RealAudio Interview with John Flansburgh

CMJ New Music

New York Press

Pitchfork Internet Media

Philadelphia City Paper Interactive

Magent Magazine

Bar/None Records Press Release

CMJ New Music - Issue 60 (August 1998)

Mono Puff - It's Fun To Steal

File Under: Play That Funky Music White Boy

Recommend If You Like They Might Be Giants, Sukia, Beastie Boys "Sabotage" Video

John Flansburgh, one-half of They Might Be Giants, delivers roughly three-fifths the goofiness of a TMBG album on It's Fun To Steal, his second outing with Mono Puff. While such TMBG staples as non sequitur lyrics, salutes to imaginary friends, oddball tunes and the random moment of sentiment are present, most of the songs have actual structures, and the arrangements are more accomplished than the usual flimsy riffs. Most of the album salutes the '70s with an artful pastiche of funky bass lines and fuzzy guitars. "Taste The Bass" gets goofy with a shouted dedication to-who else?-the ladies. "Krispy," as sung by Sister Puff, wallows in a full-on disco drama. (Sister Puff also sings a cover of "Pretty Fly," the creepy folk tune from movie classic Night Of The Hunter.) As usual, the depth of Flansburgh's self-conscious geekyness can get in the way of a listener's ability to be in on the joke. What's the deal with nerdy white boys and the '70s, anyway? It's Fun To Steal is like an episode of some Aaron Spelling police show: a scruffy yet lovable band of New York musicians and oddballs gets together to make music and try to be funky. It's Flansburgh and company playing dress-up-some of it's cute and the rest of it's harmless.

- Heidi McDonald