TMBG Indulges Kids With Books, Disney Deal

Revisiting the child-themed subject matter of 2002's "No!," They Might Be Giants are planning a few new projects aimed at youngsters.

Revisiting the child-themed subject matter of 2002's "No!," They Might Be Giants are planning a few new projects aimed at youngsters. This winter, the group will release its first kids DVD through a new Walt Disney Records imprint as well as more picture book/CD sets through Simon and Schuster.

Recently completed, the DVD is titled "Here Come the ABCs" and will be released on WDR's newly established Disney Sound label; a CD version is also forthcoming. The DVD project expands the concept of the animated vignettes that accompanied the music on the PC portion of "No!," which was issued on the band's own Idlewild label through Rounder.

"It's super cool and it's got a ton of original new material on it and most of it's animated," the band's John Flansburgh recently told Billboard.com of the "ABCs" project. "This is even more [than 'No!'] -- this is full-on."

Following the conclusion of a tour in support of its latest Idlewild/Rounder "adult" album, "The Spine," TMBG will begin recording music for its second and third Simon and Schuster book/CD projects. Last year's first such project, "Bed, Bed, Bed," stemmed from a track on "No!" and featured the art of Marcel Dzama.

Although details of the new books are still sketchy, with titles and artists yet to be determined, it's likely the target will skew a bit older than night-time tale "Bed, Bed, Bed." They will be "darker and more Edwardian," the band says in a statement, maintaining that they remain children's projects, but "for older, more Edwardian kids."

After the release of "No!" -- which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Kid Audio chart and has sold 102,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- TMBG staged occasional family shows around its New York base and in select U.S. cities. Although the band would enjoy touring behind the new DVD and books, Flansburgh says logistics of a dedicated kids tour would be daunting.

"They're very hard to coordinate, because almost every single thing about doing family shows is sort of a strange deal," he explains. "You can only do them on weekends, you tend to have to let kids in for much less than adults and they have to be daytime shows. So, the second you say that it can only happen two days of the week instead of seven days of the week, it just is immeasurably harder to book.

"Ideally, if we could just do a regular rock tour and arrange a kid's tour within it, that would be a perfectly pleasant way to do it," he says. "But then we've got a semi full of [sound equipment] going out with us and you really don't need that to rock a 3-year-old!"