They Still Might Be Giants

Sorry, no felines today, just some text about those cool cats They Might Be Giants.

Now, I've been listening to TMBG for a long time, and I've seen them in concert maybe six or seven times. They're a big favorite at CMU where I went to college, and have headlined Spring Carnival maybe three times. They tend to play somewhere in Pittsburgh every time they're on tour, though I don't always make it to the show. I own all their albums on CD, and buy each new one as it comes out, even the kids albums.

Even before the kids albums, TMBG had quite the following with the younger set. I suppose it's because their music is often erudite, always fun, and in any case non-offensive. It's the kind of music somebody can discover in college, bring home at the holidays, and play for their younger siblings without freaking out the parents. Also, the people who were already in college when TMBG first started getting popular probably started having kids pretty soon after that, so starting in 1997 or so second-generation fans started going to shows.

It was soon after that that I basically stopped going to TMBG shows. I was in my late 20's at the time, and really didn't want to hang out at shows with 12-year-olds. I suppose there was an element of jealousy, in that these kids were way cooler than I was at that age. Once TMBG started putting out kids albums, I realized their audience was only going to get younger and younger, and that I was going to get less and less comfortable attending.

They (and I) appear to have passed through this phase unharmed, though. A friend of mine was in town on business, and when I mentioned TMBG was playing here she totally wanted to go, having not seen them in concert for maybe 12 years. The concert last night was great. The audience is back to being mostly college age with a long tail of older folks. We were not the oldest people there. I assume the oldest people were the ones whose kids have already gone off to college, allows their pre-parental personalities to resurface.

I've actually seens a quote on the internet to the effect of, "Yeah, TMBG is the band I don't listen to any more because they're the band Ilistened to a lot when I was nine." Now that TMBG has hit their 25th anniversary, I think a lot of their fans of all ages are doing pretty well. Last night at the show they played a smattering of tunes from their entire history, including a couple that went out "to the god damn kids".

Anyway, if you stopped going to their shows for the same reason I did, I'd say it's safe for you to give it another try. It's better if you pick a club that has an over-21 area with a bar, just to be sure. Also, pick up their latest album, "The Else". It's pretty good.

2007.11.16 at 11:00am EST