Long Tall Weekend

Long Tall Weekend

(You are reading a review written in the month of June, 2011, which was dedicated to the band They Might Be Giants and the task of reviewing many of the bands most popular material.)

They Might Be Giants have the distinction of being the first band to release a full studio album online. This came after the fallout between the band and Elektra and may have been an attempt to move into a DIY situation for the band. Released on Emusic, the album Long Tall Weekend lead to TMBG becoming the most downloaded band ever on the internet. This continues today through their website, theymightbegiants.com, where you can download full length albums and concerts from all over the world.

 

The album as a whole is decent. Songs like Operators are Standing By and Luliby to Nightmares are great and well written, but the album as a whole feels like something that was either thrown together from moments throughout their career. Really, it doesn’t feel like a TMBG album as much as a collection like Miscellaneous T. In fact, a lot of these songs were rejected from the Factory Showroom album.

Couple that with the fact that 8 of the 15 songs were released either later or before the album, either as the exact same recording or rerecorded versions of the same song, and you might understand why going back and listening to Long Tall Weekend feels like less than what it should. “(She Think’s) She’s Edith Head” and “Older” later appear on Mink Car in rerecorded versions (I prefer the later version), and “Token Back To Brooklyn” appeared on Factory Showroom as a hidden track. Its release here may be because the song was unacceptable on some CD players. Also, the exact same recording of “Edison Museum” was later released on their children’s album No!.  

Even the song, “Maybe I Know” is a cover that they used to perform as early as their Self Titled and Lincoln era.

The other songs, such as “Rat Patrol” and “Certain People I Could Name” would be released on a compilation titled They Got Lost, named after another song taken from Long Tall Weekend. They Got Lost is a bit easier to find, at least on CD. You can still get Long Tall Weekend off of Emusic for about $5 (50 cents a song), but finding the few hard copies that were sold (mostly at shows in 1999) is a bit more difficult.

The album met pretty strong reviews and on Emusic where it was mostly downloaded it received 4 out of 5 stars. This was released right around the time I became a fan and I had no idea what was going on. These songs are mostly considered rarities to me.  Also, the album seems to have little continuity which is something that could be expected following the solid and polished Factory Showroom album.

 

On this album is “On Earth My Nina,” which is a song (“Thunderbird”) sung backward by John Linnell. I will be covering this in its own article because it’s a pretty awesome idea with pretty amazing results.

All in all, this is one of the most obscure albums the band has released due to it containing song that were mostly either rereleased later or released prior to the album. I don’t know how fondly the band looks at this album, but to me it is hardly a major release by the band. Still, it deserves some credit, as it contains some very impressive music.

You cannot find Long Tall Weekend used or new on amazon.com. You can find it at emusic.com for about $5. If I were you, I’d just buy They Got Lost used on amazon.com for $5, then buy the following tracks for 50 cents off of emusic:

  1. “Drinkin'”
  2. “Maybe I Know”
  3. Operators are Standing By”
  4. “Dark And Metric”
  5. “Counterfeit Faker”
  6. “They Got Lost”
  7. “On Earth My Nina” 
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