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Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeForming more than 20 years ago and most recently finding much success in the theme song/movie music realms (including a Grammy in 2002 for their "Malcolm in the Middle" theme song "Boss of Me"), They Might Be Giants are back to touring again in support of their 2007 release The Else. The fall/winter tour included a stop at the newly opened Turner Hall that was filled with all-ages fun and uniquely quirky pop/rock hooks.
Proudly proclaiming they've been "installing and servicing melody since 1982," founding frontmen John Linnell and John Flansburgh were spot on and sounded fresh with the energetic anthem "Mesopotamia" from the new album, and even in the simple but infectious "Particle Man" and "Birdhouse In Your Soul" from the 1990 release Flood. As the strange space odyssey of "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" played out with Linell on keys and Flansburgh on guitar, TMBG inspired at least 100 people in the crowd to form a giant conga line for "No One Knows My Plan" before delivering some softened punk with the new bubblegum-chewing "I'm Impressed." In their most powerful moment of the evening, TMBG and their aptly-named "Triceratops Horns" section of trombone, trumpet and sax were powerful on the swirling "Why Must I Be Sad?" and in creating some visual stimuli by delivering their high-powered wails from the balcony for a tune.
Whether it's the little nuggets of pop art they've created in their long musical journey or the catchy theme songs from a host of TV programs, TMBG remain fresh and exciting with their latest turns towards melodic genius while providing for a show filled with good-humored fun.
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