Tim has a guest post up on Robert Christgau’s Substack this week — Bob is turning 80 this month, so his editor Joe Levy asked a few friends/fans/acquaintances to take over for April, in order to give the Dean a month off to celebrate in style.
Joe suggested Tim write about the experience of being reviewed by Bob, which Tim was happy to do. But he also went a bit wider to discuss the overall sceptism a lot of musicians have about the role of critics — a scepticism most members of TMJ do not share, as we self-describe ourselves as frustrated rock critics.
No joke: there’s a new donor-only single. This one’s called Remembrance of Things Fast, and the artwork is based on the cover of the Proust novel Tim failed to read all the way through in high-school.
It comes with two b-sides. “She Took it as a Sign” was commissioned by Jennifer Renfroe, while “Bloodfest Records” was commissioned by P.M. Bradshaw. Many thanks to them, and all the donors, who will be getting not just these singles, but a brand spanking new TMJ LP before the year is out.
If you have FOMO because you never heard about, or simply didn’t get around to donating to, the IndieGoGo campaign that made all this music possible, you may still do so here.
Another month, another donor-only single. This one’s called “The Song I Didn’t Write,” and it’s dedicated to to Chip Turner, who paid for a custom B-side but then told us to just keep the money and spend our time working on the album. He’s a dude.
“Killer the Bichon Frisé” was commissioned by Donna Shuster, for her rescue pup. He looks so good in his Harley gear, we’re posting the alternate art for the single instead of the actual cover which is nowhere near as good.
As always, if you want the music but slept on the IndieGoGo campaign that funded its creation, you can still sign up to receive all 13 singles (4 released so far; 9 more to come) here.
Happy New Year, everybody. We’re celebrating by sending all our IndieGoGo donors the first of the twelve singles they’ll be reciving in 2022. It’s got two songs. The first is “Normal Never Was,” a song about how the better pasts we imagine rarely were. The b-side is “Curse of the Bobblehead,” a true story commissioned by Justin Beland, for his father-in-law Marc Gold. This is probably the last time TMJ will ever sing about sportsball, but you needn’t be a fan of the game (or, even, Too Much Joy) to enjoy this particular song, which has lessons for us all.
Well, the last time did this was so much fun that we’ve decided to do it again: last night we announced a new IndieGoGo campaign for 2022. The end result will be a brand-spanking new TMJ record, but we’re going to be even more ambitious this time round. In addition to giving donors the new album when it’s done (either as digital downloads, a shiny CD, or a limited edition, donor-only colored vinyl LP, depending on how much you pledge), we’re committing to release a brand new, donor-only single every month in 2022.
But wait, there’s more! If you can afford $200, you’ll also get access to the TMJ Music Vault, which comes pre-populated with demos and outtakes from their entire career, and which will have new demos, alternate mixes and other ephemera from the new album’s sessions added throughout the year.
And if you can afford $500, you can buy one of 12 custom B-sides to those donor-only singles, in which the music from the previous month’s A-side will be given brand new lyrcis, written by Tim, about any topic of your choosing. Have TMJ sing the praises of your loved one, or pet, or anything you;ve ever wished they’d write a song about.
And if you have $1000 to splurge, you can commission a custom song for which Tim will not only write the lyrics, but completely new music. Some of those might even wind up on the new LP, which will be coming out on Propeller Sound Recordings, likely sometime in October of 2022.
Even better: all donors at any level will be sent a code that unlocks a new TMJ song called “We Yell at 8.” Contribute here.
Cereal Killers turned 30 today. To celebrate, the Rock & Roll Globe published this very nice piece by Ryan Maffei that sums up the record, its recording and its reception pretty well. We all had a blast chatting with Ryan.
Jim Sullivan covered some of our earliest shows in Boston. He was at T.T. the Bear’s when the band decided to lead the crowd in a parade out of the club, down the street, into the Middle East (where a different band was playing) and back. And he was there many years later at the Paradise, standing next to Tim’s mom and feeling a bit uncomfortable as the band cursed up a storm.
Anyway, we consider him a pal, so it was a treat having an extended discussion about our new album with him, conducted over email and the phone.
Tim says you should read all the way to the end, as Jim got him to explain what the band does and why in the most romantic manner he’s ever managed.