November 19th, 2008


The Long Tall Gap

I first started really getting into They Might Be Giants in 1997, which probably wasn't the best time to do so. It wasn't long after that that they left their recording contract with Elektra, and started shopping around for a new label. Prior to that, they'd put out an album about once every other year, but the schedule became much more irregular after this. On top of that, they stopped the trend of numbering their albums for a little while. FS was the sixth album and The Spine the tenth, and I would assume Mink Car and No! were the eighth and ninth. But what counts as the seventh? In the years between 1996 and 2001, they put out two new albums, but one was mostly live and the other an Internet-only release. I'd say it's the online album, Long Tall Weekend, that should count as #7, but the Johns really don't seem to acknowledge it anymore, so I don't know.

The live album, Severe Tire Damage, is probably my least favorite of the band's full-length releases. They included songs from several different concerts, which SHOULD have allowed them to come up with a quality collection, but they still ended up with a fair number of sub-par recordings. I really think more preparation should have gone into its creation. Still, it has its moments, and it's the first TMBG album that I bought on the release date.

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Long Tall Weekend was released in 1999, and was one of the first albums to only be available online. Some CD's were pressed, and bethje has one, having attended the promotional concert. I'm somewhat jealous of her for that. {g} Anyway, while the Johns tend to ignore LTW, and re-released several of its songs on the rarities collection They Got Lost, it's actually a very good record. A lot of the songs are from the FS era, some of them being outtakes that really deserved to be on a more prominent album.

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Next week, watch me get hit by a Mink Car!
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