They Might Be Giants/Moon Hooch
For three decades, two Johns — Flansburgh and Linnell — have created an alternate universe of Dadaist absurdity, cryptic one-liners, clever non sequiturs, bizarre humor, and pure pop perambulations tinged with the avant-garde. As the Brooklyn-based They Might Be Giants, the Johns have been tilting at windmills of every dimension, all twisted fantastically, taking swipes at everything and anything, inspiring a strong cult following and even scoring with odd hits like "Birdhouse in Your Soul." After detouring for several years into mostly kid-oriented stuff, the Giants' silliness is again adult-eccentric on their 16th studio album, Nanobots. As usual, the quirkiness flies fast and furious, from disconcertingly literal warnings ("You're on Fire") to uncomfortable predicaments (the 11-second "Tick") to more extended considerations of weightier matters like borrowing slacks ("Icky"). The music, although riddled with ridiculously irresistible power-pop hooks, is still wildly eclectic, touching on new wave, Buddy Holly rock 'n' roll, sax-heavy R&B, folk, parlor ditties, and even big-band jazz. Moon Hooch is saxophonists Wenzl McGowen and Mike Wilbur plus drummer James Muschler. They got started busking on New York subway platforms with a potent mix of jazz, house, and dubstep, sounding a little like a funky World Sax Quartet. 18+.
Sat., June 1, 8 p.m., 2013
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