>Album Review: "Awesome Record, Great Songs!" by Tim and Eric

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The faces of genius.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS DIRECTED AT TIM AND ERIC FANS ONLY

We all knew this day would come. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I realized it, but I’d wager that once I heard Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!‘s “Sports” theme – a nutty little techno ball-buster featuring a video of Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and a bunch of hairy dudes miming their instruments in ridiculous New Wave garb – I knew that Tim and Eric were two of the most talented songwriters of their generation.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. But not much of one. Come on, you know what I mean. I’d wager that the songs on Awesome Show are some of the funniest – and catchiest – to come from a sketch comedy show in a long long time. Hell, Awesome Show is almost more of a musical show than a sketch show anyway. Tim and Eric have produced a shit-ton of various musical bits over the course of two seasons, and I’d wager that about 90% of them are great. And now they’re all on CD and claimed for musical history! Huzzah!!

Now, I’m sure I don’t need to explain the appeal of these songs to you, fellow fans. If you, like me, consider Awesome Show to be the best sketch comedy show since Mr. Show and UCB, I’m going to guess that you’ve been passing around CDs of music ripped directly from the show since season one wrapped. So you might be saying, “shit, Sean, why would I need another Tim and Eric CD? I’ve got all these songs ripped already!!”

Well for one thing, you’re a putz. Tim and Eric deserve your money and you fucking know it. Secondly, it’s an official CD approved by Mr. Heidecker and Mr. Wareheim themselves! NEAT! And thirdly, there’s a lot here that you’re not going to hear from the show. Extended lyrics, remixes, covers, guest vocalists – and not only that, but each song is edited down to its very essence, narrowing the tracks down to about a minute-and-a-half each without any unnecessary sketch banter (honestly, if you’re a Tim and Eric fan, you’re going to know where “Pizza Boy” and “All Of My Life” are from – you don’t need context). Also, the sequencing on this CD is very appealing, bucking chronological order in favor of an appeasing mish-mash of various songs from the first and second seasons of the show; it allows for an appealing kaleidescope of Awesome Show‘s music, showcased in all its glory.

“But what songs are on this thing, Sean?” (“How does it taste, Steve?” – a little in-joke for all you guys, hehe.) That’s a fair question. To put it bluntly, this baby’s got all your favorites: you’ve got every Kidz Break, every David Liebe Hart song, and almost every Casey and his Brother; you’ve got the popular weirdo singalongs of “Do Dah Doo Doo,” “Sit On You,” “Beach Blast” (yes, that’s James Quall’s acapella surf ditty), and “Long Legs”; you’ve got the crazy dance-techno freakouts of “Beaver Boys,” “Pumpers and Tumblers,” and “Sports”; you’ve got guest appearances in David Cross’s “Pizza Boy,” Maria Bramford’s “The New You,” Aimee Mann’s “Hearts,” and Bob Odenkirk’s “Here She Comes”; and, of course, you’ve got some wonderful one-off songs, including the inimitable disco-breakdown “Petite Feet,” the best-friend vacation theme song “Raz,” the weird “Everybody’s Talkin'”-takeoff “Lost at the Wheel,” and the absolutely disgusting “Love Slaves.” If you’re in any way a fan of Tim and Eric, the song choices here will not disappoint.

Oh yeah, and they’re extended too! I mentioned that earlier! For instance, every David Liebe Hart song is extended, making songs like “Marcama” even creepier (hearing Hart say “You and I can make a nice milkshake together… we can make little whipped-cream babies” to a female puppet is nothing short of life-changing), and other random songs like “Do Dah Doo Doo” and “Dirty Socks” feature extra lyrics that only make them more entertaining. There are some wonderful remixes here as well that you might not expect – “Rolo Tony,” for instance, features Tim and Eric’s legendary jingle dialogue laid out over a techno beat, finally segueing into the awesome “Rolo Tony Brown Town” credits music (also featured here in its full form as a bonus track). One of my favorites here would be DJ Douggpound’s take on the Awesome Show opening theme, which magically shifts from a basic dance remix of the theme into a dense sound collage featuring layers upon layers of various song snippets not featured anywhere else on the disc. These include, but are not limited to:

– The “My New Pep-Pep!” theme
– The “B’owl” theme
– Glen Tennis’s “OH BOY!” exclamation
– The “Lazy Horse Mattress” theme
– Eric’s “Goodbye!” ringtone from Tim’s funeral
– That creepy “OOH MAMA!” music
– Zan’s “What Do You Call That?” instructional video
– The “Gravy Robbers” background music

…and many many more. It’s like one long Tim and Eric fangasm. Other great bonus tracks here include the Shins’ cover of “Wipe My Butt” (I’m not a big Shins fan, but hearing them sing “My brown crusty stains are an environmental issue” with a sweet acoustic backing gives them some major cool points in my book), Built to Spill’s crazed rock cover of “Come Over,” an 8-bit version of “The Snuggler,” two great re-mixes of “Sports,” the rock version of “Salame,” and much much more that I’ll let you discover for yourself. If you’re like me, you might be upset with the exclusion of some great songs – including but not limited to the “Tony and Tim” theme, which doesn’t show up here in any form (maaaaaaaan) and Tim and Eric’s inexplicable beat-boxing from the “Abstinence” episode which only appears briefly in the “Awesome Show” remix. But y’know, that’s nitpicking. I will reiterate – if you are a Tim and Eric fan, buy the fuck out of this album and wear the motherfucker out. Throw it on your iPod or Zen or whatever and sneak “Sports” and “Come Over” into your party mixes. Make your friends bow to glory of Tim and Eric. (If they stop being your friends, well, maybe they never were real friends.)

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS DIRECTED AT PEOPLE WHO KNOW LITTLE TO NOTHING ABOUT TIM AND ERIC ONLY

OK, I don’t know how your tastes run. But lemme ask you this – do you like comically bizarre music? Do you have any interest in the likes of Ween, Frank Zappa, or the Zip Code Rapists? Do you chortle at ridiculous karaoke public-access videos from the late ’80s or so? To you have an appreciation for a catchy techno beat?

Well, then you might like Tim and Eric. They’re great songwriters. But then again, maybe you won’t like them. Their sense of humor is incredibly divisive. I can’t really explain why I find a middle-aged woman singing “I’ve done my chores, I’ve swept the floor / you make me wet when you come in the door” incredibly funny. Or hearing a a awkward little man-child scream in the middle of a song about hamburgers. Or hearing a chorus of singers chanting “I bet they’ll french kiss all night long” and “I wish we knew which hole he’s gonna poke her through.” Maybe you don’t find this funny at all. I can understand that. Kind of.

But you’ve got to admit, these songs are catchy. They’re zippy, fun, and they don’t linger too long. Give ’em a try! You might like them, if you like weird shit! Or you might not like them at all, and resent me for the recommendation. That’s fair. But honestly, you won’t find better music coming from a TV show nowadays. I swear it.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS DIRECTED AT PEOPLE WHO PREFER TO WATCH “FAMILY GUY” OVER “TIM AND ERIC” ONLY

We have nothing to discuss.

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