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They Might Be Giants really wants you to download their new, free live album

On tour last year, They Might Be Giants recorded a live, song-by-song re-creation of their first album, a self-titled 1986 record known as the "pink album." They are calling the new album, creatively enough, First Album Live — and more to the point, they are giving it away. You can pick up a free copy by clicking the link below, or if that doesn't work, following the instructions at their website.

The band — John Flansburgh and John Linnell and their backup players — describe this as a "gift for our loyal audience," but also "an effort to introduce more people into the world of TMBG." They would really like you to download it — and if you're a fan, it's worth the small effort. The first album isn't as great as their sophomore record, 1988's Lincoln, or their breakthrough classic, Flood (1990), but it's clearly TMBG in all their quirky splendor, and there are some good songs (listen to "Number Three," for example).

They Might Be Giants "was met with raves from critics" in 1986, the band explains, but it "seemed destined to settle comfortably into the Miscellaneous T section within a number of months" — until they got some videos on MTV. And here's where the album came from, according to the Johns:

They Might Be Giants had been performing in downtown NYC clubs and had become a fixture on the East Village scene where performance art and music flowed together in a vivid late night club scene. In those earlier years, the band was making recordings for their Dial-A-Song service and their demos were actively passed around town. [TMBG]

Thanks to Boing Boing for the tip.