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They Might Be Giants 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SHERVIN LAINEZ
  • Photo by Shervin Lainez

They might've been rockers, rappers, balladeers, scatters, astronauts, gravediggers, scientists, babysitters, perverse puppeteers, reverse telemarketers, subliminal advertisers or Lincoln (Mass.) biographers. Thirty years of rabbiting every strange idea that enters your head — not to mention committing all those mysterious whispers to record — means trying on a lot of hats. Not all of them fit exactly, but that's kind of the point, the 1,000-year-old journey-is-the-destination moral of They Might Be Giants' imaginative stories: the outfit is the costume change. Scattered like buckshot across dozens of tracks, the Ritalin-hidden spree of early-'90s albums Flood and Apollo 18 made the band's recent move toward children's music perhaps its lone unsurprising development. Still, it goes without saying that simultaneously composing for Disney and McSweeney's, or avoiding the middle of the road while scoring Malcolm in the Middle, takes a special breed of alphabet-male. Last year's Join Us (Idlewild) marked a supposed return to "grownup" material (i.e. squiggly odes to dog walkers), but the prevailing theme seems to be that growing up is entirely optional. All the 9-year-olds who accidentally gleaned Eastern European history from "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" are now 29, and they're singing along to "Roy G. Biv." Jonathan Coulton opens. Tickets $22 in advance, $25 day of show. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

Feb. 4

They Might Be Giants

10 p.m. Saturday

Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-8477; www.tipitinas.com

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