A: This girl I dated in college made plans one time to see They Might Be Giants with her sister and her cousin, but the cousin had some conflicting work thing so he gave me his ticket. This had to be in 2000, maybe 2001. Though I liked and continue to like very much a handful of They Might Be Giants songs I was not prepared for them to do that thing some bands do in concert where they extend their songs with tons of pointless solos. They even opened songs with solos—“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” started out that night with an accordion jam. This struck me as profoundly depressing. Part of TMBG’s appeal to me up to that point had been the notion they were above Frampton-esque instrument dickery. If they were trying to be ironic about it they did a pretty crappy job.
The capper to this frowny tale is that my girlfriend’s cousin thought he was selling his ticket to me. A week later I ran into him somewhere and he very curtly asked me for the money. Rather than argue semantics I gave the guy the cashitos and promised never to think about this experience again unless someone asked me the above question.