Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2007.07.13 : Climbing the Walls

Today I stumbled upon the brand new They Might Be Giants album, The Else, on eMusic. I pretty instantly decided TMBG are well back on form. The track "The Mesopotanians", for instance, is about as catchy – and, moreover, clever and weird and witty – as anything they've done.

"Driving our Econoline van
And no one's ever heard of our band
We're the MESO-PO-TA-MI-ANS…
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh…"

But. Then. Oh my. Speaking of catchy.

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Whatever you do, DON'T listen to "Climbing the Walls". (Whoops, too late.) I'm on my twelfth straight listen to it now. In a row. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be listening to this song over and over for the rest of my life. The rest of my life. In any moments when I can't actually be listening to it, it will be playing in my head. Forever. And ever.

And as a special bonus, it's f'ing sad as hell.

No one should write a song that sad and catchy. It's cruel. It's not right.

I was grinding my teeth, I was wasting my youth
And using up my teeth
Now I'm done chewing my nails
Hanging my head, chasing my tail
It got so bad I quit my job
Then I got a new job climbing the walls

The deep end, the deep end
People talk a lot, but they don't know
They pretend, they pretend
They don't really know how deep it goes

I got tired of pacing the floor
Sick of it all, I'm done with the floor
Walked away ever since I got a new job climbing the walls

Or perhaps it's a bit close to home.

Reprinted, and replayed, with no permission whatsoever. Please don't sue me, Johns – I'm strongly exhorting anyone who reads this to buy the album; and even providing these direct links to places to buy it:

  melancholy     music  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

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ARISEN : Last Stand, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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