For the last 20 years or so, my pal Mikael Jorgensen has been tickling the ivories (and twiddling the synthesizer knobs) for the mighty Wilco. But before saddling up with Jeff Tweedy and the gang, Mikael was part of a New Jersey indie rock quartet called Lizard Music. Now, Lizard Music has returned with a joyful new album, Arizone!, out this week on Omnivore Records. Watch the first video on YouTube! Here's a bit of band history from Glide Magazine:
The band's three-decade history began in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. in 1989 when high-school friends Jorgensen and Paparozzi started learning and writing songs with a four-track cassette machine. Pillaging their parents' record collections, the two discovered the musical universes of the Beatles, Captain Beefheart, XTC, the Meters and many more. Soon after, Chris Apple and Craig Smith joined the band, forming the classic lineup.
Their harmony-driven, surreal pop sensibility stood in stark contrast to the grungy, testosterone-addled sludge rock oozing all around at the time. After two self-released EPs, Lizard Music and Lobster T, Dave Allen (Gang of Four, Low Pop Suicide) signed them to his Los Angeles-based World Domination Records in 1993. The band released two LPs and toured extensively in the U.S. and U.K., opening for Pere Ubu and Yo La Tengo, before taking a hiatus in 1997.