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They Might Be Giants revisits breakthrough album while moving full-steam-ahead
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BY RYAN LITTLE
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
After 26 years, 13 albums and a Grammy, They Might Be Giants has shown no signs of slowing down.
Aside from their successful studio albums with cult hits such as "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," the offbeat duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell is known for writing the theme songs for "Malcolm in the Middle" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
They even collaborated with comedian Jon Hodgman in 2005 to release a set of songs specifically about various venues around the United States.
The band's current live show is actually based around playing TMBG albums in their entirety. Tomorrow, they will perform their platinum-certified 1990 breakthrough, "Flood," for a sold-out audience at Washington's 9:30 Club.
The idea came after TMBG took up a monthly residence at New York City's Poisson Rouge, said Flansburgh in a recent phone interview.
"To keep it interesting for the people who keep coming back, and to keep it interesting for ourselves, we've taken on these theme nights," he said.
However, this isn't the first time the band has performed the full "flood" album, he added.
"About 10 years ago, also in New York City, we opened for ourselves playing all of 'Flood.' So we learned the whole album again and presented it. Having done that, we thought, 'We're going out to D.C., let's do that again for that audience.'"
Not surprisingly, TMBG has several other projects looming on the horizon. The pair's first children's album and DVD, 2005's "Here Come the ABCs," was certified gold, and they are now in the process of writing a third album in that series, "Here Comes Science."
It will tackle "more controversial issues like evolution pretty much everything," said Flansburgh.
The band actually hired a scientific consultant for this project because, as Flasburgh readily admitted, "frankly, I was a terrible science student in high school. My last memory of the periodic table was right before I lost consciousness."
So far, the album has songs about waves, states of matter and the sun. Flansburgh said it will include the first full-blown studio version of a longtime live-set staple, "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas."