They Might Be Giants doesn’t put on a nauseatingly slick show. When I saw them a few years back, five minutes of uncomfortable silence followed the band’s acceptance of an anything-goes song request. When TMBG finally broke huddle, their take on the unpromising “Yellow Submarine” was well worth the wait: Offensive, punked-out, slightly awkward (and only vaguely reminiscent of the original), the seat-of-the pants performance was unique and memorable. Tonight, the nearly 30-year-old group plays in support of two 2011 albums, Join Us—with tracks that would have sounded at home on the seminal Flood—and the techno-inflected Album Raises New and Troubling Questions. Will they blend? Actually, I’m just as excited to see opener Jonathan Coulton, best known for “re: Your Brains,” which renders the zombie’s lament in bullying office jargon—a song that, like TMBG, defies the barrier between rock and novelty.
They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton perform at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $30. (202) 265-0930.