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Martial Arts Weekend

The Extra Glenns

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Album Review

Martial Arts Weekend is a wonderful collaboration between Franklin Bruno (of Nothing Painted Blue) and John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats). Writing some of the nicest underground pop songs this side of Jonathan Rundman, this duo has been writing music together for a decade before this release. Darnielle's innocent, thin voice shapes this into a gorgeous piece of indie folk rock; tracks like "The River Song" are masterpieces of simplicity that get by on good lyrics and charming songwriting. There are really few standouts, and this is a shockingly solid album that shows them adapting to genres that fit their abilities like a glove. The ringing piano of "Memories" sticks out, sounding much like a lost dB's track (although it suffers from some of the only subpar lyrics on the whole album), while "Going to Michigan" is a beautiful road trip song that showcases just how little these two need to make a good track. This album is a winning collaboration that should appeal to anyone who enjoys a catchy folk rock song, or even fans of good pop/rock in general. The Extra Glenns are a charming combo, and this album is concrete proof of their quality.

Customer Reviews

Blissful--six or seven stars' worth

This album walks a fine line between the work of The Mountain Goats and Nothing Painted Blue, and in my opinion is all the better for it. A bit more filled-out and produced than anything John Darnielle of tMG has given us, and sparser and sweeter than Franklin Bruno's work to date. It's solid but never comes close to boring (compare the mood of "Terminal Grain" to that of the track right before it, "Going to Michigan").

Highlights: The gorgeous, understated The River Song and the quirky but heartfelt closer Going to Marrakesh. Malevolent Seascape Y is worth it for the verses, if the chorus falls short. Also includes the unexpected Leonard Cohen cover Memories.

All in all a beautiful piece of art.

It's basically a Mountain Goats record! :)

The title says it all. If you like The Mountain Goats and are a fan of John's more well produced albums, then you will really enjoy this. It follows traditional tMG song structures and there are even 3 more songs from the "going to" series here. Worth every penny.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Extra Glenns were an underground legend for almost ten years before their album saw the light of day. A collaboration between Nothing Painted Blue's Franklin Bruno and the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, the duo recorded several singles and compilation tracks in the early '90s, then disappeared entirely while concentrating on their other projects. As their individual popularity grew, the two continued to work together when given the chance, and the songs that would eventually appear on Martial...
Full Bio
Martial Arts Weekend, The Extra Glenns
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Customer Ratings