “WHOA WHAT IS ALL THIS CRAZY AWESOME SHIT?” (Well ok not exactly, what they were like for a looooong time was “Well yeh this is a pretty good poem but WHAT’S WITH ALL THESE WEIRDO DASHES AND RANDOM CAPITALIZATION AND SHIT, we need to fixthat before we publish it,” but y’know, NOW we can see how brilliant it all was.)
And that is EXACTLY what John would be like were it not for Flans. He would still be writing songs, he would still have this compulsive need to write songs and they would still be every bit as brilliant, but NONE OF US WOULD EVER HEAR THEM. So you know, we should all be DAMN grateful for Flans making pretty much every single thing that makes TMBG possible happen, not just so we can hear his awesome songs, but so we can hear John’s.
It’s hard to say what the best Syd Straw moment in Gigantic is. I mean I’m pretty sure it has to be comparing John to Emily Dickinson, but “Are people mostly saying they’re nice guys?” “People are saying they’re nice guys, yeh.” “Have you talked to anyone who really knows them?” and “I think they had TONS of sex, but I can’t confirm that, and it wasn’t with me” are also up there. I can’t stand her music even slightly, but SHE IS HILARIOUS.
When I went to THE VERY VERY FIRST SCREENING EVER of Gigantic (cos y’know I AM THE COOLEST, obviously), at South by Southwest, there was a Q&A with AJ afterwards and someone was like “So um, Syd Straw, is she like, crazy?” and AJ was like “Yeh she is crazy, CRAZY LIKE A FOX!”
In 2003, when Gigantic was having its actual theatrical release (after just playing at festivals), TMBG did a special show at the Bowery to celebrate, and I am randomly feeling nostalgic about it right now. It was one of the super-coolest shows because they had all these special guests there to do the vocals on songs—Laura Cantrell, Doughty, Frank Black, etc.
And then downstairs from the Bowery there’s a bar and afterwards like EVERY SINGLE ONE of all these awesome people was there so you could mingle with them, except this one PARTICULAR guy was missing, I’LL JUST LET YOU GUESS WHO. Everyone was cool but I think I was most excited about meeting Robin cos OMG Robin. She was every bit as fab as you’d imagine and god I just love her so much and she and Flans are so fucking PERFECT together. I love how even the Flansgirls love her, they’re like, “Oh I want to hate Robin but she’s just too cool!”
There was a thing about the Borough President for Brooklyn declaring it “They Might Be Giants Day” in Brooklyn and there was a little proclamation read about that and that was very cool, but come on, EVERY DAY should be They Might Be Giants Day in Brooklyn, OBVIOUSLY.
Mark Pender (the trumpet player who plays on “Doctor Worm” and some other stuff and also is in Conan’s band) was there, and afterwards my boyfriend-at-the-time asked him if he really loves soup, because there was a Conan sketch about him loving soup. I guess he thought it was really funny and remembered, because like six months later boyfriend-at-the-time and I were at another show which had the Other Thing brass, which Pender was also in, and before that show he came out and just sat next to us and was like “HIIIIIII GUYS” and we were like “Um…hi Pender??” It was silly. I am super-sad about Conan being in LA now mainly cos TMBG can’t be on all the time like they used to be, but I’m also sad that he is cos it means Pender isn’t doing stuff with them as much.
We all got these FANTASTIC goodie bags of various Gigantic-themed stuff afterwards, most notably some Gigantic coffee-scented cologne
and some Gigantic coffee
both of which are happily at home on my TMBG desk shrine right here.
Because it was a special show a whole bunch of us who were all friends from the newsgroup flew in for it and all got to be there together and that was another thing that made it extra-fun. Afterwards we were all taking our picture together outside and I was saying something about “man it was so cool how EVERYONE hung around so we could meet them except of course for John cos he’s an ASSHOLE” and I guess I was um kinda loud cos this guy was walking by and he was like “Who’s an asshole? ARE YOU ALL ASSHOLES?” and I was like “No, John Linnell” and he was like “Oh, yehhhhhhh.”
So then he started talking to us, and he was wearing an Onion shirt, and I realized he looked kinda familiar, and I was like “Do you work for The Onion??” and he said yeh and it turned out I had seen him at a journalism conference in Austin three years earlier, so small world, eh? This one (really hot) friend of mine was there and she was wearing these hot shoes that had like ribbons lacing up her legs and I was of course wearing my customary Chucks and we’re standing next to each other and he looks at us and he’s like “Nice shoes!” and we both say “Thank you” simultaneously and then I’m really embarrassed cos I’m like “Oh right of COURSE he’s talking to THE ACTUAL SEXY GIRL WITH THE ACTUAL SEXY SHOES, you realize you are the only person on the planet who is really excited by Converse, right?” Oops.
Anyway, yeh, a fantastic time all around. It is one of my most special memories from my early days in fandom. I have one of my actual proper patented obsessive reviews about it written up, but I don’t have any of those that are from pre-wiki days all formatted and up anywhere yet. I’ll get to that one of these days.