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Family Values: Giant Fun - The Sequel

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By Mary Daily

Published Jan 1, 2012 12:00 AM


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Photo courtesy of UCLA Live

After two sold-out UCLA Live shows in 2009, Brooklyn's They Might Be Giants (TMBG) make their triumphant return to Westwood — this time in celebration of their 30th year as a band.

The group truly is a giant in the children's music genre — not what you'd expect from experimental rockers best known for their unconventional style. They will perform in Royce Hall on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 3 and 8 p.m., drawing from their kids' albums, including Grammy winner Here Come the 123s and Grammy-nominated Here Comes Science.

TMBG's Westwood stop wraps up a 45-city tour of the U.S. before they hit the international circuit. They have released 15 studio albums and won two Grammys; the first one was for "Boss of Me," which became the theme music for TV's Malcolm in the Middle. The album Here Come the ABCs has been certified gold. Altogether, they have sold more than 4 million records.

Part of the band's success with kids may stem from the fact that founders John Flansburgh and John Linnell met as children. They first performed in and around New York City, with Flansburgh on guitar and Linnell on accordion and saxophone. Since 2004, the group has also included Dan Miller on guitar, Danny Weinkauf on bass and Marty Beller on drums.

At one point, when Linnell broke his wrist and Flansburgh's apartment was burgled, they began recording songs onto an answering machine and advertising the phone number as "Dial-A-Song." Longtime listeners have counted at least 500 distinct songs and variations on the recordings. Today, the service has morphed into podcasts. And They Might Be Giants were the first major-label act to release an album exclusively in MP3 format.

They Might Be Giants: A Special Family Show. Royce Hall. Saturday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m., 30th Anniversary show at 8 p.m. Tickets from $20 ($15 for UCLA students). For more information, call (310) 825-2101 or visit www.uclalive.org.

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