The two Johns of They Might Be Giants have been captivating my mind and spine for over 25 years now. Lately, they’ve been hooking kid brains with several smart but still rocking releases like Here Come the ABCs, Here Come the 123s and now Here Comes Science, out today. I interviewed the band about their multi-level music for Wired.
They Might Be Giants Keeps Pop Kid-Friendly With Smart Science
They Might Be Giants continues its cerebral dominance of the pop music world with Here Comes Science, a CD/DVD release created for kids but smart enough for the adults in the mosh pit.
Exclusively available digitally on iTunes and physically on Amazon.com starting Tuesday, the follow-up to John Flansburgh and John Linnell’s Grammy-winning 2008 effort Here Come the 123s builds on the brainy foundation laid down by the band more than 25 years ago. But since the subject this time around is science, They Might Be Giants‘ latest sonic workbook might not go over too well with the intelligent-design crowd.
“Although it wasn’t designed to create controversy, it’s still a big relief to me that the opening track, ‘Science Is Real,’ didn’t raise any red flags with the label,” the 49-year-old Flansburgh told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. “The song freely acknowledges the Big Bang and evolution, and casually conflates angels with unicorns and elves, which might bug some anti-science, pro-angel folk.”
The rest of us need not worry. Here Comes Science is not just a great introduction to the discipline for youngsters; it’s a body-rocking listen for Generation iPod. It doesn’t take more than a cursory hearing of “I’m a Paleontologist” (embedded left) to realize that TMBG’s two Johns haven’t lost their taste for rollicking pop jams, no matter the syllabus. A full-length animated DVD adds light and color to those jams, making Here Comes Science a lesson plan on how to have your creative cake and eat it too.
As Flansburgh’s friend Black Francis once shrieked for the Pixies: “It’s educational!”