They Might Be Giants: “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”
They Might Be Giants formed almost thirty years ago from the partnership of high school friends John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The two Johns began working together in earnest after moving to Brooklyn from Massachusetts in 1981. The pair became known for their quirky performance aesthetic, clever lyrics and unusual instrumentation right from the start. Twisting the then predominant New Wave craze on its ear with an accordion, outlandish stage props, and self-effacing style, TMBG quickly gained notoriety.
Fast-forward three decades and TMBG has traded in their drum machine and over-sized hats for a full band, two Grammys and over 4 million albums sold. Perhaps best known for their songs “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, or the award-winning theme song to the show Malcom in the Middle, ” Boss of Me”, the band has achieved commercial success without losing their creative identity.
After releasing a string of albums of children’s music to great acclaim, TMBG has returned to the adult realm with their latest release, 2011′s Join Us. Today’s featured track: “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”, showcases the band’s irrepressible positive energy, both in sound and in substance. The bouncy bass line, arpeggiated guitar, and obligatory accordion solo are simultaneously fresh and classic, an uncanny quality for a band in their third decade of existence.