19 July 2013

19th July - They Might Be Giants' Long Tall Weekend

Artist – Album: They Might Be Giants – Long Tall Weekend
Released:  19th July 1999

Sounds Like: No longer always the bridesmaid

Congratulations are in order to They Might Be Giants who, at the fifth time of asking, at last have an album covered in my little blog. Yes, where Flood, Apollo 18, The Else and The Spine all missed out (to Husker Du, Arrested Development, Passion Pit and Big Boi respectively), Long Tall Weekend has finally made it. Ok, so it’s more by virtue of the fact that I didn’t have any other albums released today, but it ain’t a bad record all the same.

It was also a bit of a landmark at that. Released in 1999, it was the first major full-length album released exclusively on the Internet by an established major label band. Also, many of these songs were outtakes from the Factory Showroom sessions (thanks and thanks, Wikipedia). As a result, the album does have a bit of a hotchpotch feel but at its best it really sparkles.

Opener ‘Drinkin’’ is an enjoyable instrumental romp; if you think it slightly odd to start proceedings without vocals, welcome to the slightly odd world of They Might Be Giants. ‘Maybe I Know’ is a sunny harmony cover of a Lesley Gore tune and ‘Rat Patrol’ possesses a guitar heavy rousing verse and a chorus vocals that brings to mind Axel Rose at his least annoying. ‘Operators are Standing By’ is probably the wittiest of a humorous set, although the captivating piano piece ‘Reprehensible’ runs it close. ‘Certain People I Could Name’ is genuinely lovely despite its samurai movies subject matter, ‘On Earth My Nina’ sounds like a song being played backwards but isn’t (not quite anyway), and ‘The Edison Museum’ is a suitably idiosyncratic closer finishing with the cautionary tale lyrics “So when your children quarrel, And nothing seems to quell them, Just tell them that you'll take them to the Edison Museum, The largest independently owned and operated mausoleum.”

It’s not revolutionary, it won’t change your life, but if you’re into this kind of thing (and I am) you will enjoy it. You may as well try it sooner rather than later because as ‘Older’ has it – “you’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older. And now you’re even older. And now you’re even older...’

Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       Drinkin’ – 1:36
2.       (She Thinks She’s) Edith Head – 2:33
3.       Maybe I Know – 2:07
4.       Rat Patrol – 2:07
5.       Token Back to Brooklyn – 1:04
6.       Older – 1:57
7.       Operators are Standing By – 1:24
8.       Dark and Metric – 1:44
9.       Reprehensible – 3:20
10.   Certain People I Could Name – 3:33
11.   Counterfeit Faker – 2:15
12.   They Got Lost – 4:42
13.   Lullaby to Nightmares – 2:31
14.   On Earth My Nina – 1:27
15.   The Edison Museum – 2:00

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