The whole is greater than the sum of their parts. Working together, Flansburgh and Linnell, the two halves of They Might Be Giants, achieve a critical mass of intelligence, irony, and iconoclasm. "We're life-size people," says Flansburgh. "No aura of aloofness, like most bands have. Just a friendly, jolly show." Their stage show: with the two of them, half a dozen instruments, a few bizarre props, and assorted prerecorded backing tracks: is also long on intelligence: "More than most bands, we need the audience to be wide awake." Regulars on MTV, they record for a small independent label (what else?). "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head" and "Don't Let's Start" are good places to start. Or call 1-718-387-6962 and hear Giant songs on their very own Dial-a-Song. A new one every day.
"Abraham Lincoln," says Flansburgh. "He had a high, squeaky voice, and when people heard him at the Lincoln-Douglas debates, they thought Douglas won. But then when they read what Lincoln said, they realized he was a cool guy and Douglas was a bunch of smoke."