Staff Pick: They Might Be Giants maintains playfulness, even in writing about death

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Over the course of 30-plus years, John Linnell and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants have crafted a wide, deep body of work whose influence stretches far outside the idiosyncratic pop-rock realm the pair’s songs tend to populate.

In a 2014 interview, Chicago-born rapper Open Mike Eagle, for one, praised the group’s effect on his own music. “Their work has always had this real vulnerability and this willingness to not adhere to strict ideas of things, like, ‘This is what it means to be a man in society,’” he said. “They play with all of those things, and that playfulness has always been interesting to me.”

It’s a playfulness the Giants have maintained well into adulthood, even as they’ve increasingly incorporated songs about aging and death (witness “When Will You Die” off this year’s Glean).

Photo courtesy of They Might Be Giants

Newport Music Hall

7 p.m. Sunday, May 17

1722 N. High St., Campus