Hippopotamus — their 23rd. Mael and his keyboardist-songwriter brother, Ron, are ostensibly describing their favorite sexual position, but the merry pop song works just as well as a declaration of the duo’s musical identity: “You’re so avant-garde/But we’re neoclassicists, I guess, at heart.” Of course, most neoclassicists don’t ask such momentous musical questions as “So Tell Me Mrs. Lincoln Aside From That How Was the Play?” or fancifully imagine what it’s like “When You’re a French Director.” Ron’s frantic waltzes are lit up by witty lyrics and Russell’s artfully fey glam-pop vocals. After recent orchestral digressions, the Maels are backed by members of Mini Mansions on this tour. Also Saturday, Oct. 14, and Tuesday, Oct. 17.
“A rebranding effort might just be the thing, but a name’s a name, and we’re continuing,” Russell Mael insists cheekily on “Missionary Position,” from Sparks’ new album,