Factory Showroom

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Factory Showroom
Studio album by They Might Be Giants
Released October 8, 1996
Recorded 1995–1996
Genre Alternative rock
Length 42:41
Label Elektra
Producer Pat Dillett
They Might Be Giants chronology
Live!! New York City 10/14/94
Factory Showroom
Then: The Earlier Years
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars link
Alternative Press 3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars link
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention) link
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[2]

Factory Showroom is the sixth studio album by the band They Might Be Giants. It was released in 1996 through Elektra Records.

The album reclaims the more diverse and electronic sound of their early work, but differed from previous They Might Be Giants recordings in some ways. Factory Showroom was their first album to feature a second guitarist, Eric Schermerhorn. Factory Showroom is tied with The Else for the fewest tracks on any They Might Be Giants studio album.

Two years after Factory Showroom's release, John Flansburgh cited the album as his favorite by the duo.[3] Feeling that Elektra Records did not do enough to promote the album, among other disputes, They Might Be Giants left the label after its release.

Factory Showroom was released on vinyl for the first time in March 2012 by Asbestos Records.

Song notes[edit]

  • "I Can Hear You" was recorded at the Edison Laboratory on a wax cylinder phonograph without the use of electricity.
  • "New York City" is a cover of a song by the band Cub.
  • "James K. Polk" is a song about James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States. A sparser, drum machine driven version had previously appeared on the Istanbul (Not Constantinople) EP (1990). It features singing saw by Julian Koster.
  • The hidden track (Track 0) on the CD entitled "Token Back to Brooklyn" is accessible by rewinding from the beginning of Track 1 ("S-E-X-X-Y"), and is not playable on all CD players. It can, however, also be heard on the rarities compilation They Got Lost along with the Internet-only album Long Tall Weekend.
  • Much to the disdain of the Johns,[clarification needed] a cassette version of the album that claimed to be a "promotional item" from Elektra was leaked by an unknown source. Along with every song from the standard release (including "Token Back To Brooklyn"), this version also included versions of "On The Drag" and "Older" that have not reappeared on an official release, as well as "SenSurround" (the single version), "Counterfeit Faker", "Certain People I Could Name", "Unforgotten", "Reprehensible", "They Got Lost", and "Rat Patrol". All of these tracks were rejects from the Factory Showroom sessions, and were either released on the S-E-X-X-Y EP or the 2002 compilation They Got Lost.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by They Might Be Giants, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
0. "Token Back To Brooklyn"   0:52
1. "S-E-X-X-Y" (They Might Be Giants, Hal Cragin) 3:52
2. "Till My Head Falls Off"   2:53
3. "How Can I Sing Like a Girl?"   4:32
4. "Exquisite Dead Guy"   2:02
5. "Metal Detector"   3:50
6. "New York City" (Robynn Iwata, Lisa Marr, and Lisa Nielsen of cub) 3:02
7. "Your Own Worst Enemy"   1:45
8. "XTC vs. Adam Ant"   3:36
9. "Spiraling Shape"   4:24
10. "James K. Polk" (Matthew Hill, They Might Be Giants) 3:05
11. "Pet Name"   4:04
12. "I Can Hear You"   1:57
13. "The Bells Are Ringing"   3:31
Total length:
  • "Token Back to Brooklyn" is a hidden track.


They Might Be Giants are:

  • Brian Doherty - drums, percussion
  • John Flansburgh - vocals, backing vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
  • John Linnell - vocals, backing vocals, synthesizers, organs, accordion, piano, Mellotron, clavinet
  • Graham Maby - electric and acoustic bass
  • Eric Schermerhorn - lead electric guitar

Additional Musicians:

  • Amy Allison - vocal sample on track 8
  • Steve Calhoon - drums on track 6
  • Ron Caswell - tuba on track 12
  • Hal Cragin - electric bass on tracks 1, 6, 8
  • Ralph Farris - viola on track 8
  • Yuval Gabay - drums on track -1
  • Sue Hadjopoulos - congas and percussion on tracks 1, 11
  • Amanda Homi - vocals on track 13
  • Gregor Kitzis - violin on track 1
  • Julian Koster - singing saw on track 10
  • Ron Lawrence - viola on track 1
  • Steve Light - vibraphone on track 9
  • Mo' Funky Element - drum break sample on track 1
  • Tim Newman - trombone on track 1
  • Jim O'Connor - trumpet on track 1
  • Jay Sherman-Godfrey - acoustic and electric slide guitar on track 3
  • Krystof Witek - violin on tracks 1, 8
  • Lyle Workman - lead electric guitar on track 6
  • Garo Yellin - cello on tracks 1, 4, 7, 8


  1. ^ Ho, Catherine (January 1997). "Reviews / Editing Factory Showroom". Alternative Press 11 (102): 84. 
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 808. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  3. ^ popculturecorn.com

External links[edit]