Published on March 11th, 2023

They Might Be Giants by Sam Graff

“For everyone who only just arrived / A quick synopsis / If you came late and missed the commotion / And you wonder what was all that / Here’s the recap.”

As promised, “Synopsis of Latecomers” — from the 2021 album, “Book,” by the brainy Brooklyn-born duo They Might Be Giants —- goes on to mention various occurrences of the film-at-eleven or please-shelter-in-place variety. Though it never explains them, “Latecomers” also works as a crash course for anyone who might only just now be coming around to They Might Be Giants.

Forty-one years along, undefeated eccentrics John Flansburgh and John Linnell are avatars of what used to be called “college rock,” but they’re much more than that. They’re artists who have never lost their capacity for humor or wonder. Anyone who grew up in the ’90s might have watched their goofy videos on Nickelodeon or heard them wailing “Boss of Me,” theme song of the dysfunctional family TV sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” Their lyrics can be delightfully corny, but never so much to make you roll your eyes, or unsettling, like on “Synopsis of Latecomers,” but never so much to creep you out.

On their current tour, they’re playing every track of their 1990 album, “Flood,” best known for a bopping update of the 1950s mnemonic ditty, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and the unabashedly nerdy “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” the latter containing a proposal that perhaps only TMBG could have pulled off: “Not to put too fine a point on it / Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet.”

Album tours are all the rage, but TMBG have more standing than most bands to indulge a little affectionate nostalgia. Plus they’re promising a two-set performance with plenty of fun and games, and a survey of their entire discography. While tufts of gray are sprouting on the coifs of both Flansburgh and Linnell, their energy is still undeniably youthful. Their clever wordplay and can’t-miss hooks resonate with music fans young and old — Millennials, Gen-Xers and even a few grumpy Boomers.

They Might Be Giants perform 7pm Wednesday March 15 and Thursday, March 16 at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale. ~ Olivia Feldman