They Might Be Giants | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

They Might Be Giants 

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On the other hand, they might be geeks. They Might Be Giants is two endearingly nerdy guys from Hoboken who enjoy messing with accordions and drum machines almost as much as they enjoy messing with your mind. You expect songs with titles like "Youth Culture Killed My Dog," "Everything Right Is Wrong Again," and "Alienations for the Rich" to make you laugh, but what's surprising is how well some of these cheesy novelty numbers actually stand up as songs. Along with the Young Fresh Fellows, Camper Van Beethoven, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, and Great Plains, to name just a few, They Might Be Giants belongs to a growing subgenre of absurdist scavenger bands who roam the scrap heaps of popular and semipopular culture in search of new material for their stand-up philosophy routines. I knew I was going to like They Might Be Giants when I phoned their complimentary dial-a-song service and heard something called "I Will Date the Girl From Venus for Science" that actually lived up to it's title. Favorite subjects include fashion, artistic stagnation, puppet heads, and being the world's greatest rock-and-roll band (no 80s rock fan's collection is complete without a copy of "We're the Replacements"). Favorite sounds might include anything from lines lifted from Johnny Cash to the strangest polka this side of Brave Combo. To paraphrase Spike Jones, They Might Be Giants are too sophisticated for the corny people and too corny for the sophisticated people. Tonight, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Janette Beckman.

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