Here Comes Science

Here Comes Science

Here Comes Science is a new album of science-related children’s songs by They Might Be Giants. The dvd that is included with the package offers an animated short for each of the nineteen songs. The videos were clearly made on a budget, and some of them suffer for that, though there are plenty of good ones too. Overall, it’s worth applauding the ambitiousness of the project. Here are some of the videos that have appeared online:

“Science is Real”
Directors: David Cowles, Andy Kennedy
Character Design: David Cowles
Backgrounds: David Cowles, Andy Kennedy
Animation: Andy Kennedy, Chris Conforti, Adam Sacks, Sean McBride

“Put It to the Test”
Directors: David Cowles, Jeremy Galante

“How Many Planets?”
Director: Colourmovie

“Electric Car”
Directors: Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata

“Why Does the Sun Shine?”
Director: Hine Mizushima

“Meet the Elements”
Director: Feel Good Anwyay


  • http://www.clownalley.net Pat Cashin

    We love the new album and little else has been in the CD player since it arrived last Tuesday. If you and/or your kids like this one, TMBG have three other really great kidrock albums.

    And 25 years of great stuff before that ; )

    My six year old son and I saw them live two weeks ago (before the album came out) at a free outdoor festival show in Clark, NJ.

    It was like a family-oriented Lolapalooza but with babes-in-arms and toddlers rocking out with their older brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents.

    A very cool scene and one that I wish we encountered more often.

  • http://www.jasondeeble.com Jason Deeble

    These are wonderful!

    As a middle school science teacher, I love seeing people having fun with science – singing, dancing, doodling. As a fan of animation, I’m delighted to see a team of musical artists imbue their work so fully with cartoons.

    Also, if I could include a little link, this is a nifty animated song about the elements by Tom Lehrer.

  • http://www.jasondeeble.com Jason Deeble
  • Brian Wolf

    So it’s like a revival of School House Rock? Awesome!

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    I was just about to comment about Tom Lehrer; you beat me to it!

    TMBG was just in Raleigh a few days ago. They had an all ages family show in the afternoon and an adults show with their regular music in the evening. It’s cool to see how the band has been able to link to so many different audiences including through kids albums, college radio and comedy music shows.

  • Phil

    Love this album!

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Listen to your CD, kids, there’s going to be a test on it.

    Great concept. Sorely needed.

    Right-wing backlash coming in… 5, 4, 3, 2….

  • http://scuzzbopper.blogspot.com Ken Priebe

    Awesome! ‘Why Does the Sun Shine’ is a classic B-side of theirs from many years ago, based on an actual educational record from the ’50s, I believe.

    My 3-year-old daughter loves their previous kids’ album ‘Here Come the 1-2-3s’ and sings along with the songs. That one had some great animation in it too.

  • http://willfinn.blogspot.com/ Will

    They Might Be Science!

  • David Levy

    I have been blown away by every bit of work that has come out of Ru and Max’s Tiny Inventions studio. They put everything into their work. True modern masters of animation!

  • http://www.davidcowles.net Dave Cowles

    Thanks for the great write up on the project, Amid! Budget restraints, but labors of love. (I’m probably a fool to point this out, since it’s so damn good, but I was actually not a co-director with Max and Ru on “Electric Cars”)

  • http://www.tastyhand.com David S

    Righteous!! This looks great.

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    JUUUUUUUUU- PIH -TUUUUUUUURRRRRR

    This is why these guys have been my favorite band for about fifteen years now. They’ve been doing excellent educational songs the whole time, like “Mammal” on their classic album Apollo 18. I always felt that if there were a Schoolhouse Rock revival and Bob Dorough wasn’t around, TMBG would be the go-to guys for catchy songs full of wisdom, and this just proves it.

  • Due North

    TMBG also had their music used in Tiny Toon Adventures – “Istanbul, Not Constantinople” and “Particle Man” were animated by TMS back in 1990 or earlier.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    TMBG is like DEVO on controlled burn. Precisely metered! Longer lasting! DEVO’s embers are glowing dangerously, though…

  • http://www.josesaenz.com Jose Saenz

    I would have loved to have worked on this. I love it when creative risks are taken like this. Simply beautiful work.

  • http://www.andrewchesworth.com Andrew Chesworth

    Brilliant. They Might Be Giants are ageless. Twenty years later and still contemporary! I really love the charm of the animation and the varied styles, both tactile and modern. Oh yeah, and I love that it’s hip to love science.

  • http://www.daganm.blogspot.com Dagan

    Mannnnnnnnnn!!!

    ‘Science is Real’ and ‘Electric Car’ are both amazing pieces of work…
    Lots of fun, inventive & incredible craftsmanship in both instances.
    (Of course, the music is good, too!) :)

    Gotta go and watch the rest of the TMBG vids here, too… Can’t wait to check them all out. This music just lends itself so perfectly to animation, it can’t be said enough!

  • http://liesjekraai.blogspot.com/ Liesje Kraai

    I support this album not only because of all the excellent artists who worked on it (musicians, animators, illustrators and all) and not just because I worked on one of the videos myself but mostly because they managed to spell my name right (twice!) on the DVD cover, a feat not even my senior yearbook managed to do!

    Go (They Might Be) Giants!

  • Tom

    My Fiancee just showed me this. I’m going to show this to my students- this band is amazing.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    A great idea. And just in time to refute that celebutard has-been, Kirk Cameron.

  • John

    I love educational videos and the styles look awesome, but otherwise after about ten seconds when I heard the words, “Science is real”, there was most likely an agenda because it seemed to presuppose that “other things” weren’t real. Right away: It’s those pesky religious people who believe in God and angels. Nice “stories” though! Now God is on the level of elves and Santa.

    Such a purely materialist view that leaves no room in humanity for the soul or spirit makes me sick. I look at that like an ostrich who sticks his head in the sand and only sees the dirt in front of his face, but gets angry at everyone else for seeing more about themselves.

    By the way robocat2075…why is it a rightwing backlash? Don’t lefties like Obama believe in Jesus Christ too?

  • John

    By the way, “Put it to the Test” asked me if, “Are you sure that thing is true, or did someone just tell it to you?” and “A fact is just a fantasy unless it can be checked”. Well, I tried mixing a couple vials to prove George Washington crossed the Delaware River, but nothing worked! I had to listen to what others told me through historians, witnesses of the events through writings, examine archaeology (although I’m not sure what is at the site anymore), etc.

    Does everyone still trust the history books you read as a kid that Washington did indeed cross the Delaware River?

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    Would you consider your response a backlash, John? Would you consider yourself leftie or rightie? Whichever you are, you’re the first one to have anything negative to say, so it’s a ‘you-ie’ backlash so far!

  • Jerry P.

    Everyone has the right to question if Washington crossed the Delaware River. Not everything can be proven by mixing flasks. The test has to, you know, make sense. You have to research so that you understand the topic and then use your head to figure out how to best go about testing it.

  • MB

    I have faith you didn’t mix anything in a test tube to prove anything.

    Bark aside, I love the creativity of this band and the fun they put into learning

  • http://crisafullidoodles.blogspot.com/ Marc Crisafulli

    John Flansburgh and John Linnell continue to find new ways to bring their music to the masses, and their success in collaborating with indie artists goes back a long, long way. “Electric Car” is a perfect little song, and it’s great that there’s an animated video to go right along with it.

  • Christine

    Aaahhh, I love it when non-scientists try to explain science, it’s so fun to watch the carnage!

    TMBG is awesome!!! I think this set is the best, visually, of their 4(!) kids albums. I’ve been listening to it in the car with my 3 and 6 yr old kids. Can you believe that TMBG didn’t know about the existence of the Tom Lehrer Elements song???

    I wish they’d do the entire “Space Songs” album from Tom Glazer…go here to hear the originals of “Why does the Sun Shine” and “Shooting Star”!
    http://acme.com/jef/singing_science/

  • Dan

    A sign of the times. Let’s tell our children there is nothing beyond what we can see with our eyes or test with a device. Then tell them not to dream or create. Some of the best feature animation asks us to believe in something that is bigger and more powerful than what we have seen with our eyes. Let’s bash anyone’s beliefs that does not see things with the eyes of a skeptic, or whose experience can’t be measure scientifically. I would like to see a more balanced approach to science like the bell science series of my childhood.

  • Chuck R.

    This album is one of TMBG’s best yet, thanks in no small part to David Cowle’s animations. My congratulations to all.

    I’d like to exhort my fellow right-wingers to give this album a fair shake. I agree that the opening words are a tad simplistic, and the inclusion of an angel with a unicorn may be interpreted as a deft jab at religion. Fortunately, the song stops way short of disparaging religiosity and goes on to explain that good science simply purports to give us a better understanding of how the natural world works. To their great credit, the Johns include a song about Pluto which strongly implies that good science has a healthy sense of humility and leaves every subject open for future discovery and debate. This is the way science ought to be taught.

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    When I watched ‘V’ (not even when it was first broadcast, but relatively few years ago as reruns) I thought the idea of suppression and demonisation of scientists and science was really a pretty lame and contrived metaphor that didn’t really hold up as a piece of science fiction writing. ;___; Guess truth really IS stupider than fiction.

  • http://www.animatress.com Ashanti

    Ack! I was going to make another “Soleil” film of “Why Does the Sun Shine” by the Library Science Records–and the TMBG version too! Ah well, they beat me to it!
    Their version looks great, btw!

  • Donovan

    I don’t even have kids but I’m singing along anyhow.