They Might Be Giants' Flood

They Might Be Giants' Flood

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by S. Alexander Reed, Philip Sandifer
     
 

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For a few decades now, They Might Be Giants' album Flood has been a beacon (or at least a nightlight) for people who might rather read than rock out, who care more about science fiction than Slayer, who are more often called clever than cool. Neither the band's hip origins in the Lower East Side scene nor Flood's platinum certification can cover up the…  See more details below

Overview

For a few decades now, They Might Be Giants' album Flood has been a beacon (or at least a nightlight) for people who might rather read than rock out, who care more about science fiction than Slayer, who are more often called clever than cool. Neither the band's hip origins in the Lower East Side scene nor Flood's platinum certification can cover up the record's singular importance at the geek fringes of culture.

Flood's significance to this audience helps us understand a certain way of being: it shows that geek identity doesn't depend on references to Hobbits or Spock ears, but can instead be a set of creative and interpretive practices marked by playful excess-a flood of ideas.

The album also clarifies an historical moment. The brainy sort of kids who listened to They Might Be Giants saw their own cultural options grow explosively during the late 1980s and early 1990s amid the early tech boom and America's advancing leftist social tides. Whether or not it was the band's intention, Flood's jubilant proclamation of an identity unconcerned with coolness found an ideal audience at an ideal turning point. This book tells the story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“As always with books in this series[...] the read is highly recommended. It's enthusiastic and, in many ways, fan-ish, but makes its case clearly, logically and in an engaging writing style. I learned a great deal about the band's historical context and the decade build up to Flood. And, as I've already mentioned, reading it has led me to re-listen and notice details and connections I've never previously noticed. And that really has to be the aim of all writing about music - to inspire further and deeper listening.” —Adriane Elmer, Cyclic Defrost

“Reed and Sandifer are clearly fans, and not just because they say so-their writing demonstrates a level of familiarity with TMBG that belongs to the long-time listener...Overall, Reed and Sandifer's Flood is a neat book. It's worth reading,not only if you're a fan of TMBG and/or Flood, but also if you're interested in geek culture and geek rock.” —ProfAwesome.com

Cyclic Defrost Adriane Elmer

As always with books in this series[...] the read is highly recommended. It's enthusiastic and, in many ways, fan-ish, but makes its case clearly, logically and in an engaging writing style. I learned a great deal about the band's historical context and the decade build up to Flood. And, as I've already mentioned, reading it has led me to re-listen and notice details and connections I've never previously noticed. And that really has to be the aim of all writing about music - to inspire further and deeper listening.
ProfAwesome.com

Reed and Sandifer are clearly fans, and not just because they say so-their writing demonstrates a level of familiarity with TMBG that belongs to the long-time listener...Overall, Reed and Sandifer's Flood is a neat book. It's worth reading,not only if you're a fan of TMBG and/or Flood, but also if you're interested in geek culture and geek rock.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781623568290
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
11/28/2013
Series:
33 1/3 Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
923,157
File size:
261 KB

Meet the Author

S. Alexander Reed, PhD is a musician and professor, currently teaching at Ithaca College, US. He is author of Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music.

Philip Sandifer
, PhD publishes and blogs about the psychic history of comics and science fiction. He is author of TARDIS Eruditorum. Both he and Reed are graduates of The College of Wooster.
Philip Sandifer, PhD publishes and blogs about the psychic history of comics and science fiction. He is author of TARDIS Eruditorum. Both he and Reed are graduates of The College of Wooster.

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