Franz Ferdinand at the Commodore Ballroom
Perhaps in recognition of the fact that it’s possible to be too clever for your own good, Franz Ferdinand has got the whole smart-stupid thing figured out. There’s enough intellectual meat in the Glasgow quartet’s songs to get chin-stroking eggheads dissecting the words, while the jagged dance-punk beats are designed to get feet moving. On the music-geek site SongMeanings, for instance, the 2009 single “Ulysses” has inspired a thread of comments from bookish fans trying to decide whether Alex Kapranos’s lyrics owe more to Homer, James Joyce, or Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Meanwhile, over on YouTube, the video for the same track has inspired sentiments such as “I fucking love this song! Alex is so sexy, I just want to run my fingers thru his hair!” “All for You, Sophia” may be about the assassination of the band’s namesake, the Austrian archduke, but those who spent their high-school history classes in the smoke pit can just shout along with the “Bang, bang!” parts and get just as much out of it as those who are, you know, actually intelligent. Whichever camp you fall into, you’re practically guaranteed a good time when Franz Ferdinand plays the Commodore Ballroom on Wednesday (August 8). But try not to think too hard; you can always wait until after the show to start a heated debate about whether “Take Me Out” is about a romantic breakup or a standoff between two snipers.