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    John Linnell

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1House of Mayors lyrics
    2Processional 2 lyrics
    3Montana lyrics
    4Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May? lyrics
    5South Carolina lyrics
    6Idaho lyrics
    7West Virginia lyrics
    8Mississippi lyrics
    9Pennsylvania lyrics
    10New Hampshire lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1House of Mayors [1996]
    2State Songs [1999]


    John Sidney Linnell (born June 12th, 1959) is one half of rock duo They Might Be Giants. Linnell co-founded the band with John Flansburgh in the early eighties, and is a primary songwriter and singer for the duo. He generally plays accordion, bass saxophone, and keyboard for the band.

    Before joining TMBG, Linnell was in a full-on jazz band called The Baggs, and he was also in a New Wave band known as The Mundanes. In 1999, he took on the State Songs side project. He said he had always had a problem with finding titles for songs he'd written, so he decided to start naming after states, since it gave him 50 guaranteed titles. The unique thing about Linnell's state songs is that they're almost never actually about the states after which they are named. Rather, they tend to be about literally unrelated things, such as bicycle wrecks and acid trips. While Linnell initially said he was planning to cover all the states and apparently had additional songs written, he since says he has "given up" on the project. Linnell has also been an active member of American Accordionists' Association, appearing in Missionary/Mercenary: The Accordion in the Workplace seminar.

    Describing his role in They Might Be Giants, Linnell once said, "I have a personal, a real obsession, with melody and harmony. I can really never get enough of that kind of thing. I don't think too much about the cultural context of what we're doing. I think John is more on that end of it. He thinks more in terms of the larger picture, the larger meaning of what we're doing. I'm more into the technical end: the chords and the rhythms and the melodies." -- The Splatter Effect, 1994

    Even though Linnell is usually thought of by fans as 'the one who doesn't wear glasses', he's quite seriously farsighted, and he always wears glasses when he is off-stage.

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