RealAudio Interview with John Flansburgh

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Magent Magazine

Bar/None Records Press Release

Magnet Magazine - Issue 35 (July/August 1998)

Mono Puff - It's Fun To Steal

Mono Puff steps into 1998 with a bold new sound. Best known as the guy with the glasses in They Might Be Giants, Flansburgh is taking it to the streets with his syndicate of very heavy friends performing the finest in groove-oriented loop-a-delic party favourites. Kinda like the best of the '70s and today!
Mono Puff is a semi-ingenious side project by they Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh. Along with drummer Steve Calhoon and bassist Hal Cragin, Flansburgh has enlisted the aid of keyboardist Joe McGinty, DJ Five Star Spicy on the turntables and diva/vocalist Sister Puff. Under Flansburgh's mono-maniacal supervision, these crazy kids have created a distinctive party album laden with electro-pop, disco anthems, quirky ballads and, of course, hard-driving rock. In case you didn't already know, Flansburgh is a pretty funny guy, and his songs are loaded with humorous topics. Musically, the Mono Puff posse has gone totally retrodelic with a strong emphasis on '70s soul. "Extra Krispy" bumps and hustles along like Club 54 on a Friday night, "Backstabbing Liar" is pure power pop and the band's cover of Scott McCaughey's "Hillbilly Drummer Girl" is as backwoods simple as it sounds. The title track is a stone groove that overcomes its soul-man-trapped-in-a-white-kid's-body vocal with a fine melody and an even finer hook. While Flansburgh consistently revels in conceptual shtick and quasi-kitsch compositions, the band is certainly not fooling around. They play these tunes totally straight and display impressive abilities on their respective instruments. This is well-crafted nonsense that will sound great coming out of the car-stereo speakers in your convertible this summer. Flansburgh just might be a giant after all.

- Mitch Myers