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Family Values: Big With Little Ones


By Maya Parmer

Published Oct 1, 2009 8:00 AM

Coming off a 2009 Grammy for "Best Musical Album for Children," alternative rockers They Might Be Giants, now touring with its 14th full-length album, appeals to both kids and adults — with separate albums for both. For the latter, the band will perform an afternoon show at Royce Hall on Nov. 14 as a victory lap for their Grammy-winning children's album, Here Come the 123s.


Photo courtesy of UCLA Live.

What began as the duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell, who met as children, is now a five-man group with a self-proclaimed "anti-careerist" attitude.

"It seemed like a waste of energy to see what it would take to fit in," says Flansburgh. "That might have been our luckiest break; we just let things gestate and develop." TMBG is named after the 1971 film with the same title that originated from Don Quixote's reference to "windmills as evil giants."

The crossover from adult to family rock, Flansburgh says, was a new-wave moment. "We knew we wanted to do something a little more startling. We're pretty left of the main stream and we're not handsome enough to rest on our laurels."

And it's not just their shows that go on. The group's songs have been heard on Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Fox's Malcom in the Middle, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me film, and even Dunkin' Donuts advertising campaigns.

They Might Be Giants: A Special Family Show. Royce Hall. Saturday, Nov. 14, 3 p.m. Adults $28, Kids $18. For more information on both shows, call (310) 825-2101 or visit