It's been an odd journey for They Might Be Giants, but then again that's what you would have expected from the Brooklyn-based duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell. They began, of course, as an alternative-rock outfit in the early '80s. "I think we kind of maybe point to 1982 as the first time we performed as They Might Be Giants," says Linnell. "We did a show—oh, God, I'm forgetting." Yes, it has been ages. Along the way the band developed a rabid following, became almost an alternative to alternative, and wound up with a concurrent career making educational songs for kids. How did that last happen? "We didn't really think we were making any kind of career choice," explains Linnell. While doing background music for the Fox TV series Malcolm in the Middle, the duo made an album "for the entire family" called No. It sold well, and was one of the reasons Disney executives tapped the Johns to put out more kids' music. They have released a total of four such albums to date. For this tour, the band is performing adult shows, kid shows, and a 20th anniversary celebration of their album Flood, which they will deliver to the Twin Cities. "We've been doing great business," Linnell states. "We're sort of winding our way back to New York." Plans are to tour through early next year, and then finish their next "grown-up" record. With the Guggenheim Grotto. 14+.
Tue., Nov. 3, 6 p.m., 2009