TMBG Weekend

Lots of college homecomings in the Boston area this weekend, plus a musical homecoming — They Might Be Giants. The two Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell) — still the coolest thing ever to come out of the town of Lincoln — have a show at the Roxy in Boston tonight, and the Calvin Theatre in Northampton tomorrow. If you can snag tickets, GO!

For 25 years now TMBG have brought their unique brand of inspired quirkiness to anyone willing to listen. Best know for “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and “Boss of Me” (the theme for the television sit-com “Malcolm in the Middle”) TMBG was indie before indie, geek before geek, their act wonderfully out of step with current trends, or absolutely perfect for the moment. Commercial radio has never known what the hell to do with them (high praise indeed) — it’s always been word of mouth.

If you’ve been a fan for a decade, or a day, it really doesn’t matter. ALL are welcome in the TMBG universe, but respect your elders. The new CD “The Else” is very solid. The Johns are a lot like Springsteen in the sense that they know what works for them. You’ll pick up common rhythms and themes in their tunes, but they’ll always throw in a twist to freshen things up.

My personal favorites? “Doctor Worm” (how can you not love a song about a worm who plays the drums!) , “Meet James Ensor” (the best song ever about an obscure Belgian painter!), “James K. Polk” (the best song ever about an obscure American president!), and “New York City” (one of the sweetest songs ever about the Big Apple).

I’d also like to thank my daughter Mallory and her friend Dan for opening my eyes, and ears, to the fun of TMBG.

Have a great weekend.


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