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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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Cinemassacre

Cinemassacre (http://www.cinemassacre.com)

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Some of you might know who James Rolfe is from his work as the Angry Video Game Nerd. It’s pretty great stuff. In fact, that’s how I got into his other stuff. But the truth about James Rolfe is that he is actually a great critic, and he might just be the best on the web at what he does.

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He’s done tons of movie reviews, each only a few minutes in length. His reviews are done as videos or audio, not written like on this site, and they feature great editing and great points on why the movie is or isn’t worth your time. It’s not just a matter of opinion with James, as many of his reviews seem more like a history lesson at times.

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He proves to be most knowledgeable in the horror genre. For the last three years he has hosted what he calls “Monster Madness” in which he reviews a movie a day for the month of October, starting at the dawn of the horror genre and ending in the 2000’s. It’s really impressive. None of them are just mailed in; every single review shows insight and knowledge beyond what you might expect from an Internet-famous guy mostly known for swearing at old video games.

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As much as he knows about horror, he also knows a whole lot about other movie genres. He has reviews up of movies that I’ve loved all my life, and some I’ve never even heard of (try Santa Clause for example), but with each review you learn something or gain a new appreciation for the film. Watching the Gremlins review made me want to watch both movies all over again, and the review of the Top Ten Shoot’em Up Movies led me to watching the Wild Bunch for the first time. It was great.

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He also posts some of his original films. Most are pretty entertaining, all display great creativity, but they’re not as entertaining as The Angry Video Game Nerd or the movie reviews. If you’re open to very low budget, cheesy, silly movies, some made with very low budget equipment, check it out. Before you do I recommend watching his 200th video in which James Rolfe discusses his history with film. It really lets you understand where he’s coming from and why some of the movies look the way they do. I appreciated everything on the Cinemassacre site more after watching this video.

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I’m also very impressed with Board James in which he takes on reviewing board game classics like Crossfire and Mouse Trap. They’re just as funny and entertaining as the Video Game Nerd videos.

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Basically, this site is the reason my girlfriend hates letting me use her computer when I’m over at her place because I always end up wanting to show her something from the Cinemassacre site. I give it an A+ for being funny, entertaining, educational, and most of all for being the product of passion. I have a lot of respect for the work and dedication that James Rolfe brings to his website.