New Release: Block Party

For all of those wondering if the Lizards From Afar had thrown in the towel, it looks like the foot is on the other shoe now. We present for you listening pleasure: Block Party.

Block Party started as a lyric from Gator. Our resident composer the Gecko took Gator’s original concept and flipped it on its ear. Chopper Newt went one step further and imbued the vocals with moodiness. That’s when I came into the picture and dropped the monkey wrench into the stew.

I created a drum part that split the group down the middle. After a few weeks of discussion, I re-recorded the drums. These still didn’t quite fit the bill. Then Chopper Newt went on a solo tour of Bulgaria and was unable to work on the track again until his return this week. And oh the work he did.

Check out Block Party:

Sir Pent


26 Responses to “New Release: Block Party”

  1. Whoo hoo!

    But I always have to go in and edit the grammar of your posts, man. Even informal writing has to follow some rules. I didn’t bother with your mixed metaphors, though. đŸ˜‰

  2. And your games, too: A Blagojevich tag?

  3. Me no sorry for about writing that tag.

  4. Poor grammar!? Have you no shame!?

  5. Not as much as the Gecko wishes that I did.

    Anyway Herne, you crazy so-and-so, go listen to BLOCK PARTY and report back immediately on how much you love it.

  6. I’ll have you know that I listened to it IMMEDIATELY after it was announced.

    My opinion is still pending. I think I need to listen to it a couple more times.

  7. choppernewt Says:

    This is up on Podsafe Music Network now, we’ll see if anyone is interested. That stuff does seem to get listened to pretty quickly.

    I do have the feeling that this may end up being a band favorite and not necessarily a fan favorite. We’ll see. Of course, it does take a keen ear to revel in the genius of my feedback wash as much as I do. Not everyone is equipped.

  8. So far the feedback from my distro group is love/hate.
    I’ve heard from a couple of people that “it’s the best thing we’ve done so far” and a couple of regretful “Sorry, I just don’t like it”.

    I agree with Chopper that this one might not take off like WAY BACK or 202330.

  9. Ah, the feedback wash! So awesome. And that vintage 50s overdrive I use! And the Vox AC130, a la the Edge. Plus this song is so compositionally more complex that the others. What’s not to love? People who don’t like it are either musical philistines or just need to listen to it until they like it.

    I hate to allow any criticism, but I will say that I had to really crank the volume today for a good “car test,” and it didn’t sound as good as through the headphones. Some of the details got pushed too far back. In general, the levels are lower than some of our other releases. Not necessarily a bad thing, though.

  10. I love that approach. Love what we do or you’re stupid and we’ll force you to like it. Sounds like U.S. foreign policy.

  11. Maybe we should blare the song on loudspeakers at specific “high profile targets.”

    But seriously, I often find the songs I end up loving the most are the ones I don’t like immediately. They’re more complex and take more time to appreciate. So multiple hearings of Block Party are a must. It’s not catchy like Way Back. It’s interesting.

  12. It’s kind of a weird song. How many 7 minute ballads do you know start off with the lyric “We had pancakes”?
    And once again Chopper did some great work getting something to work that just wasn’t working.

  13. He did do a brilliant job, I agree.

    And the song is indeed unique. I just listened to Weezer’s 8 minute song “Only In Dreams” today and it’s good, but not as good as block party. Well, parts of OID are genius, like the line “She’s in the air / between molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide.” That’s almost as good as “The ketchup mixed into your scrambled eggs / the morning I came home”–particularly with Gator’s original line “and found you dead.”

  14. Ok… Here’s what I’m thinkin…

    First, did you upload a new track? Cuz the first one I listened to sounded a little different in my memory.

    Originally there seemed to be a long pause between the intro and the first bar… and it sounded a little flat, but now it sounds different. Maybe it’s just me?

    I like the intro, although it could be a little longer… I like the melody… not sure about the lyrics yet…

    Oh, and the drumming was just awesome! (I take paypal, BTW)

  15. choppernewt Says:

    @Herne RE: Lyric

    Speaking as a guy who didn’t write it, here’s my take.

    First, while Gator’s input was present throughout the process, I think I can safely say that about the time the music and melody were created, the author’s intent was out the window pretty much. I think we took a lyric that was not meant as a serious thing and played it totally straight, which created some weirdness.

    When singing it, though, I felt like I needed to find the truth in it, and here’s what I came to. The speaker is not reliable in the least. He is, in my interpretation, standing at the scene described in the final verse, and this is his internal attempt to draw sense from a senseless situation. (This in turn causes some inconsistency with the chorus, which I answer by paraphrasing the late great Gila Monster – “Fuck it, we’re artists”. Anyway, in my interpretatation, he is connecting dots that don’t connect. The things he is remembering are not connected to the circumstance he confronts. He is finding a way to assume responsibility for something that was not his doing, not his fault. He’s coping, in shock. That’s how I ended up making it work for me, internally.

    I think reading it totally literally robs it of what we tried to imbue, but just like the band leaving behind the intent of the lyricist, listeners will do the same to the song as a whole, and as such, may not end up with a thread that allows it to “make sense” in a non-jokey way.

  16. Jokey lyrics are really MY domain. (Stay away Gator!!)

  17. The song is absurdist philosophy in action. In fact, one might even term it Theater of the Absurd in music format, like Music Theater of the Absurd. It even has the tragicomedic tropes of Theater of the Absurd. Playing music straight was therefore a sort of absurdist necessity: if we played it for a joke openly, it would rob the lyrics of their absurdist power.

    As for the music: there is a long pause after the intro, and I came close to shortening it several times, but didn’t–and I’m not sure why, really. It’s not flat at all, but there is a weird riff there that I thought “worked.” I think a sign it works is that it seems too long at first, but after listening to it more than once, it seems ok. The song totally improves as you listen to it. It’s very strange that way.

    As for the lyrics, the main character thought he called up the night before, but when he arrives home to find his dead partner the next day, he discovers he in fact never called at all. That’s what made me realize the music had to be played straight: whatever one might think of the situation, as tragicomedic, it has real poignancy.

  18. I’ve decided the “Block Party” referred to in the song is the main character sitting down after the events of the song and eating a block of cheese until he dies too.

  19. Har har.

    As Gator wrote: blocked memories; blocked arteries. A whole party of blocks.

  20. I put in a request to Reverbnation to feature Block Party. We’ll see if they’ll do it. I’ll contact Insomniaradio again, too–probably Sunday. Now must go run errands….

    Think I’m already getting sick of the snow on the blog. That’s the way it always is with snow: it’s fun when its a novelty, but the excitement wears off quickly.

  21. I’ve submitted BP to a handful of podcasts. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

    • “singer in a teen gothic metal band and her brother allegedly stabbed the band’s guitarist dozens of times because he did not play well enough, Italian police and a lawyer said Friday.”
      – Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

      You just watch it Gecko.

  22. I certainly don’t have to worry about playing worse than you. So you better watch it.

  23. @Chopper and Matt; Wow…that’s deep. I thought maybe it was about crossing a bridge and looking at an apartment building?

    Why do I feel like you’re pulling my leg? Hrm.

    Apparently this block of cheese also has corners.

    (Careful, Pent’s got a wet noodle and he’s not afraid to use it!)

  24. If those kid’s lawyer can get them out of stabbing a guitarist…I might put him on retainer.

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