Thursday, September 10, 2009

Giants on science

Here is Science is Real by They Might be Giants:

Very cool! Also, here is part of their interview with Nature:
How does this follow on from your previous records for children?

We put out Here Come the ABCs as a placeholder. We were not overly concerned about teaching kids the alphabet because they are going to learn the alphabet anyway. It was a pretext for entertainment. The follow-up with the numbers was an obvious choice — although we were resistant to doing the Here Come the 123s because it was so obvious. Science was a departure from that pattern. And that was really exciting. We got to do something personal to us with the full promotional machinery of the Disney corporation behind it.

From the first song, 'Science is Real', this album seems to be making a statement. Why is that important?

It seems that science has suffered in this country recently, so it was political in a way. There has been some scepticism about science in the past 25 years that has been unfortunate. There's a decadent quality to that — that the culture has lost its way.

Your lyrics talk about evolution being real and how stories about angels and unicorns are just that, stories. Did you worry that this might alienate some listeners?

John Flansburgh took the bull by the horns by writing that song and addressing that situation, which is that religion cannot take the place of science. It's not something you can tiptoe around. It's important that everybody gets what the discussion is about. If we're talking about the history of Earth, we can't rely on religious tradition to tell us all the information. He says it in the song: as beautiful as the stories are, they don't tell us everything we need to know. It's an old complaint on the part of scientists, but it bears repeating.

And as a bonus, here is I'm a paleontologist:


Matthew said...

I'm so glad they do children's music now, it's a perfect fit for them (and I mean that as a compliment). I can't really think of any TMBG songs that I wouldn't want a child listening to, actually, unless you're a very uptight parent who disapproves of silliness.

They're great live, too. So much fun.

Jonam said...

its fun

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