CD / Digital release date: October 8, 2021
2-LP release date: December 10, 2021
First new release from Lizard Music in over two decades
Lizard Music began in Atlantic Highlands, NJ in 1989 when high school friends Mikael Jorgensen and Erik Paparozzi started learning and writing songs with a four-track. They pillaged their parents’ record collections and discovered the musical universes of The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, XTC, James Brown and The Meters.
In the fall of 1990, Lizard Music (named after the book by Daniel Pinkwater) was hired to be the backing band for David Peel and The Lower East Side at the recently-closed Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ, which would serve as the unofficial home base for the band for the next five years. In 1991, Chris Apple joined the band on bass and Craig Smith on drums and the “classic” Lizard Music lineup was solidified. Their vocal harmony-driven surreal pop sensibility stood in stark contrast to the grungy testosterone-addled sludge rock that overtook the Jersey Shore in the early 90s.
After independent releases (including their Steve Albini-produced debut) the band toured for a few years (with Pere Ubu, and sharing the stage with Yo La Tengo and Jonathan Fire Eater), and the band went on hiatus in 1997. During that time, Jorgenson joined Wilco, Paparozzi became Cat Power’s musical director, was a guest on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and worked with Brian Wilson, Lana Del Ray, The Monkees, and more. Apple formed deSoL, and Smith co-founded Moroccan Sheepherders. In 2009, they reformed to headline a benefit concert.
Then, in August of 2020 while the world was stuck inside during quarantine, Erik sent a text to Mikael, Chris and Craig about working on some ideas. With a mix of trepidation, excitement and curiosity, work on Arizone! began. The only rule that was set forth was that any idea presented had to be brand new and created in the moment. Each of these ideas yawned their way into existence during what could be described as a slow-motion improvisation. Over the course of the next three months more layers were added, lyrics written & sung, edits made, mixes scrutinized and then by Thanksgiving of 2020 it was released on Bandcamp for one week until the word came in that Omnivore Recordings wanted to put it out.
This creative reconnection was a potent experience and it’s clear that these four guys love making records filled with joy, humor and songs about breakups and mixtapes. Available on CD, Digital, and double LP, it’s time to book your trip to Arizone!
The Crow Flies The Mixtape Keystone Cops Arizone! Under The Table They Did Their Best Comes And Goes Laughing In The Face Of Love What’s My Line? You Should Be Proud Make That Drink To Go Better Believe In Jest Impossible Naked In Las Vegas