Factory Showroom

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

Factory Showroom
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 8, 1996[1]
RecordedDecember 1995 – August 1996
GenreAlternative rock
ProducerPat Dillett
They Might Be Giants chronology
Live!! New York City 10/14/94
Factory Showroom
Then: The Earlier Years
Singles from Factory Showroom
  1. "S-E-X-X-Y"
    Released: November 26, 1996
  2. "James K. Polk"
    Released: 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
Alternative Press[2]
Chicago Tribune[3]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]

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 was tied with The Else for the fewest tracks on any They Might Be Giants studio album, until The Escape Team was released, having only 11 tracks. It was also the first album to be produced by Pat Dillett, who would go on to work with the band on all subsequent albums.

Two years after Factory Showroom's release, John Flansburgh cited the album as his favorite by the duo.[6] 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 notesEdit

  • "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.
  • 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, the following album, "Long Tall Weekend", or the 2002 compilation They Got Lost.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by They Might Be Giants, except where noted.

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:42:41
  • "Token Back to Brooklyn" is a hidden track placed within the pregap of track 1.


They Might Be Giants
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 Farrisviola 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 Kostersinging saw on track 10
  • Ron Lawrence – viola on track 1
  • Steve Lightvibraphone 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 Yellincello on tracks 1, 4, 7, 8
  • Kurt Hoffman – string and horn arrangements on track 1


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Factory Showroom – They Might Be Giants". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Ho, Catherine (January 1997). "Reviews / Editing Factory Showroom". Alternative Press. 11 (102): 84.
  3. ^ Webber, Brad (November 22, 1996). "They Might Be Giants: Factory Showroom (Elektra)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "They Might Be Giants: Factory Showroom". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "They Might Be Giants". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 808–09. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ "popculturecorn.com". Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2008.

External linksEdit